Faculty Spotlight: Carolyn Hanson, PhD, OTR/L

Dr. Carolyn Hanson photo
Carolyn Hanson, PhD, OTR/L

This edition of faculty spotlight features Dr. Carolyn Hanson, a Clinical Assistant Professor who returned to UF in 2018 after working at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center at the Gainesville VA for 11 years. She currently teaches core courses in the BHS program- Survey of Diseases and Disabilities 1 & 2. Dr. Hanson assisted in transitioning the in-person Survey class to a hybrid course of weekly group discussions in 2019. She expanded the course to include in-depth interviews with people who have a variety of physical disabilities to provide students with the “lived experience” of having a disease.

In the summer, Dr. Hanson teaches an elective course which reviews occupations across the lifespan and across cultures. This in-person course is transitioning to being fully online in 2023. This course allows for students to choose a novel occupation and demonstrate their accomplishment in learning the basics at the end of the six-week intensive summer B course. A brand new component to this course will be collaborating with students from another country on small group projects. Nursing instructors from South Africa are teaming up with Dr. Hanson to offer students a different perspective on why occupations are chosen and how we conceptualize healthy living.

Carolyn Hanson with UF Wheelchair Basketball Association

Dr. Hanson is chair of the OTD student recruitment committee and enjoys educating students about the OT profession. Along with students from various majors, she created a wheelchair basketball club which was active for 3 years following a weekend camp with multiple sports that was conducted on the UF campus for eight years. She is a firm believer in providing sport and leisure opportunities for adults with disabilities.