Student Challenge Class of 2022

This year, 19 teams from 16 NRF Foundation University Member schools competed in the NRF Foundation Student Challenge business case competition for a chance to earn tuition scholarships and industry recognition.

For the NRF Foundation Student Challenge, teams of two to four students were tasked with acting as members of the Kohl’s product development team and had the opportunity to develop a new private label brand that embodies the meaning of diversity and promotes equity and inclusion through product assortment, marketing strategy and pricing. They have developed pitch presentations to hypothetically convince the Kohl’s leadership team of how their new brand embodies diversity and inclusion and why it will cater to new and existing customers.

Teams' pitches were evaluated by a group of retail executive judges on their research and understanding, creativity and feasibility, visual effectiveness and structure and quality. Ten teams advanced to the semifinals, which included Q&A calls with a panel of new retail executive judges.

Three teams advanced to the final round, where they will pitch live to a third panel of judges in January 2022 as part of the NRF Foundation Student Program in NYC.

The Scholarships

Each student on the top team will receive a $5,000 scholarship; students on the runner-up team will each receive a $2,500 scholarship, and third place team members will each receive a $1,500 scholarship. The top team will be named during the NRF Foundation Honors on Jan. 16, 2022.

Finalist Teams

Columbia College Chicago - GenYOU
Columbia College Chicago

Riley Thorpe, Rachel Baranowski, Rosa Terenzio and Ella Bondy

Columbia College Chicago

Ethan Partington, Ansley Young, Vanesa Paramo and Karolina Blachowska

Columbia College Chicago - OxBow
FIDM
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

K-Lynn Ward, Tooba Athar and Haley Shannon 

Boston University
Boston University
Abinaya Anand, Gilian Louie, Michelle Xu
Drexel University
Drexel University
Aishwarya Bahl, Emma Cyphert, Jessica Falasco, Sophia Rhodes
Indiana University
Indiana University
Dani Dargis, Claire Wheeler, Katherine Larson, Kera Jochem
Indiana University Marah
Indiana University
Sam Brook, Olivia Klee, Bianca Pugliesi, Trupti Sadigale
Marist College
Marist College
Jennifer Hamilton, Aldine Raso, Megan Schwenker
UGA
University of Georgia
Harper Brand, Kaitlyn Rutledge, Pierce Pittman, Melina De Groot
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
Morgan Davis, Millie Willett