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Professor Hewes Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

April 19, 2017

Portrait of Dean Hewes next to a bookshelf

Portrait of Dean Hewes next to a bookshelf
Photo by Matthew Weber, CLAgency

Professor Dean Hewes earned his doctorate degree in 1974 and began teaching at the University of Minnesota in 1989. After working at Arizona State University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Illinois, Hewes joined the University of Minnesota to perform research in his areas of interpersonal communication, communication dynamics, and research methodologies.

Professor Hewes is well known for his work developing the Socio-Egocentric model of group communication that generates a plausible explanation for patterns of communication in decision making groups that result from cognitive processes and not from social influence. Another focal point of Dr. Hewes’ work is the development of the Dual-Level Connectionist Model of decision-making which combines cognitive processes and social influences among group members.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Hewes has maintained a unique approach to his research that has separated him from many in his field. He creates formal theories based in mathematicsan innovative perspective that provides him with a distinctive view of group communication. "The Department of Communication Studies has provided me with a superb collegiate atmosphere that facilitates this work. The department holds weekly presentations on research where I received valuable feedback from my colleagues," Hewes stated.

In November 2016, Professor Hewes received the the National Communication Association’s lifetime achievement award for his extensive work and studies of small group communication. He is the third recipient of the award from the University of Minnesota and was pleased to learn that it was a unanimous decision to select him for the award. Although Professor Hewes has received numerous awards throughout the course of his career and has had numerous articles published, he still feels humbled by the award. "I was kind of surprised to get it. I have never gone out of my way to get awards. I was kind of an outsider, you could say. So I was really appreciative when I heard the news."

Hewes continues to teach undergraduate courses that are in his areas of specialty. He also leads graduate-level courses on conflict and cognitive basis at communication. When he is not teaching, writing or conducting research, Hewes enjoys playing volleyball and fishing for bass and muskie in Leech Lake. He also has a background in competitive debate. "After all is said and done, I think this award granted me some favorable credibility, and gave me a personal motivation to extend my work. I still have stuff left to saythis award will help me do this."