Discovering Her Strengths: Alumna Krystal Westmoreland Chooses UHD Again
By Sheryl E. Taylor
Throughout our lifetimes, we come face-to-face with the realities of who we are, what we are capable of and where we want our life to be. UHD Alumna Krystal Westmoreland took a well-traveled path, like most of her fellow Gators, and discovered her passion when she returned back to her alma mater.
In her early 20s, Westmoreland transferred to California with her job as a Transportation Security Officer for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from her hometown of Queens, New York. She met her husband of five years and they eventually decided to make Houston home in 2015 to start a family. Shortly after putting down roots in Texas, she learned that she was pregnant with her first child.
Westmoreland made the decision to resign her position with TSA due to health issues as a result of the pregnancy. However after resigning, she soon realized that “Even as a federal employee, I really didn’t have any credentials that would make me stand apart in the workforce,” she said. “I also wanted to set an example for my daughter, so I decided to go back to school.” Her goal was to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree.
After the birth of her daughter, Westmoreland began her educational journey at Lone Star College–University Park where she earned an associate’s degree in 2018. While attending Lone Star, she learned about the connection to the University of Houston-Downtown and the benefit of being able work on her bachelor’s degree simultaneously at both institutions.
“When I reached my goal of getting my associate degree, it persuaded me to continue my journey at UHD. The main reason I chose UHD is because of its accessibility. I was able to complete most of my coursework toward my degrees online, which is very important when you are raising a family,” she emphasized. “It was the best option for me to accomplish my goals and be a new mother.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (with a Business Management minor) in 2019, she decided to come back to UHD and earn a graduate degree in Texas’ largest MBA program.
“The longer that I was out of the workforce, the more I needed to develop myself as a minority and interracial woman. I wanted to continue contributing to myself,” said the 33-year-old Westmoreland. This summer, she earned a graduate certificate in Business Development/Sales Management & Project Management and plans to complete her MBA in 2022.
Westmoreland has begun the early stages of starting her own consulting business, KASSIDUOUS, which will provide assiduous business services, such as content development, leadership coaching and business development consulting.
“The name of my company describes who I am as a person and my work ethic,” she said. “My brand name is “K” for Krystal paired with “assiduous,” which means to work diligently at a task. I always knew I wanted my own business; but after taking Dr. (Richard) Conde’s classes it made me realize my strengths (specifically my attention to detail), which will really resonate with people who want to understand and implement specific processes for the success of their businesses.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second-largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.