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Laurel Hilliker, PhD, Fellow in Thanatology
Educator, Writer, Speaker and Consultant

Dr. L in the classroom

Dr. Laurel Hilliker has 16 years of experience as a collegiate lecturer and has developed curriculum and taught college courses in sociology and public health.  Recent course development includes Wellness in the Face of Loss offered for both undergraduates and graduates enrolled in college programs.  She continues to teach college-level courses but is looking to expand her reach.  Bearing Loss, Grief Education and Consulting is the result of her continued desire to provide education for the bereaved and their families, as well as for the professionals who assist them. 


Dr. Hilliker earned her doctorate in the discipline of sociology from Michigan State University, with a concentration in health and well-being. Within the concentration, she specialized in the field of grief and bereavement studies. She has now earned the status of Fellow in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling.


Prior to academia, she practiced as a Paralegal in a law office whose specialization was in Probate, Wills and Estates.  In part, this work experience was a catalyst for her current research interests, namely, bereavement care programs, personal health and illness after a significant loss, end of life care, the medicalization of death and grief, mourning, and all types of informal and formal care giving. 

Previous work experience includes Dr. Hilliker's position as Assistant Professor of Sociology for Park University in the Kansas City, Missouri area [2012-2015].  At the same time, she gained grant funds and assumed the role of Executive Director of the Center to Advance the Study of Loss [CASL].  She established and operated CASL at Park.  As Director of the Center, she developed workshops for professionals and curriculum [a minor and a Certificate of Thanatology] for students wanting to specialize in end-of-life care.


Dr Hilliker:   I learned so much during this year working for the Center to Advance the Study of Loss, which I feel helps me a great deal as a student and an upcoming professional.  Thank you for the opportunity you provided me with in assisting you in organizing a Death Café and for your help in becoming more comfortable with the topics of death and grief in the Death, Dying, Grief and Bereavement course. 

– Michele, 2013, Park University



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