WMU News

Dannison going to U.K. on Fulbright Award

Nov. 1, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University department head will travel to England as a guest lecturer at three universities under a Fulbright Award.

Dr. Linda Dannison, chair of the WMU Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, will be the guest of Northumbria University in Newcastle and also will work at the University of Warwick and Oxford University under a partnership agreement through a Fulbright Senior Specialists grant. Also taking part will be Dr. Andrea Smith, WMU associate professor of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, who received a previously announced Fulbright Award.

Dannison's visit will build on her work in kinship care, especially as it pertains to children living with their grandparents. In addition to lecturing on kinship care at the three universities, she and Smith will conduct workshops with community professionals to help them develop programming for high-risk parent populations.

"This is a great opportunity for us to interact with professionals in the U.K. who are involved in kinship care issues," Dannison says. "I'm very excited to be able to talk to local service providers as well as university professors and hear about their latest research in this area."

Dannison and Smith will be in England Nov. 6-20. The Fulbright Senior Specialists Program offers two- to six-week grants to leading U.S. academics and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at academic institutions in 140 countries.

Created to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, which was started in 1946, the Senior Specialists Program aims at increasing the number of faculty and professionals who have the opportunity to go abroad on a Fulbright.

The trip builds on a similar project two years ago in Latvia, where she and Smith lectured and conducted seminars on kinship care through a grant from the American Embassy.

Kinship care refers to relatives raising their kin rather than the children's parents. In many cases, that means grandparents raising their grandchildren, but it also includes children being raised by aunts, uncles or older siblings. Kinship care has risen dramatically in recent years.

"This is not a new phenomenon," Dannison says. "But what is new are the numbers and the reasons this is going on today."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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