Kent State Fashion Merchandising Student Receives $10,000 Next Generation Scholarship at NRF Awards

Student Scholarship Award Finalists at NRF Gala in New York City

Kent State University Fashion School senior merchandising student, Brittany Rhoa, received a $10,000 Next Generation Scholarship at the National Retail Federation Awards Conference held in New York City in January.


Every year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) offers five different types of scholarships to the next generation of retail leaders. One of the scholarships, the Next Generation Scholarship, offers awards up to $25,000 to students who are currently pursuing careers in retail or a major relevant to retail. The scholarship offers students the chance to experience special events held in conjunction with NRF’s annual convention the “Big Show”. In order to be considered, each applicant must submit an essay, a written project, a resume, two letters of recommendation and include a personal brand video.


This year, hundreds of students nationwide applied for a chance to receive one of four $10,000 scholarships and the top $25,000 scholarship. Seven Fashion School students applied for the scholarship this year.  Among the 25 semi-finalists that were chosen to attend the annual convention, three of them were Fashion School students.  In addition to Rhoa, junior merchandising major, Mollina So and sophomore merchandising major, Tyshaia Ernest made the cut. Each semi-finalist received a $1,500 stipend to attend the annual convention in New York City. The three Kent students along with Fashion School faculty advisor for external scholarships, Dr. Jewon Lyu, attended the event and networked with top retail professionals and executives in the industry. Rhoa became one of the top five finalists and secured one of only four $10,000 scholarships.


NRF Scholarship Winner - Brittany Rhoa


“My experience with the NRF has been life-changing. The connections I’ve made through the scholarship process and attending the student program and GALA will certainly help me in my career for years to come.” said Rhoa. “It’s because of the great faculty and staff at Kent State that I was prepared for this scholarship process.”


Rhoa, who was first inspired to work in fashion by the 2004 movie “13 Going on 30”, has lined up a product development coordinator position at Kohl’s following graduation and is looking forward to developing products and using her analytical and creative skills to excel in her field.


About NRF

NRF is the world’s largest retail industry trade association, representing retailers from the U.S. and more than 45 countries worldwide. NRF’s purpose is to advance the interests of the retail industry through advocacy, communications, and education. For more information about NRF, please visit their website,


About the Fashion School

Established in 1983 as the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University, the school was named an Ohio Center of Excellence by the state Board of Regents and is a member institution of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).




Media Contact: Brittani Peterson, marketing associate,, 330-672-2714

POSTED: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 4:54pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 4:56pm