Humanities in the Field: Graduate Inspires Marin County Jail Inmates

Stella McCready, who holds both a B.A. and M.A. in Humanities from Dominican, teaches reading and writing via literature to Marin County Jail inmates. Not long ago, a group of inmates approached Stella with a request: they wanted to read Moby Dick! Knowing that some of them had as low as a 4th grade reading level, Stella sought and found no fewer than five versions of Moby Dick, from Classic Comics to Melville’s own, each representing a different degree of difficulty. She brought all the versions to class so that her 50-60 students could select the degree of challenge they could handle. There followed four weeks of probing, passionate discussion of the novel, once called the greatest theological work of the 19th century.

Stella reports that her work is immensely satisfying and looks forward to doing it for a long time. When people see her popular syllabi and teaching methods and ask, “Where do you get this stuff?” she credits her Dominican education and, in particular, professors Carlos Rodriguez, Phil Novak, and Sister Aaron Winkelman with providing key inspiration.

Stella is one of many graduates using her Humanities training to inspire others. We are proud to call her one of our own!