Tugba received her BA in Psychological Counseling and Guidance from Hacettepe University in Turkey. Upon graduation, she worked as a school counselor with a focus on the mental health and educational achievement of students. She then earned a scholarship to study social work in the United States. She received both her master's and doctoral degrees from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral scholar at the Begun Center, assisting with the evaluation of community mental health services.