April 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

I have just completed nearly 20 senior interviews at which time I spend about a half hour with each of our graduating seniors.  Part of the time is spent conducting an exit interview where I ask for input on how to improve the ACTION program.  The rest of the time is set aside to review the results of a senior survey as a first step toward assisting each upcoming graduate with finding a teaching position.  In the interviews, the most 

Corrinne Sullivan meets with Dr. B for her senior interview

common evaluative statement made by our seniorhas centered on "how much more" ACTION has to offer at this time than when they were freshmen.  Some even noted that they are "jealous" of the younger students who have so many more opportunities than they had as incoming students. 


There are two major reasons why ACTION has expanded so much over the past four years:  (1) When the current seniors (Cohort 3) arrived on our campus, there were only about 50 students in the program.  By this fall, we will have over 110 students in ACTION, across four cohorts.  With more students in the program, we have increased opportunities (and needs) to offer additional programming.  (2) Due to an annual spring survey and an active Student Advisory Board, we have been able to identify additional interests of students and attempt to address those needs through programming.  The following is a sample list of activities ACTION offers today that were not available four years ago:  

  • Common Time scheduling
  • Spring and Fall Semester Seminars
  • Monthly newsletters
  • One-on-one meetings with both freshmen and sophomores each year
  • Senior Capstone Colloquium in April
  • Social Committee, including the annual spaghetti dinner, movie night, etc.
  • Monthly "Dining With The Director" sessions
  • More first-year field experiences in local high schools
  • Online interviews with top applicants for new cohorts
  • Transfer opportunities for second-year incoming ACTION students
  • Individual Senior Exit Interviews with each graduating student
  • Extensive renovations to the ACTION lounge and connected Falcon Room
  • Evening hours for the ACTION lounge (remaining open weekdays until at least 9:30 PM)
  • Extended hours and snacks available in the ACTION lounge for studying during finals weeks
  • Numerous opportunities for ACTION students to present research, both in Ohio and nationally (e.g., Washington DC, Las Vegas)
  • Director of ACTION now serving as the academic advisor for all Middle Childhood Education and AYA Integrated Mathematics majors
  • Tutoring available specifically for ACTION scholars in both mathematics and science Monday through Thursday

As ACTION has expanded over the past four years, so have our programs and activities for students.  With the help of our students and staff, we anticipate even more innovations to the program in the coming year as we look forward to continuing to serve our students!


ACTION Student Profile


Sheri Klatt 

Cohort 4 - Junior

AYA Integrated Mathematics


How did you end up in the ACTION Program at BGSU?  My high school softball coach and teacher is a BG grad. She often talked about how much she loved her experience here and after I came to campus as a high school sophomore I knew BGSU was the place for me.  Plus, I had already decided to be a math teacher so it was an obvious choice to attend a school with a top-ranked Education College. My mom heard about ACTION and told me to apply. Honestly, before Summer Bridge, I did not want to leave my friends at home for the month. I thought it would be so hard to miss what they were doing.  Instead, I made a whole new group of amazing lifelong ACTION friends during the summer.  I have so many great memories of Summer Bridge I can't believe I was hesitant to come!


Your junior year is coming to an end. How have you changed since you first came to campus after high 

school?  I have gotten very involved over the past two years and love it!  Even though it's been busy, I've been able to handle it.  I work two jobs - one as a student desk manager in Centennial Hall and the other as a campus tour guide. Both jobs total between 23-28 hours of work per week.  I'm also in the Alpha Phi Omega coed service fraternity, an alumni member of NRHH, a dance group representative for Dance Marathon, and also part of Bowling Green Council of Teachers of Mathematics (BGCTM) and NCTM.


Looking back, I realize that without ACTION I wouldn't be getting the same educational experience.  I've had the opportunity to build close relationships with faculty.  I was able to do research and begin exploring topics of interest related to math starting my freshman year.  The practicum provided real world experience. And, I am excited to continue  my pedagogical research  as a senior that I started this year.


Tell us about your ACTION practicum.  I gained valuable experience assisting at Ohio Shared Services, a division of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management in Columbus. My project was to prepare a Capacity Model to aid in determining if the agency might be overstaffed or understaffed.  I gathered information by talking with the head of each department and then manipulated data using graphs and spreadsheets to see if goals were being met.  Both of my supervisors were promoted after my project was completed, so it was nice to have a part in making a difference and improving the agency.


How did you decide to be a math teacher?  I've wanted to teach math since sixth grade. That year I had an amazing teacher that explained things clearly and made math fun. I loved being in math class!  I enjoy helping people and many times in high school I would explain math concepts to my friends who were struggling. I saw them catch on and improve in math. This was a great feeling and confirmed my desire to teach.  Some of my college math courses have been really hard, but when I would go into the schools to observe for different classes, the interaction with the students always brought me back to my desire to teach.


Share a fun fact about yourself.  I'm a bargain shopper and love a good deal.  For Black Friday I created an Excel spreadsheet for my parents as they went Christmas shopping for me.  The categories included the items on my wish list, when the stores opened, online options, comparison prices, and more. It worked out well for all - they saved money and I got everything on my list!


ACTION Grad Profile


Melissa Matthews

Middle Childhood Education Cohort 2 - May 2014 Graduate


After graduation I have moved to Grove City, Ohio, with my fiancÚ.  I applied to South Western City School district in February and got an interview in April. A couple weeks later, I got a second interview at Holt Crossing Intermediate School and was offered the job the next day. I teach fifth grade math and science and have an awesome team partner who teaches literacy and social studies. My team partner and I collaborate everyday on lessons and classroom management.  Holt Crossing Intermediate has an awesome staff that feels like family. It's a great place to teach!


My fiancÚ is attending Ohio Dominican University for their Physician's Assistant Program. I'm currently planning a wedding and taking care of our new dachshund, Penny, while trying to stay afloat through my first year of teaching. However, we are very happy in this new city and there is so much to do!


My favorite part about teaching so far is getting to plan lessons that excite my students. There is nothing better than watching a lesson unfold before me where students understand the content through a fun and motivating activity.


Through involvement in ACTION, I became much more confident in my ability to teach. It also showed me the importance of collaboration with other educators.  I can only learn better techniques in differentiation, curriculum, classroom management, and assessment by exposing myself to other ideas. The peers and faculty I met through the ACTION program made me the educator I am today.


Cohort Updates


Cohort 3 is gearing up for graduation in a little over a month. In the meantime, these seniors have completed their classroom research and are putting finishing touches on final capstone papers that are due April 15.  Filling out job applications and interviewing with school districts across the state now occupies most of the free time they have left.  We look forward to each of these scholars presenting a short overview of their classroom research at the Capstone Colloquium on Tuesday, April 28. All are invited to join us - click HERE for more details.


Junior Cohort 4 scholars have already submitted their ACTION capstone literature review papers to their faculty advisors and are now looking ahead to next year when they will be in the classroom to carry out the research.  Through teacher match programs, some have already met the Cooperating Mentor Teacher (CMT) they will work under in the classroom next year.  Although Methods and Student Teaching can be intimidating due to the amount of work, it is also exciting to begin applying all that they've learned. 

Courtney gives details of her practicum at Lubrizol
All Cohort 5 sophomores have now completed their practicum projects with the remaining presentations given in March. Their exposure to real world problems provided hands-on experience that is beneficial for their future classrooms.  During the 
presentations, each provided a practical activity that these future teachers could use in a science and/or math classroom. See additional photos and captions at the right for more details on the practicum projects and presentations.


Cohort 6 scholars are nearing the end of their first year.  As they work side-by-side with their faculty team leader, they are finalizing their research projects that were started in August and compiling the results into a poster and short presentation to be given at the Choose Ohio First Research Symposium on Friday, April 24.  Please attend the Symposium to hear more about their projects as well as research conducted by students in other COF programs at BGSU.  More information can be found HERE


Memorable RCML Conference


At the end of last month, Dr. Brahier travelled to the Research Council on Mathematics Learning (RCML) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Four ACTION scholars had the opportunity to travel with him to present at his session, "The Role of Research in Teacher Preparation." This presentation by undergraduate, pre-service teachers was well received by those in attendance from across the country that have been in the field of mathematics for many years.  It was an amazing experience for the ACTION scholars who attended which included Jacob Musal and the three that give a recap below. See photos to the right. 


Larissa van der Molen:  The best part of the whole conference was the people. Everyone attending the event oozed passion for education and research, making it contagious. They were all incredibly friendly and welcoming.  Attending the RCML conference enlightened me to the research side of education. While doing student teaching my mind constantly focuses on the instruction aspect of education and leaves little time for exploring the research aspects. To me, research has always seemed to be a daunting task when having to figure out what you would want to research and how to implement it. Meeting all of these researchers within mathematics education opened my eyes to the possibilities, as well as potentials, within educational research. Learning about V-STEM (visualizing STEM) reawakened my passion for interdisciplinary real world math and science. The fact that we have universities getting involved with training in-service teachers on how to better incorporate STEM in the classroom brings inspiration and hope for my future classroom. Also, one of the highlights of the conference was getting the opportunity to be a "celebrity" for a day or so. We were able to share all of the amazing accomplishments and parts of ACTION that we are blessed to experience. While speaking to some of the attendees, I learned that other schools are trying to pilot something similar but have not been quite as successful. Getting to share what we have gained and learned from our involvement with ACTION at RCML will hopefully help to progress other programs across the country.


Nicole Winhover: I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend the RCML conference in Las Vegas.  It was such a great learning experience and opened my eyes in so many ways.  As a pre-service teacher, it provided a chance to see the opposite side of the classroom compared to being a student.  I got to meet important people in the math education world such as Dr. Brahier's mentor, Dr. Bill Speer.  I felt so honored to be in the same room as all of these people and they were all able to open my eyes to the uniqueness of ACTION.  I was reminded how lucky I am to be part of the ACTION program.  Sometimes I take the opportunities that we have in ACTION for granted, as I just see the components as requirements that must be met.  I focused on the research, practicum, and Summer Bridge as things that had to be done and I did not fully realize quite how unique they were and how lucky I was to be a part of them.  The ACTION program is really putting me ahead of the other people in my major and even teachers who are currently in the field.  Going to the conference was a great way for me to renew my passion for teaching and to appreciate the opportunities that I am given through ACTION. 


Sarah High:  Attending the RCML conference was such a rewarding experience. Presenting to people who are university instructors was slightly intimidating. These people have such amazing careers and have done great things, yet they came to sit and watch 4 undergraduates present. I think the most surprising thing was how impressed they were. After out presentation, everyone wanted to talk to us and hear more about the ACTION program. Everyone could not believe the experiences that ACTION provides to undergraduate students. 

I realized that ACTION is a program like no other and gives students the research experience that is almost impossible for an undergrad to obtain anywhere else. Attending and presenting at RCML gave me a deeper appreciation for ACTION and what we do. It was also a great experience meeting all of the "big shots" in the Mathematics Learning research field. The connections that were made with the other people attending the conference was also a huge benefit and highlight of the trip. And, getting to spend time with my fellow classmates and the Math Education instructors from BGSU was super fun.  Of course, the warm weather and all of the sun wasn't bad either!


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Friday Night Fun


What better way to take a study break on a Friday night than to get some fresh air and exercise. Organized by the student-run Social Committee, a group of ACTION scholars played ultimate frisbee before heading to Dairy Queen and then hanging out in Offenhauer. 





What's Good Enough?


At the Spring Seminar in March, ACTION scholars had the opportunity to hear from an entrepreneur and instructor at BGSU, Dr. Gene Poor. His inspirational session titled "Good Enough! A Question of Quality" focused on personal quality, asking questions such as "How good should we be?" and "What quality defines "good enough?"


Dr. Gene Poor poses with Dr. Brahier prior to his presentation


What classifies as being "good enough" changes in different situations. Dr. Poor elaborated on the concept by explaining that a young child's painting might be considered good by his or her parents or teachers, but not in comparison to a professional painting.


An example of the Good Enough Factor (GEF) involves buying a house. Not everyone can afford their dream house so they have to settle for good enough.  Not everything will be perfect and trade-offs must be made along the way.  However, when will it be that good enough is not good enough anymore? This question led into his discussion on what he calls Mean Time to Failure (MTTF).  MTTF has to do with the average time until something stops working. For example, windshield wipers designed by one company only need to last two weeks to be considered "good enough." Refrigerators, on other hand, are made to last about twenty years, but many icemakers stop working after three. 


Dr. Poor challenged the ACTION scholars to set their sights on being great. Approximately 10,000 hours of practice and four critical ingredients are required for greatness:  deliberate practice with feedback, coaching and mentoring, focus and concentration, and passion. Passion is extremely important and will get us far in life.  Dr. Poor said that he has never worked a day in his life because he has passion and loves what he does.  


We need to look inside ourselves and decide what we want.  He encouraged us to never stop dreaming and discussed the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who will take you places that you never believed possible. These people may be mentors, parents, teachers, or other inspirational figures.


He closed by saying we are living the life we choose.  We decide where to go to school, what occupation we want, and so on. We aren't going to be perfect but we are going to be "good enough." Dr. Poor challenged us to make sure everything we choose is something we want to do.  If we love what we do it will never feel like work and therefore we need to be sure that what we choose to do with our life is something that will bring us joy. 


Rachel, Jordan and Megan prepare an activity to engage the group


All graduating seniors were honored at the end of the seminar




Marina & Bekkah designed a playscape for the Wood County Parks District with products in nature used for the playground
Jordan resembles a teacher while using the board to explain a chemistry component of her practicum
Analyzing data enabled Justin  and Cory to utilize their math skills to make recommendations to BG Parks & Rec on ways to increase profit
Allison explains an activity as she & Andrew share their analysis  project for Supplemental Staffing


A Glimpse of the Trip

The group is all smiles in the Detroit airport ready to leave for Nevada

The time on the plane is well spent as the girls use the flight to work on papers for the capstone project for ACTION


Enjoying dinner with Drs. Bostic and Matney during the conference
In between presenting and networking, the group enjoys the sunshine and warmer weather

Incoming Scholars

Cohort 7 is taking shape as students confirm acceptance for Fall 2015.  These incoming students will be part of another talented group of future educators and will be joining us on campus in a little over 3 months. Many exciting plans are already in place for July and we expect another amazing Summer Bridge!

 St. Patrick's Day

Josiah Fox gets into the holiday spirit in the ACTION student lounge on March 17
Upcoming ACTION Events:
Dining with the Director:  Tuesday, April 7 @ 11:30am
Informational Meetings for Cohorts 5 & 6:  Tuesday, April 7...4:30-5:50pm
Choose Ohio First Scholar Showcase Event in Columbus:  Monday, April 20...12-3pm

COF Research Symposium @ BGSU:  Friday, April 25...doors open at 4:15pm

Capstone Colloquium:  Tuesday, April 28 @ 4:30pm

ACTION Graduation Luncheon:  Saturday, May 9...doors open at 11am

April 2015


































Practicum Info Mtg  & Capstone Info Mtg.


Brittany Gates 














April Heideloff B-day




4160 Final Papers due

BGSU Teacher Job Fair



PreviewDay @ BGSU


Jordan Truitt 











COF Scholar Showcase in Columbus


SAB Meeting 


Nicole Winhover 



COF Research Symposium at BGSU 4:15-6:00











Cory Gallagher B-day

Capstone Colloquium  4:30-6:30



Allyson Grilliot & Zoe Winkelman 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