Dear Organizational Psychology MA Students,
We made it. Happy end of the semester! Happy graduation! I hope you and yours are healthy and safe and that you are finding ways to relax, decompress and celebrate all your hard work this year. You have earned it.
To our continuing students, my apologies for spamming your inbox with dozens of emails about last night's Zoom graduation celebration. I know that some of you are starting summer classes tomorrow, others are working or intensifying the search for new opportunities, and many of you are doing all those things. I know that we are all anxiously awaiting word from TC's President Tom Bailey on what our fall semester will look like. Although I am not privy to TC's plans nor the timeline for when we will know more, I do know President Bailey and his team are working nonstop to create a path forward for all of us. I recognize that the 'not knowing' is exceedingly hard on everyone for myriad reasons and I'm sorry for it. I speak for all my staff and faculty colleagues when I tell you we are here for you amidst this ambiguity and confusion. We are here for you this summer and you should not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all, need advising, or just want to say hello.
To our graduates, my heart is full with the joy of our community's graduation celebration last night. Seeing you waving and smiling in your caps and gowns and seeing so many of your families on Zoom, enjoying the moving student speeches, watching the beautiful display of your creativity and individuality in your slides, and then reveling in the raucous cheering for our final toast -- these are the memories that will sustain me during the challenging months ahead. Each of you and your loved ones are what made last night's event so very special. Thank you for that gift.
To all of you, wishing you a summer filled with curiosity, learning, opportunity, strength, connection, and much joy.
Sarah Brazaitis, PhD
MA Program Director
Current Student Profile
Nadege E. Benoit is a Captain in the United States Army currently serving at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In her capacity at the Academy, she serves as a coach and mentor to 120 cadets, helping to mold the next generation of military leaders. Prior to her tenure at West Point, Nadege worked as a Human Resources Officer in high-paced environments around the country and abroad.
Nadege is a proud native of El Paso, Texas, and a first-generation American. She is committed to educating others on cultural and racial biases that permeate industries such as the military, and she volunteers with Do More Together, a non-profit organization committed to empowering and mobilizing African-American graduates and cadets of West Point. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., in which she volunteers her time to numerous homeless, domestic violence, and veteran-focused programs.
Nadege holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Area Studies Eurasia from the United States Military Academy at West Point. She also has a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Webster University, as well as a Master of Arts in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University's Teachers College.
Rebecca Wool completed her Master's in Social-Organizational Psychology in 2018 (after a mere four years in the program!). During her time at TC, she worked in employee engagement and organizational change at Edelman and then at Aetna, where she was a member of the team that managed the CVS Health/Aetna merger.
Currently, Rebecca is a product owner on the CVS Health Digital team, responsible for partnering with business leaders, software developers and user experience researchers and designers to build an app to help members manage their chronic conditions. She previously focused on developing a well-being solution and collaborated on academic research to better understand determinants of total health.
While varied, Rebecca's experience centers around helping people live happier and healthier lives, and she is enthusiastic about applying behavioral science to creating products that enable positive behavior change. She draws on learnings from TC (in particular Learning to Think Strategically, Understanding Behavioral Research and Organizational Dynamics and Theory) to lead her team and build impactful, engaging products.
In her free time, Rebecca can be found reading the latest bestsellers and exploring new restaurants and cocktail bars (today that means attempting to pick up cooking). She enjoys connecting with others who have similar interests and different perspectives, and can be found on LinkedIn
to discuss the latest in digital health or just share a good book recommendation.
1) This piece, written by Social-Organizational Psychology MA graduates, Audrey Atwell, Nadege Benoit, and Julia Means (with Kyle Atwell) addresses some of the systemic reasons underlying the lack of women being selected for Army battalion command:Why Are So Few Women Being Selected for Army Battalion Command?
2) Listen to this episode
of "The Armchair Expert" with host Dax Shepard who talks with Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, health economist and physician, about ways we can emerge from this pandemic stronger and more connected.
3) Click the links below to see last night's graduation celebration remarks from Drs. Brazaitis and Buontempo:Brazaitis 2020 Graduation Remarks
As with all of these recommendations, feel free to let me know what you think and/or to offer your own suggestions for possible inclusion in upcoming newsletters. I welcome your input.