Dr. Brian Eberhard

Dr. Jim Hess


Jonas Skywalk 214
(605) 642-6850

Dr. James Hess has been a Professor of Psychology at Black Hills State University since 1983. He received his Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1973, his Masters Degree in Counseling from Oklahoma State in 1975, and his Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Oklahoma State in 1978. After finishing his Doctoral Internship at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Hess began his teaching career as a Assistant Professor in the Graduate Counseling Psychology program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. During this time he also began his private practice as a Counseling Psychologist. In 1981, Dr. Hess moved his practice to Spearfish where he practiced until retiring in 1997. After this move, Dr. Hess also began teaching adjunct graduate psychology classes for South Dakota State University and in 1990 was selected as South Dakota State University, West River Graduate Center Teacher of The Year. Dr. Hess taught for SDSU for a total of twelve years.

In 1983, Dr. Hess began teaching at BHSU as the only faculty member in the Department of Psychology as at that time there was not a major in Psychology. Today there are currently over 175 Psychology Majors at BHSU. The psychology department has now grown to include six full time faculty and several part time adjunct faculty. Dr. Hess became Chairman of the Psychology Department in July of 2007. During the summer of 2011, Dr. Hess was named the Chair of the newly created School of Behavioral Sciences. This school currently consists of the departments of Psychology, Sociology, Human Services, Exercise Science, and Outdoor Education.

In March 2011, Dr. Hess was honored with the BHSU 2011 - 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award for his teaching and leadership at Black Hills State University. During the August 2014 BHSU Foundation Gala, Dr. Hess received the 2014 Difference Maker Award. Later in the Fall of 2014, Dr. Hess established the BHSU Make a Difference Initiative (MADI) by committing a One Million Dollars endowment which will fund scholarships in the School of Behavioral Sciences. This contribution was equivalent to the amount he earned in the first 19 years of teaching at BHSU.

Dr. Hess continues teaching and is especially interested in personality and self-concept development.