Recognizing excellence: Lathrop named Emerging Leader

May 15, 2018

Jake Lathrop, director of human resources and facilities for the Michigan State University College of Education, has been named an emerging leader in his field.

Jake Lathrop headshot

Lathrop was one of six selected to receive the 2018 Midwest Region Emerging CUPA-HR Leader Award by CUPA-HR Midwest. The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) celebrates professionals for their leadership and initiative shown in higher education human resources. As part of this distinction, Lathrop will also join the 2018-19 Emerging CUPA-HR Leader cohort, dedicated to improving the organization and its professional development initiatives.

“I enjoy being part of CUPA-HR,” said Lathrop, a past-president of the Michigan branch. He’s been part of the organization for more than 10 years, and actively volunteering in a leadership capacity for the past three years. “Volunteering is the best professional development I can envision. I have grown and learned so much, and really value the incredible networking.” 

Beginning July 1, 2018, Lathrop will expand on professional development in a new way as he takes part in a yet-to-be-determined project supporting CUPA-HR’s regional or national boards via the Emerging Leader cohort.

Among his past roles in the association, Lathrop has served on Michigan’s Executive Board of Directors, and led the planning for the organization’s fall 2017 conference held at MSU in October. Lathrop, along with fellow College of Education human resources coordinators Breanne Harvey and Hannah Omara, organized and hosted more than 140 attendees, 25 vendors and a team of volunteers for the twice-annual gathering. MSU is the largest institution in the state to be a part of CUPA-HR.

“HR’s role is key to all of our organizations’ success, and thus it is critical that we continue to mentor, develop and encourage HR professionals,” said Carol Hintz, facilitator of the program, in a July CUPA-HR press release. Hintz is vice chancellor for human resources at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. “The Emerging CUPA-HR Leaders program participants are future leaders, and this program provides them with a unique opportunity to learn, discover and develop new connections.”

Notable changes and updates

A third-generation Spartan, Lathrop has made a significant impact in the college since taking the helm of human resources and facilities in 2014. Previously, he was part of MSU’s central HR office.

He has overseen millions of dollars in renovations and upgrades—most recently a reconfiguration of the Department of Teacher Education’s third-floor in Erickson Hall, a technology-focused upgrade to the Confucius Institute’s space in the Manly Miles building and the introduction of state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms in IM Circle.

With help from an expanding HR team—Harvey joined the college in 2015, Omara in 2016 and Sharon Mills in 2017—Lathrop has also been instrumental in increasing professional development opportunities across the college.

“I am really proud of our work as a team,” Lathrop said. “We have been continually expanding our work and functions, supporting the entire college.”

He is focused on improving the university as well, founding and facilitating the MSU HR Leadership group in 2017. Representatives from each unit come together to take part in professional development, learn about best practices and work toward improving the university.

Lathrop was recognized with the honor by CUPA-HR during the organization’s spring conference that ran from April 30 through May 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He will serve as part of the Emerging CUPA-HR Leader group through June 30, 2019.