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Alana Haynes Stein

Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at University of California, Davis


  • Food Systems
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Environment
  • Stratification
  • Political Economy
  • Poverty

Alana is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. Her research uses theories of political economy, environmental justice, stratification, and organizations to study inequalities in the food system. In her research, she pulls on the methods of ethnography, in-depth interviews, geospatial analysis, content analysis, and network analysis.

Alana’s dissertation focuses on U.S. food banks’ resources, practices, and decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research focuses on understanding how the privatization of food assistance and food bank networks impact access to resources. Her mixed methods dissertation employs geospatial analysis to examine food bank resources in relationship to demographic characteristics, and she uses in-depth interviews with food bank leaders coupled with archival research to compare the programs and practices of different types of food banks.

Alana has also worked with Imagining America to research graduate student experiences with publicly engaged scholarship. This work was part of Imagining America’s Leading and Learning Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

She also has published work examining the embeddedness of food banks in local food systems and has ongoing work exploring the prominent ideologies in the discourse surrounding solving world hunger at the 2015 World Expo.

View CV


  • Ph.D. Student in Sociology, 2016-present
    University of California, Davis
  • M.A. in Sociology, 2018
    University of California, Davis
  • B.A. in College Scholars with Emphasis in Food Security from Sociopolitical and Chemical Perspectives, 2016
    University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • ISEP Study Abroad, Spring 2014
    Universidad de Málaga, Spain