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Jon A Hess

Professor; Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship, Internationalization and Inclusive Excellence

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Communication, Office of the Dean


Email: Jon A Hess
Phone: 937-229-2602
OR 108B


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1996
  • M.A., Ohio University, 1991
  • B.S., Manchester College, 1989


Dr. Jon Hess’s scholarship centers on how communication and learning interface, and on communication in maintaining relationships. He has published research on how teacher immediacy and face threat mitigation impact classroom outcomes, how curriculum needs to adapt to current social and workplace changes, and on how people can best maintain difficult relationships.  He is the immediate past editor of the Communication discipline’s leading journal for social scientific research on communication and learning, Communication Education.

Jon has received recognition for both scholarship and teaching.  In recent years, he has helped lead professional development institutes for Communication department chairs and for directors of introductory Communication courses. He is a regular facilitator for the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching.  In his current role as associate dean, Jon guides College of Arts & Sciences initiatives that advance diversity and inclusive excellence, assessment, international programs, faculty scholarship and grant seeking, personnel matters, and the professional development of new faculty and department chairs.

Faculty Perspective

Higher education plays a crucial role in helping humanity flourish in the 21st century.  Our teaching helps students develop the personal and vocational foundations necessary for leadership and service in the workplace and society, our research partners with industry to address pressing local and global challenges, and our service strengthens communities.  Work in higher education isn’t always easy, but it is always worthwhile!

Research Interests

  • Impact of teacher communication on student engagement and learning
  • Curriculum design for today’s educational environment and needs
  • Communication strategies for managing difficult relationships
  • Psychometrics and scale development

Selected Publications

Hess, J. A., & Witt, P. L.  (2017).  Communication education.  In M. Allen (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (pp. 191-194).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hess, J. A. & Sneed, K. A.  (2012).  Communication strategies to restore working relations: Comparing relationships that improved with ones that remained problematic.  In B. L. Omdahl & J. M. H. Fritz (Eds.), Problematic Relationships in the Workplace, Volume II (pp. 235-256).  New York: Peter Lang Publishers. 

Trees, A. R., Kerssen-Griep, J., & Hess, J. A.  (2009).  Earning influence by communicating respect: Facework’s contributions to effective instructional feedback.  Communication Education, 58, 397-416.

Hess, J. A., Omdahl, B. L., & Fritz, J. M. H.  (2006).  Turning points in relationships with disliked coworkers.  In J. M. H. Fritz & B. L. Omdahl (Eds.), Problematic relationships in the workplace (pp. 89-106).  New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

Hess, J. A., Smythe, M. J., & Communication 451. (2001). Is teacher immediacy actually related to student cognitive learning? Communication Studies, 52, 197-219.