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Mary Lyon Foundation Updates

The Davin Scholarship: Carrying on Tanja’s Legacy & Motivating Future Doctors

Tanja Davin knew she wanted to be a doctor from a young age. Her mother and father, Lizz and Bruce Davin, were elated for their daughter to have the ambition, drive, and intellect to make her dream come true. 

“We just watched and waited, and sure enough, she graduated, went onto Tufts, went into pre-med, and ended up at UMass Worcester Medical School,” said Lizz. 

In 1994 after Tanja had completed one full year of medical school, she was awarded a scholarship to help with school expenses. Following Tanja’s untimely death in 2006, her parents and husband, John Klunk, sustained her legacy by developing the Dr. Tanja C. Davin Mohawk Medical Scholarship. 

“We modeled this scholarship after the one Tanja received in 1994,” said Lizz. “Unfortunately, it’s been reinvested ever since with no takers. That part isn’t a surprise—Mohawk is a small school. We expected it would take many years to get traction, but without much interest, we knew we had to make some changes to the criteria.” 

The Davin Scholarship is now open to graduates from any school, including private schools, as long as the applicant resides in one of the nine towns in the Mohawk district. 

Scholarship recipients are required to complete one full year of medical school and show they plan to continue their education. Upon doing so, recipients will receive, at minimum, a $25,000 (There is 97,000 in the account). check after successful completion of one year of medical school. 

Making a Difference 

College expenses are often overwhelming for families. Attending medical school, while rewarding, adds to these costs. The Davin Scholarship helps make a difference in students’ lives by supporting their aspirations while motivating them to stay and work in a complex field. 

“I think this will encourage students to enter a career where they can help people become healthier and make the world a better place,” said Lizz.  

The tentative deadline for students to apply to the Davin Scholarship was April 1. However, because the scholarship money is not awarded until after the student completes one full year of medical school, Lizz encourages those interested to reach out even if it’s after the deadline.  

Lizz concluded warmly, ”I hope medical students take advantage of this – it truly is a win-win, helping them ease the cost of school, motivating community members to make a difference, all while honoring the memory of our daughter, Tanja.”  

The Davin Scholarship is entrusted to the Mary Lyon Foundation. Those interested in applying or learning more are encouraged to visit Applications are also available through the Student Services Department at Mohawk Trail Regional School