ORI Employee Spotlight: Tanya Perdikoulias

Written by Anju Kakkar

Employee Spotlight: Tanya Perdikoulias, Operations Manager, Office of Research & Innovation

Employee Spotlight: Tanya Perdikoulias, BA (Hons.), PM Certificate, Operations Manager, Humber’s Office of Research & Innovation (ORI)

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” –Steve Jobs


“I am a lifelong student.” –Tanya Perdikoulias, Operations Manager, ORI


“I am a photographer-at-heart.” –Tanya Perdikoulias, Operations Manager, ORI

Keep Calm! ORI’s Operations Manager ensures a smooth workflow!

There are miracle workers that keep the running of an organization or a team well-oiled and functioning at its highest peak. They do so tirelessly behind the scenes. At the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI), we acknowledge and thank our entire team for the milestones we have achieved along the journey to research and innovation. Our operations and finance team members are indispensable ingredients for operational effectiveness and building an inclusive, open, and sustainable culture at ORI and Humber.

ORI’s Operations Manager, Tanya Perdikoulias, is undoubtedly one of our silent top performers, a detail-oriented and self-motivated team player, constantly looking for ways to improve operations and processes with adequate resources. She ensures the team is taken care of and sheds light on new avenues for productivity and success, in turn, assisting ORI’s commitment to deliver to our growing research and innovation community. Converting inputs into outputs in the most efficient manner!

Tanya embodies the qualities of a keen lifelong learner, a researcher and an empathetic leader. Her leadership style has been impacted and refined through the opportunities she availed to deeply immerse herself in Japanese culture and philosophy. Tanya spent close to a decade working in a Japanese environment, both in Japan and with the Consulate-General of Japan in Toronto. This exposure provided a leadership perspective of teamwork mixed with hard work–a “rising tide raises all boats” outlook. She inspires and encourages others to achieve their highest potential by cultivating a safe, healthy and harmonious work environment. She leads by example.

Quote by Tanya Perdikoulias

Illustration by cosmaa from Shutterstock

Efficiency and Leadership

Tanya began working at Humber College in 2011 as the Assistant to the Sr. VP of Planning and Corporate Services & CFO. In 2017, she moved to administratively support the Sr. VP Academic and AVP Academic. In mid-2018, she began her career as the Operations Manager in ORI.

Under the direction of ORI’s Dean, the Operations Manager is accountable for providing confidential operations, financial and project support to allow the Dean, departmental management and support staff to function efficiently and effectively.

Tanya thrives under tight deadlines and is committed to ensuring projects run seamlessly through organizational processes and procedural optimization. She is not one to back down from a challenge and overcomes hurdles with an innovative mindset.

The Operations Manager is key in promoting and maintaining a high level of service to customers/clients, maintaining excellent internal and external communications and ensuring that the Dean’s and ORI’s office operates smoothly and effectively. Tanya is assisted by the Resource Manager and Financial Manager to deliver on the asks and responsibilities of a growing research team at ORI.

Tanya brings with her varied experience and skill sets shaped through her years of work experience, among others, as Executive Assistant to Deputy Registrar & COO, and Board Chair of two Health Boards: the Health Boards Secretariat, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, ON, and Executive Assistant to the Consul-General of Japan in Toronto.

A Researcher’s Mindset!

“Research, to me, is finding ways to learn about something and understand it in greater depth and detail, with the intention of applying the findings to whatever endeavour one believes it can be applied towards.” – Tanya Perdikoulias

As a lifelong student, Tanya asserts that she definitely embodies a researcher’s mindset. “I have always researched everything I have been interested in, as I am very curious. My favourite question is, “Why?” Tanya exclaims.

Tanya acquired her BA in Applied Linguistics, Communications Disorders from Brock University in 1997, followed by a one-year post-grad diploma in Public Relations from Niagara College, while she was applying to work in Japan on the JETAA Programme. She enthusiastically shares that her years in Japan, teaching English and submerging herself in the culture, have profoundly impacted her view of life and people. “Those formidable years shaped the way I view the world,” says Tanya.

“I am passionate about learning, but my most consistent passion is photography. I particularly love photographing people interacting with each other and presenting their relationships through the art of photographs. I continue to study photography in my spare time.” – Tanya Perdikoulias

In 2018, Tanya graduated from Humber’s Photography Certificate program with Honours. In 2019 she graduated from Humber’s Project Management Certificate program, again with Honours – a high-performer indeed! Currently, she is enrolled in Mohawk College and CARA’s joint Research Administration Certificate Program. “The Research Administration Certificate Program is great at helping me do my job even better”, shares Tanya.

“Why do you love working at ORI?” we probed Tanya. “What makes me happy to work at ORI is the leadership’s recognition of my skills, not just in research, but also in photography; as well as appreciating my Japanese experience/cultural understanding,” Tanya gratefully shares.

“I love that our department is truly innovative and constantly uplifts our staff, not just in the roles they are currently playing, but finding ways to utilize and develop their other hidden strengths and merging those into other roles. ORI continues to evolve along with our team. We are seen as all-inclusive contributors. We are encouraged to prosper and grow beyond what we were currently hired to do. That freedom to demonstrate what makes our hearts and minds happy, in turn, makes for a wonderful work mindset and culture – a feeling of positivity and freedom to be oneself. That’s ORI!”
– Tanya Perdikoulias

Quote by Tanya Perdikoulias

Illustration by cosmaa from Shutterstock

Get to know Tanya a little better: 7 Things

  1. When she is not at work, she is behind the camera…click-click!
  2. Secret talent: “I play shortstop in a women’s competitive softball league,” Tanya asserts. Also, fun Instagram post-creator!
  3. Social media platform of choice: YouTube and Instagram; she is inspired by leaders in marketing and photography.
  4. A favourite book or two: ‘The Clan of the Cave Bear’ by Jean M. Auel. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie.
  5. A fun fact: Tanya shares, “I taught English in Japan for three years and then, longing for something a little different, I worked at a Japanese spa for a year.”
  6. “If you were to lead a research project, what would it be?” we asked, and she replied, but of course, “Something photography-related for sure.”
  7. Coffee or Tea: Coffee–first thing in the morning.