SBME Interfaces

SBME Interfaces with Leanne Denis and Debbie Woo | Ep. 13

May 26, 2021 UBC School of Biomedical Engineering Season 1 Episode 13
SBME Interfaces
SBME Interfaces with Leanne Denis and Debbie Woo | Ep. 13
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Welcome to Episode 13 of SBME Interfaces

In this episode, we interface with Leanne Denis, Executive Director, Development & Alumni Engagement for the Faculty of Medicine, and Debbie Woo, Senior Director, Development & Alumni Engagement for the
Faculty of Applied Science, on the path to UBC development, bringing money and attention to worthy causes, excitement surrounding SBME, living a life of service and more.

All episodes available to watch on our YouTube Channel


Leanne Denis
Executive Director
Development & Alumni Engagement, Faculty of Medicine

Leanne has been fundraising since 2001, working primarily in health-related charities. She is passionate about connecting people to causes they care about and contributing to a thriving social-impact sector. 

She is a member of the Dean's Executive Advisory Committee and responsible for the operations of a 26-member development and alumni engagement team, raising more than $70 million per year through a robust major gifts program. She participated in the Johns Hopkins Medical Philanthropy Institute in 2016, an intensive workshop for senior fundraisers in the academic medical setting and completed her CFRE certification in 2008 as well as a BCIT Associate Certificate in Fundraising Management in 2004.

Learn more about Leanne.

Debbie Woo
Senior Director
Development & Alumni Engagement, Faculty of Applied Science

Debbie Woo has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Alberta. She joined the Development and Alumni Engagement team in 2008. From 1996-2008, she was the Director of Corporate Relations for Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver Foundation. Prior to her career in development, she worked for a number of social service organizations serving individuals and families. She is passionate about service to society. She was an active volunteer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vancouver Chapter from 2002 - 2011, was on the Professional Development Committee, the Scholarship & Mentorship Committee, and the International Conference Education Committee.

Learn more about Debbie.

Dr. Payam Zahedi

Strategic Planning & Operations Director, UBC School of Biomedical Engineering

Payam is a born problem solver and dot connector who believes that real impact only occurs when everyone is given the means to chase it. He's the Director of Strategic Planning and Operations at UBC's School of Biomedical Engineering and holds a BASc in Biomedical Engineering and an MSc and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, from the University of Toronto. He believes we are better together and is an advocate for equity and inclusivity. In his spare time, when he's not chasing his two sons around, he's experimenting in the kitchen, reading crime fiction and untangling the mechanisms of effective leadership.

Miguel Eichelberger
Communications & Engagement Manager, UBC School of Biomedical Engineering

Miguel is an unflinching optimist. He is a communicator and writer whose work has appeared in literary magazines and on stages around the world. His most recent publications include Harpur Palate, the Literary Review of Canada, Plainsongs Magazine, and Soliloquies Anthology. He believes in authenticity; in doing and saying what you actually believe, and he is an obsessive student of leadership from the biological and anthropological perspectives. You've likely heard him rant about it, and he's not sorry.

SBME Interfaces with Leanne Denis and Debbie Woo
On the pandemic's impact on fundraising and development
On the draw of a career in University fundraising
On why the Applied Science portfolio is exciting to develop
On the Faculty of Medicine portfolio, its size, and what differentiates it from other Faculties of Medicine across Canada
On the most fulfilling fundraising projects over years of development
On Debbie's favourite golf course and golfer
On the potential for SBME both now and in the future
Debbie on the new Applied Science Strat Plan
Leanne on the Faculty of Medicine's Strat Plan Refresh
Debbie on breadth and challenge of Applied Science Development
On what it means to be of service to society and advice for those who want to make a difference
Leanne on getting creative in the kitchen
On favourite restaurants in Vancouver
On the initiatives to get excited about in both Applied Science and Medicine