MSU Organizing Committee

Grace Fiacco headshot

Grace Fiacco is a current PhD Candidate in physics at Montana State University. Her research area is in gravitational physics, using LISA to detect gravitational waves from Double White Dwarfs in the galaxy. Grace has attended several CUWiP conferences throughout her undergraduate career at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and is looking forward to building this experience in Montana as well! In her free time, she spends a lot of time running the Virtual Video Game Orchestra, reading, hiking, and holding her snakes.

Dr. Rachael Filwitt headshot

Rachael Filwett is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Montana State University. Dr. Filwett's area of research is Space Physics, she studies solar energetic particles and is interested in technology development for future spaceflight missions. Rachael attended a CUWiP conference when she was an undergraduate so she loves being able to help create that experience for others. In her free time, Rachael enjoys reading, playing with her dogs, and traveling.

Sandy Greco headshot
Sandy Greco is a first-year physics PhD student at Montana State. She is originally from the suburbs of Chicago and is really enjoying everything Bozeman and MSU have to offer so far. She hopes to do research with nano-optical quantum materials at MSU. Sandy attended CUWiP as an undergrad and absolutely loved the community and resources that it provided, and hopes to share more of that with everyone at CUWiP 2024. Outside of physics Sandy really enjoys reading, cooking/baking, and playing sports!
Michael Mingyar Headshot

Michael Mingyar is a fourth-year Physics PhD student studying physics education research. Their focus lies in analyzing how science is communicated across different proficiency levels, discerning distinctive language patterns that characterize varying levels of physics expertise, and devising efficient teaching methods for complex physics concepts tailored to diverse audiences.

Michael has previously participated as a panelist and speaker at CUWiP held at their undergraduate institution, West Virginia University, and is enthusiastic about assuming a more active role in this conference. Beyond physics, they have a strong interest in linguistics, sociology, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and snowboarding.


Jessica Myron Headshot

Howdy my name is Jessica Myron, and I am an Ambassador for the Montana Space Grant Consortium’s Space Public Outreach Team. Where we give FREE NASA presentations to K-12 students across the state of Montana. I am also in the Masters of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program at Montana State University, advancing my career as an educator. My background is in Physics and Astronomy where I obtained a BS in Physics at Texas A&M University. I have attended a couple CUWiP conferences in the past, one of which Texas A&M hosted and I gained vital experience working with a group of strong women to help plan a worth wile conference, as an undergrad. In my free time I like to hike, assist in science outreach events, and eat huckleberry pie.

Shannon Willoughby headshot

Dr. Shannon Willoughby is an Associate Professor of Physics at Montana State University. Her research focuses on physics and astronomy education research, as well as the external evaluation of other projects.

During her undergraduate education, Dr. Willoughby was an active member of the local SPS chapter. This support was important, if male dominated. When she began her graduate studies at Tulane University, many of her classmates were women. This support was invaluable to Dr. Willoughby as she encountered the typical difficulties of earning a doctorate in theoretical condensed matter physics.

Today, Dr. Willoughby is interested in encouraging people who identify as female to pursue an education in physics. She recognizes the importance of having peers and mentors who look like you, and wants very much to make that possible for any young person who would like to pursue a degree in physics. She was the lead on a 2017 CUWiP hosted by MSU, and she is interested in developing a CUWiP consortium in the northwestern US.



Contact Us

Local organizers may be reached by emailing [email protected]. Conference organizers may be reached during the conference via email or by phone:

Dr. Shannon Willoughby                  [email protected]
Dr. Rachael Fillwit   [email protected]
Grace Fiacco   [email protected]


CUWiP 2024 will be located at Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.