October 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
Dr. Brahier meets with Sarah Adams as part of his one-on-one appointments with all Cohort 6
first-year scholars


In September, I was at a football game and got into a conversation with a woman who teaches in the Dayton Public Schools. She explained to me that, with the changes in the rules for teacher retirement in Ohio, the city had lost 10% of its teachers this past year and is anticipating the retirement of up to 50% of the remaining teachers in the district at the conclusion of this school year! We have been hearing about the possible impact of the changes in the retirement system for several years, but it was striking to think about the thousands of teachers who will retire in Ohio next spring and summer. The workforce will surely look very different in the schools over the next several years. For our ACTION students, this presents a wonderful window of opportunity for employment in Ohio as middle and high school teachers - particularly in the areas of science and mathematics where the need for teachers will be tremendous.


Last year, we instituted a new process of conducting senior surveys and interviews of all graduating ACTION students. During their last semester, each student completes an online survey on which they report their preferred grade levels to teach, which area(s) of the state they would like to work, and so forth. Then, the Director individually interviews each graduate to evaluate the ACTION program and to discuss the student's survey responses. Consequently, the ACTION staff becomes well aware of the plans of each graduate so that we can do as much as possible to help students identify employment opportunities and prepare them for interviews. As Director, I personally write a letter of recommendation for every ACTION senior for their use in making applications and interviewing. The success rate for finding jobs for our students (who are seeking a teaching position, as opposed to attending graduate school, etc.) is close to 100%.


In addition, this month I convened a new committee of students to begin the development of an ACTION app for smartphones. The idea is to create a simple app that will allow us to send messages to students, to provide calendar updates, and to notify seniors of job opportunities as soon as we are contacted by school districts (which is becoming more common each year). Through use of this app, we hope to stay in closer contact with our students and to more effectively assist seniors in securing teaching positions. The plan is to launch the app sometime in this academic year with a tentative release date of January.


Meanwhile, the recruitment phase for Cohort 7 is underway, and application materials are available at our ACTION website. Please help to get the word out by telling your friends about the program. As we continue to pursue additional Choose Ohio First funding, we are anxious to bring in another new group of scholars for Summer Bridge 2015 next July! 

ACTION Student Profiles


Nicole Sloan 

Cohort 3, Senior

Middle Childhood Education (Science and Mathematics)


How did you end up at BGSU? Being raised in Cleveland, many from my area attend BGSU. Initially, my dad forced me to come to a President's Day event. It was a very cold and snowy day, but I fell in love with the campus. And, of course the education program here is great. When I got a phone call about ACTION, I fell in love with the program and worked on my application for a long time. I was so excited that I cried when I got my acceptance letter for ACTION!

What's been one of your favorite things about BGSU? I love the education program. I like how the Middle Childhood Education program is very focused on helping prepare us to teach our unique age group. Of course the content is important, but we need to know how to teach! We are being taught to be the best teachers we can be, which is what BGSU is known for.

What have you enjoyed about your experiences through ACTION? I really liked the Summer Bridge. It was a good introduction to college and ACTION. I also felt the practicum was very beneficial. In addition to giving me real world experience in math, it solidified that I am on the right career path. It confirmed that I would not want a desk job!


What are some of the things you have been involved with on campus?  In addition to working at the Math Emporium the past two years, I have been very involved with organizations such as Alpha Phi Omega, which is a national service fraternity, and University Dance Alliance. Currently, I am the president and founder of a brand new organization called Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). I am very passionate about getting others involved in helping to provide meals for hungry children across the world. We will host an FMSC Mobile Pack on campus on April 25-26, 2015. In addition to raising a large amount of money, we will need many volunteers to get involved. I am excited to see how the campus changes as a result of this event as a connection is made to others across the world.

Tell us about your senior year...I love my science and math placement for methods and student teaching with sixth graders in Fostoria. This semester is a lot of hard work to balance, so it's important to stay on top of all the big projects. As I think about teaching, I really want to enjoy my career by focusing on the kids. Rather than being a math teacher, I want to be a teacher who teaches students math. I want to stay passionate about the students and not just focus on the subject matter.  


Harrison Brunner 

Cohort 6, Freshman

AYA Integrated Science


As a first-year student, tell us about your experience at BGSU so far.  BGSU has been even better than I expected. The campus has so many amenities and things to do. In fact, I have already gotten involved on campus. I joined Hall Council in Offenhauer and was recently voted in as Vice President of Hall Affairs. I also attended my first Vanguard meeting, which is a special club for guys with a focus on how to be better men as students work closely with faculty mentors. And, since I have been involved with fencing for the past 6 years, I also have joined the BGSU Fencing Club.


You demonstrated your fencing skills during "ACTION's Got Talent" at Summer Bridge. Tell us more about your involvement with this sport.  I did gymnastics for several years from age 8 to 12. However, I found this to be really hard on my body. One episode of the TV show "iCarly" was about fencing, which piqued my interest. My mom found a place in Columbus that offered fencing, and I've been involved ever since. It is good exercise with every muscle being used and has greatly improved my hand-eye coordination. There are different variations of fencing, but I focus on the EPEE version.


When did you decide you wanted to be a science teacher?

I've always had an interest in science and was planning to work for the US Wildlife Division or something similar. However, in the middle of my sophomore year that all changed. My biology teacher was one of the best in the world; she made learning so fun and I wanted to have the same impact! My interest in teaching continued, so senior year I enrolled in a teacher academy through my high school. I like all areas of science but would probably most prefer to teach chemistry. However, everyone I talked to, including several principals, recommended an integrated science degree since that is what most schools desire due to the versatility.  
What have been some of your favorite aspects of ACTION? The community aspect of ACTION is amazing. Within the first four hours of meeting each other at Summer Bridge, we all became friends! Everyone is very nice and friendly. I am really excited about my first-year research project with Dr. Midden as we begin researching natural fertilizer options with manure that is good for the environment. Who else gets to do research freshman year?!? 
Cohort Updates
Barb Childers talks with her advisee, Serena, about her senior capstone  research project

As seniors, Cohort 3 is already gaining teaching experience in their classroom placements in nearby school districts. The format for methods now provides several weeks in the school placement much earlier than in the past. This has enabled Cohort 3 to confirm whether their potential capstone research topic will be conducive in their specific classroom environment. As shared during a session when all seniors came together, only a few will need to change their focus of the capstone project while some may need to slightly tweak the angle they approach their research. All seem excited to get started!

Cohort 4 is beginning to learn what educational research entails as Dr. Brahier has been walking them through the process by hosting two sessions in September with three more later this semester. The time has come for them to consider topics they are interested in researching in the classroom, and all have found a faculty research mentor to work closely with them over the next two years during the capstone project.   

Allison Bendel & Andrew Slonkosky meet with their practicum supervisor to discuss details for their fall project
Summer provided a chance for a number of Cohort 5 scholars to engage in practicum experiences at companies or agencies in their hometowns. Some paired up for a bigger task required by their supervisor, while others worked individually to complete a project. All received hands-on exposure to science and/or mathematics in the real world as they conducted analysis and investigations to provide input and recommendations to their host business.


Cohort 6 first-year research groups are meeting together and working closely with their faculty team leader to discuss which direction to consider going with their research topic and/or getting familiar with processes required for their research. Each project is unique and every month during our upcoming newsletters one of the five first-year research projects will be highlighted.


Summer Bridge Memories


We asked Cohort 6 freshmen to recall a favorite memory from the Summer Bridge. Below are the responses we received:


Catherine Hildebrand:  The best memory of Summer Bridge was Camp Miakonda because at the end of the day we were 10x closer to each other than when we started. The physical and mental tasks made us rely on each other and build bonds with our fellow cohort members. It was also a great confidence booster completing all of the obstacles.


Sarah Adams: One of my best memories of Summer Bridge was the talent show! I thought everyone did a fantastic job and I thought some of acts in the show were hilarious! Everyone in ACTION is very talented!


Josiah Fox: One of my best memories of Summer Bridge is seeing all of the presentations at the end. All of the members of Cohort 6 worked really hard to create quality work, and everybody talked about such a wide variety of topics that they found interesting. Everybody learned something new to them over the summer that stuck with them, and we got to see each other working hard on our posters, getting supplies, organizing ideas, and presenting what we accomplished.


Emily Knollman: My favorite memory was when we did the ropes course because it made us all work together on each obstacle. We had to trust and communicate and this made us closer as a cohort. 


Linda Li: My best memory of Summer Bridge was ACTION's Got Talent because we were all able to be ourselves and have a good time with each other. No matter what our talents were, everyone just focused on having fun, which made it my favorite memory of Summer Bridge.


Harrison Brunner:  My best memory of Summer Bridge would without a doubt be Christmas in July because it was thought out of nowhere. The idea was pitched in a pseudo floor meeting and everyone thought it was a great idea. When it came to the event, everyone got each other great gifts that were incredibly thoughtful and we all came together as good friends and had a great time, not to mention that we were the first cohort to do it.


Jessie Huot:  My best memory of Summer Bridge was being able to hang out with everyone in our free time. That's where I feel I was able to get to know people and where I ended up having a blast! Sitting in the hallway of Centennial is something I will never forget.


Hannah Schuster: One of my best memories from Summer Bridge was ACTION's Got Talent. From silly talents to actual shocking talents, it was very fun to watch people you thought you knew and still be surprised by what they can do. My favorite talents were Dr. B rocking it out on the guitar and Josiah dancing. Those two were the most shocking to me.


Alexandria Stough:  My best memory of Summer Bridge was making so many great friendships with wonderful people!


Mackenzie Rittner:  One of my favorite memories from Summer Bridge was Camp Miakonda. I hardly knew the members of my group at the start of the day, but by the end I truly trusted them. We were asked to complete activities like a trust fall, a low ropes course, and fitting 14 people into a tight tunnel. There were tears, laughter, and hugs from everyone. I am super grateful to have been given the opportunity to get to know my cohort better. It was a wonderful experience!


Katey Wendel:  My favorite part about Summer Bridge was the bonding experience it gave me. Through the dozens of activities, trips we took, and even the late night bonding in the halls or Taco Bell runs, as a cohort, we became really close. As cliché as it may sound, we truly became a family. It was such a relief to be able to come to school in the fall and feel somewhat relieved because even though I was worried about leaving my home and starting something completely new, there was one thing I didn't have to worry about: making friends. I had already made tons of lifelong friends during the Summer Bridge program. It was an amazing experience that I would gladly do all over again!


Volume 3, Issue 7
In This Issue
Student Profile - Nicole
Student Profile - Harrison
Cohort Updates
Alum Profile - Allison
Join Our Mailing List
 ACTION Scholar
 Alum Profile

Allison Bailey


Cohort 1 Graduate

Middle Childhood Education (Science and Mathematics)


Right after I graduated in December 2013, I started as a substitute teacher for seven different school districts in the Toledo area. I worked nearly every day and it was a great experience. At the end of March I accepted a long-term substitute position for junior high math and science at an East Toledo charter school called L. Hollingworth for the Talented and Gifted. Four preparations a day was overwhelming, but I learned so much in those two months.


After working for STARS at Northwood Schools over the summer, I'm now teaching again at L. Hollingworth for the Talented and Gifted, this time as a full-time employee teaching math for grades 7-9. That long-term substitute position was a complete blessing in disguise as it landed me a job! Again, I have four preparations a day, which is quite the work load as a first-year teacher, but I'm actually excited to get out of bed everyday and I love what I'm doing no matter how overwhelmed I am. 


ACTION showed me the importance of math and science in the real world and in the classroom. Through my practicum I learned ways to relate math to everyday life for my students. My capstone rwsearch project taught me how to gather resources and correctly assess students. ACTION helped me become a stronger math and science teacher through all of the extra content and experiences.


My favorite part about teaching has been seeing students who have improved because of me. As a college student there were many times I didn't feel adequate to impact students academically, behaviorally, and in life in general. I didn't think I was ready to be a teacher and now I get to see the way I impact students every single day. It is an awesome feeling! I know that I am 100% in the right profession for me.


My advice to undergrad students...take your education classes seriously! You can read a textbook about math and science and reteach yourself that information. However, you can't just pull a textbook that tells you what to do when you have an eighth grader doing math at a third-grade level. Take your education classes seriously because they'll help you later on. Also, know the standards because they are the present and future; don't fight them, just embrace them! Lastly, don't doubt yourself... you will be ready to be a teacher when the time comes! 


Also, a personal update...I got engaged in March!

ACTION Tailgate Event 

(submitted by Megan Schlosser, Student Advisory Board Member) 


The tailgate during BGSU Family Weekend was again a huge success! Over 160 people RSVP'd and the traffic flow in and out of the tent was steady and tables were full! Everyone who came was definitely hungry because almost 12 feet of subs and many pounds of hotdogs were eaten!


We had the pleasure of several special visitors stopping at our tent including the BGSU Provost, Dr. Rodney Rogers; the Dean of the College of EDHD, Dr. Brad Colwell; and the Director of Academic Assessment, Dr. Julie Matuga. They were impressed with the turnout!


It was so nice to meet all the friends and family of ACTION. Despite the cooler weather, the tent was full of smiles, laughter, and falcon-spirit. Our ACTION family is growing bigger and better every year!

Emma Hall and Aaron Clune help set up
Dr. B enjoys interacting with Molly Conroy and her folks
Nikki Szymanski and Serena Newburger stop by

 Spaghetti Dinner


 The turnout for our annual ACTION welcome back spaghetti dinner was fantastic! Over 70 ACTION scholars came together at the beginning of the semester to connect and share a meal together hosted by second-year Cohort 5 students. A huge thanks to Taylor Ernsthausen, Sam Laderach, Courtney Wilcox, Sarah Miller, and Jordan Truitt for planning and preparing the food. Making a meal for such a large group is not an easy task!

Madi, Alexandria, Jessica, and Erin from Cohort 6 have fun while waiting for dinner to be ready
Marc is looking forward
to a good meal
A huge family dinner!


STEM in the Park


Such a fun day for all! The recent event held at the end of September was no exception. Kids have a ball participating and engaging in hands-on STEM activities. And, those hosting activity stations love to see the participants learning while having a great time.


Numerous ACTION scholars volunteered throughout the day. Many helped with general duties for the event and some had roles at various activity stations throughout the Perry Field House. Seventeen scholars assisted at the ACTION station where kids dug for fossils and then used mathematical skills to add and/or estimate (depending on their skill level). Then, making a "fossil" out of Play-Doh gave them something to take home.


The wonderment and excitement seen on the kids' faces as they experience STEM firsthand makes all the effort put into planning and hosting the event worth it! 

Dr. B helps get the Play-Doh ready along with Bekkah, Catherine, Courtney, and Steph
Bekkah Gresh helps a young girl count and add the fossils
Liz Remley & Allison Linn are kept busy all morning helping the kids

Spread the word...ACTION applications for Fall 2015 are now available on our website at:  www.bgsu.edu/action
Upcoming ACTION Events:
ACTION Fall Seminar: Tuesday, October 14 from 4:30-5:50 in 228 BTSU

October 2014



















Shroka B-day

Alexa Woodburn B-day


Kristi Frank 











EDHD 3160 

Session #3













Fall Seminar

Kim Allaire & Ashten Graham B-day





BGSU Preview Day 













Dr. Brahier


EDHD 4160 Session #2 


Molly Conroy 








Kimberly Lentz 




Sarah Miller 








Nov 1  



EDHD 3160 Session #4 






Amanda Pummell B-day  

Alli Brown B-day


Nov 2 

Linda Li 




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 Science 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