Bobbi Carson Honored with Distinguished Alumni Award


Alyssa Walker

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


Bobbi (Roberta) Carson was recognized for her outstanding service and commitment to the social work profession with the Distinguished Alumni Award during the Social Work Homecoming event on October 8, 2015. The award, along with a beautiful piece of Prairie Fire Pottery, were presented to her from Dr. Carenlee Barkdull, Chair of the Social Work Department.

Bobbie earned her undergraduate degree in Speech/Communication from UND in 1974. Her journey into the field of social services began when she became the director of the first community-based Victim/Witness program in North Dakota. The program was affiliated with the Walsh County Domestic Violence program where she also served as interim director. In 1991, Bobbi returned to UND as a graduate student, joining the second cohort of MSW students in the Department of Social Work. Bobbi’s Independent Study Project concentrated on domestic violence and its effect on child witnesses. This project led to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council on Abused Women’s Services and Child Protective Services in North Dakota. Bobbi was awarded the North Dakota Victim Assistance Award, recognizing her advocacy for children who witness violence.

In 1993, Bobbi was hired at Northeast Human Services Center (NEHSC) to provide therapy for child victims of sexual abuse. One year later, she moved to the Grafton Outreach office where she worked to meet the therapeutic needs of clients across the life span. Bobbi is a Licensed Clinical Independent Social Worker and designated as an Advanced Clinical Specialist by North Dakota Human Services. Countless children have benefited from Bobbi’s dedication and skills as a play therapist, and courts across the state recognize Bobbi as an expert witness on child sexual abuse and treatment. A lifelong learner, she has actively utilized research and training to remain current in practice. She was among the first professionals in North Dakota to be trained in Trauma Focused CBT and SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress).

Service is important to Bobbi; throughout her career, she maintained connections with the Department of Social Work by serving on the Field Advisory Board, providing liaison support to students, and mentoring many others as an MSW field supervisor. As an adjunct faculty, she taught Children’s Mental Health to graduate students both on campus and at a distance. In addition to her work with the Social Work Department, she has served on the Northeast Region’s Critical Incident Debriefing Team since 1993, and served for 9 years on the Board of Directors for Unity Medical Center in Grafton. She is a long-time member of the St. Thomas United Methodist Church, where she has contributed in many different roles.

This past August, after 22 years as a clinical social worker, Bobbi retired from NEHSC. She and her husband, Pete, are looking forward to vacations in warm climates with lots of sunshine and water. They are in the process of relocating to the Twin Cities area where they will be close to their three children: Christian (Mara), Joshua, and Melissa (Scott), and their two grandchildren, Ethan and Ellie.