Careers in Humanities Talk by Miami Alum and Cincinnati Museum Center CEO, Elizabeth Pierce


Ethan Clearfield, Arts Management Intern

Elizabeth Pierce CEO Cincinnati Museum Center Photo From Cincinnati Museum Center

On February 14, Miami had the pleasure of welcoming guest speakers and Miami alumni Elizabeth Pierce and Cody Hefner from the Cincinnati Museum Center. As part of their visit to campus, Pierce, CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) and Hefner, Media Relations Manager at the CMC, talked to students about careers in history, museum studies and the value of humanities degrees.

Pierce provided students with an overview of her path to success, firmly stating that, “a humanities degree opens many career opportunities, makes you a better employee and provides you with a strong skill set that will prepare you for the future.” Pierce also noted that degrees in the humanities give students critical thinking skills and strong writing skills, which are important foundations for any career path. After graduating from Miami with degrees in History and Geography, Pierce moved on to George Washington University where she received graduate degrees in American Studies and Museum Studies. After graduate school, Pierce worked in fundraising, which she told students, was an important and useful job that allowed her to use networking skills. Eventually, Pierce found herself at the Chicago Children’s Museum, followed by a public relations firm in Cincinnati and finally to the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Hefner reiterated many of the points made by Pierce and talked about his struggle to find a major while at Miami. After trying many different majors, Hefner told students, he landed on History. Hefner noted he wasn’t sure what he would do with a History major, but he had an interest in the topic and knew a background in Humanities could offer him many career directions. Now, he creates press releases and other forms of communication for the Cincinnati Museum Center. 

Pierce also talked about the importance of working across disciplines, and told students that making connections and working with different groups of her staff was vital to the museum’s success. Pierce noted the importance of collection accessibility and the desire for visitors to learn about all that museums have to offer. She stated these as some of the many key components for why the Cincinnati Museum Center exists.

Pierce also encouraged Miami students, across all disciplines, who may be interested in the museum field, to reach out to the Cincinnati Museum Center for future internships. For more information on the Cincinnati Museum Center, visit its website