About: Staff


Laurie Block, Executive Director

Co-founder and Executive Director of Straight Ahead Pictures, Inc., Block oversees all the organization's projects, including the born-digital Disability History Museum. Her work in disability history includes the four-hour NPR radio series, Beyond Affliction: The Disability History Project, winner of the 1999 Robert Kennedy Radio Journalism Award, produced with Jay Allison; and the award-winning film, FIT: Episodes in The History of The Body, broadcast on PBS. Block initiated and served as a Consulting Producer for the American Masters series episode, Becoming Helen Keller. She was a founding board member of the Disability History Association; initiated the Disability History/Archives Consortium’s ongoing efforts to create a Disability History Hub on the web; and served as an adviser to the Vermont-based Community Genetics and Ethics Project. She and her husband, John Crowley, are the parents of adult twins, one with a disability.

Graham Warder, Director, Education Materials Development

Warder has worked with the Disability History Museum project since 2002. He began as its Library Cataloger and Acquisitions Director, and is now responsible for developing education curricula. As a member of the History Department at Keene State College in New Hampshire, Warder teaches disability history among other topics. Other research interests include temperance and commercial culture in antebellum America. Warder received a Ph.D in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2000.

Sarah Doyle, Research Coordinator

As Research Coordinator, Doyle oversees research and storage of Library information in the DHM. Doyle has a B.A. in History (Wellesley College) and a M.Sci. in Gender Studies (Central European University, Budapest). Her undergraduate thesis on the phenomenon of nude posture photographs and body measurement, particularly focusing on the spine and scoliosis, led to an interest in the history of the body and disability. She worked for several years with Independent Living Resources, writing reports and conducting surveys of state colleges for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act . Her other research interest is in the 19th. C scientific discovery of dinosaur footprints.

Erik Haugsjaa, Technical Director

Haugsjaa is the steady technical center of the project, the individual who develops the 'backend', and manages the web application -- the database and content management system. Haugsjaa began working with SAP staff in the late 1990's when they were making the Beyond Affliction: Disability History Project's NPR website. As the millennium turned, he helped dream into being a virtual museum. With an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Haugsjaa is an independent software engineering consultant.

Former staff members and interns who have made important contributions are:
Julia Sandy-Bailey, MA Public History--Research
Erin Fahy, MA Library Science—Library Catalog Developer
Claire Harrison—Production Assistance
KC Forcier--Research
Amanda Geno--Research
Zach Ianazzi—Image Management
William Kuracina, PHD--Research
Susan Levene--Research
Sarah Patton, MA,Public History—Education Materials Development
Sarah Rose, PHD—Education Materials Development
Kate Winans—Production Assistance
Molly Warder-Walsh, Production Assistant