About Jessica

Judge and Jessica – Summer 2019

Dr. Jessica Maricevic is a writer, educator, researcher, and the founder of Empathic Paws. Along with her love for dogs, Jessica’s combined passions serve as her creative, pedagogical and qualitative inspiration.

From 2005 to the present, Jessica has taught and created curriculum infused with opportunities for secondary students to cultivate empathy, advocacy and social responsibility. Always mindful of the social-emotional needs of the adolescent learner, Jessica now advocates for the integration of therapy dogs in secondary settings. The groundbreaking findings of her qualitative study, Therapy Dogs in Secondary Schools: Implementation Processes & Relationships to students’ Social-Emotional Competencies, equips her with the insightful expertise to support the programmatic integration of animal-assisted therapies, like the inclusion of therapy dogs, in public and private settings.

The power of the paw is real, and Jessica encourages all to recognize the unlimited potential of the human-animal bond as an authentic and organic means to meet humanity’s needs.


Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Stonehill College, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Manhattanville College.

She resides with her family, which includes her three dogs, in the Sound Shore, dog-friendly, region of Westchester County, New York.