Judith K. Lang Hilgartner ’10 to begin PhD program at Virginia

Judith K. Lang Hilgartner ’10 will enroll at the University of Virginia this fall to begin fully funded doctoral studies in Spanish.

Hilgartner graduates this month from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Master of Arts in Spanish. She recently defended her thesis, titled “La salvación del otro: la representación de raza y religión en los autos sacramentales de Pedro Calderón de la Barca.” Elon University Assistant Professor Mina García Soormally, her Spanish senior seminar advisor, served on her thesis committee, alongside UNCG program director Ignacio López Alemany and committee members Amy Williamsen and Jodi Bilikoff.

Her interests include the studies of race and religion in Early Modern theatre. Hilgartner said she hopes to continue her studies by developing a transatlantic focus to include the literature of Colonial Latin America, as well as of Spain. In addition to her studies at Virginia, she will be teaching Spanish classes to undergraduates.

Hilgartner is the first person in her immediate family to graduate with a college degree. Her brother, Joshua Fielding Hilgartner, is an Elon Academy scholar who will be attending Wake Forest University in the fall. Hilgartner credits Garcia Soormally, Elon Professor Donna Van Bodegraven, former Elon instructor Christine Cotton and current Elon Assistant Professor Nina Namaste, as well as faculty at UNCG, for her ongoing success.