2022 - Tanya Spencer

2022 BEOC Distinguished Alumni Award

BEOC Class of 1992


Reverend Tanya Spencer's 
achievements are testament to the values of the Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center (BEOC). Her accomplishments not only personify self-empowerment but the spirit to mentor others to strive toward the realization of their own dreams.

Picture of Reverend Tanya Spencer.

"Buffalo EOC administration, faculty and staff helped mold my mindset to succeed"

Reverend Spencer graduated in 1992 from the BEOC Dental Assisting program acquiring national board certification. During this program, she completed 300 clinical hours performing chairside duties at the offices of Dr. Parmalier Murphy DDS and the Buffalo Veteran’s Hospital and Millard Fillmore Hospital Dental Clinics.

Tanya’s achievements after BEOC are exemplified by her personal drive and tenacity to balance work and school throughout her professional career. From 1992-2000, while working as a Dental Assistant with Dr. Kevin Woods DDS at Sheehan Memorial Hospital, she earned her Associates in Liberal Arts from SUNY Erie College.  A few years later she graduated from the BOCES Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program and from 2005-2019 worked at Buffalo Pediatrics, first as a LPN and then for the last seven years as Office Manager.  It was during this time that Tanya also earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Houghton College and became an Allied Health Adjunct Instructor at the BEOC teaching Pre-LPN, Electronic Health Records and Patient Services Technician courses.

Reverend Spencer’s life’s intention re-focused when she answered a calling to join the faith based community. Since 2012, she has earned a Masters in Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College and a Masters of Divinity from Northeastern Seminary, both in Rochester, New York. Upon becoming a licensed Baptist Minister and an ordained Elder for the Free Methodist Tradition, her passion now is to serve community in a new capacity. Presently, she serves on the Executive Committee for the Rochester/Genesee Region of American Baptist Churches, focused on strengthening relationships among regional churches. She is also a member of the Executive Committee for the New York State Council of Churches, where her work on the Poor People’s Campaign is instrumental in providing a voice to the Governor’s Office to increase wages for lower remunerated career fields and to expand equal and fair housing opportunities. Last year Reverend Spencer was ordained as a Minister and was recognized in the American Baptist Denomination. Currently, she is the Pastor of Good Shepherd Community of Faith in Buffalo, New York and also the Orchard Park United Methodist Church in Orchard Park, New York.

Reverend Spencer stated, “Buffalo EOC administration, faculty and staff helped mold my mindset to succeed.”

Alumni Affairs and Student Development Office