Matt Glowacki was born in 1973 in Janesville, Wisconsin. His birth drew attention because even though he was healthy, he was born without legs. Matt received his higher education from his community involvement and received a B.A. Degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Matt focuses his professional life 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. From 2008 through today, Matt has the honor of being the Most Booked College and University Diversity artist in the nation. This recognition came along with being nominated for Speaker of the Year and Best Diversity Artist of the year in 2009 and winning Best Diversity Artist in 2010 from Campus Activities Magazine, and being nominated again in 2012.
The second focus of his life is competitive sports. Matt earned his position on the USA Paralympic Team for Sit-Volleyball in June of 1998, after he participated in the World Championships, in Washington, D.C. He traveled and competed internationally with the team and attended the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia, and the 2002 World Championships in Cairo, Egypt. Matt served as the alternate for the Paralympics in Athens in 2004.
In July of 2012, Matt married the love of his life, Shannon Rene Mason. It is a prefect match of passions because of how well their interests and expertise blend together, along with their personalities. They complement and challenge each other, and what is created is the best of what they both could ever ask of one another.
Matt will lead you on a fun, interactive, and entertaining exploration of the simple ideas and easy to use strategies that can make your daily tasks, meetings, and other activities more positive, productive, and enriching. It will make you a happier and more effective team member, friend, student, partner, employee, and person!
Happiness should be a Verb. It is not how we are; it is what we do. How often you do it is up to you!
“If someone would have asked me if I wanted to go to a program that talked about being happy, I would have told them that I was happy enough, but your program changed the way I looked at my own happiness. Now I am “Doing Happiness” for myself and all my friends, and it makes everything better!!” – Jessica, University of Tampa
“We used “Doing Happiness” as the kickoff for our biggest conference of the year. It was the right high-energy opening with perfect messages to give our attendees. Matt’s happiness messages carried through the entire weekend, and I still have my bubbles.” – Sharon, Penn State
“When I started my day today, I had no real expectations. They were neither high, nor low. It was just another Monday. Little did I know that I would have the pleasure to see your happiness program. It warmed me like seeing an old friend with a great smile and amazing blue eyes. I felt as if you could see my sadness, Being blessed with the opportunity to hear you tell your story, motivate your audience and have a whole lot of fun doing it truly touched me and made my day. You were the angel I to needed meet.” – Christine, University of Akron
Generate a better appreciation of the importance of happiness as a topic in social analysis, social policies, and ethical debate
Develop an understanding of how to integrate happiness into program events, activities, and projects that will improve their campus community.
Gain a range of practical tools and techniques that will inspire and motivate students to become happier and promote happiness in their organization.
Identify the factors that lead to you living a happier life.
Builds a better understanding of what motivates students and provides meaning in their life.
Diversity According to South Park & Family Guy
Many times television imitates life and then life begins to imitate television. Programs operating on the fringes of societal acceptance often have a more developed, logical, and inclusive view of our society.
Matt uses the hidden messages behind family Guy and South Park to illustrate diversity issues in our culture. This is the most booked diversity program in the nation, because it addresses three separate diversity topics all in one program. Student attendance records are always set at the event because of the branding with the TV shows. Students leave the event with the knowledge of how diversity motivates and drives the choices and decisions we make every day.
“The students were engaged and asked thoughtful questions at the end of the presentation. Mr. Glowacki made for an open environment that encouraged our students to ask honest questions.” – Carissa, Wentworth Institute of Technology”
“I have always enjoyed seeing Family Guy and South Park on television, but after experiencing Matt’s program, I am actually watching and understanding the programs on an entirely different level.” – Josh, UNLV
“I just wanted to pass along how impactful I thought your presentation was today! I went home and told my husband about it as South Park and Family Guy are two of his favorite shows. This led into one of the longest talks we ever had about diversity issues. “ – Melissa University of Nebraska
- Teach students that diversity is not just recognizing individual differences but learning from them.
- Motivate students to engage in continual dialogue and the exchange of diverse ideas, methods, and perspectives.
- Emphasize the importance of taking an active role in their personal growth by thinking critically about what they read, hear, and watch on TV.
Aren’t We All Just a Little Bit Prejudiced?
Placing value in learning about various kinds of people and challenging students to make friends with people outside of their comfort zone will round out their college experience and is the key to appreciating Diversity. The lessons in life that teach us the most are those that happen when we share our true selves while simultaneously striving to learn as much as we can about others regardless of who they are or what path led them to us.
Often, students come from small towns or communities and missed the opportunity to live and interact with people from different cultural backgrounds or different ethnic subcultures than themselves. So their preconceived notions are based on what other people have told them or incorrect media images, not on actual personal experience.
This presentation brings home the idea that prejudice can used for good when it involves seeing potential in others. Enjoy the views and the insights Matt brings to his audience through his heartfelt, humorous yet candid style. His goal is for people to grow from their interactions with others regardless of their individual differences, and they will.
The New Face of Disability
Matt Glowacki’s personal experiences and knowledge of life with a disability are invaluable as he explains the stages of grief and how they are reflected in living life within the parameters of a newly acquired disability. His Paralympic expertise allows him to introduce the role competitive sports can play in the recovery of a person’s identity. He will share examples from a lifetime of overcoming other people’s low expectations for his success to illustrate the importance of striving to overcome obstacles and have meaningful relationships in life and love.
This program is ideal for all members of the college community who are seeking to be educated about new issues that will be effecting us for years to come as many of these returning wounded warriors will be returning to school as well. Your audience will leave with an understanding of how a disability affects both the person with the challenge as well as that person’s friends, family and community. Matt will strive to break down barriers that may exist between the able-bodied and those who have a disability, allowing audience members to become comfortable befriending someone with a personal challenge, so that everyone can truly be all that they can be.
Your event can be designed around up to three different Paralympic sports: Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball, and Soccer. Or we can invent a competition that models a recreational sport that is popular on your campus. Most sports can be modified to be an inclusive, competitive wheelchair event. Wheelchair Basketball exclusive tournaments are a popular selection as well.
Teams members for “Diversability Challenge” can be recruited from organizations, halls, or existing sport teams on your campus. The event is a great way to bring together lots of separate groups on your campus and design a challenging, rewarding, totally fun time, all while broadening their perspectives on people with a disability and competitive sports.
“We use Matt’s program as the finale of our theme week. All the participants love the competition and the new perspectives it brings them along the way. It is the highlight of the week for everyone involoved.” – Tamara Plummer, University of Vermont
“‘Diversability Challenge’ was an extremely energetic, fun, and highly attended event. Last year we won “campus wide program of the year”. The event has become a staple during our disability awareness month initiative.” – Stephanie, Lynn University
“I thought wheelchair sports were only for people who had to use wheelchairs. Now I want to play this all the time. How do I get my own basketball wheelchair?” – Randy, University of Wisconsin
Learning Outcomes – LO-DOWN
- Strengthen personal and social relationships between students on campus.
- Increase knowledge of assistive sport technology for different sport cultures.
- Develops the contributions of team members outside of traditional organizational dynamics.
- Promotes cross-cultural teamwork and team building amongst campus organizations.
- Facilitates personal examinations of the definition of a disability.
- Develop meaningful experiences outside of the formal classroom to deepen understanding of disability and to broaden own points of view.
Hooray! Building a Community out of Classmates
Put them in a space together for 1 to 2 hours…
Add music, balloons, hula hoops, as well as their energy and imagination, then…
Watch in amazement as the entire group is transformed from INDIVIDUAL classmates into a caring COMMUNITY!
Hooray! takes the elements of TEAMBUILDING and combines it with the ENTHUSIASM and ENERGY of the participants to create a highly enjoyable experience, which helps create a community out of strangers.
What is the #1 factor that indicates whether a new student will come back for their sophomore year? Whether or not they form several meaningful relationships. Get the jump on helping them start this process with Hooray!
Perfect for New Student Orientation, Conferences, Welcome Week, Greek Week and any event you want to get people together.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT HOORAY!…
Quite possibly the perfect Orientation program. – Tom Faessel, The University of Akron
Hooray! fit with us like a hand to a glove and everyone had such wonderful things to say! – Angela Guillory, President, Sigma Kappa
The feedback could not have been more positive. It was a great way to kick off our conference. – Janet Cox, Bacchus & Gamma National Assembly
Everyone in attendance immensely enjoyed and benefited from Hooray! It is a perfect orientation program! – NODA, Far West Regional Conference
Two hours was not enough time. We wanted more – much more! – Hilary Shumate, Alpha Phi International
This program was the ideal way to end our retreat. It was touching and our students bonded beyond my wildest expectations! – Boyd Jones, Winthrop University
You took a room full of individuals and made them a TEAM in mere minutes. We will see the positive effects of this program all year long! – Laura Bedenbaugh, Clemson University
I can’t put into words what an impact your program had on me and all of my colleagues who were fortunate enough to attend your session! – Rita Cain, COCA/CCSA, Alberta, Canada
20 Key Points Every New Student Should Know
Matt provides critical information for the first year student in this upbeat, highly motivational session created especially for the freshmen set. In an atmosphere that is fun and humorous yet highly challenging, students will discuss and learn about:
- How to manage their time and newly-found sense of freedom
- Adopting simple strategies, which can lead to better grades
- Managing their mental and physical health (and avoiding the Freshman 15!)
- The five characteristics of all healthy relationships
- How to manage their finances and avoid credit deception
- How to prepare for increased academic workloads and expectations
- Learning to live with a roommate or feeling a part of campus life if you commute
- How to deal with a long distance relationship (if they left a significant other back home or at another school)
- Communication tips for staying in touch with their family and friends back home
- Getting involved and making a difference on campus
- Properly doing laundry and other life-saving skills
- Learning to live on a limited budget
- And the answers to their most personal and fearful questions about entering college
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT 20 KEY POINTS…
The students really enjoyed this session. In fact, they rated it the top program to bring back for next year’s orientation. Congratulations! See you next year! – L. Lee, Kenyon College
Once again, my students and staff raved about you and your program. You cover so many important and timely topics with such fun mixed in, that students don’t realize just how much they are learning. Your program has become an annual event. I couldn’t imagine our opening Comet Camp without you! – Jeanette Cantwell, The University of Texas at Dallas