Pellissippi State’s director of talent management selected for elite leadership program

Portrait of Elizabeth Ross at Pellissippi State
Elizabeth Ross of Pellissippi State is one of only 12 human resources professionals chosen for the CUPA-HR Wildfire program. More than 120 individuals applied.

Elizabeth Ross, director of talent management at Pellissippi State Community College, is one of 12 College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) members selected to participate in the 2020-21 CUPA-HR Wildfire program, a 12-month leadership development experience designed for early-career higher education human resources professionals.  

This year’s program received more than 120 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. 

“With a background in training and organizational development in the private sector, I am excited about joining the 2020-2021 CUPA-HR Wildfire program to usher me into the world of higher education,” said Ross, who joined Pellissippi State in January. “While I am tasked with allocating professional development resources for others at Pellissippi State, this program will provide me learning and network opportunities to ensure my growth is just as important. I am looking forward to the connections I will make in this program, knowing it will strengthen me in my role at Pellissippi State.”  

Ross and the other CUPA-HR Wildfire program participants will develop their professional skills through tailored learning experiences including mentorship, learning events and courses, and the completion of a year-end project highlighting the insights they gain throughout the year. CUPA-HR’s Wildfire program is made possible in part thanks to support from HigherEdJobs. 

“CUPA-HR’s investment in these early-career professionals is one of the best things we do as an association,” said facilitator Mark Coldren, associate vice president for HR at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. “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.”  

Headquartered in KnoxvilleCUPA-HR offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information. 

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865.694.6400.