Next Generation Class of 2016

Ambitious students from NRF member schools competed to represent the next generation of retail leaders. The students below received travel scholarships to attend the Student Program at Retail's BIG Show and the NRF Foundation Gala in New York City.

Retail executives from 15 companies selected 25 semi-finalists before narrowing the field to the five finalists. The top recipient was announced at the NRF Foundation Gala and received a $25,000 scholarship. Four finalists each received $10,000 scholarships. Meet the Next Generation Class of 2016.

Related press releases: 
NRF Foundation announces finalists of 2016 Next Generation Scholarship.

Top Recipient

Emma Jumper
Emma Jumper

Mississippi State University
Corporate Finance

Growing up in a family that raised beef and grew produce, Emma Jumper was inspired to become a global provider of the same “gate to plate” and “pasture to pantry” products she enjoyed as a child. With a passion for agricultural retailing and an unwavering dedication to understanding all facets of retail economics and finance, Emma also wants her customers to “see our products in the grocery store and associate the quality with the hard working families who harvested it.” 

Finalists

Ashley Biscan

University of Georgia
Magazine Journalism

Ashley Biscan is “a memorable standout thanks to her tenacious spirit and willingness to go above and beyond what is asked,” according to the editor-in-chief of Jezebel, where Ashley interned during the summer of 2015. Ashley’s passion for retail comes from her love of storytelling and she believes “retailers and media are like a pair of high heels. You can’t have one without the other, and with that in mind, I’ll continue to pursue outlets that combine my interests in fashion retail and journalism.”

Ashley Biscan
Grace Dusek
Grace Dusek

Texas A&M University
Marketing with Retailing Certificate

During her summer internship with Global Brand Groups in New York City, Grace Dusek realized that her “career aspiration had expanded beyond working in fashion to working for a company "where I can marry data with creativity to successfully market a brand’s story and optimize its interpretation for retailers.” According to the vice president of sales for the Rosetti Handbag division of Global Brands Group, “Grace is the type of young employee we would hire in a heartbeat — energetic, willing to learn, positive, mature and full of ambition and personality.”

Macaira O'Connell

Indiana University
Apparel Merchandising

Macaira O’Connell sees “retail as an opportunity to solve problems both locally and globally.” Having dedicated hundreds of hours volunteering for Global Gifts and traveling to Ecuador with a Global Gifts vendor, Macaira became president of the Fair Trade University Campaign at Indiana University. Following a successful internship in marketing and merchandising for a fair trade wholesaler Macaira has cemented her beliefs around “the beautiful benefits of paying workers enough money to support themselves, their children and their community.”

A heaedshot of Macaira O'Connell, a Next Generation 2016 finalist
A headshot of Rachel Weinstein, a Next Generation 2016 finalist
Rachel Weinstein

The University of Arizona
Retailing & Consumer Science

Rachel Weinstein was captivated by retail when she started a sales associate job at 16 years old. She quickly understood the importance of technology in the growth of the retail industry and declared a minor in eSociety. Her “knowledge of technology, brick and mortar stores and consumer behavior will ensure that her future team blends the in-store and online experience with current technology to provide an interactive experience that is seamless for all generations.” She is excited to join Nike after graduation as an associate merchant. 

Semi-finalists

A headshot of Chanelle Bertelsen, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Chanelle Bertelsen
Savannah College of Art & Design - Savannah
Fashion Marketing
A headshot of Caroline Calle, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Caroline Calle
University of Pennsylvania
Communications
A headshot of Megan Dawson-Elli, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Megan Dawson-Elli
University of Delaware
Fashion Merchandising
A headshot of Betty Dominguez, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Betty Dominguez
University of Houston
Retailing & Consumer Science
A headshot of Megan Donovan, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Megan Donovan
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Retailing & Consumer Behavior
A headshot of Eleonora Halon, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Eleonora Halon
LIM College
Fashion Merchandising
A headshot of Megan Hornberger, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Megan Hornberger
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Business Management
A headshot of Zainah Irizarry, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Zainah Irizarry
Fashion Institue of Technology
Fashion Business Management
A headshot of Lindsay Kline, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Lindsay Kline
Indiana University
Supply Chain Management
A headshot of Ashley Lamb, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Ashley Lamb
Florida State University
Retail, Merchandising, & Product Development
A headshot of Makala Mulder, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Makala Mulder
Savannah College of Art & Design - Atlanta
Fashion Marketing & Management
A headshot of Delaney Murphy, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Dalaney Murphy
University of North Texas
Merchandising & Digital Retail
A headshot of Camille Nzengung, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Camille Nzengung
University of Georgia
Fashion Merchandising
A headshot of Jessica Papier, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Jessica Papier
University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Consumer Apparel & Retail Studies
A headshot of Amanda Phillips, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Amanda Phillips
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Retail Merchandising
A headshot of Cherokee Polk, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Cherokee Polk
Texas Women's University
Fashion Merchandising & Marketing
A headshot of Veronica Riberio, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Veronica Ribeiro
Santa Clara University
Communication & Art History
A headshot of Cody Risinger, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Cody Risinger
Kent State University
Fashion Merchandising
A headshot of Amanda Tobias, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Amanda Tobias
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Merchandise Marketing
A headshot of Tess Williamson, a Next Generation 2016 semi-finalist
Tess Williamson
Texas A&M University
Marketing