Originally from Colorado, Nicole graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010 with a BA in Economics. Her senior thesis investigated the persistent gaps in obesity rates between racial and ethnic groups and the role that dietary behavior plays in perpetuating those gaps. Prior to coming to Chapel Hill, Nicole served as a Teach For America corps member in Eastern North Carolina. As the sole Civics and Economics teacher in her district, she taught at both a traditional high school and at an early college high school where she became increasingly interested in student transitions from secondary to postsecondary schooling. Her research interests center on higher education policy and include the economics of education, student transitions, and the higher education production function. She is also interested in the ethical considerations of food policy, especially as they relate to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).