“Mad” Hildebrandt was born into a working-class family in 1961. One of six children, she spent her early years in the Denver area, then her family moved several times to small towns across Colorado and Arizona. Her father worked as an auto mechanic, and the family took in foster children to help care for kids in need. Her family spent many vacations in the mountains, plains, and deserts of Colorado and New Mexico. Her sister moved to Socorro, NM and was soon followed by her parents upon their retirement. Mad briefly resided in Socorro during the early 2000’s, and was finally able to return, along with her husband, upon his retirement from the US Coast Guard. Mad’s upbringing allows her to not simply relate to southern New Mexico’s ‘hardworking people’ but to be one of them.
Mad attended public schools. Then, taking advantage of the GI Bill, she received an Associates and a Bachelor’s degree in Individual Studies – History at Columbia College’s military facility branch on Treasure Island Naval Station, San Francisco. She then attained a Master’s degree in History at San Francisco State University, and a PhD in History at University of Maine. She was the first person in her family to pursue, and achieve, advanced degrees.
In her early twenties, Mad enlisted in the US Coast Guard, and served at USCG TRACEN Petaluma as Military Police, then went on to become a Radioman. As a Veteran, and a military spouse, she understands the importance of the uniformed services to the country, and the responsibilities of the country to its Veterans.
Mad has spent the last 17 years as an online History Instructor at Rowan College at Burlington County, a community college situated in New Jersey. She has also taught in the classroom at various colleges and universities, including Central New Mexico Community College (formerly Albuquerque TVI). She has been active in Church, School and Community activities in the many locations where she’s resided during 30 years as a military spouse.