An Iowa State University student received a $35,000 award for her case study through the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund in New York.


Jenny Junker, 22, of Waukee, is a senior in Apparel Merchandising and Design (AMD) at ISU. Her involvement with fashion throughout Iowa State has been immense.


What began as a child’s passion for working in the fashion industry, blossomed in just three and a half years at ISU and even more opportunities.


“I chose AMD at Iowa State because it consistently ranks as one of the top programs in the Unites States,” Junker said. “When I found the AMD program at Iowa State combines business and marketing principles, I knew it was a perfect fit.”


As she began studying at ISU, she began building her leadership skills and becoming involved with the Fashion Show and eventually the co-founder of the National Retail Federation Student Association at ISU.


Now she is in her second year of competing in the YMA fashion scholarship fund, which requires students to create a case study that has one specific problem for one specific company. The open-ended prompt allows students to choose from the four options of design/product development, merchandising/marketing, supply chain, and technology/analysis.


“I think the open-ended choice to choose the company makes the cases a lot more interesting and diverse,” Junker said. “There is more opportunity for students to collaborate without feeling like they are competing, because everyone has vastly different ideas and directions they are going.”


This year, Junker chose merchandising and marketing for a case study about globalization. The national competition featured 740 students that submitted cases. The YMA has more than 60 member schools nationwide.


Those students flew to New York for a career fair and opportunities to meet people in the industry, along with a ticket to the YMA fashion scholarship fund gala. Over 1,500 people attended the gala including celebrities and high level executives like Martha Stewart and Ryan Seacrest.


Junker won the $5,000 award last year when she competed with her case study. What she didn’t know she would receive at the gala this year, was even more extraordinary to her.


“We found out at the stage at the gala (that I won). It was a total shock to me,” she said. “I scored in the top eight out of the 740, and was the winner of the top eight.”


As she continues her studies Junker said she hopes to continue working in the fashion industry while being proud of the education she is receiving.


“I’ve been so lucky and humbled to be awarded as a finalist,” she said. “My only hope is to keep representing ISU in years to come.”