Joshua Kortze, a graduate student studying political science with a passion for travel and teaching, died on Sunday, Jan. 27 in a single-vehicle car accident in Bethlehem, Pa. He was 24.
Kortze was born Feb. 20, 1988 in Allentown, Pa., and lived in Bushkill Township, Pa. Kortze earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Kutztown University in 2010, and received his master’s degree in political science from Lehigh University in 2011.
Kortze aspired to become a professor. He taught in China for a year and had an interest in Chinese politics, as well as liberal and socialist movements.
“He was nicknamed by the faculty here – Chairman Mao – since he was our last communist student,” Kristen Bremer, chair of the political science department at Kutztown University, wrote in an email.
John Riley, an associate professor of political science at Kutztown University, said that Kortze was an active member of the university’s Model UN club. According to Riley, Kortze was a skilled and passionate debater.
“He did not suffer fools lightly,” Riley, who was also faculty advisor of the Model UN club, wrote in an email. “Josh was exceptionally well read and very thoughtful. He always held me to account, and I mean this in the most positive way.”
Kortze took part in multiple national and international competitions in Model UN.
According to Riley, Kortze was a dedicated student. He recalled one time when he was supposed to take a test during a flight.
“For an hour the plane was party to a comical scene of Josh alternatively falling asleep while trying to write and jumping up in horror as the plane hit the turbulence … His grade on the exam put him in the top percentage of the class,” Riley wrote.
Kortze is survived by his parents, Albert and Kim Kortze, and his sister, Aubrey Kortze.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Reichel Funeral Home in Nazareth, Pa., followed by Mass at 11 a.m. in Holy Family Catholic Church in Nazareth. Students affected by Kortze’s death are advised to contact the University Counseling Center.