Michal Alexis (Rankin) Crowe was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Bermuda, England, and Newfoundland. In 1967 she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Atlantic Institute of Education. While living in Halifax she also attended Mount Saint Vincent University where she graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in Sociology. While attending Mount Saint
Vincent University she was a member of the Senate Committee on Continuing Education and received several merit scholarships. Upon graduating she was hired as the Alumnae Officer (1977-1982), where she was responsible for facilitating programs, projects, and policies with the Alumnae Association, initiating and maintaining student alumnae liaison programs, producing a quarterly newsletter, and co-ordinating an annual fund raising drive.