Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
May 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
Cory Fischer poses with the life-size photo of Dr. B that has been in our lounge this semester
Another academic year is about to conclude and we are preparing to say goodbye to Cohort 4 at graduation this month.  Our seniors are currently interviewing for teaching positions for next year and the job outlook couldn't be better.  A recent Internet search for science teaching positions showed that Ohio currently has more than 300 jobs available, while another search indicated that there are more than 800 mathematics teaching positions open.  To have more than 1,000 science and math jobs available around the state by the first of May is unprecedented!  But we know that a change in Ohio's retirement system motivated a multitude of teachers to retire last year, and the process has begun to replace them.  Furthermore, a report was recently published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to project job growth in Ohio over the next two years that shows every region of the state predicting an increase in jobs - as high as nearly 6% growth.  The greatest job growth regions in Ohio over the next two years are projected to be the central (Columbus area) and southwest (Cincinnati area).  Overall, the prospects for science and mathematics teaching positions continue to remain strong.  I am aware of ACTION students who have already accepted positions for this fall or who have two or three job offers on the table at this time.
At the request of our upperclassmen, we provided many workshops and resources for our ACTION scholars this year to prepare them for the challenges of the senior year and job searches.  Last fall, we hosted a professional development workshop on Preparing Resumes.  We also created a Senior Checklist with details and specific deadlines on everything a senior needs to do to prepare for the job market.  This spring, we brought in two local principals who conducted a Job Interviewing workshop and conducted mock interviews with two of our seniors.  I have personally written a recommendation letter for each senior who requested one and have completed countless online reference forms, in addition to speaking to numerous administrators who have called me for recommendations.  In most cases, they ask me to tell them more about ACTION because they recognize how the program's experiences set our graduates apart. This fall, we plan to host a workshop on writing Cover Letters, which has also been requested by our students.  We continue to provide resources and professional development that prepare our scholars for the future.
As we bid farewell to our seniors, we are also excited to welcome 33 new students into the program this summer.  We will host the annual Summer Bridge program in July for 29 incoming freshmen in Cohort 8.  In addition, we will introduce 4 transfer students to the ACTION program in July, as they will join Cohort 7 as rising sophomores.  This will bring the program to a record high of 113 scholars as ACTION continues to grow.  I want to thank Wendy and Cindy for all of their hard work this year, particularly while I have been away in England to teach in the
Dr. Midden & Dr. Fischer give remarks at the Capstone Colloquium
Spring semester.  I also appreciate all of the advice and leadership of Drs. Bob Midden and John Fischer throughout this year.  I hope that all of our scholars have a restful summer and return in August with renewed energy to begin the 2016-17 academic year.

May Graduates Updates
Where has the time gone? Not long ago we were welcoming Cohort 4 scholars to Summer Bridge. Now, most of them graduate in less than one week! All of our May grads were highlighted in our last newsletter - we are so proud of each one of them.
It is still early and many scholars are still job searching as school districts around the state finalize their open positions for next year.  Seniors still have plenty of time to find jobs.  Most are planning to stay in Ohio and have had interviews at various school districts but are still waiting for final decisions to be made. A few senior scholars already have specific plans as listed below:
Nick Buhrow: I have been hired to teach Geometry and Algebra II at Woodward High School in the Toledo Public School District.
Maria Nielsen:  I will be a Graduate Assistant as I attend graduate school at BGSU to obtain a degree in Curriculum and Teaching.
Alexa Woodburn: I will be getting my Montessori Certification through the CMStep Program run through Xavier University in June, and then moving to South Carolina to work at W.G. Sanders Montessori school as a 6-8th grade science teacher.
Sheri Klatt: I will attend Baldwin-Wallace University to obtain a graduate degree in the area of  Leadership in Higher Education.

Jessica Shearer:  I have accepted a fourth grade math position at Mayfield Elementary with Middletown City Schools. 
Alli Marino:  I will be in graduate school at BGSU to pursue a Master's in Curriculum and Teaching. I will be studying abroad this summer in China, Australia, and Fiji.
Kali Irvin:  I will attend Wright State University for my MS in Energy and Environmental Science and hope to obtain my doctorate afterwards.
Nikki Szymanski: I have accepted a job as the color guard director at Westerville South High School so I'm currently looking for a math and science teaching job in the Columbus area. 
In the upcoming months, this list will grow much longer with many more obtaining teaching jobs across Ohio. Good luck to all!
Choose Ohio First Scholar Showcase
Each spring, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) sponsors a Choose Ohio First Scholar Showcase in Columbus for COF scholars from across the state.  Emily Knollman, April Heideloff, and Shawna Russell were able to travel to the event with Wendy on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

April and Emily present their poster
Each COF program is unique, with ACTION being the only one of its kind to focus on undergraduate STEM education.  It is always interesting to hear more about the other programs in Ohio that are promoting STEM degrees.  
Shawna interacts with the Chancellor

Emily, April, and Shawna displayed a poster summarizing their first-year research for ACTION and all three had the opportunity to interact with the Chancellor as he stopped by their posters!

Peer Mentor Celebration
As a culmination of our new ACTION Peer Mentor program where juniors have been mentoring freshmen scholars, a special banquet was hosted to celebrate the success of the program. With our theme of "five," all enjoyed mingling, participating in various activities and taking pictures prior to dinner.  At the conclusion of the event, each mentee was given an award selected by his/her mentor that seemed to fit each scholar perfectly. The entire event was a fantastic way to celebrate connections built throughout the year. 
Jordan (center) mentored both Natalie and Bonnie

A group of scholars discusses the directions for the activity

Cory mentored Christian
Enjoying conversation and a great meal at the same time
Alyssa was paired with Rachel

Wendy presents an award to Chelsea from her mentor

Looking Ahead
We are already beginning to think about Cohort 9! We've received mails from juniors with questions about ACTION and at the recent Preview Day hosted by BGSU, we met some prospective future students.
Many continue to talk about ACTION and word of mouth is still one of the best methods of promotion.  One of our graduates let us know that things have come "full circle" - he was excited to find out that one of the students from the school where he teaches was selected to join Cohort 8. 

Introducing...Cohort 8 
The following 29 students from across Ohio have been accepted into ACTION for Cohort 8. They will arrive for the ACTION Summer Bridge on July 5 to begin their four-year journey at BGSU as an ACTION scholar:
Emma Blevins, West Portsmouth
Danielle Dastoli, Holland
Lisa Dziko, Tipp City
Erika Emch, North Royalton
Gail English, Middletown
Makenna Geise, Fort Loramie
Natalie Herning, Powell
Joshua Hill, Delaware
Ryleigh Hufgard, Kirtland Hills
Christopher Irick, Hilliard
Karen Izor, Miamisburg
Morgan Knight, Delaware
Katelyn Kundtz, Grafton
Josie Luthman, Coldwater
Kaitlyn McClelland,Brunswick
Joshua McPheron, Marysville
Sydney McQuate, Whitehall
Lauren Meyer , Raymond
Joshua Mone, Medina
Mackenzie Murray, Marysville
Stephanie Pfaff, Powell
Lauren Rosier, Hilliard
Allison Rudolph. Brunswick
Alaina Sayre, Swanton
Kara Schomaker, Toledo
Marco Solis Hinojosa , Lancaster
Kyle Timmons, Cincinnati
Nicole  Wainscott, Dayton
McKenna Wildnauer, Mason

Student Advisory Board
Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) has been invaluable this year. Input 
Courtney Wilcox did extra work to organize shirt orders
from this group of students has enabled the ACTION staff to make important decisions to improve the program.  For example, recently the SAB recommended ordering ACTION shirts that would be the same for all cohorts. Board members carried this out by helping with orders and it was a great success.

Sincere appreciation goes to:  Jessica Wright, Kevin Knapke, Courtney Wilcox, Cory Fischer, Allison Linn, Madi Pittman, Taylor Nicholson, Scott Knapke, and Hannah Sumich.
A new SAB has been elected for 2016-17 and we look forward to continuing to gain insight from our scholars in the coming years. 

ACTION Program | 308 Math Science Building | BGSU | Bowling Green | OH | 43403