October 2012
Outliers: Students in ACTION

Outliers: Students in ACTION is a monthly publication during the academic year highlighting the students and events in the Science and Math Education in ACTION Choose Ohio First program at BGSU. 

Oct Dan talking to Jodi
Dr. Brahier at STEM in the Park
Note from the ACTION Director

During this July's Summer Bridge program for Cohort 4, one of their readings was excerpted from Malcolm Gladwell's famous book entitled Outliers. While the word "outlier" has a statistical definition, Gladwell uses it to describe individuals who have become successful due to opportunities they were given that most people would never have--from being born "at the right time" to attending exclusive schools. (If you have never read this book, I strongly recommend it regardless of your background or occupation. It is definitely an "eye opener.")


In the ACTION program, we pride ourselves on giving undergraduates unique experiences that are generally absent in most teacher education programs. Our students perform research with faculty members, conduct practicum work experiences, and do action research in a school setting, along with building a community of learners who have shared interests and talents. In short, ACTION provides opportunities that most teacher candidates will never experience as undergraduates, making our students "outliers." As a result, you may have noticed that we changed the title of the ACTION newsletter to Outliers: Students in ACTION to reflect our mission of engaging students in unique experiences. The newsletter is published monthly, from September through May. Archived copies of past newsletters can be accessed from our website at bgsu.edu/action.


One of the traditional Fall Semester activities for ACTION is a football tailgate party hosted in a food tent, usually on Family Weekend. This month, on Saturday, October 13, we will be featuring this popular event once again for ACTION students and their families to mix, mingle, eat, and play games. The food tent will be located just west of the football stadium beginning at 1:00 p.m., with the game against Miami starting at 3:30 p.m. Make plans now to wear your orange and brown and stop by for a hot dog or hamburger and a game of cornhole. We look forward to seeing you there!


Finally, the ACTION Team is now immersed in recruitment efforts for a new Cohort 5 to join us in the summer of 2013. The online application is already available at our website, with a deadline of January 25. Please help us to spread the word about the program around the state as we take applications and begin to select our new cohort. Word of mouth is one of our best recruitment tools, so pass on the good news!

Oct Jake Musal profile
(Because our "family" is growing so quickly, we are now planning to profile two students each month)
Jake Musal - Cohort 4 
Freshman AYA Math Major 


High school was a busy time for you. Yes, I was involved with tons of different things including NHS, Student Council, Link Crew, journalism, yearbook, hockey, baseball, and more. I also played bass guitar as part of a rock band with a group that included my three best friends. We practiced every week and had a ball with it.

What has filled up your time since you've been at BGSU? I decided not to play club hockey because of the huge time commitment. Instead, I've been getting involved with different intramural sports. I am also employed at the Kreischer Sun Dial working about 10 hours per week.

As one of our ACTION "resident photographers" tell us about your interest in photography. My folks bought me a really nice camera and I love to use it although currently my time for this hobby has been limited. It is a hobby that I plan to enjoy for the rest of my life. I like to take photos at family events, especially because it helps me remember people and details that I might forget otherwise.

Why do you want to teach math? I have always wanted to be a teacher and love the high school atmosphere. The biggest challenge was choosing an area to focus on because I love all subjects; however, math seemed to make the most sense. I have passion and energy for it. Taking AP Calculus my senior year gave me added confidence and my teacher was really good; in fact, he taught like a college professor!

Tell us about your experience in ACTION so far. The Summer Bridge enabled me to make some really good friends and provided a buffer to prepare me for college. I like my freshman research project with Dr. Zirbel--it is interesting to do actual research that does not yet have an answer. I look forward to all the cool opportunities ahead such as the practicum and the capstone education research. And, being in Cohort 4, I think some great job opportunities will come along as other ACTION students start to graduate. Word will continue spread so that school districts will want to hire ACTION scholars. 

Oct Megan Chapman
Megan Chapman - Cohort 2 (transferred from Owens Fall 2012) 
Junior AYA Life Sciences Major


Tell us a few things about yourself. I am from Swanton, Ohio, and although I grew up in a conservative household, I consider myself a liberal with strong opinions. I have been living at home since high school but am planning to move to Bowling Green by January if not sooner. I am a big fan of the Boston Red Sox and Columbus Crew and played 4 years of softball in high school. As an older student, it has been tough. Many of my friends are getting married and having kids and I am still pursuing my undergraduate degree at age 24.

You have been in school for a while - what is your education history? I have been in college for six years so far and can't wait to graduate next year! I first went to Northwest State after high school and was kind of pushed into nursing although my desire has always been to teach. I quickly realized I definitely didn't want to be a nurse although I did get my STNA. Then, I went to Owens for two years to pursue a science education degree. This is where I got involved with the Choose Ohio First ACTION program, convincing me to transfer to BGSU rather than UT. This is my first semester as a transfer to BGSU and it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. Meeting people through ACTION has definitely helped the transition.

What is your employment history? My first job after high school was at Target. Then, after starting as a dishwasher at Valleywood Golf Course, eventually they trained me to be an assistant cook (which helped me learn how to cook!). Unfortunately all the kitchen staff was laid off in 2009 so I have been working as a home health aide for Americare the past three years. Once I move to BG, I will look for a new job, possibly in a nursing home.

Tell us more about your desire to teach science. I always looked up to teachers and wanted to be like them. Coaching softball confirmed that I wanted to work with high school age students. Science has been an interest since I was young. I used to dissect anything I could--if I found a worm or any other dead creature, I would cut it open to see what was inside. 


Megan looks forward to getting to know more of you as the year goes on!

Cohort Updates 
Oct Nick Dr. Haney research
Nick Buhrow (Cohort 4) researching in the field with Dr. Haney


As Cohort 1 went around the room sharing the topics for their capstone research proposals, the diversity was evident. Topics included "Cooperative Learning Groups in the Middle School Classroom," "Mnemonic Devices Impact on Comprehension," "Motivating Students Through Games in the High School Classroom," and "The 6E Model for Learning: A Glance at Effective Learning Styles." Each topic is unique and intriguing. Most students are working to resubmit their HSRB applications with the remaining information and are preparing the final components to prepare for conducting research next semester.


With two out of six sessions under their belt this past month, Cohort 2 is gaining understanding into what action research is all about. First, Dr. Brahier gave an overview of pedagogical research with an example of a research project conducted by a student in the classroom that he advised. Then, Dr. Jodi Haney led the second session by engaging students in discussions of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods. Students have now selected a faculty advisor to work with them over the next two years as the journey continues.


Fall practicums have started for some in Cohort 3. Pairing up to work on practicum projects for companies has been helpful on both sides. It enables agencies to offer a larger project totaling about 40 hours and also enables the students to collaborate. Three pairs have already started with several more projects to begin in October. One of the most unique projects so far involves researching and raising bobwhite quails. This is a brand new experience for the Wood County Parks District and they are relying on ACTION students to provide ideas to optimize the project.


Cohort 4 science and mathematics research groups are delving deeper into their projects as students and faculty team leaders work side by side. Each month, one of the research teams will be highlighted, starting with Dr. Haney's group. They are investigating what covers the land in a 15 km x 15 km region centered around BGSU and will identify numerical codes and labels for the different types of land covers including Forests, Woodlands, Shrubland and Thickets, Herbaceous Vegetation (natural fields), Wetlands, Barren Land, Water, Agriculture & Cultivated Land (managed fields, lawns, and parks), and Urban Covers (neighborhood dwellings, businesses, industry, transportation, etc.). They will construct digitized maps to represent our region and explore how this region's land cover has changed over time and how these changes impact climate.

Tailgate Party October 13  

We look forward to the ACTION Tailgate Party during family weekend on Saturday, October 13 starting at 1:00pm. Game time at 3:30 means plenty of time to enjoy a cookout prior to watching the Falcons play the Miami Redhawks. Stop by the ACTION tent near the stadium and stay as long as you can. Hope to see you there!

OCTM Conference 2012  Oct OCTM


The Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) 2012 conference seeks to provide an uplifting, invigorating, and reenergizing conference for teachers across the state. With 167 sessions during a two-day period, there is something for everyone. Held in Columbus, Ohio this year on October 18-19, over 1,000 mathematics teachers from around the state of Ohio generally attend.  


For the second year in a row, a group of ACTION students will present their freshman research project results to teachers during one of the sessions. Dr. David Meel's group will give a presentation titled "From Angry Birds to 'Elliptical' Groups" on Thursday, October 18 from 3:20-4:20pm. They will describe how investigations with Angry Birds and learning to model led them into investigating a variety of mathematical concepts including curve fitting, polar coordinates, linear algebra, and eigenvalues--culminating in the group concept. We know they will make ACTION proud.

October 2012


















One on Ones


One on Ones






One on Ones


Caroline Menhenett B-day




















Carmean B-day



One on Ones 


6:00-7:00 EDHD 3160 Session #3

Dr. Ingle

One on Ones



ACTION Tailgate Party 1:00pm (Game at 3:30)










Ashten Graham &Tyler Erb  





OCTM Conference


Chelsea Calvert & Dana Wilson


OCTM Conference


Preview Day


Dr. Brahier B-day










Conroy B-day





6:00-7:00 EDHD 3160 Session #4

Dr. Brahier




NWO Symposium at BGSU










6:00-7:00 EDHD 4160 Session #2

Dr. Abercrombie



Amanda Pummell 





Volume 1, Issue 7

In This Issue
Student Profile - Jake
Student Profile - Megan
Cohort Updates
Join Our Mailing List
Oct Leslie and LIz STEM
STEM in the Park

What do you get when you cross a giant bubble, a snake, and a mechanical engineer? You get...STEM in the Park. This annual event on the campus of Bowling Green State University features interactive displays and activities created by community partners and area universities to engage children of all ages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Oct Anna taking tickets STEM

On Saturday, September 8, more than 80 different hands-on activities enabled over 2,700 attendees, exhibitors, and volunteers to be involved with STEM. This event for all northwest Ohio families and the entire community allowed kids of all ages to go from one activity to another with each unique station promoting an interest in STEM. It was fun and educational for the whole family with free STEM materials and take-home activities distributed at stations throughout the event.

Oct Ketih, Peter & Kayla laughing

A large number of BGSU Choose Ohio First students in the Science and Math Education in ACTION program volunteered to assist at the event in multiple ways including set-up, teardown, registration, food service, and activity assistants. Many helped the entire day.

Oct Close up of Betsie at STEM

In addition, ACTION students hosted and facilitated two hands-on activity tables of their own. The science-related activity focused on buoyancy. The kids tested the flotation of various clay object shapes and then built their own clay boats before counting the number of pennies their boat would hold before sinking. The theme of the mathematics activity related to patterns. Children were directed to consider different patterns as they created bracelets using beads and pipe cleaners.

oct set up STEM

The enthusiasm was evident in both children as well as parents throughout the event and we look forward to an even bigger and better STEM in the Park next year.  

Oct Jess at STEM
Oct Freddy & Frieda STEM
Oct Bead Table
Oct Megan K STEM

As a Choose Ohio First grant program sponsored by the Ohio Board of Regents, our goal is to produce exceptional science and mathematics teachers who will impact the next generation across the state to improve in STEM areas.

Science and Math Education in ACTION 
Mailing Address: 450 Math Science Building, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH 43403 
Campus Location: 308 Math Science Building
Phone: 419-372-6562
Fax: 419-372-6092
[email protected]

Director: Dr. Daniel Brahier
Program Manager: Wendy Standinger
Program Secretary: Nancy Hoose