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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

2021 Spring Research Conference

Creativity, Human Values, Social Justice, Diversity,  and Civilization

21st Annual College of Liberal and Fine Arts Spring Research Conference

March-April 2021


This year marks the 21st anniversary of the COLFA Spring Research Conference! This past year has brought forth unprecedented changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COLFA Spring Research Conference presents the opportunity for students to critically examine this pivotal moment in history by advancing scholarship and research in the humanities. With an overarching theme of “creativity, human values, social justice, diversity,  and civilization,” the 21st annual Spring Research Conference will serve as a virtual forum for COLFA graduate and undergraduate students to present their original work. Submission topics are not limited to the conference theme. Students are welcome to submit all other topics to the conference.

Students will collaborate with faculty members to develop research presentations, scholarly projects, performances, and other creative works that will be submitted through a competition for awards and recognition. These scholarly accomplishments are critical for obtaining letters of recommendation for future applications for employment and graduate school. By forming synergistic relationships with faculty, students are mentored on developing marketable expertise, engaging in critical problem solving, strengthening communication skills, and enhancing their intercultural awareness. Participants of the Conference benefit by building their resume, curriculum vitae, or academic portfolio by using Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT). CCT helps students track their co-curricular involvement, leadership engagements, and other learning experiences that take place outside of the classroom.

Additionally, by participating in the conference, students are automatically inducted into the COLFA Academy of Undergraduate Research Associates (AURA). AURA gives COLFA and faculty sponsors the opportunity to formally recognize students’ engagement in the production of research and scholarly works at UTSA. In addition to receiving a membership pin, students can list this prestigious UTSA organization on their resume or curriculum vitae.

Process for Participating in the COLFA Research Conference

Identify and talk with your faculty sponsor about submitting and potentially publishing your paper in UTSA’s peer-reviewed Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Works.
Presentations can be submitted in English or Spanish for all categories.
Even if you do not present as part of the conference, consider attending to support and learn about your discipline and the excellent projects COLFA students and faculty are working on! Also, this is a great opportunity to learn how students in your discipline present their research and scholarly works.

The 2021 COLFA Spring Research Conference will be held fully online.  Participants will be required to indicate which of the following seven categories their submissions represent:

Creative Writing: Essays and stories (double-spaced, up to 15-20 pages excluding title and references)
Research Paper: Complete papers with data analysis (double-spaced, 10 pages at maximum excluding title, references, tables, figures, and appendices)
Poster: Complete papers in the form of digital poster format
Español: Essays, stories, or research papers in Spanish (double-spaced, 10 pages at maximum excluding title, references, tables, figures, and appendices)
Digital Media: Video, website, augmented reality, virtual reality media works (on average 3-7 minutes in length)
Art: Artworks (Submissions are in affiliation with the COLFA Art Festival coordinated by Dr. Scott Sherer. Please send questions and submit your artworks by emailing Dr. Sherer at by the deadline, Friday February 12, 2021, 5:00 p.m.)
Music: Musicological works


October 2020 – February 2021: Conference promotion
** Friday, February 12, 2021, 5 p.m.: Submit your work and video presentation to the Art category
** Monday, March 1, 2021, 5 p.m.: Submit your work and video presentation to all other categories: 1) Creative Writing, 2) Research Paper, 3) Poster, 4) Español, 5) Digital Media, and 6) Music

Indicate category and submission level (Undergraduate, Master’s or Doctoral) on cover page.
Submit to .

Friday, April 16, 2021, 5 p.m.: Judges finish review and select winners
Thursday, May 6, 2021, 2-3:30 p.m.: Virtual award ceremony
May – July 2021: Cash award distribution. Students will receive cash awards deposited to their bank accounts. Students will need to provide bank transfer information to Annie Herrera, COLFA Financial Manager by contacting her at

Awards are given to top students in each category. Presentations can be submitted in English or Spanish for all categories. 

Wonder what makes for a good research project or how you can put forth your best effort? Click on the graphic below to see more tips and guidelines based on the category of project.



For any question about the conference, please contact Seok Kang (, Jenna Gonzales (, or Tricia Schwennesen (

Past Awardees

Conference Video



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