January 2014
Outliers: Students in ACTION

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

Note from the ACTION Director

In December, I conducted one-on-one exit interviews with five seniors who were graduating at that time. Together with our May 2013 graduates, I have now interviewed about 20 ACTION graduates to gain their feedback on the program and the impact it has had on their lives. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive and serve as evidence that we are on the right track with the program. Specifically, the most common response about the effects of the program has been that ACTION provides a community and family in which to operate within the larger campus. Instead of coming in as a member of a BGSU class of somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 students, an ACTION scholar enters as part of a select group of just over 100 students who are all interested in science and mathematics and intend to teach middle or high school grades. As a result, it's easier to make friends and to form relationships and study groups among the people with whom they have a great deal in common.


When asked to talk about features of the program that they value the most, several items have surfaced more frequently than others, including:

  • One-on-one counseling and advising on both personal and academic issues that are available from ACTION staff members at any time.
  • Availability of the ACTION lounge for studying, relaxing, attending class sessions, and connecting with peers.
  • Having a pool of friends with whom to take classes and study, thus enhancing connections with others and avoiding feelings of isolation.
  • Professional development and social events that allow students to gain experiences that far exceed what most undergraduates receive.
  • Research opportunities - from first-year research team projects to the field-based capstone project - that are typically reserved for graduate school.
  • Being part of the Offenhauer Learning Community for support and to make closer friends with other ACTION scholars.

While valuing and being thankful for scholarship money, graduates agree that ACTION is much more than a scholarship - it is a program that provides opportunities that make the college experience stronger and more enjoyable. As one of our seniors told me, "After coming to campus to find out more about ACTION, I told my mom that I was surprised they would give me scholarship money to be part of this program. I think most people would pay to be included in a program like this!" Of course, it is also our hope that ACTION also has long-term benefits, from finding better jobs to being more effective than their peers as classroom teachers.


As we begin another calendar year, 2014 will bring a new Cohort 6 to campus with 30 more scholars. Meanwhile, we will graduate approximately 25 more students this May as the program continues to evolve and grow. ACTION has established itself as the only program of its kind in Ohio and, in fact, there is not another university in the country that provides the same opportunities for its undergraduates. I continue to treat each student as my own son or daughter and frequently let him or her know that the door is always open. I look forward to an exciting 2014 with the ACTION family!

ACTION Student Profiles

Josh Klein - Cohort 2

AYA Integrated Mathematics


What brought you to BGSU? As a high school student, I had been to campus for Boys State and honors band and also travelled to Europe with BGSU. When the phone call with info about ACTION came, this confirmed my decision to attend BGSU. It felt a lot like "home" to me.


What has been your favorite part of ACTION so far? The Summer Bridge was great and gave me a chance to get to know people including my cohort, my roommate, and faculty. It helped me get more comfortable with everything and built a great support system.


As you look back over the past 3 and a half years, how have you changed since freshman year? I have definitely matured and become more independent from my family. I've grown as a leader through my RA role and other leadership positions on campus. I have also learned that I do not have to be perfect as long as I do my best. Coming from high school as a 4.0 student, it was hard to not get all A's in college. Rather than being perfectionistic and making it all about grades, I eventually focused instead on doing my best in my classes, which took a lot of pressure off.


Tell us about your experience at BGSU? I like that BGSU is a big university with a small town feel. Being from a small town, it is the best of both worlds. Some of my favorite things at BGSU include organizations that I have gotten involved with over the years. I have been a leader in h2o Church for the past three years and was an RA for two years. I am also a member of BGCTM. This year, I joined the BGSU Equestrian Team and have been enjoying this as a stress reliever during a very busy year. It is really fun and I'm hoping to make Regionals in March!

In spite of a hectic schedule with each of these organizations, each one has enhanced my experience at BGSU and as a person. I also still work at the MacDonald Residence Hall front desk from midnight to 8am on Saturdays and sometimes midnight to 4am on Sundays. I don't always get as much sleep as I would like!


What are your plans after graduation? My hope is to get a job teaching math in a school district near Bellefontaine, Ohio. After working at a horse camp near Bellefontaine the past two summers, I like this area and would like to continue assisting at the camp. Since I like the visual aspects of Geometry, this is my preferred subject to teach sophomores and juniors in a rural school district.


What are some of the things you learned through your experience in Methods last semester? I learned not to stress too much about each little thing and to do everything I could to stay on top of things. It is important to take time to enjoy your senior year and also to take things seriously and not blow off assignments until the last minute. Each person has a different experience and unique school placement, so it's important to keep a positive attitude and make the most of your situation.

Tell us about your capstone research project for ACTION... My capstone project involves looking at learning environments. I want to create an atmosphere where students can freely talk/ask questions and not be judged. I am researching if this environment will have an influence on their ability to do math and their attitude toward the usefulness of math. I have done some observations so far and look forward to getting more in-depth with surveys and other methods to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes toward math.


Random facts about yourself... I have been to 15 countries! Going on several cruises with my family helped increase this number. And, I definitely see a future in working with horses somehow.


Favorite restaurants in BG? I love Panera. It's kind of like an escape! It's a great place to eat or just get coffee to sit and do work and forget everything else going on around me. And, obviously, Campus Pollyeyes!

Jordan Truitt - Cohort 5

AYA Integrated Science


When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher? Ever since I was 5 years old and started kindergarten, I have wanted to be a teacher - I thought school was the coolest thing ever! Each year I couldn't wait for school to start and loved every aspect of learning. Science has always been something I have enjoyed, and in 6th grade I traveled to Columbus with a group of students to do a science project. We built a bike that powered light bulbs and learned all about alternative energy. Afterward, I came back to my middle school in Sylvania and taught others about what we had learned. For the first time I saw science application to the real world. I was hooked and decided to become a science teacher.


How did you hear about ACTION? After getting a phone call from Wendy about ACTION, I initially was not overly interested because I did not want to attend the Summer Bridge. However, after further consideration I decided to apply. I realized that no other school offers something like ACTION, which is the only program of its kind with these amazing opportunities to undergraduates. Committing a month of my summer was definitely a great decision so that I could be an ACTION scholar all four years.


What was your favorite part of the ACTION Summer Bridge? It was great to get to know a group of ACTION students prior to the fall so that I already had a group of friends established. And, meeting faculty was also beneficial to help me feel more comfortable. I had several faculty for classes last semester who I met during Summer Bridge. Because I already knew them, it was easier for me to approach them during office hours to ask questions.


How has college been different than high school? College students are much more independent, and to succeed we must be willing to step out of our comfort zone. In high school teachers were looking out for me, but at college I have to pursue instructors. I've had to learn to budget my own time and be more responsible without anyone watching over me.


Favorite thing about BGSU? I love going to hockey games. I have always enjoyed the sport and the BGSU fans really get into the games, which makes it even more fun. I also like the people on campus. The friendly people on campus stood out to me when I visited and that has continued now that I am a student here. BGSU students and staff are super nice and hold the doors for others and smile at strangers.


What are you involved with at BGSU? I am the president elect (meaning I'll be president next year) for the BGSU science organization for future teachers (BGSEC). As a member of the Honors College I'm also part of the Honors Learning Community. I am a member of the Catholic ministry at St. Thomas More and during Fall semester participated in multiple intramurals and played flute in the University Band.


When you have free time, what are some things you like to do? In addition to intramurals and the other BGSU organizations I am part of, I also like to read, especially fantasy books and watch movies. In fact, while being snowed in during break, I reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings book series. Card games are something else I enjoy.


Favorite places in Bowling Green? I like Grounds for Thought and Ben Franklin downtown.


What has helped you be successful so far? When studying for math and science classes, I do as many extra problems as I can to make sure I understand the material. And, I definitely take advantage of instructors' office hours as often as possible. Creating and sticking to a schedule of when to get homework and studying done has been crucial as well.
Cohort Updates


Senior Cohort 2 students have now completed the Methods experience, and after having a break to catch their breath, they now prepare for being in the classroom full time for student teaching. After getting settled into a routine with their students, these ACTION scholars will then implement their capstone research in their classrooms!


Dr. Hillary Harms Snyder from the Office of Research Compliance gave 

Asthen Graham shares details of her research topic with her cohort

a brief overview of the Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) to Cohort 3 members and explained what is required. Most of the students' action research projects will not need HSRB approval since their research is mostly for their benefit to improve their teaching. At the conclusion of this final session, students shared details with the group about their chosen topic and the status of their research. The topics varied from the impact of vocabulary on math and science to classroom management techniques to the use of journals. Some have already finalized a topic and are completing literature reviews. Others are still narrowing down a topic. It will be very interesting to see what they come up with for their proposals.


Most Cohort 4 scholars have now completed their practicum experiences, and we look forward to more oral presentations this semester as they give details of their projects and share practical applications as future teachers from this practicum experience.  

Cohort 5 continues their research projects. Dr. Meel's freshman research group has been exploring the game of Scrabble from a mathematical standpoint by trying to discover which numbers could be made "self-referential" and what the highest possible "self-referentiable" number is that could be played.
Justin Flory describes their process: "We first began by trying to figure out which of the "smaller" numbers (between 1 and 20) could be made self-referential. Once we had this foundation, we then tried to find the largest possible number that could be made self-referential. We found numbers into the thousands that could be made self-referential, but we eventually got stuck. So, we then began to explore how to maximize a particular strand of numbers....While doing this, we unknowingly learned how to do proofs, as we had to definitively determine which order of operations maximized the strand of numbers out of all of the possibilities." Although it has not been easy according to Allison Bendel, "We make progress each and every time we come together as a group. We are learning how to use Excel in an efficient manner, as well as using equations to solve and find the largest self-referential number."


Megan Dufala, Andrew Slonkosky, and Alyssa Lustgarden are also working together with Dr. Meel. Summing up their project, Alyssa

states, ""We have constructed some proofs to show strategies for maximizing a string of numbers that represents point values of lettered Scrabble tiles. This semester, we look forward to constructing a computer program to help us answer some unsolved questions we have about our research."

Upcoming ACTION Events:
4.0 GPA Celebration Dinner:  January 14 ... 4:30-5:50pm

EDHD 4160 Session #3:  January 21 ... 4:30-5:50pm

Practicum Presentations:  January 28 ...4:30-5:50pm

Choose Ohio First Research Symposium:  Friday, April 25

January 2014



















Happy New Year!













Megan Chapman & Sheri Klatt 














Spring Semester Starts

4.0 GPA Celebration Dinner


Maggie Dowe & Calvin VerPlanck












MLK Holiday - No Classes


Brittany Taylor 




EDHD 4160 Session #3












Maria Nielsen 



Practicum Presentations Cohorts 4 & 5


Jake Musal 






Steph Bellman 




Volume 3, Issue 1
In This Issue
Student Profile - Josh
Student Profile - Jordan
Cohort Updates
Join Our Mailing List


 Congratulations are Definitely in Order!


Over half of the ACTION scholars earned a 4.0 GPA in Fall semester! Getting all A's is obviously not an easy feat and requires discipline and hard work while taking challenging science and math courses. We are extremely proud of the 52 members of the ACTION program who received a 4.0 to conclude 2013! Keep up the good work!



Winter Break Adventures...


When Cohort 4 was asked to tell us their favorite part about winter break, below are the responses...


Sheri Klatt: My favorite part of this winter break was being able to celebrate my mom's birthday and my birthday with friends and family. 


Amanda Pummell: The most exciting part of my break will be moving into my new house in BG with my family the weekend before the spring semester starts. I really love our new house and living so close to school will be both convenient and wonderful. I can't wait to start off the next semester with a new environment and a fresh start. 


Nicole Winhover: My favorite thing I did over break was going to Detroit for the Bowling Green bowl game! I was sad that they lost, but the experience was great!!


Kerri Grothaus: I visited my boyfriend in Virginia and spent Christmas with him and his family. It was so nice to see him after a few months apart.


Jessie Wiandt: Over break I went to Texas to visit family who live there. We stayed on a ranch where we did horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and rock hounding. We also visited the Alamo and several other missions as well as enchanted rock, which is the exposed point of a pink granite batholith.


Molly Fessel: My favorite thing this break was spending time with fellow Cohort 4 ACTION members! I drove up to Cleveland to spend New Year's with Rachel Gerges, and she plans on coming down to Columbus to surprise Sheri Klatt for her birthday with Jess Shearer and me! 


Allison Marino: My favorite thing I did over break was going to an indoor trampoline and zip lining park! And also my mom and I took a two day shopping trip to Polaris in Columbus.


Rachel Gerges: My favorite thing was seeing all my friends back in one town :) It was nice because my one friend goes to school in Wisconsin and another goes to school in Chicago, so it's hard to see them over break. Getting everyone together for a New Year's Eve party was the perfect night for celebrating friendships and a new year!


Rachel Wiemken: My favorite part of break was going to Florida with Molly Conroy. It was nice escaping the cold bitter winter for a week and seeing my best friend!!


Maria Nielsen: My favorite thing I did on break was visit my family from Missouri. We drove to Indiana and stayed in a hotel a few days to visit. It was nice to get to see everyone. 




ACTION Holiday Event


Similar to most families, our ACTION family has developed some traditions over the years. One of these is to host a holiday event for all scholars in December prior to finals week. This event enables students from various cohorts to mingle and connect. Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) works hard to plan activities to promote interaction among younger and older scholars.


This year was no exception with students getting to know others and also reconnecting with those they haven't seen much over the semester. Many wore festive attire and our ugly sweater contest had numerous entries. Students were very creative and some worked hard to find the worst sweater possible. It was a fun evening for all, and we appreciate all the work by the SAB with planning all the activities.


Nancy & Anne Brahier prepping the food to serve the crowd of hungry ACTION students


 SAB members ready to greet people upon arrival


Davis, Cory, Justin, and Andrew display their ugly sweaters



Allison and Brittany seek help from Dr. B on an ice breaker activity

Anna, Molly, and Rachel are in the holiday spirit

Jordan, Nicole, and Bailey are all smiles during the event



Such a beautiful ACTION family...we love to spend time together

ACTION  Application Deadline Approaching

With our deadline for Fall 2014 quickly approaching, applications are starting to rapidly fill our inbox. As January 27 gets closer, we know the flurry of applications will only increase. We continue to do all we can to make sure anyone considering teaching science or math has heard of the amazing opportunities this Choose Ohio First program offers. 


It is not too late to spread the word if you come in contact with a high school senior who may want to teach and is interested in science and math. Pass along our website and have them contact our office.  




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
[email protected]

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