Award for Global Engagement

2013 Recipient

Aydın Yücesan Durgunoğlu
Professor and interim Department Head, Department of Psychology, Duluth

Dr. Aydın Yücesan Durgunoğlu is an internationally recognized expert in Cognition and Language whose work has impacted thousands of lives in her native Turkey and helped build international bridges to classrooms in Duluth.

Dr. Durgunoğlu has served as a national and international consultant on reading, literacy, and bilingualism. In 1995 the Turkish Ministry of Education asked her to develop and implement a national adult literacy program, which to date has reached nearly 200,000 adults throughout 17 provinces in Turkey. The majority of the curriculum came from Dr. Durgunoğlu’s own research. This program was recognized by the UNESCO literacy prize in 2005 and the Emerging Markets Foundation’s EMpower award in 2013 in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of dynamic literate societies.

Dr. Durgunoğlu has brought her global perspective to UMD’s Department of Psychology where she developed a virtual global classroom on cross-cultural psychology that has involved students and instructors from Makerere University in Uganda and Vaxjo University in Sweden.

She has authored and co-authored dozens of articles and journals and 12 book chapters. She is associate editor of the journal “Applied Psycholinguistics,” and is an active committee member with the National Academy of Sciences. In 2011 she received the UMD Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award for her scholarly contributions and excellence in research.

Dr. Durgunoğlu’s scholarship is far reaching, influencing the field of cognitive psychology and bilingual education in both local and global communities. Her active collaboration with peers and colleagues from outside the U.S. has advanced the University of Minnesota’s reputation worldwide and serves as an international model for the Department of Psychology, the College of Education and Human Service Professions, and the University of Minnesota, Duluth.