ACTION Graduates - May 2014
We asked those graduating this May to share what they feel has been one of their favorite and/or most beneficial aspects of ACTION, the topic of their Capstone research project, and any specific plans after graduation. Below are the responses we received:
Lauren Barr: One of the biggest benefits of ACTION has been finding a family and group of friends away from home. It was great coming in freshman year already having a core group of friends, and having classes together meant I had someone to go to with questions or help.
My Capstone project focused on how teaching a "hard-to-teach/difficult-to-learn" topic in different ways would affect student self-efficacy and performance. I used formative assessments, hands-on activities, and relevant situations that helped build connections to the concepts to test my idea.
I hope to get a teaching job in an urban area.
Alex Clune: I really enjoyed my freshman research project that included field sampling to compare potential runoff sites. I enjoyed it enough to spark me to look into water quality summer work, as well as a manure feasibility study and two additional years of field sampling. I also enjoyed the tight knit feel I had from that group in collecting samples.
For my Capstone project I researched the connection between the use of bell work and correlation of test scores (achievement). Results determined no strong support for bell work, and even possibly a negative result of use of bell work in terms of achievement, but I would want to do the study again.
I plan to seek employment, save up the big bucks for a wedding, and possibly return to grad school within the next 5 years.
Georgia Ike: Already having friends and study partners in place as I was coming into college was wonderful. It was nice to have a support group that I could rely on in classes and in life too!
My Capstone project dealt with how inquiry-based problems worked on outside of class affect students' ability to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, the third Standard for Mathematical Practice. I assigned students' challenging problems, had them present one solution in class, and analyzed their work and presentations to make conclusions.
After graduation I hope to find a job teaching junior high or high school mathematics close to home. I will be living at home for a year and planning my wedding, which will be in the summer of 2015! At that point I will go from being Miss Ike to Mrs. Gaier!
Megan Kemerley: Summer Bridge was very beneficial, and I loved knowing people on campus before the school year started and knowing my way around campus.
For my Capstone project I looked at misconceptions inside of the classroom and if finding out those misconceptions before teaching a unit helps students lose their misconceptions.
I will be searching for a job in and around the Bowling Green area while still working at Pizza Hut and planning my wedding.
Josh Klein: My favorite part of ACTION was the Summer Bridge program. This was such an awesome way to start my career here at BGSU, and I was able to make so many connections to the university and friendships before my freshman year began.
For my Capstone project I observed how a safe classroom environment and effective teaching affects students' beliefs about mathematics and their ability to do mathematics.
My plans are to go directly into teaching. I currently have applied to multiple schools near the Dayton and Massillon regions of Ohio and have a couple interviews lined up.
Matt Lefevre: The most beneficial aspect of the ACTION program for me was the community. Through ACTION I have developed lasting friendships that I cherish to this day. These friends were my motivation to strive for success, as well as my way of relaxing at stressful times.
My Capstone research was about competition-based review games and their ability to motivate students to study the material, as well as raise test scores.
My plan is to find a teaching position in Northwest Ohio. I want to remain in the area close to my family and friends.
Amber Mathias: My favorite part of ACTION has been the Summer Bridge program. I loved the activities we did, the lessons we learned, and most of all, the friends we made. The experience truly made the transition into college very easy and helped me to not feel like a "freshman."
I conducted a study consisting of the Biology Attitude Survey, a Classroom Format evaluation, a pre and post-test assessment, and midterm grades to determine how active learning affects the attitude and achievement of students in biology.
I have been accepted to The Ohio State College of Optometry and will begin the 4-year doctoral program in the fall.
Melissa Matthews: The freshman research project was my favorite part of ACTION. I worked with Dr. Underwood in the Herpetology Lab. I loved working with the animals and having the freedom to explore scientific topics and questions with my group members. It was a very rewarding year.
My Capstone research project was about the effects of experiential learning activities on student vocabulary comprehension. I provided a hands-on learning experience for one class about electrical circuits, and then I gave a lecture to another class about the electrical circuit vocabulary. I conducted written assessments as well as student interviews to collect my data. The results showed that experiential learning activities helped my students develop the ability to communicate their comprehension levels better than a traditional vocabulary lecture.
After graduation, I plan to return to Clevelend and continue my job hunt for teaching positions in the Columbus or Cleveland area. I will also begin to work on wedding plans this summer.
Allie Mazza: My favorite part of ACTION has been the community I have been a part of these past four years along with the many opportunities that have allowed me to grow as an individual and as an educator.
My Capstone research project consisted of researching reading motivation in students and seeing what factors motivate them to complete reading homework.
After graduation, I will be getting married and moving home to the Columbus area in pursuit of a teaching job.
Kayla Miller: My favorite part of ACTION was (like almost everyone else) Summer Bridge. Learning the ins and outs of campus life before school started put me at ease. Plus, I made some bonds with some amazing friends! I am still very close with my ACTION friends.
My Capstone project looked at the effects of collaborative learning when compared to traditional lecture-based learning in the high school chemistry classroom. I found that student learning increases with collaborative learning; however, my findings were not statistically significant, so more research needs to be done.
After graduation I am headed down to The Ohio State University for graduate school. I will be a PhD agricultural engineering student in the Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering program. I have been fortunate to receive fellowships and assistantships for the entirety of my graduate career.
Leslie Russell: The friendships I have made throughout my time in ACTION have been my favorite part of the program.
My Capstone research project was about the impact that peer accountability groups have on goals and goal attainment in an eighth grade mathematics classroom.
I don't really have specific plans right now. I'm just going to keep looking for a job and planning a wedding.
Ray Szparagowski: My favorite part of ACTION was probably the Summer Bridge program. It was lot of fun to explore math and science while making new college friends. The most beneficial aspect was probably the Capstone research project. I have learned a lot about my teaching and the importance of trying new education strategies.
My research was on the flipped classroom, a method of teaching in which some of the direct instruction is completed for homework in the form of videos or handouts. Then class time is used for other forms of instruction or projects.
I would like to teach for the first 1-3 years around the Bowling Green area. Then after I get some experience under my belt, I want to teach in Europe at an International School.
Brittany Taylor: My favorite part of ACTION was all of the great people I met through the program and my practicum at Imagination Station.
For my Capstone project I researched how self-regulated learning affects student confidence.
As of now, I am planning to find a job in the Columbus area.
Erin Ziems: The Summer Bridge program has been, in my opinion, the most beneficial. I became familiar with campus over the summer and I had a support system already in place. I took classes with many of my ACTION cohort, which was also excellent because I had friends to help me study.
For my Capstone project I hypothesized that the type of homework assigned to students could positively impact student motivation and encourage more learning in the classroom. My results, however, were inconclusive, although I was surprised to learn that many of my students self-reported being motivated to learn in my classroom (which is indicative of the fact that I must be doing something right!).
I intend to seek out a summer job back home in Toledo. Further, I intend to seek a job in my discipline area.