Hi! My name is Allie Maloney and I am a third year student studying International Affairs and Political Science.

I came to UGA knowing that I was passionate about political science and wanted to study it, but after taking Intro to World Affairs and International Law with Dr. Carmichael, I fell in love with the international affairs classes at UGA. I quickly added it as my minor, and after a conversation with Dr. Carmichael where she was baffled it wasn’t my major, I added it as my major. What was so interesting to me that I learned in Dr. Carmichael’s class was the relationship between food and conflict. I learned that people living in food insecurity are vulnerable to being recruited by violent extremist groups in Iran, and that states actually use starvation as a tool of war to weaken their opponents.

When Dr. Carmichael posed the opportunity to work with her on her research for starvation as a tool of war, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to do the Directed Reading with her, where I get class credit to do research led by her. I do 4.5 hours of research a week on my own time, and once a month our team gets together to discuss next steps and trends we have noticed. What’s so exciting about doing this kind of research is the chance I have to contribute to a sustainable piece of work. I write essays and do quizzes in my other classes that help me learn, but at the end of the day, they get thrown out and read by no one but my professor. One day, the research I gather will be in a book that will be read by many people and used for good, like bringing people to justice for international war crimes. This Directed Reading has opened my eyes to my future in international affairs, as it has taught me I am capable of researching and asking tough questions. It has helped me become an expert in this niche area as I have been learning by doing rather than just listening. I am so excited to see where this work goes.