Tanika Golota is currently the Assistant Director of Summer Programs and Athletics Coordinator. Tanika has worked within social services and the education field for the past 13 years. She has served as a high school college counselor but later transitioned into the mental health field. During that time, she worked extensively within recreational management and coaching for youth and adults with disabilities (QIDP Certified). Tanika first joined LFA as an employee in 2017 as the girls basketball coach and later served as a Marshall Field dorm parent. Tanika was a former collegiate basketball player and has coached varsity level basketball for over five years, in addition to currently coaching volleyball. Tanika holds a bachelor’s degree from North Central College, along with being state certified with IHSA Coaching and Sports First Aid. Tanika’s husband Ted also works at LFA as a member of the Math Department and Head Track and Field coach. They reside on campus with their three daughters; Mila, Anna and Sofiya.
Where did you go to college and/or graduate school?
I went to North Central College in Naperville, where I received my bachelor's degree in Sociology: Emphasis in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Social Change and Public Advocacy.
What has your career path looked like?
My career path has been nothing short of fulfilling and varied. Immediately after graduating from undergraduate, I became an AmeriCorps VISTA member working at the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois as their volunteer coordinator. This year of service furthered my passion for education, social service and youth development. I went on to become an educational specialist and college counselor for at-risk youth. While making the transition into motherhood, I took time from my career to explore and develop other passions. This led me into the field of recreational therapy and working with youth and adults with developmental disabilities. During that time, I became certified as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional, which allowed me to take on clients as a case manager. Throughout these career experiences; sports, coaching and youth development has remained at the forefront. While balancing my caseload, I continued as a recreational therapist and group activities coordinator, in addition to coaching. At the beginning of summer 2021, I served as the Assistant Director of Summer Programs, which led to becoming the Athletics Coordinator at LFA.
What attracted you to LFA?
The family-like environment amongst the faculty and students is what immediately drew me to LFA.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Sports! I’m most looking forward to getting a front row seat into sports at LFA and helping the athletics program continue to grow for our students.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I would have to say Odessa, Ukraine. Between the beautiful Potemkin staircase entering the Port of Odessa and taking a small boat to reach the quaint Fisherman Island; the city is overall breathtaking!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time you may see me in the weight room, tackling my passion for weight lifting! You will also see me with my three girls exploring the campus on our “nature walks,” sometimes with our Great Dane in tow.