Montana State University

Montana INBRE celebrates its 2016-2017 MSU student researchers and mentors

April 21, 2017 -- By William Stadwiser and Barbara Bunge for the MSU News Service

Montana State University students showcase their research with poster presentations during the annual Student Research Celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017, at the Strand Union Building on the MSU campus in Bozeman, Montana. MSU photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN - The number of Montana State University student researchers supported during the past year by the Montana INBRE Program has exceeded the 100-student mark for the first time since the program’s inception in 2002. In recognition of the students, Montana INBRE has published its annual list of MSU student researchers. The list covers the period of May 2016 through May 2017.

Montana INBRE Director of Student Programs Sarah Codd, who is also a professor in MSU’s College of Engineering, credited the uptick in successful student projects to Montana INBRE’s recent efforts to coordinate award decisions with MSU’s Undergraduate Scholars Program and the American Indian Research Opportunities program. Codd added that matching support from faculty mentors and the McNairs Scholars program was also critical for expanding INBRE’s Summer Undergraduate Research program.

“All of us at Montana INBRE are particularly excited this year because of the way we’ve worked with USP and AIRO to increase the number of students funded for research projects,” said Codd.

USP helps MSU undergraduate students in all disciplines pursue research, scholarship and creative projects by providing funding and logistical support directly to students. AIRO is a consortium of Montana's seven tribal colleges and MSU, dedicated to providing opportunities for American Indian students in career fields where they are significantly underrepresented. 

According to Codd, the programs’ collaborative efforts included better coordination of the student application-review process and conversations among program staff directed toward making more considered funding decisions.

Colin Shaw, director of USP, added that the intent of collaborating with INBRE on student proposals was to remove barriers and make it easier for students to start out in research.

“I see this as a first-step towards a streamlined, one-stop-shop for undergraduate students who want to get involved with research,” said Shaw. “Ultimately, our goal is to develop a system that will help students in any field find an undergraduate research experience that’s right for them.”

The overall result of working together included not just an uptick in quantity, but also an affirmation of the quality of student research happening on MSU’s campus, Codd said.  

“I’m really impressed by the level of research that INBRE, USP and AIRO students conducted at MSU this year,” she said. “Many of our undergraduates are operating at a level close to that or on par with graduate students, which really improves their chances of success when it comes time for graduate school applications.”

Montana INBRE Director Brian Bothner added, “I’m incredibly proud of Montana INBRE’s track record of supporting student research. Early exposure to research is transformative because it engages students in ways they perhaps hadn’t yet imagined while also providing direction and inspiration.”

Codd finds this time of the academic calendar particularly inspiring because students are finishing projects and preparing to present their accomplishments at in MSU’s annual Student Research Celebration, set for April 21.   

“Right now, the excitement on campus is palpable,” said Codd. “Students (are) just now realizing how much they’ve accomplished throughout the year and are beginning to understand how much they’ve learned. It’s really exciting to engage with them and observe the ownership they’ve taken over their research.”

A complete list of 2016-2017 INBRE-supported student researchers and mentors at MSU are listed below by program, student and mentor:

2016-2017 AIRO Program

Alicia Bad Bear; Vanessa Simonds
Brianna Bullshows; Suzanne Held
Shelby Bush; Sandra Halonen
Lauren Dupuis; Connie Chang
Coy Harwood; Agnieszka Rynda-Apple
Derek Judge; Anja Kunze
Kayla Keepseagle; Joseph Seymour
Trisheena Kills Pretty Enemy; Seth Walk
Oscar Machado; Christa Merzdorf
Cotton Real Bird; Suzanne Held

2016 INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Nathan Blaseg; Douglas Kominsky
Hanbyul Cho; Agnieszka Rynda-Apple
DeLancey Doty; Seth Walk
Brittney Forsman; Blake Wiedenheft
Sierra Higheagle; Jovanka Voyich-Kane
Zane Huttinga; Tomas Gedeon
Nicole Korte; Susy Kohout
Hania Koziol; Renee Reijo Pera
Kimberley Lantrip; Blake Wiedenheft
Gabrielle Law; Matthew Taylor
Kaidan McNamee; Blake Wiedenheft
Nina Paris; Brian Bothner
Katheryn Perea; Carl Yeoman
Shawna Pratt; Connie Chang
Paul Puettmann; Roger Bradley
Tanner Robison; Jovanka Voyich-Kane
Kaitlyn See; Christa Merzdorf
Marisa Sewell; Diane Bimczok
Veronika Shchepetkina; Frances Lefcort
Karen Stengel; Susy Kohout
Jackson Toth; Brian Bothner
Theodore Warthen; Christa Merzdorf

2017 INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Connor Beck; Amy Kuenzi
Melissa Blauvelt; Diane Bimczok
Taylor Blossom; Ross Carlson
Sage Chase; Douglas Kominsky
Peter Crawford-Kahrl; Bree Cummins
Brittney Forsman; Blake Wiedenheft
Jeremy Heng; Seth Walk
Kendra Hergett; Amy Kuenzi
Alyssa Jhones; Blake Wiedenheft
Timothy Johnson; Jeff Heys
Rachel Juel; Shiela Nielsen
Scott Killian; Susy Kohout
Ian LaCroix; Tomas Gedeon
Gabrielle Law; Matthew Taylor
Jacie Meldrum; Kalli Decker
Youra Moeun; James Wilking
Michelle Narayan; Michael Franklin
Erienne Norton; Mary Cloninger
Brian Parrett; Garth James
Hunter Peterson; Amy Kuenzi
Elizabeth Poteat; Jovanka Voyich-Kane
Liam Scott; Brian Bothner
James Stangeland; Phil Stewart
Karen Stengel; Susy Kohout
Kevin Surya; Dana Rashid
Hannah Szafraniec; Connie Chang
Jared Thompson; Connie Chang
Kyle Tweedy; Mary Cloninger
Cameron Wallace; Ron June
Theodore Warthen; Christa Merzdorf

2016-2017 INBRE-USP Academic Year Research Program - MSU

Nathan Blaseg; Douglas Kominsky
Katherine Budeski; Brian Bothner
Joshua Carter; Blake Wiedenheft
Jacob Carter-Gibb; Connie Chang
Michael DuHain; Diane Bimczok
Will Dumm; Bree Cummins
Alexandra Feigel; Kalli Decker
Brittney Forsman; Connie Chang
Fiona Grubin; Monica Skewes
Connor Hoffmann; Blake Wiedenheft
Zane Huttinga; Tomas Gedeon
Timothy Johnson; Jeff Heys
Derek Judge; Anja Kunze
Ian LaCroix; Tomas  Gedeon
Amanda Leckband; David  Sands
Phoebe Leverett; Kalli Decker
Devin McGlamery; Matthew Cook
Pete Mitchell; Mark Quinn
Youra Moeun; James Wilking
Michelle Narayan; Michael Franklin
Nada Naser; Joseph Menicucci
Esther Oloff; Connie Chang
Madison Owens; James Wilking
Nina Paris; Brian Bothner
Sawyer Payne; Brittany Fasy
Isak Petersen; Florence Dunkel
Shawna Pratt; Connie Chang
Dean Ricker; Christa Merzdorf
Tanner Robison; Jovanka Voyich-Kane
Magdalena Russell; Frances Lefcort
Elisa Santori; Carl Yeoman
Sage Schiller; Valerie Copie
Kaitlyn See; Christa Merzdorf
Veronika Shchepetkina; Frances Lefcort
Nathan Sickler; Jamie Sherman
Karen Stengel; Susy Kohout
Kyle Tweedy; Mary Cloninger
Theodore Warthen; Christa Merzdorf
Mark Young; Joseph Seymour

2016-2017 Native American Graduate Fellowship – MSU

Robert Dorsey; David Claudio
Deborah Laveaux; Carrie Myers
Frederica Lefthand; Carrie Myers
Cheryl Polacek; Sweeney Windchief
Dionne Zoanni; Jamie McEvoy

2016-2017 Public Health Internship - MSU

Laura Evans; Melenie Duval
Annsarah Exe; Darcy Hunter
Imashi Fernando; Melenie Duval
Gretchen Groves; Carmen Byker Shanks
Ellen Guyer; Amy Cory
Danielle Hess; Suzanne Held 
Jennifer Mikkelson; Jill Holder
Max Parelius; Kristin Juliar
Justin Roberts; Bethel Erickson-Bruce
Luke Shealy; Carmen Byker Shanks
Samantha Starr; Stephanie McDowell
Rachel Ulrich; Laura Hildreth
Reisa Walker; Laura Larsson

Housed at MSU, Montana INBRE is a collaborative network of Montana-based universities, colleges and research institutions that invests in the state’s biomedical research capacity and workforce pipeline. INBRE is part of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences division of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103474.

Contact: William Stadwiser, Montana INBRE, (406) 994-3360 or