2017-2018 Khayrallah Research Assistants

Each academic year, the center welcomes new student research assistants to its team who help advance our goals to research, preserve, and share the history of Lebanese Diaspora. Meet this year’s students!

Marilyn McHugh Drath is a second year doctoral student in the Public History program here at NC State. She received a B.A. in History with an emphasis on 20th century American history and culture from the University of Michigan. Marilyn stayed in Ann Arbor to complete a Masters of Urban Planning degree in 2012, specializing in community, economic, and real estate development. Her research focuses on the intersections of culture, history, and the built environment with an overarching concern for contemporary historic preservation applications. Her studies in the doctoral program and the City Design Certificate program are continually exposing her to the many ways that communities influence the physical and social spaces they inhabit. Here at the Khayrallah Center, Marilyn is acting as the managing editor for Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies and research on the history of the early Lebanese American community in the US.



Colby Lipscomb is a graduate student in NC State’s Public History MA Program. He graduated from Western Carolina University in 2017 with a BA in History and a BA in Political Science. His research interests include Public and Political History within modern United States history. Colby has done work with several local history museums and created a documentary titled “Clayton: Remembering and Making History” for the town of Clayton, NC. He also plans to publish an article he wrote about museums and sites of memory in the Cold War. He is currently working at the Khayrallah Center on research, specifically helping collect census data from Lawrence, Massachusetts in the early twentieth century.



Thomas Fallanca is a Senior studying modern Middle Eastern history and German studies at NC State. His post-graduate plan is to pursue a Master’s in public history. At the Khayrallah Center, he compiled data from the emergency passport applications of Naturalized and Native U.S. citizens living in Lebanon during World War I. He has also worked on geolocating the recipients of remittance payments sent from America to Lebanon. Additionally he has worked on preparing documents to be archived online or to be used by other staff members at the Center.



Zoe Avery is a junior at NC State studying Art History, French, and Chemistry. She began her work at the center in 2015 during her freshman year. After getting her master’s degree, she hopes to become an objects conservator. Zoe works at the center processing archival collections and performing demographic analysis. Last May, she co-authored the blog, Complicating the Lebanese Peddler Myth, with Dr. Khater.

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