Dear Organizational Psychology MA Students,
I miss you! I miss seeing you in person, in class, chatting with you in my office, in Everett Café and in TC’s hallways. I am grieving with you the loss of our in-person graduation ceremonies. But I know we will find a new way to celebrate our graduates’ tremendous accomplishments in May and that we will also celebrate them even more so in person as soon as this health threat is behind us.
I loved seeing my students on Zoom in our classes this week, and I appreciated hearing how much you enjoyed seeing each other on-line and getting back to our shared work of teaching and learning. All our program faculty and staff are working non-stop to create and implement the best possible learning environments in our new world. I know things have not been perfect and there will continue to be bumps as we all adjust to our new way of working together. But we are committed to failing fast, learning quickly, and working constantly toward implementing best practices in our shared work.
Please know all of my faculty and staff colleagues and I are thinking of you and cheering you on as you navigate the constant turbulence of these days. Below are excerpted remarks from one of our program’s faculty members, Professor Debra Noumair, that I wanted to share with you. Professor Noumair wrote this to our students in the Executive MA program (XMA), the program we affectionately refer to as your “sister program.” Her words surely apply to us all in Social-Organizational Psychology. They lifted me up and I hope they might do the same for you.
“In your roles as change leaders in your organizations, as consultants to change leaders in your client organizations, as colleagues, as members of the military, as partners, as family members with children, parents, and siblings, as friends, and as community members, we hope that your XMA learning holds you in good stead. As Lewinians, we each respond to the environment differently, informed by who we are as people and how we each perceive the various environments in which we are operating. We encourage you to harness your learning from the academic and intellectual frameworks in XMA, as well as from your psychological and emotional learning from collaborating as a cohort, and as a learning community as a whole. For example, following the science of the pandemic and employing evidence-based practices; modeling change leadership; building in time for reflective practice; creating a team charter for telecommuting; using GRPI and BART to launch virtual teams; intentionally focusing on what you can do to enhance psychological safety and intercultural competence; attending to diversity dynamics; encouraging a growth mindset; conducting AARs; leveraging networks virtually to connect personally as well as professionally -- through virtual coffee chats, lunches, happy hours, etc.; considering what you know about how to continuously lead change; managing conflict productively; promoting learning agility to inspire hope about the benefits of learning in a crisis; and so on, can all be helpful as we learn to live and work together in this new reality.”
Thank you for all you are doing to take care of yourselves, your loved ones and our community. I look forward to seeing you again in person as soon as we can, and I am very happy I will see many of you on Zoom again next week!
Sarah Brazaitis, PhD
MA Program Director