Years in Museum Field: 3 (or 8)
Degrees/Certificates: Bachelor of Architecture – Virginia Tech
Masters of Industrial Design – University of the Arts
Current Position: Project Manager, Exhibits at the National Constitution Center
Previous Museum Experience: Three years at the Design Center at Philadelphia University – working for DesignPhiladelphia but helped with a variety of projects during installations, collection management, and exhibit design. Two years part-time at Fort Bedford Museum, assisted in cataloging entire collection, cleaning of exhibitions, and served as a tour guide.
Other Relevant Work Experience: Adjunct Associate Professor, Museum Exhibition Planning and Design program at UArts (current)
Adjunct Professor, Graphic Design, Drexel University (current)
Adjunct Associate Professor, Industrial Design and Multimedia departments, UArts
Programming Director, DesignPhiladelphia
Staff Architect, Albus Turlington Architects
How does your current position fit into your career plan? Great question… no idea. I haven’t really had a career plan prior to working (at NCC). But now that I am in the museum field, I feel that I’ll be in this profession for a long time, combining the professional experience with my teaching career and design background.
What museum organizations do you belong to? American Alliance of Museums and Philly EMP
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you began in this profession? I didn’t start out in this profession but after working as an architect, designer, and educator for 10 years, I transitioned into this profession. That said, I didn’t know that this could really be a profession.
What do you enjoy most about your position? The variety of projects that we work on and the vast skill sets that I get to use on a daily basis.
What is it that keeps you engaged at work? The projects, the people, and the variety of day to day activities
Beth Van Why’s first experience of working in a museum started while doing her Girl Scout Gold Award project – helping a small historic fort document and tag their collection. That led to a part time job as a tour guide. That high school experience, combined with a love of museums, design, learning, and travel have all led to Beth now working in a museum.
Fun Fact: Beth has visited 49 of the 50 United States of America