Press Release

June 5, 2018

Laurita Thomas, Associate Vice President for Human Resources at University of Michigan, Receives CUPA-HR’s Distinguished Service Award

Laurita Thomas, assistant vice president for human resources at University of Michigan, has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2018 Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to a CUPA-HR member who has provided outstanding service to the association through constituent activities, such as service in governance or leadership roles, or through professional development contributions in support of the association. Thanks to the generous support of Kronos Incorporated, CUPA-HR is pleased to offer a $4,000 contribution to University of Michigan’s endowment or a scholarship fund of Thomas’s choice.

Thomas began her CUPA-HR leadership service in 2012 as a member of the association’s learning task force. She then went on to serve as a member of the board of directors from 2014 to 2017. She also served on CUPA-HR’s public policy committee and learning and professional development committee, and was instrumental in the creation of the association’s learning framework, which is meant to guide the learning and development of higher education HR professionals. Thomas has also been active in the association’s diversity and inclusion work, is a frequent presenter at national and regional CUPA-HR events, and has served as a mentor to several early-career higher ed HR professionals.

Says Mark Coldren, former chair of CUPA-HR’s board of directors, “Laurita is recognized as a thought leader and an innovator in the higher ed HR profession. She is an active resource for not only the association’s members, but also her peers and colleagues around the country. She is a trailblazer, a consummate professional, a dedicated leader, and one of the smartest people I know!”

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 25,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 2,000 member 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.

CUPA-HR’s annual Higher Education Human Resource Awards honor excellence in higher education human resources and recognize service and commitment to CUPA-HR and innovation in the profession.

Contact: Missy Kline, Content Manager – Communications and Marketing, CUPA-HR
Phone: (877) 287-2474


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