Laura Seery Cole
Lecturer, and Director, Masters Investment Learning Center
435 Stokely Management Center
Department of Finance
The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996
Dr. Laura Cole earned both an undergraduate degree in finance and an MBA in management information systems from Auburn University before pursuing her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Tennessee. In the beginning of her academic career, Laura was a full-time business instructor at Macon State College. She joined the faculty of the UT Department of Finance in 2009 as a lecturer and director of the Masters Investment Learning Center. Currently, she teaches courses in introductory finance, financial statement analysis, and investments in the undergraduate program and Physicians Executive MBA (PEMBA) program.
Dr. 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.
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, faculty, and the professional community. Each semester, as director of the Masters ILC, Dr. Cole trains 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 12 Bloomberg terminals which serve as a resource for organizations such as the Haslam and LaPorte Torch Funds, the CFA Research Challenge team, the CME Commodities Trading Challenge teams, and the TVA Investment Fund.
One of her largest roles in the College of Business Administration is as the faculty advisor for the UT Investment Group (UTIG), an active, student-managed organization that is dedicated to improving its members’ understanding of investment management. Founded in fall 2010, UTIG helps members develop and test practical investment skills in the real world. It hosts distinguished guest speakers and visiting investors from the local investment community and sponsors a mock portfolio competition focused on trading equities and options, called “Battle of the Traders,” with cash prizes.
Laura is the 2007 recipient of the University of Tennessee Extraordinary Graduate Teaching Award, the 2006 Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise, and the 2006 College of Business Administration’s Graduate Teaching Award. In the campus community, she participates in the UT Faculty Women’s Club (FWC). Outside the University, she serves in organizations such as the Financial Executives International (FEI). In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, chess, and improving at her new hobby—golf.