Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
January 2016

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 grant program at BGSU. 
Reflections from the ACTION Director
by Dr. Daniel Brahier
Dr. B poses with 4 of the ACTION scholars who will be in England with him this semester
As we begin 2016, I hope you had a restful holiday season and wish you all the best in the New Year!

One of our greatest overall efforts for this academic year has been to assist our seniors as they prepare for graduation and beyond.  To this end, we have launched four major efforts.  First, with the assistance of the Student Advisory Board, we created a Senior Checklist and distributed it last October.  Checklist items include everything from standardized testing to applying for graduation.  Each item provides details on what needs to be done during the senior year, as well as a deadline for completing the task.  Second, we presented a Resume Writing Workshop during the Fall Seminar.  At this session, a middle school principal and two of our ACTION graduates presented tips on how to impress administrators and then conducted a panel-style question-and-answer session.  This workshop was very well received, with even our freshmen and sophomores appreciating the tips on how to best build a resume over the course of four years.
Third, this spring, we will be hosting a Job Interviewing Workshop for all interested ACTION scholars.  The workshop will feature two principals - one high school and one middle school - who will share pointers on what to expect and how to conduct oneself in an interview.  Then, two of our seniors will be interviewed "live" in front of the audience, with comments and suggestions provided after the interviews.  This workshop is strategically planned to occur just before the Teacher Job Fair that BGSU hosts every spring.  Finally, as in the past, each senior will complete an online survey and then participate in a one-on-one Senior Interview with me to discuss career plans and answer questions.  We believe that this four-point process will significantly prepare our seniors for their careers and are excited to provide them with these opportunities.
January 15 is the deadline for incoming freshmen to apply for Cohort 8, so if you know of anyone who has been considering the ACTION program, please send them our way or provide us with names and we will contact them.  Also, we will be posting the application link this month for rising sophomores (current freshmen) who would like to be considered for transferring into the program for Fall 2016.  Students can be enrolled at BGSU or transferring to BGSU from any other institution as long as they are Ohio residents.  We can accept up to 7 new students into Cohort 7 as we continue to grow the overall size of the program.  Clearly, 2016 will be a busy and exciting time for ACTION and I enter into the New Year optimistic and looking forward to continuing to serve our students and their families.


Cohort 4 - Senior
Middle Childhood Education 
(Science & Mathematics)

What brought you to BGSU?  The ACTION program! I wasn't sure which college to attend, but once I heard about ACTION and got accepted, I knew BGSU was for me. The Summer Bridge was a big draw knowing that I would come to college already having a community that was built during the summer. The many opportunities within ACTION sounded incredible.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?  I've always known I'd be a teacher.  My sister and I would play "school" growing up, and I was an adult role model for my little brother (almost like a teacher).  I did consider a career in criminal justice and even look some law classes in high school. However, when applying to colleges I listed education as my major since I knew this was what I wanted to pursue.  I can't see myself doing anything else!
Tell us about your practicum experience sophomore year.
Alli Marino and I worked for the City of Bowling Green Parking Services and the Police Department to determine the cost effectiveness of installing parking kiosks in downtown BG (similar to those at the University). After analyzing the benefits, drawbacks, and costs, we eventually recommended to the city that the costs would outweigh the benefits. It was a very interesting hands-on project and gave us a chance to do both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
What is your Capstone Project for ACTION?  My capstone research is focused on how to make math more meaningful to students. I already collected the data while teaching long division to my fifth-graders.  I attempted to first get them to think about what the answer means and guiding them to ask higher level questions to grasp the concepts, not just getting the answer to the problem. I am in the process of analyzing and evaluating the data, but I have learned a lot already that will make me a better teacher.
As a senior, you are on the Student Advisory Board for ACTION as well as our Social Committee. With your busy senior year, what's motivated you to get even more involved?
I was super involved in high school, but at college I focused mostly on academics and working at Bob Evans. At the end of my junior year as I reflected on how this is my last year at college, I realized how much ACTION has done for me and I wanted to give back to the program. Once I commit to something, I dive in 100 percent. So, I'm glad to be able to serve and now that I am in teacher-mode, I have the urge to take charge!
Interesting facts?  Right after graduation, my family is going to Europe for two weeks! It is the opportunity of a lifetime and I have never been more excited! I even hope to visit Dr. B and the other ACTION students who will be in studying abroad in Keele, England. 

Cohort 6 - Sophomore
AYA Integrated Mathematics

What are you involved with at BGSU?  In addition to being in ACTION and the Honors College, much of my time is spent with the Falcon Forensics and Debate Team.  We travel to various tournaments across the country several times each month during the academic year to give speeches and/or debate various topics. There is much preparation for some of the tournaments since I often have to memorize a 7-10 minute speech. I also had the opportunity to be an Opening Weekend Group Leader (OWGL) this fall to welcome the freshmen to campus as they moved in. I loved it! It was great to help bridge the gap by preparing them for college. I became a mentor and friend to many first-year students and it was one of the best weekends of my life! Also, my job as an undergraduate assistant at the BGSU Math Emporium (for students taking online Math 90X to 1220) has been great experience for me as a future teacher.
This sounds like a full schedule.  How do you balance everything?  Even though I'm busy, I love everything I do so it keeps me motivated. I know my limits, but am not afraid to challenge myself sometimes. However, I am also aware of my breaking point and am careful not to overcommit.  If I could, I would be in 20 organizations, but this is not realistic. Instead I give 100 percent to what I am doing.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?  My sophomore year of high school was a big turning point for me. I was struggling socially and did not seem to fit in. I was unsure of my direction in life. My Algebra 2 teacher was the one who was there for me as a mentor and friend to make a difference in my life.  I knew at that point, that I wanted to be a teacher to have the same impact on my students. I've always loved math and am very analytical. I want to make math fun!
What study strategies have helped you be successful in college?  I love studying in groups. Whether it's with ACTION students or others from class. It helps me to talk and process with other people. Sometimes we need others to give us an extra push and keep us accountable.  If I get stuck on a concept I have also learned to ask for help-from professors, Learning Commons, or others I know I can trust.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I love campus food! The food at BGSU is amazing with all the different options. I especially love the Oaks and the Falcon's Nest Food Court in the Union.  Sometimes I study while eating, other times I hang out with friends since food bonds people. Either way, the food is great! 

Cohort 8 Updates
With our application deadline of January 15 quickly approaching for incoming freshmen, we are processing and reviewing applications submitted for Fall 2016. It will be exciting to see the new cohort take shape!
Transfer Updates
The application for students desiring to "transfer" into ACTION as a sophomore for Fall 2016 will soon be available on our website. Spread the word to anyone you know who is interested and have them contact our office or check the site.
Holiday Event Festivities
Nearly 80 scholars joined us for a holiday celebration
The turnout for our annual Holiday Event was fantastic as we squeezed into the Ice Arena Lounge on Friday, December 11.  The ACTION Social Committee put a lot of time and effort to make this one of our best holiday gatherings ever.  They planned activities such as Minute-to-Win-It stations, holiday infomercials, a photo booth, and a gift exchange.
Many got into the holiday spirit with festive attire, which made it even more fun.  Conversation and laughter filled the room as cohort members reconnected and introductions were made with some of our newer participants. It was a wonderful evening and we appreciate all who helped to make it a success!

Jordan, Courtney & Alexandria make the room look festive

Hannah, Lexi, Anna, Liz & Emily from the Social Committee get activities ready
Shawna and Ethan have fun decorating together

Christian, Rachel, Megan, Megan, and Jessica help Cindy in the kitchen

Alexandria and Courtney try one of the Minute-to-Win-It activities

Sheri, Megan, Courtney and Rachel show off their holiday spirit

Ann, Marina, Emily and Kim have to be creative during the holiday informercials

Cohort 4 members pose with props in the photo booth

Opening presents during the gift exchange

Cindy and Wendy are all smiles as they have many volunteers to help