Michelle R. Newhart Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Michelle R. Newhart

Mt. San Antonio College

Michelle Newhart was awarded an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her professional background includes writing, editing, college teaching, and instructional design. Newhart's current research focuses on medical cannabis use, midlife health, and identity. Other areas of interest include behaviors and decision making related to health; complementary and alternative health; contested illnesses; stigma; and the role of science in everyday decisionmaking.


Raised in the Midwest, Michelle completed her B.A. in sociology at the University of Missouri at Columbia where she was a two-time McNair Scholar. After graduation, she spent nearly a decade in book publishing as an editor. In 2006, she returned to school and completed her master's and doctoral degrees in sociology with a specialization in the sociology of health and illness. Other themes in Michelle's work include alternative medicine, gender, midlife, social movements, identity, and qualitative research methods.

​Dr. Newhart's ongoing interests focus on data collection around the huge social experiment taking place around cannabis and the development of cannabis medicines from a sociological perspective.  Other topics of interest include the local food movement, and the sociology of science and technology especially as they relate to culture and behavior. She enjoys researching and writing about the intersection of entrepreneurship, identity, and social movement activism.

Throughout her career, Dr. Newhart has contributed to more than a dozen books as writer, researcher, or editor and developed textbooks and digital products in psychology and the social sciences for Cengage Learning. She is currently an Instructional Designer at Mt San Antonio College, where she contributes expertise in course design and theories of teaching and learning. She continues to teach sociology as an adjunct instructor in southern California where she lives with her husband William Dolphin, her stepsons, and her dogs.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Teaching Interests:
    sociology of health and illness, aging and life course, research methods, social problems, social movements, identity, culture, education, theory, drug policy, online teaching

    Research Interests:
    Medical cannabis, new drug development, alternative medicine, self care in health behaviors, health social movements, local food movements, LGBT movements, fitness and nutrition, activism and social media

    Professional Interests:
    Education technology, online teaching and learning, educational technology, instructional design



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Newhart & Dolphin - The Medicalization of Marijuana - 1st Edition book cover


Health Sociology Review

Menopause matters: The implications of menopause research for studies of midlife health

Published: Dec 17, 2014 by Health Sociology Review
Authors: Michelle Newhart
Subjects: Gerontology, Sociology, Gender & Intersectionality Studies

Menopause is an important health transition for women, but research often fails to account for menopause in a meaningful way. Age often stands in for menopausal status, an oversimplification of a process that takes place over years and varies in onset, length, and expression. This obscures variability in women’s experiences and overlooks patterns in health. This paper reviews menopause research with suggestions on how to incorporate a life course­–based view of menopause in health research.


2020 Donald W. Light Award for the Applied or Public Practice of Sociology

By: Michelle R. Newhart
Subjects: Health and Social Care, Other, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

We are thrilled to report that our book, The Medicalization of Marijuana: Legitimacy, Stigma, and the Patient Experience won the Donald W. Light Award for the Applied or Public Practice of Sociology in 2020. This award is selected by the medical sociology section of the American Sociological Association and alternates years in being given to a book or journal article published in the preceding two years that employs the concepts and methods of medical sociology to an applied issue or problem of significance. 

Interview on New Books Network podcast

By: Michelle R. Newhart
Subjects: Health Psychology, Health and Social Care, Other, Psychology, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Author Michelle Newhart is interviewed by Lucas Richert, associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison about The Medicalization of Marijuana: Legitimacy, Stigma, and the Patient Experience after this book won the 2020 Donald W. Light Award for the Applied or Public Practice of Medical Sociology. The hour-long interview talks about main themes in the book and researching cannabis as a medical sociology topic. 

Medicalization of Marijuana Authors Interview on Thinking Outside the Bud Podcast

By: Michelle R. Newhart
Subjects: Health and Social Care, Other, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

In Episode 58 of the Thinking Outside the Bud, we spend some time with Bruce Eckfeldt discussing our book, The Medicalization of Marijuana: Legitimacy, Stigma, and the Patient Experience.


Shelli Newhart and William Dolphin: The Medicalization of Marijuana

Published: Aug 12, 2019

Michelle Newhart, PhD, and William Dolphin discuss their co-authored book, The Medicalization of Marijuana: Legitimacy, Stigma and the Patient Experience. Drawing on interviews with midlife patients in Colorado, this book takes a comprehensive look at how medical cannabis patients negotiate marijuana's incomplete integration into medicine.