Dennis Dew

Psychology Faculty

Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Dennis Dew came to Mount Mercy University because of his appreciation for the Sisters of Mercy’s five critical concerns — women, immigration, anti-racism, nonviolence and earth — which are incorporated into many of the university’s classes and activities.

Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Dennis Dew presses upon a students back in a classroom exercise.“I chose MMU because it is a small college, not unlike my undergraduate, and it is guided by many of the same principles as my Jesuit high school, college and graduate schools,” Dr. Dew said. “I grew up with the motto ‘people for others’ and I found the Sisters of Mercy mission of social justice appealing.”

“People for others.”

— Dr. Dennis Dew, Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Dew’s interest for psychology began in high school. Curious to know more and interested in becoming a therapist, Dr. Dew earned his Bachelor of Science in psychology at John Carroll University. After his first social psychology course, he didn’t look back. His education continued at Loyola University in Chicago where he earned his master’s and PhD in social psychology.

Dr. Dew spent a decade working at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago before discovering his passion for teaching. After gaining experience in teaching and research, Dr. Dew moved his family to Cedar Rapids, where he began teaching at Mount Mercy. Now, an MMU veteran, Dr. Dew has amassed a list of proud moments.

“I am proud of the research I’ve conducted and presented with students at the regional and national level,” said Dr. Dew, who is chair of the Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work Department. “I am also proud of the quality of teaching I offer. I am very thoughtful about the way I approach teaching my courses and base my teaching methods in sound, data-driven practices that optimize student learning.”

Students in Mount Mercy’s psychology program have opportunities uncommon at larger schools: The chance to work side-by-side with a faculty member on groundbreaking research projects. Students in the past have been published as co-writers or have presented research at notable national and regional conferences. The psychology department also offers internship opportunities as a way for students to gain experience in their field before graduation.

“I want to help students recognize that it is most productive to attribute their grades to their own internal effort and control,” Dr. Dew said. “Doing so is more productive than explaining away a bad grade on having a bad day, the quality of instruction or some other external factor. By making internal, changeable attributions, students will understand they have great power to influence their own education.”

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Dew enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. The family is involved in Boy Scouts and likes to hike, travel and cook food they grew themselves.