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

Tuesday, February 21
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
bc-fa-weekend-large
50th Anniversary Fine Arts Weekend March 4-5

50th Anniversary Fine Arts Weekend March 4-5

MNU’s 50th anniversary celebration continues next month with a weekend packed full of music, theatre and art from yesterday and today, March 4-5,…

Read More
TC-w-tag
Ministry Leadership Institute for High School Students Taking Applications

Ministry Leadership Institute for High School Students Taking Applications

Applications are open for The Call, a one-week ministry leadership institute held June 5-9 or 12-16. Pastors, professors and others in ministry will…

Read More
Drummond-1
Drummonds to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of MNU Gala

Drummonds to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of MNU Gala

MidAmerica Nazarene University announced that long-time community leaders, Dr. Bob and Julie Drummond, are the honorary co-chairs of the 2017…

Read More
Kayla Cossins
2017 Scholarship Challenge Winners Announced

2017 Scholarship Challenge Winners Announced

High-achieving high school seniors were invited to compete for one of three prestigious full-tuition scholarships at Scholarship Challenge Weekend…

Read More
Founding Faculty Mourned

Founding Faculty Mourned

Founding Pioneer Faculty Member Mary Alyce Galloway, 86, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in Longmont, Colorado. Mary Alyce joined the faculty in August 1968 to teach English. Later she became…

Read More
Garrett Todd-5
Garrett Appointed MNU Athletic Director

Garrett Appointed MNU Athletic Director

MidAmerica Nazarene University announced the appointment of Todd Garrett as Director of University Athletics today. Dr. David Spittal, MNU president made the announcement saying,…

Read More
IMG 4417
MLK Living Legacy Award to Rev. Marvin Daniels

MLK Living Legacy Award to Rev. Marvin Daniels

Rev. Marvin Daniels, executive director of The Hope Center of Kansas City, was honored with MNU's Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Award…

Read More
Open House Pic
Accelerated and Graduate Programs Host Open House

Accelerated and Graduate Programs Host Open House

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is hosting open houses at its Liberty and Olathe locations. WEDNESDAY, February 22    …

Read More
Male Nurses: Addressing the Numbers and the Stigma

Male Nurses: Addressing the Numbers and the Stigma

According to data and statistics, the lack of professionally active male nurses is apparent. Female nurses are not uncommon—nationally, there are…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Beat Panthers

Pioneers Beat Panthers

#25 BB vs. #13 York | W 4-2

 
Huge 2nd Half Propels Pioneers

Huge 2nd Half Propels Pioneers

OLATHE, Kan. - A dominant 2nd half gave MNU a 91-75 victory over Central Methodist on Saturday...

 
Eagles Handle Pioneers

Eagles Handle Pioneers

OLATHE, Kan. - The Pioneers struggled from the field in a 77-59 loss to #24 CMU on Saturday...

 
Latest Photos
20161021_MNU_homecoming_Dinner_0612
20161021_MNU_homecoming_Dinner_0562
20161021_MNU_homecoming_Dinner_0517
20161021_MNU_homecoming_Dinner_0492
20161021_MNU_homecoming_Dinner_0478
20161021_MNU_homecoming_Dinner_0448