Alana Haynes Stein

Alana Haynes Stein Portrait

Position Title
PhD Candidate

Social Science and Humanities 259


  • 2018 M.A. in Sociology, University of California, Davis, Department of Sociology
  • 2016 B.A. in College Scholars with Emphasis in Food Security from Sociopolitical and Chemical Perspectives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Summa Cum Laude


Alana is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. Her research uses theories of political economy, 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 the resources, practices, and decision-making of U.S. food banks 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 ongoing work on projects that examine the embeddedness of food banks in local food systems and the prominent ideologies in the discourse surrounding solving world hunger at the 2015 World Expo.

Research Focus

  • Food Banks
  • Environment
  • Stratification
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Political Economy
  • Poverty
  • Neoliberalism


Haynes Stein, Alana. (2022) “Barriers to Access: The Unencumbered Client in Private Food Assistance.” Social Currents.

Sánchez Barba, Mayra, Roy B. Taggueg Jr., and S. Alana Haynes Stein* (2018) “Public Scholarship in a Time of Crisis: A Reflection.” Public: A Journal of Imagining America, 5(1).

*The order of authors has been randomly chosen.

Stein, Alana. (2016) “Power Play at the United Nations: The Effects of Added Stakeholders in the Committee on World Food Security.” Pursuit - The Journal of Undergraduate Research at The University of Tennessee, 7(1), 199-207.


Summer Session I 2023: Sociology of the Environment

Spring 2023: Research Methods

Summer 2021: Social Stratification



Leon Mayhew Award for Best Qualifying Paper