Goodbye, Josh

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Picture of Josh.
2003 DO-IT Scholar, Josh Niklason

I am sad to report that Josh Niklason, '03 DO-IT Scholar, lost his battle with cancer. Josh cherished his family and friends and enthusiastically engaged in sports—basketball, swimming, baseball—and academic studies. After high school graduation he attended Landmark College in Vermont. He hoped to someday have a career in elementary education. Josh will be receiving an honorary degree from Landmark College, which will be presented to his family this fall.

We will always remember Josh's positive attitude and enthusiasm in everything he did. He worked tirelessly as a DO-IT Intern during Summer Study 2006 and was always focused on making sure that the new Scholars felt welcome and encouraged. Josh will be greatly missed.

Demon On Wheels

by Josh Niklason

What image would you want
permanently etched on your body?

Piercing pictures with
individual sacred histories.

Scrawled figures concealing
special tales only you can tell.

Iconic affections, personal
characteristics, abstract
illustrations, unique nicknames.

"Demon On Wheels"
Fierce, hellish beast
abundance of boiling frustration.

Fiery red eyes
staring devilishly
at surrounding emptiness.

Hideous fangs hidden within
an evil smirk of death.

This monster creates fresh
skid marks teasingly
tickling your sense of smell.

Growing ferocious flames
follows fresh tire tracks
formed by a manual wheelchair!

This creature is eternally
triumphant at any task
disregarding limitations
and other opinions.

The greatest fuel feeding
this animal's infatuation for
endless achievement is
energetic determination,
willingness to try anything.

This is the design I would want
stamped to my skin forever.

Visually depicting my soul.

"Demon On Wheels"

This silent symbol constantly echoes evidence of
infinite physical strength
everlasting enthusiasm.