March 2013
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 at the ACTION Spring Seminar
Note from the ACTION Director
 Perhaps you have heard the old saying, "If you want to get something done, ask a person who is already busy." There is much truth to that statement, as I firmly believe that "busy" people are those who organize themselves well and always seem to find a way to take on another task. When considering the nearly 100 students in ACTION, we don't have to look far to find people who are extremely busy. But what has struck me in recent weeks is how our students are not only involved with academic pursuits, but most are also significantly contributing to campus and other community projects and events.


If I start to mention names here, I know that I will leave people out, so I'm not going to do that. But I do want to give some examples of projects in which ACTION students are involved. We have at least one student who just returned from a national Conference on Student Government in Texas, and several other ACTION students have been invited to attend this event in the past as well. Over Spring Break, two students will be traveling to rural Kentucky to help the poor. One student heads to South Africa this summer to work with International Student Volunteers. Others were in Washington, DC in January for the March for Life, while a freshman group prepares to travel back to DC to present the findings of their GLOBE research project conducted this year. Several students are involved with Dance Marathon, which raised over $225,000 for the Children's Miracle Network last year. We have students who are involved with club sports and organizations from the flag corps to rugby, hockey, bowling, curling, and gymnastics. Others are in the Honors and Presidential Honors Programs; coach track, cross country, and basketball in local schools; work as tutors in the Learning Commons; serve as Student Instructors; or have become Residential Advisors in their residence halls. Three of our freshmen volunteer every Friday afternoon as tutors at a local vocational high school. Of course, many ACTION students are involved in multiple activities at the same time.


College should be a time for students to gain many experiences that will make them well rounded for their future. When I write a recommendation letter, I always make it a point to look at a student's resume to get a sense of this "rounding" process, knowing how much employers value not only a strong academic record but a background that includes working, volunteering, and helping others. I am proud of the accomplishments of our ACTION students and am constantly pushing them to get involved in these many opportunities that allow them to be shaped beyond the classroom. As we approach Spring Break and begin to wrap up the semester, it is good to know that our students have once again had a major impact on campus and in the local community throughout this academic year.

Mike Treon
Mike Treon - Cohort 1
Senior AYA Mathematics


How did you end up at BGSU? I had been offered a football scholarship at another institution and was leaning toward accepting that. I knew the ACTION program would be a great opportunity, but the chance to play college football along with the extra funding was a stronger pull. Before I had made a final decision, through a series of unexpected events, BGSU ended up offering me enough money to match what I would have received elsewhere and also enabled me to participate in ACTION.

Instead of football, you ended up playing rugby at BGSU. How did that happen? I had never played rugby, but the president of the rugby team played Ultimate Frisbee with us during the Summer Bridge and noticed I might have some talent. He convinced me to try out, and the first day of practice I tackled an All-American player. After that I was hooked and have played all four years.


How have you changed since your freshman year? Four years ago I was all about back home. I was always looking for excuses to go home and was worried about staying connected to my high school friends. Over time I realized my friends at home will still be there; in the meantime, Bowling Green has become my home and I have a great group of friends here. Now, when I go to my hometown, I can't wait to get back to BG!


Tell us about your tutoring experience. When I was a sophomore, I began working at the Math/Stats Tutoring Center, which later became the Learning Commons. This was a great opportunity for me to get teaching experience, and because of my advanced math skills, I was the "go-to" guy for anyone who needed help with Calculus. Currently, I am still on the payroll but am not logging any hours because of student teaching this semester.


Tell us about Methods and Student Teaching. Because my junior year was so full with 18 credit hours, working two jobs, and playing rugby, I learned to handle stressful situations and it prepared me for a busy senior year. A lot goes on at one time during Methods with a small window for completing projects, so I had to be on top of things. Student Teaching has been a lot of fun! I teach three Algebra 2 classes and am tutoring in other subjects. I enjoy having more teaching time and control over what happens in the classroom. My ACTION Capstone Research project has really impacted me and whet my appetite--I want to expand my research in the classroom in the future and continue to see where this takes me.


Four years has gone quickly! What are your plans for the future after you graduate in May? It is still a toss up between going straight to graduate school at BGSU and getting a teaching job. I have opportunities in both and am waiting to see which will be the best. If I do get a teaching job, my preference is to teach Calculus in a rural or suburban school district where I could also coach football.


What is one of your favorite things about BGSU? I like the size of the University. BGSU has a good number of students and yet has a close-knit feeling. I tend to recognize someone wherever I go. I definitely enjoy the college lifestyle--I can walk anywhere on campus in 10 minutes from where I live. And, where else can I sit on my front porch when it's warm simply hanging out with friends as people walk by. 

Betsie Final resized
Betsie Naylor - Cohort 3
Middle Childhood Education

You come from a big family. Yes, I am the youngest of eight and have fifteen nieces and nephews. I like having a large family-there is always something going on. My siblings say I am spoiled, but I'm not convinced! My siblings and I get along and we're a close family.


How did you end up at BGSU? I originally planned to pay flute in the BGSU marching band. I changed my mind and wasn't in the band in order to focus more on academics and other things; however, this caused me to look more into ACTION and the College of Education at BGSU. These benefits convinced me to come.


What led you to pursue teaching math and/or science as a future career?

I've always liked science and especially math, and was considering a math-related or business career such as accounting. My sophomore year of high school, I tutored in a fifth grade classroom simply as a way to get credits for NHS. I worked with students who needed help with math and ended up really liking it. Ever since, I've somehow been involved with helping students in a classroom.


What were some of the "selling points" of ACTION for you? Obviously the scholarship money was a draw and I liked the idea of Summer Bridge as a transition to college. A third appeal was the focus on the application to education. Recently, a field placement teacher mentioned she doesn't like students to ask how they'll actually be able to use what they are learning in real life because she isn't sure how to answer. Because of my involvement with ACTION, I can answer these questions with personal and practical real world applications!


You had a unique practicum.  Yes, Corrinne and I teamed up to work at IDCAST. It's an intense research environment, and our project initially seemed over our heads. They brought it down to our level as college sophomores, and it ended up being a really good experience. In fact, concepts we are now doing in my Chemistry class are familiar because of the practicum, and I can see how it all ties in even more. Corrinne and I found ways to creatively relate the practicum experience to our future classrooms with younger students.


Tell us about the jobs you have had during this academic year. One job was working for America Reads where I helped elementary kids in local schools to develop reading skills. Reading is foundational to all subjects, and this position provided great experience for me as I learned how to relate to different types of kids in varied settings. My other job is at Gordon Food Service in Maumee where I work as a stocker, although I really do anything they need since I've been employed by GFS for 4 years. I started at the store in Dayton while in high school, so I work at either location depending if I'm at school or home.


Share one interesting fact about yourself. I collect PEZ dispensers and currently have over 700! My collection started in second grade and has grown as they keep coming out with more designs. I'm making a custom-made display board to showcase all my dispensers, but after starting over a year ago I'm still working on it. 

Cohort Updates


Most of the Cohort 1 students are really enjoying the opportunity to be Student Teachers in local schools as they finally have the chance to run their own classrooms for the first time. Student Teaching is the culmination of all they have learned in their classes over the past four years and the last step as pre-service teachers before graduation. Final research papers are due April 12 so student are conducting and analyzing their classroom research in preparation for this last submission of their Capstone Project. As our first cohort, this group continues to be our "guinea pigs" as we consider ways to improve the research process for future cohorts.


Cohort 2 students have only one more month to finalize their research proposals for their Capstone Projects. With a due date of April 1 quickly approaching, students and faculty advisors are meeting more frequently to hash out the final details for proposals. The Capstone research proposals will be APA-style papers that include an abstract, an introduction that includes the problem to be researched, a literature review, and a methodology section. Many students have been working diligently to locate resources and to gather information to help direct them in their final proposal. Others have mentioned they plan to spend a good portion of Spring Break doing research. Either way, we look forward to the end result.

Several students in Cohort 3 are completing practicums for ACTION this semester. Their projects are varied but all will provide useful information for local organizations. One student is conducting a benchmark comparative analysis with information gathered from both privately owned and government run fitness facilities for Bowling Green Parks and Recreation. Another is doing data analysis for Supplemental Staffing, an employment agency. A third practicum involves a cost analysis for starting a toddler program at the Bowling Green Montessori School. During the student presentations next month we will see the final results of what they have been learning from these experiences.

Meel research Alli
Alli and Anna measure and design triangles
Cohort 4 freshman research groups are gearing up for their final month of research. Dr. Meel's research group is focusing on mathematical art. The group even went to the Toledo Museum of Art recently for a firsthand look at how mathematics and art are intertwined. Their current goal is to construct an icosahedron (a shape made up of 20 identical and equilateral triangles). Given a Styrofoam board measuring 8-feet by 4-feet, one challenge was to cut the board into 20 equal triangles. It was not easy to determine the optimal dimensions of the triangles, but they are now cutting and getting to do the fun part-designing each triangle. Each of the six research team members will design several triangles using their own patterns that fit into the overall color scheme. An Exacto knife is used to make slits and then cloth covers the area and is tucked into these cuts. Eventually all triangles will be put together to make the final shape-the icosahedron. 
Sheri Meel research group
Sheri ensures straight cuts
Meel group at Art Museum
Dr. Meel's freshman research group at the Toledo Museum of Art
Cohort 4 students were asked, "What are your plans for spring break?"

Kali Irvin:  I actually plan on going to a concert while I'm home and of course will spend time with my amazing family!


Shelby Fenn:  The first weekend of spring break I plan on going to Chicago with the Honors Program and then coming home to work 40 hours for my job, Tim Hortons! 


Jessica Shearer:  I am spending a week in Islamorada, which is an island south of the Florida Keys, with my mom 


Maria Nielsen:  I am going to Chicago!!! (With the Honors Learning Community)


Rachel Wiemken:  I am going home and will spend time with my family.


Nick Buhrow:  I will be going to Florida on spring tour with the BGSU Men's Chorus.


Chelsea Calvert:  I will be helping my mom plan my brother's graduation party.


Nicole Winhover:  I am going home to be with my family and friends! I plan to catch up on some things at home, shop till I drop, and hang out with friends!


Molly Conroy:  I am going to Florida to visit my parents since they now live there during the winters. Hopefully this means lots of time on the beach and home-cooked meals!


Kerri Grothaus:  I will be lazy and hang out with friends and probably do a couple 1,000 piece puzzles. Exciting life.


Kevin Knapke:  I plan on reuniting with old friends from my high school and spending time with my family.


Rachel Gerges:  I'm driving down to meet my friends at Otterbein then driving with them down to Xavier to see our other friend for a birthday bash! Not only that but possibly going to a Cav's game!


Nikki Szymanski:  I will be teaching the Maumee High School winterguard and drumline as well as teaching math lessons in a Toledo school. 
Upcoming ACTION Events:

Spring Break:  March 4 - 8

One-on-Ones with Dr. Brahier:  March 11 - 20

EDHD 3160 Session:  Tuesday, March 12

NCTM President at BGSU:  Monday, March 18

Cohort 3 Practicum Presentations:  Tuesday, March 26

Choose Ohio First Research Symposium:  Friday, April 12

March 2013








Lauren Hartsough 




Jessie Wiandt   B-day











Spring break starts


Allison Bailey B-day



Felicia Beverick & Corrinne Sullivan 




Spring break ends

Tyler Stevens 













EDHD 3160 Session 

5:30-6:30 133LSC















NCTM President 6:00-7:15

210 MSC




















Cohort 3




133 LSC







Grace Robinette B-day 







Volume 2, Issue 3
In This Issue
Student Profile - Mike
Student Profile - Betsie
Cohort Updates
March Calendar
Join Our Mailing List

ACTION Student Advisory Board


Every year, two members from each cohort are elected to represent their peers on the ACTION Student Advisory Board. Interested candidates are listed on the ballot for their specific cohort. The top two (or, in the case of a tie, sometimes three) are elected at the beginning of each Fall to serve on the Board the entire year. Students may serve more than one term, but not consecutive years.


The ACTION Student Advisory Board plays an integral part in the effectiveness of the program at BGSU. By providing feedback to the staff, these students give valuable insight into the student perspective on a variety of topics related to suggestions for improvement. Involvement on the Student Advisory Board requires gathering input from other cohort members to present at the meetings. Often board members are also called upon when the ACTION staff need some specific advice or assistance with an event. For example, the activities at the ACTION Holiday Event were primarily based on the board members' creative ideas and manpower.


Of course, all students are welcome to offer suggestions at any time to the ACTION staff, but the Advisory Board, which meets twice each semester, allows the staff to seek specific input. The ACTION staff appreciates all those who have served on the Board over the years!

ACTION Spring Seminar

Dr Mazey up close  

How often do students get a chance to have the ear of the president of their university? When Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey, the president of BGSU, volunteered to come speak to the entire group of nearly 100 ACTION students during our recent Spring Seminar, we readily agreed and the students took full advantage of this opportunity. Prior to her presentation, Dr. Mazey mingled with the students going table to table for personal interaction.

Dr. Mazey talking to a table full of ACTION students


Dr. Brad Colwell, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, and Dr. Julie Barnes, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, were also present with Dean Colwell introducing President Mazey.

Dr Colwell at podium









A number of students had submitted questions prior to the event, and after addressing these questions in her initial presentation, the president opened the floor for other student questions and comments. The students were happy to oblige, and as soon as Dr. Mazey completed one response, another hand would raise. These interactions provided a unique opportunity for undergraduate ACTION students to converse with top administrators.


Mazey and crowd
Dr. Mazey addressing the ACTION Crowd


It is obvious that the president and the deans value ACTION and STEM education in general, and the ACTION staff are grateful for their support of this Choose Ohio First grant at BGSU as ACTION strives to produce exceptional science and mathematics teachers who will impact future generations.


At the conclusion of the Spring Seminar, Dr. Brahier communicated important information about changes coming down the road regarding assessment in education for both students and teachers. Many of the details are yet to be determined by the State, but modifications are definitely happening.


This ACTION Spring Seminar was the first time for all 100 students to gather, and it was great to have all in one place at the same time--the hard part was not having time to talk to everyone!

whole crowd
Nearly 100 ACTION students all in one room
Dr B with Megan and Matt
Megan and Matt catching up with Dr. B and Nancy
Nicole Kali Kevin
Nicole, Kali and Kevin sharing a laugh before the presentation
Sean watching
Sean listening intently
Kayla and Nick
Kayla and Nick posing
Dr B w Keith and Kayla
Dr. Brahier interacting with Keith and Kayla after the presentation

Final Candidates for Cohort 5
All complete applications received by the deadline have now been reviewed. A short online interview by Dr. Brahier was conducted with those students the ACTION staff had not already met in person. Decisions have been made and acceptance letters have now been sent to potential Cohort 5 members. As in the past, we do have a waiting list in case some spots open up. Once again, the competition was fierce with many excellent applicants. In the next month or so, we expect to receive responses from students to determine the final participants. We trust that Cohort 5 will be another great group of incoming ACTION scholars.

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