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Harpeth Hall to welcome guest speakers to campus

Harpeth Hall to welcome guest speakers to campus
Harpeth Hall to welcome guest speakers to campus

From an international author to a United Nations conflict resolution expert, Harpeth Hall will welcome a lineup of speakers to campus to share their experience and expertise with our students about career paths, mental health and wellness, and community connection.

Author Claire Keegan will take students on a literary exploration, delving into the art of writing and her own journey as a wordsmith. Harpeth Hall's Wellness Day will offer a holistic approach to personal development as local mental health and wellness experts guide upper school students through workshops that touch on essential themes from situational awareness to self-compassion. Vanderbilt University professor Samar S. Ali also will return to campus for an all-school assembly after visiting Harpeth Hall as a featured speaker during the International Coalition of Girls Schools faculty symposium in fall 2022 and speaking to students when Ann Teaff was head of school.


Author Claire Keegan

From the hills of Ireland to Green Hills, award-winning author Claire Keegan is traveling to Harpeth Hall to speak with students in a special all-school assembly. Ms. Keegan, the author of this year’s all-school read “Foster” — the adaptation of which was nominated for an Academy Award this past year — will speak to students about the writing process and her journey as an author.

Harpeth hall wellness day logo

Wellness Day

Each year during Harpeth Hall’s Wellness Day, upper school students attend workshops taught by visiting mental health and wellness experts to help better navigate the daily stressors and experiences that affect their well-being.

“Creating a balance in your life supports healthy choices in all areas,” Harpeth Hall Counselor Carolina Crawley told our students. “We hope that this year's program provides you with the education, activities, and tools to make at least one positive shift toward a more balanced, creative, peaceful, and self-compassionate existence.”

Covering topics from self-defense and managing anxiety to self-compassion and the effects of high-risk behavior on the adolescent brain, this year’s speakers include:

  • Kristen Gilliland, Ph.D., a 20-year college educator and researcher who lost her son to an accidental overdose in 2019, will delve into the neurobiological changes in the adolescent brain, emphasizing the effects of stress and drug use
  • Dr. Glory Herring ‘08, a dedicated pediatrician who completed her pediatric residency at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, will stress the importance of self-care for girls' overall health
  • Jean Broadhurst ‘11, who has a master’s in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a master’s in social work from Rutgers University, will work on breaking down the stigma around mental health
  • Elizabeth Stewart, a licensed family therapist with a master's in clinical mental health counseling from Vanderbilt University, will share insights on embracing a new mindset to combat perfectionism and negative self-talk
  • Maggie Rippeto, one of Harpeth Hall’s nationally certified counselors, will talk to students about how to strengthen their mental game to optimize their athletic performance and overall well-being
  • Officer Maricella Ticknor, who leads Harpeth Hall’s security team, will educate students on situational awareness and personal safety, bringing her extensive law enforcement experience to the session.

Samar S. Ali, Vanderbilt University professor and founding president & CEO of Millions of Conversations

An international conflict resolution expert who works with the U.S. government and the United Nations, Samar S. Ali is a research professor of political science and law. She is the founder and CEO of Millions of Conversations and co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy. In recognition of her work, Ms. Ali has received the White House Fellows IMPACT Award and Vanderbilt University’s Young Alumni Professional Achievement Award.