Dear Students,
 
Last night Teachers College hosted almost 200 prospective students for our annual Psychology Open House. It was heartening to see so many show up on a very cold night to learn more about the richness TC has to offer in psychology studies. Psychology students are about 30% of all TC students and the faculty numbers are similar. We are a mighty presence at TC, and I am proud of our collective contributions to psychological science and practice. Dr. Buontempo led the Open House and spoke about our commitment to the scientist-practitioner model. She noted how our graduates apply the latest theory and research to solve complex problems effectively in their organizations and how we faculty ground our work in the real-world issues faced by organizations. Honestly, I think about the scientist-practitioner model so much that I even find myself telling my teenagers things like, "Make your bed! Research says you're more likely to be a happy person if you make your bed." (They are not impressed by this. Maybe they know correlation is not the same as causation.)
 
This semester has felt like riding a bullet train. The rush and tumult of life in the Big Apple, the pressure of endless tasks to complete, deadlines to meet, emails that need responses, texts that chime constantly, and, yes, beds that need to be made -- all these can conspire to obscure the richness that is all around us every day in our TC community. It is easier (and more automatic) for me to complain about feeling overworked and overwhelmed than it is to notice and relish the gift that is our collective work at TC and to remember how lucky I am to work in a place where so many bright, talented and caring people are all trying -- as the Teachers College mission states -- to create a "smarter, healthier, and more equitable world." Many days I am so busy complaining I forget to be grateful. Maybe it will help to know there is research showing that gratitude is the better option. Gratitude makes us healthier and happier, and it even improves work team performance. That is a finding I especially love.
 
I know I speak for all my faculty and staff colleagues when I tell you we are thankful for you, for the community we share, for the work we do together, and for our collective efforts to contribute well to the science and practice of psychology. Read below for a taste of some of the gratitude research. Now if I can just locate a study supporting the merits of a third helping of pumpkin pie...
 

Warmly,

Sarah Brazaitis, PhD
MA Program Director

 

Current Student Profile

 

Jennifer Kan is currently a second-year in the program. After graduating from UC San Diego with a BS in Management Science, she started her career as an analyst at an executive recruiting firm. There, she learned the ins and outs of C-level recruiting and how private equity firms view their leadership. Wanting to dive deeper into the world of human capital, she sought out TC's Social-Organizational Psychology master's program.  
 
After her first year, she held a talent management internship with PepsiCo, where she fell in love with the work and company. She will be creating a career with the team after graduating in 2020.
 

Additionally, Jennifer is passionate about cultivating community. She is currently working with The Cosmos, an international community that helps Asian women flourish and thrive. In her free time, you can find Jennifer urban hiking with her mini goldendoodle or hunting for the best boba spot in town. 

 

Alumni Profile

Ankita Agharkar is a proud alum of the M.A. program and currently works in Deloitte's Human Capital practice. After graduating in 2017, Ankita moved back to California and interned at the Walt Disney Company, where she helped HR Business Partners guide organizational change. She then worked in change management at a boutique consulting firm before finding her niche at Deloitte.
 
As a Human Capital Consultant, Ankita draws on her experiences from TC every day. Her work involves talent acquisition strategy, organizational design, change management, culture transformation, and leadership coaching. She works largely with tech companies, where many leaders are on the forefront of research and implementation when it comes to people strategy. Ankita loves to see how group dynamics unfold in both her external client teams and internal project teams. She has definitely seen the "forming-storming-norming-performing" model of group development play out many times in real life!
 
When she isn't traveling for work, Ankita loves to volunteer with the local German Shepherd shelter to socialize and train K-9 units. She is also an avid foodie and can usually be found planning her next vacation around food hotspots.
 

Feel free to connect with Ankita on LinkedIn.