Full Time Faculty

Debora Ferreira 2013

Dr. Debora Ferreira 
Portuguese Program Coordinator Director National Portuguese Exam, AATSP

Office: CB 306N
Phone : (801) 863-6919

Debora Ferreira arrived in Utah in 2001 to be UVU's Portuguese Program Coordinator.  She comes with a Ph.D. and a M.A. from The University of Georgia, and a BA from Universidade Federal de Pernambuco.  Her fields of research include national representation in literature, women issues and writing, and more recently, program building and assessment.  

She enjoys teaching, family life, and walks in nature.  

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Adjunct Faculty

Cristina Cowley 2015

Cristina Cowley


Cristina was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated from BYU with a Masters in Portuguese. She loves to teach and associate with the wonderful students of Portuguese. Cristina also enjoys learning new languages, reading and spending time with family and friends.


Jenny DeMelo


Jenny first learned to speak Portuguese while living in Portugal, and has continued to speak and study it through extensive involvement in the Salt Lake Brazilian Community. She also worked as a translator and interpreter for an NGO in Washington D.C., on various projects in Brazil and Mozambique. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Utah and an M.A. in Teaching from Westminster College. She loves studying languages and cultures, traveling, and being with her family. 

Ana Dias 2015

Anna Murta Dias


Anna P. Murta Dias is ABD in the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies doctoral program at the University of Arkansas. Her ongoing dissertation explores Paulo Coelho's novels in the context of globalization and transnational literature. She is very passionate about cinema and film criticism. Her master’s thesis is a study of contemporary Brazilian Cinema.

Anna was born and raised in a small town in Minas Gerais, Brazil. In spite of her “cowgirl” roots, she very much enjoyed the cosmopolitan life of Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Brasília for many years. She loves teaching about culture, languages and social issues. When she is not teaching, you’ll find her dancing or seeking outdoor adventures. 


Elizabeth Lopes


Elizabeth is from São Paulo, Brazil. She began her teaching career when she was 14 years old, working as a teacher’s assistant, and she has been teaching ever since. In Brazil, she taught at the elementary and university levels, and helped conduct teacher development programs. She graduated in Speech/Language Pathology from PUCCAMP, and graduate level linguistics courses at UNICAMP.   After coming to the United States, she graduated from the University of Utah with a master’s degree in Teacher Development.  She loves teaching and spending time with her family. At UVU she teaches evening classes.


Celeste Lara 


Celeste "Azul" Lara has studied capoeira for 14 years, instructed capoeira for 10, and is on the forefront of female capoeiristas in America today.  She and her husband own Utah Valley Capoeira, and teach capoeira as a supplement to Portuguese programs throughout the state of Utah. Celeste graduated with a B.A. in Music with an emphasis in percussion from BYU in 2010.  She loves drumming, loves capoeira, and loves sharing the Brazilian arts and culture with the people of Utah.


Giovana Terrani Gamblin

From São Paulo state, and a degree from PUCAMP (P.E. and Jazz emphasis), Giovana Gamblin is an outgoing and energetic Dance Instructor with talent in a wide variety of social dances. She has a strong ability to teach via demonstration and interaction, and excellent communication skills.  At UVU she teaches Portuguese through Dance.