Wilda Knecht ’17
Assistant Director of International Student Services
Learn more about Wilda
Hometown: Lebanon, Indiana.
What did you do prior to Hanover? I was a cultural assistant in Alcazar de San Juan, Spain teaching English as a second language. I was also a high school Spanish teacher at my hometown high school.
What do you love about Hanover? I love that Hanover becomes an experience. No two are alike but all are intertwined. Hanoverians all share some inside jokes even if their paths never crossed! I love having the small campus sporting beautiful natural walks to class, and I honestly love the true connections made by professors who have become lifelong friends and mentors even after leaving campus!
What’s your favorite place on campus or in Madison? Downtown is my favorite part of Madison, but more specifically, I love the outdoor seating areas in front of the Red Pepperoni, the Downtowner, and in the beautiful gardens of Lanthier Winery. The buildings are so historic. The best way to describe it is “Downtown Madison is a living, breathing, Hallmark Original Movie scene.”
What are some of your interests, and what sort of things keep you busy? I love to travel. I have been to more countries than states, greatly due to my immense connections through Hanover! I also love soccer. I played and miss every day of it, so luckily I get to enjoy the thrill and glory through our very successful teams here! I also love gardening. I know this is a shout out to my inner grandma, but I have worked in several landscape jobs that continue to challenge my green thumb and make the world around me more beautiful every day!
What’s your pump-up song? “Waka Waka” by Shakira (Spanish or English versions).
Is there anything that you’ve always wanted to do but never have? Fly a plane: Lucky for me there are a few private flight programs and fields in the area!
If you could visit one place in the world, where would it be – and why? One place?! The world is way too fascinating for one place. However, I have always wanted to see the Great Wall of China. As an avid runner I would one day dream of doing a marathon atop the ancient ruins!
What’s something that your coworkers might not know about you? I originally wanted to be a doctor, more specifically a pediatric rheumatologist. I loved studying biochemistry and sometimes I still watch lectures or review my notes to nerd out a little. I once listened to lectures in Spanish in case I had Spanish-speaking patients! I changed my career path after doing various internships/job shadows and talking to my doctors. Now, I love seeing those interested in the medical field live out that dream but in ways they never thought they would!
What advice would you give to students who are navigating the college search process? Start early! Don’t wait til last minute to visit campus or attend camps. Let time be your friend in this process. It isn’t something you want to rush, but it is a time in your life where you should just really enjoy being the one colleges are trying to go after! Absorb all of the experiences you can (overnight stays, tours, shadowing a class) and be sure to get a bunch of t-shirts to make a memory T-shirt blanket in the end!
B.A. in Spanish, Hanover College, 2017