Kerrie FanningPhD Student, Human Development & Family Studies


Kerrie Fanning is a Ph.D. student in Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research revolves around the impacts of trauma and toxic stress on young children and their families through a resilience lens. Her work currently focuses on the impacts of family homelessness on families with infants and toddlers, exploring the protective nature of family relationships, caregiver-child interactions, child-caregiver attachment relationships, and perception of and engagement with community-based programs in this high-risk context. Kerrie’s work includes applied research- and community-based projects aiming to support young children and families within various contexts of risk, and incorporates a variety of methodologies, including observations, micro-coding of behaviors, self-report measures, standardized assessments, and in-depth semi-structured and unstructured interviews.

Education and Relevant Experience

BS, Early Childhood Education, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

MS, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Kerrie received her bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and master’s in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Throughout her time as an undergraduate and until beginning graduate school, Kerrie worked in a child care setting with children aged 6 weeks through 2 years and their families as a lead teacher and co-teacher. Kerrie also spent time in classrooms as a clinical student and as a student teacher, in grades ranging from Pre-K through 4th grade. Since beginning graduate school, Kerrie works as a Child Care Specialist in a respite care center for children, youth, and families experiencing crisis, trauma, and chronic stress. Here, she provides respite care for children, ranging from infancy through adolescence.

Awards and Recognitions

WI Teaching Licensure: Early Childhood – Middle Childhood, 71 777, Birth through Age

Portrait of Kerrie Fanning, a white woman smiling with long, wavy light brown hair, wearing a yellow top and cream cardigan.

Degree Program

  • Human Development and Family Studies Graduate Program