After graduating from Brigham Young University as psychology department valedictorian, Jacob Hess was admitted to the doctoral program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. There, he was invited by the UIUC Program on Intergroup Relations to help develop and co-facilitate a liberal-conservative dialogue course for undergraduates, the first of its kind in the nation. Jacob also conducted interview research comparing narratives of liberal and conservative citizens. With Dr. Phil Neisser (State University of New York, Potsdam), Jacob co-authored a book on liberal-conservative dialogue entitled, You’re Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You’re Still Wrong): Conversations between a Devoted Conservative and a Die-Hard Liberal – featured on NPR’s This American Life.
Since completing his PhD dissertation research on contrasting narratives of depression treatment in 2009, Jacob has worked as research director at Utah Youth Village, a nonprofit for abused children in the Rocky Mountain region. He recently finished a discourse analysis of the conversation about romance in the United States: “Once upon a time, he wasn’t feeling it anymore: What’s killing romance in America – and what to do about it.” Jacob has published 13 peer-reviewed articles – and recently co-founded the non-profit All of Life, an organization committed to the radical idea that our health education should be arising from science, rather than Pharma money, and creates mindfulness-based, online classes for serious mental and emotional challenges. Jacob is married to Monique Moore, with two little boys who make sure their daddy smiles at least nine times a day.