Baylor University’s Learning and Development Manager Drexel King Selected for CUPA-HR’s Wildfire Program for Early-Career HR Professionals

Aug. 1, 2017
Drexel KingDrexel King, manager of learning and development in Baylor University's Office of Human Resources, has been selected as one of six individuals to participate in the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2017-18 Wildfire program.

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WACO, Texas (Aug. 1, 2017) – Drexel King, manager of learning and development in Baylor University’s Office of Human Resources, has been selected as one of six individuals to participate in the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2017-18 Wildfire program.

The 12-month leadership development experience is geared towards early-career human resources professionals working in higher education. King and five other 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.

“I am very humbled and excited to participate in the Wildfire program,” King said. “I aim to learn a lot from the professionals in my community, while simultaneous putting my best foot forward to represent Baylor. By the end the program, I would like to be equipped with more tools and resources to kindle fires of leadership, character and sacrifice within Baylor, CUPA and the community at large.”

A Naval Academy graduate and infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, King has more than 10 years of experience in leadership and performance management. He was a platoon commander in Afghanistan, a leadership consultant for 150 officer candidates and the training officer for 1,200 incoming freshmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. He has earned several distinct honors and awards for his military service. As a transitioned veteran who joined Baylor fulltime in January 2017, King continues to be a student of leadership development with a strong desire to impact lives, learn from others and make connections.

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.

“I am thrilled that Drexel is among the six selected nationwide to participate in this program,” said Broc Edwards, director of talent management at Baylor. “The skills, knowledge, conscientiousness and humility that have helped Drexel excel during his short time at Baylor will enable him to both learn from and be an outstanding contributor to the program. The skills he hones through this program will foster further success in providing outstanding learning and development opportunities to Baylor employees.”

The program began July 13 at CUPA-HR’s annual Association Leadership Program, which brought together association leaders from across the country to connect with one another, learn and immerse themselves in all that is CUPA-HR.

“Providing development and learning opportunities for early-career professionals is one of the association’s most important initiatives,” said Mark Coldren, associate vice president for human resources and chief HR officer at the University at Buffalo and a past chair of the CUPA-HR board of directors, who facilitates the Wildfire program. “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,” said 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 education 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.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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