Hilary Lustick is an Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction in the Collège of Education at UMass Lowell.

Hilary Lustick, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Education
O'Leary Library, 5th floor


Research and Evaluation in Education, Educational Leadership

Research Interests

Research and Scholarship


  • The role of emotion in qualitative data analysis
  • The role of content analysis in analyzing media coverage of school shootings and Nazistic campus speakers 


  • PI for ongoing research on social emotional learning, restorative justice, and equity in urban public schools 
  • Co-researcher for Accountability in the Active Voice, an interview study examining how educational practitioners, policymakers, scholars, and practitioners disrupt racial disproportionality in discipline and special education 


  • Member, Division A, Equity, Inclusion, and Action Committee, American Educational Research Association 
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Urban Education 
  • Interview excerpted in Skiles, B. (2020) film Code of Conduct, a documentary examining the history of school discipline in the American South 
  • Consultant on restorative practice implementation, serving charter and public secondary schools 


  • Academic
  • Beginning and Advanced Qualitative Methodology
  • School-Based Action Research
  • Educational and Community Leadership

Research Methodology

  • Ethnography
  • Interview
  • Case Study
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Critical Approaches to Qualitative Analysis


Ph.D. Educational Leadership, New York University

M.Ed. Secondary English Teacher Education, Harvard University

B.A. English, Tufts University


Hilary Lustick, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Research and Evaluation in Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Education, where she teaches students in the Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs.

Lustick studies restorative practices, social emotional learning, and other preventative approaches to school discipline and climate. She also studies academic freedom, the role of emotion in data analysis, and the implications of both for promoting equity and diversity in the academy. Her teaching experience includes courses in educational leadership, action research, qualitative methods, and academic writing. Lustick’s career began as a community organizer, first in the Jewish community and then with young people in Somerville and Boston. After two years coaching young speechmakers and performance artists in organizing skills, she wanted to infuse those same lessons in an educational setting. Lustick trained as an educator and interned at the South Boston High School complex before taking a permanent teaching position at the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. There, she taught 10th and 11th grade English and Humanities courses, as well as intensive seminars that fostered critical thinking and writing skills through social action. Still an organizer at heart, Lustick joined the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), seeking to train new teachers in the historical context of educational inequality in the city and fight for more teachers of color in the city schools. She became interested in the ways power plays out in schools, and the role school discipline plays in reinforcing this power structure, even at a school with a progressive philosophy like expeditionary learning.

Lustick earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from New York University, studying restorative justice practices and their role in school culture. She taught school leaders and researchers at Texas State University for four years, and continued researching schools with an overtly critical approach to restorative justice implementation, remaining active in the evolving national conversations about what these terms mean for educational equity. She has also taken part in The Degree Project, a longitudinal randomized control study of promise scholarships, and the Active Voice Project, researching how scholars, activists, and teachers take action to disrupt disproportionality in discipline and special education. She joined the faculty at UMass Lowell in the fall of 2020.