Rebecca Eastham: Directer, Center for the Future of Work
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 | email@example.com
Coming from an “OSU family,” Rebecca Eastham knows a thing or two about OSU but it wasn’t until last October that she took up residence on campus as the director for the newly established Center for the Future of Work.
She has earned two degrees from OSU — a bachelor’s in hospitality and restaurant administration and a doctorate in human sciences — in addition to a master’s in human relations and a graduate certificate in economic development from the University of Oklahoma.
Eastham spent 25-plus years in the hospitality industry, specifically in training and development. That led to her position as executive director of workforce and economic development at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, where she spent 12 years prior to becoming director for the new Center for the Future of Work in the Spears School of Business.
She and her husband, Kyle, have called Stillwater home for the past 15 years and enjoy being a part of the community. She is active in the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Stillwater CARES, Vibrant Stillwater Coalition and church. The Easthams, along with their Great Dane, Caldwell, enjoy serving as a part of Pete’s Pet Posse.
What is the Center for the Future of Work?
The Center for the Future of Work is being developed for the purpose of advancing local and regional economies and community well-being through organizational development, technology transformations and innovative workforce development.
Why did you accept this role in leading the center?
This was an exciting opportunity which aligned with my experience, personal passions and interests along with allowing my return to OSU. I enjoy the challenge of taking a concept and building it into something tangible and sustainable. The position allows me to engage both internally and externally with OSU and build collaborative relationships across the state and region.
I am looking forward to working with the faculty to generate impactful research and consulting projects, connecting with organizations to collaborate and address issues to shape the workplace and workforce, building relationships with donors to build out the vision of the center and — of course — engaging with students, both in and outside of the classroom, to prepare them for the future of work in today’s dynamic economy and to serve the greater good as business leaders.
What are your vision and goals for the center?
Our vision is to be the preeminent resource for businesses, community organizations, government agencies and NGOs to provide research, services and information to create evidence-based solutions, programs and public policy to address some of the most challenging workforce and societal issues. Our areas of strategic focus are: 1. Faculty Research for Impact: Using rigorous research to address workforce and societal issues; 2. Innovative Leader Development: Developing students and business leaders to drive the future of work and make social change; and 3. Community Advancement: Helping Oklahoma toward economic prosperity and community development.
Why should an OSU business student be interested in the center and its goals?
Like the rest of the world, Spears Business sees the shifting of needs, issues and technology of today’s workforce and workplace. Our students will be facing disruptive technologies, remote and virtual workplaces and a wide diversity of colleagues. The center and our initiatives will better equip them to thrive and lead in this future of work.
We also know our students care about issues related to positive social change, diversity and inclusion, protecting the environment and addressing social problems. Engaging students in research projects and professional development opportunities will be a key component to the center.
The center will play a part in developing socially conscious business leaders who will have a positive impact on social change, their own communities and the organizations they work with and for after they graduate.
In 10 years, what do you hope the center has accomplished?
I believe the center will be the preeminent entity in Oklahoma and the region to provide research, data analysis, training and consulting for businesses, nonprofits and government entities. The center will be known as a key contributor in advancing local and regional economies and making measurable positive societal change.
Story By: Terry Tush | Engage@Spears Magazine