Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Simone Cavalcante studied English and American Literature at Rio de Janeiro State University and completed her graduate studies in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Simone has been teaching Portuguese language and culture since graduate school and has done extensive research on new methodologies in language teaching, as well as Brazilian contemporary cinema. Her academic interests also include questions of gender and sexuality, Latin American and Lusophone cinemas, Human Rights and Environmental Studies. Furthermore, in the last couple of years Simone has pursued a degree in leadership studies with a focus in diversity, inclusion and belonging. In her free time, she enjoys running, surfing, cooking, playing music, writing poetry, and watching series/movies with her two cats, Kerby and Little (aka Titus).