The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Charlie Saginaw

Charlie Saginaw
Major: 
History

Charlie’s undergraduate research topic was The Discovery of Hunger in America: The Politics of Race, Hunger, and Malnutrition, 1965-1975.

“Learning how to conduct primary source research challenged me to think more deeply, problem solve, and ask thought-provoking questions.”

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Laurie Green, History

Briefly describe your research project.

This research project will be the first to study the history of campaigns in the U.S. against hunger, malnutrition and infant mortality, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. The project links the struggles of neighborhood activists (particularly in Memphis and San Antonio) to the work of U.S. policy makers and international health researchers.

What was your favorite part of your research experience?

Looking at the primary source documents made the history come alive, giving me a glimpse of history as it unfolded. The past seemed as real and vibrant as the present, as I searched through the folders of letters, budgets, and speeches surrounding the War on Hunger campaign.

What surprised you during the research process?

I discovered how one can glean useful information from seemingly unrelated documents, such as advertisements or shopping lists, and weave them together into a moving and insightful narrative.

How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience?

Working one on one with a Dr. Greene presented a snap shot of what professional historians do outside of the classroom. After this experience, I feel comfortable finding primary sources, analyzing them, and integrating them into research projects. This Spring I will participate in the Archer Program Fellowship in D.C., where I plan to intern as a researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union. Without my undergraduate research experience, I would lack the necessary experience to apply there.

How do you think getting involved in research will be helpful to you in the future?

Learning how to conduct primary source research challenged me to think more deeply, problem solve, and ask thought-provoking questions. All of these valuable skills translate into the academic and working world.