Winona State alum cast in new Netflix Dahmer series


Contributed from: Netflix

Winona State University alumni Josh Braaten (left) stared in the recent hit Netflix series, Dahmer. Braaten graduated in the class of 1999 and played a young Lionel Dahmer, the father of Jeffrey Dahmer.

Lillianna Van De Walker, Features Reporter

Although not everyone may recognize the name Josh Braaten, he might be a familiar face to some. Today, Josh Braaten, a 1999 alumnus from Winona State University, is known for his role in many movies and television shows. Cast in Netflix’s new limited series, “Dahmer”, as the young Lionel Dahmer, Braaten is also known for acting in other productions.

The witty and humorous actor landed many roles including those in movies such as “Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” and “Semi-Pro” with Will Ferrell. The shows that Braaten has guest-starred in include: “American Horror Story”, “New Girl”, “This Is Us” and many more. Braaten also currently plays a character named Ben Campbell in the Disney TV series “Secrets of Sulfur Springs.”

While at Winona State, Braaten acted in theater productions such as Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. A big contributor to Braaten’s success in the acting industry is one of WSU’s, now-retired, theater professors, Emerita Vivian Fusillo. After he graduated from the university, Braaten began his acting career in 2001 when he played a character named Carson in the TV series “Spin City”. Landing that role was a break for Braaten, but he added to his success when he started gaining more roles in Hollywood.

The Associate Director of Winona State’s career services, DeAnna Goddard, congratulated Braaten when she learned about his success.

Students from Winona State also shared their reactions to Braaten’s success.

“It makes me feel really inspired because even though Winona State is a small school, just seeing that someone who graduated from here can be so successful just really opens my mind to the potential we all really have,” Gabrielle Quigley, a first-year student, said.

“I think it is interesting to hear about someone from Winona State going that far in the acting industry. I didn’t realize we had such decorated alumni here,” Maxamilliano DeLuca, a first-year student, said.

For those Winona State students interested in pursuing a similar career path as Braaten, Goddard recommended that they should speak with someone from Career Services.

In addition to “Dahmer”, Bratten has appeared in shows like “American Horror Story”, “New Girl”, and “This Is Us”. His rolls on the silver screen include films like “Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” and “Semi-Pro” with Will Ferrell. (Contributed from: TMDB)

“Career Services is always willing to sit down with a WSU student or alum to talk about career paths and getting started in a profession. I am also a firm believer in conducting informational interviews with those in the profession you want to pursue. Not only will you gain valuable information and advice, but you will also be able to build a professional network in the industry. Professors and alumni are a great starting place,” Goddard said.

To be as successful in the acting industry as Braaten, Goddard recommends that students first make time to define what success means to them.

“Clarifying your definition of success will help you to determine a career trajectory and set goals to reach success,” Goddard said.

Goddard explained the mindset that she believes is important to have for students to achieve their goals.

“It is important to find roles (acting or career) that allow you to grow as a professional, challenging you in positive ways to advance in your skills and knowledge. Mindfully reflecting on your work challenges, successes, impact, and outcomes will allow you to make informed decisions throughout your career. Remember, your success is not an end result, but a meaningful journey filled with many successes. Finally, work hard. You need to put in the time and energy,” Goddard said.