"Jessica was extremely professional and very easy to work with. She made sure that her lecture was accommodating and catered to our students. Jessica had a very creative way in which she portrayed her message and took hold of everybody's attention. The message she was giving was exactly what we were looking for and I believe she was the best person to provide it."
Mark Flynn, Programming Chair, New York Institute of Technology
"While in Birmingham Jess demonstrate an ability to put people at ease with her keen intelligence and fantastic sense of humor. She hears not only what people are saying, but what they are thinking and afraid to say. She's able to quickly read the dynamics of a group. And she explains things in a way that people can understand. I hope to have her back here soon!"
Karen L. Placke, President, The Alliance for GLBT Equality at UAB
“The response from Jess’s keynote on diversity among the organization was phenomenal…many participants implemented the suggestions she put forth. Our own group instituted changes in our executive board structures due to her talk.”
Adelle Fontanet, University of Florida, Pride Student Union President
"You have no idea the impact you've made on me. You've given me back a love of student affairs & showed me one person's words can shake a room full of hearts."
Testimonial from LeaderShape UGA
"Hosting Jessica Pettitt at our conference was an extreme honor and privilege. She didn’t just simply fill the keynote speaker’s timeslot, but engaged herself wholeheartedly into the conference, becoming a powerful presence that embodied the spirit of the event. She delivered an address that was captivating and meaningful to all of the conference attendees as well as the planning committee. ... Her down-to-earth message resonated with the young aspiring activists and leaders within the audience. She also has the highest quality of character that one could look for in a presenter—accommodating, insightful, pleasant, and, quite simply, real. She is able to capitalize on her natural charisma when presenting to large audiences and still be authentic and intimate. It is no exaggeration to say that Jessica Pettitt saved our conference, and delivered much more than we had asked of her. Out of dozens of speakers that I have worked with, Jessica has sincerely been by far the best!"
Brian Wollum, Program Advisor, LGBT Center, Minnesota State University, Mankato
"Jessica was phenomenal! She mixed candor, wit and humor with education in a way that led many of the participants, including myself, to intensely examine our own points of view. Both of her presentations were challenging, validating and inspiring."
Marisela Martinez, Director, Agnes Scott College
“We invited Jessica to campus to speak with student affairs staff, faculty and student groups. Through her presentations Jessica was able to engage all participants in lively, thoughtful, and meaningful interactions. She is particularly sensitive at facilitating honest and challenging discussions around a variety of difficult yet important topics. Her presentation style is dynamic and flexible, accommodating quickly to the emerging needs of the group she is working with. We hope we will have the opportunity to bring her to campus again.”
Kevin Morrison Meredith College, International Program Office
“…Jess showed me that the solution to ending racism and other social problems starts with my own assumptions and back stories I write about others. I not only limit others but myself and now I know how to think through a decision within my organization from many different angles…”
Craig T., University of Arizona
“Jessica has an ease with her subject matter; one that seemingly comes from her extensive knowledge and polished public speaking/interaction skills. She presents her subject matter in a way that is tangible and usable for administrators, staff, faculty and students alike. The former is most notably present in her Keynote speech. Her presentation made it clear how each individual can change his/her own space; making it easier to effect and ultimately effectuate the change you want to see in the world.”
Michael Mancini, Coordinator of Judicial Affairs, Office of the Vice President
Student Affairs, SUNY Fredonia
“She made intense situations hilarious and easy to handle.”
Katie McKie, Lower Columbia College
"Jess is a dynamic trainer who uses her extensive knowledge, sensitivity to others, and charisma to engage students in understanding issues that are either very foreign to them, or in some cases distasteful; and does so in a way that helps them extend their boundaries and their appreciation of the complexities of issues of diversity. I watched Jess work with a group of college students last summer at a program called LeaderShape, students who immersed in their white privilege had obviously given little thought to issues of oppression. Jess connected to them in such a way that she not only didn't alienate them, but opened them to the world around them so that they were committed to social action. It was incredibly impressive!"
Susan Herman, Professor, School of Management Director, Northern Leadership Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
"Jessica brought an abundance of skill, talent, empathy and charm to our MCC campuses. Her most valuable attribute was her power of LISTENING. Each venue she visited offered a unique audience, each with particular agendas, hopes and fears as she walked in. Jessica was able to hear through the noise in each case to provide a tailored experience. She has helped us embark on a wonderful process of raising awareness and starting conversations about gender issues."
Nancy E. Harrington, Faculty, Biology Department, Metropolitan Community College
A letter to Jessica's former supervisor:
"We recently flew Jessica Pettitt here to Boise State University to conduct our staff and advisory board training. My staff and board gave me back such wonderful reviews that I had to write to let you know what a genuine treasure you have in her. Jessica trained my staff on how to be an ally for groups that you are not a part of. My staff enjoyed her style greatly, but above all they got so much from the training. She was able to give us a language that we can use to speak to each other and that in itself was a huge team builder. Jessica also tackled some pretty uncomfortable issues that our Board was having and mediated a key conversation between two board members that were still hurting from an earlier exchange. She did this so professionally and brilliantly that I wanted you to know how impressed we all were with her work. I plan to have her back perhaps mid-year to do some review with our staff and board. I know both groups are eager to have her back, as am I. Thank you for allowing her to come do our training, she was exactly what we needed."
Ro Parker, Boise State University
"What an inspiring educator! Thank you for teaching me about the impact one person can make."
Testimonial from LeaderShape UGA
“… I am so glad I found you as I need you to know that your words still ring true with me. I returned to my campus, changed my major, and have tried to live my life everyday to be the change I want to see. Thank you — without your wake up call, the last three years would have been so normal and comfortable.”
Julie S. Graduate of Brown University
Comments from Jessica's session at Training of Trainers:
- She was really great and knowledgeable
- Very motivated, good talker, speaker & listener
- Awesome! Lots of energy, Knowledge, and passion
- Great job, very informative
- Very personal & use her own life experience to enhance the richness of the activities
- Jessica’s great! She really knows how to engage with people
- Comfortable, good job, and good skills
- Jess is awesome, open, honest, and personable
- Very approachable, personable
- Humor is really helpful
- Very skilled and personable
- Amazing communication skills, great presenter
You can also read more rave reviews from specific organizations and schools where Jessica has stirred up conversation.