About Me


I was born and raised in Sao Leopoldo, a city in the southernmost state of Brazil. As a teenager, I was always very interested in politics and sports. These were surely my parents' influence. My mother was always engaged in local politics, and as a consequence, I would accompany her to political meetings, rallies, and vibrant election days. Casting my first vote was truly an unforgettable experience.

My father was always involved in sports, more specifically, soccer. He was the president of the varsity soccer team in my neighboorhood. My father and my brother taught me how to be a soccer fan. I am usually very passionate about the teams I root for. Gremio Football Porto-Alegrense, Florida Gators, and the Los Angeles Lakers are among my favorite teams.

In 2007, I got married to Juliano Laran, a very talented Professor of Marketing at the University of Miami. We welcomed our beautiful daughter in 2012. Mariana is a smart, lively, loving little girl, who is curious about everything and everyone.

How I Got Into Academia

During my last year as an undergraduate student in Journalism at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos - Unisinos, I enrolled in a course called "Research Methods." I honestly did not know what to expect from this course, because all my previous courses were focused on writing pieces for magazines, newspapers, TV, and radio. I got so involved with the course that by the end of the semester, I already had a proposal written for my Honor's Thesis. I find that course to be the trigger for my passion for research and teaching.

When I Moved to The U.S.

In 2004, just a year after I graduated from college, I moved to Gainesville, Florida to pursue my graduate studies. I was a lucky girl to be accepted into one of the best Journalism and Communications programs in the United States. At UF, I had the pleasure to work under the supervision of Dr. Lynda L. Kaid for both my master's and Ph.D. degrees. I also met other fantastic professors, and made some long-lasting friendships. My time at the University of Florida was truly enjoyable and I had many wonderful experiences there, both academic and personal.

Life As An Assistant Professor

I left Gainesville in May, 2010 shortly after my graduation. I moved to Miami, where I started my academic career as an Assistant Professor at Florida International University. At FIU, I taught courses in advertising, public relations, and research methods. I also worked with master's students during their Professional Project semester. In 2012, I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Communication. At UM, I teach advertising, research methods, and graduate courses courses. My research centers on two main areas: (1) the uses and effects of negative information in persuasive communication and (2) how social and traditional media are used as strategic tools in electoral contexts.

little things

- I love to put puzzles together

- I drink coffee every single day of my life

- I'm a big fan of Bon Jovi and Shakira

- I LOVE shoes