Linda L. Dannison, Ph.D., CFLE, is a professor and chair of Family and Consumer Sciences at Western Michigan University. She holds a master’s degree in Family and Child Development, and a Ph.D. in Adult and Occupational Education from Kansas State University. She is a Certified Family Life Educator specializing in parenting and aging families. Her professional experience includes teacher education at North Dakota State University and Western Michigan University, and secondary education in Kansas and Michigan. Clinical experiences include directing an Infant Stimulation program for adolescent mothers at Park School in Grand Rapids, teaching incarcerated teenagers at Waalkes Juvenile Center in Kent County and working as a counselor at Grand Rapids Job Corps Center.
Dr. Dannison has worked with Dr. Andrea Smith since 1996 to develop educational programs, create resources and train professionals to support multigenerational families. She has co-authored The Second Time Around: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Grand Ideas for Grand Kids. Additionally, three video resources for facilitating groups for custodial grandparent family members have been developed. Recent articles appeared in Intergenerational Programming Quarterly, Children and Schools, Contemporary Education, International Pediatrics, Journal for Specials in Group Work, Childhood Education, Human Ecology Review, Initiatives, Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, and Family Relations. As Fulbright Senior Specialists, Dannison and Smith lectured on Kinship Care issues at three universities in England (Oxford, Keele, and Northumbria) and have also presented their work in Latvia and Ireland. Dannison and Smith currently serve on the planning committees for the Generations United International Conference and the International Consortium on Intergenerational Programming.
Dannison has three adult children and recently became a grandmother for the first time.
Andrea B. Smith, MSW/Ph.D. is a professor of Early Childhood in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies at Western Michigan University. Smith received her master’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University and her Ph.D in Family and Child Ecology from Michigan State University. Professional experiences include college level teaching, elementary school teaching, and counseling with children and families.
Smith and Dannison have worked with custodial grandparent family members during the past decade. In addition to running support and informational groups for custodial grandparents, their grandchildren, and associated professionals, Smith and Dannison have created a variety of associated educational resources. Publications related to grandparents raising grandchildren have appeared in journals including Childhood Education, Contemporary Education, Children and Schools, and Intergenerational Programming Quarterly. Smith has lectured internationally in Ireland and Latvia and as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in England. Smith has four children, ranging in age from 10-21.