Pioneering Student is Example for All

Apr. 22, 2014 - by Katy Ward

Pioneering Student is Example for All

By Carol Best
April 22, 2014
Pioneering Student is Example for All

Update to the story originally published Nov. 28, 2012. To read the original article, "Pioneering Student Makes MNU "His College," click here.

Two years ago when Mitch Groszek told his parents he wanted to attend MidAmerica Nazarene University they weren’t sure what to do. Mitch has Down syndrome, and while he had completed high school as well as the Olathe School District’s Access on Campus program at MNU, they were concerned about disappointing him. He had long called MNU “his college.”

Dr. Neil Friesland, professor of education, an expert in special education, had an idea. Mitch could audit classes for personal enrichment. At first Friesland and other MNU personnel wondered how much assistance Mitch would need. Could he stay on schedule by himself and would he remember how to maneuver around campus? Their concerns were unfounded. Mitch called Friesland each morning to say he was on campus and became adept at finding his classes and staying on schedule.

Pioneering Student is Example for AllDr. Neil Friesland presenting certificate to Mitch.

He became well-known on campus, taking on the job of manager of the women’s basketball team. The team loves him, and for his “graduation” gave him a signed team jersey with the number one, because as their coach Jon Lewis said, “Mitch is their number one fan.”

Today Mitch received a special certificate of achievement at community chapel from MNU President David Spittal. It reads, Certificate of Achievement: Two years of Health and Wellness Experience. Mitch received more than one standing ovation at the ceremony and was surrounded by friends as Chaplain Randy Beckum prayed a blessing over him.

Friesland says the heroes of this story, besides Mitch himself, are Pam and Mark Groszek, Mitch’s parents.

“They’ve advocated for him all along,” Friesland says. “Mitch is where he is today because they believed in him.”

Students, faculty and staff all over MNU have found Mitch’s can-do attitude and ready smile an encouragement. Many of them gathered to wish him well at a reception following the ceremony.

Pioneering Student is Example for AllDr. Randy Beckum and MNU students praying over Mitch.

“I don’t know what I will do without you,” Mitch told staff in the School of Education. But those of us who’ve know Mitch know that he will continue to do much more than expected. He’s proven it. He’s a true Pioneer! 

 

MNU News

Monday, December 11
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Newsroom
MNU Participates in Second “Giving Tuesday”

MNU Participates in Second “Giving Tuesday”

Today is Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving fueled by social media and many donors working together to make a collective impact. MNU’s goal…

Read More
CAEP Request for Comments

CAEP Request for Comments

The School of Education at MidAmerica Nazarene University is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on February 4-7, 2018. Interested…

Read More
JOCO Fall 2017 mag
Alum Puts Education to Work in Co-Responder Program

Alum Puts Education to Work in Co-Responder Program

MNU 2017 Master of Arts in Counseling graduate Jeffrey Wilson is part of the expanded Johnson County Mental Health Center’s co-responder program.…

Read More
NursingCook14-35
Nursing Grads Achieve Top Scores

Nursing Grads Achieve Top Scores

Once again MNU’s School of Nursing has learned that their graduates rank at the top. Our NCLEX-RN (test required for licensing) first-time pass rate from January 1 – September 30, 2017, is 92.44%…

Read More
The State of Marriage Counseling | MidAmerica Nazarene University

The State of Marriage Counseling | MidAmerica Nazarene University

  November 3, 2017 Although the myth that half of all marriages end in divorce has been debunked (it’s actually closer to about 30%…

Read More
Reformation Tree
Luther Tree Planted

Luther Tree Planted

A Luther Tree, a tree commemorating the Protestant Reformation, was planted on campus Oct. 31, 2017. The red oak tree sits on the Campus Mall in front of Mabee Learning Commons. One of several events…

Read More
MNU Spring11-012
Reformation 500 Commemoration Oct. 31

Reformation 500 Commemoration Oct. 31

On Oct. 31, 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, MNU will hold several events to commemorate the event. The public is welcome to attend each of these free events. All events…

Read More
Cunningham Center Rendering South
MNU Receives Additional $300K from Sunderland Foundation for New Student Center

MNU Receives Additional $300K from Sunderland Foundation for New Student Center

The Sunderland Foundation has just awarded MNU a second gift of $300,000 toward the construction of the proposed Cunningham Student Center, part of…

Read More
McIntire Spittal at KCU
MNU Becomes Partner with KCU Providing Early Admission to Med School

MNU Becomes Partner with KCU Providing Early Admission to Med School

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) and MidAmerica Nazarene University have agreed to a…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Claim Four National Marks at First Indoor Meet

Pioneers Claim Four National Marks at First Indoor Meet

PITTSBURG, Kan. - A new season for the Pioneer Men and Women teams began this weekend at the Crimson and Gold Invitational at Pittsburg State University...

 
Pioneers Survive in Overtime

Pioneers Survive in Overtime

#7 WBB vs. Missouri Valley | W 68-61

 
Pioneers Fall to Vikings

Pioneers Fall to Vikings

#19 MBB vs. Missouri Valley | L 74-84

 
Latest Photos
MNU Homecoming 2017
MNU Homecoming 2017
MNU Homecoming 2017 First MANC head Football coach, Gordon DeGraffenreid
MNU Homecoming 2017
MNU Homecoming 2017
MNU Homecoming 2017