“Our Generation Z journey began during the summer of 2013 as we witnessed yet another incoming first-year class attend our university’s summer orientation program. But, 2013 was different – well the students were different. While recruiting for our student leadership programs, as we did each year, we noticed that this cohort of students seemed more engaged in talking with us about involvement, even without their parents encouraging them to do so. And, they asked questions about how their participation in our programs could help them engage in social change work, quite different from the resume building and making friends questions we had during previous summers. Knowing that the students seemed different, we needed to figure out what might be going on. What we came across was remarkable – with a little online investigation, we learned that the post-Millennial generation, Generation Z, was entering into young adulthood, with the oldest coming to college that very year. In order to learn more about this generation completely unfamiliar to us, we spent that school year reading every market research report we could get our hands on about this emerging generation of young adults. After a year of attempting to translate these reports to a higher education context, we decided to conduct our own study, which launched in the fall semester in 2014. The data we got back was fascinating, especially responses to the open-ended questions. We then decided to write our first book, Generation Z Goes to College.
Since then, we have written two more books, Generation Z Leads and this book, along with several scholarly articles. Our more recent publications have incorporated findings from our latest research, the Generation Z Stories Study, which included an analysis of responses to seven open-ended questions from Generation Z college students from 50 colleges and universities. We have also read, read, and read even more – including findings from numerous other studies, market research reports, books and scholarly articles from other generational authors, and even online pop culture articles. To have a solid grasp of Generation Z, we needed to expand beyond our own research and perspectives to get a more holistic view of this generation.
This journey into better understanding Generation Z has been a fascinating one. What started as a simple interest in a new cohort of college students has turned into a quest for more knowledge to answer the question, “Who is Generation Z?” This book is our effort to include what we know thus far about this generation.”
~Excerpt from Preface, Generation Z: A Century in the Making
Both Dr. Seemiller and Dr. Grace are very active in the public eye in regard to Generation Z. They both do keynotes and plenary sessions at conferences, special events, and training seminars for higher education institutions, businesses, professional associations, and school districts. They have been featured in podcasts, webinars, and videos discussing our research and have been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NPR, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Globe and Mail for quotes and full stories. In addition, their work has been cited in several academic and professional publications, and they have authored several pieces in academic and professional publications. They have networks with media as well as track records of their work being referenced in highly regarded academic and mainstream publications.
Dr. Corey Seemiller