In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, African American & Diaspora Studies was not able to honor our graduates in our usual in-person ceremony, so we are doing so virtually here. We have enjoyed having each of these graduates as part of our program and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavors.

Olivia Cole

Graduate Olivia Cole on a bridge above train tracks

Bachelor of Science: Distributed Social Sciences; Gender & Women's Studies

Minors: African American & Diaspora Studies; Honors College

My name is Olivia Cole and I am from Cody, Wyoming. I chose my majors and minors because I really care about the unique and important experiences people in the world go through. I love to travel domestically and internationally, to be involved, and to hang out with friends. During my undergrad, I was involved with Greek Life, a couple of RSOs, the High School Summer Institute, a local theatre company, Alternative Spring Breaks through SLCE, and more. Education is something I value highly and hope to contribute to in my future. 
Graduate Olivia Cole facing black 14 mural with right fist raised


I would like to acknowledge all of the faculty, staff, my sorority sisters, my co-workers, and of course my friends and family who have helped me along my path to graduation. 

Future Plans:

My plan after graduation is to travel the world for a little bit before settling on exactly what I want to study in grad school. Because of the global pandemic, my plan has shifted slightly, but I still hope to travel in the future. 

Lora Sherrodd

Graduate Lora Sherrod in AADS stole in prexy's pasture

Bachelor of Arts: Music

Minor: African American & Diaspora Studies

Lora Sherrodd is a Jazz Vocalist and Singer-Songwriter based in Laramie, Wyoming. Sherrodd is a recent graduate from the University of Wyoming where she studied jazz voice earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in jazz and a minor in African American and Diaspora Studies. Sherrodd is featured on a number of recordings. She is featured on the University Of Wyoming's Winds of the Snowy's, All In by John May and her latest release, 287, which is a collection of some of her favorite jazz tunes and original music. One of the recordings from her recent record has earned Sherrodd a 2020 Down Beat Magazine Student Music Award for outstanding jazz vocal soloist.

Graduate Lora Sherrodd sitting in front of a grand piano


Thank you to Dr. Ben Markley for giving me all the tools necessary to develop my professional career. Thank you for teaching me how to swing for all of these years.
Thank you to Dr. Fredrick Douglas Dixon for your mentorship throughout the development of my studies in African American and Diaspora Studies and your guidance throughout the research process.
Thank you to Dr. Tiger Robison for your enthusiasm for higher education and for your overall investment in the education and success of students.
Thank you to Dr. Katrina Zook and Dr. Holly Dalrymple for showing me what strong female leadership looks like.

Future Plans:

I will be attending Temple University to pursue my M.M. in Jazz Studies.

Timberly Vogel

Bachelor of Arts: Sociology

Minors: African American & Diaspora Studies, Honors

Timberly Vogel is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, who has a passion for social justice, human rights, and productive civil disobedience.
Graduate Timberly Vogel in graduation cap with AADS and honors stoles


I’d like to thank all my fabulous sociology professors for helping change the way I see the world and equipping me with everything I need to change the world. Thank you to my wonderful parents and family for constantly supporting and pushing me to be the best I can be. Thanks to my best friends and roommates for always keeping my head in the books.

Future Plans:

After graduation, I plan on going into the peace corps to help with child advocacy work and then I plan on going back to graduate school.