Senior Psychology Major Josh Plattner is, in a word, funny. Talk to anyone who knows him and that is one of the first things they will tell you about him. “Josh can always make you laugh, no matter the situation. He has a biting sense of humor that sneaks up on you when you need it the most,” Senior Honors Geography Major Whitney Westley said. “He is bound to leave you rolling on the floor snorting embarrassingly.” Senior Biology and Political Science Major Dani Forsman-Earl agreed, “He is so quick and witty you never stop laughing!”
Josh doesn’t waste his days away just cracking jokes, however. He is passionate about writing and his involvement with Queers and Allies (Q & A) on campus. He is the recipient of the Ovanlig award for LGBT Leadership. Josh has been involved in Q & A since his first year, when his Collegiate Fellow took him to a meeting.
Josh has also lived in the Q & A house on campus, the Adolphson house for his sophomore, junior and senior years. In Q & A, Josh was secretary his sophomore year and president his junior year, with Andrew Nelson. “That was a lot of fun, to be a leader on campus and you have this opportunity to reach out and be a face on campus for people who are struggling or worried or just want to talk,” Josh said of his time as president.
He took a break from the organization in the fall while he studied abroad in London, but is back in the Adolphson house and involved again.
Josh’s other major passion is writing. He admits that he probably should have been an English major and points to the English department as being influential on him throughout his time here. “One of my biggest influences has been professors in the English department. I really respect the amount of work that each of my professors has put into helping me with my own writing and giving constructive feedback and helping me along my journey as a writer and as a person,” Josh said.
His professors are glad to have helped him along his journey. “Josh is one of the most insightful people I’ve ever met. Not only is he a gifted writer with an incredibly sharp wit, he’s an empathetic person with a generous spirit. He’s also wickedly funny and engaging to be around, the kind of student who makes me look forward to coming to work every day,” Associate Professor of English Rebecca Fremo said.
Josh truly discovered just how much he loved writing while abroad last fall. “I guess the biggest thing I learned being abroad was that writing is something I’m really passionate about. I feel like I have a unique voice, something that people want to hear or read. It sort of changed my outlook on life,” he said.
Josh uses his passion for writing in his blog, “Josh for Thought,” which can be found at joshplattner.blogspot.com, and he will be published in Firethorne, Gustavus’s literary journal, this spring. He also co-wrote a play that had a stage reading while he was in London, which is called See You Soon.
One thing that Josh would not be complete without is coffee. He works part-time as a barista at River Rock Coffee in St. Peter. “It really opened my eyes to how influential sustainable, local, fair trade and organic food and beverages can be and the benefits of all those things. Having this part time job at River Rock has almost been like a second round of education during the school year,” he said. “Plus, I get a discount on coffee!” Forsman adds, “I have the pleasure of working with him down at River Rock, and I cannot think of a better coworker.”
Studying in London was one experience that Josh will never forget. “I’ve always been fascinated by Europe. I studied in Spain my senior year of high school and was sort of bit by the bug, and finally had the chance last fall to go back.” Josh explained. “It was the best experience of my life. The people that I met there share my passion for living life to the fullest and living in the moment and cherishing everything we have now.”
Though he misses his new friends abroad, his friends at home are happy to have himback. His comedy is a notable feature, it is clear that it is his heart that makes him so unique. “He has a fantastic attitude and a whole lot of love in his heart. All of this is extremely evident, especially when you walk next to him down the campus center and literally, everyone greets him warmly,” Senior English Major Sibley Mattson said.
“Josh shows concern for the well-being of those around him, and he understands the value of compassion. Not only is he a reliable friend and a wonderful classmate, it is also apparent that he aspires to achieve excellence in all that he does,” Senior Political Science Major Phil Cleary said.
After he graduates, Josh plans to further his education after taking a year off to experience life outside of school.