USF Sarasota-Manatee professor receives Florida's Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award

Dr. Thomas Crisp, assistant professor of Reading in the College of Education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, has received the Marguerite Cogorno Radencich Award honoring Florida’s Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading.

The award is given by the Florida Reading Association to one faculty member per year who is an innovator and leader making substantial contributions in the field of reading education.  The Florida Reading Association represents over 6,900 members who are actively interested in reading and writing instruction. It is composed of local chapters and special interest groups including the Council for Early Literacy, the Council for Adult and Family Literacy, Reading Supervisors of Florida, Florida Organization of Teacher Educators in Reading, and the Secondary Reading Council.

The Florida Reading Association is an affiliate of the International Reading Association, a 90,000 member nonprofit educational organization devoted to the promotion of lifetime reading habits and the improvement of language and literacy instruction.

Crisp was nominated for the award by Brittany Hiller, a recent USF Sarasota-Manatee graduate and fourth grade teacher at The Out-of-Door-Academy. He will receive a plaque, an invitation to the annual Florida Reading Association conference, and a feature story in Florida Reading Quarterly.

“I nominated Dr. Crisp for this award because I wanted to show the Florida Reading Association how his scholarship, teaching, course assignments, mentorship and service all make him an outstanding teacher educator,” Hiller said.  “He is innovative, bringing leading researchers into his class via Skype and other technology so that students could ask questions ‘face-to-face.’  His dedication to his students, his contributions to the field of reading and literature, and his leadership make him an exceptional candidate for this award.”

Crisp’s research is primarily focused on children’s and adolescent literature, reading, and literacy instruction. His area of research includes balanced approaches to comprehensive literacy instruction, literary analysis, critical examination of texts, pedagogical and curricular uses of books, and the cultural construction of literature, childhood, and child culture across time.

“Although it goes without saying, what a citation like this ultimately reflects is the teaching/learning culture fostered across USF Sarasota-Manatee: a university with high expectations for students and that provides exemplary learning experiences and opportunities,” said Crisp.  “I’m proud to be part of a university that values and supports teaching and instruction.  I’ve learned a great deal from all my colleagues in the College of Education.”

Students in Crisps’ classes participate in literature discussion groups, compare today’s children’s literature to that of the past, and visit local libraries and bookstores to examine the way they are constructed and why. He also co-chaired this year’s extremely successful USF Sarasota-Manatee Children’s Literary Symposium.

“Dr. Crisp is an outstanding educator who is a role model for students,” said Dr. Terry Osborn, dean of the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  “His dedication to teaching and course development challenges students to expand their educational horizons.”

For more information about USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Education, visit or call (941) 359-4330.