President of Mount Tamalpais College
Jody Lewen is president of Mount Tamalpais College, at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California. Mount Tamalpais College (MTC) provides a general education associate of arts degree and intensive college preparatory courses to approximately 300 people incarcerated at San Quentin. It also provides support to other higher education in prison programs across the country, advocating for the values of high academic quality and inclusivity, while serving as a resource to policymakers, practitioners, and academic and correctional administrators. Jody received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in modern European history; her master’s degree from the Freie Universität, Berlin in comparative literature and philosophy; and her PhD in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley. She was the recipient in 2006 of the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2016, MTC (then the Prison University Project) received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. In 2018, Jody was named a Frederick Douglass 200 awardee, which honored those whose modern-day work best embodies Douglass’s legacy of social change.