December 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. 

Dan and Kayla
Dr. Brahier talking to Kayla Fackler about her  research topic
Note from the ACTION Director

This summer, Cohort 4 had an opportunity to interact with Jack and Louise Jadel who visited them in the fingerprinting session. Jack is an alumnus of BGSU, and the Jadels are long-time supporters of the university. Recognizing the importance of improving science and math education, they took particular interest in the ACTION program. I am very pleased to announce that through their generosity, a new Jadel Scholarship Fund for incoming Science and Math Education in ACTION students has been established. Beginning with Cohort 5 in the fall of 2013, one student from each subsequent cohort will be selected as the Jadel Scholarship recipient and will receive up to $10,000 per year (renewable) in addition to his/her ACTION scholarship. The award, based on financial need, will provide an opportunity for students to attend BGSU and major in science or mathematics education who might otherwise not attend college because of financial obstacles. The application form at the ACTION website has been updated to reflect this new scholarship opportunity, and we are beginning to distribute information about this new funding.


As Director of ACTION, I would like to publicly thank the Jadels for their generous donation to the program. They, like the State of Ohio's Choose Ohio First program as well as the Colleges of Education & Human Development and Arts & Sciences, recognize the extremely high need we have in this country to improve the teaching and learning of science and math. As I write this article, I have begun work on a new policy document being written by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to establish an agenda for the next decade or more. With regular trips to Washington, DC over the next year-and-a-half, I am working with 11 others to write this document, as there is a recognized need to be more vocal with legislators and community members about how to strengthen science and mathematics programs.


ACTION is in a perfect position to provide undergraduates with the preparation they need to not only become teachers but to be leaders in the state. As we continue to attract Ohio's "best and brightest" into the program, we now have a mechanism that will allow us to seek out students who might not have thought attending BGSU would ever be possible. You can help us by spreading the word in your schools and communities and encouraging this year's seniors to apply to ACTION. The application deadline is January 25, 2013. We look forward to greeting Cohort 5 next summer! Meanwhile, I wish all of our ACTION students the best on their final exams as we wrap up the semester. May all of you have a restful and enjoyable holiday season.

Tyler Erb - Cohort 2 
Senior AYA Math Major 
(graduating in 3 years) 


Random facts about yourself? Last year I joined Team Beard USA (a national organization for people who appreciate beards.) At home I work as a server at a nice Chinese restaurant.  And, I love flannel in addition to plaid and argyle - this is the main pattern to go to as a teacher!


What brought you to BGSU? The ACTION Program! I had considered playing football for another university but decided not to pursue it. The day after I made this decision, I got a call about ACTION and knew this was where I wanted to be. 


What has been your overall favorite thing about being an ACTION scholar? ACTION has provided some great friendships as well as connections with others across campus. Since I will be graduating in 3 years, I haven't had much time to build a lot of friends outside of this program. I love hanging out with ACTION people!


When did you decide you wanted to be a math teacher? My eighth grade math teacher was fresh out of college. His philosophy was to have students teach students. So, as someone who had always loved math, I taught more than 10 kids every day.  Unfortunately, he abused this system to have us do the work for him. However, the positive result was that I realized I was good at teaching and liked it; and it convinced me that we need better math teachers in our schools. Later, seeing other math teachers perform well confirmed my desire.


You are currently in Methods. Tell us about that. It has been really, really hard! The toughest thing for me is having the extra MATH 4170 class on top of being in the school all day. I want to be able to focus on teaching, but need to balance other projects for my BGSU classes. I did enjoy the course taught by Dr. Brahier at the beginning of the semester, as well as the assessment course that provided insight into quizzes and homework and covered topics not talked about in my other classes. For my placement, I lucked out with my Cooperating Mentor Teacher (CMT) at Findlay High School. She is very laidback, allowing me to do what I want. She has also offered some ways for me to improve, which I appreciate.


How do you feel about Student Teaching next semester?  I am very excited and look forward to not having to do the additional projects in order to focus on teaching. I can't wait for more freedom and the ability to get more into being an actual teacher. I want to try different assessments and techniques to see what works the best. For my ACTION Capstone Research, I am looking at how video games can help engage students in the mathematics classroom. Since there isn't much information about this at the high school level, I'll have to see how it goes. I am a bit worried about how best to implement the research and still need to figure out which period will be the best to gather the data I need.


Future plans? With graduation coming in May, I will begin thinking more about the future in January. I want to expand my horizons and would be willing to try different environments to gain a variety of experiences. My main goal as a teacher wherever I end up is to help kids to succeed in math.

Nicole Winhover - Cohort 4
Freshman Middle Childhood Education (Science and Mathematics) 


What was high school like for you? Delphos is a really small town with only 72 in my graduating class. I got very involved in high school, too involved in fact, with leadership roles in multiple organizations as well as working a part-time job at an A&W Restaurant. 4-H was a big part of my life and I played volleyball starting in 4th grade. It was very stressful and hard to balance everything, but I enjoyed every minute of it. When I came to college though, I decided to do something different.


What have you done differently at college? Instead of jumping right into things, as I was accustomed to doing, I decided this first year at BGSU to not join more than one or two things. My goal has been to relax and take time for me. Currently ACTION is the main organization I am involved with and this has been good for me.


Tell us about your freshman research project for ACTION.  Working with Dr. Haney on the GLOBE project has been a lot of fun. We even have a name for our research group and are making t-shirts! With our research data, I am starting to see the importance made by variation in land cover. Coming from a farming community, it has been interesting to consider the impact of beans vs. the corn covering the land near my house. When we go out to different sites near BGSU, we compare what we see at our GPS coordinates in different locations to those shown on Landsat Satellite Images. Through the GLOBE website we are able to see that we are doing the same things as people in Africa. It's great to be involved in this worldwide project.


What were some of your favorite parts of the Summer Bridge?  I loved meeting 24 new people this summer, making the adjustment to college this fall so much easier. The sessions contained useful information and activities we can use in our future classrooms. I have already begun to gather ideas. The team-building course at Camp Miakonda was a definite highlight, as was setting bubbles on fire! The summer experience also prepared me to get back into school.  I had senioritis my last year of high school, so the Bridge got me ready to work hard this fall.


How did you hear about ACTION? We came to Preview Day when the weather was really bad. I happened to meet someone on an elevator who told us about ACTION. Initially I wasn't excited; I really didn't want to give up a month of my summer. Plus, I had planned to concentrate on math and social studies because I love history. After more consideration (and a strong nudge from my mom), I applied.  Of course, I don't regret it and it's been much better than I imagined.


Interesting facts about you? Washington, DC is one of my favorite places; my dad's love for history rubbed off on me. I've already been there three times and look forward to going again in January for the March for Life. I also have a pencil collection I started around age 10. With over 300 pencils, I get a new one from wherever I travel.

Cohort Updates 

Cohort 1 is currently completing their "methods block" experience.  During this semester, they have taken a 15-hour set of courses examining everything from "how to teach" the content to the use of assessment, technology, and reading strategies in the classroom.  After 10 weeks of on-campus classes, they are completing several weeks of field experience in classrooms, writing, teaching, and reflecting on their own lesson plans.  By January, they will transition into becoming full-time student teachers.  Our first graduate, Sarah Keane, is completing student teaching this semester and has already conducted her capstone research project. She examined various cooperative learning strategies in her classroom to maximize the benefits of learning. After submitting her final paper, the next step will be graduation.


Dana and Sheryl
Dana Wilson discusses her research with her advisor, Sheryl Krotzer

The final two research sessions for Cohort 2 were hosted in November. Dr. Julie Matuga shared her expertise about research methodology. Her discussion focused on different methods of gathering data and the importance of triangulation. Dr. Hillary Harms from the Office of Compliance shared an overview of the HSRB process with students and faculty at the final session. Students are now ready to take their selected topic and begin researching to discover what information is already available about the area they are interested in. This may help them broaden or adjust their specific topic. 

Cohort 3 students participating in a fall practicum are finishing those up by submitting a paper to their supervisor explaining the results of their project. Supervisors provide grades and comments for this paper as well as student performance. Feedback from past supervisors has been very positive with comments such as: "The ACTION student exceeded our expectations in all parts of the project. . . . Her suggestions have enabled us to make some changes to a component of our company." Another remarked, "The project report was very helpful. It will be used to make recommendations to City Council." These comments reflect our goal to have the practicum projects provide significant impact to companies and organizations.


Five Cohort 4 students are working on a research problem with Dr. Craig Zirbel that one of his PhD students started but was not able to solve. T

Dr. Z's research group meeting at 8:00AM on Mondays

hey explain the problem: Starting at the rightmost point on a circle of circumference 1, go distance "t" around the circle, where "t" is a number between 0 and 1. If you are in the top half of the circle, you score 1; if in the bottom half, you score -1. Go distance "t" again, and again, and keep track of your total score. The total score goes up and down. When "t" is rational, we showed that eventually you will return to the rightmost point, the total score will be 0, and the pattern will repeat again. For irrational values of "t," they don't know much yet. Some questions they are asking include: In the long run, how far does the total score wander away from 0? Does it ever get above 1,000? 1 million? Does the total score wander away from 0 more quickly or more slowly than a random walk does? Does the total score keep returning to 0? They wrote a javascript program that makes a graph of the total score for the first 100,000 steps and that can find the maximum and minimum over the first 1 billion steps. This has provided some understanding as they continue researching. 

Favorite Holiday Traditions

We asked Cohort 2 to tell us their favorite holiday tradition...


Emily Schroeder: One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating the tree and my parents' house and also having a big breakfast and opening presents on Christmas morning with my family.


Lauren Barr:  Going to Starbucks then driving around as a family for a few hours looking at Christmas lights all around town. Afterward, we all come home and put luminaries all up and down our street on Christmas Eve!!


Jennie Jester:  Having my family (brother's family) come over for dinner and then playing with my nephews and niece after dinner. At Christmas time, my brother, nephews and I have a wrapping paper war. After opening presents, we ball up the wrapping paper and throw it at each other. It's really fun.


Keith McBride:  Arm wrestling with family members after midnight Mass!


Brittany Taylor:  One of my favorite holiday traditions is going to the tree farm as a family and cutting down our own tree.


Leslie Russell: One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking and decorating cookies.


Kayla Miller:  My family has the "12 Days before Christmas."  We open one present every day before Christmas.  It's like a Christmas-Hanukkah mash up!


Georgia Ike:  Going to church on Christmas Eve and then eating subs, snacks and desserts before opening presents with my family. We do this every year and Christmas just wouldn't be the same without it!


Megan Chapman: Getting a tray of cookies that my great grandma cooks for everyone!


Matt Lefevre: After dinner with my family, all the guys go out back on my uncle's property to target shoot. It's a lot of fun and all of us guys get to hang out and solve life's greatest problems while shooting stuff.


Kim Allaire: My sister, best friend and I always watch Elf and make Christmas cookies. This is one of my favorite holiday traditions because now that we live in different cities throughout most of the year, it gives us a chance to catch up and spend time together like we used to.


Kayla Fackler:  Every year we make sugar cookies and then decorate them. Of all the cookies, one of them is the green Santa. The green Santa is my favorite because it holds memories of decorating cookies every year.


Megan Kemerley:  Every holiday season we get together with my dad's side of the family and make candy from scratch. Its called Kemerley Candy and we always make a lot of different kinds and flavors.


Melissa Matthews:  We always make a gingerbread house!


Allie Mazza:  My favorite tradition is leaving out cookies and milk for Santa. Of course, I always leave carrots for his reindeer. 

Upcoming ACTION Events...

ACTION Student Holiday Party:  Friday, December 7 

December Graduation:  Saturday, December 15

BGSU Winter Break:  December 17 - January 4

December 2012





















Preview Day













Lauren Barr


Last Day of Fall Classes


ACTION Holiday Party!!










Jen Tomasko


Final Exams 


Betsie Naylor



Lauren Brunswick B-day



Sean Fahy 






End of Fall Semester



Congrats to Sarah Keane!










Winter Break Begins



Rebecca Szparagowski



Georgia Ike












Kaylee Paul
























Volume 1, Issue 9
In This Issue
Student Profile - Tyler
Student Profile - Nicole
Cohort Updates
Join Our Mailing List
The ACTION Lounge

With 98 students in the program this year, we are more grateful than ever to have extra space for a lounge. The location of the ACTION lounge on the third floor of the Math Sciences Building right outside the ACTION offices facilitates frequent interaction between students and staff. The lounge provides many with a place to go between classes. 

For commuter students and those living off campus, it is a convenient location to eat lunch and study. Many connect with ACTION friends with the lounge serving as a common meeting spot. The couch is used for an occasional nap but mostly for a relaxing alternative to a table and chair. 

And, our two "new" hand-me-down computers have been a huge asset for many to use rather than carrying a laptop across campus. Several research groups use this space for their weekly meetings and study groups are often found using the white board. ACTION students are always welcome to stop by to study, chat, or just relax. 


For high school students interested in science and mathematics, BGSU hosts an annual event called STEMS Day. Students in attendance get classroom and hands-on experience in the science and technology labs and learn about research and career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, and sustainability. ACTION hosted a table at this event in November as we have in the past. Students from several organizations were selected to address the crowd. Amber Mathias (Cohort 3 AYA Life Sciences Major) shared with those in attendance about her experience in ACTION, encouraging students with an interest in science and mathematics to consider teaching as a career option. Prior to coming to BGSU, she had not really considered teaching as an option until the opportunity with ACTION came about. Now she is excited about being able to impact future generations as a science teacher. We hope others will give consideration to careers as educators since the need for science and mathematics teachers is great.

Amber Mathias sharing at STEMS Day
All dressed up! 
Many of the AYA Math students come straight to campus for class after being in the schools all day (Matt Zirkes, Kaylee Paul, Emily Schroeder, Tyler Erb, Matt Jones, Ariana Sampsel and Amber Pietro)
Continue to spread the word... 
Before things get busy with the holidays, we are encouraging high school seniors to apply to ACTION now for Fall 2013. Direct any high school seniors you know who plan to major in science or mathematics education at BGSU 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.   

 Preview Day

The Admissions office hosts Preview Days several times a year at BGSU to provide an opportunity for prospective students to gather information about a wide variety of degree programs, organizations, financial aid, and more, all within several hours on a Saturday morning. 

The recent Preview Day was well attended with the Ballroom being wall-to-wall students and parents for several hours before it thinned out. A number of current ACTION scholars joined the staff as we talked to potential candidates for future cohorts. Several other ACTION members were stationed in Offenhauer to provide tours of the residence hall. It was a successful day to get the word out about ACTION and to begin telling students about the new Jadel Scholarship Fund for Science and Math Education in ACTION. Thanks to all who helped!

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. The need is great for good teachers in these 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

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