NRF Foundation announces collaboration with Gap Inc.’s Hill City to shape Next Generation Scholarship semi-finalists into future retail leaders

Published May 8, 2019

Congratulations are in order: We’re excited to announce 25 students who have been selected as semi-finalists for the 2019-2020 Next Generation Scholarship and will advance to the second phase of the scholarship. To challenge the semi-finalists, the NRF Foundation collaborated with Gap Inc. to create a unique case study featuring the company’s menswear brand, Hill City, for the second phase of the scholarship.

Gap Inc. worked closely with the NRF Foundation to build the case study around a current, relevant topic that would be mutually beneficial for the students and the Hill City brand. The semi-finalists will have the opportunity to engage directly with Gap Inc. executives to learn more about the brand and gain valuable insights about the business.

Gap Inc.'s Hill City team
Gap Inc.'s Hill City team


Hill City is a men’s performance clothing brand introduced by Gap Inc. in October 2018, targeting men who no longer want to compromise performance and quality for style. Next Generation Scholarship semi-finalists will research the brand, existing strategies for customer acquisition and the evolution of customer experiences and engagement. Based on their findings, each student is required to develop recommendations for a proposed growth strategy for Hill City over the next five years.

“We are very excited at the opportunity to work on the NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship this year,” said Noah Palmer, Head of Hill City. “It’s inspiring for our team to engage with talented young minds and provide an avenue for them to share their ideas on what the future holds for retail. We hope, as they learn more about Hill City, that some of them may end up working with us someday.”

Student performance on the case study will determine the five semi-finalists who will advance to the final round of the Next Generation Scholarship, where they will interview in-person with the NRF Foundation Board of Directors. The top recipient of the scholarship will be announced at the    NRF Foundation Gala, being held January 12, 2020, in New York City, and will receive $25,000 toward their education.

2019-2020 Next Generation Scholarship semi-finalists:

  • Abigail Detrick, Lasell College, Fashion and Retail Merchandising
  • Barent Getzoff , University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Retailing and Consumer Studies
  • Alexus Graham, SCAD Atlanta, Fashion Marketing and Management
  • Maria Hartke, University of Arizona, Retailing and Consumer Sciences
  • Jordan Kwei Ming Hui , Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), Merchandising and Marketing (A.A.), Business Management (B.S.)
  • Michelle Kerstein, North Carolina State University, Fashion and Textile Management
  • Taylor Key, SCAD Atlanta, Fashion Marketing and Merchandising
  • Faith Knox, Texas A&M University, Business Administration, Marketing
  • Courtney Koop, University of Georgia, Management with Supply Chain Emphasis, Fashion Merchandising
  • Lisa Lam, University of Florida, Finance
  • Elizabeth Mattingly, University of Georgia, Fashion Merchandising, Management
  • Annie Hope Mazzola, Indiana University, Apparel Merchandising
  • Madeline Medby, LIM College, Business Administration in Merchandising
  • LeAnn Percivill, Texas A&M University, Marketing Retail Buying & Management
  • Tyler Pharr, Meredith College , Fashion Design and Merchandising
  • Lauren Prior, Kent State University, Fashion Merchandising
  • Elizabeth Soto, Indiana University – Bloomington, Apparel Merchandising
  • Hailey Tirado, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Business Management
  • Camila Vincent de Urquiza, University of Florida, Business Administration – Marketing
  • Lara Voronkov Fredericks, Fashion Institute of Technology, Advertising and Marketing Communication
  • Morgan Wallen, University of Arizona, Retailing and Consumer Sciences
  • Jordan Whiteman, LIM College, Fashion Merchandising, Buying and Planning
  • Kathryn Williams, Columbia College Chicago, Marketing and Fashion Business
  • Jacob Wolfe, SCAD Savannah, Fashion Marketing and Management
  • Sarah Wright, Iowa State University, Apparel Merchandising, Graphic Design

Together, the NRF Foundation and Gap Inc. are excited to shape these 25 students into future retail leaders. Congratulations to the semi-finalists!