Ambrin Masood, assistant professor of psychology, 406.238.7275,
RMC media team, 406.657.1105,

2nd annual research symposium highlights original science pursuits of RMC students

BILLINGS, April 3, 2014 – In two hours from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, 10 Rocky Mountain College undergraduates present their original research at the second annual research symposium on the RMC campus in Taylor Auditorium of Losekamp Hall. “This symposium exposes our students to the scholarly activities other students conduct on our campus and fosters their interest in scientific research,” Ambrin Masood, assistant professor of psychology, said.

“These days every field requires evidence-based solutions, and all the graduate schools are requiring some research experience,” she said.

“All 10 presenters are sharing interesting research” in oral presentations with visual aids, Masood noted. President Bob Wilmouth opens the symposium.

  • Gillian Burden-Williams (psychology mentor Masood) explores men’s willingness to take risky actions even if they are involved in a committed relationship.
  • Alicia Herron (aviation mentor Dan Hargrove and psychology mentor Masood) studies relationships between personality traits and hazardous thought patterns of pilots. 
  • Toryn Rogers (communication studies mentors Erin Reser and Shelby Hammond) talks about suicide prevention.
  • Katherine Sizemore (political science mentors Matthew O'Gara, Tim Lehman, and Jenifer Parks) presents her analysis of uprisings in the Middle East and American intervention.
  • Catherine Kenney (history and political science mentors Parks and Lehman) talks about specific cultural adaptations among Native Americans.
  • Robert Walker (environmental science mentor Kayhan Ostovar) describes his study of fish stalking of amphibian populations of the Beartooth Mountains.
  • Renee Seacor (environmental science mentor Ostovar) studies the hazards twin osprey chicks face compared to only-child ospreys in their local environment. 
  • Zachary Farrand (environmental science mentor Ostovar) researches habitat disturbance of the bats of the Beartooth Mountains.
  • Kayla Baisch (biology mentor Phil Jensen) studies the evolution of receptor-isoform signaling specificity in activin proteins.
  • Brennan Zotovich (biology mentors Jensen and Jim Barron of MSU Billings) studies hybrid forms and adaptations of the redbelly and finscale dace.

Masood completed preparations for the 2014 symposium to assist its guiding spirit, along with Associate Professor of Biology Phil Jensen. She thanks Professor of Theatre Arts Gerry Roe for offering Taylor Auditorium of Losekamp Hall as a venue to accommodate the symposium time and to her fellow faculty mentors “for working hard and encouraging the students.”