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

Thursday, March 5
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Mark Wieczorek
Wieczorek Second in Men's 600 at USATF

Wieczorek Second in Men's 600 at USATF

Alum Mark Wieczorek ('09) placed second in the men's 600 meters behind Casimir Loxsom who set an American record at the USATF Indoor Championships Mar. 1, at Roxbury…

Read More
MNU-Icon
Alum Awarded 2015 Kansas Horizon Award

Alum Awarded 2015 Kansas Horizon Award

Jamie Droegemeier of Spring Hill Middle School is one of six teachers from Johnson County who won the Kansas Department of Education's 2015 Horizon Award which honors exemplary first-year teachers.…

Read More
Taylor Cowan
MNU Athlete Chosen for New NAIA Council

MNU Athlete Chosen for New NAIA Council

New group would provide a voice for NAIA student-athletes OLATHE, KANSAS—MNU student Taylor Cowan has been named to the NAIA’s proposed Association of Student-Athletes (ASA), a new group to be…

Read More
Steve and Ryan
Pioneers’ Biggest Fans

Pioneers’ Biggest Fans

They’re the Pioneers’ biggest fans. Attending as many home and away games as they can, Ryan Robinson and his dad, Steve, have made MNU athletic events their priority for the last four years. The…

Read More
KAHPERD022915
MNU Hosts PE Teachers

MNU Hosts PE Teachers

MNU hosted 140 K-12 and college physical education teachers from across the state of Kansas for the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance (KAHPERD ) winter workshop…

Read More
Robyn Essex
Alum Puts Experience and Civic Duty to the Test

Alum Puts Experience and Civic Duty to the Test

She’s the mom of three boys, an educator experienced with pre-school age children to corporate training, a volunteer youth leader, and now she’s…

Read More
M15Booth
M15 Conference Sets Vision

M15 Conference Sets Vision

This week's M15 (Mission 2015) Conference at the Kansas City Convention Center brought together nearly 3500 Nazarenes from across North America together. MNU faculty, staff and students served in…

Read More
Mabee
MNU Among Universities Recognized Feb. 9-16

MNU Among Universities Recognized Feb. 9-16

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proclaimed Feb. 9-16 as Kansas Private College Week in the state of Kansas. The Governor's proclamation brings…

Read More
Grace Wallace 022015
MNU Senior Wins Prestigious Vocal Awards

MNU Senior Wins Prestigious Vocal Awards

MNU senior music major Grace Wallace won first place in Upper Women's College Division and College Musical Theatre Division competitions at the Kansas City Chapter of the National Association of…

Read More
Sports
Webb Records Career-High 22 as Pioneers Survive CMU

Webb Records Career-High 22 as Pioneers Survive CMU

Jasmine Webb was the difference in a 72-67 victory over Central Methodist on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the HAAC Post-Season Tournament...(click title for more)

 
Graham Strikes Out 10 in Win Over Park

Graham Strikes Out 10 in Win Over Park

Phillipe Graham earned his first win as a Pioneer with 6 dominant innings against Park on Tuesday...(click title for more)

 
Cheer Headed to Nationals

Cheer Headed to Nationals

The MNU Cheerleaders received an at large bid for the 2015 NAIA National Invitational which takes place March 12-14 at Midland University...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
Midsummer Night's Dream 1770 Make up is applied for this stunning show back stage | Photo by Britney Lewis
Midsummer Night's Dream Make up is applied for this stunning show back stage | Photo by Britney Lewis
Midsummer Night's Dream 1778 Make up is applied for this stunning show back stage | Photo by Britney Lewis
Midsummer Night's Dream The blackbox transformed in this beautiful set. | Photo by Britney Lewis
Midsummer Night's Dream Make up is applied for this stunning show back stage | Photo by Britney Lewis
Midsummer Night's Dream Make up is applied for this stunning show back stage | Photo by Britney Lewis