On September 14, 2020, Joe Whelan passed away suddenly after years of fighting with mental health struggles. He was a sophomore at NKU. Joe would have turned 21 on August 17, 2021, and to honor Joe, his love of science and his compassion for others, the Joe Whelan Memorial Scholarship is being established. The scholarship will be awarded to Neuroscience majors at NKU, who will continue Joe's curiosity and pursuit of knowledge.
Northern Kentucky University was always part of Joe Whelan's life. He grew up within two miles of campus, attended the Explore More summer program in elementary school, the Governor's Scholars and School-Based Scholars programs in high school and studied at NKU as a Neuroscience major. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when his classes were held remotely, Joe spent time walking through NKU and sitting at Loch Norse, getting to know every goose and turtle on campus.
From a very early age, Joe loved crossword puzzles, trivia, Mensa puzzles, shows and podcasts like Brain Games and Hidden Brain. Joe was a scientist - he was always curious about how the mind worked.
Joe's mental health battles made his understanding of the human brain even more personal, and he truly wanted to help others who suffered just as he had. His passion for learning and helping others led him to study Neuroscience at NKU.
Northern Kentucky University was Joe Whelan's second home. Help Joe's memory live on at NKU by making your best gift to the Joe Whelan Memorial Scholarship and support the passions of NKU Neuroscience majors for years to come.