Robin Kigel – Undergraduate Research

As a self proclaimed “non-traditional” student, Robyn Kigel never intended to center her time at Southern Oregon University around research, but that’s exactly what happened.

“The broad base of knowledge I got here at SOU gave me what I needed to learn to ask the right questions”

Because she didn’t go to college right after high school, she arrived on campus wanting to “get back in the game”, she explains, “I’ve lived here my whole life and I enjoy the one-on-one relationships I have with professors. There’s smaller classes and the sense of community here. I appreciate that they are geared towards research. I’ve had really supportive advisors. The broad base of knowledge I got here at SOU gave me what I needed to learn to ask the right questions.”

“Now I want to go to graduate school. I want to further my research and SOU has given me the tools I needed”

And ask she did. Kigel began a proposal, aided by her advisor, for the Ruhl Fellowship, which she began shortly after. Her research is centered on the era that was in place before social services came into being, and what happened during that time. “What happened in that era was that there was an emergence of this private system to meet the needs of the poor. I wanted to look at how they did that. So I compared three groups and I looked at how those helped the poor and they got something back. That was intentional; they would meet immigrants and they would give them food, in exchange for loyalty for voting,” she continues, “Now I want to go to graduate school. I want to further my research and SOU has given me the tools I needed”.

As a history major with minors in statistics and political science, Kigel credits SOU with supporting her research and helping her understand how to research and discover what she loved. She concludes, “I really appreciate this school, and time I have had here, and I definitely don’t want to leave until I graduate!”