Angela Gutchess wins Wellington Lottery

Photo/Mike Lovett

Assistant Professor of Psychology Angela Gutchess

Assistant Professor of Psychology Angela Gutchess won this year’s Wellington Lottery Prize of $2,000 at the final faculty meeting of the semester. Now all she has to do is figure out how to spend it.

The Wellington Prize was created 20 years ago by an anonymous donor, according to a university donor relations officer, "to enliven the spirits and delight the senses of assistant professors.”

The donor made three stipulations: The lottery must be conducted publicly before the assembled faculty at the academic year's last faculty meeting; the prize money may not be used for purposes of normal scholarly advancement and the winner is obligated to present an accurate account of how he or she made use of the funds over the summer at the first faculty meeting following use of the bequest.

Winners are encouraged to use their imagination and do something out of the ordinary that they may have dreamed of but dismissed as irrelevant to their immediate and pressing career concerns. 

“So the pressure is on,” Gutchess said shortly after learning her name had been drawn. “People have come up with really creative things” in the past.

But the prize also may help relieve other pressures.

“This is good timing,” said Gutchess, who has been at Brandeis for six years. “My tenure packet is due as soon as possible, and I’ve been particularly stressed out the past few weeks.”

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