Marisela Martinez-Cola graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology and African American Studies. She went on to earn her law degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While she loved the study of law, the practice it left her feeling flat. After one year she transitioned to a career in higher education administration as a Director of Multicultural Affairs at various institutions around the country including Davenport University, The George Washington University, The University of Georgia, and Agnes Scott College. After nine years of serving students in an administrative capacity, she decided to fulfill her lifelong desire to pursue a PhD. She applied and was accepted to Emory University where her research focuses on a comparative historical case study of the construction of race, class, and gender in Mexican American, Chinese American, and Native American school desegregation cases that came before Brown v. Board of Education. The title of her dissertation is "The Bricks Before Brown v. Board of Education." She has had the honor of teaching amazing students at Emory University, Oglethorpe University, and serving as a Mellon Fellow at Morehouse College.