Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
November  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 had many advising appointments with ACTION students to discuss spring scheduling. Hailey Ginnever is one of the scholars grateful for his assistance.
At BGSU's recent STEM in the Park, approximately 5,000 people flooded the campus to investigate the wonders of mathematics and science in the real world.  One of the presentation booths featured 3D imaging that is considered the medium of the future.  Imagine watching a college basketball game as if you are standing at mid-court and the players are running past (and "through") you!  Instead of a camera looking down on the game, you actually view the action as though you are on the court and in the game.
Advances in technology have prompted the ACTION staff to examine new ways of communicating within and outside of the scholarship program.  Throughout the academic year, the electronic newsletter you are reading right now is sent out to our members, families, administrators, and others to provide monthly updates on the program.  Also, ACTION students (past and present) belong to a Facebook community on which they can shar e ideas and questions to remain in constant contact with one another.  This summer, a Twitter page was established so that regular tweets can be sent out to not only promote ACTION activities but also to inform readers about the latest in research, conferences, and other important information.  Just last month, the ACTION website was updated with a "live" Twitter feed so that tweets also appear at the site.  The potential for communication is almost endless!  If you have not already begun to follow us on Twitter, please jump on board - we already have about 100 followers and are growing every day (@action_bgsu).
Due to the growth in electronic and social media, I have appointed a new committee that will begin to meet later this month - the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC).  Comprised of several ACTION students from different cohorts, the ECC will meet periodically (both face-to-face and online) to discuss ways to continually improve the way that we communicate with one another in the program, as well as to the greater education community.  This is a wonderful opportunity to tap the talents of so many of our ACTION scholars who bring these technological skills to the table every day.  I am excited to explore the vast possibilities that we have for enhancing yet another area of the ACTION experience in the weeks and months to come.

Meanwhile, if you know of any high school student who might be considering applying to ACTION, send them to our website at bgsu.edu/action and also encourage them to follow us on Twitter.  Let's work together to continue to get the word out on BGSU's signature program for preparing the best science and mathematics teachers in the State of Ohio.


Cohort 8 - Freshman
AYA Life Sciences and Chemistry
How did you end up at BGSU?
Initially I did not want to come because many of my high school classmates attend BGSU.  I wanted a fresh start without those I knew in high school. However, with the scholarship offers here to help pay for tuition, BGSU won out.  I did not even visit campus until SOAR! Now, I love everything about BGSU and am so glad I am here.
What are you involved with on campus?
I have joined the Falcon Swing Society and it is a lot of fun to do swing dancing once a week. Recently, I was hired to work at the Technology Resource Center (TRC) in the Education Building.  I look forward to becoming familiar with all the resources in the TRC and having a little bit of income as well.
You have a job at home that many would be envious of!
I have worked at Graeter's Ice Cream store for the past two and a half years.  Their ice cream is handcrafted and packed by hand-it is delicious! I am a manager so I get to count the money (and feel rich for 10 minutes each shift) and we also taste test each bucket to ensure it's up to code.  There are definitely some perks to my job!  All the flavors are good, so my favorite depends on my mood.  Nothing compares to Graeter's in BG, so I generally choose DQ if I'm craving ice cream-since it is soft serve, it's a different kind of ice cream.
Tell us about Summer Bridge and your favorite classroom session.  I  was not sure what to expect when I came this summer, but I was very pleasantly surprised.  It was a great experience. My favorite session was "Grade Smarter, Not Harder" by Jacob Burgoon. I am very passionate about the U.S. education system and we compared ours to what is offered in other countries.  I enjoyed the debate as it made me evaluate my own stance on education but we were also challenged to consider the opposing views communicated by others.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
In kindergarten! I loved my teacher-she was so sweet and good at her job, I wanted to be like her. Throughout school, every year I wanted to teach the grade I was in. I loved school and had really good teachers! In high school, I took an education class with field experiences. I hated elementary, middle school was okay, but high school was what I preferred.  Science has always been fascinating to me and for a short time I considered being a geneticist. After discovering medical school was required for that career, I went back to my first love, teaching science. 
Felicia Beverick
Cohort 3 - May 2015 Graduate
Middle Childhood Education
(Science & Mathematics)

What have you been doing since graduation?   Shortly after graduation I accepted a job at Saint Rose School in Perrysburg, Ohio. I am in my second year and teach both math and science in grades 6-8.  We are a small school with only 115 middle school students so I am one of only two teachers that teach every student in the middle school. I have also started working with the Saint Rose high school youth group. 
Tell us how your job came about.   After sending out multiple applications and interviewing for both math and science teaching positions, none of them seemed to be the right fit. I decided to branch out my applications into Catholic schools in the area and Saint Rose was one of a few schools that had an opening in the middle school. I walked into my interview finding a familiar face, Mrs. Brahier, who I now teach "next " to everyday. 
How did your involvement in ACTION impact your teaching?
ACTION gave me the confidence to step into the classroom and know that I am capable of teaching. Without ACTION I believe that I would have entered my first classroom situation feeling very unsure about my practices and ability to take charge of middle school students. With the experiences ACTION provided, I was able to step into the classroom knowing that whatever came my way, I would know how to handle it. ACTION also provided me with lasting relationships with peers who are now fellow teachers. These relationships continue to be not only a resource for me as a teacher but also friendships to enjoy no matter what the future holds.  
What has been your favorite part about teaching so far?
My favorite part about teaching is getting to see those "light bulb" moments after a student has been struggling with understanding a concept. In fact, a couple days ago I was talking to a student about a question she was struggling with in her textbook. After explaining the question differently, a look of excitement and understanding flooded her face.  Moments like these are one of the reasons teaching is worth it for me. 

Dining with the Director
Dr. Brahier enjoys time with scholars from each cohort during "Dining with the Director" in October

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Promoting ACTION 
We are pleased to have applications for Cohort 9 beginning to arrive in our inbox!  The promotion of ACTION has taken place through participation in several BGSU events including Preview Day and Education Day.  ACTION's presence at these events supplement letters sent to nearly 850 Ohio high school counselors and Wendy's personal phone calls to students throughout fall semester. Current ACTION scholars also assisted in promotion by visiting their hometown high schools during fall break to tell others about ACTION.  The application deadline is January 15, 2017. 

Global Conference
Hannah, Jessica and Kimberly pose with Dr. Brahier and JoAnn (who was also in Keele in Spring 2016)

On October 5, BGSU hosted an undergraduate conference, "Embracing Global Engagement".  Students who have studied abroad shared their experiences through 15-minute presentations throughout the day.  Many countries were represented with three ACTION scholars sharing about Great Britain since they had studied in Keele, England, last spring semester with Dr. Brahier.
The presentation topic by Kimberly Lentz and Jessica Thompson was "Can Two
English-Speaking Countries Be That Different? Comparing the Math Standards of the U.K. and the U.S."  Hannah Schuster presented about "Mathematics for Students of Ages 14-16: Comparing the U.S. to the U.K."  Experiences while abroad enhanced their perspective on teaching mathematics and will serve them well in the future

Pumpkin Patch
Jenna Larick gives details of a social event for ACTION that she and a few others helped to coordinate:
On October 2nd, the ACTION Social Committee hosted a trip to a pumpkin patch. About 20 ACTION members and friends went to the Pumpkin Peddler Pumpkin Patch in Bowling Green. After a short hayride out into the field, we were able to pick our perfect pumpkins right off the vine. Back in the ACTION lounge, we enjoyed some snacks and decorated our pumpkins with paint and glitter. Some creative ideas included a ninja turtle, a witch, a Frankenstein, a ghost and many more. Overall, it was a great day for some fall fun! 

Each person finds just the right pumpkin

Creativity abounds as scholars decorate pumpkins

Fall Seminar
ACTION scholars have requested additional information that would be useful when job hunting.  With this in mind, cover letters was the topic of the ACTION Fall Seminar held on October 18.  Keith Limes, Director of Human Resources and Operations for Sylvania Schools, was an excellent resource. He shared his experience in hiring teachers and provided examples of bad letters that have crossed his desk (with permission). Mr. Limes then revealed what he feels are the most common cover letter mistakes - some of which could cost a candidate a job.  Additionally, he listed characteristics of exceptional leaders and asked scholars to consider their use of social media from the perspective of a future employer.  Mr. Limes encouraged the younger ACTION scholars to get involved in order to learn more about themselves and challenged older students to seek additional opportunities for growth in leadership.
Crowd of 112 ACTION scholars all in one room listening to Mr. Limes

At the end of the Fall Seminar, students spent time with their respective cohorts in order to reconnect as a group and to share with each other on topics relevant to their progress toward graduation. 
Cohort 6 discusses the Ohio Assessment for Educators (OAE's)