STEM Professional of the week

Cristina Teresa Ledezma      

Cristina Teresa Ledezma is a Senior Software Engineer II, in the Software Avionics and Product Development Department at the Raytheon Technical Services Corporation. Her career with Raytheon began with the testing of one of the V-22 Situational Awareness products. With the successful test developments for these and other projects Cristina’s good reputation turned into the position of Software Test Lead on the Air Warrior Program. While working on the Air Warrior Program, Cristina was given additional responsibility of being the test lead on all Situational Awareness and Avionics Display Product programs. Through her tenure, she has created a community of practices so that current software testers on the programs she oversees can share ideas, lessons learned and best practices.

Cristina is a positive role model in the development and support of the Raytheon Women’s Network team, and several diversity and university recruiting programs. She makes time to speak to women considering engineering as a career choice, and to mentor and encourage many others to consider STEM educational programs.

Cristina was raised by a single mother, who taught her the value of hard work and strongly encouraged her to take every educational opportunity possible. Although Cristina was not able to participate in organized sports as a child, she did show an early aptitude in the sciences and mathematics. The second oldest of five kids, she was the first in her family to go to college.

Cristina attended Purdue University where she obtained a degree in electrical engineering and became the first in her family to earn a college degree. While in college she had three summer internships at General Motor’s Allison Transmission Division and one summer internship at Motorola’s Global Telecommunications Solutions sector. Additionally, while at Purdue, she actively participated in recruiting programs conducted by the Minority Engineering Program (MEP). She believed so strongly in the power of being a part of the MEP that she volunteered her time working in the day to day activities of the office until the director added her as a paid student employee

Many years after starting her family and while working fulltime, Cristina decided to return to school to obtain a master’s degree in interdisciplinary engineering. Cristina pursued her second master’s degree in systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University as part of the Raytheon CEDS cohort.

Cristina is the mother of two strong and intelligent girls, Victoria and Veronica, and of a precocious young boy, Valentin III. She has a loving and supportive husband who shares her values of hard work and education.

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