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Dr. Cigdem Talgar’s experience includes over twenty years of progressive leadership as a creative and strategic innovator, most recently as Associate Vice Chancellor in the Educational Innovation division at Northeastern University. During this time, she has drawn on her background in the cognitive and learning sciences and her depth of experience in experiential learning to lead the collaborative design, development, implementation, and assessment of transformative institution-wide programs and initiatives that have yielded impactful and inclusive learning environments for students.

Prior to joining Tufts University in 2022, Dr. Talgar led the development of multiple centers and initiatives to advance excellence in teaching and learning at Northeastern University. As the Founding Director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, she established a Center that was responsible for designing and implementing institutional initiatives which expanded educational impact across Northeastern. The Center led the charge to advance a culture of educational innovation at the Institution by collaborating with colleges, departments, and faculty to integrate inclusive, transformative, evidence-based and high-impact teaching practices across programming to engage learners. Dr. Talgar’s creation of the Academic Assessment Group augmented the work of the Center by ensuring that learning outcomes were being met holistically across the institution.

Dr. Talgar led multiple initiatives to ensure that Northeastern students were building the skills to holistically integrate their learning across experiences.  This included collaborating to evolve Northeastern’s co-operative education program to ensure that students were able to integrate and connect what they were learning in their majors and minors to real-world experiences.  Further, through the design and development of multiple initiatives to advance the transfer of learning across experiences, Dr. Talgar broadened the reach of experiential learning at the institution to include both curricular and co-curricular opportunities. More recently, when the pandemic prevented some students joining Northeastern University for in-person learning, Dr. Talgar co-led the development of a fully online program that integrated high-impact practices such as project-based learning, contextualized within global challenges, to ensure that students would have a robust global and local learning experience wherever in the world they were.

A cognitive psychologist by training, Dr. Talgar’s areas of expertise include attentional processes mediating cognition, memory and learning, and experiential learning and educational innovation to support robust and equitable learning environments. Dr. Talgar has received multiple awards from the National Science Foundation to advance this work and published on topics around high impact learning practices such as reflection, self-authorship, self-directed learning, and inquiry-based learning. Dr. Talgar’s passion for her work has driven her beyond Northeastern University to advance evidence-based high impact practices internationally. She has actively collaborated with numerous institutions to advance their strategic direction through educational innovations which integrate experiential learning, inquiry-based education, assessment, and holistic learning pathways into curricula.

Dr. Talgar received her MA and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from New York University while receiving her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto.