Shanola has appeared in several television series, such as Shameless, Reba, Popular, Scrubs, Criminal Minds, Related and Miami Medical. She has also had roles in the movies The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, The Hanged Man and You Again.
She had her face modeled for the videogame Left 4 Dead 2.
She is a graduate of Winthrop University, and also holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Illinois.
In Summer 2010, Shanola was cast as a series regular on the Showtime dramedy Shameless as Veronica Fisher, a role for which she has received critical acclaim.