Sarah Michelle Alexander

Ph.D., Development Sociology

Sarah Michelle Alexander graduated from Wells College with a B.A. in Women’s Studies with minors in English Literature and Ethics, Philosophy & Policy. Concurrent to her undergraduate pursuits, Sarah worked with Oxfam America as a CHANGE Initiative Leader and on the National Coordinating Committee of United Students for Fair Trade. Furthermore, Sarah’s passion for teaching led her to obtain a B.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.  

Sarah’s research interests broadly focus on environmental sociology and the social construction of the environment. Her master's thesis examined the rise of the bottled water industry and the commodification of water. Her dissertation explores in-home drinking water behavior in New York City households. Engaging a mixed-methods approach, she considers the influence of habit, salience, information, and social norms in relation to behavior (i.e., whether people choose to drink unfiltered tap water, filtered tap water, or bottled water), spotlighting the interplay of trust and social class as more and more New Yorkers opt out of the public water provision system.

Additionally, Sarah worked with the Community and Regional Development Institute of Cornell University (CaRDI) to study the social landscape of flood risk and the emergence of climate change-induced migration in New York State.

Connect with Sarah
  • sma53 [at]