UMCUR Goes Digital For 2020

Student presenting at UMCUR in previous years.
Student presenting at UMCUR in previous years.

Missoula, MT - UMCUR is the University of Montana’s celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship. It’s an opportunity for students to showcase their work to peers and the broader campus and Missoula community. As many may be aware due to current public health concerns this year, UMCUR has shifted to a digital format. The response to the shift has been strongly positive. Because many other regional and national conferences have been canceled, students and faculty have expressed excitement about the opportunity to present their work. The UMCUR planning committee is also pleased to be able to open many conference presentations to the public for viewing. The digital format allows sharing students’ work, on a greater scale, with stakeholders who might not otherwise have been able to participate.

UMOnline has collaborated on the new digital format with the UMCUR 2020 team and had the chance to speak with Tim Nichols, Dean of Davidson Honors College and Chair of the University’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Committee, about this year’s conference. Dean Nichols stated, “Registrations for UMCUR are at approximately the same level as in recent years. There will be challenges for everyone adjusting to the new format, but people from across the UM campus have really stepped up to make the event a success.”

Participants’ are required to submit their abstracts and presentations to the Scholar Works website. Recorded workshops that outline best practices for presentations and provide technical assistance will be included in an email to students the week of April 6th. This will be followed up with a live Q&A training event for students the week of April 13th. Presentations will then be made accessible to the public and judges from April 28-May 1. Awards will be announced the week of May 4.

If students would like their work to be judged, their uploads must be submitted by April 10. Additionally, if students would like to participate but not have their work judged, their uploads must be complete by midnight on April 23. If students have not previously registered and would still like to present, they should contact Tim Nichols or Michelle Eckert at UM Conference Management Services. Anyone interested in serving as an UMCUR judge may register online.

UMCUR is delighted to announce that this year’s keynote will be delivered by Professor Roslyn LaPier, of Environmental Studies. Dr. LaPier is an award-winning indigenous writer, ethnobotanist and activist. She has a BA in Physics and a Ph.D. in Environmental History and is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Metis. The Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship committee solicit nominations for keynote speakers.

A special thanks to the IT Department and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library for providing technical and training support for the conference. If you are interested in browsing through previous year submissions and presentations, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library have an archive for you to take a look.