Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
February 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 near the banner hanging in the ACTION student lounge this semester to help scholars feel his presence
Greetings from Merry Old England!  As I write this column, I am in my new office in the Chancellor's Building at Keele University in England.  The university is located about 90 minutes north of London, close to Manchester.  I brought 15 BGSU students with me for the semester, including 9 scholars in ACTION, from Cohorts 5 and 6.  It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of us as we embark on a semester abroad and live the lives of Europeans until June.  I am teaching four courses this semester and have at least four ACTION students in each class!
While working with the faculty at Keele University, I am also continuing to serve as Director of Science and Math Education in ACTION.  Through the wonder of electronics and the Internet, I am able to text, email, Skype, FaceTime, and digitally exchange documents back and forth to the U.S.  In fact, in my first week in England, I handled several advising questions by email and text messages and wrote several recommendation letters for ACTION students who are applying for scholarships, summer jobs, and internships.  The ACTION staff continues to have weekly meetings via WebEx so that we can discuss program issues face-to-face.  Our ACTION students will be served 100% as usual, despite the physical distance between us.
At the end of January, I began to interview candidates who have applied to become part of Cohort 8 that will begin this summer.  I have always conducted these interviews by Skype and FaceTime in the past, so the fact that I am nearly 4,000 miles away does not change that process at all.  As always, we have a very impressive set of applicants for ACTION, and I look forward to continuing the interviewing process and selecting our new cohort in the coming weeks.  In addition, the application for rising sophomores to transfer into ACTION as sophomores is now posted at the ACTION website (bgsu.edu/action).  Applications for transfers are due by March 1, and applicants can be either BGSU students wishing to join the program or students from other campuses who are seeking to transfer to the university.
I encourage any ACTION student or family member who knows of a potential transfer to the program to have him/her contact us with questions and to apply to the program.  We are excited to continue to grow the size of ACTION and to offer more students the opportunity to be part of what is one of BGSU's signature programs!

Davis Gerber
Cohort 5 - Junior
AYA Integrated Mathematics

What are you involved with at BGSU?  
As a member of Bowling Green Council of Teachers of Mathematics (BGCTM), my role entails PR for the group to inform members of meetings and spread the word about the organization to new students.  I'm also involved with Math Camp and was given a title of "Executive Families Coordinator" which means that I keep records of who attends camps and focus on helping the teams bond to create a sense of family. Being a Student Ambassador for the College of EDHD is another role I have on campus as I assist with promotion and act as a student voice within the College. 
I also have two paid jobs that are related to the College of EDHD. I work in the College Advising Office to answer calls, make appointments, and answer questions.  I'm also employed as a Student Recruitment Assistant to aid with events and conversations focused on prospective students.  It's great to be involved on campus.
What has been your favorite part of ACTION so far? Of course, I loved Summer Bridge like everyone else. I also really liked my first-year research project with Dr. Haney. It was helpful to be part of a hands-on science research project and getting a different perspective to see how it tied into math. I enjoyed gathering data by going out into fields and up on roofs-I will probably never have the opportunity to do such an in-depth science project again.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?  As a high school junior, my math teacher made math fun and sparked my interest. I became her student aide so I observed and interacted with her often. I realized I wanted to be similar to her, while also incorporating my own personality into teaching. I was already helping people with their homework and I liked seeing them smile when they "got it" - for me the smile is something I never forget.  I want to be a positive role model and someone that students can talk to. I also hope to coach football and baseball.
What is your topic as you start your Capstone project for ACTION?  I am researching how kinesthetic teaching and learning may affect mathematical literacy.  Dr. Bostic is providing guidance as my research advisor and I am excited to get deeper into this subject.
You just back from hosting Math Camps in Thailand with other BGSU students. What were some of the highlights?
It was an amazing experience in so many ways. As the only male student on the trip (and since I don't have sisters), I learned a lot about travelling with females! Getting to know everyone was fantastic and we really bonded.  Interacting with elephants was another highlight - riding and playing catch with them. I even brought home a painting made by an elephant! 
Lauren Barr
Cohort 2 - May 2014 Graduate
Middle Childhood Education 
(science and mathematics)

What have you been doing since graduation? I am in my second year of teaching 4th grade math and science in North Olmsted, a suburb of west Cleveland. I moved here from my hometown of Columbus and have adopted a puppy named Molly with my boyfriend, Zac. I am also starting my third semester of BGSU graduate school, working towards my Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision. It is a hybrid program that is mostly online but I travel to BGSU three times each semester (this makes a long day after teaching)!
Tell us about your teaching position.  As a 4th grade math and science teacher in North Olmsted, I work at Pine Intermediate which has grades 4-6 in the building. I have two classes that I share with my teaching partner who teaches Language Arts and Social Studies. I got this job by just applying to every district with openings in areas that I could teach and was interested in. I had interviews at many districts and got three job offers, but this seemed the best fit. Their values matched mine and I was most comfortable with this age since I did student teaching with 4th graders. The staff and administration are great and very supportive. I am blessed to have found such a great job.
How has your involvement in ACTION has impacted your teaching?  Being in ACTION most certainly had a positive impact on my teaching and my ability to teach. I have more confidence in the math and science topics that I teach and can give better real-life examples because I've seen the concepts firsthand through field trips and activities during Summer Bridge and the practicum experience. I also have a better ability than some of my colleagues to collect and interpret student data due to ACTION Capstone Project. ACTION provided me with unique opportunities to build my confidence and learning style through hands-on experiences and through giving me mentors who I could base my thinking and style around.
What is your favorite part of teaching?  The kids! I love seeing them everyday and watching their excitement when they do an experiment and learn something new. Creating relationships with them and hearing their stories is always fun and fascinating.
Do you have any advice for those who are just starting out as teachers? You will be exhausted, but if you love waking up and going to see the kids in your class, then you are in the correct field. Don't second-guess yourself. Have confidence and don't be afraid to ask for help! Also the free site called "Teachers Pay Teachers" is bomb! It enables educators to buy, sell and share original teaching resources.

Studying Abroad
The nine ACTION scholars embarking on this journey with Dr. Brahier are ready for adventures in England.

Pictured at an English pub are:

Erin Janecko
Zoe Hatfield
Jessica Thompson
Kimberly Lentz
Kaitlynn Jensen
Sarah Miller
Hannah Schuster
Allison Lamming
Alexandria Stough

We miss them already!

Applicant Updates
As interviews of high school seniors are being conducted, this is an exciting time of year as we begin to meet those who will eventually make up the incoming freshman cohort.  Within the next several months, Cohort 8 will be finalized.
And, applications from current and transfer students are trickling in as well so there is never a dull moment! 

Celebrating Excellence
With so many ACTION scholars excelling during the fall semester, nearly 80 were invited to the Academic Excellence Dinner hosted on January 12! It was a great way to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our scholars while connecting with everyone after the winter break. Immediately after dinner, a Keele Send Off event was open to all scholars to stop by to say "bon voyage" to those going overseas for the semester from ACTION. 
A table full of hungry scholars wait for dinner to be served

Megan Gillen is ready to eat

Dr. B chats with Ben, Kim & Courtney

The Qdoba food is enjoyed by all

Janelle, Emma & Sarah have fun

Wendy thanks Jordan, Nicole & Megan for helping get things ready

Rachel, Logan, Miranda & Natalie take a break from eating to pose

The ACTION seniors enjoy sharing stories of student teaching

Rachel and Megan share a laugh
A group poses before saying "goodbye" to Dr. Brahier

Emma & Liz give one more hug to Alexandria before she leaves