November 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. 

Dr. Brahier sharing with students starting
Capstone research projects
Note from the ACTION Director

 In October, I attended the annual conference of the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM). Other than California, no other state in the country has a larger professional mathematics teacher organization than Ohio. In fact, Ohio has a rich history of producing leaders in both mathematics and science education. The conference was held in Columbus (it rotates to a different city each year) and was attended by more than 1,300 mathematics educators including pre-service teachers.


Approximately 20 ACTION students attended the conference. In addition, five sophomores in Cohort 3 (Haley Coder, Marc Garcia, Ashten Graham, Brittney Poling, and Larissa Van Der Molen) presented a session on the findings of the research they conducted during their freshman year with Dr. David Meel from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at BGSU. Beginning with the popular game "Angry Birds," the group took the audience from directing projectiles to studying abstract algebra. I had the pleasure of attending the session as well as hearing all of the compliments afterwards, as teachers described how the level of mathematics content in the presentation went far beyond what most students encounter in four years of college, let alone in their freshman year.


This conference presentation was yet one more example of how we see ACTION students being "outliers" in their preparation as teachers. From research currently underway by Cohort 4 freshmen to classroom research being conducted this year by students in Cohorts 1 and 2, the potential for presenting, speaking, and publishing to enhance the profession is almost unlimited. Instead of viewing the college experience as simply "gaining" knowledge, I like to think of ACTION as being instrumental in "generating" new knowledge that we can pass on to others. Through the collaborations of students with faculty from both the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Arts and Sciences, we can take students further than most institutions would ever be able to achieve.


As we work our way toward the Spring Semester, I am excited to watch the classroom action research projects get underway, as well as anticipating the annual Research Symposium in April at which our Cohort 4 students will present the results of their work this year.  Research is alive and well in the ACTION program! I would like to congratulate each of our students on their hard work-particularly our Cohort 3 conference presenters-and thank our mentoring faculty for their hours of hard work to make all of this happen.

Kim Verhoff - Cohort 1 
Senior AYA Math Major 


You grew up in a small town. Yes, Ottawa, Ohio (not Canada) is really small with 5,000 residents. Our house is way out in the country; in fact, we don't get cable or internet. Many of my aunts and uncles live near us and our neighbors own the fields around us.

Tell us about your interest in teaching science. Initially I did not like science at all. In fact, when we played the game "Brainquest," I avoided the science questions. All that changed when I took Chemistry and Anatomy and Physiology as a junior in high school. I loved the labs. Both of these teachers were great and the classes got me excited about science. I've had good teacher role models and many aunts who are teachers who helped convince me to be a teacher.

Any highlights from high school? Because of my newfound interest in science, I joined Science Olympiads and this became my favorite club. We prepared all year for a competition that was held in the spring and I loved it. I participated in band and rifles, and also got involved in the musicals.

Highlights from college? In addition to ACTION,getting involved with Resident Student Association (RSA) and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) with Residence Life has been an amazing opportunity. My roles over the past three years have enabled me to learn a lot about myself, leadership, time management, and much more.

What is one thing from ACTION that stands out to you? Since I haven't seen the outcome of my action research project yet, I'd have to say my practicum experience. Mine turned into a paid summer position so I logged more hours than most students. I learned to work with different types of people and improved my communication skills with those in authority. It was cool to use science to do real-world problem solving with something brand new.

Tell us a little about your Capstone Research Project. Many science educators use the 5E Model to create lessons (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate). I am researching a 6E Model where the concept of "express" is added between "explain" and "extend."  I will use this 6E Model for an anatomy class during student teaching. This is part of a bigger, ongoing research project with Dr. Emilio Duran that I am excited to be part of.

Any advice to other students as they approach the Capstone Project? Work with your faculty advisor to hone in on a topic early and possibly lay out a draft for your proposal. Start broad and narrow your topic as you go. I put "research" on my "to do" list each week and spent several hours weekly researching my chosen topic so it was much less stressful at the end. It is the same as with Methods-if you stay on top of assignments, it isn't as hard as people say.

How do you feel to be graduating in May? I'm excited and nervous. I look forward to getting my own classroom set up and applying what I have learned, but I am nervous about finding a job. And, I will definitely miss helping with the ACTION Summer Bridge and meeting the new cohorts since I have been involved in some capacity over the past four summers. 

Corrinne Sullivan - Cohort 3 
Sophomore AYA Mathematics Major


 Tell us about life before BGSU. Prior to seventh grade, I lived in six different states since my dad was in the Air Force.  I don't share my dad's love for planes, but we do talk about the physics involved with flying. Moving so much as a youngster helped me learn to interact with and meet a lot of different people; but, I was glad to remain at the same high school in Beavercreek, Ohio, which is two hours south of Bowling Green. I was a dancer in high school and in band, and took quite a few AP classes.

What have you gotten involved with at BGSU? The ACTION Summer Bridge really helped with the transition to college. I have many great friends and people I can turn to for help with classes. Along with many other ACTION students, I joined Hall Council. This enables us to be very involved with our residence hall by to giving input and voting on this that matter.  The meetings are also very fun with many prizes and incentives (I won a coffee maker last year)! I am also working as a Supplemental Instructor (SI) for Math 1260, helping BGSU students in this course master the material and creating worksheets. It is a great opportunity to work with college freshmen who are not that much different from the high school students I will be teaching some day.

What led to your desire to be a math teacher? I have always loved math. Even in elementary school this was my strongest subject and I would help others doing informal tutoring. In high school, when I wanted a break from homework in my other subjects, I would enjoy doing calculus homework. My senior year I was debating on attending UC to major in engineering or BGSU to major in education. Two things convinced me to pursue teaching-the ACTION program and my AP Calculus teacher who was the best teacher I ever had.

Any favorite memories from the ACTION Summer Bridge? Going to the Toledo Mud Hens baseball game was really fun. I liked that we did the fantasy baseball activity ahead of time so we could cheer for "our guy" during the game. And, it was nice to get out of Bowling Green and not be in a school setting for a while.

What are you most looking forward to in your remaining years at college? I am already beginning to consider topics and have an advisor in mind for the capstone research project even though that doesn't start until next year. I am picking up things from my Educational Psychology class that may be interesting themes. I look forward to building something new with the research. I also hope to get a General Business minor at BGSU. After working at Kumon Learning Center in high school, I am interested in possibly owning one of these centers someday and think the business background will be helpful on top of my math education degree. 

Cohort Updates 
Dr. Abercrombie talking with Cohort 1 students


As seniors, Cohort 1 students are busy with methods this semester and are beginning to assist their Cooperating Mentor Teachers (CMTs) in their classroom placements. Most students stress the importance of working ahead on assignments since the workload can be heavy during methods. In preparation for conducting research in their classrooms next semester, a second session was hosted at the end of October with a presentation by Dr. Sara Abercrombie from Leadership and Policy Studies. Students appreciated her overview of action research in addition to her practical explanation of the steps involved in writing a research article.


Cohort 2 attended two more sessions this past month. One focused on how to conduct literature reviews by Dr. Kyle Ingle. He provided valuable practical insight and resources for students. The second session led by Dr. Brahier included a discussion about choosing a topic. Students brainstormed some potential topics to research such as the importance of vocabulary, impact of classroom management, self-efficacy, peer teaching, effects of communication, and more. Students will now meet with their faculty advisors to begin choosing and/or narrowing down a topic to research. Since students will be working on the project for nearly two years, choosing a topic of interest and one that is feasible is crucial.

Eleven members of Cohort 3 are currently engaged in a practicum experience and are being exposed to real world science and mathematics. For

example, have you ever thought about the number and type of trees found in your city parks? Amber Mathias and Megan Chapman are doing just that for the City of Perrysburg as they assist with a tree survey project. And, any idea what is involved and how much it costs to host a huge event such as a 10K Mud Run (similar to a Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash obstacle course race)? This is what Jen Tomasko and Paul Carmean are faced with as they examine whether an event like this is financially feasible for the BG Parks and Recreation to host. Students are learning much more than anticipated through these projects.


Jessie Wiandt 
 researching geckos with Dr. Underwood

Cohort 4 continues to examine exactly where their group research project may take them.  Students working with Dr. Eileen Underwood have already tweaked their research topic to make it more specific. Working with geckos

to look at the effect of food preferences, students have narrowed their research to compare three types of food-a standard fruit baby food mix, a commercially available gecko diet (called Repashy superfood), and a fresh fruit puree made of fruits similar to those found on New Caledonia.  Growth rates based on weight measurements are being observed for geckos fed each type of food. To find out their results, all are invited to attend the Choose Ohio First Research Symposium at BGSU on Friday, April 12, 2013 from 4:15-6:00pm.

Favorite BGSU courses

We asked Cohort 1 what their favorite class has been at BGSU so far...


Kaylee Paul: EDTL 2740 (Introduction to Secondary Mathematics) with Dr. Matney. He really made it fun and engaging for all of us and looked at mathematical topics in a different light. I liked how we were able to get a glimpse into each of the subject areas, but I wish that we could have had a semester course like this for each topic area. The course was really interactive and the atmosphere was great. I also thought the topics that we covered, and the way that students could discover them, were really beneficial. 


Matt Jones: Education Psychology. I enjoy studying the aspect of how people learn throughout their life. This is key to being a successful teacher because if you cannot meet the needs of how your students learn then you cannot truly teach them the material. 


Kim Verhoff: CHEM 3150 (Teaching in the Chemistry Lab). This is a class designed for Chemistry education majors to help learn about lab safety and teaching chemistry in the laboratory. We got to do fun demos and labs in the class and read real world articles related to chemistry. I especially enjoyed working with the CHEM 1250 lab class as a "TA" helping them to learn the basics of Chemistry.


Scott Green: Honors Introduction to Critical Thinking by Dr. Paul Moore (Director of the Honors Program) with TA Josh Ebert. I'm almost tempted to classify the course as something other than a class, more of an experience, really.  It was all about adjusting how one normally views the world, and recognizing biases and flaws in the way we think. Dr. Moore and Josh guided us in our discovery of what we truly valued, and it helped me as a person to recognize that I have the capacity to accomplish much more than what I believed I was capable of.  I also gained the tenacity to question nearly everything I hear or read, including Dr. Moore's teachings. In summation, I gained much more than I believed possible from any college course, and the studies I undertook have had an enormous impact on who I am today.


Allison Bailey: History of Math with Dr. Meel. I have always loved math and this class really helped me to see the story behind something I'm passionate about. 


Erin Ziems: Educational Psychology. Although I took regular psych my freshman year, I didn't really care for it. It just wasn't interesting. But then I took Ed Psych (with Sansenee Olson, fantastic teacher) and it was fascinating, interesting and a lot of fun. It also helped answer a lot of questions I had regarding teaching and how to teach my students.


Patrick Nightingale: All of the classes I have taken with Dr. Emilio Duran stand out to me.  He is a great teacher and someone I look up to. In his classes we practiced and performed what we were learning about. Everyday had an activity rather than just a lecture.  Dr. Duran has very high expectations for his students, requiring each to perform their best.  He has done a great job preparing us for teaching.  I also enjoyed Education in a Pluralistic Society with Dr. Kubow. This course was my first insight into education in other cultures.  All of my classes previous to this one dealt with education in the United States, despite how much we could learn by observing other countries.  This class was a good opportunity to observe other countries and then look back at our education system through different eyes.  


Mike Treon: My favorite math class was Modern Geometry (Math 2040) with Dr. Meel. For general education courses, I really enjoyed Introduction to Logic (Phil 1030). Both of these courses were interesting to me and were full of group work. 

Upcoming ACTION Events...


EDHD 3160 sessions - Tuesdays, November 6 & 27

Preview Day - Saturday, December 1

ACTION Student Holiday Party - Friday, December 7

November 2012






















Alli Brown b-day












6-7pm EDHD 3160 Session #5 Dr. Matuga



Leslie Russell






Stacey Camardo b-day










No Classes



Mike Treon       b-day

Student Advisory Board Meeting 5:15-6:15pm













No Classes














Megan Schlosser b-day

6-7pm EDHD 3160 Session #6 HSRB Training







Volume 1, Issue 8
In This Issue
Student Profile - Kim
Student Profile - Corrinne
Cohort Updates
Join Our Mailing List

This year's ACTION Tailgate Party was our best ever! The rain held off for our cookout, and with over 150 joining us throughout the afternoon it was enjoyable to catch up with ACTION members, families, and friends. It was great to see so many of you... 

We also had a few special guests such as Dr. Moses, Dr. Haney, Dr. Colwell (the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development), and, of course, Freddie and Freida Falcon who made a brief appearance. Beating Miami was an added bonus to the day! 


Recently, several Cohort 3 students hosted a spaghetti dinner in Offenhauer West for all ACTION students. The students did all the work themselves from planning the menu to buying the food, baking the cookies, and cooking the meal. They did an amazing job of planning for such a large group, and it was a great opportunity for different cohorts to connect, learn names, and share advice. To make this an annual event, Cohort 3 is passing the torch to Cohort 4 to host the dinner in the early fall next year as an ACTION welcome back event. We are already looking forward to another "family" dinner.

The student cooks (above) ACTION dinner (below)
OCTM Conference

As anticipated, the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) 2012 conference was a huge success. A number of faculty members from BGSU were slated to speak, but of course the highlight for us was the ACTION students' session "From Angry Birds to 'Elliptical' Groups." With a roomful of teachers, the sophomore ACTION students confidently communicated their knowledge and experiences from their freshman research project with Dr. Meel.

Brittney, Haley, Marc, Larissa, Ashten & Dr. Meel

Ashten Graham summed up her experience: "Talking to older students and current teachers at the seminar and throughout the day, we were reminded of what an amazing opportunity we have to be in ACTION. Itwas great to present infront of the OCTM crowd and explain our research. As teachers we don't just need to know material, we need to be able to explain it and help others understand it. Everyone was amazed by what freshmen could accomplish and hopefully it inspired them not to put a limit on what can be learned and to not give up when things don't turn out as expected." 


Congratulations to Dr. Meel and the team of students who presented. We are also glad so many ACTION students could attend the conference.

Spread the word... 
Do you know any high school seniors who plan to major in science or mathematics education at BGSU? If so, please direct them to the online application found on our website at The application deadline for Cohort 5 is January 25, 2013, which will be here before we know it.   

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 Sciences Building, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH 43403 
Campus Location: 308 Math Sciences Building
Phone: 419-372-6562
Fax: 419-372-6092
[email protected]

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