McLauchlan Leadership Series

The McLauchlan Leadership Series is a leadership development program designed to support professional, graduate-level leadership education through experiential learning. The Series was started in 2015 with a generous gift from Russ and Cara McLauchlan. To date over a hundred Jenkins MBAs from across the learning platforms have been named McLauchlan Fellows.

McLauchlan Fellows have unique access to corporate executives and community leaders throughout the series. Fellows build their professional network and experience unique coaching and leadership development to further career growth. McLauchlan Fellows receive a certificate upon completion and are recognized at the Poole College of Management spring commencement ceremony.


McLauchlan Leadership Fellows master the fundamentals of personal, team and organizational leadership through lectures, group discussions, guided assessments, team projects, external speakers and additional opportunities to practice leadership and coaching.

The McLauchlan Leadership Series is non credit-bearing; students will earn a leadership certificate issued by the Jenkins Graduate School of Management, signed by the associate dean for Graduate Programs and Research.

The series consists of three sessions, each comprised of Friday evening (4:00-9:00 p.m.) activities followed by a full Saturday (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) of programming.

McLauchlan Leadership Series, Session I: Personal Leadership

Session I focuses on personal assessment activities, development of a personal leadership model and team building activities to engage the cohort of McLauchlan Fellows as an interdependent group.

During this session, fellows identify a “Personal Leadership Challenge” and receive $300 each to pursue that challenge during the course of the series.

McLauchlan Leadership Series, Session II: Team Leadership

Session II aims to strengthen fellows’ peer- and relationship-based leadership skills, including those necessary to effectively lead a team in a professional environment. In addition to in-class training, fellows will engage in various team-building activities.

McLauchlan Leadership Series, Session III: Organizational Leadership

Session III provides fellows with insight into the C-suite environment by engaging with executive leaders in an interactive session. Effective leaders understand the influencers and drivers of decision-making at the senior level. Fellows will also learn about organizational leadership through case discussions and share what they’ve learned in a final presentation.

Unique Benefits

Executive Interaction

McLauchlan Leadership Fellows have extensive opportunities to network with and learn from corporate and community leaders through in-class discussions, executive panels, social networking sessions and more.

Executive Coaching

McLauchlan Leadership Fellows participate in three one-on-one sessions with a personal executive coach, enabling them to focus on a personal leadership development plan.

Personal Leadership Challenge

In Session I, fellows are issued a "Personal Leadership Challenge" and provided $300 each to pursue that challenge during the course of the series.

Eligibility and Admissions

All Jenkins MBA students (Full-time, Professional Evening, Professional Online) are eligible to apply to become McLauchlan Leadership Fellows.

Exception: Professional Evening and Online MBA students currently participating in a corporate leadership development program are not eligible to apply.

The competitive program will accept 20-25 students to complete the non credit-bearing leadership program during the spring semester.

Application requirements

Online Application
  • Basic information
  • Resume
  • Video
Video Components
  • 3-5 minute video essay answering questions:
    • Where do we most need leadership in the world today, and why?
    • Why I want to join this program and what I’d like to get out of it?
    • What can I contribute to the program, if selected?
Other Requirements
  • Currently enrolled Jenkins MBA student
  • Not currently participating in a corporate leadership development program
  • Ability to participate in all McLauchlan Leadership Program sessions, including a mid-November kick off.

Application Process

  • Complete Online Application Form
  • Upload resume (part of the Online Application Form)
  • Create video and email it to Leigh Shamblin at

Apply Now

Applications are reviewed by the McLauchlan Leadership Committee, which is comprised of Jenkins Graduate School of Management faculty, administrators and the McLauchlan family.

Questions: Contact program director Dr. Leigh Shamblin, or Jenkins MBA Project Coordinator Stefani Ashkinazy,

Key Dates and Logistics

Milestone Date
Online application available August 21, 2019
Application submission deadline September 29, 2019
Fellows announced October 9, 2019
McLauchlan Leadership Series kick-off celebration November 15, 2019
Session I: Personal Leadership January 24-25, 2020
Session I Inclement Weather Makeup Dates January 31-February 1, 2020
Session II: Team Leadership February 21-22, 2020
Session III: Organizational Leadership March 20-21, 2020
Closing Dinner May 6, 2020

The fellowship covers course fees and selected meals while the course is in session.

Meet the McLauchlans

Russ McLauchlan
Russ is a cultivator—evolving and refining business ventures and the talents of those around him. After 26 years serving as a global executive leader in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, Russ founded Calvert Holdings. Through a series of acquisitions and development of key internal capabilities, Calvert became a source of significant drug testing and development, capital investment, management and marketing services for many promising compounds and technologies.

In addition to his leadership at Calvert, Russ also focuses his efforts on local community ventures. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors at NC State’s Poole College of Management and as a mentor to MBA students and alumni, is an active angel investor, and supports a family foundation focused on education and diabetes research. An avid golfer, Russ continues to fine-tune his game, participating in USGA amateur tournaments throughout the year.

Cara McLauchlan
Mrs. Cara McLauchlan is the director of The Back Yard Foundation, a non-profit organization created for the sole purpose of giving back and helping those who would not otherwise be afforded the opportunity for assistance.

She is also a successful writer; she has a story featured in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers,” and she is a featured blogger for Carolina Parent magazine. She is motivated by writing inspirational essays and developing books that capture the best of life.

Cara earned her bachelor of arts in Journalism and master’s in advertising and public relations from Michigan State University. Before joining The Back Yard Foundation in 2008, she worked in public relations and marketing fields.