Press Release

May 11, 2021

CUPA-HR Announces 2021-22 Wildfire Program Cohort

Thirteen members of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) have been selected to participate in the 2021-22 CUPA-HR Wildfire program, a 12-month leadership development experience designed for early-career higher education human resources professionals. Program participants will have the opportunity to develop their professional skills through tailored learning experiences including mentorship, learning events and courses, and the completion of a project showcasing the insights they gain throughout the year.

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 selected participants are:

  • Mallory Antovel, HR manager at Great Falls College MSU
  • Jacob Bononcini, leave and disability resources consultant at Drexel University
  • Mónica Bradshaw, employee relations specialist at the University of Kansas
  • Alataisha Dickson, HR coordinator at Coker University
  • Samuel Dunham, assistant director of employee development at Valencia College
  • Travis Hicks, HR business partner at the University of North Texas System
  • Steven Inc, HR consultant at Community Colleges of Spokane
  • Simren Lehal, compensation analyst at Cuyahoga Community College
  • Valyncia Raphael-Woodward, director of employee relations and Title IX coordinator at Western University of Health Sciences
  • Brigitte Strother, senior employee relations and training specialist at Villanova University
  • Simone Waldon, HR representative at Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Michaela Warner, HR associate at the Research Foundation at SUNY Oneonta
  • Annika Yappert, recruiting and talent acquisition specialist for university advancement at Colorado State University

“We are very excited to begin working with the new Wildfire cohort,” says CUPA-HR President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Brantley. “This is our eighth year offering this program, and it’s been so rewarding to see participants grow and achieve throughout the experience. The Wildfire program is an outstanding leadership development opportunity for these early-career professionals, and it’s 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 human resources at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York; David Blake, Ph.D., vice president for human resources at California Western School of Law; Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes, vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness and chief human capital officer at the University of North Texas System; Julie Boggs, director of member marketing and engagement at CUPA-HR; and Jasmine Weatherly, membership coordinator at CUPA-HR.

CUPA-HR’s Wildfire program is made possible in part thanks to support from HigherEdJobs.


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 more than 33,000 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
Erin Rosolina
Marketing Manager – Communications and Marketing