NRF and University of Phoenix announce the Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2017

WASHINGTON, 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix today named the Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2017, recognizing individuals who want to enhance their retail careers through education.

“At NRF, we put a premium on lifelong learning, and we’re inspired by the number of individuals in the retail industry who are constantly looking for new ways to improve their craft,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Our mission is to nurture the raw talent and determination that exists in each one of our Dream BIG Scholarship recipients by giving them the resources they need to further their education. This opportunity for professional development is a win for scholarship recipients, their employers, the customers they serve and the retail industry at large.”

“Technology and consumer demands continue to drive change within the retail industries,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean, School of Business and College of Information Systems and Technology, University of Phoenix. “Education is essential to helping one grow in their career in order to be prepared for and take advantage of opportunities that change may bring. University of Phoenix is proud to work with the National Retail Federation to develop the next generation of leaders in retail by providing an industry-aligned education designed to help them succeed.”

The 20 recipients are current retail employees and were selected out of hundreds of applicants from 70 retailers across the country. Each will receive a full-tuition scholarship to pursue an undergraduate or master’s degree at University of Phoenix.

The recipients of the 2017 Dream Big scholarship are:

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree

  • Aundrea Hyde – Jewelry Sales Supervisor at Macy’s in Glendora, Calif.
  • Emily Villatoro – Assistant Department Manager at Nordstorm in Falls Church, Va.
  • Hailey McLean – Customer Solutions Training and Quality Assurance Sales Trainer at The Container Store in Flower Mound, Texas
  • Justin Martin – Area Sales Manager at Saks Fifth Avenue in Minneapolis
  • Katherine Watt – General Manager at Red Robin in Anaheim, Calif.
  • Kelly Corcoran – Visual Merchandising Lead at Mattel in Phoenix
  • Korinne Jones – Commercial Manager at IKEA in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
  • Leslie Courtney – Senior Director of Shared Services at The Kroger Co. in Fort Mitchell, Ky.
  • Natalie Harkness – Associate Buyer at Maurices in Duluth, Minn.
  • Sean Lenahan – Store Manager at Brooks Brothers in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
  • Varinia Boyd – District Manager at Brooks Brothers in Gilbert, AZ

Pursuing a Master’s Degree

  • Alexis Katsafanas – Assistant Buy Planner at Nordstrom in Seattle
  • Alison Wallace – Associate Planner at Burlington Stores in Philadelphia
  • Ana Baron – Production Administrative Support Personnel at The Kroger Co. in Moreno Valley, Calif.
  • Hannah Wong – Accounts Payable Operations Coordinator at Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas
  • Katherine Mather – Customer Solutions Department Point Person at The Container Store in Lake Dallas, Texas
  • Kenny Rogers – Human Resources Business Partner at Steak n Shake in Sulphur Springs, Calif.
  • Kristen Turner – Assistant Buyer at Burlington Stores in Robbinsville, N.J.
  • Michael Billett – Area Manager at Mattress Firm in Boardman, Ohio
  • Shannon White – Store Manager at Lane Bryant in Atlanta, GA

Retail executives from some of the industry’s best-known companies including Best Buy, Neiman Marcus and The Container Store served as members of the executive judging committee that chose the recipients.

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix. This is the fifth year the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix have offered the Dream BIG Scholarship, which is awarded to current retail employees. Meet the 2017 recipients and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.

About University of Phoenix®
University of Phoenix is innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

About NRF
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.

SOURCE: NRF

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

University of Phoenix® and NRF continue to support the next generation of retail leaders with Dream BIG Scholarship Program

WASHINGTON, 2017-Feb-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the fifth consecutive year University of Phoenix® and the National Retail Federation are collaborating to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship Program to support the dreams of the next generation of retail leaders. The program will award 20 full-tuition scholarships to retail industry professionals who want to advance their retail careers through higher education.

“The multifaceted retail industry offers various opportunities for career growth and upward mobility,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “In fact, 44 percent of retail workers today are employed in positions other than sales. An ever-changing technology and consumer landscape makes innovation a top priority for retail leaders, and education is crucial to enhance career outcomes in the industry.”

The Dream BIG Scholarship Program is open to applicants who reside in the U.S., work full or part time for a retail or restaurant company and meet additional eligibility criteria. Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2017. Retail executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies will serve as members of the executive selection committee.

“During the past five years, the NRF Foundation has seen the Dream BIG scholarship change the lives of more than 70 worthy individuals, with recipients’ passion for retail and commitment to hard work culminating in the perfect formula for success in the retail industry,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are proud to partner with University of Phoenix once again to recognize 20 more retail professionals for the Dream BIG Scholarship Program and we look forward to reading about the dreams and stories of those looking to advance their retail career through higher education.”

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between National Retail Federation, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix.

“Receiving the Dream BIG scholarship offered a significant opportunity to support my career goals and helped to make achieving a master’s degree possible,” said Leigh Deal, Custom Closets Designer, The Container Store. “The ability to attend class remotely, work in a collaborative virtual setting and sharpen my writing skills for the digital space not only aided my own professional growth, but helped me to effectively impact employees within our organization by assisting them in making better decisions and establishing more positive customer relationships.”

To learn more about the program, including scholarship terms and conditions and how to apply, visit nrf.com/dreambig.

About National Retail Federation
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.

About NRF Foundation
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.com/Foundation.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc., University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF and University of Phoenix announce Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2016

WASHINGTON, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix have named the fourth annual Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2016, awarding individuals whose dreams to further their education will now become a reality. Since the program started in 2013, 70 recipients have been awarded full-tuition scholarships with an estimated value of $3.4 million.

The 20 recipients of the 2016 Dream BIG Scholarships — all current retail employees — were selected out of hundreds of applicants from more than 90 retailers across the country. These deserving retail employees will soon be able to pursue a master’s or undergraduate degree at University of Phoenix through the University’s collaboration with NRF to provide each recipient with a full-tuition scholarship.

“Each one of these scholarship recipients was chosen because they believe in working hard, getting the job done and helping the retail industry grow,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Although each recipient has already made a positive impact on the industry, the best is yet to come. Furthering their education can help enhance career opportunities for them in retail and we at NRF can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”

“Opportunities in retail continue to grow as technology and consumer demands drive change within the industry,” University of Phoenix Executive Dean for the School of Business Ruth Veloria said. “Education can be an important piece to help pursue career and leadership opportunities in this field — especially given how diverse the career paths are. University of Phoenix is proud to team up with the National Retail Federation to develop the next generation of leaders in retail by providing an industry-aligned education designed to help them succeed.”

The recipients of the 2016 Dream BIG Scholarship are:

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree

  • Kina Albritton – Merchandiser at Journeys in Nashville, TN
  • Consuelo Belton – Administrative Assistant at Walgreens in Jacksonville, FL
  • Danielle Davidson – Assistant Manager at maurices in Nashville, TN
  • Nicole Heiden – Store Sales Director at The Kroger Co. (Fred Meyer Division) in Vancouver, WA
  • Heather Hilton – Regional Human Resources Manager at bebe Stores inc. in Charlotte, NC
  • Frankie Israel – Sales and Service Manager at West Elm in Charlotte, NC
  • Kevin Jackson – Procurement Coordinator at The Container Store in Dallas, TX
  • Rebecca Kittle – Executive Assistant at dressbarn in Mahwah, NJ
  • Shandace Lerma – Recruiting Analyst at Nordstrom in Seattle, WA
  • Kristi Malicoat – Associate Store Team Leader at Whole Foods Market in Chicago, IL
  • Brandi McKinney – Recruiting Supervisor at The Kroger Co. in Cincinnati, OH
  • Michelle Miranda – Lease Administrator at H&M in New York City, NY
  • Lori Savage – Item Setup Specialist at The Kroger Co. in Cincinnati, OH
  • Shelley Warden – Business Analyst at Pier 1 Imports® in Fort Worth, TX

Pursuing a Master’s Degree

  • Rosa Bazan – Assistant Buyer at Burlington Stores in Burlington, NJ
  • Amber Grace – Associate Buyer at Beall’s Inc in Bradenton, FL
  • Rachael Kuchar – Assistant Store Manager at vineyard vines in Oak Brook, IL
  • Elizabeth Murphy – Senior Training Lead, Stores at Crate and Barrel in Pleasantville, NY
  • Brittany Pfleuger – Store Manager at EXPRESS, LLC in Rochester, NY
  • Rosa Williams Oyeneye – Recruiter at MyEyeDr. in Raleigh, NC

Nordstrom, Whole Foods Market, West Elm, dressbarn, The Container Store and The Kroger Co., surprised their Dream BIG scholarship recipients in their workplaces to give them the big news. Watch the video for each surprise here.

Retail executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies such as Brooks Brothers, Target, and Trunk Club served as members of the executive judging committee that chose the recipients.

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix. This is the fourth year the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix have offered the Dream BIG Scholarship for current retail employees.

*The actual value of any scholarship awarded will depend on many different variables including but not limited to transferability of credits, campus location, modality and degree program.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

About NRF
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 retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

NRF, University of Phoenix named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015

WASHINGTON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix have named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015 whose dreams to further their education will now become a reality. The recipients – all current retail employees – were selected out of hundreds of applicants from more than 75 retailers across the country. The deserving retail employees will soon be able to pursue a master’s or undergraduate degree at University of Phoenix thanks to the University’s collaboration with NRF to provide each recipient with a full-tuition scholarship.

“These recipients weren’t chosen by mistake; each of them has proven that they believe in their dreams and that anything is possible in this industry,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Through hard work and determination anyone can succeed in retail, and these 20 individuals are already well on their way to the top. Year after year we recognize similar qualities within our Dream BIG ‘class’; these employees make their workplaces, their communities and our industry better through passion, ambition and determination.”

“Opportunities in retail continue to grow as technology and consumer demands drive change within the industry,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “Education is critical to career advancement and leadership in this field filled with diverse career paths. University of Phoenix is proud to team up with the National Retail Federation to develop the next generation of leaders in retail by providing an industry-aligned education designed to help them succeed.”

The recipients of the 2015 Dream BIG Scholarship are: 

Julie Brandenburg-Horn
The Kroger Co.
Loss Prevention POS Analyst
Bachelor’s

Tim Hall
7-Eleven
Zone Asset Protection Manager
Bachelor’s

Kasey Harris
JCPenney
Store Operations Manager
Bachelor’s

Victoria Hersey
Walgreens
Store Manager
Bachelor’s

Heather Jacobsen
Stein Mart
Assistant Store Manager
Bachelor’s

Delia Kurland
Crate and Barrel
East Coast Regional Operations Manager
Master’s

Derek LaHair
Mattress Firm
Interim Community Relations Manager
Master’s

Amie Lane
The Container Store
Training Manager
Bachelor’s

Cara Leone
L.L.Bean Outlet Store
Assistant Manager
Bachelor’s

Victor Letky
Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Training and Development Partner
Master’s

Timberey Meeks
The Container Store
Operations Analyst
Bachelor’s

Stephanie Mekhjian
David’s Bridal
Store Manager
Bachelor’s

Sally Moore
At Home
Store Director
Bachelor’s

Tammy Nguyen
Buckle
Social Media and Video Project Manager
Master’s

James Ostag
Macy’s Inc.
Supply Chain Asset Protection Manager
Master’s

Chrissy Raymond
Boscov’s Department Store
Vendor Services Assistant
Bachelor’s

Mark Robinson
Saks Fifth Ave OFF 5TH
Store Director
Bachelor’s

Carol Rosenauer
Bealls Inc.
Director of Supply Services
Bachelor’s

Andrew Schreiber
Mattress Firm
Area Manager
Master’s

Joel Smith
Gap Inc.
Transportation Manager
Bachelor’s

NRF and University of Phoenix surprised 10 of the Dream BIG scholarship recipients while they were at work to give them the big news. Watch the video of each surprise.

Retail executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies such as HSNi, West Elm and Alex and Ani served as members of the executive judging committee that chose the recipients.

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix. This is the third year the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix have offered the Dream BIG Scholarship for current retail employees. The scholarship will be offered for a fourth year in 2016, with applications expected to open in January 2016. View profiles of the 2015 recipients and learn moreabout the Dream BIG Scholarship.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

About the National Retail Federation
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. nrf.com.

Treacy Reynolds
Kathy Grannis Allen
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

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NRF, University of Phoenix named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015

NRF, University of Phoenix named the 20 Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2015

NRF and University of Phoenix announced the 20 retail employees selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to help advance their retail careers

Retail employees earn scholarships to advance their careers through education

Washington, 2014-9-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation, in collaboration with University of Phoenix, today announced the 20 retail employees selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to help advance their retail careers. Hundreds of individuals from more than 75 retailers across the country applied for NRF’s “Dream BIG” Scholarship, and a panel of top retail executives selected the 20 deserving recipients. The full-tuition scholarships for undergraduate or master’s degree programs at University of Phoenix will allow retail employees to pursue a wide array of career paths available in the industry, with the flexibility to continue to work while advancing their education. The Dream BIG scholarship program is open to any individual working part-time or full-time for a retail company.

“Retail is full of big dreamers, who don’t just have a vision, but an ability to roll up their sleeves, work hard, and get the job done. Each of the scholarship recipients has already made a positive impact on the industry, but the best is yet to come. By furthering their education, they’re opening up a new world of career opportunities and NRF can’t wait to see what they accomplish,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retail is a better place because of the passion, hard work, and dedication of the Dream BIG recipients and so many others like them who work every day to provide exceptional value to their customers.”

“The retail environment gets more fast-paced and analytical every day, and education is critical for individuals who want to take leadership roles in their organizations and achieve career progression,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean of University of Phoenix School of Business. “The collaboration between University of Phoenix and the National Retail Federation emphasizes the diverse and significant growth opportunities that exist in retail careers. The University is proud to bring additional attention to this important sector and to help the scholarship recipients realize their full leadership potential.”

The 2014 recipients of the Dream BIG scholarships are:

Name Title Employer Degree pursuing
Damion Butler Assistant Store Manager Microsoft Stores Bachelor’s
Angelo Chavez District Loss Prevention Manager/ORC Manager Albertsons Master’s
Joel Cosme Jr. Customer Relations Representative Express, Inc. Master’s
Samantha Couture Sales Professional Tiffany & Co. Bachelor’s
Leigh Deal Store Manager – Training The Container Store Master’s
Marissa De La Cruz Area Manager Mattress Firm, Inc. Master’s
Rebecca Fox Store Manager Dollar General Corporation Bachelor’s
Dawn Justen Senior Analyst, Research and Analysis HSN Master’s
Melissa Karrer Area Designer Crate and Barrel Master’s
Althea Kearney Sales Trainer The Container Store Master’s
Ronald Kozak LAN Coordinator Boscov’s Department Store, LLC Bachelor’s
Traci Merrick General Manager Crate and Barrel Master’s
Laura Muro Server Red Lobster Bachelor’s
Rowetta Roberson Interim District Manager Mattress Firm, Inc. Bachelor’s
Addie Romanowski Sales Representative HSN Bachelor’s
Cassandra Ross Store Manager Kroger Bachelor’s
Lina Sabic Associate Store Operations Specialist PacSun Master’s
Mike Templeton Digital Marketing Manager Kum & Go Master’s
Kristi Webb Store Sales Lead Sur La Table Master’s
Bryan Winter Operational Sales The Container Store Master’s

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Executives from some of the industry’s most well-known companies, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Hudson’s Bay Company and Neiman Marcus Group served on the Dream BIG executive judging committee.

NRF surprised six retail employees at work with their big news. See the video here.

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is provided through a partnership between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix. NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix will offer the Dream BIG Scholarship again in 2015; applications are expected to open in January. View recipient profiles and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

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 $2.5 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. www.nrf.com.

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

University of Phoenix: Tanya Burden 602.254.0086
tanya.burden@apollo.edu