New York Times bestselling author and renowned Penn psychology professor Angela Duckworth will receive the newly established Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professorship, which is a dual appointment at the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences.
The professorship was announced by Penn President Amy Gutmann, Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett, and Penn Arts & Sciences Dean Steven Fluharty, and will be funded by 1992 Wharton graduate Nancy Yang to honor her parents, according to a joint Wharton and School of Arts and Sciences press release. Duckworth will begin the dual appointment in July.
“I'm absolutely thrilled," Duckworth told The Daily Pennsylvanian. "I adore both my Wharton and SAS colleagues, and have likewise enjoyed teaching students across the University."
Duckworth is most known for her study of grit, the topic of her New York Times bestselling book "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance." Duckworth was also awarded the prestigious MacArthur Genius Grant in 2013, and was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 2019.
In October 2019, Duckworth announced she would teach a Penn course titled "Grit Lab: Fostering Passion and Perseverance" in Spring 2020. The course was divided into two halves, focused on “developing a passion” and “developing perseverance,” and was open to 64 students from all four of Penn's undergraduate schools. The course will be offered again in the fall with enrollment increased to 118.
Duckworth's research in psychology emphasizes the importance of effort and determination over natural talent, and involves studies of West Point graduates, Ivy League students, and National Spelling Bee contestants. Throughout her career, she has advised the White House, the World Bank, the NBA, the NFL, and Fortune 500 companies.
A lifelong educator, Duckworth offered advice for the many students affected by COVID-19.
“I'd suggest asking yourself daily, ‘What are three good things that happened to me today?’ This is an exercise sometimes called the ‘three blessings,’ and it draws your attention to the positive. It generates genuine gratitude, which is a terrific balm during times like these," Duckworth said.