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Gem state showcase

Liz Hobson '05

The Idaho State Museum is a newly buffed jewel. The Boise museum reopened in fall 2018 after a four-year, $16 million renovation that added 18,000 square feet of new exhibit space. Officials expect 115,000 visitors in the first year.

The Origins Gallery tells the story of Idaho’s five federally recognized Native tribes and the region’s geological beginnings. New exhibits devoted to the vast landscapes and stories of Idaho are told geographically through North, Central and South Idaho galleries.

With a core mission of educating the state’s K-12 students, the museum includes a large classroom and an interactive Boomtown Gallery, a space designed for children to interact and play while learning.

Managing this thoroughly modern look at Idaho’s past is Liz Hobson ’05, who graduated from Cal U with a degree in history.

“As a museum administrator, I oversee the staff and day-to-day operations,” Hobson says. “I work with each area — collections, exhibits, education and visitor services — to help the museum succeed.”

Hobson has worked at the Idaho State Museum since early 2018.

She earned her master’s degree in public history from Middle Tennessee State University. Her experience includes an internship at Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park; work at a living history farm in Kansas; research at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, N.Y.; and interpretation and education management at Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area in Lawrence, Kan.

“Those experiences allowed me to home in on what I like about the field,” Hobson says. “I knew this was a big job when I applied for it, but those who knew me thought I would excel at this role.”

“I enjoy the engagement with visitors and partnerships with other organizations.”

— By Wendy Mackall, Communications director at Cal U

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