Every year the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures sponsors an undergraduate research symposium. The Symposium offers Spanish majors, Portuguese minors, and CLAS students a unique opportunity to present class papers in a formal academic setting that immerses them in intellectual debate at a very early stage of their academic careers. Papers are presented in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and they reflect original and innovative undergraduate research. Some of the presented papers are then published in Visions of Latin America, an electronic newsletter published by CLAS.
The first undergraduate research symposium was created in 2004, in coordination with the Center for Latin American Studies. Over the past years the Symposium has grown stronger, attracting the participation of sister programs at Pitt Greensburg, Slippery Rock University, and Allegheny College, which now proactively participate in what has become a truly inter-regional project fully devoted to achieve excellence in undergraduate education.
Since it began in 2005, the Symposium has grown both in size and importance. From a couple of hours at its inception, it currently offers a full day of presentations. Each regional unit provides transportation for all the students travelling to the Symposium. Buses leave in the early morning and return late in the evening. After the inaugural reception, beverages and snacks are always provided.