Elizabeth H. Brinkerhoff, Ph.D.Renarta Tompkins, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Literacy
Department of Education
One University Boulevard
Bluffton, SC  29909
Bluffton campus

Renarta Tompkins, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Literacy in the Department of Education at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Her area of academic interest involves working with school districts to evaluate and improve reading achievement scores of students in K-8 classrooms. Specifically, this entails improving literacy rates for minority students through fluency, culturally relevant literacy practices, and studying the history of reading in African-American schools.

Dr. Tompkins received a B.S. in Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1975. She earned a Reading Certification, K-12, at the Clayton County Schools/West Georgia College Collaborative Cohort – Reading Certification Program in 1996. Two years later, she earned an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education at Emory University’s Division of Educational Studies. In 2001, she received a Leadership Certification in Instructional Supervision at the West Georgia College and University in Carrollton. In 2005, Dr. Tompkins earned a Ph.D. with a concentration in Literacy at Emory’s Division of Educational Studies, Curriculum and Instruction.

Dr. Tompkins entered the field of education as a first and third grade teacher at the Capitol View Elementary School in Atlanta in 1991. In 1993, she moved to the Morrow Elementary School in Clayton County, Georgia, as a first and second grade teacher. In 1997, she was named the Special Instructional Assistance Lead Teacher at the Morrow School. In this position, she was responsible for implementing a reading program for struggling K-2 students. She was promoted again, in 1999, to Instructional Technology Specialist/Instructional Lead Teacher at the Morrow School. She supervised implementation and technology integration for K-5 students in an experimental In-Tech program.

In 2002, Dr. Tompkins was appointed Federal Program Grants Lead Teacher in the District Office in Clayton County. She was responsible for coordinating Title I, II, III and IV programs.

In 1998, while still affiliated with Morrow Elementary School, Dr. Tompkins joined the Clinical Field Faculty at Emory University. From 1998 to 2005, she held several faculty positions at Emory before accepting an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Literacy at Mississippi State University in east central Mississippi.

In 2008, she was named Assistant Professor of Literacy at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.. She joined the faculty at USCB as an Assistant Professor of Literacy in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Literary in 2014.

Dr. Tompkins is an author of seven articles in scholarly academic journals reaching international, national and regional audiences. In addition, she has penned two book reviews and one conference paper. She has delivered presentations at 15 academic conferences throughout the U.S. and in Canada, and participated in six workshops in the Southeast.

Dr. Tompkins has an extensive background of community service. She has participated in multiple reading projects and initiatives, particularly for early-grade students. In 2012, for instance, she created the training manual and trained more than 100 tutors involved in the United Way Early Grades Reading Initiative. For several years, she has played an active role in the Read Across America initiative and in Family Literacy Workshops. She continues to work with the United Way to place tutors in selected schools in Jasper and Beaufort counties.

For her efforts, Dr. Tompkins received the 2013 Faculty Service Learning Award bestowed by USCB. She was named the 2014 Woman of the Year by the United Way of the Lowcountry Women’s Leadership Council. And, in 2015, the Jasper County School District named her its Woman of the Year.

Dr. Tompkins teaches Foundations of Reading, Content Literacy for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers, Social Studies for Elementary Teachers, Personal Community Health, Instructional Strategies for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers, and Assessment of Literacy for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers.

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