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Dr. Jennifer Hartstein '88 Delivers Career Day Keynote

Pingry welcomed 46 alumni back to campus on Friday, January 26 for Career Day. Our alumni panelists provided a wealth of knowledge, career guidance, and life lessons for juniors and seniors during two hours of classroom breakout sessions that covered 13 different industries.

The morning began with a keynote address from Dr. Jennifer Hartstein '88, owner of Hartstein Psychological Services in New York City. Dr. Hartstein works with children, adolescents, and their families with a wide range of psychological diagnoses and specializes in the treatment of high-risk children and adolescents. She specializes in adolescent suicide assessment and serves on the executive board of Active Minds, a nationally-recognized leader in helping to decrease the stigma of mental health for young people. Dr. Hartstein is also a psychological contributor for NBC's Today show and a member of the advisory board for MTV's "A Thin Line" campaign, which focuses on the digital behaviors of today's young people and empowers them to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in their life and amongst their peers. Since Dr. Hartstein works with children and teenagers every day in her practice, she definitely knew how to relate to the Pingry audience.

After taking a poll about the audience's social media usage (including the older alumni crowd!), Dr. Hartstein explained how the rise in depression and anxiety amongst adolescents is directly correlated with the widespread adoption of smartphones, and particularly social media apps.

"Make sure you check in with yourself," advised Dr. Hartstein. "Your mental health impacts your physical health. The better care you take care of yourself, the better you can handle stress and the more resilient you'll be."

Dr. Hartstein's experiences in high school (particularly psychology with Mrs. Pat Lionetti) informed her career choice. "I was the helper," said Dr. Hartstein. "I was a peer leader, and I wanted to be the kind of person that everybody went to if they needed something."

Dr. Hartstein's mission to help people led her to study dance-movement therapy before she earned a doctorate in Child Psychology. She would occasionally lend her expertise to newspapers before being media-trained by the hospital at which she worked. She discovered she loved to be involved in the media side of psychology, and continued to cultivate relationships with producers and studios as an expert on adolescent psychology. "High school isn't easy," she said, to the enthusiastic nods of her audience. "When I was a teenager, I wished I had someone who could relate to and talk to me about the problems I was having."

"A lot of people choose a career," said Dr. Hartstein. "My career chose me. Although I did some zigging and zagging to get where I am, I always knew that this is where I wanted to be."

Contact: Ed Lisovicz, Advancement Writer,