shafer and ncur students

Dr. Alex Shafer with HHP researchers (L to R) Taylor Edwards, Chris Largent, Alyssa Cole, Logan Yurt & Lauren Harshman (not pictured: Ethan Albrecht)

2020 Program

2020 Participants

2020 NCUR Students

Past Conferences

The seventh annual Research, Creativity, and Community Involvement Conference (RCCIC), a celebration of student scholarship at Montana State University Billings, has moved to an online format for its 2020 event.

The conference features work from a variety of disciplines and enables visitors to sample some of the research and creative scholarship that enriches and enlivens an MSUB education. This digital conference breaks new ground for future RCCICs, which will also have a digital record of MSUB students’ research and creative scholarship.

The Juried Student Art Exhibition that has traditionally been a part of the RCCIC has been postponed until the fall semester. At that time, a select 23 student works of art will be exhibited in the Northcutt Steele Gallery, to be followed by a traditional awards ceremony.

“This seventh annual RCCI Conference showcases and celebrates student creativity, discovery, and research,” said David Craig, Honors Program Director and RCCIC coordinator. “It also testifies to the resilience of the students and their faculty mentors, as the work behind the presentations continued after the campus shifted to online classes.”

In this spring of might-have-beens, the conference was to have featured the work of the 23 students who were going to participate in NCUR 2020, the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, which was cancelled due to COVID-19. The abstracts for these presentations can be found in the RCCIC program as a way of showcasing these students' hard work as well.

A sampling of this year’s presentations:

  • Alyssa Cole, student of Dr. Alex Shafer, investigated the conventional deadlift exercise as a means to reduce lower back pain.
  • Brienna Barron, student of Dr. Tom Nurmi, explored the ethical issues of studying and teaching Emily Dickinson poems that the poet had never consented to their publication.
  • Jeannine Mazel, student of Dr. Matt McMullen, studied police stops in Montana in order to look for correlations among such factors as age, gender, race, and vehicle make.
  • Alyssa Dawes, Taylor Kurkoski, Kimber Mook, and Sari Robertus, students of Dr. Virginia Mermel, researched hunger among senior citizens in the Yellowstone Valley.

For more information, visit or contact Jenay Cross of the Grants & Sponsored Programs at (406) 657-2364.

 lewis skinner smith

Dr. Tom Lewis with student researchers Jordan Smith and Casey Skinner.