Released December 8, 2017

Indiana State Museum Promotes Two Staff Members to Leadership Roles


Hannah Kiefer
Director of Communication
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites
[email protected]

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Dec. 8, 2017) – Two Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (ISMHS) staff members have been promoted into leadership team positions within the museum.
Beth Van Why, previously the vice president of exhibitions at ISMHS, is now the chief officer of engagement. She has been with the museum since 2015. In her new role, Van Why oversees exhibitions, education and programming, maintenance, security, and historic preservation teams for the 12 locations associated with ISMHS. She serves on the senior management team for the museum, and she works with CEO Cathy Ferree on system-wide strategy development.
Van Why holds a master’s degree in industrial design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and she obtained her bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in history from Virginia Tech.
Susannah Koerber has been promoted to the position of chief curator and research officer. She previously served the museum as senior vice president of collections and interpretation. In her new role, she directs the curatorial, collections and research division, which stewards a collection of more than 500,000 objects representing Indiana’s cultural and natural heritage. She is charged with developing the collections and related expertise in art, history and the sciences, advancing research internally and through partnerships, and identifying new ways to access and use the collections. She will also oversee the museum’s reaccreditation process through the American Alliance of Museums.
Koerber has more than 20 years of museum experience, and she obtained a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Indiana University, and a master’s degree and doctoral degree focused on American studies from Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.
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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.