Your Name: Rebecca Leach (Becky)
Please introduce yourself: Who are you and what are your research/teaching/activist interests?
My name is Becky Leach. I am a doctoral candidate in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. My research is nestled at the intersection of organizational and health communication. I ask questions about what it means to flourish and thrive in organizations, which leads me to research topics such as compassion, resilience, justice, and diversity.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about understanding and fostering wellbeing in the workplace. Recently, I am especially excited about my dissertation, which explores compassion and burnout in healthcare organizations. I am interested in theorizing about organizational compassion—a collective’s capacity to jointly recognize, relate, and (re)act to suffering in others.
What does transformation mean to you?
I view transformation as an ongoing commitment to grow and challenge our taken-for-granted assumptions. Before we can transform ourselves, our relationships, and our society, I believe we need to practice self-reflexivity and recognize that our everyday communication choices have the potential to hurt and heal.
What do you value most about the Transformation Project?
The Transformation Project has been an intellectual and collaborative home for me throughout my time at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. There is no replacement for the relationships I have made with faculty and graduate students in the Transformation Project. It is a rare place where like-minded scholars collaborate and inspire each other regularly.
How has the Transformation Project supported you and your work in the past?
I am grateful for the financial support that the Transformation Project has given to support my research in compassion and resilience, such as the Jeanne Lind Herberger Fellowship and the Transformation Project Seed Grant. Beyond the financial support, the Transformation Project has connected me with several faculty who have become lifelong mentors for me.
In what ways do you want to transform the future?
As a scholar, I am excited by a future where I can contribute to conversations about flourishing organizations—workplaces where people make meaningful connections to others and feel supported in their jobs. As a teacher, I want to co-create inclusive and interactive spaces with my students. And as a human, I hope to be someone that others can lean on.
What is your favorite dessert (and can you share a recipe for it)?
I now and will always defend my love for mint chocolate chip ice cream. Please treat yourself to a scoop (or three)!