Dr. Carlson has been a faculty member at the College for over 35 years and is chair of the Department of Primary Care. She is course master and lab instructor for Principles and Practices of Optometry I and for Principles and Practices of Optometry A and B. The primary focus of her research at the College is on clinical education practices.
Dr. Carlson earned her doctor of optometry degree from the New England College of Optometry in 1977. Her clinical area of expertise is pediatric optometry, and she served as a gold-standard examiner for the Vision in Preschoolers Study from 2002 to 2005. Dr. Carlson is the former director of the Seamark Vision Clinic at the Cotting School, a private school for children with physical, medical, and communication challenges to learning.
Dr. Carlson was a recipient of the first Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence in Optometric Education in 2007, as a co-author of the publication “Instilling Ethics in Today’s Optometry Students,” which was published in Optometric Education. She was awarded the Dupuis-Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence in 2002, and was named First Year Faculty Member of the Year in April 2008. She is the first author of the optometry textbook Clinical Procedures for Ocular Examination, currently in its third edition. This textbook has been used in courses at multiple optometry colleges and in ophthalmology programs throughout the United States. It has also been translated into several foreign languages.
Dr. Carlson is a consultant for the American Optometric Association Accreditation Council of Optometric Education and has been a professional member of the AOA since 1977. She is also a member of the editorial review board for the journal Optometric Education. Dr. Carlson has been a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry since 1981, and is a member of Beta Sigma Kappa, the International Optometric Honor Fraternity, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.