picture of Alida

Ph.D. Kansas State University

Dissertation: Interpreting the Transnational Material Culture of the 19th Century North American Plains Indians

Dr. Boorn has a BA in Sociology, a MA in American History, and a PhD in American History.  She has been a member of the Western History Association for over twenty years. Dr. Boorn has participated in a number of panels on Disability subjects at WHA conferences and established the WHA Disability Scholar Award in 2020.  Additionally, she has published articles in the Disability History Association and Public Disability History on-line publications. And in the last ten years Dr. Boorn has actively promoted Disability Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility in Academia and Museum opportunities for students, educators, museum staff and museum visitors with disabilities.

Dr. Boorn is hoping that this Applied History Opportunity will equip her with skills and ideas to better understand challenges faced by local house museums   and how they interpret their local histories and biographical portraits.  In particular she has been writing exhibit texts for the Kent Bereiter House Museum in Kent, Washington.  She has been asked to research and write about the Saito Family, the 20th Century Bereiter House Families, Pauline and William Scott (William Scott was the first African American barber in Kent.), and the story of how Kent, Washington became the first city in the Pacific Northwest to celebrate Juneteenth.  These are just a few of the topics Dr. Boorn has been approached to research and interpret for the museum.  Unfortunately, this museum is struggling to recover    from the COVID two year shut down, internal politics, and community invisibility.  The city of Kent is the fourth most diverse city in the U. S., over one hundred and thirty languages are spoken here, and thus deserves to have a museum that can tell some of the many Indigenous and Immigrant stories that are woven into this community.  Additionally, Dr. Boorn and her husband Jim have been working on and off for a number of years, a book to tell an inclusive story about the deafblind historian George E. Hyde.