Rachael Kennedy, a senior merchandising major at the University of North Texas, has been named a Ray M. Greenly Scholar by the National Retail Federation Foundation, which will allow her to attend the Shop.org Annual Summit in Chicago this fall. She is the daughter of Cindy and Ronnie Kennedy of Coppell and a 2011 graduate of Coppell High School.
The Ray M. Greenly Scholarship Fund is named in honor of a longtime staff member of Shop.org, the digital retailing arm of the National Retail Federation. In addition to receiving stipends to attend the summit, Greenly Scholars each receive a $5,000 academic scholarship.
The Greenly Scholarships are open to undergraduate students who are attending NRF Foundation member colleges and universities that have a formal retailing curriculum. The students must be nominated for the scholarships by their academic programs, and must have completed at least half of the total number of credits required for their bachelor’s degrees, have demonstrated a strong interest in online retailing careers, have minimum grade point averages of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and have demonstrated leadership on their campuses and in their communities.
Kennedy says the scholarship should lead to bigger opportunities for her.
“Attending the Shop.Org Annual Summit will allow me to meet industry professionals and network with them, which will be beneficial when I’m looking for a job after graduation,” she says.
Kennedy is the vice president of the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism Ambassadors and has also served as the ambassadors’ secretary and treasurer. She is also a member of both UNT’s chapter of the National Retail Federation Student Association and Merchandising Inc. Both organizations focus on networking and career building for UNT students majoring in merchandising.
She was also named to Alpha Lambda Delta, an academic honor society, and was recently accepted into the college’s new Merchant Development Program, which provides students with strong academic ambitions and a passion for careers in the retail industry with mentoring from industry professionals and other activities to enhance their coursework. Kennedy is being mentored by Ruth Crowley, former vice president of consumer products for Harley-Davidson.
Kennedy will receive her degree in August 2014 and plans a career in visual merchandising or buying. She is the second UNT student to be named a Greenly Scholar during the past year. Merchandising major Michelle Crow received a Greenly Scholarship and stipend during the 2012 fall semester. The stipend allowed her to attend Retail’s BIG Show 2013, the National Retail Federation’s annual convention and expo held in New York City in January.
Above: Rachael Kennedy, senior merchandising major in UNT's College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.