Rebecca Hawthorne

Rebecca Hawthorne

Program Director, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Associate Professor

Ph.D., design and evaluation of educational programs, Stanford University, California; M.A.T., English, Brown University, Rhode Island; B.A., English, Wellesley College, Massachusetts

MAOL courses taught:
Research Proposal: Leadership Action Project/Leadership Thesis, and research workshops

Family life:
Three children (ages 23, 20 and 16) and husband Peter C. Hawthorne, vice president of Strategy and Business Development, Cargill, Inc.

Academic career:
"I taught both undergraduate and graduate students first as an adjunct and then as a ranked professor at Stanford University and later at St. Catherine University while raising my family. I wrote a book, presented at academic conferences and devoted significant time to community leadership in education, the arts, social services, my church and the Minneapolis schools."

Meaningful work:
"My family moved to Singapore in 1998 for my husband's job. I did not have a green card for paid employment, but I found incredibly challenging professional work as the volunteer education director of Pertapis, a Muslim children's home. I developed a reading program, trained teachers, wrote grants, and established a library and computer center with community support. I received an award for my work from the Islamic Theological Society."

Motivation to join St. Kate's:
"As the first leadership program of its kind in the country, the MAOL is a jewel. I saw tremendous potential for it to grow and make a difference, and I relished the opportunity to guide the program toward achieving its potential."

Personal leadership style:
"My leadership grows from personal and professional experience which complements my academic study to connect theory with practice in a grounded approach."

On creating leaders:
"Some believe you can't teach leadership. You're either a born leader or you're not. The MAOL program, founded on the research-based practices of exemplary leadership identified by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, embraces the idea that each of us is a leader. Our leadership is tied to our personal and professional integrity and values. Hence the importance of ethical leadership."

Recent accomplishments:
Collaborative strategic planning with the faculty has led to new global initiatives, the creation of an MAOL Alumnae Network, strongercorporate and community partnerships, the launch of summer courses and a new national partnership program with the Peace Corps.

Recent research:
Conducts the annual Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership with Associate Professor of Economics Joann Bangs; they examine the percentage of women on the boards and in the executive suites of Minnesota's 100 largest public companies.

Why the Census is important:
"The data feed into a national study that highlights the limited role women are playing in corporate leadership. Studies indicate that diversifying a corporate leadership team provides a competitive advantage. Despite an increasing number of highly qualified women in the pipeline, women’s progress beyond middle management has stalled."