West Liberty University students will have a chance to hear about diversity from inspirational speaker Matt Glowacki at 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 28, in the Alumni Room, College Union. The presentation is open to the public and sponsored by the office of Learning and Student Development.
“You are an inspiration to everyone, and your accomplishments in sport make you a great role model,” commented President Bill Clinton, after listening to one of Glowacki’s presentations. His presentation is in conjunction with Disability Employment Awareness Month and will be structured around animated comedies.
Born with no legs, Glowacki knows what it’s like to be considered “different.” But he never let that stop him from pursuing a meaningful life. His entertaining talk will inspire everyone.
“Animated comedies such as “Family Guy” and “South Park” are more likely to teach and reinforce the morals and values of young adults than the homes that they are being raised in,” Glowacki said. “This should not be surprising given that families share less than seven meaningful interactive minutes together in a day while the average high school student and college undergrad spend seven hours a day watching TV.”
In his presentation, Glowacki explains that, “programs operating on the fringes of societal acceptance often have a more developed, logical, and inclusive view of our society than the entities which seek a strangle hold on morality in our culture.”
“Family Guy” & “South Park” are examined anew and mined for gold as he identifies the ways in which these programs break down stereotypical attitudes and behavior regarding people’s differences. His audience will never be passive television viewers again but rather will ask, “what’s the point, what’s the moral, and how are they reflective of the goings on of our culture?”
The presentation is appropriate for anyone in the fields of communication, physical and occupational therapy, athletics, education, physiology, philosophy, student success, resident assistant programs, student leaders and student government.
Glowacki was born in 1973 in Janesville, Wis. His birth drew attention because, though he was healthy, he was born without legs. From the very beginning, his parents made sure to provide him with every opportunity to participate in a normal life. At age three, he became involved in community activities and went on to graduate from Craig High School.
In his senior year he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, served as the Governor of the State of Wisconsin’s Key Club District, and managed his own business. He continued his education and community involvement at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in U.S. History.
While attending the university and playing wheelchair basketball, Glowacki developed and directed a community awareness program entitled, “What It Takes: Cornerstones for Success.” He then brought this program and his messages and competitive wheelchair sports to over 25,000 students across the state.
Currently, he focuses his life in two areas. The first is the world of business and community; he was employed for three years as an outside sales account executive for Lucent Technologies. During his tenure at Lucent, he was awarded the regional “Master Sales Award” and the “Giving Back to the Community Award.”
In October of 1999, he left to focus on three of his own businesses: MOGO Wheelchairs, a very successful wheelchair building and sales business; Glow Music, a mobile disc jockey and entertainment service; and Myriad Communications, his speaking and consulting company.
The second focus of his life is competitive sports. Glowacki earned his position on the USA Paralympic Team for Sit-Volleyball in June of 1998, after he participated in the World Championships, Washington, D.C. He traveled and competed internationally with the team.
He attended the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia, and the 2002 World Championships in Cairo, Egypt. He also served as the alternate for the Paralympics in Athens 2004. He also plays on a wheelchair basketball team out of St. Louis, Miss.
Glowacki resides in Sun Prairie, Wis., and is active in local organizations such as the Kiwanis and volunteers at different events. He also served on the State Easter Seals Board of Directors. He was chosen by the Governor of the State of Wisconsin to serve on the Governor’s Rehabilitation Council, which monitors and oversees the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
For more information on Glowacki, visit his Website: http://www.mattglowacki.com/.
For more information on the WLU program, please contact Developmental Advising Specialist C.J. Farnsworth at 304-336-8216.