Arland Thornton is Professor of Sociology, Population Studies, and Survey Research at the University of Michigan, where he is also associated with the Native American Studies Program and centers within the International Institute. He is a social demographer who has served as president of the Population Association of America and previously held a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health. He has received four awards for his books as well as distinguished career awards from the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. Thornton has focused much of his career on the study of family and demographic issues, with emphasis on marriage, cohabitation, childbearing, gender roles, education, and migration. Thornton has also pioneered the study of developmental idealism, including its conceptualization, measurement, and influence in many places. He has collaborated in the collection and analysis of data from Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Malawi, Nepal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, the U.S., and Vietnam. Thornton is currently conducting research concerning several dimensions of American Indian life, including levels, trends, and differentials in school enrollment, literacy, and years of school completed.
Linda Young-DeMarco is a Lead Research Area Specialist with extensive longitudinal research and project management experience. Her expertise includes project conceptualization, construct and measurement development, survey questionnaire design, interviewer training, supervision of data management activities, and survey data analysis. She has collaborated with Arland Thornton and other researchers to study developmental idealism at the international level and is co-author of a number of peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters. More recently, Young-DeMarco has shifted her focus to studying the influence of Euro-American society and educational institutions on American Indian literacy and school attainment from 1900-1940 and across birth cohorts from 1830-1920.
Lindsey Willow Smith is a third year undergraduate at the University of Michigan majoring in History and minoring in Museum Studies. She is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (also known as Ojibwe). She began research about American Indians as a University of Michigan Research Opportunity Program research assistant fall semester of her freshman year. She is currently working in two sections of Sociological Studies of American Indians: Data and Methods; and Schools, School Attainment, and Literacy. She is also co-interpretive and creative lead of the online exhibit at the William L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan: “No, not even for a picture”: Re-examining the Native Midwest and Tribes’ Relations to the History of Photography. Ms. Smith is also currently working on her honors thesis in History.