University of Pittsburgh
April 28, 2011

Pitt Sociologist Offers Classic Self-Help Advice Remixed for College Graduates and Tested by Hundreds of Students and Young People


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—How does a generation of self-professed procrastinators and nonstarters finally get started? University of Pittsburgh sociology professor Christine Whelan is available to discuss how a new crop of college graduates—or anyone 18 to 25 years old—can benefit from solid, timeless advice that she’s road tested with hundreds of students and tweaked for a new generation. 

Whelan is the author of the new book GENERATION WTF: From “What the #%$&” to a Wise, Tenacious, and Fearless You (Templeton Press, 2011). The book offers frustrated 20-somethings a roadmap to success, using the classic teachings of the self-help genre and providing specific examples that are relevant to young adults. 

Whelan can address: 

• the strengths of this generation—what type of advice works for them that  wouldn’t have worked for their parents or grandparents at the same age; 

• common shortcomings shared by young people and how GENERATION WTF addresses those weaknesses; and 

• why an overwhelming number of young people cite procrastination as one of their costliest failings—and what Whelan’s students have done to remedy this problem. 

Whelan, who earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford while researching the self-help industry, began teaching classes on the social psychology of self-improvement at the University of Iowa. Her popular class at the University of Pittsburgh is The Sociology of Everyday Life. She is available at 412-648-7110 (office), 646-522-6456 (cell), or, or through Sharon Blake at 412-624-4364 (office), 412-277-6926 (cell), or