Press Release

JUNE 25, 2019

CUPA-HR Announces 2019-20 Wildfire Program Cohort

Twelve members of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) have been selected to participate in the 2019-20 CUPA-HR Wildfire program, a 12-month leadership development experience for early-career higher education human resources professionals. The 12 selected participants will have the opportunity to develop their professional skills through tailored learning experiences including mentorship, a shadow visit on the campus of a higher ed HR leader, attending the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo thanks to support from HigherEdJobs, and completing a year-end project highlighting the insights they gain throughout the year.

This year’s program received more than 150 applications. Participants were selected based on their HR strengths and areas for development identified on the program application as well as their interest in and commitment to the program.

The program formally kicks off on July 10 at CUPA-HR’s annual Association Leadership Program, which brings together more than 200 of the association’s leaders from across the country to connect with one another, share ideas and be immersed in all that is CUPA-HR.

The selected participants are:

  • Jasleen Aguilar, Human Resources Administrative Support Assistant, California State University-San Bernadino
  • Shana Arias, Coordinator for the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition, University of Central Florida
  • Megan Chester, Career Development Consultant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Shannon D’Auteuil, Associate Human Resources Partner, University of Maine at Augusta
  • Kayla Fall, Human Resources Coordinator, Marymount California University
  • Austin Fann, Talent Consultant, Vanderbilt University
  • Donovan Johnson, Human Resources Associate, Covenant College
  • Robin Keel, Human Resources Analyst, Motlow State Community College
  • Sarah Lobb, Human Resources Administrator, College of Engineering, University of Iowa
  • Neha Pearson, Senior Recruitment Specialist, The Catholic University of America
  • Kelsey Pierce Gregory, Compensation Analyst, Indiana University
  • Luz Rodriguez, Human Resources Associate, Baylor University

“We are excited to welcome our sixth Wildfire class,” says CUPA-HR President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Brantley. “The experience these early-career professionals receive through the Wildfire program is not only an outstanding leadership development opportunity for them, but also a great opportunity for our higher ed HR leaders to give back and help prepare the next generation of higher ed leaders.”

Wildfire program facilitators include Mark Coldren, associate vice president for HR at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York; David Blake, vice president for human resources at California Western School of Law; Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes, executive director and chief HR officer at Austin Peay State University; and Julie Boggs, director of member marketing and engagement at CUPA-HR.

“CUPA-HR’s investment in these early-career professionals is one of the best things we do as an association,” says Coldren. “The Wildfire program is helping develop passionate and talented higher education HR professionals as leaders on their campuses and within our organization. I am so excited to be working with the new cohort. The opportunity I have received by getting to know the previous Wildfire participants has been a wonderful gift. I have learned so much from them, and I am proud to call them colleagues and, more importantly, friends.”

 About CUPA-HR

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 over 31,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 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
Erin Rosolina
Marketing Manager – Communications and Marketing


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