2023 George S. Jesien Distinguished Achievement Award

November 7, 2023

The AUCD George S. Jesien Award is presented a UCEDD, LEND or IDDRC executive, faculty or staff member who has demonstrated a distinguished career of excellence and leadership in support of AUCD's mission to advance policy and practice for and with people living with developmental and other disabilities, their families and communities.

Amy Hewitt, PhD

Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota: Minneapolis, MN

“Dr. Hewitt has been at the center of concerted efforts in Minnesota and nationally to improve the lives of persons with IDD and their families ‒ across diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and other identity groups. She is clearly one of those exceptional professionals who is able to comfortably integrate research and practice to achieve broad levels of impact.” 


Amy Hewitt, PhD has an extensive background in the disability field. She has worked in various positions over the past 41 years to improve community inclusion and quality of life for children, youth and adults with disabilities and their families. Her career began as a Direct Support Professional and she currently employs DSPs to support her brother-in-law who lives with autism, addiction, and chronic medical conditions. She is the Director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration and conducts research, evaluation, and demonstration projects about community living and belonging for children, youth and adults with disabilities and the direct support workforce. She has authored numerous journal articles, curriculum, technical reports, including a book entitled, Staff Recruitment, Retention and Training.  Dr. Hewitt is the editor of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities a journal of the AAIDD. She is a Past President of the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) and Past President of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).