More Than a Number: Senior Michelle Wehrly Grew as a Leader in NKU Community

“I felt like I was getting a private education at a public school price
and that’s exactly how I feel to this day…”

By Tom Ramstetter
NKU Marketing + Communications

Michelle Wehrly would recommend NKU in a heartbeat.

Once upon a time, the senior psychological science major from Georgetown, Kentucky, had her mind set on attending a private school as she was preparing to graduate from Scott County High School. Many of her friends had gone to larger public universities and loved the college lifestyle, but hated going to class because they felt like they were just a number. But her parents weren’t happy with the price of a private education.

So she toured NKU…

“… and everyone was hanging out on the benches on campus or chilling by the lake and it just looked like everyone was having fun,” Michelle says. “What sold me, though, was my one-on-one meeting with the chair of the Department of Chemistry. When I came to NKU I was originally a chemistry major and I remember her telling me about how NKU was her second family. She told me about her undergraduate experience at NKU and how proud she was that her child was attending NKU and following in her footsteps. I remember listening to her and wanting to feel that same sense of pride for my university.”

Michelle walked around the labs inside the Dorothy Westermann Herrman Science Center and saw the small class sizes. She saw professors helping students one-on-one.

She decided then to hit the Road to NKU.

“I felt like I was getting a private education at a public school price and that’s exactly how I feel to this day,” Michelle says.

“NKU is not just my college, it’s my home away from home. We are a tight-knit community with more than 200 organizations and there is a place here on campus for everyone. We are also at a prime location right outside of Cincinnati where you can find anything you need within a 15-minute drive.”

Michelle Wehrly
Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko, NKU

Michelle Wehrly Profile

AGE: 21
HOMETOWN: Georgetown, Kentucky
HIGH SCHOOL: Scott County High School
MAJOR: Psychological Science
YEAR: Senior

Location is great, but it’s been the community and involvement that have made NKU home for Michelle. She arrived as a freshman not knowing anyone on campus. Now she serves as Panhellenic President for the Greek community and has made many lifelong friends.

“If you would have asked me in high school if I was going to be president of one of the largest organizations on campus, I would have told you no way,” Michelle says. “I never saw myself as a leader, but NKU changed that for me. Not knowing anyone when I came here pushed me outside of my comfort zone to join organizations. Without these organizations, I would have never met some of my best friends and future bridesmaids.”

Get to Know Michelle

In the Classroom

I am graduating this spring with a major in psychology and a minor in organizational leadership and I plan on attending graduate school to get my masters in education.

Outside the Classroom

I am currently employed as a student worker for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life which comes with the position of Panhellenic President. Right now, most of my time in Panhellenic is spent chairing committees and preparing for the addition of a new Panhellenic chapter in the fall of 2016. Through Panhellenic, I have been able to represent NKU and my chapter, Theta Phi Alpha, at national conferences such as the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV), Undergraduate Interfraternity Institution (UIFI), and I will be a mentor at the North-American Interfraternity Conference’s fraternity leadership conference Futures Quest.

I have also been able to work with several offices on campus such as the New Student Orientation and Parent Programs, Northern Kentucky Leadership Institute (NKLI), and the Norse Violence Prevention Center. I am also a member of Order of Omega, a National Leadership Honors Society, and the Norse Enrichment Mentoring Opportunities Program (NEMO). I also worked as a peer mentor in Woodcrest in a First Year learning community.

Through my sorority and NKLI I have been able to give back to my community in a number of ways. Through these organizations, I have helped raise and donate money and goods for the Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Glenmary Home Missioners, the Brighton Center, the Women’s Crisis Center, and FUEL NKU. I have also done community service with Providence Pavilion, Adopt-A-Highway, Habitat for Humanity, and Wesley Community Services.

Advice for NKU Students

Before every NKU student graduates, they should push themselves out of their comfort zone and do one thing that scares them. Whether it is taking a leadership position, or studying abroad — do it! NKU is a place where dreamers are welcome and there are so many opportunities for you to take risks and chase your dreams.

The Best Part of Being an NKU Student

The best part of being an NKU student is being a face instead of a number. The professors, faculty, and staff go over the top to invest in your college experience and make sure you succeed in college. I also like that we are a smaller college because I can’t walk around campus without seeing somebody I know. It just reinforces the fact that NKU is a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone and takes care of each other.