See current and past winners of the RIFC Student Scholarships, Internships and Awards below.
Thanks to the support of the Rosenberg Family Foundation, Dunkin’ Brands, Choice Hotels International, and the Advisory Board of the Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC), students enrolled in International Franchising HMGT 756 / MKTG 756 are eligible for $2,500 merit-based scholarships to help offset expenses related to their UNH education.
2021 RIFC Scholarship Recipient
Jason Plant '23
“I am currently a sophomore studying business administration with an option in entrepreneurial studies.
My interest in entrepreneurship stems from an innate desire to benefit society in a scalable and sustainable way. Growing up, I watched my younger brother struggle with early onset of schizophrenia, a mental illness that halted his academic and professional aspirations and replaced the life of a gifted child with a life plagued by confusion, anxiety, and unimaginable, inescapable terror. While he suffered, I felt powerless to help him. Soon, I realized that this hopelessness was not unique to myself or my family. All around the world, people struggle with social, environmental, human rights and health problems. It is my mission to alleviate as many people as I can from these problems and entrepreneurship is the ideal vessel to do so.
Entrepreneurship creates jobs, spreading economic prosperity exponentially. If done right, entrepreneurship can also have the addressal of social, environmental, or other problems perfectly interwoven within a profitable business model designed to sustain the company and scale its benefits to stakeholders. Every day, innovation is harnessed by entrepreneurs to combat today’s pressing problems and sure enough, problems we never thought could have been solved have quickly disappeared. What if there was an innovation that could have helped my brother, or any other number of people struggling with situations equally as dire?
I knew I wanted to become an entrepreneur as soon as I realized this potential to alleviate pain from individuals, the environment, and entire communities. Since attending UNH I have, with my co-founders, designed an idea-stage company that has seen early validation for its impact potential. My company, HydroPhos Solutions, won the “Most Impact Potential” and “First-Place Audience Choice” Awards at UNH’s Social Venture Innovation Challenge, while also succeeding in other entrepreneurial competitions that validated the company’s business model (National Draper Competition, 1st Place in Service Track and 3rd Place Overall; Maurice Prize for Innovation, 2nd Place Overall; Holloway Competition, 3rd Place in Sustainability Track). Achieving these successes stands in stark contrast to the feeling of hopelessness; with entrepreneurship as my tool, I feel more empowered than ever to solve today’s most pressing problems.
HydroPhos Solutions is a circular economy company that addresses the problems of eutrophication and phosphorus shortage simultaneously, with a profitable business model capable of sustaining and scaling the company’s built-in positive impact. Eutrophication is an increasingly common environmentally destructive phenomenon that occurs when excess nutrients (primarily phosphorus) enter a body of water. The excess nutrients cause an overpopulation of algae and when these algae die, the bacteria that consume the algae also consume all of the available oxygen within the water. This completely decimates the aquatic ecosystem which in turn hurts fishing and tourism industries and devalues coastal real estate – not to mention rendering the water undrinkable. Ironically, at the same time, phosphorus is being mined at highly unsustainable rates. Dangerous compounds like uranium and cadmium are released into ecosystems and communities during this process, destroying local agriculture and impeding public health in regions near mining zones. We are quickly running out of phosphorus to mine, which poses the biggest risk of all: the risk that we may soon not have enough phosphorus to grow enough food to sustain the global population. Phosphorus is a critical ingredient in fertilizer that is irreplaceable in agricultural production; without it, there would be an unprecedented global starvation epidemic. However, long before this epidemic could take place, the price of phosphorus would become prohibitively high as the resource becomes more scarce. This issue has already begun, as phosphorus prices rose by over 800% in 2011 alone, prompting mass riots and suicides across the globe by farmers unable to afford the phosphate fertilizer they need to stay in business.
HydroPhos Solutions addresses these problems by taking a resource allocation approach. There is too much phosphorus entering numerous bodies of water, but not enough sustainably sourced phosphorus entering the fertilizer industry. If there were a way to divert the excess phosphorus towards the fertilizer industry to provide stable pricing and supply, this would address both issues. In my team’s research, we discovered that 54% of eutrophication was caused by wastewater treatment plant discharge and that technology exists to extract phosphorus from wastewater in a form directly usable as fertilizer. With the plan to implement these filtration installations and sell the phosphorus byproduct as fertilizer, HydroPhos Solutions was born. The United States Geological Services (USGS) has already agreed to license their filtration technology to our company, and we are in the process of developing a pilot program to serve as proof of concept to investors and customers alike.
Franchising is an incredible way to scale business models – particularly those that work on a site-by-site basis such as restaurants, gas stations, gyms, car repair shops, and countless others. Unsurprisingly, franchising has already been implemented to scale socially innovative companies such as microfinance institutions. UNH’s Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, Dr. Fiona Wilson, and the Director of the Rosenberg International Franchising Center at UNH, E. Hachemi Aliouche, wrote an excellent paper for the Stanford Social Innovation Review detailing the promise of using a franchising model not unlike that used by fast food giant McDonald’s, within the social sector.
HydroPhos Solutions also works on a site-by-site basis and the cost of scaling is high. The average filtration installation would cost our company about $3,637,106 and take 1-3 years to implement. However, each installation site yields an average of 490 tons of phosphorus – enough to generate $352,728 in annual recurring revenue. While a single installation site may not be enough to sustain a franchisee indefinitely, only a few installation sites can build a strong business. Most importantly, by franchising HydroPhos’s business model, we could scale our impact far more quickly than a single centralized company could. I continue to explore the idea of franchising with curiosity, as I think and dream about the future of my company.
Entrepreneurship is one of the best ways invented by humankind thus far, to create an impact that spans beyond what a single individual can accomplish. Every day, I am inspired by entrepreneurs who, in many cases, risk their livelihoods and their financial stability to bring hope into the lives of others. Entrepreneurship is by no means easy, but taking the easy path is what has gotten us into many of the problems that our world faces today. My hope is to one day bring the same magnitude of benefits to the lives of others that entrepreneurs past and present, have brought to my life. Even more importantly, I hope to help others like my brother, who may not share in his diagnosis of schizophrenia, but share in his need for a solution born from human compassion and innovation.
I am honored to receive this $2,500 RIFC Scholarship award, which allows me to further my interest in entrepreneurship and franchising."
2020 RIFC Scholarship Recipients
No scholarships were bestowed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
2019 RIFC Scholarship Recipients
Nhu Trang '21
I am currently a sophomore in the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics majoring in Hospitality Management and minoring in Spanish.
The value of education is something that I have understood at a very young age.
Neither of my parents had an opportunity to attend college, and they faced many struggles in their personal and professional lives because of this. They made a commitment early in my life to do everything within their power to instill in me a love of learning and an understanding of the importance of hard work and dedication. Because of their love and sacrifices over the years, I have been able to devote the time and energy necessary to academic accomplishment even though money has always been tight.
Since Freshman year in college, I have always been named on the UNH Dean’s List and maintained a 3.75 GPA and above. In addition to focusing on my own studies, I am a teaching assistant for Macroeconomics. I also work at the dining hall in UNH, and was recently promoted to be a supervisor with the responsibility of training the new student employees.
As a student, I not only persistently work hard academically; I also constantly try to be active on campus.
I won first place in the UNH First Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) by being recognized as the most active student joining all of the activities on campus while still maintaining a high GPA. Other than that, I have been playing intramural volleyball for 2 years. I also joined the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and Club Managers Association of America, in order to meet new people, expand my networking, and to learn and practice all the soft skills that are necessary for the future.
Having a passion for entrepreneurship, I have started my own seasonal online business for a year. Noticing the rise of sneaker culture in Vietnam, and the huge price difference between branded sneakers in the United States and Vietnam, I started my business selling shoes.
To be able to mainly focus on studying, my business is only open in May and November, which is one month prior to my departure to Vietnam. The way my business works is not complicated: people in Vietnam go to my web page, choose which pair of sneakers they want to buy, and then transfer 50% deposit money to my bank account so that I can then place their order. I collect the other half of the money and deliver their order to them when I arrive in Vietnam during summer and winter break.
I love my business because it has a low start-up cost and minimal risk; I do not purchase sneakers until my customers secure their orders and send me deposit money. I found this to be an interesting opportunity to get my foot in the door of entrepreneurship, where I can bring happiness to people by delivering good deals on shoes.
Being able to have a little taste of entrepreneurship and earning some profit, this experience has enabled me to be even more interested in entrepreneurship. Therefore, I am thinking about extending my business by franchising. There are two options that I could do. First, someone in Vietnam could pay me a certain amount of money to join my business. The more people that join my business, the more shoes I could sell. Second, which is the bigger step, I would have to invest money to open a shoe store in Vietnam, have a brand for it, and grant a franchise for the sale of shoes to other franchisees.
I am thankful for the opportunity to receive this $2,500 RIFC Scholarship award."
Jessica Nelson '21
“My excitement for entrepreneurship began when my brother and I started our own ice cream boat business on a lake in New Hampshire.
Each summer, we bring smiles to kids while learning valuable business skills by tracking expenses, revenue and inventory. In addition, we believe in giving back by donating a percentage of our profits to help the lake association keep the lake clean. Through this experience, I have learned responsibility, as well as how to operate a small-scale business.
Recently, I have been thinking about how to expand this successful business beyond the local area. Standardizing our business model and franchising the ice cream boat business to other student entrepreneurs across the United States is a possibility. Providing directions and the formula for success along with tools such as: an inventory spreadsheet, a profit tracker through Excel and signs could allow other entrepreneurs to start their own business with support. I strongly believe that by creating entrepreneurial guided ventures geared towards young adults, will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.
In 2016, I developed Helping Angels, where I provide assistance to elders in return for an optional donation that goes directly to our local food pantry. Cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry and offering companionship has provided immense joy to both the elders in my community and myself.
I am currently the Marketing and Sales Director at Friends of Tuckerman Ravine. I believe that this experience has given me a high level of responsibility with minimal direction. On a daily basis, I make the decision of how to best spend my time selling memberships and marketing events. I manage the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, attend expos to gain membership, solicit ski ticket donations from ski areas around New England, and create invoices in the accounting system.
Since freshman year, I have been involved in the Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Sales clubs to expand my knowledge and opportunities to own my own business. Think tanks, pitch competitions, boot camps and keynote speakers have given me the opportunity to refine my ideas and develop my confidence in public speaking.
I am majoring in Business Administration with an option in Entrepreneurship, along with minors in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems and Sales. I believe that creating a sustainable business is crucial to customer satisfaction and brand trust. In the future, I hope to combine these two interests to create a business that is not only helping people, but our planet.
My academic achievements include placing in the top 10 in the i2 Passport competition, sponsored by the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center this past semester. This opportunity allowed me to network with successful business owners whom I can utilize in the future to develop my ideas. In February, my team won Hack New Hampshire, the annual hackathon at UNH. Recently, I placed 3rd in the sustainability track in the Holloway Competition. While participating in these events, I maintained a 4.0 GPA and a spot in the top 10% of Paul College’s class of 2021. I strive to take challenging courses; in the future I hope to enroll in franchising and other entrepreneurship courses offered at UNH. Extracurricular activities are also an important part of my life. I am part of the UNH Nordic Ski Club and intramural soccer.
I am honored to receive this $2,500 RIFC Scholarship award, which allows me to further my interest in entrepreneurship and franchising."
2018 RIFC Scholarship Recipients
Jamie Nelson '20
“I am currently a Junior in The Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics majoring in Business Administration with options in Entrepreneurship and Finance, as well as a minor in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability.
My passion for entrepreneurship started in middle school when my sister and I started an ice cream boat business, selling dock to dock on a lake during the summer. In my free time, I also acquired a few yard maintenance accounts and started a small landscaping business. These ventures were a great experience to help me with sales, customer discovery, as well as tracking inventory and finance through spreadsheets.
During my first year at UNH, I wanted to find people with similar interests. As I got involved with The Entrepreneurship Club, it was apparent that this would be a great place to learn from guest speakers and network with others regarding ideas.
At the end of my freshman year, I was elected Chairman of the Entrepreneurship Club. In this position, I work with four other board members to come up with ideas for meetings, including guest speakers, idea pitch competitions, brainstorming activities, panel discussions and club trips to off-campus entrepreneurial events. We track expenses to ensure we stay on budget.
This experience has enabled me to become a better public speaker, as well as a more time efficient person, by staying organized and juggling schedules. I also enjoy making the club meetings an experience that people enjoy participating in to learn more about the concepts of entrepreneurship.
I have received Deans list honors and maintained a GPA of 3.66 at UNH.
I also have been an active participant in the I2 Passport program that focuses on ideas, innovation and creativity.
My free time is spent participating in the Nordic Ski Club and Outing Club. I believe this involvement keeps a healthy balance in my life.
My dream is to start a business that enables households to become more sustainable, from both an environmental and economic perspective. By focusing on the way households consume and dispose of food, water and energy, my company would provide solutions such as methods for gardening and composting food.
It is important to me to franchise this type of business in order to help a wide variety of people throughout the world think and act in a more sustainably conscious way on a daily basis. By franchising this business, I could give any motivated person the tools to succeed and spread sustainability to more homes in a faster manner, while at the same time making my company more financially viable through franchising income.
I plan to use the $2,500 RIFC Scholarship funds to help pay for college books for a second minor in Sustainable Energy. I will also set aside some of the funds for seed money when starting my next venture. I am thankful for this opportunity.”
Georgia E. Caine '19
“I am currently a senior in The Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.
My first grade teacher would probably be surprised to see me now, excelling in school, and working so hard. I never did any of the “homework” assignments in my first year of elementary school. However, clearly something changed shortly afterwards, because ever since then I have always done my best to stay focused, work hard, and achieve high grades. School became a passion of mine early on, and I was good at it.
In high school, I found another passion revolving around health and natural foods; all things truly raw and good for you. In my first year of college, I took initiative and landed a job at the new Juicery opening on Main Street in Durham. The Juicery is a privately owned growing company with five locations serving smoothies, freshly pressed juices, acai bowls, health shots, and made to order salads and wraps, just to name a few of their menu items. I worked at The Juicery for more than a year and a half in three of their locations, including the two busiest stores Portsmouth and Boston.
It was finding this specific passion and gaining work experience that made me excited to become an Entrepreneurial Studies major. I am hoping to combine my passion for health with my drive for learning, and become fully equipped to start my own venture as I see fit, or consider franchising. In doing research on the juice bar business, I learned that it is common for successful entrepreneurs in this business field to venture into franchising. I found this to be an interesting strategy, and it seems like something I would be interested in doing.
As far as my education efforts at UNH go, I have successfully completed the Paul College Sophomore Shadow program, achieved high honors and awards for a GPA above a 3.9 for four consecutive semesters, studied abroad in Hungary, served in a leadership role as Marketing Manager for Women in Business last spring semester, and worked part time gaining experience and learning about the juice business and the process involved in opening new stores.”
2017 RIFC Student Scholarship Recipients
Madison Chouinard '19
“I am currently a junior in The Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics studying International Business, Marketing and Environmental Science. I knew when I went to college I wanted to study business but I also wanted to help the world in some way.
Franchising is a form of business that lets the franchisors quickly expand their business by allowing franchisees to own stores. What caught my attention the most was a concept called social franchising. It is taking the franchising model and using it to help people around the world.The HMGT/MKTG 756: International Franchising Course changed my perspective of the business world and helped me to discover my true passion.
If you are interested in business, I strongly urge you to take this class to discover what other opportunities are out there. The International Franchising class offers RIFC Student Scholarships and internships to help you and your college experience.
I am using my scholarship to study abroad in the spring and to see how different cultures impact the way they conduct business. The opportunities are endless, and the connections you can make from this class can propel your career to new heights.”
Samrawit Silva '20
"I am currently a sophomore at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics as an Accounting Major.
Business and entrepreneurship has always been of an interest to me. I started an online fashion store (SamriStyle) my first year in college and a non-profit (Your Eyes Wide Open) that helps children in developing countries get an education my sophomore year of high school.
Growing up in Ethiopia, a developing country, I have always wanted to build businesses and infrastructure that would encourage development within a country. I never knew what the terminology was for that, but I later learned that what I have been interested in is called social franchising. I love philanthropic activities and realized that I could positively impact developing countries through social franchising which is what I plan to do.
This scholarship has helped me in so many ways. It has made my school year a lot easier financially, allowing me to focus more on my grades than my jobs. It has also opened new doors for me, directing my future in the path I have always envisioned it to go. Now that I'm aware of the Social Franchising course at the University, I look forward to taking it in the future."
RIFC is pleased to bestow two (2) $2,500 scholarship awards to students interested in franchising and/or entrepreneurship who have secured a summer internship at a franchise business operation.
2020 - 2022 RIFC Internship Award
No awards were bestowed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
2019 RIFC Internship Award Recipients
Cassandra Hall '20
"As a hospitality management major, I understand that the industry is always changing. It's important to stay relevant, and the experiences I have been blessed to receive have shown me the value in my continuous effort to keep learning.
I have a deep interest in becoming an entrepreneur in the world of hospitality. I am interested in starting off with vigorous internship programs that are dedicated to the improvement of the students.
In the summer of 2018, I was fortunate to travel to Dallas, Texas, where I began my education with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. I became a food and beverage intern for the duration of the summer season. This was my first internship and it left a major impact. The work that I was involved in proved to be strenuous, diligent, rewarding and educational. I find that I learn best when I am in a hands-on environment and allowed the freedom to fail, learn and improve.
The Four Seasons is a premier luxury company focused on providing a service culture designed for all people. I share similar values to the Four Seasons, mainly the idea that everyone, from guests to employees, deserves to be treated with the utmost respect and gratitude. Their vision is to ensure that each person understands the importance of guest satisfaction and treating everyone as a special customer. This was visibly true, day after day, and employees in every department came to work with a smile on their face and happiness in their heart.
Working for this company made me realize that it is tremendously realistic that I may one day work for a business I love to be at. I found my passion for not only the service aspect that comes with catering to a guest at a hotel, but also for appreciation of my fellow coworkers.
Before the summer of 2018 came to a close, I was approached by the upper management team at the Four Seasons. We discussed my involvement with the company and the opportunities that were available for the following summer. I spoke with the resort manager at the Four Seasons Oahu, Hawaii about the possibilities available.
I next found myself in contact with the human resources director at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole location discussing other internships. We conversed about my, at the time, current internship and what more I was searching for. By the end of the call, I found myself receiving an offer to work as a room and housekeeping intern at their Jackson Hole, Wyoming property. I immediately said yes and knew I would figure out the details later. After my summer in Texas, I cannot imagine working for any other company. Also, gaining the opportunity to work at two separate locations before graduating college will give my resume a unique edge when it comes time to compete for a manager in training position.
Through to the Paul College Internship Opportunity Fund (IOF), this $2,500 RIFC Intern Scholarship Award will help to fund my travel and living expenses during my internship, and enables my further education and knowledge of the hospitality industry so that I may give meaning to the "Paul Pride" in all that I do. I'm very appreciative for this support. There is no way to better repay the generosity than using the kindness to enhance the lives of all those within the scope of service."
Katherine Locandro '20
"My goal in life has always been to work for a company that is at the top of their industry, and that would give me the chance to travel the world.
The first stepping stone toward reaching my goal begins with my acceptance of an internship offer from the Four Seasons.
Four Seasons summer interns are placed in the Food and Beverage or in Operations departments. Knowing I want to work in a sales department, gaining an internship with Four Seasons did not seem like a reality. After meeting their recruitment team, they made an exception for me and offered me a summer internship in the Sales Department at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Dallas, Texas at Las Colinas! Upon receiving the paperwork in October, I immediately accepted.
Overwhelmed with joy, I called my parents and told them the exciting news and the crucial role this internship will play in pursuing a full time position at Four Seasons after college. My parents have always supported me in all of my endeavors, but with two children at UNH and my youngest sister attending the University of Pennsylvania this coming fall, my parents' financials are extremely tight. I am extremely fortunate to have my parents fund my UNH education, but while one college education might be do-able, next year they will be spending upwards of $100,000 in college expenses.
I can afford the monthly rent I pay in Durham, NH because I work during the school year while attending my UNH classes. However, Four Seasons does not provide housing for interns, so I also need to fund the additional expense for my summer housing in Dallas. Unable to turn to my parents for more financial assistance, my internship at Four Seasons no longer seemed to be an exciting first step in my career, but a fiscal nightmare that I could not afford.
I am very thankful to receive the $2,500 RIFC Intern Scholarship Award through the Paul College Internship Opportunity Fund (IOF). This stipend will cover housing for my 13 weeks in Dallas, as well as my flight travel, and commute to work. This award takes a major weight off my shoulders when trying to afford a work experience that will be a phenomenal kick-start to my career. Thank you."
2018 RIFC Internship Award Recipients
Meghan McGonagle '20
"I have accepted an offer from Marriott International as an intern in the rooms division at two properties in Boston, Massachusetts. Aloft Boston Seaport, and Element Boston Seaport are newly acquired properties in Marriott's Starwood collection.
This highly-sought after internship is incredibly important to my career goals.
Learning hands-on with Marriott will not only give me the experience necessary to work in the lodging industry, but will also give me the opportunity to apply and develop the knowledge I’ve learned in the classroom.
Marriott International is one of the most successful lodging companies in the world. With over 30 brands, Marriott truly has a culture all its own.
This internship will cross-train me in the rooms division between housekeeping and the front desk. Learning to improve my customer service skills and professionalism first-hand from a company of this caliber is truly an honor.
The $2,500 RIFC scholarship is not only allowing me to pursue this internship, but is also allowing me to pursue my dreams. Unlike many students that attend college, I support myself in my academic endeavors. I do this by working many hours in the summer and even working Fridays and Saturdays during the school year.
These scholarship funds are going to pay for my commuting transportation costs to and from the city of Boston from where I live in NH. My commuting expenses will include a rail LinkPass, subway fees to the Seaport, and gas and parking fees for the days that I need to drive into Boston due to my shift schedule.
Having this scholarship fund my transportation costs will enable me to save the money I’m working hard for to continue paying for my education."
Ruiyue Liu '19
"I’m a hospitality management major student who expects to graduate in August 2019. I’m interested in human resource management, event planning and food & beverage. My career goal thus far is to be a professional manager who knows how to manage a resort, and knows hospitality industry well.
I have secured a great 3-month summer internship with Hilton Worldwide at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort based in Boca Raton, Florida.
This is an excellent development platform for me to transfer knowledge learned in class into real life, and to discover my talent.
This is a high-quality internship that provides current college students with hands-on experience and training in specific disciplines of hotel operations with the hope of developing future leaders for Hilton.
As an intern, I will experience every job through general duty rotation, which is necessary for any resort management candidate. In addition, my Waldorf Astoria internship will provide me with valuable career-prep learning opportunities through their Mock Interview Workshop and Hilton University classes to help me with professional networking. New horizons will be open to me.
Moreover, there will be resort property mentors helping me to determine my hospitality career path. As an intern, I will also receive value feedback and evaluations from team members with whom I interact directly.
Travel costs to and from Florida, housing for 3 months, and meal expenses are not covered by Hilton. As an international student here at UNH, I must also face the challenge of moving to Florida all by myself.
The $2,500 RIFC intern scholarship will help to fund my travel and living expenses during my internship. Although the scholarship amount won’t cover all of these costs, it will help to relieve my housing burden and will give me more confidence in this internship opportunity.”
Best Student in Franchising Award - $1,000
This award is bestowed to the student who achieves the highest grade in the International Franchising MKTG / HMGT 756 course.
Fall 2019 Recipient
Fall 2018 Recipient
Fall 2017 Recipient
Best Franchising Team Project Award - $1,000
This award is bestowed to the team who submit the best team project in the International Franchising MKTG / HMGT 756 course.
Fall 2019 Recipient: Wendy's Team
James Rinklin, Nhu Trang, Thi Dieu Huong Tran
Fall 2018 Recipient: Dunkin' Donuts
Brooke Botticelli, Bianca Ketenci, Matt Hooker, Tyler Provost
Fall 2017 Recipient: Team Bar Louie
April Desmarais, Henrique Ferreira, Olivia Giatrelis, Tuan Anh Ha