April 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

As I have met with ACTION students and conducted surveys over the past couple of years, one of the greatest concerns is field placements prior to the senior year. Specifically, students have asked for more relevant school placements in their first couple of years at BGSU. After considerable discussion in the College of Education and Human Development, for the first time this year, our Cohort 5 freshmen are all placed at the same high school. In the past, our students would be scattered into elementary buildings, but this year they travel as a cohort to Rogers High School in Toledo for a field experience every Thursday morning in the Introduction to Education course. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Students enjoy being able to share a field experience together, to be in a high school setting, and to spend their time specifically in science and mathematics classrooms, interacting with students and assisting the classroom teachers.


In an effort to revise and improve both the Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA) and Middle Childhood Education (MCE) programs, the School of Teaching and Learning is rethinking the entire field placement issue. Instead of looking at field experiences as being "added on" to pre-existing courses, we are looking at the field as the most important component and looking for ways to extend the fieldwork back into the classroom on campus. This shift in thinking is leading to some overhauling of the AYA and MCE programs for all students, and the change will be exciting. Our ACTION students will be able to build on what Cohort 5 is experiencing this year, resulting in a much more meaningful program for everyone. After all, no one wants to be treated by a physician whose entire preparation was in a classroom any more than a student wants a teacher who didn't have extensive field experiences!


In addition to rethinking the field component of the MCE and AYA programs, the School of Teaching and Learning is also looking at ways to improve the curriculum. One example is that in the Spring Semester of 2015, the "general methods" course - EDTL 3400 - will have special sections for the first time for AYA Science and Math students. I will be teaching the math section of EDTL 3400 next spring, and my section will be a pre-methods course that is no longer "general" but tailored specifically for Integrated Mathematics majors. In turn, I will follow those same students into methods in the Fall Semester so that we have two semesters together to develop all of the skills and competencies for the program. One of our science educators will do the same for AYA Science majors. These are creative changes that will deliver to our students the highest quality program possible, meeting the specific needs of Science and Math Education majors. As we continue to refine and improve the ACTION program, the College continues to reinvent the teacher education programs. In the end, everyone wins as we develop stronger teaching skills. I look forward to engaging in this process in the coming year and to better serving the needs of ACTION and all students in the College.

ACTION Student Profiles


Leslie Russell - Cohort 2, Senior

AYA Integrated Mathematics


What brought you to BGSU? ACTION. I knew I wanted to teach and being accepted into ACTION confirmed my decision to attend BGSU.


When did you decide you wanted to teach? It all started in 4th grade when one of my teachers told me he saw me being a teacher some day. It made sense because I enjoy helping people and am good at explaining things. This career path continued to be confirmed. As a junior in high school, my classmates missed me if I was not in class because I did a better job of explaining things than my teacher did! As a senior, I enrolled in the Teaching Professions program at my high school that helped me narrow down which age group to teach. After debating between 6th and 8th grades, I switched to AYA Math the first day of Summer Bridge. I am really glad I did!


Tell us about your current job. I have worked at the Kumon Learning Center in Perrysburg for nearly 3 years. I get to work directly with students to assist them with various math subjects. The training I have received has been excellent, and the position has provided extra experience for me as a teacher.


What have you gotten involved with on campus? I am part of the Honors College, Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, and the Kappa Delta Sorority. I am also on the Mortar Board and a member of BGCTM, OCTM, and NCTM (local, state, and national math organizations).


Many students ask what it's like to be in ACTION and Honors. What has been your experience? I was nervous about balancing the two and thought it might be too much at first so I didn't join Honors until my second semester as a freshman. However, it's been totally fine; and, in fact, I am so glad to be part of the Honors College - the Honors courses were some of my favorite classes! I loved the Great Ideas class. And, since the ACTION capstone research project can be used for my Honors project, it makes sense to get credit for both.


What has been one of your favorite things you have done as an ACTION scholar? I really enjoyed my freshman research project. Although we had guidance from Sandy Zirkes as our faculty mentor, our team got to design the whole thing. It was very interesting and we had multiple opportunities to present our research, both on campus and at OCTM, which is a statewide conference for teachers. It also helped prepare me for my ACTION capstone research I'm doing in my classroom this year.


Tell us more about your capstone research project. My research in my 8th grade Pre-Algebra class at Glenwood Middle School in Findlay is focused on studying the importance of peer accountability groups and how students achieve their goals. My students set goals every week and then assess whether they are reaching their goals. They discuss factors that contribute to their success and those that prevent them attaining what they set out to do. I have completed my data collection and am now starting to analyze the information gathered. Once again, I plan to present my findings at OCTM and at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.


As a graduating senior, what advice would you want to pass on to other ACTION scholars? Methods is not as scary as it sounds, especially if you stay on top of things by keeping a list and working on them one at a time to prevent cramming at the end. Sometimes you have to step back in the middle of it if you are feeling stressed. It's important to know when you need a break by taking an hour off to watch TV, read a book, or do something else to get perspective again. I like to watch reruns of Gilmore Girls and also do cross-stitch.


Anything you want to share on a personal note? I got engaged in October and will get married June 27, 2015! My fiancÚ and I met while volunteering at Wood Lane for an education class! He already finished school and lives in Columbus so I plan to move there after graduation in May and hope to get a job in the Dublin area teaching Algebra to students in 8th or 9th grade. 

Rebecca Shroka - Cohort 5 Freshman

AYA Integrated Science


What prompted you to decide to be a science teacher? I've always enjoyed and excelled at science and math so a job involving these subjects made sense. During senior year I began to explore what seemed like a billion different career choices but none of them seemed right. One day, a student I tutored said I would be a great teacher. That very same day a friend told me the same thing. It was like a light bulb went off and ever since I have been convinced of pursuing a degree in education. High school can be so much fun, and I want to be involved in teaching in that type of energetic community. It is also a time when many students lose their love for science so I want to be a teacher who shows them how cool science can be.


Your plan is to get your degree in three years. Yes, I came to BGSU with many PSEOP and AP credits. Plus, I'm taking 18 credit hours each semester as well as a few summer classes at a community college at home. It will go really fast and even though it's my first year at BGSU, I have started telling people I'm a sophomore to get used to the idea that I only have two more years before I graduate.


What have you gotten involved with your first year on campus? In addition to ACTION, I am a member of the science organization BGSEC. During Fall Rush, I joined the sorority Alpha Chi Omega and have taken on leadership roles for our Standards and Risk Management Boards. My sorority sisters felt like family right away, similar to my ACTION community. I am in the Honors College and live in the Honors Learning Community in Founders. I definitely miss my ACTION friends in Offenhauer, but try to stop by the 9th floor when I can. I enjoy staying active and in addition to running often, the Spinning "Bootcamp" class offered each week at the Rec Center has been really fun. In April, I will start volunteering as a track coach with a CYO team for middle school students by assisting with high jump and relays. I've never coached before so it will be a chance to see if I like it.


Tell us about your interest in research. It's been a great experience to work with my first-year ACTION research group as we assist Dr. Midden with his large-scale water quality research project. I also look forward to my ACTION capstone research project when I get to do my own individual research related to teaching and will start from scratch. Both of these projects provide a great foundation for my future.


What has helped you be successful at college? I taught myself time management skills and write everything in my planner in addition to using a calendar on my phone. Sometimes I write out my day or week listing hour by hour to make sure everything fits. This helps me not to procrastinate. Also, right before a test, if an instructor offers a study session, I make it a priority to go, even if I have to rearrange my schedule. This helps me know what will be on the test and how best to study.


Tell us more about yourself...I really like to read! Every summer I go through about 30 books. I also like cats and sometimes go to the Toledo Humane Society just to play. Jazz and Hip Hop dance is another hobby, and I competed in the recent "Greek Sing" event on campus. This summer I will be a day camp counselor at home for the North Olmsted Rec Center working with kids ages 9 to 12 doing fun activities with them such as swimming, dodgeball, basketball, and more. 

Senior Georgia Ike works with students in her Napoleon Middle School math class
Cohort Updates


With only two weeks until capstone research papers are due, Cohort 2 seniors are finishing up data collection and analysis in order to pull everything together for the final paper. In April, ACTION will host an informal "Capstone Conversations" session to enable these seniors to share their research findings with the ACTION community. Additionally, some scholars plan to pursue other venues to present locally or throughout the state, and we anticipate that some may have their papers published.


All Cohort 3 research proposals have been submitted with grades and comments provided by each faculty advisor. Now these juniors must wait to find out their school placements in the fall for Methods and Student Teaching. Once this is determined, they will prepare to make any necessary modifications to the research topic based on their specific classroom setting.


Cohort 4 practicum presenters
With all practicum projects now complete, the final group of Cohort 4
presentations were given on March 25.  In addition to sharing how science and math were used in their project to assist various local companies and agencies, these students found ways to practice being educators by having the audience take water samples, complete worksheets, and solve problems.  These sophomores are acting like teachers already!   


Cohort 5 first-year research groups are gearing up for the Choose Ohio First Research Symposium on Friday, April 25. All are invited to stop by the Union to view the poster displays in Room 207 starting at 4:15pm and listen to remarks and oral presentations in Room 206 beginning at 5:00pm. Dr. Haney's GLOBE research group is highlighted to the right. 

Volume 3, Issue 4
In This Issue
Student Profile - Leslie
Student Profile - Rebecca
Cohort Updates
May Events
Join Our Mailing List

Cohort 6 Taking Shape


Our new group of incoming freshman scholars is forming with many already accepting our offer to participate starting in Summer 2014. Cohort 6 promises to be another talented group of future educators. As final decisions are being made by some, our staff and current scholars can't wait to begin getting to know these new students to welcome them into the family.

 A big thanks goes to...

Jack and Louise Jadel


The Jadel Scholarship Fund for Science and Math Education in ACTION was created by Jack and Louise Jadel to help address the critical shortage of science and math teachers. This support is provided by Jack Jadel, a BGSU graduate, and his wife Louise, a journalism graduate of the University of Missouri.


Jack graduated from BGSU in 1952 with a major in chemistry. As an ROTC student he was commissioned as an Artillery Officer and spent two years on active duty, partly in Korea. Following military service he studied at Indiana University where he received an MBA.


He spent a number of years with Dow Chemical and was then named as President of Noury Chemical near Buffalo, part of Akzo's Chemical Division. He was transferred to Chicago and became Executive Vice President and later President of Akzo America.


His first wife, Mim Baade, also a BGSU graduate, passed away and he married Louise, who had worked for The Chicago Tribune in advertising for a number of years. Both are now retired and live just north of Chicago along Lake Michigan.


Jack and Louse are very committed to the ACTION Program and supply generous contributions each year to help young people. After visiting the campus during Summer Bridge in 2012, they were very impressed with the program and the need for more qualified teachers in science and math. Jack noted that ACTION is doing a great service.


We are grateful for their ongoing donations of additional scholarship funds to support ACTION scholars. The impact from this generous couple will be felt for years to come as more science and math teachers enter the workforce to influence future generations.

 Student Interactions 


An abundance of students have been in and out of Dr. Brahier's ACTION office the past few weeks. Ever since spring break, he's been meeting with scholars for several different reasons.


First, each fall and spring, every first-year student meets with him for a short time to touch base about how things are going. This provides an opportunity to continue relationship building and allows students to bring up any concerns they may have about anything.


Dr. B chats with freshman Steph Erwin in Cohort 5

Second, as the assigned advisor for all ACTION AYA Math and MCE students, Dr. Brahier makes himself available during regular office hours and this time of year he offers numerous slots on multiple days for students to sign up to discuss scheduling questions with him. He often helps students map out a plan for their remaining courses needed to graduate.


Third, before scholars graduate, they meet with the director for a "senior interview" to reflect upon their experiences in ACTION. The information gathered provides insight into what has benefited these students the most and generates ideas as we strive to continue improving the program.  A discussion about ways our staff can offer any specific job-hunting assistance concludes these interviews.

Senior Allie Mazza shares thoughts about her ACTION  experience

All of these interactions enhance the student-director relationship. Even with a "family" of over 100, it is important to our staff that each scholar feels cared for and valuable as an individual.   


 Dr. Haney's First-Year Research Group

Davis Gerber and Allyson Grilliot take rooftop measurements 
while Dr. Haney looks on

Dr. Haney's research group (affectionately known as DJ-MAC based on the letters from their first names) is investigating surface temperature as it relates to different roof top types. They are also examining how surface temperature relates to the urban heat island effect. 

Cory Fischer and Megan Simon take a break to have some fun

Each week, they collect data on surface temperature in regards to five roof top types (black, stone, white, deck, and green roofs). Nine measurements are taken for each roof type along with other data including cloud and contrail cover and type, ambient air temperature, soil temperature, snow cover, and other metadata of importance. They are now in the process of analyzing these data to look for differences in average surface temperatures between roof types and correlations between air and surface temperatures. 

A little rain doesn't stop the group from gathering data

They're hoping for spring-like temperatures soon to get more warm weather data points for better analysis of their results. 

All members of the group are now certified in GLOBE surface temperature and have significantly increased their knowledge of the scientific process. "We are further examining the Urban Heat Island Effect. I had never even heard of this before and didn't realize its impact," explains group member Allyson Grilliot. "I love the team I am working with, and as we finish our project this month, I cannot wait to see what else I learn from this research."


Upcoming ACTION Events:
Informational Meetings for Cohorts 4 & 5:  Tuesday, April 8...4:30-5:50pm
COF Showcase Event in Columbus:  Monday, April 14

Capstone Conversations:  Tuesday, April 22 ...4:30-5:50pm

Choose Ohio First Research Symposium:  Friday, April 25...doors open at 4:15pm

BGSU Preview Day: Saturday, April 26

ACTION Graduation Luncheon:  Saturday, May 10

April 2014


















Ray Szparagowski B-day













Practicum Info Mtg  & Capstone Info Mtg. 

Brittany Gates 















COF Showcase Event in Columbus

4160 Final Papers Due




Jordan Truitt B-day











Mike Lipster 




Josh Klein


Capstone Conversations 


Jennie Jester & Nicole Winhover       B-day




COF Research Symposium at BGSU 


BGSU Preview Day









Cory Gallagher 



Student Advisory Board Meeting



Allyson  Grilliot & Zoe Winkelman 








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 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