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Justice Is One of Three SOAR Finalists
March 17, 2021

A Walters State professor is one of only three finalists for a prestigious statewide award. 
Candace Justice, director of instructional design and associate professor of English, represents East Tennessee in the community college division of the Statewide Outstanding Achievement and Recognition awards. 
The SOAR awards are given by the Tennessee Board of Regents to promote and recognize excellence at TBR institutions. Recipients are chosen based on teaching expertise, including diversity initiatives, innovations in teaching, experiential learning initiatives, and exemplary service to the college, the community and the discipline. 
“Being nominated by the college is an honor, especially this year,” said Justice. 
“In the past year, when we all had to pivot our instruction. Countless people here went above and beyond what was required. To be singled out when so many were doing such great jobs is a very humbling experience.”
Justice is recognized as being passionate about teaching in higher education, especially in areas of equity and experiential learning. She works to develop innovate teaching and has been part of a team that has repeatedly earned the college the prestigious Apple Distinguished School recognition. Her department trained over 1,000 Walters State instructors in the past year as the college moved most classes online. 
“Community colleges offer education to a wider variety of people. We are able to make a college education more affordable. As an instructor here, I have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on so many students. That is why I teach.”
Justice joined Walters State in 2009. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.S. in education from Concord University. She also holds an M.A. from East Tennessee State University. She received the Walters State Distinguished Faculty Award in 2020.
Justice competed successfully by interview to become the finalist for the East Region. Now, she is in the process of competing against finalists representing the middle and west regions. The statewide winner will be announced later this month.