Our colleague and friend, Professor Ciğdem Kağıtıbaşı (1940-2017), is warmly remembered as an internationally renowned social and cross-cultural psychologist who devoted her life to improving the lives of children and families. As one of the founders of AÇEV (Mother Child Education Foundation) and a co-founder of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC), Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı inspired and led the development and implementation of education programs that reached close to a million young children and their families.
Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı was a pioneer in her field and shared her passion for using academic knowledge in the application of improving lives with all that she taught and worked with. Her work and spirit will continue to inspire us and we will strive to carry her legacy forward.
She is deeply missed by all.
About Prof. Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı
The services of Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı to science and education began at İhsan Çizakça High School, the school founded by her parents. After completing her studies at Wellesley College and later University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı began her academic career at the Middle East Technical University Department of Psychology, and continued in Istanbul at Boğaziçi University. After retirement, she joined the Koç University family in 1995, where she carried her exemplary research.
Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı took her passion for education beyond the scientific and academic community. As a member of the Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı’s work with early childhood education and mother support programs are among the most commendable services she made to her country of Turkey.
In her most recent project she worked to develop education programs to educate young people to support social welfare and peace in Turkey. As a member of the Koç High School Advisory Board, Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı supported optimal models for education, and acted as founder and director of the Koç University Center for Gender Studies (KOÇKAM), established for promoting the role of women in society and supporting gender equality. In her position as Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University, she has introduced many young scientists of various disciplines to the Turkish scientific community.
As UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development, Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı provided further support to young social scientist through the Human Development Research Award, an award she established with her own personal resources.
Throughout her life, Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı has been among the strongest supporters of a secular education based on science.
The outstanding services of Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı for science and education were honored with many national and international awards, among which are the TÜBİTAK Science Award; the Roberta Grodberg Simmons Award for her research on adolescence; the Jacobs Foundation Research Award; Ursula Gielen Global Psychology Book Award and the William Thierry Preyer Award for Excellence in Research.
As well as mourning the loss of Prof. Kağıtçıbaşı, we believe we should also celebrate the remarkable life she has lived, and the many contributions she has made to all our lives.
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