After her college graduation in 1996, Dr. Bonilla decided to immerse herself in the Spanish language and culture. She traveled to Mexico and worked as a missionary at Niños de Mexico for one month. When it came time for her to return home, she was offered a job teaching at the Niños de Mexico school. In August 1997, she relocated to Mexico and fell in love — with the culture, the language and the people.
A faculty member since 2009, Dr. Bonilla is chair of the Department of Modern Languages. She also teaches elementary and intermediate Spanish; conversation; and Spanish education K-12. Her area of specialty is foreign language pedagogy. She serves as the study abroad coordinator for Olivet's Spanish students. Her doctoral research consisted of investigating students' oral proficiency development during their study abroad experience.
Before coming to Olivet, Dr. Bonilla taught for one year at Illinois State University, was an adjunct professor at Lincoln Christian University, and taught continuing education courses at Heartland Community College.
Her professional memberships include the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL).
She and her husband, Jorge — who is retention coordinator in Olivet's Elwood Center for Student Success — have a son, Alex, and a daughter, Abby. In her leisure time, she enjoys travel, mission work and service projects, and spending time outdoors with her family.