Ashleigh Hillier’s work in the areas of neuropsychology, psychophysiology and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is cutting-edge, interesting and extraordinarily beneficial to young people in the community and beyond.
Since arriving on campus in 2006, she has made a name for herself as an ardent collaborator. In fact, it was the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary work that impressed Hillier with UMass Lowell prior to her arrival.
Working with other faculty and students, she provides a host of programs, studies and support services for young people on the autism spectrum. Many of the participants in these programs have few other resources available to them and travel over an hour to UMass Lowell’s campus for the support.
Examples of her work include an intervention program to improve self-esteem and peer relationships; exercise and relaxation programs; and support groups and research projects for students with Asperger’s syndrome. She also oversees a college preparation-mentoring program.
While she works closely with faculty and staff on these projects, Hillier credits students from the Psychology, Physical Therapy and Music departments as being key players, assisting with the program sessions and analysis of data.
To anyone considering the university, Hillier has a few words of advice. “Make sure you familiarize yourself with all that UMass Lowell has to offer,” she says. “There are lots of research labs conducting cutting-edge, fascinating work that you can get involved with.”
And perhaps most importantly, she says, “consider being a psychology major!”