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Gene Nichol
Professor of Law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity

Gene Nichol is professor of law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina. He teaches courses in constitutional law, federal courts, civil rights and election law.

Read a complete profile of Gene Nichol.

Joe Polich
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

As a Navy brat, Joe grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, on the Adriatic Sea in Italy, and in the highlands of Scotland before coming back Stateside to finish growing up in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. While there Joe fell in love with North Carolina's coasts, swamps, piedmont, hills, mountains, and most of all its people. After graduating from Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City, Joe attended UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and, among other things, studied psychology, found out he wasn't as good at soccer as he thought, and made great friends.

After graduation, Joe worked for a year-round camp/big brother program for boys from low-income, single-parent families in New Hampshire. When Joe returned to the Tar Heel State, he attended UNC-Chapel Hill again, attaining his M.S.W. and J.D. in order to better prepare him to serve the people of North Carolina, especially those who are living in poverty. In his spare time, Joe likes gardening, talking to strangers, playing basketball, visiting his sister, and running at a laughably slow pace.

Research Fellow

Allison De Marco

Allison De Marco is an Investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and Adjunct Faculty at the School of Social Work at UNC-CH. Her research focuses on poverty, neighborhood effects, work and family, child care, and well-being for residents of rural communities. She serves as PI of a project focusing on child care subsidy use in rural counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. She is also examining the impact of the recession on the employment experiences of rural families in the Family Life Project, a unique, representative sample of rural families in six low-wealth counties in Pennsylvania and North Carolina who were followed longitudinally from the birth of one of their children. Recently she has become interested in asset development among low-income communities of color and has been leading evaluation efforts for a model program in North Carolina. She earned her PhD in Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley, her MSW from the University of Southern California, and her BA from UCLA. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Family Research Consortium IV at Penn State.

Dr. De Marco serves on several community organizations related to poverty and social justice. She serves on the Leadership Team of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness, the steering committee for Orange County's Project Connect, an initiative of the Partnership, and is an organizer with the Fair Jobs and Wages Research Team of Orange County Justice United, an Industrial Areas Foundation-affiliated community organizing organization. She also volunteers with the Organizing Against Racism Alliance and serves as a field instructor for UNC's Community Empowerment Fund, a relationship-based asset-development program for low-income residents of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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