APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors.

The APS CUWiP goal is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas.

Black Hills State University, in cooperation with the Sanford Underground Research Facility, is hosting a regional CUWiP in 2016, targeting Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

The CUWiP conferences are held at no cost to the undergraduate students, except for a $25 registration fee. The conference will cover the cost of lodging and meals. Traditionally, the home institution covers the cost of travel, but there are a limited amount of travel grants available.

View our Conference Flyer (need this)

View the national CUWiP flyer: https://www.aps.org/programs/women/workshops/upload/CUWiP_poster_FINAL.pdf

(Pics from BHSU students at Purdue)

CUWiP has become incredibly popular.  In order to maximize the number of CUWiP participants we can accommodate, we will allocate participants to sites based on travel logistics and site capacity. We will aim to follow the distributions outlined below, but may have to make adjustments. Please do not purchase travel or plan to be at a specific site until you receive an email confirming you have been accepted to a specific CUWiP site.

2020 CUWiP Conference Site Locations

2020 CUWiP Locations:

  • Black Hills State University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University, College Station
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Maryland, College Park/NIST
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Toronto (Canada)
  • Washington State University
  • Yale University

These conferences are supported in part by the National Science Foundation (PHY-1346627) and by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DE-SC0011076).  Further details are available on the APS conference website

Apply to Attend

Application deadline is Oct. 4.

Note “All times are in MST”

Tours will be available for those arriving early on Friday. See Tours

Agenda under construction

Agenda under construction…conference will end in the early afternoon

Application and Registration Process

To attend the conference, students must first apply, be accepted by the individual conference sites, and then register.

Application/Registration Timeline:

Sept 3: APS website open for applications

Oct 4: Application deadline

Nov 28: Applicants informed of acceptance

Nov 14: Deadline for accepted students to confirm attendance by registering

Apply today


Registration occurs after the application process. Please check back later for more details.

Code of Conduct for APS Meetings

It is the policy of the American Physical Society (APS) that all participants, including attendees, vendors, APS staff, volunteers, and all other stakeholders at APS meetings will conduct themselves in a professional manner that is welcoming to all participants and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Participants will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment at APS Meetings. Creating a supportive environment to enable scientific discourse at APS meetings is the responsibility of all participants.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Violations of this code of conduct policy should be reported to meeting organizers, APS staff, or the APS Director of Meetings. Sanctions may range from verbal warning, to ejection from the meeting without refund, to notifying appropriate authorities. Retaliation for complaints of inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated. If a participant observes inappropriate comments or actions and personal intervention seems appropriate and safe, they should be considerate of all parties before intervening.

Need to report something?

Please contact Dr. Brianna Mount: 850-776-1817, Brianna.mount@bhsu.edu

We expect that a number of the conferences will be oversubscribed. Therefore, it is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. Priority will be given to applicants who (i) are undergraduate physics majors, (ii) have never attended an APS CUWiP, and (iii) are applying to attend the conference that is geographically closest to their expected location January 17-19, 2020.


Q: Do I need to be a physics major to apply?

No, you do not! However, priority will be given to undergraduate physics majors.


Q: If I attended last year, can I still attend this year’s conference?

Yes, you can! The conference for this year will be slightly different from last year, so we encourage you to apply for a second year. However, priority will be given to students who have not attended a CUWiP conference in the past.


Q: What if I cannot afford the $25 registration fee?

Students who cannot afford the registration fee can contact the APS at the time of registration to make an appeal to have the registration fee refunded.


Q: Do I need to make housing plans after applying for the conference?

No, you do not! The host committee plans and reserves rooms for all the attendees. We also plan to pay for all meals during the conference, including lunches on Saturday and Sunday and a dinner on Saturday. The only plans you need to make are your individual travel plans from your home to Black Hills State University.


Q: I am concerned about covering the cost of traveling from my home university to Purdue. Will there be any sort of reimbursement issued?

First, we encourage all attendees to talk to their department head and see if the department can cover the cost of travel to the conference. However, if this is not an option, a partial reimbursement may be issued to the attendees. Please save all receipts showing the cost of travel and we will make every effort to reimburse you. You are also required to get prior approval before purchasing airline tickets.


Q: What is the expected attire for the conference?

The dress attire for this conference including reception and dinner is business casual. Keep in mind that there will be a decent amount of walking, so plan on wearing comfortable shoes!


Q: Are all conference attendees required to present a poster?

No, it is entirely up to the individual student! If you would like to, we encourage you to indicate that during your registration process.

When making travel plans, keep in mind that BHSU is in the Mountain Time Zone. 
We encourage coordination amongst students from same institution to minimize travel costs.
You are required to get prior approval before purchasing airline tickets.
Buses will be provided for transportation from the hotel to BHSU and Sanford Lab.


The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn in Spearfish.
Reservations have already been made for double occupancy (each person will have their own bed). 
Roommates will be assigned by institution if possible.


Holiday Inn Spearfish
305 N. 27th Street
Spearfish, South Dakota 57783-0399


It is recommended that students driving to Spearfish leave their cars at the hotel and use the conference shuttle to and from the events. The hotel is easily accessible by I-90.

Coming from the East: Take I-90 to Exit 14. At the exit ramp, take a right and your first left. Coming from the West: Take I-90 to Exit 14. At the exit ramp, take a left, go over the overpass and take the first left.


Air Travel:
The area is served by the Rapid City Regional Airport: http://www.rcgov.org/Airport/.
BHSU will be providing transportation to and from the airport and the hotel. 

Travel Reimbursement

Required: Travel Confirmation Letter from Departments

Students requesting full or partial travel grants may be required to provide a letter (on university letterhead or by email) from their department manager or chair stating the funding provided by the department - whether or not their department was providing any funds.

Required: (put the links to W-9 and CUWiP form links)

Driving to the Conference

Carpooling is strongly encouraged as it is usually the most economical option. Students should estimate the costs of air and of car, taking into account the efficiencies of carpooling. Choose the least expensive option. Contact BHSU if the choice is questionable, and in these cases, keep/provide paperwork showing how the transportation decision was made. BHSU's rate of reimbursemet per mile is $0.42/mile.

Receipts are required for tolls and parking charges, if applicable.

Flying to the Conference

Only coach/economy class will be reimbursed. Grant funds do not cover upgrades (e.g., the purchase of extra legroom), early boarding, flight insurance, or the cost of a booking agent. Unless your department is fully covering your airfare, you must receive approval from BHSU for your airfare purchase. Requests for airfare reimbursement (even partial) may be denied if the student does not receive approval from BHSU.

After notification of your acceptance to the conference, you should immediately investigate flight options if this is the travel route you expect to take. Send the details of your preferred flight to brianna.mount@bhsu.edu with the subject line “Flight approval request for the APS CUWiP at BHSU”. Allow BHSU up to two weeks to review your request and provide a decision via email.

**Note: Conference organizers expect all flights to be purchased no later than one month before the conference. If a student delays the approval process or waits to purchase a flight after approval has been given resulting in a higher expense, she/he may be denied full reimbursement of the airfare purchase. Also, frequent flyer mileage cannot be used in lieu of a ticket wherein the traveler expects to receive reimbursement for a comparably priced ticket although she/he has used mileage.

Click here to enter your flight details so pick-up from the Rapid City airport can be organized:

Local Transit

We encourage the use of public transportation whenever possible, but in the case that a shared ride or taxi service is used, please search for the most economical option. Limo or luxury vehicle services are not allowed. 


Meals are provided throughout the duration of the APS CUWiP. Meals incurred during travel to and from the conference will be the responsibility of the student and/or her/his department.

If you have special dietary requirements, please indicate them on your registration.

Hotel and Associated Costs

Lodging is provided during the duration of the APS CUWiP*. Lodging for nights outside of the conference duration is not covered without approval from the LOC.

*Some hotels may require a credit card for incidentals. If you cannot or are not comfortable providing a credit card, you must give BHSU two weeks’ notice. Note that any charges for incidentals billed to BHSU will be passed on to the student.

Check back soon for speaker and panelist names, pictures and bios!

Check back during the conference for slides, presentations and workshop materials

CUWiP Sanford Lab Tours

For those of you arriving in the Black Hills a little early on Friday, January 17, we have two optional tours available.
We will have vans leaving for these tours from Spearfish and from the Rapid City airport:

TOUR 1– South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Rapid City) 2:00 – 3:45 pm
You will be hosted by the Department of Physics at SDSMT for a tour of Physics Department laboratories and other facilities on campus. Following the tour, the campus Women in Science and Engineering group will host a networking reception in their new WISE Center.  Vans will leave Spearfish at 1:00 pm and you will be back at BHSU by 4:45 pm. A van will also leave the airport at 1:30 pm.
Bring $5 to help cover entrance fees and refreshments.

Sign up using the form below.

TOUR 2– Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center and Black Hills Mining Museum (Lead) 2:00 – 4:00 pm
You will be hosted by a Sanford Underground Research Facility staff member in a tour of the new Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, featuring the history of the northern Black Hills and underground astrophysics experiments, as well as a look into current and future experiments taking place at Sanford Lab. You will then visit the Black Hills Mining Museum, to learn about engineering and technological innovations that made 125 years of mining possible in the northern Black Hills. On the way out of Lead, we will stop at one of the nation’s unknown treasures, Chubby Chipmunks, for some the world’s best truffles.
Vans will leave Spearfish at 1:15 pm and you will be back at BHSU by 4:45 pm.
A van will also leave the airport at 1:00 pm.
Bring $5 to help cover entrance fees and refreshments.

Sign up using the form below.


January 17-19, 2020

Apply to Attend

Application deadline is Oct. 4.

Local Organizing Committee

Dr. Brianna Mount is the co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee. She graduated from the University of Idaho with bachelor degrees in Physics and Mathematics and obtained her PhD in Physics from Florida State University. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor of Physics at Black Hills State University (BHSU). Dr. Mount is the Laboratory Director of the BHSU Underground Campus, a multi-disciplinary facility at the 4850’ level of the Sanford Lab. Her current research interests includeradiopurity measurements via high purity germanium detectors and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for underground, rare-event physics experiments.

Dr. Katrina Jensen is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Black Hills State University. She earned her PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Utah and was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She earned her BS in Chemistry from Black Hills State University, and was excited to be able to return to her alma mater in 2011 as a professor.

Dr. Jensen is a physical organic chemist with research interests in photocatalysis. She runs an active undergraduate research group at BHSU and works to promote gender equity in science. She founded and is the faculty advisor for the Women in Science Technology Engineering and Math (WISTEM) student organization at BHSU and is on the board of directors for Youth in Science Rapid City, which organizes an annual Women in Science Conference for middle and high school girls in the Black Hills.

Dr. Abigail Domagall, originally from the U.K., moved to the U.S. to pursue her Master’s and Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo in New York, focusing on Volcanology. Since 2008, Dr. Domagall has been the sole geology faculty at Black Hills State University and is responsible for the Environmental Physical Science program. She enjoys teaching a wide range of Geology courses including Volcanology, Hydrology, and Field Methods. Her research interests are primarily focused on the physical emplacement of volcanic deposits based on field data, and she has done field work in the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Mexico, and all over the U.K. and the U.S.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Brianna Mount 

Katrina Jensen 

Connect with us on social media:

Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.  Follow us on Instagram.