This post is written by Marjorie Stevens, Senior Research at the Khayrallah Center.
The Khayrallah Center is grounded in community. When we started the Lebanese in North Carolina Project, we focused on the Lebanese-American community in North Carolina. Finding so much support, we expanded to include the Lebanese Diaspora on a global stage where we continue to meet and feel supported by community members. Since the Center is based at NC State University in Raleigh, we draw expertise from the local university community without whom we would not be able to accomplish as much as we do.
So, meet the Center’s interns and learn a bit about their work!
Sarah Soleim is pursuing her PhD in Public History at North Carolina State University. She specializes in twentieth-century United States history. Sarah earned her BA in History from the University of North Dakota in 2013. At the Khayrallah Center, Sarah studies the effect of migration on the health of early Lebanese immigrants in the United States. Her research draws from the Center’s collection of state certificates of death. Check out the graphs Sarah created on the health of first wave Lebanese immigrants.
Haley Vartanian is an NC State student majoring in International Studies with minors in Middle East Studies and Psychology. She likes learning about culture, history, and language and looking at how they interact with each other. Her work for the Khayrallah Center has focused on data entry of the Syrian-American Business Directory and of death certificates for several states. Learn more about Haley’s work on the Syrian American Business Directory.
Cara Taylor is a senior in the NC State CHASS College, majoring in anthropology, double minoring in psychology and forensic science. She has a passion for both cultural and biological anthropology, as well as studying the inner workings of the human mind, both in academic and legal contexts. She serves the Khayrallah Center as a research assistant adding new collections to the online archive, researching data concerning collections and exhibits, and contributing to social media and blog posts pertinent to current research within the center. Check out the Center’s Facebook page for some of Cara’s posts.
Peter Knepper is pursuing a PhD in the Sociology department at NC State. His primary job first consisted of cleaning up US Census data through extensive filtering processes. He’s now helping prepare preliminary analyses and creating visual representations of the data to help inform the public of historical patterns of immigrants from Syria to the United States. Check out Peter’s blog post on Lebanese in the US Census.
Claire Kempa is a first year MA student in the NC State Public History program. She is in charge of managing the Center’s digital archive and has made major headway redesigning the archive’s appearance and enhancing its content. She also works on Mashriq & Mahjar: A Journal of Middle East Migration Studies. Claire is fond of old films, literature in translation, her cat, and 19th century history. Look for a blog post by Claire in two weeks.