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Shop.org awards scholarships to winners of NRF
Jan '09
Four of the six winners of the scholarships (middle) as well as Rich Last from JC Penney and Chairman of Shop.org (far left), Valerie Greenly (second to the left), and Maria Greenly (3rd to the left).
Four of the six winners of the scholarships (middle) as well as Rich Last from JC Penney and Chairman of Shop.org (far left), Valerie Greenly (second to the left), and Maria Greenly (3rd to the left).
Shop.org 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 & 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 Shop.org. “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.

National Retail Federation

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