Press Release

June 26, 2017

CUPA-HR Announces 2017-18 Wildfire Program Selections

Six members of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) have been selected to participate in the 2017-18 Wildfire program. The 12-month leadership development experience is geared towards early-career human resources professionals working in higher education. Participants will have the opportunity to develop their professional skills through tailored learning experiences including mentorship, conference attendance, shadow visits with chief HR officers and a year-end project based on the insights they gain throughout the year.

The Wildfire program, now in its fourth year, received more than 170 applications for the 2017-18 program. Participants were selected based on their demonstrated commitment to the HR field and on the strengths and development areas identified on the application.

The program formally kicks off on July 13 at CUPA-HR’s annual Association Leadership Program, which brings together association leaders from across the country to connect with one another, learn and be immersed in all that is CUPA-HR.

The selected Wildfire participants are:

  • Heather Butterfield, Director of Human Resources, Viterbo University
  • Drexel King, Learning and Leadership Manager, Baylor University
  • Thuy Nguyen, Human Resources Professional, University of Colorado at Denver
  • Tapiwanashe Nhundu, Employment Manager, Williams College
  • Shamika Patterson, Human Resources Coordinator, University of Iowa
  • Chris Roediger, Director of Human Resources, Art Academy of Cincinnati

Mark Coldren, associate vice president for human resources and chief HR officer at University at Buffalo and a past chair of the CUPA-HR board of directors, facilitates the Wildfire program. “Providing development and learning opportunities for early-career professionals is one of the association’s most important initiatives,” says Coldren. “The Wildfire experience represents our commitment to assist with the development of talented higher education HR professionals. The folks who have completed the program and the new cohort are nothing short of awesome, and I am privileged to get to work with them.”

“We are pleased to celebrate the beginning of our fourth Wildfire class,” says CUPA-HR President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Brantley. “The full-year experience these early-career professionals receive through the Wildfire program is an outstanding leadership development opportunity for them, and a great opportunity for our higher ed HR leaders to give back and help prepare the next generation of higher ed leaders.”


CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving 23,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at nearly 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.

Contact Information:
Sarah Carson
Marketing Manager – Communications and Marketing


The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 19.