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The NRF Foundation to award 25 outstanding students for its Next Generation Scholarship program on January 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, 2015-12-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The NRF Foundation will award $125,000 in scholarships to 25 outstanding students as a part of its Next Generation Scholarship program. Today, the NRF Foundation has named the top five finalists, who will interview with a panel of executive judges to determine the four $10,000 scholarship recipients and the top $25,000 recipient of the Next Generation Scholarship.

The top recipient will be revealed on stage in front of hundreds of retail CEOs and retail insiders at the NRF Foundation Gala in New York City on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

The five finalists for the 2016 NRF Next Generation Scholarship are:

  • Ashley Biscan, magazine journalism, University of Georgia
  • Grace Dusek, marketing, Texas A&M University
  • Emma Jumper, corporate finance, Mississippi State University
  • Macaira O’Connell, apparel merchandising, Indiana University
  • Rachel Weinstein, retailing and consumer sciences, The University of Arizona

“The hard work and passion that we see from students each and every day is a clear indicator that these motivated young leaders are already well on their way to shaping retail’s future,” NRF Senior Vice President and NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “All of the applicants for the Next Generation Scholarship exhibit the enthusiasm and eagerness we look for when awarding our scholarships, so there’s no question the decision to narrow it down to just five was extremely difficult.

“We are positive the retail industry will benefit greatly from the energy and inspiration that all of the scholarship recipients offer, and we look forward to seeing great things from them in the years to come,” continued Davis.

In addition to the five finalists, the NRF Foundation awards all 20 students named as semi-finalists with travel scholarships to attend the NRF Student Program at Retail’s BIG Show and the NRF Foundation’s Gala.

The 20 semi-finalists are:

  • Chanelle Bertelsen, Savannah College of Art and Design – Savannah
  • Caroline Calle, University of Pennsylvania
  • Megan Dawson-Elli, University of Delaware
  • Betty Dominguez, University of Houston
  • Megan Donovan, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Eleonora Halon, LIM College
  • Megan Hornberger, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Zainah Irizarry, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Lindsay Kline, Indiana University
  • Ashley Lamb, Florida State University
  • Makala Mulder, Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta
  • Delaney Murphy, University of North Texas
  • Camille Nzengung, University of Georgia
  • Jessica Papier, University of North Carolina – Greensboro
  • Amanda Phillips, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • Cherokee Polk, Texas Woman’s University
  • Veronica Ribeiro, Santa Clara University
  • Cody Risinger, Kent State University
  • Amanda Tobias, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
  • Tess Williamson, Texas A&M University

Hundreds of students are expected to attend Retail’s BIG Show Student Program on January 15 – 16, 2016, which puts students in a room with executives behind the retail industry’s most popular brands such as Nike, Blue Mercury, Williams-Sonoma Inc. and HSNi. Students will learn to leverage their networks to advance their careers and hear from retail recruiters offering opportunities for internships, training programs and entry-level career positions.

To learn more about the Next Generation Scholarship, visit

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

Treacy Reynolds
(855) NRF-Press

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