February 2015
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


Each year, the students and staff of ACTION develop new and exciting features for the program.  I am continually energized by the helpful suggestions that students and their parents provide to help us grow and refine our efforts.  On the end-of-year survey last spring, ACTION scholars recommended that we consider sponsoring more social events in the Spring Semester to provide additional opportunities for students to get to know one another and to mix across the cohorts.  To that end, I asked for volunteers to serve on a new Social Committee this year.  Approximately 12 students, under the leadership of several Student Advisory Board members, came forward to help with this effort.  Together, they developed an excellent Holiday Event that was hosted in Offenhauer West last December.  Then, they met to plan three new events for this spring, including a BGSU hockey game, a movie night, and a sports night - all in the spirit of providing wholesome, fun activities that enhance communication and relationships among all ACTION scholars.  I couldn't be happier with the hard work these students are doing as they take our social events to a whole new level.


In addition, I appointed a committee of students last fall to help with the development of a mobile phone "app" to help us all get more connected.  This committee provided numerous recommendations of features our app might have, from sending push notifications when we have news to announce, to providing a calendar with an appointment sign-up feature, and having an alumni area where job announcements can be posted.  In January, I met with members of the Computer Science Department at BGSU who will be working with us to develop the app.  We hope to have a beta version completed this spring.  At that time, the committee will be testing the features of the app and refining it to a final product that will be released later this year.  Our hope is that even prospective students will be able to download a version of the app to find out what we're up to in the ACTION program.


Just about the time I think that ACTION is as "big and better" as we can get, someone comes up with another idea that pushes us to a new level.  I am indebted to Wendy and Cindy in the office for their tireless work, as well as the work of members of the Student Advisory Board, the Social Committee, and numerous other groups that volunteer and continue to improve the program.  ACTION is truly a family that works together on tasks that no one could do alone.  I am fortunate to be the Director and look forward to expanding the family as we welcome a new Cohort 7 this summer!


ACTION Student Profiles

Courtney Wilcox - Cohort 5 Sophomore

AYA Integrated Mathematics


How did you hear about ACTION?  A girl from my high school (Molly Fessel) who graduated a year ahead of me was accepted into the program and I saw some of her posts on Facebook about ACTION. Molly knew I wanted to teach math, so she contacted me and suggested I apply. I was already familiar with BGSU since my sister got an education degree here and I knew it would be a great fit.  


What did you like most about the Summer Bridge?  I came to Bridge not knowing anyone and left with 24 friends! It was a great start to help me not be alone and develop great relationships. The activities were great - I was amazed that we could all climb a wall together! It was also nice to get to know some of the faculty and it helped me be much more comfortable on campus.


What led to your decision to be a math teacher?  I'm not sure exactly when I made this decision, but I've always liked math and want to help people. I'm comfortable in a school setting and enjoy this atmosphere, so being a teacher seemed a natural choice. My first semester at BGSU, I wavered on whether I wanted to teach. However, when I took EDTL 2010 (Introduction to Education) and was in the classroom each week, this confirmed my decision. For the first time I looked at the classroom through the eyes of a teacher and I knew this was for me.


Tell us about your practicum this fall. I assisted at Lubrizol, which is a company in Bowling Green that makes surfactants - the active cleansing part of soap products. Using data they provided, I conducted an analysis to track trends and outliers. This experience improved my Excel skills and gave me the opportunity to see the inside working of a corporation. Organization and attention to detail were essential to the project since I did not want to mess up on anything!


What have you gotten involved with on campus? In addition to being part of Bowling Green Teachers of Mathematics (BGCTM), I am very involved in ACTION and live on the floor with many other scholars. I am the math tutor for the program and in addition to having "office hours" in the  ACTION lounge; participants can contact me if they need assistance.  I love getting to know members of other cohorts through tutoring and in my classes. I also am a member of ACTION's new Social Committee. We planned the Holiday Event in December and are now preparing for several activities this semester to provide opportunities for ACTION family bonding. 


Any interesting "facts" about yourself?  I have 57 cousins! My mom is one of 14 kids so things get fun and crazy when we all get together.  Sometimes we rent out a church basement for holidays; or we take shifts to be at my grandma's house. At our annual golf outing, each family will wear a certain color so we know who belongs together. This is especially helpful as many of my cousins are now getting married and having kids so it's hard to keep track.


Favorite mobile app?  Trivia Crack. I resisted using it for a long time, but during my family's Christmas many were playing so I got hooked. 


Allie Mazza Renner 

 May 2014 Graduate

Middle Childhood Education


What have you been doing since graduation?  Right after graduation, I got married and settled back in my hometown of Marysville, Ohio.  During my summer of job searching, I saw a job listing for a fourth grade teacher at a local elementary. I applied online and was called in for an interview. With a panel of 6 teachers, I interviewed and found out about halfway through the interview that this was for a language arts position, which was not my field. But through this interview, the staff, teachers, and even superintendent thought so highly of me that they passed my name along to the district middle school for their position of 8th grade math aide. I went in for the interview the next week and was offered the job at North Union Middle School! 


Being the 8th grade math intervention aide means I have about 20-25 students who are on an IEP or a 504 plan that I work with in the math classroom or one-on-one during their study halls to go over the content again, reteach any material, or present it in a different way that meets their needs. 


How would you say that your involvement in ACTION has impacted your teaching?  It has helped me in many ways! It was the focal point in all of my interviews. My experiences set me apart from other candidates and through this, I had principals tell me how impressed they were with me, even without any actual teaching experience. Another benefit was that some of the teachers in my interviews knew Dr. Brahier and could recall when they had him as a professor! We were able to make a connection that I know set me apart from the other candidates. 


ACTION also helped to prepare me for the real world of teaching. I still remember the many days of Summer Bridge where we spent time problem solving and thinking of practical ways to do something. As a teacher, I spend almost as much time problem solving throughout the day as I do planning the lessons for the day. I have used the skills developed in ACTION to benefit me in my job when I am posed with the issue of a student not understanding the content and having to (in a timely manner) think of practical ways to reach every student's unique abilities! ACTION has taught me patience to work with others that may be different than me or have a different way of thinking and working together to meet the needs of all. 


What has been your favorite part about teaching so far?My favorite part of teaching is simply said, just being there. I still have this joy when students enter the room every morning prepared to start the day. I am excited when all my students are actually there because that means I get to work with them that day. There is no greater joy to me than to see my students achieving their goals, in all areas (but especially math).


What have you learned thus far in your career as a teacher? My advice for grads and undergrads is to be positive in every situation. If you would have told me a year ago that I wouldn't have my own classroom but would be working in intervention, I would have been doubtful. But this has truly been the greatest blessing to my first year of teaching, as I have grown more as a teacher and as an individual then I could have ever imagined. And now that I am in the district, I have the opportunity to move up! Something I feel that is not said enough in the classroom is that our students can read our emotions - when we are not positive and encouraging it only brings them down and hinders them. So, I try to keep a positive attitude!


First Year Research Group


Working with a group of freshmen ACTION scholars, Dr. Jodi Haney continues to research the urban heat island effect (UHI). This is a phenomenon that occurs when a city is significantly hotter than the surrounding areas because of buildings, concrete, and sparse green spaces. They give details on their project:

Our research team has been investigating two primary research questions: "What was the relationship between surface and air temperatures in Bowling Green, Ohio on August 29, 2014?" and, "What was the intensity of the urban heat island on this same day?"


To answer these two questions, we collected surface and air temperature data on August 29, 2014, in both the afternoon and evening. For both of these data collection times, nine measurements were taken from each of 15 locations located on a 7-mile transect running from southwest to the northeast. The locations represented urban, residential, commercial/industrial, rural, and park/recreation land types (three locations of each type). Some locations for our measurements included a golf course, a soybean field, and a cemetery.


Our data showed that the highest temperatures were the surface temperatures taken downtown and in commercial locations in the afternoon and evenings, indicating that urban settings heat up and hold on to heat much longer than rural, greener areas. Moreover, Bowling Green did in fact experience an urban heat island, with urban evening air and surface temperatures exceeding rural evening temperatures by 3.2 and 11.5 degrees Celsius, respectively. Finally, the data showed that the air and surface temperatures at Wintergarden Park were the same in the afternoon and the evening, and were among the coolest temperatures found anywhere along the transect, showing how trees help cool and maintain temperatures. Graphs were made to show the temperature differences.


In addition to data collection, we also did a lot of background research on the urban heat island effect, studying its negative effects on people and the environment, and possible methods of mitigation.  


Jessica Thompson shares what she is gaining from this experience:  "It has taught me about research and how making graphs can be very effective when trying to show the data collected through an experiment. It's a good way to relate science and math and as a future teacher, I will be able to educate my students on the relationship between science and math."


Erin Janecko agrees, "It's teaching us a lot about research, which will help me as a science teacher. We are taking real measurements that have never been done before. GLOBE is the online database where we can submit our findings. GLOBE measurements can be taken by anyone, including high school students, so it is something I can do in my classroom in the future! These measurements can help actual scientists while at the same time providing an opportunity for students to do real science."


"In addition to discovering new Excel features that can be used for manipulating data and that there is evidence of an urban heat island effect in Bowling Green," Hannah Schuster explains, "I am also learning that not everything fits perfectly to what you're expecting to happen, especially when it comes to science."  


Dr. Haney's GLOBE research group is highlighted with photos to the right. 
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 Social Committee 


As mentioned by Dr. Brahier, our new Social Committee is doing an amazing job! During a recent planning meeting, they took a minute to pose. This gives us a glimpse of those who have been working hard behind the scenes to continue to improve the program:  

Standing (L to R): Jordan Truitt, April Heideloff, Linda Li, Harrison Brunner, Sheri Klatt, Sarah Adams, Alexandria Stough. Kneeling in front: Courtney Wilcox and Rachel Gerges. Not pictured: Kali Irvin and Allison Bendel.




As proud staff "parents" we try not to brag about our ACTION scholars too much. But, can you blame us for being proud of the fact that 51 students in the program earned a 4.0 GPA during the Fall 2014 semester?  It's a big deal that over half of our students received all A's!


We definitely think it's worth celebrating. Which is why it has become tradition to host a dinner at the beginning of each semester to honor these high achieving scholars. During the recent meal, the ACTION lounge was wall-to-wall people, but nobody seemed to mind. In fact, it felt like an extended family dinner. Some had to eat and run, while others lingered to enjoy time with friends and take a break from schoolwork. A few even confessed that they look forward to this dinner all semester!


With an overall average GPA of 3.74 earned by ACTION participants during fall semester, we are proud of each one and will continue to do whatever we can to help them all be successful as students and future teachers. 

Cohort 5 students enjoy relaxing during dinner
Sarah & Catherine are all smiles 
Dr. Brahier joins a group of students from different cohorts 
Molly, Lance & Megan interact while they grab some food
Students from Cohort 3, 4 and 5 spend time catching up
Linda, Jessie & April are always willing to pose for the camera
Cindy gets to know  some of the Cohort 6 scholars

 Processing Has Begun


Applications received by incoming freshmen are now being reviewed and top candidates will be selected to do a short online interview with Dr. Brahier. It's always a busy but exciting time as we consider who may be joining our ACTION family.


Although the official deadline for freshmen applications for Fall 2015 has passed, applications from high school seniors may still be submitted and will be considered for a wait list if all current openings are filled. 


Additionally as mentioned in our last update, in response to a request to expand ACTION at BGSU, we are now accepting applications from transfer and current BGSU students who will be sophomores in Fall 2015. This is a great opportunity for those who had a change in career goals during their first year and now want to teach science and/or mathematics, for those who were unaware of ACTION previously, and those transferring to BGSU. This application will remain available on our website until March 1, 2015. 



Hands-on Research


Dr. Haney keeps the six students in her group active and engaged in learning right alongside her, and of course having fun as well.  Just ask any of the student members which include Cohort 6 members Katie Allen, Erin Janecko, Emily Knollman, April Heideloff, Jessica Thompson, and Hannah Schuster. 


Katie & April work together to take a measurement 
April & Katie appreciate the golf cart as they gather measurements on the course
Emily teams up with April & Katie at the golf course
Taking measurements after dark is not easy... but they find a way!
Upcoming ACTION Events:
EDHD 3160 Session #6:  Tuesday, February 3
Informational Open House for Non-ACTION BGSU Students:  Tuesday, February 4...3:00-5:00pm
Practicum Presentations:  Tuesday, February 10
Spring Seminar:  Tuesday, March 3

Choose Ohio First Research Symposium:  Friday, April 24...doors open at 4:15pm

Capstone Colloquium:  Tuesday, April 28...4:30-7:00pm

ACTION Graduation Luncheon:  Saturday, May 9...11:00am-1:00pm

February 2015














Anna Bailey & Alyssa Lustgarten B-day



EDHD 3160 Session #6


Open House 
for Current BGSU 


Marina Stagl & Cory Fischer B-day












Practicum Presentations


Dining with the Director

Kali Irvin 














BGSU President's Day

Student Advisory Board Meeting


BGSU Hockey Game















Boddy B-day



Movie Night


Nick Mazza B-day





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: Cindy Fuller