Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Simone has a B.A. in English and American Literature from Rio de Janeiro State University and a graduate degree in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Simone has been teaching Portuguese language and culture since her grad school and has done extensive research on new methodologies in language teaching. Her academic interests include questions of gender and sexuality, Latin American and Lusophone cinemas, Human Rights and Environmental Studies. In her free-time, she enjoys running, surfing, cooking, playing music, and watching series/movies with her two cats, Kerby and Little (aka Titus Andronicus).