Honorary Doctorate for Psychologist Frank C. Worrell

Press release No. 68/2023
9 June 2023

Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies honours scholar from the USA for his research in the field of school psychology

His extraordinary academic achievements in the field of school psychology have earned the eminent scholar Prof. Dr Frank C. Worrell an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg University’s Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies. The faculty is honouring Prof. Worrell’s outstanding research on protective and risk factors in the academic and social development of adolescents. A psychologist, he does his teaching and research at the School of Education at the University of California in Berkeley (USA). The Rector of Ruperto Carola will award the honorary doctorate during a ceremony on 12 June 2023.

A Photo of Prof. Worrell

Frank C. Worrell has had close ties for several years with the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences and Cultural Studies, and particularly with its Institute for Education Studies, institute director Prof. Dr Nina Jude underlines. This is shown, for instance, in joint publication projects and the participation in symposia and guest lectures. Students at the institute have also been able to benefit from Prof. Worrell’s expertise in teaching. “However, it is his ideas on time perspective in adolescence that have most contributed to the research done in our faculty,” school educationist Prof. Dr Monika Buhl emphasises.

Frank C. Worrell earned his bachelor‘s and master’s degrees in psychology at the University of Western Ontario (Canada) and did his doctorate in school and educational psychology at the University of California in Berkeley. As professor at the School of Education, he currently directs the “School Psychology Program” and the “Academic Talent Development Program”. Prof. Worrell engages in research cooperation in Ethiopia, China, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Slovenia, Türkiye, the UK and Uruguay. His papers – comprising over 300 publications – are acknowledged internationally. Besides research on gifted education and at-risk youth, he also explores the significance of cultural identities for individual development. A further emphasis in his work is on scale development and validation for sociological studies. In various projects, he also promotes the transfer of research findings into everyday school life and practice.

From 2002 onwards, in a multi-year project to introduce school psychology in his native country of Trinidad and Tobago, Prof. Worrell directed the founding of a support department for school students on behalf of the ministry of education. In 2005 he assisted in founding the Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy in the United States, in which he has remained active until today. In cooperation between universities and secondary schools, the academy fosters mainly young people from minority groups to enable them to access university education. In 2018 he was elected to the National Academy of Education of the USA. In 2022 Prof. Worell was President of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, will open the honorary doctoral award ceremony. The next speaker will be Prof. Dr Guido Sprenger, the Dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies. Prof. Jude and Prof. Buhl will pay tribute to Prof. Worrell. The guest of honour will then give an address entitled “The Path to Success is Not Always Direct: Act in Good Faith and Hope for the Best”. Members of the Enjoy Jazz School Big Band will provide a musical setting for the occasion.

Note for newsrooms:
The ceremony to award an honorary doctorate to Prof. Dr Frank C. Worrell will take place on 12 June 2023 in the Great Hall of the Old University, starting at 4 pm. Media representatives are warmly invited to attend and report. Registration by email to presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de is requested.