Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Great Grads: Making a Difference for Local Conservation

Dave Dawson
Published February 07, 2014
Tanya Clark standing outside by park information board in winter
Tanya Clark, BAdmin'10

As she neared graduation from her three-year diploma program in business administration at Georgian College, Tanya Clark began searching for a job.

"I discovered the jobs that interested me all required a BA," says Clark.

The Orillia resident came across Lakehead University's one-year college transfer program while searching online for options.

"Because I'm from Orillia, going to Lakehead meant I could save a lot of money," says Clark. "And when I told my friends that once I completed the one-year program, I would have a Bachelor of Administration degree, they were shocked."

While the twenty-eight-year-old found the transition from college to university challenging, she reveled in her Lakehead experience.

"I really liked the smaller class sizes at Lakehead. There was also a stronger focus on analyzing and problem-solving that made the courses I took interesting," Clark says.

Today, she is the development co-ordinator for the Couchiching Conservancy. It's a hybrid position that includes fundraising and community outreach.

"I quite like it because I get to do a wide range of things," Clark says. "I do a lot of work with our donors and work related to fundraising, but I also coordinate our volunteer ambassadors, update our website, and write articles for the local paper…it's really ideal for me."

She credits her postsecondary schooling with her success.

"My education has given me a solid base and taught me to think critically. It has helped me find a direction," says Clark, who won the Dean Braun Medal as the highest-ranking business administration student at the Orillia campus in 2010.

Mark Bisset, executive director of the Conservancy, says Clark came well-prepared.

"The education she has had has clearly helped her to plug into this job," says Bisset, and he praises Clark's ability to multi-task. "She has the critical thinking ability to implement new things and to assess them. She's become a valuable member of our team."

Bisset noted that Clark was instrumental in developing a new fundraising event, Corn Roast in the Woods, which was extremely successful and sets the stage for future programs and events.

Now enrolled in a postgraduate fundraising program at Georgian College, Clark looks forward to continuing to make a difference with the Conservancy and for conservation in the region.

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