Cole earned multiple degrees from Auburn University before pursuing her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Tennessee. Cole joined the faculty of the UT Department of Finance in 2009 as director of the Masters Investment Learning Center (Masters ILC). Currently, she teaches courses in research and database methodology (SAS & Stata), introductory finance, and investments in the undergraduate program, the honors Global Leadership Scholars (GLS) program, the Physicians Executive MBA (PEMBA) program, and the finance doctoral program. Cole’s research interests include corporate finance and governance, and her research with Diane DelGuercio and Tracie Woidtke has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, cited in the Wall Street Journal and featured on the Harvard Law School corporate governance blog.
She has been a contributor for multiple television and news programs, as well as radio syndicates and podcasts. Cole has served as a panelist for the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit, and been a featured guest on WUOT Radio (NPR Affiliate) for “Women in Business and Leadership Roles,” amongst other segments. Additionally, she lectures to professional investment organizations, clubs, and charities across the nation on topics including ethical investing, fundamental valuation techniques, statistical backtesting for portfolios, and options valuation strategies. She serves as the internship coordinator for the Knoxville chapter of Finance Executives International, is on the luncheon committee of the East TN Women's Fund, and speaks pro bono to women's investment groups across the country. In 2014, Cole was selected as one of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s "40 under Forty: The Regions Rising Stars” and selected as Humanitarian of the Year in 2017 by the ATA.
The Masters Investment Learning Center (Masters ILC) is a high-technology learning hub that promotes and facilitates business education and research through experiential learning. The center provides educational opportunities and enrichment activities for students and faculty. Each semester Cole and her staff train over 200 undergraduate and graduate students on Bloomberg, a financial database software program, leading to Bloomberg Acknowledgements in up to four market sectors: equities, fixed income, commodities, and foreign exchange. The Masters ILC houses 20 Bloomberg terminals which serve as a resource for organizations such as the Haslam, LaPorte, Carroll, and McLain Torch Funds, the TVA Investment Challenge Fund, the Tennessee Capital Markets Society (TCMS), and the UT Investment Group (UTIG). Currently the Masters ILC has the highest number of Bloomberg terminals of any university in the SEC, and has earned the distinction of being one of the sole universities in the world to have developed a proprietary online training program for Bloomberg.
Cole is the faculty advisor for the UT Investment Group (UTIG) and the “Trade Like A Girl” initiative.