Staff spotlight: Lynette Carlson

Mar 15, 2023

Lynette Carlson, instructor and clinic director in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

When did you start at UMD? Why did you choose to work at UMD?

I started at UMD in 2005, in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) as the director of the Robert F. Pierce Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic (RFP Clinic). But my connections to UMD were formed years earlier as a student in CSD. I joined the faculty because I experienced firsthand UMD’s commitment to quality education and making a difference in the lives of others. I wanted to be a part of that on a daily basis.

What do you like most about your job? 

I enjoy learning with students. In the classroom and the clinic, it is exciting and rewarding to support another person’s mastery of knowledge and skills and to see them learn about themselves in the process. And I appreciate all that they teach me about how to do my best work as an instructor.

I also appreciate the opportunity to serve the community through the CSD’s RFP Clinic. CSD students participate in internships and provide no-cost services to community members who may otherwise not have access to care. Over the past 10 years alone, the Department of CSD has provided volunteer community services valued at more than $1.8 million.

What is your favorite class to teach and why?

I think a favorite is clinical methods. It is a “how-to” course that takes the mystery out of how we provide therapy. Students learn how to use the best evidence for making clinical decisions; forming therapeutic relationships; and providing ethical, culturally responsive, and client-centered care. These foundational principles translate into the work of many professions.  

Do you have any advice for students?

There are so many great learning opportunities at UMD through classes, extracurricular activities, or just informal interactions. Step out of your comfort zone to meet new people from diverse perspectives and explore new ways of thinking and doing things. Take advantage of all the services available to you at UMD and do your best work.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy being outdoors, whether I am hiking in the woods, watching ships on Lake Superior, or taking nature photographs. I love traveling to new places and learning about people’s history and culture. I also collect cookbooks and enjoy experimenting with new recipes and ingredients.