October 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. 

Note from the ACTION Director

This summer, ACTION completed the five-year funding period that was originally granted by the Choose Ohio First program. A couple weeks ago, we received the official notification that funding for our student scholarships has been approved for the next funding period of three years - a total scholarship amount of more than $1.5 million for BGSU students. At the same time, we have been meeting with university officials to tweak and improve the program in terms of services we provide to ACTION students. Science and Math Education in ACTION is the only Choose Ohio First program in the State of Ohio with the mission to recruit and prepare teachers of science and mathematics at the middle and high school level. We have already begun to accept applications for Cohort 6 who will join us next summer.


Recognizing the strong impact we are having on the university, we have been asked to consider "growing" the size of the program, as I discussed with some parents at our Family Weekend tailgate tent. More information on steps we will take to make that happen will be announced in the near future. Meanwhile, we are excited to see the performance - and now the growth - of ACTION as we continue into a new phase of the program. As always, I want to thank the Choose Ohio First program officials and BGSU administrators who have made all of this possible. I look forward to continuing to serve our students and their families as we move forward.


Dr. Brahier chats with the Winhover family during the ACTION Tailgate

Speaking of families, I want to thank our ACTION students, parents, and other family members and friends who came to the Family Weekend event we hosted. We fed over 150 people in the food tent and had absolutely perfect weather for the gathering. As the ACTION family continues to grow, so does the size of our tent, as we have used a larger size space every year for the past three years! It was great to have an opportunity to meet and become reacquainted with parents and family members at the event. We all had a couple of hours just to mix and mingle, eat, and play games. I very much appreciate the work of Wendy, Nancy, Dave (Nancy's husband who cooked the burgers and dogs), and ACTION students who helped with set-up, serving, and teardown. We have already begun to make plans for next year's tailgate event, which promises to be even bigger and better!

ACTION Student Profiles

Haley Coder - Cohort 3

AYA Mathematics Major


What were some things that played into your decision to be a teacher? My mom is a teacher so I've been exposed to the education field all my life. I had a very positive education experience and always looked forward to school. My passion grew as I saw how teachers could make a difference. When I was younger I thought it would be neat to dress up and be an important person, which seemed to fit the role of a teacher!


Have you always wanted to be a teacher? No, in fact I was originally a Political Science major. Before college, I had job shadowed lawyers and was deeply impacted by those experiences. However, I eventually realized my interest was in education policy. I had heard too often about important decisions regarding the teaching world being made by non-teachers. If I end up working for the Department of Education at some point down the road, I want to have a background in the classroom and understand where teachers are coming from if I am helping set state standards. I like to debate things I am passionate about and also have a growing interest in curriculum. For now, I am excited to teach mathematics.


Congratulations on being the president of BGCTM. Thanks. Cohort 1 member Amber Pietro was the past president and she was my ACTION "big" when I was an incoming freshman so she was a big part of my involvement. As president, my main role is overseeing the major details, and since we are the largest campus affiliate I work to make our presence known, cast vision, and provide support to the other officers as they take care of the day-to-day operations.


Tell us about your upcoming trip to Thailand. Several other ACTION students and I have an amazing opportunity to travel to Thailand with Dr. Matney in December. Math camps will be conducted at Kamphaeng Phet Rajabhat University (KPRU), and we will not only assist with the camps but also bring back ideas so that BGCTM can host a similar camp here. It will be kind of like a condensed study abroad program with some time to tour as well. 


You are graduating in December 2014 after just three and a half years at BGSU. Yes, I realized freshman year that if I took 18 credit hours each semester and one summer class I could get done a semester early since I had some PSEOP and AP credit. I didn't want to take classes I didn't need. Plus, I will be excited to have an extra semester to sub and get my foot in the door at different school districts. I don't regret my decision, but the time is definitely going very fast and this year it's hitting home that I will graduate in a little over a year.


With a little over a year left of college, what advice do you have to those just starting out? I have several suggestions including build as many relationships as you can with fellow classmates and instructors. Many of my opportunities have come as the result of people I have known along the way. Also, get as much classroom experience as possible including speaking in front of people. This will not only confirm your decision to teach but also prepare you to have your own classroom. And, finally, buy a planner and use it. Especially in Methods, keeping track of all the assignments is a necessity!



 Sarah Miller - Cohort 5

Middle Childhood Education - Science & Mathematics


What were some of the things you were involved with before coming to college? Volunteering at a science museum (COSI in Columbus) for two years was a great experience as I hosted hallway science demonstrations. I was in 4-H and was the president for two years. As a 4-H camp counselor for a number of years, I tried to figure out which age group I liked the most since I was planning to teach. Running has been a big part of my life, and I participated in cross country and track all 4 years of high school. In fact, I am also planning to run cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track as a club sport at BGSU.


Tell us about your decision to be a teacher. I've always wanted to be a teacher, and each year it seemed my favorite grade to teach was the one I was in at the time! Volunteering with the science experiments at COSI confirmed my desire to work with kids as well as the Teacher's Prep program in high school. Originally, I was considering Elementary Education as a major, but I enjoyed my seventh grade experience more than the third grade students who were more clingy and less independent. Currently, I can see myself teaching math in a fourth or fifth grade classroom, most likely in a suburban setting since that is what I am familiar with.


And then you heard about ACTION... Yes, as I was considering my options during the Honors Scholar Day, I talked to someone in the College of Education and Human Development and decided to pursue Middle Childhood. They immediately directed me to the ACTION table, and soon my dad and I were very excited about the program! We were amazed at the opportunities ACTION provides, especially the classroom research.


What was your favorite part of the Summer Bridge? I have two favorites. One was our trip to Camp Palmer where we really started to get to know each other. It was exciting how we worked together to get over the wall - I was amazed we could figure it out. Second was the Showcase Event because I really enjoyed seeing what each person chose as their favorite session. Then, it was interesting to see the variety of ways some of the same sessions were highlighted.


Tell us about your freshman research project for ACTION. I am working with Dr. Underwood on two projects. One is finding correlations between adult and baby gecko genetics, and the other is finding how often you should change the water for axolotls. We are taking pictures of the adult and baby geckos for the genetics project, and we are testing water quality for the axolotls. I like that we have two projects because it gives me more exposure to the research process. Also, we are planning on making a book of our work, and hopefully we will be able to share it with a school when we are done!


What is one of the neatest places you've ever visited? My family traveled to Alaska when I was in 4th grade. It was an amazing experience, and I still remember camping on a glacier island all by ourselves. In fact, one morning we woke up to find bear prints near our tent! My mom wasn't too thrilled, but the rest of us thought it was great!

ACTION Alumni:  Where Are They Now
Sarah Keane (Cohort 1)


After graduating in December 2012 with an AYA Mathematics degree, Sarah received a long-term substitute position at Northridge High School (northeast of Columbus) teaching Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus. With her foot in the door, that position enabled her to gain permanent employment in the same school for this year. She is currently teaching Algebra 1 and Algebraic Connections (which is an Algebra 2 class at a slower pace). Her classes consist of freshmen and seniors, with a handful of sophomores and juniors mixed in. She considers herself lucky to start off the year already knowing some students and the staff.


As Sarah reflected on her teaching experience so far she said her favorite part (and sometimes the hardest) is working with her students: "It's the best feeling in the world when a student tells you they appreciate something you did for them. Working with the seniors, they are able to express appreciation. During student teaching, my 8th graders didn't do that."

Sarah in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa


She also pointed out the impact of her capstone research project for ACTION on her teaching: "It made me think about what problems I am seeing in my classroom and how can I go about fixing them. In fact, right now our school district is very data-driven so it's extremely helpful to have the background to know how to gather information and draw conclusions from it."


Before school started, Sarah had an amazing chance to spend 10 days in Italy with her boyfriend and his family. They visited Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome.

Cohort Updates

Cohort 2 seniors are now in the final stage of preparing to become full-fledged teachers. This fall, the busy semester called "Methods" is consuming them. On top of juggling assignments for their own classes, they periodically attend their assigned classrooms in local school districts as they start to work closely with their Cooperating Mentor Teachers (CMTs). Many have told us they believe this semester is the most challenging of all for education majors. At a recent session for this group of ACTION students, each confirmed their research proposal topic submitted last spring and considered how it might need to be tweaked now that their placement is set. 


Lance discusses research ideas with his advisor, Dr. Bostic
As the first step in the research process, Cohort 3 members have selected a faculty advisor to work side-by-side with them during the next two years of the research process. In addition to working closely with their individual advisor, six classroom sessions throughout this semester will lay the foundation for the capstone research project. Dr. Brahier facilitated the first two sessions in September discussing "What Is Action Research?" and "How Is Research Conducted?"
Jake and Maria discuss their practicum project with Peggy and Sue at the Supplemental Staffing office in Bowling Green
This fall, 13 Cohort 4 students are gaining real-world experience as they are engaged in science and/or mathematics practicum projects that will benefit local companies and organizations. The tasks are varied and most students are paired up to add the benefit of working together to tackle larger projects. Alli Marino and Jessica Wright recently met with the Bowling Green City Chief of Police and several municipal administrators to discuss their project, which includes a cost analysis on city parking by comparing the current meters to a possible upgrade to kiosks. And, Jake Musal and Maria Nielsen will assist Supplemental Staffing by analyzing the effectiveness and return of investment on their current recruiting methods. These are just two examples of the multiple practicum projects currently being conducted by ACTION students.


Cohort 5 freshman research projects are in full swing. During the last week of Summer Bridge, four to six students were placed in each research group and then the next day met to discuss details with the faculty mentor leading their project. This enabled the groups to jump into their projects the first or second week of classes this fall. In her student profile, Sarah Miller gives more details about her research group as they work with Dr. Underwood. 

Introducing the 2013-14 ACTION Student Advisory Board...
Front row: Allie Mazza, Jess Shearer, Alyssa Lustgarten, Kimberly Lentz. Back row: Peter Edwards, Betsie Naylor, Nikki Szymanski, Alex Clune.


Elected by their peers, each cohort has two representatives who serve on the Student Advisory Board (SAB) each year. With our desire to continually improve the program, student input is crucial in this process. Interacting with the student board members enables the staff to gain valuable input, and many suggestions have led to changes. In fact, this newsletter was born out of an SAB meeting several years ago.


During our first board meeting of the year, members offered suggestions to our website, brochure, and recruitment, in general, as we reach out to prospective students. Since SAB members also serve by planning student events, subcommittees were formed in preparation for our annual holiday event that will take place on December 13.  Other items discussed related to the ACTION lounge, our involvement with STEM in the Park, and more. We appreciate these students' willingness to serve on the board, and much of their input from this initial meeting has already been discussed and acted upon by the staff.


Of course, anyone receiving this letter (students, parents, faculty, administrators) is invited to offer input and suggestions to the ACTION staff at any time. Feedback is welcome at any time.

ACTION Spaghetti Dinner
Following tradition, second year ACTION students hosted a spaghetti dinner in Offenhauer for all cohorts early in September. A group of Cohort 4 students took charge and fed a group of more than 60 hungry people around the "family" dining table. The dinner served as a welcome back event while providing a chance for the older cohorts to interact and meet the new scholars in Cohort 5. Big thanks to Anna Bailey and Nicole Winhover for coordinating the food and we appreciate the many others who helped including Sheri Klatt, Rachel Wiemken, and Kerri Grothaus. Megan Dufala and Collin Nissen from Cohort 5 also assisted. 
AYA Math students from various cohorts chatting after dinner

A long table of ACTION students enjoy a "family" dinner
New and Improved ACTION Student Lounge
Corrinne and Brittney enjoy the updated lounge space

After using second-hand furniture for four years, it was definitely time to improve the ACTION lounge. With over 100 current participants, the lounge gets a lot of daily use. For numerous commuters and off-campus ACTION students this serves as home base while many living on campus frequently stop here between classes to hang out and/or study. The space is also utilized by freshman research groups, study groups, science and math tutoring in the evenings, the capstone research sessions, and other meetings related to ACTION.  Students are raving about the updates and feedback continues as we strive to make additional improvements to best meet the needs of our scholars. 

Upcoming ACTION Events:

Practicum Presentations: October 1 ... 4:30-5:50pm

ACTION Fall Seminar:  October 15 ... 4:30-5:50pm

October 2013






Practicum Presentations Cohort 4 & 5 124 Overman 



Becca Shroka B-day









Alexa Woodburn 













Kristi Frank B-day



BGSU Homecoming












EDHD 3160 Session #3


BGSU Fall Break   

















Kim Allaire & Ashten Graham 



All Cohorts ACTION  

Fall Seminar 101 Olscamp









BGSU Preview Day










Dr. Brahier B-day


Molly Conroy 



EDHD 4160 Session #2


Jaryt Salvo   B-day



Kimberly Lentz   




Sarah Miller B-day







Nov. 1

Nov. 2





EDHD 3160 Session #4




Amanda Pummel B-day



Alli Brown  B-day



Volume 2, Issue 7
In This Issue
Student Profiles - Haley & Sarah
Where Are They Now...Alum Profile
Cohort Updates
STEM in the Park
Join Our Mailing List

ACTION Tailgate


It was great to see so many at the ACTION Tailgate event during Family Weekend. Whether this was your first year to join us or your fourth, we are glad you came! Word has it that our food options were the best and our hope is that all enjoyed the event.  


Jaryt and family have a good time
Molly and Betsie try their hand at corn hole
Devoney and her parents enjoy their first tailgate
Alex, Dr. Brahier, and Nancy get the food ready
The Gallagher family keeps coming back (their 4th tailgate)
Megan and Courtney share a laugh while cutting apples
The Gerber family is ready to cheer on the Falcons

STEM in the Park
Brittany, Allison, Courtney, and Collin are excited for their first STEM in the Park

STEM in the Park has become an annual highlight each Fall for many local families and exhibitors. This year was no exception as wide eyes and huge grins evidenced kids' excitement while they explored hands-on activities for several hours on Saturday, September 7. The crowd was thick as another attendance record was set.

Molly, Sarah, and Alyssa explain the math activity to young attendees


ACTION students were in the middle of it all while serving as volunteers in numerous ways throughout the event. Some assisted with general tasks while others had specific roles at various stations. Additionally, ACTION hosted two activity tables with Maggie Dowe facilitating fun with fractions and Megan Kemerley coordinating the creation of lava lamps. We are grateful for all their work to spearhead these activities and appreciate each ACTION student who helped to make the entire event such a huge success.


Scott and Patrick look official with clipboards and tripod
Larissa and Taylor explain lava lamps while Ashten looks on
Shelby has fun helping
Mike and Maria make popcorn as fast as they can to feed the crowd
Maggie, Brittany, and Collin get supplies ready prior to the event
Matt explains an activity

Cory, Kayla, and Megan help with lava lamps
After volunteering, Jessie gets to play
Allie uses her fingers to explain the math activity
Calvin and Justin direct people to the turf room
Molly, Sarah, Alyssa, and Sarah help kids with the math activity at the ACTION table
Lauren loves to serve at STEM in the Park
Alexa helps with the snakes from the herpetology lab

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 
308 Math Sciences Building, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH 43403 
Phone: 419-372-6562
Fax: 419-372-6092

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