Dr. Candis Carraway, assistant professor of agriculture, was named the 2020 Distinguished Young Educator by Non-land grant Agriculture and Renewable Resources Universities. This national award recognizes meritorious teaching at a NARRU institution. This is the first time an SFA professor has received this honor.

“Being recognized for this award makes me feel honored,” Carraway said. “I’ve had such great examples and role models in teaching, and I feel blessed to have been influenced by them.”

Carraway has been teaching for over 20 years, previously having been a high school agriculture teacher. This is her sixth-year teaching at a university and her fourth year at SFA. She currently oversees the agricultural education program. She has also created two new courses for the program since her time at SFA.

“My favorite thing about being a professor is being able to work with students,” Carraway said. “Watching them grow and develop their potential as they grow through their career as a student, and then transitioning to being professionals out in the industry.”

Carraway was nominated for the award by Dr. Joey Bray, agriculture department chair, and received letters of support from colleague Dr. Stephanie Jones, Equine Center director and assistant professor of animal science, and student Jordan Stanford, a sophomore agricultural development major from Scroggins.

“Dr. Carraway has been an outstanding addition to our university,” Bray said. “We are truly lucky to have her as a faculty member in the Department of Agriculture. I firmly believe that Dr. Carraway is the epitome of a distinguished young educator [because] she is a passionate educator that truly cares for each and every student she teaches.”

Jones stated that she supported Dr. Carraway’s nomination for the award due to her dedication to teaching that goes above and beyond.

“She motivates her students to succeed on and off campus by working diligently to help recent graduates find jobs,” Jones said. “She puts students first and is a patient, caring individual that is able to develop meaningful relationships with her students, which creates a productive learning environment.”

Stanford, who also in support of the nomination, said, due to her mentorship, Carraway should receive multiple awards and writing a letter of recommendation was the least that could be done.

“Dr. Carraway has been a mentor to me and has done so much for me,” Stanford said. “I would not be where I am in my collegiate career without her assistance. I was honored to be able to help her win this award.”

Carraway will be recognized at a virtual NARRU meeting to be held next month.

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