Dear Students,
 
I spent most of January in Singapore teaching educational leaders about organization development and change and group dynamics through a joint degree program offered by TC and Singapore's National Institute of Education (NIE) at Nanyang University. My Singaporean students were terrific -- whip-smart, fun and funny, highly motivated and hard-working, thoughtful and engaging. They challenged me with their incisive questions (I think they read every single word of every single reading I assigned) and they inspired me with their intense commitment to learning.
 
The Singaporean people I met were uniformly kind, helpful and welcoming. I thought the country was a fascinating mix of natural beauty coupled with a clearly booming business district and interspersed with elements that looked to me like something out of Disney World. I repeatedly encountered visually stunning man-made waterfalls accompanied by laser light shows.
 
I deeply appreciated the opportunity to work in a country and culture 10,000 miles from my own, yet, I must confess, after nearly a month away, I was homesick. I missed my family and the comforts of home, the rhythm and routine of my NYC neighborhood and of TC. I loved my experience in Singapore, and also, strongly felt the pull to be home.
 
While away I found myself thinking a lot about our international students and how much they have to navigate to be successful at TC, thousands of miles from home. I reflected on our military students and how they have spent months or even years away from home, and in dangerous environments. In my classes at NIE, the students and I discussed studies noting the critical role of failure on the way to success, and we talked a lot about the importance of "grit" and "resilience" in young learners. I thought about how so many of our TC students exemplify these qualities every day. I felt embarrassed to be homesick in such a lovely locale after a mere three weeks, and my admiration and appreciation of our students who navigate this routinely increased immensely. I know some of our students have family living in or near Hubei Province, the area most affected by the coronavirus, or in other parts of Asia where the virus has caused significant disruption and panic. My heart goes out to all of you who are worried about loved ones far away from TC. Please know we are here for you and we want to help you navigate whatever stressors may arise so that you can study and learn well with us.
 
I am happy to be home again with my family and very happy to be back with my TC students and colleagues. I hope we can use the grit and resilience of our community to lift each other up when we most need it.

Warmly,

Sarah Brazaitis, PhD
MA Program Director

 

Current Student Profile

Jana Burdick is currently a student in the Social-Organizational Psychology MA Program. She is also part of a select group of Army officers that make up the Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP), a unique partnership between the United States Military Academy at West Point and Columbia University which prepares officers in the Army to become Tactical Officers. Jana herself graduated from West Point in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Environment Engineering.
 
Jana is a career aviation officer, specifically a helicopter pilot, who has led diverse teams, groups and organizations across the country and overseas during her time in the Army. Her interest in solving complex problems, combined with her engineering background, led her to pursue an internship for Delphi Electronics and Safety, working in their Validation Engineering Department. Her commitment to service goes beyond the military, as she is an active volunteer at her church and at the Uniformed Services Organization, a non-profit that serves current and past members of the military and their families.
 
Upon completion of her degree at TC, Jana is looking forward to serving as a Tactical Officer. In this role she will have the opportunity to coach and mentor cadets, effectively molding the next generation of Army officers.
 
A lover of the great outdoors, Jana is an avid runner who also enjoys cycling and hiking. Some of her favorite hobbies include traveling, exploring the rich culture of New York City, and do-it-yourself home renovation projects.
 
Feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or email.

Alumni Profile

Geeta Rawlani graduated from the M.A. program in 2014 and is currently a Learning and Performance Consultant at MetroPlus Health Plan.  Prior to joining MetroPlus Health Plan, Geeta gained experience in both the public and private sectors, at organizations such as Korn/Ferry and UNICEF, and received her career coaching and counselling certification from Career Counselling Services, Ltd.

 

One of the philosophies Geeta lives by is: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."  This philosophy ties nicely into the idea of empowerment, skills development, and finding lasting solutions -- all of which she is passionate about -- but it also involves another passion of hers: food!  Geeta loves trying different restaurants and cuisines.  While she is open to trying new places at any time, she particularly looks forward to NYC Restaurant Week during the winter and summer.


Feel free to connect with Geeta on LinkedIn.