WSCC professor named a top community college teacher in statewide honor

Candace Justice, director of instructional design and associate professor of English at Walters State, has been named the Community College Faculty Member of the Year.

Justice received the Statewide Outstanding Achievement and Recognition (SOAR) award during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, March 25. The award is given by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

“This award recognizes Candace as one of the state’s best community college professors,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of the college.

“A big part of Candace’s job is training our faculty members in new ways to use technology in teaching. The dedication shown to both her English students and her fellow instructors has helped the college face the challenges presented in the classroom this year.”

Justice is the first Walters State faculty member to receive this honor in the three-year history of the SOAR awards.

Winning this award is a thrilling and gratifying experience,” she said following the ceremony.

“I appreciate the staff at TBR for presenting me with this accolade as well as my Walters State family for nominating me. We’ve all worked very hard to provide students with quality educational experiences over the past year. I feel that this award is a testament to our college’s success.”

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.

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.

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.