Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
October  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
Over the past several weeks, ACTION staff members have been focused on writing a new proposal to Choose Ohio First for continued funding of the program.  After eight years on the original design, every COF program in the state has been asked to write a brand new proposal and submit it this month.  The writing process has involved both looking back at what we have accomplished in ACTION and
Dr. B shares a laugh with Taylor, Brittany and Megan during a "Dining with the Director" lunch in September
looking forward to where we want to be in another several years.  It is at times like these when I really begin to appreciate everything that ACTION is doing for our scholars.  This has indeed become the program I wish I had experienced when I began my college and teaching career!
There is a section in the proposal where we are to describe features, supports, and opportunities available to our students in addition to the program related coursework.  In alphabetical order, I discuss each of the following:
  • Dining with the Director
  • Events, such as the Welcome Back Spaghetti Dinner and the Family Weekend Tailgate
  • Newsletters like this one!
  • Offenhauer Learning Theme Community
  • One-on-One meetings with freshmen and sophomores
  • Peer Mentoring for Freshmen and Sophomores
  • Seminars (Fall and Spring)
  • Senior Interviews conducted , every spring
  • Social Committee and social events
  • Social Media (Facebook and Twitter accounts)
  • Spring Surveys for input on the program
  • Student Advisory Board
  • Tutoring (in Math and Science)
And, of course, this is just a partial list of some of the features of the program!  We are proud to have evolved ACTION from its infancy of Cohort 1 in the first year to a full-blown program that now includes 112 scholars across four years, with a BGSU retention rate of over 98% - with 87% of our students remaining in ACTION throughout college and graduating from the program.  Over the next two years, we anticipate growing the program from 112 to 131 students.  We w ill hear from Columbus in the coming months about our future funding but are proud of all that we have accomplished to this point.  I am grateful to the many faculty members, administrators, and family members who have contributed much to our success. 
Recruitment for Cohort 9 has begun, and the application is now available online at our website.  Please help us to spread the word as we look forward to bringing in yet another group of freshmen next summer and continue to grow and improve the ACTION program.


Cohort 5 - Senior
AYA Integrated Mathematics
What was your summer job?  I  lived in Bowling Green and worked at BG Parks and Rec as a sports programmer. I helped supervise many different sports including volleyball, soccer, basketball and t-ball for ages 5-12. It was a full-time job and was a lot of fun. I'm continuing this job during the school year by assisting several hours each week with a few after school sports programs.

Tell us more about your involvement with sports and coaching. As a sophomore at BGSU, I helped my dad coach his freshman HS basketball team. I was commuting at the time, so it was convenient. This was a great experience and confirmed my decision to pursue coaching as a minor. Last summer, I contacted local schools to inquire about volunteering as a coach. BGHS responded and I've been helping with their JV and Varsity basketball teams ever since.  I also coached an AAU team of 9th   graders last spring. My main focus has been basketball, but I might also be open to coaching high school soccer and/or cross-country when I am teaching.

What led to your decision to be a high school math teacher?
Math has always been the subject I enjoyed most and I've pictured myself as a teacher for as long as I can remember.  I like being in the classroom and enjoy being with and helping kids.  I could never see myself doing anything other than teaching. 

Have you thought much about what you will do after graduation?
Now that I am in methods, I am getting even more excited to have my own classroom after graduation. I look forward to having even more freedom to teach how I want. I hope to stay in northwest Ohio and would prefer to teach upper level math courses from geometry on up.  Even though I am most familiar with a small town school district, I would be wiling to have a new experience by teaching in a different type of school district if the opportunity came about.

What's something people would be surprised to know about you?   After having knee surgery as a senior in high school, the only thing I could do was run straight since this put the least amount of stress on my knees. So, I began to run! Around the time of the ACTION Summer Bridge, I decided to run a marathon. I initially planned to do a half-marathon, but that was "sold out" so I signed up and ran the Glass City Marathon in April 2014.  It was an amazing experience! Even though things are very busy this year, I try to run several miles at least every few days.

And like many in BG, I am sad that Myles Pizza is closing, but I am happy that Dairy Queen is still around!

Cohort 7 - Sophomore
Middle Childhood Education
(Science & Mathematics)

What brought you to BGSU?   I was debating between Kent State and BGSU. My mom is a teacher and she heard her colleagues talking about ACTION. When she told me about the program and all that was included, I knew it would be a great opportunity to help me develop as a teacher. This was something that Kent State didn't have so I chose BGSU.
When and how did you decide to be a teacher?   I've always wanted to teach. My mom is a teacher and I looked up to her and wanted to follow in her footsteps. I babysat a lot and loved playing "school" at home as a kid. Any chance I'd get, I would help my mom grade papers and be in her classroom. I chose to focus on teaching math and science because these seem to be the most interactive. Rather than just giving material, you can easily get involved in these subjects and make them hands-on.
What are you involved with at BGSU?   In addition to ACTION and Bowling Green Council of Teachers of Mathematics (BGCTM), much of my time goes to being on the BGSU water ski team. I joined in the middle of last year so this is my first year competing with the team. We have tournaments every weekend during the first 6 weeks of fall semester. We have done well and will be competing in regionals in Illinois the first weekend of October. When we are not competing, we have conferences every 6 weeks or so where we have professional water skiers come talk to us and interact with other skiers. I also work at Bob Evans restaurant-after waitressing at home, I transferred to the BG location during the school year.
Tell us about your ACTION practicum project.  Currently I am working with Beth Zeno, another ACTION scholar, at the BGSU Greenhouse. Our goal has been to work with the horticulturalist to consider various methods to reduce the number of thrips ("bad insects") that harm the plants. We have already discovered that whiteflies are the worst thrips.  We have ordered predators and once they arrive, we look forward to continuing our research to determine the most effective ways to enhance plant life at the greenhouse on campus.
Fun facts about yourself... I like to roller blade and last year a friend and I spent one whole day on our blades around town and discovering new places in BG!

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Cohort 9 Recruiting 
The ACTION scholarship application for incoming freshman for Fall 2017 has been updated and is available at bgsu.edu/action. Prospective students with questions can contact Wendy, ACTION Program Manager, at 419-372-6561. 

Welcome Back Dinner
The ACTION Welcome Back Spaghetti Dinner is an annual fall event. It's a great way to kick off the new school year and gives cohort members the opportunity to reconnect while also providing a chance for various cohorts to mingle. 
As our ACTION family continues to grow, this has become a bigger event each year with nearly 80 joining us this September. Cohort 7 scholars were in charge and they took the large numbers well in stride as they made pounds of spaghetti and crockpots full of sauce. There was plenty of food for the hungry crowd and all had a fantastic time. 
Shawna, Emma & Kara are all smiles even with piles of dirty dishes 

A table of Cohort 5, 6 & 7 scholars take a break from eating to pose

Peer Mentoring
With all the positive feedback from the Peer Mentor program last year, we are excited to continue it. ACTION juniors (Cohort 6) who signed up to mentor attended a workshop on September 13. Dr. Brahier discussed the expectations for mentors and Laura Barned, Academic Advisor for the College of Education and Human Development, shared tips related to scheduling classes.  In addition to giving information about resources available, Nidaa Shaikh from the BGSU Counseling Center interacted with the group to discuss challenges m any freshmen face and how to develop good listening skills.

Laura Barned shares tips with Cohort 6 as they prepare to be a mentor
At the conclusion of the workshop, Cohort 8 scholars arrived to meet their mentor.  Introductions were made and conversations started among pairs with energy flowing throughout the room. Pairs will now meet one-on-one throughout the year. We anticipate great connections and noticed several pairs lingered, enjoying interactions after others were long gone.

Kyle Timmons and Harrison Brunner discuss when to meet as mentee/mentor match

Emma Blevins and JessicaThompson are already starting to connect

Social Committee
The ACTION Student Social Committee has been working behind the scenes to plan some events for the upcoming year.  Since our scholars work so hard academically, it's nice to take a break to blow off steam. These events also provide an opportunity for different cohorts to mingle and connect. The first event hosted by the committee was a volleyball night on a Friday evening at Offenhauer. Liz Baker took the lead to get people involved and organize teams. Three teams of six competed while several other students opted to help keep score.  It was a great way to start the year!

The winning volleyball team