Jon A Hess

Contact Information

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

Jon A Hess

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

  • Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Jon Hess’s scholarship centers on communication in maintaining personal relationships, and how communication and learning interface in the classroom. His research has examined how people maintain difficult relationships and how teachers’ messages impact classroom outcomes. He is currently editor of the discipline’s leading journal for research on communication and learning, Communication Education.

Jon has received awards for both scholarship and teaching. He has been active professionally, helping lead professional development institutes for Communication department chairs and directors of introductory Communication courses. He is also a regular facilitator at a national teaching conference. In his current role as associate dean, Jon works on UD initiatives related to faculty scholarship and grant seeking, assessment, diversity and inclusive excellence, international programming, personnel, and programs to mentor new faculty and department chairs.

Faculty Perspective

I love being at a university that values both teaching and scholarship.  The opportunity to conduct research allows faculty to keep themselves at the cutting edge, and the emphasis on teaching gives students the benefit of that research at faculty bring their expertise into the classroom.  And, I value UD’s genuine commitment to community.  As higher education changes to meet new societal needs, UD is particularly well-suited to creating the educational experience called for today.


  • PhD, University of Minnesota (1996)
  • M.A., Ohio University (1991)
  • B.S., Manchester College (1989)

Research Interests

  • Impact of teacher immediacy and facework on classroom outcomes
  • Communication strategies for maintaining difficult relationships
  • Closeness and distance in personal relationships
  • Social scientific measurement and scale development

Selected Publications

Hess, J. A. (2015). Making sure the work is good work: Communicating ethics to tutors. In W. Atkins-Sayre & E. L. Yook (Eds.), Communicating advice: Peer tutoring and communication practice. (pp. 53-66) New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

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(3), 397-416.

Hess, J. A., Fannin, A. D., & Pollom, L. H. (2007). Creating closeness: Discerning and measuring strategies for fostering closer relationships. Personal Relationships, 14(1), 25-44.

Hess, J. A., Smythe, M. J., & Communication 451. (2001). Is teacher immediacy actually related to student cognitive learning? Communication Studies, 52(3), 197-219.