Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
December 2017 / January 2018

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
This year, we decided to make a change to the newsletter release schedule.  Rather than having December and January issues, we are combining them into a single publication since news is limited when our students are on break for three weeks.  This final issue of 2017 and the first of 2018 is a good opportunity to take stock of the ACTION program - where we are and where we are headed.
Dr. B poses with Sarah & Catherine at the Holiday Party

ACTION began with Cohort 1 back in the summer of 2009.  Since then, we have cycled our way through nine cohorts of scholars, with Cohort 10 members currently applying for the program.  Today, ACTION has 115 undergraduate scholars, spread across Cohorts 4 through 9.  In the fall of 2018, we will begin a yearlong celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the ACTION program!  We urge you to keep an eye on the newsletters, website, and social media to see a number of special events that will serve to spotlight the program and share our excitement about this landmark year.
 
In 2017, ACTION established a Service Committee to coordinate and oversee scholars' involvement in various service activities. Also, we created an Electronic Communications Committee whose purpose is to review and refine all electronic information sources for the program, from the website to social media, including the newsletter you are currently reading.  Both committees are comprised of a cross section of current scholars.
 
A key feature of ACTION has always been its ability to adapt to new situations and to act on recommendations made by scholars, parents, alumni, and faculty and staff members.  For example, this year, our Fall Seminar provided three concurrent sessions so that students could select a workshop that most directly met their needs.  This format was followed due to scholar suggestions about ensuring that seminar topics were relevant to their developmental needs in the program.  Alumni of ACTION who are now teaching in the field presented at two of these three sessions.  Similarly, we have reached out to ACTION parents for help this year.  Student Advisory Board (SAB) members provided guidance regarding specific ways ACTION parent involvement might enhance the program.  And, in the spring of 2017, the SAB had their first off-campus planning retreat to transition new members onto the Board - a tradition that will continue in the spring of 2018.
 
As we approach the holiday season, we have much to be grateful for.  I want to thank our scholars, their families, and our supporters for all they have done to build our program over the years.  I hope you have some time to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the gift of family and friends over the break.  We look forward to serving all of you in 2018!

One Hundred ACTION Graduates
Taylor Ernsthausen is our 100th ACTION graduate!  She receives her diploma this December and we asked her to share her journey with us.

What challenges have you faced and how did you end up at BGSU?   As a junior in high school I already knew that I wanted to teach and was considering BGSU.  I started looking into scholarship programs and was very excited to find out about the ACTION program which convinced me to attend BGSU. Things were falling into place, or so I thought.
 
The summer between my junior and senior year of high school I was told I needed a kidney transplant as soon as possible.  I had been diagnosed with kidney disease previously, but initially was told I wouldn't need a new kidney until around age 50. Everything changed when my kidney function was measured at less than 50% and falling rapidly. I felt extremely tired and nauseous. Since I was under 18, I was put on a pediatric kidney waitlist and then began preparing for upcoming dialysis. Instead, within a month, a kidney became available; and, less than 12 hours later I was in surgery. Throughout all this my family and I relied on our faith and I actually felt amazingly calm heading into surgery. 
 
After the transplant, I continued to have complications throughout my senior year and I'm thankful my teachers were cooperative so I was able to graduate. Everything was happening so fast, I did not have time to dwell on the "what if's"- I was in a mode of focusing on getting through each day.  My condition improved enough that I was able to come to BGSU and attend the ACTION Summer Bridge prior to freshman year. That summer I would sometimes have episodes of blacking out. My ACTION cohort and the close knit community that we built was crucial for me, not only that summer but throughout the past four years as I have struggled physically off and on. These friends knew exactly what to do when I started to not feel well. Eventually the doctors discovered what was causing me to faint and were able to adjust my medication.
 
Unfortunately, just as thing were starting to stabilize before my junior year at BGSU, I was in a car accident that set me back and resulted in a withdrawal of classes for a semester in Fall 2015 so that I could focus on recovering. I was back in school the next semester but was behind everyone else.  Most of my ACTION cohort graduated last May, so my senior year has looked a bit different than expected; but many of my friends who graduated are in the area so I still have a strong support system.
 
What are your plans for the future?   While finishing classes this semester, I have worked as a tutor for middle school and high school students who are at risk academically in the Otsego School District (about 10 minutes from Bowling Green). After I graduate this December, I will most likely continue in this role for the rest of the academic year and if a full-time teaching position opens up at Otsego the following school year, I would love to be hired. I would especially like to teach Algebra 1 and/or 2.
 
What advice would you offer to others who may face challenges in life?   My advice is to not give up. Even if things are hard and people doubt, don't let them tear you down. You can overcome if you keep persevering.

Our First ACTION Graduate
While celebrating our 100th  ACTION graduate, we also look back to our very first graduate from exactly five years ago.
Sarah was one of our grads who presented during Summer Bridge
Sarah Keane Sayre graduated in December 2012 and started a long-term sub job for the rest of that school year near Columbus at Northridge High School teaching Pre-Calculus and Algebra 2. She was then hired as a full-time teacher at Northridge for two additional years before she moved to the Toledo area. Starting in Fall 2015, she began teaching 8
th  grade math at Anthony Wayne Junior High and has been there since. Sarah started graduate school in January 2016 at the University of Toledo while continuing to teach and got married last summer. The past five years have been full!

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Holiday Celebration
It is always fun to be with our ACTION family, and we enjoyed celebrating together in early December at our annual holiday gathering. Many dressed with festive attire and posed with props at the photo booths. Donations were brought to help local needy families.  The Social Committee coordinated the decorations and all enjoyed a Winter Jeopardy game with many science and mathematics questions tailored to ACTION scholars. And, of course, Cindy's good cooking/baking was appreciated by all. Great way to begin the Holiday Season! 
Cohort 8 uses the photo booth

Natalie & Bonnie have fun

Harrison & Lauren help run the Jeopardy game

Bryant, Kevin & Ethan dress in the holiday spirit

Cohort 7 gathers together

Marco keeps score for Jeopardy

Logan, Stephen, Lauren, Melanie & Beth connect & catch up

Morgan, Zoe, Maddi & Haya have fun with the props

Cohort 6 seniors enjoy the party

Math in ACTION Tutoring Hub
For the past two years (since September 2015) ACTION has helped staff and manage the Math in ACTION Tutoring Hub in Olscamp Hall on campus at BGSU.  This center has provided free tutoring for students taking any high school mathematics course.  ACTION scholars have served as tutors, and one of our graduates has been a coordinator for the center.  We were recently informed that the University will be closing the MATH Hub at the end of Fall Semester 2017 due to low attendance. However, our scholars were commended for their excellent work and we are grateful to all of our scholars who have been part of this initiative to serve high school students.