Ernesta Cole graduates with a Masters in International and Regional Studies Program (MIRS) specializing in African Studies. While in the MIRS program, she received the Support for Student Research and Internships in Africa funding from the African Studies Center for her research on Sierra Leone. She was selected to participate in two public presentations at U-M—the International Institutes Graduate Student Lightning Talks, where she gave an introduction to her research on Indigenous Languages to incoming MIRS students, and the 6th Annual Rackham Tedx style King Talks, showcasing her research on the current African studies canon and linguistic standards in academia. Ernesta was also selected as the graduate student speaker for the 2023 International Institute Graduation Ceremony.

Ernesta is excited to continue her research in the Department of African Cultural Studies Ph.D. program at the University of Madison-Wisconsin this fall. She is also proud to have been the only Black woman in her year of the MIRS program.