Rebecca Hawkins - In memoriam

Rebecca Hawkins

Rebecca Hawkins was a widely-respected and very popular colleague and tutor at Oxford Brookes Business School.

She was also a long-standing member of staff, having joined the then School of Hotel & Restaurant Management back in 1998. Over this time she touched the lives of many staff and students at Oxford Brookes University.

Rebecca’s role at Brookes enabled her to bring her considerable industry experience into the classroom. Her teaching focused on consultancy, tourism, sustainability and entrepreneurship. She supervised over 20 doctoral students sharing her passion for responsible tourism and applied research. Rebecca was committed to all the students she came into contact with and was always generous with her time, willingly sharing her expertise and experience with good humour and kindness. She was modest to a fault and often questioned her role as an academic but, in reality, the knowledge and wisdom she built through her own work and consultancy far outweighed what most academics knew about the tourism and hospitality sector. In all matters, Rebecca was principled and not afraid to stand up for what she believed was right.

Cross-cutting themes from Rebecca’s research relate to behaviour change and governance in sustainable tourism, with a recent focus on placemaking. Outside of Brookes, Rebecca founded and ran a boutique tourism consultancy business that works with organisations ranging from government agencies to business and community groups, across a range of creative, cultural and tourism sectors focussed on issues related to placemaking and sustainability. Rebecca was highly respected within the sector, judging industry awards including the CATEYs and World Responsible Tourism Awards. She also mentored and engaged with women returner activities with Women in Travel.

Rebecca once wrote, ‘I love the way in which my consultancy informs my teaching and PhD supervision and my teaching provides insights that have relevance for consultancy.’ It is this outlook which saw Rebecca make a real difference through her work. She will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege to work with her.