With a self–crafted major in Cross-Cultural Psychology, Ali is determined to discover the varying cultural approaches to Autism and similar disorders.

Ali Hillman is a Senior Honors Scholar with a self–crafted major in Cross-Cultural Psychology. She wants to pursue graduate level research on “the varying cultural approaches to Autism and similar disorders.” She hopes to open a school for students that learn in non-conventional ways, which will include a component of wilderness education in the curriculum. Ali is interested in arranging a study abroad experience in Mongolia in order to investigate another culture’s approach to human neurological differences, and she will be hiking through the Greek islands this summer to explore the unique backcountry of the region. Ali is a Residence Advisor (RA) in Weaver Hall, the Honors house. During her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, stand up paddleboarding, and yoga. She is also a Wilderness Instructor with the Outdoor Program and is highly involved in independent research.

We believe the best way to learn about our Honors Program is from our students. Therefore, we used this opportunity to ask Ali some questions that you may have been wondering. 

Q: How did your involvement in the Honors Program influence your overall experience at Emory & Henry? Was Emory & Henry your first choice?
A: Emory & Henry became my first choice quite quickly after my first visit to campus. During my college tours at other schools, a very institutional and unaccommodating air had greeted me. I had been in contact with an admissions counselor at Emory & Henry and expected to meet with one or two students majoring in the areas in which I had expressed interest. Upon arriving at Emory & Henry, I met with the head of every department I had mentioned. The faculty engagement was so vibrant and the interactions with other students were so organic that Emory & Henry swiftly became the first choice for my future.

Q: What was the most rewarding aspect of being in the Honors Program?
A: The Honors Program has been a massive part of my Emory & Henry experience. The programmatic emphasis on research and discussion has allowed me to explore facets of my interests that I had not previously considered. The Honors Program fosters an intellectual community wherein I am able to work alongside my peers to further engage in the issues of our world.

Q: Would you change anything about your Honors experience? Details?
A: The only change I would make to the Honors Program would be to have a seminar experience that continued throughout the four years of the undergraduate experience. The Honors Transitions I class is so pivotal to the program experience, and I think we would all benefit from and enjoy having a similar seminar that provided continuity over our time at E&H.

Q: What advice would you give to a first–year Honors Scholar?
A: I would advise a first–year Scholar to take risks in discussion and intellectual exploration, as they are provided with such an excellent scaffold for discovery and growth. I would also encourage them to seek out professors, arrange research opportunities and engage their peers. The Honors Program experience is an opportunity to challenge yourself and those around you to find new avenues of meaning within a caring community of peers and mentors.