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Drexel University Students Triumph as Winners of 2024 NRF Foundation University Challenge Presented by Kohl's

NRF Foundation Honors 2024 University Challenge

February 13, 2024

In a culmination of innovation, dedication, and exemplary teamwork, Drexel University's Design & Merchandising (D&M) program emerged victorious in the 2024 NRF Foundation University Challenge, presented by Kohl's. Undergraduate students Allie Gress, Aly Chew, Krysta Mendoza, and Rajvi Dharamshi crafted a winning product assortment and end-to-end marketing campaign aimed at propelling growth in the Hispanic market.

The journey to victory began at the NRF Foundation Student Conference, where students engaged in a dynamic 4-day experience, culminating in the NRF Foundation Honors on Sunday night, Janurary 14, 2024. Adam Lukoskie, Executive Director of the NRF Foundation, shared the success of the Honors event, where over $3 million dollars were raised, and more than 800 retail industry leaders celebrated the achievements of key figures in the retail sector.

Among the honorees were Ed Stack, Executive Chairman of DICK'S Sporting Goods, and individuals shaping the future of retail such as Jungmin Kang (Snoopslimes), Harley Finkelstein (Shopify), Julie Averill (lululemon), Heidi Cooley (Crocs), Yael Cosset (Kroger), and Mecca Mitchell (Burlington Stores, Inc.).

Drexel University's team was not only recognized as the 2024 NRF Foundation University Challenge Winners but also received scholarships for their exceptional performance. The team's composition of students from various academic levels—Allie Gress (Senior), Aly Chew (Senior), Krysta Mendoza (Junior), and Rajvi Dharamshi (Sophomore)—highlighted the inclusive and collaborative nature of the Design and Merchandising Program.

The victory is a testament to the hard work, creativity, and dedication of the students, reflecting the outstanding quality of education and mentorship provided by the Design and Merchandising Program at Drexel University.

"I am grateful to the students for representing the Design & Merchandising program and Drexel University with such distinction. This achievement brings honor to our institution and serves as a promising indicator of their future success in the retail industry," added Maureen DeSimone, Assistant Teaching Faculty, NRF representative and mentor, Design and Merchandising.

The winning D&M team members will present their case study at Westphal Creates: Research, Scholarship & Creative Work Showcase on February 16, 2024.