Michael R. Leming is professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and co-director of the college's Spring Semester in Thailand program. He holds degrees from Westmont College (B.A.), Marquette University (M.A.), and the University of Utah (Ph.D.). He has completed additional graduate study at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Leming was the founder and former director of the St. Olaf College Social Research Center, a former member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Coalition of Terminal Care and the Northfield AIDS Response, and has served as a hospice educator, volunteer, and grief counselor. He is the author of numerous articles on social thanatology and family issues and has taught courses on death and dying for over 35 years.