Dear Organizational Psychology MA Students,

You made it to Spring Break! I hope you all can enjoy some respite in the coming week. I am already heartened thinking about finishing my 5:10pm class after break with some light left in the evening sky.

This is a short newsletter this month due to the break, but there is lots of program news below, a good number and variety of recommended "readings" and, of course, compelling bios in our student and alumni spotlight sections.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me or to any program faculty or staff if we can be helpful to you in the remaining half of the semester.

See you soon!

Warm regards,

Sarah Brazaitis, Ph.D.

Alumni Profiles

Tommy Pan

Tommy Pan is a full-time student in our MA program. He recently moved back to Harlem after living the past 2 years in Astoria, Queens and loves his new commute.

His most recent internship was at the NYC Department of Buildings, where he developed a "summit" for the Interns to gain greater purpose for their work in a government agency and to leverage career development opportunities through networking with and mentoring from senior leadership. He has also interned at Global Brands Group where he supported various change management initiatives for several acquisitions.

Tommy wants a career that gives him the freedom to create and develop, as well as that combines the business strategy side with the people. He is always up for chatting about the past, current, and future states of technology, society, business, sports, media, and race over a hot cup of coffee or Kombucha.

Tommy is an active member in his local church and has been mentoring under-privileged and at-risk high school youth from the Bronx and Harlem for the last four years. He enjoys playing and watching basketball, cooking, listening to keys or strings covers of contemporary pop music, and reading. He will be very busy the next six months planning his wedding with his fiancée.

Kristen Bakalar

Kristen Bakalar is a 2013 MA graduate, former New Yorker, and lover of all things bourbon-related. She is currently the Director of Talent Management at athenahealth in Boston where she oversees the learning and development function, building and delivering impactful training programs for employees at all levels. She is also building an organizational effectiveness program, and a more holistic talent development strategy for the organization. Integrating performance management, high-potential programming, leadership development, employee engagement, diversity, and career progression are all part of her master plan. She's got her hands full.

Prior to this role, Kristen worked as a Leadership Development consultant for BlessingWhite, a boutique consulting firm in New Jersey. She's spoken at numerous conferences, advocated publicly (and privately) for diversity and inclusion, and partnered with esteemed companies, clients, and individuals to develop high-impact programming.

Since 2015, Kristen feels as if she is finally doing the work she was always meant to do. Developing humans in the workplace is her personal mission and a clear passion, and the MA degree in Organizational Psychology has fed that purpose. There is not one day that goes by - even the weekends - when Kristen does not use some element of her graduate degree or call on the experiences and wisdom she gained at TC. Plus, it gives her a ton of street cred.

You can find Kristen on LinkedIn:

Recommended Readings

Here is a brief article highlighting what we already know about teams, but it's a good summary and the author quotes some of our favorite team scholar-practitioners, Richard Hackman and Amy Edmondson:

In honor of Spring Break, here is a great site to find tailored-to-you recommendations of "what to watch" when you have time to sit in front of your favorite screen for 20 minutes or a days-long binge, and everything in between:

Sometimes it's easier to listen than it is to read or to watch anything. This is particularly true for me while I'm training for a race, riding the subway, or sorting my sons' seemingly endless pairs of mismatched athletic socks. One podcast I find especially thoughtful is Death, Sex & Money by Anna Sale. More information is here:

Look in the archives for her series on social class: 

And, also for her series on student loans:

As always, with all these recommendations, don't hesitate to let me know what you think and/or to offer your own suggestions for possible inclusion in upcoming newsletters. I welcome your input.