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.
PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 2013
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