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College of Public Affairs

"Rae" Yunzi Tan


"Rae" Yunzi Tan

assistant professor
School of Public and International Affairs


Contact Information:

Phone: 410.837.5329

Ph.D., M.Phil, M.A., Columbia University
B.A., University of Southern California

“Rae” Yunzi Tan’s professional and research interests emphasize the functioning and effectiveness of work groups and organizations from the perspectives of social and organizational psychology. Specifically, Tan has conducted research on the role of social categorization processes on triggered displaced aggression in intergroup contexts, workplace diversity training effectiveness, conflict management profiles in teams, and the impact of mindfulness on group processes. Some of her current research projects involve assessing the current state of and future directions in workplace conflict management training interventions, evaluating the effectiveness of conflict resolution training in international organizations, investigating the nature and influence of conflict management dynamics in work groups, and exploring issues on managing change and conflict in organizations.

At the University of Baltimore, Tan teaches graduate courses in approaches to managing conflict, organizational conflict and conflict management systems, and research methods, as part of the M.S. in Negotiations and Conflict Management program. Her key teaching interests include organizational conflict management, conflict management systems design, group diversity and conflict, and organizational change.

Prior to joining UB in 2013, Tan taught as an associate adjunct professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. At Teachers College, she taught graduate courses and topics on groups and teams, experimental research designs, organizational culture and change, and managing conflict in organizations. In 2012, Tan was awarded a competitive visiting research fellowship to conduct research on team conflict management with the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at the Singapore Management University in Singapore. In 2011, she received the International Association for Conflict Management’s “Best Theoretical Paper” conference award for her conceptual work on conflict management as configural profiles within teams.

Aside from her academic and teaching experiences, Tan also spent several years as an experienced professional in strategic change consulting, organizational development, market research, marketing, and business development in both the private and nonprofit sectors. She has served as a strategic change advisor and resource to business leaders and senior executives at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional services firm, and at Disney Consumer Products, the retail and consumer products division of The Walt Disney Company. Tan also worked as part of the organizational research team at Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit organization that is committed to creating and building more diverse and inclusive workplaces around the globe.

Tan earned her Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University, and an M.A. degree in organizational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She also holds a dual degree in communication and psychology (with honors) from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, city biking, hiking, learning German, and spending time with family and friends.

Key research interests:

  • Work group diversity and conflict management
  • Diversity and conflict management training interventions
  • Conflict management systems design and implementation
  • Organizational change and development

Selected publications:

  • Molinari, C., Freshman, B., & Tan, R. Y. (in press). Relax, focus, breathe! Do these promote mindful online learning?  Journal of Health Administration Education.
  • Roberson, L., Kulik, C., & Tan, R. Y. (2013). Effective diversity training. In Roberson, Q. (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of diversity and work. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Vasquez, E., Pedersen, W. C., Ensari, E., Tan, R. Y., & Miller, N. (2007). Personalization and differentiation as moderators of triggered displaced aggression in intergroup contexts. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37(2), 297-319.

Selected conference presentations:

  • Tan, R. Y. (July, 2014) Different me's in us: Investigating the presence of varying team members’ conflict management approaches and their effects on team effectiveness.  Paper presented at the 2014 Annual Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, Leiden, The Netherlands.