University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

Jessi Cruickshank: Motivating the Next Generation of Innis Leaders

Hundreds of tired Innis students were quickly shaken out of their post Frosh Week exhaustion by the engaging and humorous address from alumna Jessi Cruickshank at New Student Welcome Day on September 8, 2009.

Jessi Cruickshank (HBA 2004 INNIS), best known for her work with MTV and Free the Children, spoke to new Innis College students about the importance of getting involved in extracurricular activities at U of T. Jessi’s message (pleasantly interrupted by amusing personal stories about her years at the University) stressed the value of student engagement outside the classroom.

Jessi was quick to recognize the importance of focusing on academics; however, she admitted that it wasn’t the late night essay writing or note taking that formed her U of T memories, rather, it was her experiences volunteering, organizing and attending college events, joining a theatre group, waking up at dawn to play intramural soccer, making lifelong friends, and discovering all that U of T had to offer.

After listening to Jessi (even for just a few minutes) there is no question why she’s been so successful as co-host and producer of MTV’s The After Show and The Hills After Show.  Jessi’s energy, sincerity, humour, and ability to captivate the audience makes her an incredible host, and in this case, an engaging keynote speaker and an inspiring role model.


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