Heidi Fahning




Saint Paul, Minnesota    


Contact for URS and MSROP.

Email: [email protected]

Education Background: 

  • BA Political Science, Hamline University
  • MSc Comparative Public Policy, University of Edinburgh
  • PhD Comparative International Development Education, CEHD, University of Minnesota    

Research Interests/Areas/Accomplishments: 

My research interests dwell at the intersections of policy and education and are guided by the belief that research should be applicable to and co-created with communities. My undergraduate research experience was career changing - I completed an ethnographic and policy analysis to compare the experiences of refugee and immigrant students in Adult Basic Education classes in Manchester, UK and Minneapolis, MN. Afterwards for my Masters degree, I continued to focus on comparative education policies through the perspectives of teachers in fast-track teacher programs. My research for my doctoral dissertation revolved around the conceptions and negotiations of national belonging (i.e. who “belongs” as an American) through an ethnographic narrative study of high school youth in a small rural Midwestern town. 

My Advice for How to Get Involved in Research: 

Start by thinking about what problem you want to solve or a topic that fascinates you. Do you want to create a new apple or test out a new type of coding? Do you want to help students learn languages better or design a cool item of clothing? Is being in a lab working with mice models or looking through documents in an archive more your cup of tea? Chances are, someone at the University of Minnesota is doing something similar! Once you have an idea of what you imagine your research to be, follow our tips to find and connect with a mentor and complete a project. Don’t be afraid to get involved - your perspective is needed to make research and our world better!