Profesora Hilgartner is a passionate teacher, willing to go above and beyond to engage with her students on a personal level both in and outside the classroom.

During the fall semester of my first year at Elon, I took Profesora Hilgartner’s Intermediate II Spanish course. For the final video project, another student and I chose to research and cook a traditional Costa Rican dish. When Profesora Hilgartner discovered our plans, she enthusiastically offered to assist us. She spent an entire Saturday morning accompanying us at the Hispanic Farmers’ Market. ~K.T.

Her course is the perfect balance between fun/welcoming and fast-paced/challenging.

I had Dr. Hilgartner for Winter Term Spanish 122 in January 2018. I was nervous about my Spanish class at Elon considering I had not taken a language since junior year of high school and by the time I was planning to take Spanish at Elon, I was halfway through my sophomore year. Upon entering the classroom for the first time, Dr. Hilgartner made me feel welcomed, excited, and confident for the challenging winter term course. 

Teaching a full semester language class over the course of three and a half weeks to a group of students is no simple task. I genuinely believe that I learned more from Dr. Hilgartner than I would have from any other professor over this period of time. Her teaching style, methods of application, and availability outside of the classroom differentiates her from many other professors I have had at Elon. Her course is the perfect balance between fun/welcoming and fast-paced/challenging. In addition to standard book work and lectures, Dr. Hilgartner incorporated two lectures of 5 and 10 minutes into our winter term course. This helped bring all of the skills we had learned to fruition in a challenging speaking environment in front of the entire class. ~B.S.

I soon discovered that as a mentor, Dr. Hilgartner, is relentlessly dedicated and loyal.

Elon Alumni Panel - Fall 2016

Elon Alumni Panel - Fall 2016

My first interaction with Dr. Hilgartner was my first college course at Elon, SPN 221. I was interested to see that my first college professor was a vibrant young woman that was just as excited to be teaching me as I was to learn. Her energy was infectious and I became very dedicated to becoming fluent in Spanish and ultimately pursuing a minor.

I soon discovered that as a mentor Dr. Hilgartner is relentlessly dedicated and loyal. She constantly strived to bring out the best in her students. She cultivated a classroom environment that was comfortable and encouraged growth by creating a safe space for her students. It was clear that her goal in teaching was more than giving out a letter grade. Dr. Hilgartner was so passionate about each student really learning not only a language but a culture. Classroom discussions were never boring and challenged myself and my peers to utilize our Spanish skills and match her passion for Spanish. From watching Spanish movies, writing essays, reading articles, attending cultural events, I felt very encouraged and felt appropriately pushed to experience more than I ever had of a culture.

Our relationship evolved from just discussing academics. I found myself seeking her advice in a myriad of ways. Outside of class, Dr. Hilgartner helped me to establish my goals and feel more comfortable on campus. As a first year student, I was concerned with fitting in and finding my own identity in a completely new and daunting environment. I felt overwhelmed and even considered leaving college. Many thought-provoking conversations and office hours later, I found solace in her advice. I decided I wanted to stay at Elon. Her dedication to our relationship and my wellbeing made me feel welcomed. ~R.M.

Her journey, from community college to graduating with a PhD from The University of Virginia, filled me with hope and aspirations for my own future.

Dr. Hilgartner is a fantastic professor that I am lucky to have had for two semesters at Elon. Having had her as a professor for both Elementary Spanish II (SPN*122) and Intermediate Spanish I (SPN*221), I have learned a great deal about the language of Spanish, general linguistic development, and Latinx culture. Because of Dr. Hilgartner’s breadth and depth of knowledge about various cultures, she is able to effectively engage students in not only learning a language, but also developing an interest in the cultures and histories of people whom Spanish is native to.

As an International Business and Marketing major, I am very interested in the ways that cultures develop and influence people’s behaviors and thoughts. Language, of course, plays a huge role in individual’s and society’s identities. I also work in Elon’s Writing Center with a focus on ESL students. I took Spanish for four years of high school, however my interest in this topic specifically stems from my classes with Prof. Hilgartner. Because she explains the different aspects of language such as the formation of syntax, reasoning behind grammatical differences, phonics, and significance of various word structures, I have learned about language development as a whole. I am now able to help students that speak Spanish effectively write in English with the information I have learned from my classes with her. I feel lucky to have had Dr. Hilgartner because her level of care and concern in her teaching led me to a discipline that I did not previously know I was so interested in.

To have a professor who knows not just which words are correct, but why certain words make more sense than others, which sentence structures are most meaningful in certain contexts, and why some Spanish words are so difficult for me, a native English speaker, to say is essential and invaluable. Whether I am engaging in class discussions or practicing a presentation in her office hours, I can see the care and concern Dr. Hilgartner gives toward me and all her students. She facilitates a classroom environment with high expectations that pushes students to take risks while simultaneously instilling confidence in each student, encouraging everyone to try their best. ~E.J.

I would recommend Dr. Hilgartner to any student who is seeking to further their knowledge of Spanish, and would take class with her again!

Outside of the classroom, Professor Hilgartner was available when I needed her during office hours for guidance on essays and homework or just to chat. For example, last year during the spring semester even when I was not taking her class, we met for coffee just to catch up and talk. She is very open to having a relationship outside of the classroom and wants to get to know her students better. 

Professor Hilgartner is also a great mentor to me. At the beginning of the semester, I needed guidance on choosing a major and she was available for me to come to talk with her. She listened to me and gave me advice and resources to help figure out what major best suits me. She also gave me advice based on her past experience, which helped give me a different perspective on my situation. Through talking with her and getting to know her more, I know she genuinely cares for me and the rest of her students and wants the best for us. ~H.H.

Teaching— even with all the paperwork it entails— is my dream job!

Teaching— even with all the paperwork it entails— is my dream job!

In the classroom, Professor Hilgartner was energetic and always encouraged class participation, even at 8 in the morning, which to me is a huge accomplishment.

I was in Spanish 221 in the fall of 2017 taught by Professor Hilgartner. As a professor she is organized, as well as, passionate about the material she teaches. 

Professor Hilgartner always strived to cultivate meaningful relationships with her students. One of the reasons I chose to come to Elon was because of the emphasis placed on mentoring and meaningful relationships between students and professors. Professor Hilgartner understands the importance of cultivating these relationships with her students. In my time in her class, she was not only concerned with what her students were learning, but also with their wellbeing. On the first day of class she told us that she didn’t want her class to be stressful. 

Professor Hilgartner’s commitment to her students along with her knowledge and passion for the subject is one of the reasons I believe she would be an ideal professor at Elon. With most of my professors at Elon after the class has ended I never here from that professor again and if I do it usually is not because they are concerned with me as a person, but rather academics. Professor Hilgartner wants to know about me and how I am doing. Professor Hilgartner is an engaging teacher. She always took the time ensure that her students understood what she was teaching. I had her class at 8am and even when everyone was still sleepy she found a way to engage us and make us talk which is important in a Spanish class that focuses on speaking. 

It was a pleasure to be able to have the opportunity to have Professor Hilgartner as my teacher during my first semester at Elon. I came into Elon unsure if I wanted to pursue a minor in Spanish or not, but after class with Professor Hilgartner I was sure that I wanted to continue learning Spanish throughout college and pursue a minor. ~C.M.

If I had not taken her class as my first Spanish class at Elon I do not know if I would still be studying Spanish.

Dr. Lang Hilgartner served as my Spanish (II) professor for one month during the 2018 January Term. During this month, Dr. Lang Hilgartner managed to masterfully conduct a semester-long curriculum in the span of a single, rigorous month. As a teacher candidate myself, I was particularly impressed with her ability to condense the course content, and felt as though her approach gave us a naturally immersive experience, without being overwhelming. Additionally, I admired Dr. Lang Hilgartner’s efforts to stay in constant communication with her students and her commitment to making herself available outside of class. Furthermore, Dr. Lang Hilgartner showed a strong dedication to feedback throughout the course. In addition to her own feedback, she regularly required her students to give each other feedback both in person and digitally via email following our regular presentations and group work. 

January of 2018 was a particularly difficult month for Elon students and instructors alike. With more than a few snow days and snow delays, this winter term certainly had it fair share of challenges. Nonetheless, Dr. Lang Hilgartner managed to show remarkable resilience and creativity in the face of the inclement weather. She adapted assignments to be done at home, and even made herself available live through the use of technology. Dr. Lang Hilgartner remained collected and encouraging, and ensured us that we would all be able to master the course content despite the adversity that nature had thrown our way. 

Throughout this course, Dr. Lang Hilgartner continuously exhibited character attributes in line will Elon’s dedication to inclusivity and global/intercultural awareness, and managed to foster a classroom environment which encouraged respect and understanding. In nearly every lesson, Dr. Lang Hilgartner made time to incorporate cultural education in addition to the language fluency, and even incorporated this idea into regular production activities.~B.M.

In fact, as a result of Dr. Lang Hilgartner’s course, I now believe that a January term may perhaps be the most effective term to study a language due to its immersive nature.