Mentor, teacher, advisor, wife, mother, friend, author, and other titles are just a few ways that the Elon community has described Dr. Heidi Frontani since her death on Friday, February 26.
According to Dr. Charles Irons, the Chair of the Department of History and Geography, her passion for each of these roles is what made her special.
"Over the last several years she really hit her professional stride. She is publishing more widely, her advisees and mentors are winning more national awards. She is teaching to her interests and it was just a sweet season for her, which just makes it shocking and confusing."
Frontani's time with her students didn't end when they walked under the Oaks after four years at Elon. She continued her relationship with them beyond their undergraduate years and Irons is trying to track them down.
"It's those kind of folks who are going to be harder to find because it's a dense network of alumni who she is actively serving but that moment of absolutely selfless commitment," he said. "I mean that was it. It was beautiful."
As for her current students Provost and Vice President, Steven House, said that Dr. Jeffery Coker and Dr. Evan Gatti will be taking over the two courses she was teaching this semester. Also her advisees will report to the chair of the department, Irons, for the time being. House said that there are often people who get sick or have to attend to a family matter, so all the faculty pitch in and help each other. No matter what, House said that Frontani can never be replaced.
"She has been here since 1998, an amazing teacher, scholar, mentor. I would say one of the best. She had a passion for what she was doing. She will be sorely, sorely missed and was loved at Elon."