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Dr. Ryan Carlson is recognized with prestigious ACA award

Picture of Dr. Carlson with the Executive Director of ACA and award's committee chair

Educational Studies Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Program Dr. Ryan Carlson was awarded the Don Dinkmeyer Social Interest Award from the American Counseling Association. This national award was presented to Dr. Carlson at the gala ceremony during the 2014 ACA Annual Conference & Expo in Honolulu, HI, March 27-30.

Each year, the ACA recognizes and celebrates achievements of counseling professionals who have distinguished themselves professionally, as well as through service to others. The Don Dinkmeyer Award recognizes an individual or organization that has used counseling to support families and promote a positive influence on families and family life. Dr. Carlson's research is recognized in counselor education for making a significant difference in the lives of diverse families who face tough challenges. Dinkmeyer was the founding editor of the Elementary School Guidance and Counseling Journal. He encouraged education and training to help families.

At the 2014 ACA National Convention, Dr. Carlson and his longtime colleague Andrew P. Daire were featured in the ACA Client-Focused Research Series for Couples & Family Counseling. They presented Parental Alliance for Low-Income Couples and Individuals Participating in Relationship Education Workshops. They found that "Couples and relationship education(CRE) programs indicate positive results for low-income couples who attend. However, most studies examined relationship satisfaction or communication patterns with few addressing the influence of CRE on parental alliance and even fewer examining parental alliance for those who attend without a partner. Thus, we examined changes in parental alliance for low-income participants who attended CRE alone (n= 182) or with their partner (n= 190). Participants who attended with a partner reported significant parental alliance improvements at post-assessments, while those who attended alone did not. Practical applications and implications for future research were discussed."

Carlson's 16 peer-reviewed publications and 35 presentations have focused on effective recruitment and engagement of low-income couples into research and practice, outcomes in relationship education, and intimate partner violence typologies. Dr. Carlson has conducted local workshops and trainings for parents of children with special needs, and worked with families who have a member recovering from substance abuse. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor. Dr. Carlson is a current member of ACA and 5 divisions (ACES, SACES, ASERVIC, IAMFC, and AARC). He is a past SACES emerging leader fellow, and recipient of UCF’s Outstanding Doctoral Research Award.

For the Don Dinkmeyer Award, Carlson received an engraved trophy, a $1,000 honorarium and his accomplishments were featured in the Conference program book and in an upcoming issue of Counseling Today. The college celebrates Dr. Carlson's latest achievement and has recognized him as a Featured Scholar upon joining the its faculty in 2012.

[Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Counseling Association is the world’s largest private, not-for-profit organization for professional counselors. Dedicated to promoting public confidence and trust in the counseling profession, the American Counseling Association provides leadership training, continuing education, and advocacy services for its more than 54,000 members.]

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