Faculty Profiles

Dr. Joan Kaywell

Dr. Joan Kaywell, Professor (Ph.D., University of Florida)

Joan Kaywell headshot

Email: kaywell@usf.edu
Office: USF Tampa campus 302O
Phone: (813) 974-3837


Dr. Joan F. Kaywell, Professor of English Education and a Florida native, received her BAE, M. Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She has been working at the University of South Florida since 1987 and served as Interim Chair of Secondary Education for the 2002-2004 academic years. While at USF, Dr. Kaywell has won Undergraduate Teaching Awards in 1990-91, 1993-94, 1996-97, 1999-2000, and USF's Jerome Krivanek Distinguished Teacher Award in 2002. Dr. Kaywell was awarded the 1999 Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE)'s President's Award, the 2000 FCTE Honor Award for long-time commitment to teaching and service in Florida, and FCTE was awarded the NCTE Affiliate of Excellence Award 2008-2010 under her direction. She was recently awarded the 2010 NCTE Conference on English Leadership (CEL) Exemplary Leadership Award.


She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in English teaching methods and specializes in young adult (YA) literature.

Research and Publications

Dr. Kaywell is published in several journals; regularly reviews young adult novels for The ALAN Review, The Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, and Signal; and has edited two series of textbooks: Four volumes of Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the Classics (1993, 1995, 1997, 2000; six volumes of Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with [Various] Issues (Family 1999, Societal 1999, Identity 1999, Health 2000, End-of-Life 2000, Abuse 2004; and has written two: Adolescents At Risk:  A Guide to Fiction and Nonfiction for Young Adults, Parents, and Professionals (1993) and Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the Classics:  Addressing Critical Issues in Today’s Classrooms (2010). Her first trade book Dear Author: Letters of Hope (Philomel, 2007) is intended to get students to choose reading as a healthy escape from their life’s negative circumstances.


Dr. Kaywell donates her time extensively to promoting literacy of children and holds these offices: She is Membership Secretary for the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE (ALAN) and Senior Executive Director of the FCTE.  She is also a Past-President of ALAN, Past-President for FCTE – twice, Past-Chair of NCTE's CEE's Commission on the Study and Teaching of Young Adult Literature, and a past member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Early Adolescence/English Language Arts Standards Committee. She also serves on the Review Board for English Journal, The ALAN Review, Signal, The Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literacy, and the New Advocate.