Dr. Cigdem Talgar
Dr. Cigdem Talgar
Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning; Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Dr. Talgar earned her Ph.D. from New York University in Experimental Psychology. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms mediating attention. This research has included understanding the spread of attention towards different stimuli, the role of perceptual factors on the recognition of faces of different races, and, more recently, understanding the role of attention in student engagement. She has published in the Journal of Vision, Spatial Vision, Vision Research, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education and Current Biology.
As Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at Northeastern University, Dr. Talgar oversees the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, the Research Institute for Experiential Learning Science, the Self-Authored Integrated Learning, and the Academic Assessment Group in addition to leading special projects out of the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Experiential Education. Her work is focused on integrating the teaching and learning landscape at Northeastern University for educators and learners alike to ensure that the University fully integrates its signature experiential learning model to all facets of University life.
Dr. Talgar joined Northeastern University in 2013 to establish the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research at Northeastern University. As its Founding Director, she successfully created a Center that offered numerous faculty development programs to engage Northeastern educators in effective and impactful educational practices. With a focus on evidence-based teaching, Dr. Talgar initiated numerous institutional programs, including the Conference for Advancing Evidence-Based Teaching and the Faculty Scholars Cohort Programs. Today, the Center is recognized as a leader in evidence-based applied experiential learning science and works closely with the Research Institute for Experiential Learning Science to contribute to research on the mechanisms underlying experiential learning.
Laura A. Wankel
Associate Director of Operations and Planning
Ms. Seeley is a Double Husky, having earned her B.A. in Sociology from Northeastern and more recently, her Masters in Public Administration with a certificate in the Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy, and Social Change. Kaleena began her career at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, investigating civil rights complaints, processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and participating in the leadership team in order to approve operations and management.
Kaleena has been with the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research (CATLR) since 2013, previously as CATLR’s Research and Program Manager. In her current role as Associate Director of Operations and Planning, she oversees CATLR’s operations in order to help core work and projects succeed, in addition to supporting the overall administration of the team, budget development and implementation, hiring, and long-range planning. She also helps direct overall product strategy related to the Self-Authored Integrated Learning (SAIL) digital platforms.
Dr. Janna Ferguson
Dr. Janna Ferguson
Associate Director - Research, Assessment, & Data Analytics
Dr. Ferguson earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Political Science. Her research focused on the gendered political economy of transnational migration and remittance economies, particularly the production of knowledge and policy about remittances in international institutions. Dr. Ferguson specializes in multi-method research approaches, including a variety of techniques in qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods research design.
Lead Data Scientist
Mr. Gunasekaran earned his Masters in Computer Information Sciences from Southern New Hampshire University. His research work revolves around designing natural language processing models to provide supports for improving student mental health. Haruns’ current focus as Lead Data Scientist is enhancing SAIL through cutting-edge data analytics and model development. Prior to joining the SAIL team as Lead Data Scientist, Harun maintained and restructured SAIL AWS Infrastructure for optimal use as SAIL’s DevOps Engineer.
Associate Director, Experiential Integration
Mr. Merry began his career in Residence Life at Bentley University, working primarily with first-year and international student populations. He transitioned to Northeastern University in 2008 as an Academic Advisor in the previously combined College of Arts and Sciences, and subsequently spent seven years working in the Co-op unit of the College of Science advising the Psychology student population. Dave served as the Director for the College of Science Co-op unit for five years prior to moving to the CATLR team.
Dave earned a Masters in College Student Development at the University of Iowa, and is currently engaged in Doctoral work at Northeastern University. His research interests include professional identity development, the role of experiential learning in developing self-efficacy and mitigating imposter syndrome, and the effectiveness of design thinking in creating personal narratives.
Digital Communications Specialist
Ms. Parella is the Digital Communications Specialist at CATLR and began working with the Center in November, 2018. Ms. Parella began her career as the Communications Specialist at the Five College Consortium in Amherst, MA. She helped teach accurate Indigenous history during a National Endowment for the Arts summer intensive, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During her time there, she also interviewed indigenous peoples and historians to compile a resource database for K-12 teachers.
Vincenza worked most recently as the Marketing and Communications Specialist for an edtech start-up which works to connect with high school students, school counselors, and college admissions officers. She earned her B.S. in Journalism, with a minor in Indigenous Studies, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Media Campaign Producer Co-op
Ruoyun (Silver) Sheng is the current media campaign producer co-op student. She is a third-year video art major student at Northeastern University.
Samsudeen “Samsu” Sallah is a fourth year Media and Screen Studies Major with a minor in Experience Design and Philosophy at Northeastern University. Samsu previously attended Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA where he studied Communication and Digital Humanities before transferring in 2018. He has previously worked as a Youth Sports Coach and as a Front Desk Assistant at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute.
Samsu is joining the SAIL team as a full time co-op starting in July of 2019, with the role of Media Campaign Producer, and is currently the Digital Storyteller for SAIL. He will be working on communications and social media development for SAIL.