Parlez-vous Francais? Language Lessons & Inspiration from Dr. Ilinca
According to Jennyfer Larios Martinez ’15, Dr. Ingrid Ilinca stands out as a professor not only for her vast knowledge, but also for how much she cares.
“Her trust in me made me work harder over these years,” says Martinez. “I would talk to her about my projects and obstacles, and she would say, ‘I know you can do it … You need to be an active student. Don’t be a passive learner.’ Her words are remarkable.”
Dr. Ilinca completed her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois and taught French at Illinois Wesleyan University before coming to Westminster in 2010. She is known for her complete devotion to the development of foreign language study on our campus, through the redesign of the French major and as the Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature.
“Not only does she care about her students’ academic success here at Westminster, but I know from personal experience that she is always ready to help her students in any way, shape, or form that she can,” says Bongiwe Shongwe ‘15. “She always encourages us to think critically about what we do or observe, but also to remember to live holistically.”
In order to ensure that our students are receiving the best language study possible, she has taught 13 different courses in her first four years, adding important courses on French culture and translation to the curriculum. Her service to the College extends beyond her department, however, as she also serves as the Chair of the Curriculum Committee and serves on the Advising Task Force.
“Dr. Ingrid Ilinca is one of the most amazing women that I have ever met. She ranks right up there with my mother, if you know what I mean,” says Elizabeth Fowler ’15. “Through my four years under her tutelage, I have come to recognize and know her to be more than simply a passionate and hardworking professor. She is a mentor to all that need her, a friend in difficult times, a favorite teacher, and always offers a listening ear when it is needed the most. She deserves more thank you’s than I have to give. Merci beaucoup, Madame, et félicitations!”
Dr. Ilinca has gained the respect of her entire division, being chosen as the Outstanding Junior Faculty Member in the Humanities in 2014 and elected Chair of the Humanities Division (to succeed Keith Hardeman) in the fall of 2015. In addition, she has maintained a high level of success in professional development, including reviewing textbooks, writing articles, and engaging in the translation of French texts.
Dr. Ilinca was awarded tenure by Westminster College in February of 2015.