Note: This is one in a series of spotlights on MOI staff members who have been named a “Keefer Fellow,” a monthly program aimed at recognizing staffers for their contributions to the museum and the community. This month, our new Curator.
Q: Explain what you do at the museum in 20 words or less.
Kristina: As the curator, I get to scurry around all of the collections spaces and take care of all the artifacts!!
Q: What’s a museum-related accomplishment that you’re particularly proud of?
Kristina: I am very proud of the two exhibit cases in the Way Out West exhibit that have materials from the Wasden Archaeological Collection. I had barely been hired when they asked me to help choose some items to put in there and I was very nervous, but mostly really excited for the opportunity because I had never done anything like that before!
Q: What do you do for fun?
Kristina: I watch a lot of Netflix (like a lot) (so much). BUT I also like to go on random drives and small hikes where I collect random bones and cool rocks that I find (I also talk to myself the entire time in various terrible accents – it is like an entire thing I can’t even begin to explain). WOW PLEASE NO ONE OBSERVE ME IN THE WILD I AM OBVIOUSLY A GOBLIN.
Q: What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this (and if money were no object)?
Kristina: After the conclusion of the small existential crisis induced by this question, I’ve decided that I’d want to be a professional singer.
Q: What’s the weirdest / most interesting past job you’ve had?
Kristina: I worked in a series of souvenir/cashmere shops on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh after I finished grad school, which was wild for a myriad of reasons, but basically the coolest thing was the commute! At the time, I was living in Dunfermline, which is in the Kingdom of Fife (a literal kingdom, are you kidding me?!) and used to be the capital of Scotland. It is also the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie and where both St. Margaret of Scotland and King Robert the Bruce are buried. When I went to work, I would take the train across the Forth Rail Bridge (built during the reign of Queen Victoria) across the Firth of Forth, through the Scottish countryside, past pastures of hairy coos, and eventually into Edinburgh. Then, I’d most likely be late, run up the bajillion steps in Fleshmarket Close onto Cockburn Street and finally spill out onto the Royal Mile. (FUN FACT: Fleshmarket Close always looks very pretty in photos, but it kinda smells like pee in real life.) Then I would either run up the Mile towards the castle to the shop I was supposed to be at, or down toward the bottom of the Mile where Holyrood Palace sits. (FUN FACT #2: One time I saw the Queen’s car when she was staying at Holyrood during the summer and I fangirled so hard I almost died and that was just literally just her vehicle.)
Okay, I better stop or I never will. To be clear, I still know absolutely nothing about cashmere.
Q: Name a setback in your life that has ended up being a good thing.
Kristina: After finishing grad school at the University of Edinburgh, I tried really hard to get my student visa switched to a work visa so I could stay in Scotland. As it happened, my visa expired and I flew home in March of 2020 right before the pandemic shut everything down. I remember being pretty disappointed, but it ended up being a blessing because I got to be quarantined with my family and actually spend time with them in a way I hadn’t been able to since before I started going to school. I spent the summer trying random new skills and hobbies, hanging out with my parents, playing with the dogs, bouldering outside with my brother, and looking for jobs. Then, in the fall of 2020, I applied for a job at the most prestigious institution in the state: the Museum of Idaho. From there, I’d say the rest is history (pun intended)!
Q: What’s something – large or small, useful or not – that you’re really good at?
Kristina: I am pretty good at archery and excellent at playing kazoo.
Q: What were you like in high school?
Kristina: I was very preoccupied with my grades and filling my resume with stuff to make me look good for college. I did a lot of AP classes, played softball, did musical theater, I lettered twice in my school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, and volunteered at different places in the community.
Q: What’s your favorite book, movie, and TV show?
Book: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Movie: Treasure Planet (IT IS THE BEST AND I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH)
TV Show: Either “Crash Landing on You” or “Supernatural”
Q: Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
Kristina: I made a short film in high school that I submitted to the Sun Valley Film Festival and was played in their Future Filmmakers Forum, which was super fun! I have also been an executive producer on a couple of other films over the years. I also did some stand up comedy in 2018 (which was absolutely wild in the best way!).