Altman, Hilary

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(510) 436-2510


Born in New Jersey, Hilary has a BS and MS in Communication Studies from Cornell Univeristy in Ithaca, New York.  After a six-year career in radio, she first came to California in 1994 to pursue a career in music performance.  Soon after arriving in Oakland, Hilary began working at the California Autism Foundation in Richmond.  Ensuring that people with disabilities were given the opportunity to be as independent and successful as possible became Hilary's passion.  

In 1998 Hilary began her doctoral studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  Her research focused on building relationships for people with an without disabilities and looking at how families, teachers, friends, and local organizations can work together to support individuals with disabilities in their lifetime pursuits.  

After completing her Ph.D. at Northwestern, Dr. Altman continued working as a disability advocate with organizations both in the Chicago area and in the East Bay.  Hilary became the Chair of Communication at Merritt College in 2002 and continues to love teaching communication skills to the fantastic students she meets at Merritt every day.

Dr. Altman enjoys working with local non-profits as well as major hospital systems on communication practices and trainings and recently completed a national health communication skills training for a major hospital.  She is currently working towards a Master’s in Counseling Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley and looks forward to weaving together the highly related information and research into her teaching.

Hilary is married and has two children, who teach her all about child behavior and development, when she's not in the classroom.  You might run into Dr. Altman taking walks with her family and her rescue dog on the local bay area trail systems.