Russian Majors Mackenzie King '15 and Sasha Shapiro '15 presented their original research projects at the 12th annual University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Research Symposium. Their papers, "The Journey of the Epic Hero in War and Peace" (Mackenzie) and "Tolstoy & Trumbo: Ethics and Language in Understanding Violence" (Sasha) were part of a panel on 19th C. European Literature. This year's program included 28 presenters from over 10 institutions, including New York University, The University of Bristol, and the University of Washington. Students submitted papers in January and were notified of their acceptance the next month. They then worked with PhD students at the University of Pittsburgh to revise their papers for final submission later that spring. Each panel included U Pittsburgh faculty members, who commented on the papers and offered students suggestions for further improvement.
For Mackenzie, "going to the undergraduate research symposium was a great experience. Presenting my work in that setting was initially nerve-wracking, but useful. The whole experience gave me more confidence in my public speaking ability and made me more comfortable with presenting my own work. I was impressed by the many topics covered by the presenters and the huge distance many of them had to travel to be there."