Dr. Crystal L. Harris is an educator and entrepreneur who helps graduate students use their research to make an impact in society. Her company creates products and services to clarify educational goals, apply to graduate programs, and graduate on time. More importantly, she is committed to helping students manage the milestones such as research projects in a way that will support their long term goals as scholars, administrators or faculty. She excels at helping busy ambitious students organize their lives in order to complete theses and dissertations on schedule saving valuable time and money.
Educational and Work Background
Dr, Harris began her education in a mechanical engineering program at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. She continued her engineering career working in a multinational corporation as a project manager, a manufacturing team leader and managed the start up of a training and development center. In this role, she learned about the power of combining leadership and technical skills to assist women in manufacturing roles to advance their careers.
Following her corporate career, Crystal pursued theological studies at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. At Garrett, Crystal pursued a masters degree in pastoral care and counseling. After Garrett, Crystal applied to multiple doctoral programs and filling out multiple applications and going to multiple interviews only to find out that her lack of clarity was detrimental as it manifested in the feedback from several admissions committees. The following year, with a fresh approach and greater clarity, Crystal was accepted to five out of five doctoral programs in psychology. She chose the University of Notre Dame where she entered the counseling psychology program under the guidance of a respected pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology whose work she was acquainted with.
At the University of Notre Dame, Crystal pursued her doctoral studies and advanced her experience by doing research with her mentor, working as an editorial assistant for a top journal, being active in leadership organizations for graduate students and presenting at regional and national professional organizations. Crystal also worked on multiple research project teams to enhance her skills as well as serving as a teaching assistant and instructor of record. Ultimately Crystal completed her PhD after defending a dissertation about coping skills for African-American adults facing adverse experiences with discrimination.
Coaching and Business Leadership
In 2007 Crystal launched Pursue Higher Dreams Coaching to assist Chicago high school students enter selective Ivy League institutions by enhancing their AC T and SAT test scores. Pursue Higher Dreams became a premier boutique tutoring service in the Naperville – Aurora communities and assisted over 100 high school students in a 6 year period. Today, the company offers workshops to assist college students apply to selective graduate school. As many students of color are incurring huge amounts of debt and failing to complete graduate school due to a lack of understanding how funding works at the doctoral level. Crystal has spent 12 years teaching at a state university and mentoring masters level and doctoral level students. Based on her own experience and those of her students, she designed the “Get Accepted” workshop. This program is designed to clarify goals, research comparable degree programs, complete essays and applications efficiently and GET ACCEPTED. The latest program is called “Get Finished” and it gives doctoral students the skills and confidence to design, conduct and defend successful dissertations and stay on schedule. Additional custom coaching programs are also offered to assist with other barriers to degree completion.
Crystal’s most important values are Faith, Family and Career in that order. She is very involved in her faith community included women’s ecumenical groups, and community organizations that advocate and serve economically disadvantaged youth with radical inclusive programs. Crystal is a devoted partner and mother. She is super proud of her two adult children – both entrepreneurs- running successful businesses.
In closing, Crystal has channeled her love of people, teaching and writing into a business that inspire and empowers people. This website contains several resources and information about our private Facebook group, a weekly blog and online courses to support you in achieving your goal of completing an advanced degree.
Please know that we welcome your feedback, concerns and questions as we design future programs and products to meet the needs of the next generation of scholars, activists and academic professionals. Our recurrent theme will always be helping you bring your dreams to life.