Dr. Jessica Riddell

Dr. Jessica Riddell is the inaugural Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence at Bishop’s University. In this capacity, she explores innovative teaching and learning practices, creates mentorship opportunities for students and faculty, mobilizes knowledge around learning in higher education (with a particular focus on the humanities), enhances professional development initiatives for her colleagues, and participates in a wide range of consultations at the national and international levels. She is the VP Canada on the Board of ISSoTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) as well as a Board member for the 3M National Executive Council. Dr. Riddell is the faculty columnist of University Affairs and her articles appear in a series called “Adventures in Academe.” She is also an Associate 

Professor and the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Centre. Her research into higher education is broad, and she has published on experiential learning in the humanities, using legal trials as models of undergraduate inquiry, how we change institutional cultures to support scholarly teaching. She is currently writing a book with two colleagues on critical empathy and Shakespeare in the 21st century classroom. Dr. Riddell was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2015, the first recipient of the award at Bishop's University and the youngest ever recipient in the award’s 32 year history. 

Professional Highlights: 

  • Dr. Riddell is the first chairholder of the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence. The Jarislowsky Foundation’s gift will enable her to focus on research into effective practices in teaching undergraduate students, student academic success, and mentoring faculty and students. She will also disseminate key research findings about teaching and learning nationally.

  • 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2015. She was the first recipient of the award at Bishop's University and the youngest fellow in the award's 30 year history.


  • She was also awarded the William and Nancy Turner Award for Teaching Excellence (2011-2012), the most prestigious recognition of teaching excellence at Bishop's University. Her passion for teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom is reflected in the many initiatives she has organized, both at Bishop's and for a wider community of teaching and learning.

  • Selected as University Affairs Faculty Columnist for a featured series called "Adventures in Academe" (contracted for five issues/year for two years). Topics to date include the importance of delight in teaching, the gender bias in academia, evaluation of faculty performance, and the importance of research in topics related to higher education. 

  • Designed and revised academic programming: explored potential for a certificate in pre-law, created multiple experiential course including "ENG225 Shakesperience", designed a new team-taught course called "ENG205: The Art of Rhetoric" and participated in a program review with members of the English Department.


  • In the field of teaching and learning in higher education, published several peer-reviewed journal articles as single author or lead author and conducted preliminary research on several additional research papers in various stages of development.

  • Presented several peer-reviewed conference papers at international conferences 


  • Is currently working on a book project with Drs. Shannon Murray (UPEI, 3M Fellow) and Lisa Dickson (UNBC, 3M Fellow) on Teaching Shakespeare in the 21st century


  • Became a member of four collaborative research teams, applied for two SSHRC grants related to research in teaching and learning, and applied for two educational leadership grants (one internal and one external).

​Educational Leadership:

  • She is also the Chair of the Department of English, and has created a number of initiatives, including the student leaders council, a group of undergraduate students who work as colleagues on building the guiding vision of the department




  • In 2010, she co-created Graduating Gaiters (a program that supports incoming student-athletes)


  • Dr. Riddell has organized a number of public scholarship events, including several debates (2010-2012), Shakespeare’s on Trial for Fraud in a Canadian Criminal Court (2011-2012) and Queer Subjectivities, MTV style (2012).


  • In 2011, Dr. Riddell developed a youtube channel called “Dr. Riddell’s BU Channel” that features videos on how to survive and thrive in university (and covers topics on effective writing, studying, applying to grad school, etc.)

  • She is also the founder and organizer of TEDxBishopsU and Maple league, a series of talks that showcase multidisciplinary speakers -- faculty, students, alumni, community members -- on a number of inspiring and provocative topics relevant to higher education for the Maple League

Dr. Jessica Riddell has a broad range of teaching and research interests, including Renaissance drama (Shakespeare and his contemporaries); Medieval Drama; Medieval Literature, especially Chaucer; Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Poetry and Prose; Performance Studies; Rhetoric and Oratory, and Masculinity Studies.