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Meet our Faculty Researchers – Tara McGoey

Nov 30, 2023 | Research Centre

Tara McGoey

Meet Tara McGoey is a Coordinator and Professor at Canadore College School of Environmental Studies and Biotechnology. Tara is a dedicated educator and researcher, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the College community. Tara’s expertise covers diverse fields such as Nutritional Sciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Educational Sustainability. Tara studied at the University of Guelph, specializing in Nutritional Sciences for her undergraduate degree. She then pursued a master’s in pharmacology and Toxicology at Queen's University, delving into the intricate world of safety assessments for food additives. This early professional experience, marked by rigorous research and communication skills, laid the foundation for her subsequent roles.

After completing her graduation, Tara started working as a toxicologist in a consulting firm. Her primary responsibility was to investigate the safety of food additives. This job helped her to improve her research skills and taught her how to effectively communicate complex information to different audiences. In 2003, she returned to her hometown of North Bay, Ontario, and joined as a Professor of Biotechnology at Canadore College. She currently also serves as the coordinator and has dedicated the last two decades to working as a full-time professor. In pursuit of lifelong learning, Tara enrolled in the Educational Sustainability PhD program at Nipissing University in 2012. Juggling the demands of being both a professor and a student, she successfully defended her dissertation in 2016, focusing on physical health promotion in elementary school-aged children.

Tara's role as a Biotechnology professor at Canadore College has been punctuated by collaboration. She finds immense reward in working with colleagues from the Biotechnology and Functional Genomics and Clinical Consultation programs. This collaborative spirit has fostered an environment where diverse skill sets merge seamlessly, creating a dynamic space for innovation and progress. Inspired by motivated peers, Tara has been instrumental in launching and developing the post-graduate certificate program in Functional Genomics and Clinical Consultation.

Research has always held a special place in Tara's heart, intrinsic to her fields of expertise in Biotechnology, Functional Genomics, and health promotion. Eager to contribute to the evidence base and propel the College forward as an innovator, she aims to integrate research into her routine. Her interests span both lab-based research, aligning with program teachings, and survey-based research, drawing from her PhD experiences in health behaviour and promotion.

Tara's foundation in research is robust, with her graduate degrees being predominantly research focused. Her master’s research explored the effects of chronic prenatal ethanol exposure using animal models, while her PhD delved into health behaviour and promotion, examining the implementation of policies to enhance physical activity in school children. Reflecting on her journey, Tara’s advice to her colleagues with respect to engaging in research is: “Embrace the opportunity to contribute, even if the research seems unrelated to your background. Every perspective enriches the research and expands one's scope of knowledge.”

For students venturing into the world of research, Tara emphasizes that “it's not just about finding answers. The process, the mistakes, and the unexpected joys are integral to the research mindset. Collaboration with like-minded individuals who share common goals makes the research journey immensely rewarding.”