Faculty and Staff

Photo of Dr. Crystal ClaytonDr. Crystal L. Clayton

Senior Executive Director, Hunt Leadership Scholars Program & Hegi Family Career Development Center

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.


Photo of Jade WeaverJade Weaver

Associate Director, Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

Jade Weaver is responsible for managing the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program. This includes oversight for 60+ students, logistics and recruitment for potential and incoming Scholars, career advising and developing, event programming, and mentorship, both direct and indirect.


Jade Weaver is a student affairs practitioner, with nearly a decade of experience in supporting student growth and leadership development. Jade began her journey on the Hilltop in 2020, as a graduate student in the Simmons School of Education. She worked as the Student Involvement Graduate Assistant, supporting student organizations, fraternities, and sororities. During her tenure as a graduate student, Jade was offered a full-time staff position as Assistant Director for Fraternity & Sorority Life. In this role, she oversaw two of the four Greek councils on Southern Methodist University’s campus. She developed deep and meaningful relationships with students, campus partners, and alumni advisors.


Jade is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Baylor University. She holds Masters degrees in Physician Assistant Studies and Higher Education from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Southern Methodist University, respectively.



Jeffrey EngelDr. Jeffrey Engel

Faculty Advisor, Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

Jeffrey A. Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. A Senior Fellow of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, and graduate of Cornell University, he additionally studied at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before serving as a John M. Olin Postdoctoral Fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University.

Having taught American history, international relations, and grand strategy at the University of Wisconsin, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Haverford College, he served until 2012 at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service as the Howard and Verlin Kruse ’52 Professor and Director of Programming for the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs, receiving during that a Silver Star Award for Teaching and Mentorship, a Distinguished Teaching Award from A&M’s Association of Former Students, and a Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Engel has authored or edited twelve books on American foreign policy, including Cold War at 30, Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2007), which received the Paul Birdsall Prize from the American Historical Association; Local Consequences of the Global Cold War (Stanford University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2008); The China Diary of George H.W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (Princeton University Press, 2008); The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Revolutionary Legacy of 1989 (Oxford University Press, 2009); with Joseph R. Cerami, Rethinking Leadership and “Whole of Government” National Security Reform (Strategic Studies Institute, 2010); Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War (Oxford University Press, 2012); with Andrew Preston and Mark Lawrence, America in the World: A History in Documents (Princeton University Press, 2014); The Four Freedoms: FDR’s Legacy of Liberty for the United States and the World (Oxford University Press, 2015); and with Thomas Knock, When Life Strikes the President: Scandal, Death, and Illness in the White House (Oxford University Press, 2017); Impeachment: An American History, with Peter Baker, Timothy Naftali, and Jon Meacham (Random House, 2018); and with Tim Sayle, Hal Brands, and William Inboden, The Last Card in the Deck: Inside George W. Bush’s Decision to Surge Troops in Iraq (Cornell University Press, expected 2019).

A frequent contributor on international and political affairs for media such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, his scholarly and popular articles have appeared in such journals as Diplomatic History; Diplomacy & Statecraft; Project Syndicate; Perspectives on History; Enterprise & Society; The American Interest; The Los Angeles Times; The International Journal; the Dallas Morning News; the Houston Chronicle; USAToday; and Air & Space Magazine. In 2012 he received the Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize from the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.

He is currently writing Seeking Monsters to Destroy: How America Goes to War, from Jefferson to Obama (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).