Dustin Larson, Certification Program Manager

Dustin Larson

Welcome to the CAS Staff Spotlight, a column featuring members of the CAS staff. For this spotlight, we are proud to introduce you to Dustin Larson. 

  • What do you do at the CAS?
    I am the certification program manager and currently focus on the Admissions Transformation Plan — updating the way we write, publish and grade our exams. 
  • What inspires you in your job, and what do you most love about it?
    I have always really enjoyed creating things, and so any opportunity where I can create something new, I run with it. I have really enjoyed managing the creation of some of our newer study materials. I also really have enjoyed the psychometric aspects of my position. 
  • Describe your educational and professional background.
    I double majored in undergrad, receiving a degree in psychology and child learning and development (University of Texas-Dallas). I also have a master’s degree in forensic psychology (George Washington University). My career path to the CAS was varied I’d say. I have worked as research assistant for both the Dallas Callier Center and the Naval Research Laboratory, I was an English teacher for ESL adults and school-age children in Taiwan, I was a social worker in D.C. and even managed a gay bar in Arlington, Virginia, for a while. Those are just a few of the positions I had before I found the CAS. 
  • What is your favorite hobby outside of work?
    I am a big movie buff; I watch roughly 200-250 movies a year. Some of my favorites are Legend (1985); Starship Troopers; Bladerunner (both new and old); Lady Bird; I Love You, Man; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Alien; Mulan (animated); Still Alice; Meet Me in St. Louis; That Thing You Do and Inside Out. This list is too long, but one of my favorite things to do is see a movie in the theatre and then go to a bar and talk about it. I am also a big Liverpool Football Club fan, so I watch a good amount of European football. 
  • If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why?
    I have been very fortunate with my opportunities to travel and have seen a lot of the world, but I have never been to South America. I would love to do a trip that starts in Buenos Aires and goes out to the Andes Mountains and the Atacama Desert. Singapore is also on the top of my list; the food and the dragon boat races are really enticing to me. 
  • What would your colleagues find surprising about you?
    I am a pretty open-book and have probably over-shared with my co-workers, so this one is a bit tricky for me. I don’t know if I have ever told them that I served as an expert witness in several trials during my time as a social worker in D.C.
  • How would your friends and family describe you?
    When I was applying for my master’s degree, I had one of my undergraduate professors write a letter of recommendation for me, and it started off essentially by saying, Dustin is “brash but respectful.” That was 10 years ago now, and I am still not sure if I like the description or not.