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Fellows with Stegman 2016

2016-2017 CCC Graduate Fellows with Founder Mike Stegman, Former Executive Director Lucy Gorham and Director Roberto Quercia. 

Center for Community Capital Graduate Fellowship

The Center for Community Capital Fellowship Program supports a small group of interdisciplinary Carolina graduate students for one academic year through a program that includes mentorship, project work, and peer support. This program is meant to support UNC students with strong academic credentials and significant engagement with the university community.

The program consists of three main parts. The first part consists of regular group meetings, which will include guest speakers and discussions. Former speakers include Alexandra Sirota from the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center, Martin Eakes, Founder and CEO of Self-Help, Professor Jim Johnson from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and Dr. Mike Stegman, founder of the CCC. The second part, professional development and mentorship, will give Fellows access to CCC staff and professionals across North Carolina with whom CCC is connected to develop informal mentorship relationships and facilitate networking. The third program component is project work under the direction of a researcher at CCC, UNC, or one of CCC’s local partners such as Self-Help or the Center for Responsible Lending.

Each Fellow will receive a stipend of $1500.

The 2019-2020 application is closed.


CCC Fellows at a Panel, 2018. Photo Credit: Nina Tan.


Project Work

Fellows will be matched with projects based on preferences indicated in the online application and will work approximately 80 hours over the course of the academic year. This work will occur on a schedule coordinated between the Fellow and the Fellow’s supervisor, and will not exceed 5 hours per week. Project options for 2019-2020 Fellows will relate to our core research areas of financial inclusionaffordable housing, and economic mobility.

Tentative Project Descriptions

The following descriptions concern possible work that could be undertaken by fellows in the 2019-2020 academic year, but are subject to change.

Exploring the Relationship between Debt, Achievement, and Equity in Higher Education in the Latino Community
The UNC School of Law will partner with the UNC Center for Community Capital to examine how attitudes about student loan debt affect post-secondary persistence for Latinx students. This is a two-phase project that begins with a large electronic survey of Latinos with and without debt to better understand how and if student loans are impacting completion of post-secondary education for this population. Possible tasks for a CCC Fellow may include a literature review, writing an annotated bibliography, assisting with survey design and/or programming, assisting with key informant interviews, analyzing interview data, analyzing survey data, and writing up findings. [CCC Supervisor: Jess Dorrance]

Food and Financial Wellbeing of College Students
Many students on college campuses experience financial hardship, and students facing food and financial insecurity are less likely to complete their degree. While many institutions of higher learning have begun to intervene, often by establishing on-campus food pantries, little is known about their effectiveness in addressing student needs or the barriers that remain for students. A collaboration between researchers at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the UNC Center for Community Capital will conduct formative research to better understand this complex issue. The research will include focus group sessions with UNC undergraduate students and key informant interviews with representatives from on-campus administrators, support service providers, and other subject matter experts. The purpose of this project is to better understand the basic needs insecurities undergraduate students face; barriers to accessing available emergency services (such as emergency loans and grants and the campus food pantry); and messaging or other strategies that would result in greater uptake of available services. Possible tasks for a CCC Fellow may include a literature review, writing an annotated bibliography, a scan of support services at UNC and other campuses, assisting with focus group and key informant guides, note-taking during focus groups and interviews, analyzing focus group and interview data, and writing up findings. [CCC Supervisor: Jess Dorrance]

Analysis of Student Loan Data and Identification of Institutional Best Practices in North Carolina
The UNC Center for Community Capital (CCC) will work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) on the first stage of a project whose ultimate goal is to understand the causes of student loan delinquency and default among undergraduate students well as the role that North Carolina educational institutions and state-level policies might play in mitigating both. As part of this project, CCC will provide AECF with a report identifying best practices and innovative solutions being implemented by North Carolina’s two- and four-year educational institutions aimed at reducing the likelihood of student loan delinquency and default. A CCC Fellow will assist with this project by helping conduct a scan of existing programs, policies, and other innovations that have been implemented at higher education institutions, both within and outside of North Carolina, to help students manage student loan borrowing and repayment. [CCC Supervisor: Allison Freeman and/or Jess Dorrance]

Using Digital Technology to Increase Women’s Financial Capability in Low-Resource Settings
A CCC Fellow would assist GSDI faculty to develop program and evaluation components and respond to current RFAs. [GSDI Supervisor: Gina Chowa and/or Rainier Masa]

Investigating Impact of Youth Financial Capability Programs
A CCC Fellow may assist with supplemental data analysis of two large-scale intervention studies (one in Ghana and one in South Africa) and their impact on financial capability outcomes (including attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors). [GSDI Supervisor: Gina Chowa and/or Rainier Masa]

Connections between Housing and Student Achievement/School Access
Project partnership with EPIC at Carolina. A CCC Fellow may assist with video/audio transcription, Qualtrics coding, summarizing and/or data visualization of survey results, or literature reviews. [EPIC Supervisor: TBD]

4Kira4Moms Partnership with Jordan Institute for Families
4Kira4Moms is a nonprofit organization devoted to advocacy for improved maternal health policies and regulations, along with education, awareness, legislation, and peer support. The partnership with the Jordan Institute for Families is focused on developing new projects around equity in maternal healthcare, including

  • NewMom.Health, a resource site for families
  • Maternal Death Response Network, which would provide grief counseling, baby care supplies and education, and access to an online support community and legal counsel
  • Men for Moms Initiative, a campaign which would give fathers the tools and training they need to care and advocate for their partners

A CCC Fellow who has a passion for maternal safety, health equity, and family financial stability may help with performing a landscape analysis or needs assessment, business/cost modelling, and developing an evaluation plan and budget for national meetings. [Jordan Institute Supervisor: TBD]


Eligible applicants are:

  • Graduate students with strong academic credentials and a strong interest in the work of the Center for Community Capital;
  • Enrolled in coursework on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill;
  • Interested in gaining research experience and mentorship.


Applicants accepted for the ’19-’20 Fellowship positions will be required to:

  • Work for approximately 80 hours on a research team at CCC, CRL, or UNC during the 2019-2020 academic year. This work will be performed on a schedule established cooperatively by the Fellow and their research supervisor, and should not, unless requested by the Fellow, exceed 5 hours per week.
  • Participate in monthly cohort events, to be scheduled on weekday evenings in accordance with the Fellows’ class schedules.
  • Complete a short (1-2pg) reflection essay on the fellowship experience.

Fellows will be awarded $1500 for participation, paid in monthly installments.

To Apply

Prospective fellows are required to:

  1. Submit a Resume or CV to
  2. Complete our online application form here. This form will provide applicants with the opportunity to tell us about their academic and professional interests, their subject areas of interest, and their preferred project placement.

The application window closed on September 15, 2019.

Meet the Fellows

Find out more about the 2019-2020 fellows, the 2018-2019 fellows, the 2017-2018 fellows, or the 2016-2017 fellows.

2017-2018 CCC Graduate Fellows