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About Me

Olá! I am Nilse Furtado-Gilliam. Welcome to my blog! I am originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I currently reside in the Memphis, TN area. I am an internet journalism graduate student at The University of Memphis and I am working on a thesis titled: “Comparing Social Media Effects in Brazil vs. US: The shift of interpersonal relationships in the 21st Century.”

I had the great opportunity to spend the summer ’10 in Brazil collecting data for this thesis at PUC University, thanks to the U of M Study Abroad program. What drew me to social media was my personal experience as an international student in the early ’00. In my first few years in the U.S. I was still receiving plenty of letters, cards and small tokens from family and friends in the mail.

When social media became popular, the easy part was to adopt it entirely. The hard part was to get my friends and relatives to communicate back to me since social media was pretty much unheard of in Brazil back then. Fast forward ten years and now Brazil is one of the leading countries in terms of social media usage.

Before becoming a graduate student, I was the communications coordinator at Collierville UMC. There, I developed marketing strategies for all departments and developed a successful partnership with the local media and with the denomination’s national media. It was a fun process to upgrade the web presence using SEO as I learned how to implement it more effectively making the web traffic increase by 42% in the first six months. I also produced anything from brochures to newsletters and managed the website.

I also spent some time as a portuguese and spanish teacher at the Bruneau Academy, teaching in places like Dunavant Enterprises.

Prior to my move to TN, I lived at Lake Junaluska, NC where I was the Assistant Director of Ministries with Young People. I got the chance to interact with hundreds of people from all over the Southeast, travel to many states to publicize our events and manage youth camps every summer and every winter. I hired talent, did PR and coordinated the events.

I received my undergraduate degree in mass communications for Rust College and have found memories of my time with the “World Renowned Rust College A’Capella Choir!” We had so much fun singing all over the country and even scored a trip to Zimbabwe. While at Rust I had incredible leadership opportunities such as being the editor -in-chief of the student newspaper “The Rustorian” and its online version for two years, being the president of the International Students Association and Sunday School, and a Black College Fund ambassador, which allowed me to travel extensively through the US.

As you can tell, I love to travel. My husband, my son and I often brave the 14-hour drive to NC to see family and friends. Whenever we get the chance, we also brave the 8-hour flight from Miami to Rio. My husband has managed to convert both of our families to Apple, so we love their products and we love producing cheezy homemade movies/trailers using iMovie and songs using GarageBand.

For more information, please take a look at my resumé.

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