Dr. Hilton-Hagemann grew up on a farm in western Nebraska. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in History and Communication Studies from Hastings College, she began her graduate school career at the University of Wyoming. At UW, Dr. Hilton-Hagemann developed her passion for historical research and an interest in Native American history.
In 2013, Dr. Hilton-Hagemann received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Oklahoma. Using the rhetoric of nationalism, her research focuses on the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone, residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Dr. Hilton-Hagemann argues that through prolonged contact with each other, as well as the federal government and non-Native outsiders, the Arapaho and Shoshone solidified their claim to the region, as sovereign tribal nations of the Northern Plains. More than a study of Wyoming Indians, Dr. Hilton-Hagemann's work adds to a growing body of scholarship that emphasizes the nationhood of indigenous peoples, and seeks to alter the ways in which scholars address the Native American past. She is currently in the process of modifying her dissertation for publication.
Dr. Hilton-Hagemann teaches a range of courses in American history including the general U.S. surveys, Native American History, the American West and American Race Relations. In addition, she teaches the first year Liberal Arts Survey and is the sponsor of the Doane chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.