International Women's Day High Tea Social

Monday, March 8, 2021 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Images of teacups beside text that reads High Tea Social

Grab your favourite afternoon drink, cozy up in your favourite chair and spend an hour with some truly inspirational women. Whether you'd like to just listen, or engage over text in the online chat forum, this virtual high tea social will be a lively commentary and round-table discussion about why women choose to challenge.

Our host, Dr. Jennifer Alami, will be joined by a panel of Waterloo alumni who want to share and discuss International Women's Day, and a theme that has sparked the imagination of so many. Why do women Choose to Challenge? Do we have something to prove... fight a fear of failure, do it for for money or simply want a better world to live in for our family?


The first 40 people to register and describe why they #choosetochallenge will receive a FREE UW mug, tea & coaster! Others will receive tea and an IWD coaster while supplies last.

Have your say! Share YOUR reason on IG and Twitter using #waterloosci and #choosetochallenge

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Meet our Host:

Dr. Jennifer Alami
Biomedical Consultant Leader

Alami headshot

Dr. Jennifer Alami has more than 25 years of experience in Biomedical Research which includes a BSc. from University of Waterloo, PhD. from University of Toronto and a Post doctoral fellowship at Sunnybrook Hospital in the areas of pediatric and adult cancer research.  She started her own consulting company a decade ago and has worked with federal and provincial government (Public health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario and National Research Council of Canada); PR companies (Proof (formally Environics) and Hill and Knowlton); Pharma companies (BI-Lilly, AMGEN) and non profit organizations (The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada).  Jennifer has extensive experience as a liaison officer within organizations bridging knowledge and information while developing strong partnerships within the scientific community.

Jennifer has been actively involved in a variety of non profit charitable organizations engaging in group discussions, health advocacy campaigns, planning committees and currently serves on the Board of Directors at Trauma Practice for Healthy Communities.  In her spare time she enjoys a variety of outdoor sports (marathon running, tennis, cycling, hiking), travelling and gardening.  

Our panelists:

Therese Hayes
Chief Sustainability and Business Development Officer
The House of LR&C, PBC

Therese headshot

Therese's passion for companies with a purpose and desire to surround herself with smart, creative and innovative people led her to co-found The House of LR&C, a new concept in retail with a focus on doing good. A desire to always be learning led to her 25+ year career in brand building through Communications, PR and Marketing. Her experience runs across a broad range of industries from
Biotech and Cleantech to Retail and Sustainability. She has held leadership roles at both publicly traded and private companies including Luvo Inc. (Chief Brand & Strategy Officer), lululemon Inc. (SVP Communications and Sustainability) and QLT Inc (SVP Communications and Investor Relations). She has also provided strategic advisory and consulting services at a number of other companies including Saje Natural Wellness, Aritzia, O2E Brands, Hootsuite, Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (also her favourite place to ski) and Day4 Energy. Therese holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology and a Master of Health Administration degree both from the University of Ottawa. Therese enjoys a wonderful west coast lifestyle with her husband and two children in Vancouver.

Yvonne Stevens
Associate Director of Quality Control
Lyell Immunopharma

Yvonne headshot

Yvonne grew up in Geneva Switzerland and attended the University of Waterloo as an international student. In addition to her BSc, she pursued a Masters degree, solidifying her interest in molecular biology and started appreciating the power and potential held by the ability to manipulate the building blocks of life, DNA. She contined to the University of Washington's Primate Research Centre in Seattle, doing HIV research for 6 years.

Yvonne's career path continued into research and development at InBios International, a company focused on developing diagnostic kits for infectious diseases where circumstance helped her transition into Quality Control.  While developing tests for rapid detection of disease was challenging and rewarding, the appeal of  developing  curative immunotherapies for blood cancers was compelling. Yvonne became QC Manager with Juno Therapeutics where manufacturing therapies for cancer became the most rewarding part of her career. A highlight of her time at Juno was an encounter with a patient who grabbed Yvonne by hands and with tears in her eyes said “Thank you”.  She could never fully explain the footprint that she left on her heart that day.

Almost a year ago Yvonne became Associate Director of Quality Control at Lyell Immunopharma. Lyell is a new, innovative company committed to using immunotherapy to cure solid tumors. She feels the position fits perfectly into her life goal of continuous improvement. According to Yvonne, "I am thrilled and excited to be on this ride!"

Donya Saghattchi
Founder, Amplytica Inc.

Donya headshot

Donya is the Founder of Amplytica, a Canadian bioinformatics startup company that supports the industrial microbiology space. Amplytica build software tools and consult on the bio-processes carried out or affected by mixtures of microorganisms like bioremediation, biogas production, wastewater treatment.

She chose to pursue graduate studies at the University of Waterloo, partly for its strong startup community. As Donya explains, "I always had an interest in startups but didn't know how to end up in one myself."

Donya pursued a Master of Science degree in Biology at the University of Waterloo in 2018. Since then, she's committed to Amplytica full-time. "It's the best decision I ever made for myself."

Ellie Owens
VP Corporate Development, E2Gold Inc.

Ellie Owens

With over seven years of technical, legal, and corporate experience, Ellie Owens is a Co-Founder and Vice President of E2Gold Inc, a public junior gold exploration company listed on the TSX-V. Ms. Owens (BSc geology ’14 UWaterloo) has held roles at Golder Associates, Diavik Diamond Mine, Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank Mine, and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Ms. Owens went on to obtain her JD and simultaneously an MSc geology from Western University, becoming lawyer in 2020. Ms. Owens’ primary legal experience has focused on securities litigation at Groia & Co on Bay Street, and on coporate law at Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s head office. She currently sits on the PDAC Conference Technical Planning Committee.