Z Comes Before A: How Gen Z Students are Transforming Global Education
Upend the notion of schools teaching kids. An equally influential crosscurrent is at work: Gen Z students—aka Linksters. This diverse group of global citizens is accelerating the evolution of classrooms, dormitories, and sports fields worldwide. Rather than knock or resist this force, professional educators can look through a culturally sensitive lens to leverage Linksters’ strengths. In this captivating keynote, psychologists Szu-Hui Lee and Chris Thurber weave together Eastern and Western threads to illuminate ways to use Gen Z strengths (socially tolerant, culturally agile, professionally nimble) to shore up Gen Z vulnerabilities (anxious, socially uncertain, individualistic) and yield successful, healthy graduates.

Learning Objectives:
(1) Gain a clearer understanding of Gen Z traits
(2) Learn the educational implications of Gen Z traits
(3) Put Gen Z traits—and the notion of “generationalizing”—in a global context
(4) Explore the generation-transcendent principles of youth development and education
(5) Leave with a clear understanding of how best to meet the needs of young, global citizens

Dr. Christopher ThurberChristopher Thurber, PhD.

Dr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. He earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997. A dedicated teacher from a young age, Chris has taught elementary school French, undergraduate courses in psychology, and swimming and sailing to people between the ages of 8 and 80. As a learner, his favorites are woodworking and SCUBA diving.

During a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Chris worked with child burn survivors, a population he continues to support through work with the International Association of Burn Camps and the Phoenix Society.

Chris has more than 30 years of experience working with schools and camps. He has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on leadership, homesickness, and youth development. An award-winning contributor to trade journals for independent schools and camps in the US, UK, and Australia, Chris has also shared his opinions and expertise on the Today Show, Martha Stewart, CBS Morning News, NPR, FOX, and PBS. His research has been featured in Time, Newsweek, USNews & World Report, Smart Money, Parents, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, Family Circle, Men’s Health, The New York Times, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and many local newspapers and magazines.

Chris has served as a psychologist on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy since 1999. Along with his three colleagues in Counseling & Psychological Services, he sees students for psychotherapy and provides training and consultation to faculty. Chris also teaches PSY 500: Introduction to Psychology. He and his wife, Simonida, an analytical chemist, live in Exeter, New Hampshire with their sons Danilo, born in 2002, and Sava, born in 2004.

Szu-Hui LeeSzu-Hui Lee, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Szu-Hui Lee is a board-certified clinical psychologist with more than a decade of research and practice experience with community and boarding school populations. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University and completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowships at McLean Hospital – Harvard Medical School. She continues to hold an appointment as a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School and is the course director of the Multicultural Training Seminars at McLean Hospital. Her areas of expertise include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the treatment of anxiety disorders. Other clinical interests include cross-cultural adjustment, issues of first-generation and international students, identity development, and relationships.

In addition to her private practice, Dr. Lee currently serves as a psychologist on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy, providing individual psychotherapy, crisis intervention, triage, and short-term group therapy to boarding and day students. She is passionate about her work and enjoys opportunities to consult with faculty, staff, and student organizations. Dr. Lee has also been invited to provide workshops on the treatment of anxiety disorders, both locally and internationally. Most recently, she was invited to conduct trainings for parents and clinicians in China (Shanghai, Beijing, Xiamen) and Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto). Dr. Lee is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese. She and her husband, Kristopher, live in Newfields, New Hampshire, with their son, Alexander, born in 2016.