Robert J. Coury Applied Leadership Program

A highly interactive workshop series whereby Marshall first-year students learn tools and skills to launch their personal leadership plans

Register Now! Space is Limited: 

Coury Participant Registration

Interested in learning more about the program? Fill out the form below for more information and updates on info sessions and events:

Coury Applied Leadership Program Interest Form


The Robert J. Coury Applied Leadership Program is a new program designed to encourage confidence, character, and courage in first-year undergraduate students within the Marshall School of Business. First-year students (freshman and transfers) participate in two seminars and follow-up cohort meetings throughout the spring semester in an effort to identify and develop their strengths and values as leaders. Program sessions will be facilitated by Marshall faculty, staff, and Student Mentors. 

Participant Benefits: 

  • Better understand leadership identity, strengths, and values 
  • Build motivation to lead and self-confidence, character, and courage
  • Introduce roles, tasks, and responsibilities of leaders at all levels 
  • Practical application and knowledge-building for resume and interview preparation


Program Components: 

Program Components consist of seminars, breakouts led by student mentors, practice, cohort meetings led by student mentors, and on-going practice

Student Mentors: 

Student Mentors are current Marshall sophomores, juniors, and seniors who receive specialized leadership training to co-facilitate and coach first-year and transfer participants. Student Mentors must be on-campus for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and commit approximately 25 hours to the program, including evening hours, throughout the year. Students Mentors must have been a Marshall student for at least one full semester.


Faculty Director: 

Jody Tolan is a full time Lecturer in Management and Organization at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She leads the faculty team that teaches Leading Organizations, the core organizational behavior class for undergraduate students from a wide variety of disciplines. Her interest in curriculum development and pedagogy led to work implementing the School's critical thinking initiative and reviewing the undergraduate core curriculum. She continues to promote critical thinking through a Marshall faculty working group and mentoring fellow faculty. Professor Tolan was recently awarded a Learning Environments Incentive Grant by the USC Center for Scholarly Technology to promote collaborative learning and critical thinking. She has also been recognized with the Ernst & Young Inclusive Excellence Award for Accounting and Business School Faculty for promoting diversity and inclusiveness. 

Professor Tolan developed her leadership and organizational expertise consulting with a wide range of clients to build skills among emerging managers, middle managers and senior executive teams to meet strategic and organizational goals. She has also led workshops on leading teams, management communications and strategy development. She began her career on Capitol Hill followed by positions in several boutique consulting firms in New York City. Professor Tolan holds a B.A. in American Government and International Relations from Smith College and an MBA from USC with a concentration in organizational development and financial analysis. She is currently completing the requirements for the EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership at the Rossier School of Education at USC with a focus on student leadership development. 

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