Crystal is a native of Ohio and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Akron. She continued her focus on biomaterials in her doctoral program at Clemson University, earning a Ph.D. in Textiles and Polymer Science and developing novel elastomeric composites for orthopedic implants.
Beginning as a research scientist and advancing through the technical ranks, Crystal developed extensive corporate experience at all levels during her 18 years at Kimberly-Clark. As a Research Director, she led global teams of engineers and scientists, overseeing the innovation and technology development portfolios for both the Health Care and Professional sectors. Additionally, Crystal was known as a champion for recruiting, retention and diversity at Kimberly-Clark. She was actively involved in campus recruiting efforts, served in a leadership role on the Women’s Diversity Network and chaired the cross-enterprise group responsible for accelerating career growth for scientists and engineers. Crystal holds six US and European patents, has presented at numerous conferences and in 2005 was named The University of Akron’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni.
Crystal recently accepted the newly created position of Director of Discovery and Innovation Partnerships at UGA. In this role, Crystal works with faculty and administration across the university to build industrial partnerships that align with UGA’s research capabilities and strategic priorities.
Crystal teaches cooking classes and has worked with a local food bank to expand childhood feeding programs and build a Community Teaching Kitchen in Northeast Georgia. Passionate about expanding access to fresh, local food, she is also active in Georgia Organics, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families.