KSU Fashion Students Secured Major Scholarship Awards


Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSNi presents awards to five national winners of retail-industry scholarships. Photo submitted by Elizabeth Heibertshausen.

Jake Green

A student in the Fashion School at Kent State was chosen as one of five national winners for a major retail-industry scholarship at a ceremony Jan. 13 in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Senior fashion design major Elizabeth Heibertshausen was awarded a $15,000 “Next Generation Scholarship” from the National Retail Federation, which is the scholarship’s first ever runner-up award.

“Elizabeth was selected as a NRF Next Generation scholar because of her passion for retail, drive to be successful and unique perspective on the industry,” NRF senior vice president Ellen Davis said. “She was such a strong candidate that the final round judges felt she deserved extra recognition and therefore awarded her the runner-up position.”

Heibertshausen, who has interned at the Kohl’s corporate headquarters, said she first wanted to work in fashion in middle school.

“I was always interested in clothing and thought that I could maybe be a designer,” she said. “After taking business classes in high school, I found fashion merchandising and came to Kent [State University] because of the exceptional fashion program here.”

Heibertshausen was first selected as the sole representative of the Kent State Fashion School from a pool of more than 20 applicants, and then competed against students from around the country, said William Hauk, assistant fashion design and merchandising professor and Fashion School undergraduate program coordinator.

Hauck, who worked closely with Heibertshausen during the application process, submitted one of the necessary letters of recommendation.

“She’s a great problem solver,” Hauck said. “I see her ability to assess a problem, come up with possible solutions and not be afraid to express her opinion as the mark of a true executive.”

Heibertshausen received her award at “Retail’s BIG Show,” the annual NRF conference, which took place the week after four other Kent State fashion merchandising students received scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. Senior fashion merchandising majors Laura Adams and Alexandre Marr and junior fashion merchandising majors Olufisayo Akanni and Kelly Wise each received $5,000 from that fund, according to a released statement from the Fashion School.

“This goes to show that [The Fashion School] attract[s] really talented students to the school,” Hauck said. “I think that taking that talent and nurturing it is an example of the dedication of the school’s faculty in and out of the classroom.”

Heibertshausen said she never expected to receive such an honor but wants other fashion students to follow their opportunities. She currently serves on the Fashion School’s annual fashion show, FS2, management team, is a student success leader with Kent State’s Student Success Program and recently served as president of her sorority, Alpha Phi.

“Sometimes the work may not seem appealing, but the success and achievements you can receive afterward make it worth it,” she said.

Contact Jake Green at [email protected].