Deliver Your News to the World Awards Scholarships to Winners of NRF Foundation/American Express Retail Challenge

WEBWIRE Awards Scholarships to Winners of NRF
Foundation/American Express Retail Challenge
--Students From Six Universities Receive $2500 Scholarships--

New York.—, the digital division of the National Retail Federation, has awarded $2500 scholarships to each of the six students from the winning team of the American Express / NRF Foundation National Intercollegiate Retail Challenge. The students were surprised with the scholarship announcement after making a 30-minute presentation to a group of retail educators and executives about their winning strategy at NRF’s Annual Convention and EXPO.

For this year’s challenge, students were tasked with using Web 2.0 and social networking tools to help a fictional department store’s website connect its brand with the customers. Students in the winning group proposed that the fictional department store implement tools like customer reviews, blog advertising, and Facebook to raise awareness and increase its image. Students also created marketing, merchandising, and technology solutions to accomplish their goals.

“It is really impressive to see what these students were able to put together with their knowledge of both retail and their understanding of new media like Facebook, blogs, and Second Life,” said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of “If these students are any indication, retail’s future leaders are bright, energetic, and deeply aware of the importance of connecting with customers.”

Student scholarship recipients and members of the winning team include:
• Kyle Bender, Senior, Retailing, University of Wisconsin
• Ashley Cline, Senior, Merchandising, Florida State University
• Sarah Losse, Senior, Retailing and Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona
• Vikram Madan, Senior, Finance and Accounting, University of Pennsylvania
• Samantha Weaver, Senior, Business Administration, University of Florida
• Alex West, Senior, Marketing, University of Michigan

The winning team was advised by Melinda Burke of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona.

About the American Express/NRF Foundation Intercollegiate Retail Challenge

The American Express/NRF Foundation Intercollegiate Retail Challenge builds awareness of diverse career paths in retail by engaging university students in a competitive collaborative role play with support from retail executive mentors to implement a multi-tiered business strategy.

The activity is open to students in a retail or related major. Instead of pitting one school against another, one student from each of the six schools involved make up a team, with six teams in all. The team members at each school will focus on a different career perspective including marketing, IT, e-commerce, customer relations, store operations, and a project manager.

About the Ray M. Greenly Scholarship

The Scholarship Fund was established in January 2006 to provide financial support to students pursuing careers in the e-commerce industry and commemorates the life of Ray Greenly, a valued online retail industry veteran who passed away in 2005. Ray served as the Vice President of Research and Member Services of for almost seven years and was responsible for the management of The State of Retailing Online, the premier annual e-commerce benchmarking study, and’s membership.

The Ray M. Greenly Scholarship is funded largely by proceeds from’s The Fund has collected more than $900,000 since it was created less than three years ago, with contributions from corporations and individuals, as well as revenue raised from, a one-stop shop for holiday deals, is the official shopping website of, NRF’s digital division., a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996,’s 700 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers. It’s where the best retail minds come together to gain the insight, knowledge and intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions in the evolving world of the Internet and multichannel retailing. programs and activities include benchmarking research, events and networking communities.


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