Center for Retail Leadership

PSU's Center for Retail Leadership is rewriting the story of retail. We are uniting students, industry partners and faculty researchers behind a singular vision: that retail is the place where ideas come to life and a moment of truth for innovation; where concepts meet customers and needs meet solutions.

Students in retail space

Immersive Experiences

Take your education outside the classroom. The Center for Retail Leadership supports student-led clubs and offers a variety of hands-on, industry-engaging, experiential learning opportunities in Portland and beyond. Every year students travel around the country to network and learn.

Student at graduation


The Center for Retail Leadership offers scholarships to students pursuing each of our certificates. Scholarships support student success and are awarded each year based on merit and need. 

Career workshop

Industry Engagement

Our deep industry relationships are central to the student experience. We invite industry leaders to collaborate with us in a variety of ways, including board service, guest speaking, hosting a pop-up, participating in research, hiring our students and more.

Claima podcast being recorded


We build a bridge between academia and industry. Learn about retail from our curated resources, including podcasts, recorded workshops, Zoom chats and more.

Footwear in retail window

Job Placement Rates Within Six Months of Graduation

Athletic & Outdoor Industry Graduate Certificate Since 2013: 100% with 100% in the industry

Athletic & Outdoor Industry Undergraduate Certificate Since 2013: 92% with 55% in the industry

Food, Beverage & Goods Leadership Undergraduate Certificate Since 2000: 99% with 57% in the industry

Edwin Martinez

Edwin Martinez
B.S. / Athletic & Outdoor Certificate '16

Brand Strategy & Strategic Partnerships

"The A&O Certificate curriculum exposed me to so many thought-provoking conversations. By the time I stepped foot in adidas, I was already familiarized with the terminology, which made my onboarding process much easier.”

Mandy Loh
B.S. / Food, Bev & Goods Leadership Certificate, '15

Account Executive
Procter & Gamble

“Being involved in the Center gave me the chance to discover what I really wanted to do - from exploring entrepreneurship and participating in business pitch competitions to learning more about the consumer packaged goods industry through attending trade shows.”

Justin Chi

Justin Chi
MBA / Athletic & Outdoor Certificate '17

Business Development Manager

"I went through the A&O program when it started in 2015. The program gave me the perspective on the industry that I needed. Having that perspective made adidas seem a lot less intimidating when it came time to interview."

Alumni Job Placement

Athletic & Outdoor Alumni

  • Rachel Lane, 2019 - Retail Marketing Operations, Portland Trailblazers
  • Monae Khorvash, 2018 - Launch & Site Operations Producer, Nike
  • Tessa Smith, 2018 - Supply Chain Analyst, adidas
  • Itchelle Mapanao, 2018 - Associate Product Line Manager, Converse
  • Kate Bray, 2017 - Digital Marketing Specialist, NetRush
  • Kiera Olson, 2017 - Assistant Manager, Platform Trading, adidas
  • Justin Chi, 2017 - Manager, Business Development, adidas
  • Thomas Arm, 2017 - Consultant, Propeller
  • Edwin Martinez, 2016 - Assistant Manager, Strategic Partnerships, adidas

Food, Beverage & Goods Leadership Alumni

  • Jordan Looysen, 2019 - Associate Buyer, Kroger
  • Quinton Movik. 2016 - Digital Marketing Specialist, Logical Position 
  • Jessica Quintanilla, 2015 - Director of Operations, Tea Chai Te
  • Mandy Loh, 2015 - Account Manager, Procter & Gamble
  • Allen Dillard, 2009 - Senior Sourcing Analyst, Starbucks

Other Alumni Employers

  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Fred Meyer
  • Gerber Gear
  • New Seasons
  • Safeway Albertsons
  • Stumptown

Connect With Us

Center for Retail Leadership Executive Director Jennifer Nolfi
Jennifer's greatest strength is her unique ability to weave together ideas, people and resources to form partnerships and bring programs to life. Jennifer is passionate about innovation and disruption in retail and preparing the next generation of future leaders for careers in the industry. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, on the mountain or spending time with her family.

Contact Jennifer at 503.725.9805 or