GEM Awardee –Debbie Campbell

Summer 2019, SPRC

Debbie Campbell, financial analyst and team lead for the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC), is known among her coworkers for “remaining calm in the middle of storms.”  This is a crucial gift in her line of work, which is, as she explains, complicated and always changing.

Debbie manages pre and post award sponsored research activity.  On a day-to-day basis, as she explains, this means that “in addition to assisting faculty with proposal preparation, I monitor spending and handle monthly reconciliation and financial reporting and oversee non-financial compliance.  I do a lot of problem solving and coordination, analyzing complex guidelines and regulations and I provide guidance to faculty and staff.”  She describes her work life as “very much about information management.”

 Clearly she manages information well.  Ines Campero, bilingual Harts lab manager for SPRC, explains: “Debbie was in charge of coordinating the implementation of an SoM innovative initiative within our division. This required effort and collaboration, and some individuals were confused and reluctant.  She was very respectful of different people’s concerns and she carefully addressed them one by one.  And she was able to meet all deadlines for this initiative implementation.”

And this wasn’t an isolated incident.  Michaela Kiernan, PhD, senior research scholar in SPRC, gives another example: “She and I were confused about the wording and thus, the implications of a new, complex NIH policy.  With no fanfare, Debbie took considerable extra time well outside of work hours to research the policy, consult with peer colleagues she had interacted with at a recent national NIH training conference, hunted down some obscure but very helpful explanations on the NIH website, and concisely explained the results and implications to me and my team within the week."

Other colleagues appreciate her kindness.  They describe her as “such a pleasure to work with,” with “excellent attention to detail” and a “magic touch.”  Marily Oppezzo, PhD, instructor in SPRC, simply says, “The  SOM needs more Debbies! She is amazing!”

Debbie, who’s worked for the Department for about three years, joined Stanford years ago and then left to join a biotech startup.  She held a few other similar positions before returning to Stanford in 2011 and joining SPRC a few years after that.  She’s “honored, inspired, grateful, and encouraged” by the GEM award, which she calls “very exciting.”  She adds, “I love being a part of medical research.  And I enjoy the challenge of working in a complicated and always changing field with and for such smart and talented people.”

In her spare time she loves “photography, drawing/painting, reading, shopping, and community service.”  And as she puts it, “For some reason I’m fascinated by weather (I actually watch the weather channel and one of my favorite jobs was working with a meteorologist when I was in Florida).”