The Shelley Joseph-Kordell Memorial Scholarship

The Shelley Joseph-Kordell Memorial Scholarship provides up to a total of $20,000 during the academic year to be distributed to one or more University of Minnesota graduate students who are fully committed to pursuing a professional career in aging services following the completion of their degrees.

The Scholarship is open to any student currently enrolled in a Master’s, Ph.D., or professional doctorate degree-granting program at the University of Minnesota. Students who have previously received the Scholarship are not eligible.

Priority is given to students who demonstrate a past, current and future commitment to the field of aging. In addition, participation in the Aging Studies Interdisciplinary Group (ASIG) is strongly encouraged.

Learn more about the Joseph-Kordell family story on SPH 40 Days of Gratitude.

Questions regarding the Scholarship can be directed to Rajean Moone, Ph.D., CHAI’s Associate Director of Policy, at

2023-2024 Scholarship Winners

Christina Cauble, LNHA, HSE, MBA
Ph.D. Student,  Organizational Leadership Policy and Development
College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

Having worked in a nursing home during most of the Covid-19 pandemic my interest was piqued on the topic of trauma in the workforce and how trauma impacts staff and organizations. I hope to be able to study the impacts of traumas big and small, inside and outside of work, and how they influence people and organizations. I think this applies to the aging workforce especially because of the high prevalence of work-related traumas through things like moral distress, caregiver fatigue, burnout, death and dying, short staffing, and more. What resources might help leaders, workers, and organizations to address these things constructively?

Kelly Moeller
Ph. D. Student, Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration
School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

“I am dedicated to a career which positively impacts the lives of older adults and their caregivers. My future plans are to pursue a career in academia in order to conduct research which adds to the base of knowledge from which policy is implemented to improve long-term care systems. As the U.S. population ages, I believe the need for better and more accessible choices for older adults will only continue to grow in importance. Our willingness to think outside the box now is imperative and I hope to spend my career building evidence for solutions that make a difference, while also hopefully helping to guide future students to careers in aging.”

John Mulcahy

John Mulcahy
Health Science Research, Policy & Administration
School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

“I am interested in how our healthcare system engages with older adults and their care partners to meet long-term care and other non-medical needs, particularly for older adults living with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. I want to better understand how effectively payment incentives, electronic health record features, and innovative care models can encourage providers to have care planning discussions with their patients and link them to local resources. I hope my research can help shape policy and care delivery to ensure more older adults can engage in person-centered care planning to establish long-term care arrangements that meet their care needs in the most dignified way possible.”

Neha Reddy
Medical Student
University of Minnesota, Medical School 

After graduating from medical school in 2025, I hope to pursue a residency program in neurology in preparation for a career in service of older adults and their families. I am drawn to this field of training particularly because neurological disease processes often target our perception of and interaction with the world as we age, shifting our sense of self and core identities in the process. As a neurologist, I would have the opportunity to put the latest developments in aging research into practice and support older adults and their loved ones as they navigate the identity-altering effects of neurological disease and disability.

Grace Savard
MPH Student, Public Health Administration and Policy
School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

As an MPH Public Health Administration and Policy student, I aim to explore how cross-sector initiatives can be implemented to advance healthy aging and innovation. I firmly believe that successful health policy and program implementation requires community understanding and investment. Therefore, I aspire to create and promote intergenerational opportunities for public discourse and health care advocacy. Informed by the narratives of older adults, I plan to incorporate diagonal approaches to health inequities that respond to the acute needs of older adults while strengthening health care infrastructure.

Past Recipients

  • 2023: Dina Belhasan & Emily Merkel & Jamie Stoppler & Dana Urbanski
  • 2022: Janette Romero Saenz & Madeleine Howard & Michelle Berning & Heather Ferguson
  • 2017: Ana Wstervelt & Ruther Rath-Nesvacil & Kelse Pierce
  • 2016: Mary Whipple, Ph.D & Katie Woken Louwagie & Eric Jutkkowitz, Ph.D.
  • 2015: Tai Gilbert
  • 2014: Heather Davila, Ph.D. & Melanie Jackson & Breanna Wheeler
  • 2013: Jessica Finlay, Ph.D. & Tina Kilaberia, Ph.D.
  • 2012: Carrie Henning-Smith, Ph.D. & Carina Noecker
  • 2011: Ellen McCreedy
  • 2010: Amanda Barnett, Ph.D.
  • 2009: Andrea Wysocki, Ph.D.
  • 2008: Charissa Eaton, Ph.D.
  • 2007: Mary Dierich, Ph.D.
  • 2006: Kristine Talley, Ph.D.
  • 2005: Rajean Moone, Ph.D.

About Shelley Joseph-Kordell

“I can only echo countless others in saying what a kind, caring, compassionate human being Shelley was. She helped me and my family in so many ways with her guidance and expertise, and touched us with her love.”  ~Family member of a client

Shelley Joseph-Kordell was a pioneer in geriatric care management, a field that provides older adults and their families an array of support including medical advocacy, care coordination, long-term care advice, and research and arrangement of community services. More than 20 years earlier, she had anticipated the need for advocacy and service to seniors, founding the company “Estates in Transition/Rent a Daughter (now Pathfinder Care Management/Rent a Daughter) to serve seniors and their families. Setting the benchmark for care management for older adults in the Twin Cities, Shelley made professional advocacy and service for seniors her life’s passion.

Shortly before Shelley’s untimely death in 2003, she expressed optimism that the needs of older adults were gaining increased community attention. Shelley’s family, friends, and colleagues created the Scholarship to honor Shelley’s life and contributions to the community and recognize future leaders in geriatrics and aging services.

Support future SJK scholars:

Donate online

Checks can be mailed to:
University of Minnesota Foundation

PO Box 860266
Minneapolis, MN 55486‑0266

© 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement