"I have never met someone as thoughtful, innovative, caring and driven as Jessica – and her guidance and support have undoubtedly played a major role in the growth that led to these recognitions. My academic interests cover a large range of topics; and Jessica is the only person I have met in these endeavours to whom I look up unequivocally; getting to know and working with her taught me that it doesn’t matter where you come from, or which field you are in. What matters is your approach to change. Her leadership extends beyond work settings – she models a value-driven approach in every aspect of her life and inspires others to hold themselves to high standards in terms of integrity and critical thinking. She brings unique and helpful perspectives to every table she sits at and has strongly influenced the leadership and empathy of several postsecondary institutions... Jessica Riddell is, by far, the person I look up to the most - people feel safe and empowered around her, and she inspires me to be a better leader, collaborator, teacher, learner, student, and human."
3M National Student Fellow
"Dr. Jessica Riddell is a dynamic thought leader, team builder, idea generator, and change agent. As Executive Director of the Maple League, she has been the catalyst for dozens of conversations among creative academics across four institutions, many of which have resulted in path-breaking initiatives. Leading collaborative change in higher education is difficult enough at one institution. Somehow Jessica is able to accomplish this at four different institutions, building a diverse community of academics who emerge from every interaction with her feeling inspired and energized."
Dr. Jeffrey J. Hennessy
Provost and Vice President
Academic and Research
Mount Allison University
"Now more than ever, as the complex problems facing higher education extend beyond the boundaries of single organizations and institutions, it is critical for colleges and universities to come together in advancing our shared objectives. Indeed, directly confronting the on-going and emerging challenges in higher education and the broader global community in the wake of COVID-19 will require greater strategic collaboration among colleges and universities, deeper alliances, and multi-faceted networks. The Maple League, under Jessica’s leadership as executive director, provides a model of excellence."
President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities
President Emeritus of Mount Holyoke College
"Jessica’s work is astounding: the highest quality whether as a researcher, professor, in her service work and as a spectacular mentor. Jessica seems to have boundless energy and very generously shares it with others in supporting and guiding research, in bringing together students, faculty and staff in innovative projects. Jessica is a colleague bar none. I am humbled by her work ethic, commitment, inquisitiveness and generous and wonderful spirit."
Dr. Toni Roberts
Professor of Sociology
Mount Allison University
"In a time of so many competing and massive wicked problems – climate change, the global pandemic being the two most pressing – the kind of work supported by the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence is not just important: it’s essential. Dr. Jessica Riddell brings staff, students, and faculty together to champion collaborative, engaged, and innovative teaching and learning in higher education, and we have never needed that kind of intentional and empathetic connection more."
Dr. Shannon Murray
Professor of English
University of Prince Edward Island