She spent the 2013-15 academic years as a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship grantee in Kirikkale, Turkey. Before her Fulbright grant, she worked as the Program Coordinator at the Arab American Institute (AAI). She has held internships with Kesh Malek, United Palestinian Appeal, Inc., the Unite Lebanon Youth Project, the Arab American Institute, the Yalla Change Campaign, and the D.C. office of the Hon. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), the longest-serving female in the House of Representatives. Tess is also a freelance researcher, political commentator, activist, and former contributor at AMERICAblog.
In 2013 Tess graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio with a B.A. in Religious Studies and Asian Studies, a concentration in Islamic Civilization and Cultures and a minor in Philosophy. Her senior exercise, “God, Catastrophe, Land and Memory: the Palestinian Nakba” utilized field research Tess conducted in the refugee camps of Shatila and Burj al Barajneh in Lebanon; she was awarded Distinction in her degree and the Simpson Prize by the College for this research. This research has since been published in the conference proceedings of two international conferences.
At Kenyon, she served as President of the Middle East Student Association for three years, held leadership roles in College a cappella groups, ran for the varsity track and cross country teams, and was a contributor and editor for the Middle East Student Association at Kenyon, The Kenyon Observer, the College’s oldest political and cultural magazine and Project Open Voices.
The proud granddaughter of the late Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail, she also serves on the speaker selection committee for their Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Toledo. Tess is a member of AAI’s Generations program, and has held memberships in their National Policy Council as well as American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP), and the Fulbright Association, among others.
This website is maintained by Tess M. Waggoner, serving as a blog and platform to maintain a comprehensive collection of her works online. All opinions or positions reflected herein do not represent the views of any of her current or previous employers or associations.