Letter from the Director
Jerry O'Brien

After a very long hard winter we can finally celebrate spring.  We have many things to celebrate along with the changing of the seasons.



Our Students


Many will be graduating and off to start their new careers.  This is always bittersweet in the Center as we have grown to really enjoy interacting with them and watching them do amazing things.  We will count on them staying connected to the Center while adding value to the retail industry.


Our Center


We had another great year bringing in industry professionals from our partner companies to help us highlight the wide variety of careers available for our students.  We attended conferences, went on corporate visits and hosted industry leaders here on campus.   Our reach to students outside the Retailing major continues to expand.  In the spring, two-thirds of our individual student meetings were with students outside of the major!  The campus as a whole is putting a major focus on career preparation and readiness and our Center is being used as one of the models.  Career advisors from all over campus are sending students our way to begin the process of exploring retail as a career.


Our Major


We launched the first phase of a completely revamped curriculum.  Thanks to input for our alumni and our business partners we have developed a curriculum that allows flexibility to continue to meet the constantly changing needs of the industry.


We have hired two new full time faculty associates.  Dr. Dee Warmath and Dr. Nancy  Murray.  Both are teaching multiple classes and doing an amazing job along with our previously existing faculty of both educating and inspiring the students.


We now have the resources on hand to expand the size of the retail major.  Our goal will be to have a program that is graduating a minimum of 120 students from the program per year within 3 years.  We are well on our way to that goal and will be graduating forty this year.


As those of you in the industry know we are in a state of constant change.  We are fortunate here in the Center to work with school leadership, faculty and staff that are willing to dig in and ensure that the change serves our students and their eventual careers well.


As always I thank our wonderful partners for their financial support and their willingness to share their expertise.  We have had a great year and have more great years to come thanks to your involvement.




Update on the Curriculum 
Nancy Wong, Faculty Director


It has been another wonderful year as we grow into our new space at Nancy Nicholas Hall where our retail students have had a taste of putting their retail strategies to work at the Robin's Nest Caf´┐Ż. And we are not stopping there-this is only one of the five new courses in our new Consumer Behavior in Retailing curriculum!


We will be the leading program in preparing our students to be the next generation of retailers via the study of retail industry dynamics and consumer behavior in a technologically advanced and globally-focused environment.


Beginning this fall, our retail students will be engaging in courses that will prepare them for the following career pathways in retail:


  • Consumer insights and analytics
  • Brand management
  • Merchandising and consulting
  • Buying, planning and allocation
  • Marketing


With the successful recruitment of talented faculty and students, we look forward to engaging everyone in the following courses (*new):


  • Retail Leadership Symposium
  • Introduction to Retail Industry
  • Retail Strategy*
  • The Global Consumer
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Retail Promotion and Product Development*
  • Retail Financial Analysis
  • Consumer Research and Analysis*
  • Consumer Strategy and Evaluation*
  • Advanced Consumer Insight*


Once again, we are grateful for the outstanding and generous support from our partner companies, our alumni, and our faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly to build the Center and the Retailing Program into the success that it is. Thank you all for the opportunity to be a part of this endeavor and we will have exciting news to report back next year!


Kohl's Department Store's partnered with the Kohl's Campus Ambassadors and the Student Retail Association to lend a hand to a local philanthropy. Students worked with the Kohl's Cares Program to help the Porchlight Shelter build "feel-good bags" for those in need in the Madison community. 
It was a great event and allowed one of our great corporate partners to work with our students to better the local community! 
Student Retail Association members at the Kohl's Cares event on campus.


Congratulations to our Fashion Scholarship Fund Recipients! 
Last semester UW-Madison had seven FSF scholars! Out of 45 campuses invited to participate, the UW-Madison was tied for #1 for amount of winners.  Over winter break they traveled to NYC to attend a celebratory gala to acknowledge their accomplishments! 

Congratulations to the following SoHE Students on their wonderful work and for representing UW-Madison and SoHE so well! 
Naomi Skaggs, Emily Osterbauer ,Alix Ambur, Amy Bohnenkamp, Kelly McCamley, 
Morgan Loomis  & Sydney Sua



The Student Retail Association: Spring 2013


The Student Retail Association had a busy semester filled with fun and beneficial events. Membership topped over 100 students, with a reach to get new members who are still undecided on their majors. The Student Retail Association kicked off the semester with a presentation from Target Stores about building a personal brand and the importance of having a strong brand after graduation.


The Student Retail welcomed representatives from True Value at their second meeting, where they learned about how to effectively use LinkedIN to connect with professionals and also look for employment opportunities.


The Student Retail Association also welcomed Lands' End for an informational session in March. Company representatives provided members with insight about Lands' End as a company and also about opportunities within the company. SRA alumni came and spoke with students about their experiences at Lands End as interns and as full time associates.


In April, SRA welcomed representatives from VonMaur to their monthly meeting to speak about career and internship opportunities with the Iowa based department store retailer.


Social & Community Service

The Student Retail Association had a very fun semester. Every month the social committee organized a team to participate in Union Trivia on campus. Members also had opportunities to go bowling, bake for a local nursing home, collect clothes for local teens in need, and they ended the semester with a trip to a Brewer's Game. 


Members also spent many hours bettering the Madison community through out the semester! From volunteering at Porchlight to aid those in need, serving dinner at the local Ronald McDonald House, to cleaning up our local bike paths and nature preserves--the Student Retail Association not only spent time developing their personal brands, they also spent many hours making Madison a better place! 



Macy's Case Competition  
Each year Macy's holds a case competition that challenges students to work with a group to solve a real-world problem for the retailer. This year, Macy's asked students to come up with opportunities to engage students on campus. Three teams from UW-Madison placed. The first place team received I-Pads as well as all-expenses paid trip to NYC to present their ideas to upper management. The second and third place teams received gift cards to Macy's.
Congratulations to our winners! 
1st place: 
-Jessica Wardlow, Christian Karcher, Yuwwei Gao
2nd place (tie): 
-Hailee Von Haden, Jeremy Kogan, E.J Weiss
-Sophia Tran, Max Olsen, Marissa Letko 
Celebrate SoHE Event 
On Wednesday, April 30th the Professional Development Committee hosted the Celebrate SoHE event to do exactly that--celebrate all the wonderful things about the School of Human Ecology. The event had the goal of uniting SoHE undergraduate students, student organizations, graduate students, faculty, alumni, and administrators. Dean Shim kicked off the event by speaking about the mission and vision of SoHE and some of the past year's accomplishments. Dean Shim was followed by a few distinguished alumni, faculty and graduate students who highlighted their work. The night successfully brought together past, present and future SoHE individuals and illustrated the amazing opportunities that have come and are to come from the School of Human Ecology. 

Milwaukee Industry Tour
Roundy's and Milwaukee Tool 

On April 4th, the Student Retail Association took a group of fifteen students to visit Milwaukee and learn about retail opportunities in the greater Milwaukee area. The first stop was Roundy's Corporate Headquarters. Students first heard from Barb Novak about Roundy's history and also about the opportunities available for internships and full-time jobs. Next, an alumni panel spoke to members about their experiences at Roundy's after graduation. Before departing, two senior executives spoke about their individual roles within the company, their career paths, and offered some general advice for working in the industry. 
After departing Roundy's, members were bused to the Milwaukee Tool Headquarters in Brookfield. After a tour of the impressive facilities, students heard from a semi-recent grad about his role within the company To end their time at Milwaukee Tool, a panel of UW-Madison alumni spoke about their time with the company and what students can expect after graduation. 
Overall, it was a phenomenal trip and members learned about many opportunities available for those interested in a career in retail. Thank you again to Roundy's and Milwaukee Tool for hosting! 

Business Etiquette Dinner
Hosted by the School of Human Ecology Professional Development Committee 

The School of Human Ecology's Professional Development Committee hosted an etiquette dinner for students in April. Attendees were able to learn about proper dining skills for professional situations. Seventy five students from all SoHE majors attended and were able to benefit from this great opportunity. 


The speaker was world-renowned Marjerie Sinclair. Ms. Sinclair educated attendees on all aspects of business dining. She stressed the importance of manners in all types of interactions and taught students how to present themselves in the best possible light. The presentation included a three-course meal and numerous tips from Ms. Sinclair on how to handle multiple situations and eating scenarios. 


It was an extremely beneficial event that was offered to students across all the SoHE majors-so not only was it useful, it was also a great way to bring together all SoHE students! Thank you to the SoHE Professional Development Committee for organizing such a great event! 


Lands' End Spring 2014 Accessory Design Challenge 
Thank you Lands' End for supporting another great design competition for our students! 
Congratulations to all that participated! 
1st Place: 
Megan Schroeder 
Other participants:
 Lauren Smyczek, Emma Wimberly, Emily Sugars, Andie Gechtman, Brittany Hermann, Rachel Bordeleau, Dvorah Elster, Jacqueline Balgeman 

Special thanks to all the Lands' End Representatives who came to campus for the day: 
-Roy Yun, Design Director Footwear and Accessories, NYC Office
-Regi Schiel, Senior Merchant Accessories
-Rob Mizelle, Senior Designer Accessories and Non-Apparel 
-Rosana Ellmann, LE Business Partner of Merchandising and Design
-Adrienne Bestul, Senior Manager, Talent Development 
-Lindsay Hayes, Designer, Kids Accessories and Non-Apparel 


Welcome to our new Faculty! 

Dr. Nancy Murray 
Nancy Murray joined the Consumer Science department as a Faculty Associate and the Center as the Academic Director in January 2014, and is teaching core courses in the Retailing program. Prior to coming to Madison, she was a tenured professor at University of Wisconsin-Stout in the Retail Merchandising & Management program. She has a doctoral degree from University of Minnesota and an MBA from Cardinal Stritch. Her industry experience is in buying and product development from working over a decade for Carson Pirie Scott (now BonTon), Sportmart (now Sports Authority) and Galyan's (now Dick's Sporting Goods). 
Some highlights from her time at Stout was advising the 
student professional organization (SRA), the development of many new courses both on campus and online, and developing many experiential learning opportunities for students such as attending industry tradeshows and unique study abroad experiences. 

As the Academic Director of the Retailing Center, Dr. Murray will be advising student internships this summer and in addition hopes to broaden and enhance student's
understanding of the retail industry with experiential learning opportunities. This summer she is leading a study abroad trip titled "Trends in Europe" and a trip to MAGIC Fashion Week. 

Retail Leadership Symposium: Spring 2014
Thank you to the following companies for presenting in the Retail Leadership Symposium during the Spring 2014 semester. Your presence on campus and in the classroom benefit our program, and most importantly, our students and their futures in the retail industry! 
Kohl's Department Stores
Margaret Borgenreif
Colony Brands
Bon Ton
Thank you again to all the individuals and companies--you are what makes our program great! 

We are so proud of all our seniors graduating and are excited to see them succeed in the industry. Here are a few spotlights with reflections on their time at UW-Madison and their exciting plans for the future! 
Maggie Kucera
My time here at UW-Madison has been the most amazing four years of my life. Not only was I fortunate enough to attend a world-class university, I was also incredibly lucky to find a special home within the School of Human Ecology. As a freshman I knew that I wanted to pursue a future in the retail industry, but I had no idea what type of impact the Kohl's Center for Retailing Excellence would have on my experiences in college and also my future. I started off as a shy and timid freshman (something no one would believe now) and the Center helped me learn about and pursue opportunities in retail and become confident in my abilities to succeed in the industry. 
The opportunities that have come my way, thanks to my use of the Center, have been endless. Jerry and Angie are the best resources and truly helped me decide what corner of the retail industry matched my passions. I was encouraged to explore what SoHE had to offer and decided to pursue an additional certificate in textile sciences. After many mock interviews and resume reviews, I obtained an internship at Kohl's Corporate Headquarters in Product Management. Before connecting with the Center I had no idea that product development even existed, and during my summer internship I discovered it was something I was incredibly passionate about. After a summer with Kohl's I was offered a full-time position in the Product Development department. I would never have been prepared to take on my internship with the confidence that I did without the help of the Center. The skills that I had obtained during my first three years at UW prepared me to be a full-time professional and to truly flourish in the workplace. 
My biggest piece of advice for anyone who is interested in retail is to utilize the Center. Whether a retail major or undecided, the Center has resources that can benefit any student on campus who has even the slightest interest in retail or career development. Thank you to the Kohl's Center for Retailing Excellence and all their corporate sponsors--your impact on students is incredibly beneficial, irreplaceable, and appreciated!
Anna Fronberry


My name is Anna Fronberry and I am a senior majoring in Retail.  My time at UW-Madison has been an amazing experience.  Due to the size of the School of Human Ecology, the professors and faculty get to know you personally which is very refreshing on such a large campus. I have learned so much about the retail industry in my classes as well as guest speakers in my organizations.  I am currently a member of the Student Retail Association and Women in Business.  Both of these clubs have been a great networking experience with corporate representatives as well as other UW students.  
After I graduate I will be moving to New York City to work for Macy's at their corporate office in merchandising.  I will be a part of their Executive Development Program in August.  I also had the pleasure of interning with them this past summer working with the buying team in the social dresses department.  I will take what I have learned over the past four years and apply it throughout the rest of my career.  Go Badgers!

Jerry O'Brien
4285G Nancy Nicholas Hall  | 1300 Linden Drive
Angie Badura
Assistant Director 
4285H Nancy Nicholas Hall  | 1300 Linden Drive


Nancy Wong
Faculty Director
4216 Nancy Nicholas Hall  | 1300 Linden Drive
608- 265-5954

Megan Watt
Student Acadmic Affairs and Career Services
1194G Nancy Nicholas Hall  | 1300 Linden Drive

Kohl's Center for Retailing Excellence
Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53703


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