Meet Dr. Jeff Justice
Dr. Jeff Justice, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Tarleton State University, loves learning languages. He speaks and/or reads Scottish Gaelic, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Danish, and Norwegian. He is actually back in school right now gaining professional fluency in Gaelic. He is inspired by those who are told that they "can't" or that they "never will," yet they defy the odds and their critics to succeed. Those who do choose to define themselves rather than allowing others to define them. Dr. Justice took a moment to share his thoughts on Tarleton, teaching and the study abroad experience.
"At Tarleton State University, we often speak of leaving a legacy. My students will be mine. I've always been challenged to leave this world a better place than what it was when I found it. To that end, I challenge myself each and every day to push my students to excel and then to excel again. My goal – my wish – for them is for them to walk out the gates of Tarleton, diploma in hand, as citizens of this world ready to earn their places as the best at whatever pursuits they choose to follow.
"A specific Tarleton moment that stands out for me, that inspires me, came from our 2012 Scottish Studies Program. We were at Inchcolm Abbey on our second-to-last day of the course, and I saw one of our Tarleton students sitting by himself on a bench overlooking the Firth of Forth, with the mountains of the Scottish Highlands shrouded by mist in the distance. It was a breathtaking view. I sat on the other side of the bench. After a few moments of quiet, he looked toward me and said a simple "Thank you." I never would have expected this student, who had never travelled far before, to have taken this study abroad course. It was amazing to watch how his world grew in the month we studied in Scotland. It's the very reason why I am inspired to lead Study Abroad.
"Study Abroad opens so many doors to a wider, yet ever-shrinking, world. We can teach about other peoples, other cultures, other countries, but there is no comparison to living among them, experiencing their lives, hearing their stories, seeing their history, sharing their concerns, and realizing that we, as human beings, for all our differences, are far more alike than we might want to admit."
Once again this summer, Dr. Justice will lead Tarleton State University's Scottish Studies Program offering students a chance to experience a country with a people whose friendliness is matched only by the stunning majesty of the land that they call their home. They will experience a nation that crowned its first king when we could write a year with only three digits. The coursework includes political science, history, and environmental science presentations. Students will get to walk on the floor of the Scottish Parliament and interact with its members in their offices. They will see the Honours of Scotland, Europe's oldest extant set of crown jewels, including the Stone of Scone, which served as the crowning seat of the ancient kings of Alba (to use Scotland's Gaelic name). They will interact with government officials in environmental and agricultural policy areas as well as some of the world's foremost scientists and scholars during their studies. The contacts these students will make will last a lifetime, and the memories they will gain will be eternal.