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Krystal A. Porter, a multi-award-winning tech enthusiast and founding member of STEM City USA, recently graduated with a master’s degree.

On May 20, she celebrated a significant milestone in her academic journey, obtaining a master’s in engineering from the University of Virginia.

On Instagram,  she expressed gratitude to her loved ones, friends, colleagues, and UVA for their unwavering support and celebration of this achievement.

Krystal also announced that she has been offered admission into the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Engineering program at the University of Virginia’s Department of Systems and Information Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. She will start the Ph.D. program in systems engineering in the fall of 2024.

Krystal has elected her advisor and committee and is excited to dive into research that she believes will impact her field and benefit her community.

Passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), she has worked tirelessly to ensure that others can excel as she did, from being an enlisted soldier to an officer, and after retiring from the military, working up through the ranks to lead engineer at Leidos.

At Leidos, she served as a lead engineer and solutions architect for the Airborne Reconnaissance Low–Enhanced program and supported solutions for aircraft platforms.

Krystal received recognition for her achievements, including the Leidos Achievement Award for Excellence in Program Performance for Technology and the Leidos Agility Award. She served as the Jimmy Doolittle Educational Fellow at the Leidos operations center for current/future armed uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.

In 2021, Krystal received the Dr. Wanda M. Austin Legacy Award at the BEYA Conference. Austin is a former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for its national security space programs.

Krystal has volunteered with the International Council on Systems Engineering, a systems engineering membership organization and professional society.

She also served as a chief financial officer for the Black Cybersecurity Association, an organization focused on community and career mentorship for underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry. Additionally, she provided advisory support for the Rush Hospital REACH (Rush Education and Career Hub) program.

In her hometown of Chicago, IL, Krystal is dedicated to helping friends and family acquire the skills and job training to enter STEM fields.

Krystal earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has IT certifications from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Early in her career, Krystal was the U.S. Army’s signal communications and psychological operations officer.

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