April 25, 2017
By Emily Lapinski
How many of you are just about ready to give up at this point in the semester? You’re feeling overwhelmed, overworked and it seems like you can’t catch a break. Sitting through classes, you’re doing all the motions but your mind is somewhere else. What is the point? It may not always seem like it, but your time here at Dominican is worth it.
Senior Adam Janusz, majoring in elementary education, is a perfect example. Janusz has seamlessly transitioned from student to teacher, with an eager group of first graders waiting for him in Redwood City, California.
Throughout his four years, Janusz has played the role of honor’s student, SOAR leader, volleyball player and was most recently named the 2017 Dorothy Reiner Mulroy Scholar.
“Everything I did was for one reason or another and it just all tied together,” Janusz said. “It’s not a matter of trying to win the award but of naturally encompassing what it stands for.”
Janusz has spent the last few semesters exploring his passion student teaching in the city; however, that wasn’t his original plan.
“I wanted to go into business but realized that profit was not my goal in life,” he said. “I knew I wanted to study my whole life. I just wanted to be curious about things and read about them and experiment them. And I thought the greatest way to do that and apply my skills would be to teach.”
His time at Dominican heavily influenced his teaching style.
“That’s one of the best things about Dominican,” Janusz said. “I have had all these interests and been able to apply all of them. Every single professor I’ve had has been so open to me and my ideas, doing their best to allow me to incorporate them. I’ve been able to have so much academic freedom while also being in the confines of a protective university. That is the type of education I will forever advocate for; the freedom to experiment with ideas.
Janusz was offered and accepted a position in California to teach first grade at the Holy Family School of St. Francis Center.
“I think it’s going to be a great learning experience,” he said. “Kids are smarter than us adults because they don’t have the self-regulation or filter both physically and mentally. They don’t filter their thoughts and hold so much hope. If we could all be more like kindergartners or first graders and play more often, play with ideas, we could progress so fast as individuals.”
Janusz was also part of the recruit for Dominican’s first men’s volleyball team and is so grateful for that experience and the lifelong friends he’s made. The team is headed to the national tournament next weekend.
“I accept the award on behalf of all those guys that have that have made me this way,” Janusz said. “It’s meant a lot to me how they have received my award. A lot of these guys probably wanted this award for me just as much as I wanted it, maybe even more. Sometimes I give talks to the guys before practice or a game and I want to do that for the student body with my speech at commencement. There’s excellence in every facet of what they do here.”
My sure to look out for Adam at the May 7 commencement. He will be on the stage addressing the Class of 2017.
“The biggest reason I wanted to win the award, once I was considered, was to be able to make the speech at commencement,” Janusz said. “I like public speaking and imparting whatever wisdom I feel like I may have. I want to make sure everyone walks out of the auditorium at UIC pumped that they graduated from Dominican and pumped that they can now apply what they have been instilled with.”