Pioneering Student Makes MNU "His College"

Nov. 19, 2012 - by cnwienck

Mitch Groszek’s Pioneering Spirit

by Kelsey Luffman

MitchThis semester, MNU welcomes an exceptional pioneer to campus. Mitch Groszek is a freshman from Olathe, Kan., who loves wrestling and karate. Mitch also has Down’s syndrome, and his special needs make him unique among the broader student body.

Though it’s his first semester taking classes, Mitch is no stranger to the MNU campus. Mitch is a former member of ACCESS – an Olathe School District program that enables developmentally disabled students to extend their high school careers while developing their social, academic, and career skills. MNU connects with ACCESS by offering the campus as a meeting place for the program.

His parents, Olathe residents Mark and Pam Groszek, said Mitch became fully involved with the campus community during his time in ACCESS.

“He’s always considered MNU his college,” said Mark Groszek. “And it makes us comfortable knowing that the people here are trustworthy….we don’t worry about him.”

Now, MNU is Mitch’s college in more than name: with the help of an ACCESS transition specialist and MNU faculty, Mitch is enrolled in 14 audit hours.

Dr. Neil Friesland, professor of education, holds an Ed.D. in special education and serves as a liaison between ACCESS and the university.  Now, Friesland also acts as Mitch’s academic advisor. Friesland said that after seeing how the campus has welcomed other ACCESS students, he believes Mitch will have plenty of encouragement during his transition to full-time enrollment.

“Often MNU students will sit at lunch with ACCESS students or take them to games,” said Friesland. “So now I am relying on the MNU community to help Mitch around if he needs anything.” 

So far, said Mark and Pam Groszek, Mitch has been adjusting exceptionally well, as is characteristic of his adventurous spirit. One example of that spirit is his participation in a number of Special Olympic events, including basketball, golf, power lifting, soccer, and track. These experiences, his parents said, have helped him gain increasing independence, and in turn, enabled him to succeed in his various ambitions, including college.

mitch2

Pam and Mark Groszek encourage their son Mitch to try new things. He’s proven he can do what he sets his mind to.

“There’s a learning curve on both ends,” said Mark Groszek. “But he loves MNU – it’s what he wanted to do.”

Since MNU does not have a special education program, Mitch attends classes with the broader student body. Dr. Friesland is currently working to develop a customized two-year certificate program that will allow Mitch to participate in graduation. 

To those on MNU’s campus and in the Olathe community who have not met Mitch yet, Mark Groszek wanted to say one thing.

“He’s just a regular kid. He’s just like anybody else,” said Mark. “Throughout his life we’ve had people tell us different things – ‘he can’t do this, he won’t do that.’ But you have to get to know him.”

Friesland agreed that Mitch is an inspiring example of the innovative spirit and can-do attitude that characterizes the MNU family.

“He is truly a pioneer here on campus,” said Friesland.

WBB Mitch

Since his arrival on campus, Mitch Groszek has become involved with all things MNU. Pictured here with the women's basketball team, Mitch has become a essential part of the team by serving as team manager. Mitch also stays involved in campus life by training for Special Olympics weightlifting with Whitney Rodden, head strength and conditioning coach, and singing in the Special Pops choir for developmentally disabled students with Mary Mays of the fine arts department.

To learn more about academic programs and special accommodations at MNU, visit www.mnu.edu/academics.

 

MNU News

Monday, June 27
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Kyle Ford
Pursuing God’s Call: Diving into Dentistry

Pursuing God’s Call: Diving into Dentistry

Would you ever think that a radio advertisement could lead someone to discovering their calling? That is exactly what led alum Kyle Ford (’13) to…

Read More
Grittman Davis VBall
Coach Puts Communication Degree to Work

Coach Puts Communication Degree to Work

Though she played college volleyball, coaching a team wasn’t at the top of her list when Britney (Grittman ’14) Davis was deciding on a post-college career. However, after being admitted to the…

Read More
CY 3
Hard Work, Discipline and Confidence Pay Off

Hard Work, Discipline and Confidence Pay Off

“It’s funny how the game of football can make a difference in someone’s life,” says Corey Young ('14), an MNU sports management…

Read More
Mabee
Unique Partnership to Provide College Experience to Developmentally Disabled

Unique Partnership to Provide College Experience to Developmentally Disabled

Lakemary Center and MidAmerica Nazarene University are partnering to meet the needs of students diagnosed with certain developmental disabilities…

Read More
Brady Braatz
Braatz Named Chaplain

Braatz Named Chaplain

MNU President David Spittal announced the appointment today of Rev. Brady Braatz as MNU University Chaplain.  Braatz is a 2001 graduate of MNU with a bachelor’s degree in business…

Read More
300 Leaders Expected for PALCON

300 Leaders Expected for PALCON

MNU is one of three locations for the Church of the Nazarene’s Pastor and Leaders Conference (PALCON) this summer. The gathering for clergy “on the front lines of ministry” is an opportunity…

Read More
Relentless2016big
Summer SERVEteams

Summer SERVEteams

MNU SERVEteams are hitting the road this summer, traveling the MNU region to serve in churches, camps, District Assemblies and more. Together the groups will serve at 38 different events.The 19…

Read More
Eick Chicago School
Calling to Counseling

Calling to Counseling

Natalie Eick (’12), sociology/psychology major, found her mission field within the walls of her graduate program in the clinical psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology,…

Read More
2016 MNU commencement 0892
Spring 2016 Honor Roll

Spring 2016 Honor Roll

MidAmerica Nazarene University recently announced its Honor Roll for the spring 2016 semester.  All students in traditional programs carrying 12 semester hours or more with a term GPA from 3.2…

Read More
Sports
Lee Dobbins Named Head Softball Coach

Lee Dobbins Named Head Softball Coach

Director of Athletics Kevin Steele has announced Lee Dobbins as the next head softball coach at MNU...(click title for more)

 
Track & Field Speed & Power Camps

Track & Field Speed & Power Camps

The purpose of these camps is to give athletes from ALL SPORT BACKGOUNDS instruction on movements to develop speed and power within a track and field setting...(click title for more)

 
Track & Field Nationals

Track & Field Nationals

T&F Nationals | Gulf Shores, AL Schedule  Live Results Video Streaming Twitter: @MNUTrackXC, @mnusports

 
Latest Photos
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich