Non-Profit Awards Walton College Students AWESOME Scholarship

Tessa Freberg and Katherine Thomas
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Tessa Freberg and Katherine Thomas

Katherine Thomas and Tessa Freberg, seniors in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, have been recognized as 2024 Excellence in Education Scholars by the national non-profit AWESOME (Achieving Women's Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education). 

Scholarship winners receive $5,000 for tuition and broader access to mentorship and networking opportunities with women in supply chain leadership positions.

“It is so exciting to have University of Arkansas students once again recognized in the nationally competitive AWESOME Scholars program,” said Stephanie Thomas, an associate professor of practice and executive director of the Supply Chain Department’s organization WISE, Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence. 

Founded in 2013, AWESOME has been dedicated to advancing the role of women in supply chain leadership. It provides a platform for mentorship, networking and professional development, empowering emerging student leaders to excel in their careers, promoting diversity and driving innovative, positive change across the entire field of supply chain management.

“Tessa and Katherine are both motivated students who will be impact-makers in their future careers. Their leadership roles in WISE complement the goals of the AWESOME organization, and this experience as AWESOME scholars will connect them with peers and leaders who are also passionate about making a difference in the management of today’s supply chains,” she added.

Thomas and Freberg, along with 18 other recipients, will attend the upcoming AWESOME Symposium in 2025.

Thomas is the president of WISE and a current North American retail sales intern this summer with General Mills in Rogers. When asked how she hopes to give back to the community and support other women pursuing careers in supply chain management in the future, she said, “Being involved in WISE over the past three years has shown me the importance of mentorship for women in supply chain. Throughout my time in WISE and now AWESOME, I have been mentored by some incredible women who encourage me in pursuing a supply chain career. In the future, I hope to be able to mentor other young women in supply chain, pouring back into a community that has poured into me so well during my time in college.”

Freberg is across the pond this summer in Ireland, interning with a tourism company. In the fall, she will study abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She commented on the immense support she has felt as both a member of WISE and a supply chain management major: "I am very excited and honored to have received this award and be able to join the long line of University of Arkansas students who have come before me. A special thank you to WISE and Stephanie Thomas for being such a guiding force in my supply chain career. I’m grateful to AWESOME for the opportunity."

About the Sam M. Walton College of Business: Founded in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business is AACSB-accredited and ranks among the top business schools in the nation. Walton College is the largest college at the University of Arkansas, serving nearly 9,000 undergraduate, master's and doctoral students. Walton College is recognized among U.S. News & World Report's 2023 "Best Business Schools," and its undergraduate supply chain management program was ranked No. 1 in North America by Gartner. The college's Master of Business Administration program was also ranked No. 11 for best return on investment by The Wall Street JournalThe Princeton Review ranked the college's graduate entrepreneurship program as one of the top in the country for the first time in the 2022-23 year. And in partnership with the Global Campus, the U of A's online business degree program ranked No. 12 nationally among 214 institutions by U.S. News in 2023.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.


Meghan Perry, marketing and communications specialist
Sam M. Walton College of Business

Jerra Toms, director of marketing and communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business


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