NYU Connect

February 15, 2019

Krystal McLeod

The NYU Alumni Association (NYUAA) represents all NYU alumni, from every NYU school and department—a community more than half-a-million strong. The diverse and active NYUAA Board of Directors is made up of alumni volunteers who steer the Association in their mission to engage and support alumni. Krystal McLeod (CAS ’16) is a second-year board member and serves on the Board Membership subcommittee.

Krystal’s involvement with the NYUAA is a continuation of her leadership as a student, where she was vice chair of the University Senate Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, Senior Advisor for Diversity and Senator at Large on the Student Senators Council, an Executive Board Member of the Black Student Union, and an Executive Board Member of the Undergraduate Law Society.

Krystal is a 2015 Truman Scholar. She is most passionate about advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in global contexts. After witnessing first-hand the educational disparities within her own household and community, she used her experience with national nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations Department of Public Information, to develop her own educational initiative “My” Right to Learn, as both a Dalai Lama and Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellow. In 2014, she instituted this summer program for low-income minority youth. Since then New York University has recognized “My” Right to Learn for its lasting impact with the 2015 Martin Luther King Trailblazer Award. She is a President´s Service Individual Awardee, a New York State Independent Sector Community Service Awardee, OP Outstanding Regional HEOP Student Recipient, Dean´s Award Recipient, and University Honors Scholar.

A 2016 graduate of NYU’s College of Arts and Science, Krystal is currently pursing her law degree at the University of Notre Dame.

What is your favorite:

  • Food? I love Mexican food (and pretty much any food I don't cook myself!)
  • Book? A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
  • TV Show and/or Movie? This is Us! It’s amazing and it stars a fellow NYU alum, Sterling K. Brown. What's not to love?!
  • Song and/or Musical Artist? Any and all songs either made, produced, or rapped on by Drake
  •  Way to spend a Saturday? Any Saturday that begins with either hot yoga or boxing, leads to getting work done in a local coffee shop, and ends with spending time with family and friends is my kind of Saturday.
  • Place to travel? This summer, I went on a 30-day yoga teacher training in India and it was extremely transformative. As of now, I want to say it is my favorite place to travel. However, I love to travel in general; I find so much beauty in learning about different cultures, people, and experiences, so it's a bit tough.
  • Place on the NYU campus? I have so many! Every time I’m on campus, I feel at home. The NYU campus is unlike any other. However, when on campus, I tend to gravitate to places where a lot of the NYU community comes together so for that reason I would say, Kimmel.

What is your favorite memory from your time at NYU?

My junior year I won a national scholarship and our then-University President called me early one morning to give me the news. I'll never forget exactly where I was in the Gramercy dorm when it happened. I also will never forget how groggy I sounded on the phone, as a college student with afternoon classes that refused to wake up early. It was one of those moments where I was again reminded of the family I have at NYU.

Why do you give back to NYU?

I give back to NYU because NYU is a place that creates leaders, activists, compassionate-actors, innovators, and dreamers. NYU is a place that cultivated me. I would not be who I am today if it were not for NYU. And now more than ever we need educational institutions that are bold enough to cultivate students who are willing to go against the grain, to think in unconventional ways, and create change in our broader community. That's why I give back.