We commemorate National Women’s History Month 2017 with a series that profiles remarkable women who work for Historical Research Associates (HRA). Kathryn Burk-Hise works in the HRA Spokane office and has nearly a decade of expertise as an architectural historian and historic preservationist. Her experience includes survey and evaluation projects, National Register of Historic Places district expansions, archival and historical research, Section 106 evaluations, and hands-on preservation projects.
HRA: Before working at HRA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Kathryn: The most interesting or unusual job I’ve ever had was as a curatorial assistant at the Sonoma County Museum (Santa Rosa, California). I worked with really great people, got to explore numerous fascinating collections and exhibits, and was able to experience the “behind the scenes” at a museum—something that most people never get to see!
HRA: What was your dream job as a kid and why?
Kathryn: As a kid, I wanted to be a nurse. My Mom, an Aunt, and a cousin were all nurses and their stories about patients and unusual cases were so interesting! I loved the science and the solvable mysteries of nursing.
HRA: How has HRA helped you in your career development?
Kathryn: HRA has given me the opportunity to use my education and research skills in a really meaningful way. I feel that I’m part of the team, respected for my opinions/knowledge.
HRA: What woman inspires you and why?
Kathryn: My Mom. She was strong, funny, compassionate, loving, and incredibly intelligent! Never tooted her own horn, never said a bad word about anyone, and fought like a wildcat for her family.
HRA: If you could interview one woman (dead or alive) who would it be?
Kathryn: Marie Curie! A woman scientist in the late-nineteenth century making monumental discoveries and winning the Nobel Prize! She was such a vanguard for women in science!
HRA: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Kathryn: Helen Mirren!
HRA: What project at HRA has been your greatest success, and why?
Kathryn: Project 2556_Sisters of the Holy Names cultural resources inventory for a development project. I performed an architectural survey of the Convent building—a fabulous mid-century building that was designed by John Witt McGough (partner at Walker & McGough, Spokane) that won the prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award in 1969!