Photo of Dr. Crystal Clayton

Dr. Crystal L. Clayton

(she/her/hers)

Executive Director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center

Dr. Clayton is responsible for managing the Hegi Family Career Development Center which houses the Offices of Career Development (CDT) and Employer Relations (ERT). These offices include nine professional staff, two graduate assistants, five peer mentors, three student assistants, a Career Development Ambassadors group, Board Fellows Organization, Student Advisory Board, and the Hegi Career Leaders premier professional development program.

Education and Credentials

Bachelors of Arts, English – Truman State University
Masters of Arts, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis – University of Missouri-Columbia
Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership & Higher Education – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

About Dr. Clayton

Crystal Clayton, a career-management professional with more than 20 years of experience working with graduate and undergraduate students, began her work as the executive director of the Hegi Family Career Development Center at Southern Methodist University in August 2017.

As the executive director for the Hegi Family Career Development Center, Dr. Clayton provides leadership and oversight to the Offices of Career Development and Employer Relations in the Hegi Family Career Development Center. The Hegi Center includes nine professional staff, two graduate assistants, five student career consultants, three student assistants, a Career Development Ambassadors group, Board Fellows Organization, Student Advisory Board, and the Hegi Career Leaders premier professional development program.

Since 2017, Dr. Clayton created the Hegi Career Leaders Professional Development Program which prepares student talent for full time work and career leadership, developed the Board Fellows Program allowing SMU students to serve as nonprofit board members in the DFW metropolitan area, and launched the Hegi Student Advisory Board.

“Crystal has built a stellar reputation as a student mentor and a leader in professional development,” said K.C. Mmeje, SMU vice president for student affairs. “In addition, her deep connections in the Texas and Oklahoma business communities are a built-in regional advantage for current and future SMU students, especially as they plan internships and post-college careers.”

SMU Trustee Fred Hegi '66, who in 2001 joined with his wife, Jan '66, along with their family in providing the lead gift for a $3 million endowment and expansion of SMU's career center, says Clayton is well prepared to help students. "Her experience, combined with her passion for helping students and graduates find their career paths, make her a tremendous asset for SMU. With her leadership, we will continue our path to be one of the nation's top five career centers."

Clayton currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Plano Chamber of Commerce and is involved with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). She is the past chair for the executive committee of the University of Missouri Alumni Association’s Griffiths Leadership Society. From 2009 to 2012, she served as a board member of the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Career Development.A native of St. Louis,MO, Clayton received her B.A. degree in English from Truman State University. She earned an M.A. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an Ed.D. degree in educational leadership and higher education from theUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Favorite SMU Tradition

My favorite SMU tradition is the Celebration of Lights, experiencing the full SMU community of students, staff, faculty, and families coming together to kick off the holiday season.

Learn more about the Hegi Family Career Development Center

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