Class of 2019 Success Stories: BGSU graduate who majored in math education puts plans into ACTION

Melody Freeland wants to inspire, teach and write   

By Amber Stark ’99

Despite not knowing anyone at Bowling Green State University before coming to campus, Melody Freeland knew she belonged here.

“It was scary at first, but it has definitely been one of the best decisions of my life,” the May 2019 graduate said, noting the handwritten notes she received from students before choosing BGSU. “That was very special to me and made me feel that I already belonged.”

The Cincinnati native received her bachelor’s degree in adolescence to young adult math education and had a minor in Spanish.

“When I started at BGSU, my major was actually middle childhood education for math and science,” Freeland said. “During the summer bridge program with Science and Math Education in ACTION, I changed my major because I realized I would more enjoy teaching high school-age students and focus solely on math.”

The ACTION Program provides up to four years of scholarship funding through a Choose Ohio First grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education for students interested in teaching science and/or math in grades four through 12.

“I have met my best friends through this program and I have gained many opportunities to conduct research and graduate as a top-notch educator,” Freeland said.

In addition to the ACTION program, Freeland was a member, captain and president of the Women’s Club Lacrosse team, and a Learning Commons tutor and supplemental instructor in the math and stats lab.

While math and Spanish aren’t a common combination, choosing Spanish as a minor was the highlight of Freeland’s undergraduate career.

“I have taken the best classes with the Spanish department and they have ignited my passion for many things, which led me to graduate school,” she said.

As an undergraduate, Freeland conducted an action research study, a scholarly approach to improving teaching and learning, to advocate for the mathematics achievement of Latinx students, which led to a Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship grant. Freeland used this grant to give back to the community through La Conexión, a nonprofit organization in Wood County that serves the Latinx population where she tutors. 

Her pursuit of Spanish as a minor also gave her the opportunity to also create an independent study to conduct literary and cinematic research in Spanish, which paved the way for her to publish an article in the journal Argus-a in Argentina and the United States. 

“After reigniting my passion for writing, I have been able to publish poetry in the international journal Revista Cronopio in Colombia and the U.S. and I am now currently undergoing the process of publishing a short story in Cuba Literaria, which was made possible through the platform of a creative writing course offered at BGSU,” Freeland said.

She will start her master’s degree in Spanish at BGSU in the fall while working as a math and Spanish teacher for Upward Bound, which supports students in their preparation for college entrance. She also plans to travel to Alcalá de Henares, Spain, during the fall semester.

“My goals seem to always be changing and expanding,” she said. “I plan to finish my master’s at BGSU and continue to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. I also would like to finish writing my first book by the time I graduate with my second degree – and go on to receive a doctorate.

“After that, I hope to be a professor. And, who knows, maybe I will end up back here at BGSU again. I simply want to inspire others, teach and write.”

Freeland tells people that BGSU has more than prepared her for these goals through the programs, educational opportunities, extra-curriculars and dedicated faculty and staff she encountered.

“My experience at BGSU has truly surpassed my expectations. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. I am a different person today than I was four years ago – educated, open-minded, well-rounded and confident in my professional abilities.

“I love this university with all my heart. It has given me the tools and the space to become me and to push me forward into the world to do what I love and inspire others. The impact and implications of BGSU will stay with me for years to come.”