Class of 1987
Dr. Ellen Hanson’s contributions to her profession and the community are numerous and the result of an endless pursuit of knowledge that began at Chelmsford High School.
Her compassion and kindness has always been her trademark. What started as a volunteer job working with children with developmental disabilities in the United States and abroad turned into the pursuit of improving the lives of these children through clinical practice and research. The reach of her contributions professionally has impacted nearly an entire generation and will continue as she extends her knowledge to others who influence the lives of those with disabilities.
Ellen began her education with a BA in Psychology at the University of New Hampshire and received an MA and PhD in Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. She has spent the last 18 years in the field as a Therapist, Researcher, and Faculty member in California, Maine, and Massachusetts.
A review of Ellen’s experience packed into the 27 years since she graduated from Chelmsford High highlights the immense accomplishments she has made professionally. She has been intimately involved in research and is widely published. She is an expert in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders, about which, she lectures and teaches throughout the world. She has mentored many individuals throughout her career and inspired them to pursue their passion for this field as well.
Ellen’s particular passion is her role as Supervising Psychologist in the Infant Follow Up program at Children’s Hospital, Boston. As part of a team that follows premature infants from birth through 3 years, she is able to see the children grow and progress, as well as provide support and encouragement to their parents.
Ellen’s professional success could not be possible without her concern and commitment to others. She is the first person to assist a friend in need of support and encouragement. Her long-time friends have witnessed her reaching out to a classmate she hasn’t seen in 15 years to provide guidance and Psychological advice without a second thought.
As passionate as Ellen is about her profession, she is just as passionate about her family. She and her husband Jamie are parents to Kai, 10 and Zoe, 6. Her ability to balance her demanding professional commitments and her family is nothing short of amazing. Despite extensive travel that is required in her role as Director of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Phenotyping Program, Ellen makes it a point to work from home at least one day a week to ensure she is actively involved with her children’s’ activities.
Along with her parents and brother, Ellen’s contributions with in the Greater Lowell Community are evident, especially at Lowell General Hospital. The Hanson family has generously supported many projects over the years that have improved the lives of others. Lowell General Hospital opened The Hanson Family Emergency Department 3 years ago, largely due to the generosity of Ellen, her brother, Eric and their parents.
Ellen’s impressive career and commitment to others, both her patients and her family and friends, makes her an ideal addition to the CHSAA Hall of Fame. Her hard work and dedication has placed her at the top of her profession. This knowledge has not only allowed her to further research developmental disorders, but has allowed her to advocate for this group of children and their families.