Rural Institute Staff

Catherine Ipsen

RTC:Rural Director


(406) 243-4562

Personal Summary

Dr. Ipsen holds a Ph.D. in Multidisciplinary Studies and an M.A. in Economics, both from the University of Montana. She has worked at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) since 1992, and with RTC:Rural since 1999. She currently serves as the Associate Director for RIIC and Director of RTC:Rural.

Dr. Ipsen has over 20 years of experience conducting disability research and evaluation, with funding through the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC), and U.S. Department of Education. Her primary research interests focus on strategies to support rural consumers in securing and maintaining employment and participating in the community.


B.A. Economics, Occidental College

M.A. Economics, University of Montana

Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Research, University of Montana

Field of Study

Vocational Rehabilitation



Health care access, insurance, and health promotion