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Ms. Raquel Castro Goebel MS HRM

Profile picture for Ms. Raquel Castro Goebel MS HRM

Contact Information

4127 Foreign Languages Building
707 S Matthews Ave
Urbana, IL

Office Hours

Wednesdays 4-5 pm Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics Building (LCLB)
707 S Matthews Ave
Urbana, IL
Director of the Portuguese Language Program, Senior Instructor
Advisor to the Luso-Brazilian Student Association
Leadership Coach with the Illinois Leadership Center
Certified Career Coach by the University of Illinois
Portuguese Language Proficiency Evaluator
Co-chair Illinois Portuguese Language Connection


Born in Fortaleza, Brazil. Raquel has a Law Degree and a Specialization in Tax Law and Legal Proceedings from the University of Fortaleza- UNIFOR, Brazil, and a Masters degree in Human Resource Management from Troy University, Alabama. Her extensive knowledge on Brazilian culture, art, history, politics, and economics makes her prepared to meet student needs in a diverse university setting. She is energetic, creative, and committed to excellence in teaching. During her years at the UIUC, she has ranked consistently outstanding by her students. This type of feedback is a great recognition of a job well done, and reflects her goal of striving for excellence in teaching Portuguese and Brazilian Culture. Her ability to speak, translate, and interpret in Portuguese and English using her language skills in addition to her cultural understanding of Portuguese-speaking Countries makes a difference in the local community and contributes to the mission of the University. For the past ten years, at the University of Illinois, she has been delivering programs that provide students with the foreign language skills and cross-cultural awareness they need to live and work abroad, to communicate effectively, and to perform other language-related duties. She is invested in applying the latest instructional methodologies and technologies to meet student demands. She has completed formal training by the ACTFL (the American Council in Teaching of Foreign Languages) to conduct OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview)-based interviews. She has assisted many departments conducting language proficiency evaluations in the four skills (reading, speaking, writing, and listening for understanding) for recipients of scholarships and fellowships such as FLAS (Foreign Area Studies Fellowship) and Fulbright. She has served Department of Spanish and Portuguese in many committees, such as the Language Proficiency Evaluation, the Policy and Development, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has provided a variety of language support services such as interpreting and translating legal documents, transcripts, and other academic papers for a wide range of purposes. Since 2018, she has served as reviewer for the Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages- NCOLTCL. She is proud of working closely with the local Brazilian community to bring native speakers of Portuguese to our campus, organizing community and cultural events with the goal of educating and fostering cultural understanding and appreciation. In the Spring 2017, under her leadership, the Portuguese Program was nominated and received the Prestigious National award in the category "best educational initiative” by the Association of Teachers of Portuguese (AOTP) for the immersion project entitled Illinois Portuguese Language Connection (IPLC). The event, organized by the three major universities in Illinois– UIUC, Northwestern University, and University of Chicago– exemplifies how to raise the profile of a Portuguese Language Program in a university, and how collaborations can integrate universities and generate opportunities for students. In 2019, she was awarded a very prestigious Mellon Grant to develop innovative online and proficiency-based models in collaboration with the University of Chicago and Michigan State University. Through this grant, she has developed three advanced Portuguese courses to be offered through Course Share to members of the BTAA (Big Ten Academic Alliance). In 2020 she was elected member of the Brazilian Council of Citizens, a non-political group of Brazilian citizens who represent the interests of community members within the jurisdiction of the Brazilian Consulate in Chicago. In 2021, she was invited to join the International Academy of Brazilian Writers. In January 2022, she was selected by the Brazilian Times, the largest Brazilian newspaper in the United States, for the award "Os Notáveis," a list of people who have made great contributions to improve the quality of the Brazilian Community in Illinois. She has been serving our campus community in the role of Advisor to the Luso-Brazilian Association, organizing and delivering conversation tables, workshops (i.e. painting, cooking), talks, and field trips to cultural events. She is also collaborating with the Student Association in the production of a series of Podcasts entitled "Brazil: One Country, Many Voices." These podcasts seek to introduce our community topics that are relevant to the Portuguese-speaking world, with a focus on Brazilian culture. If you are interested in learning Portuguese, want to experience Brazilian culture, or simply want to join a vibrant community of Portuguese speakers, make sure to contact her!

Research Interests

Portuguese Teaching, Translation Studies, Curriculum Development, Innovation, Collaboration, Training, Brazilian Law, Community Activities, Special Events


Masters in Human Resources Management- MSHRM
Specialization in Tax Law and Legal Proceedings
Law Degree


“IX Illinois Portuguese Language Connection: 100 years of the Modern Art Week in Brazil” Award. Office of Inclusion and Intercultural relations for the project submitted through the Luso-Brazilian Student Association (February 2022)

“Dia das Bruxas” Creatures of the Brazilian Folklore Painting Workshop. Office of Inclusion and Intercultural relations for the project submitted through the Luso-Brazilian Student Association (October 2021)

Podcast “Brazil: One Country, Many Voices” Grant by the General Consulate of Brazil in Chicago (November 2021)

Less Commonly Taught and Indigenous Languages Partnership Grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (May 2020- August 2022)

Less Commonly Taught Languages Programs across the Big Ten Academic Alliance Grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Curriculum Development Project/ Material Development Grant for Portuguese Instruction offered by The University of Chicago (July 2020- April 2021)

Awards and Honors

2017 AOTP Best Project Award for IPLC

Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (March 2022)

LAS Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Instructional Staff. College of LAS. University of Illinois (Feb 2022)

“Notable Brazilian Award: Os Notáveis 2021-2022,” for the promotion of the teaching of Portuguese in the State of Illinois, Brazilian Times Newspaper (Jan 2022)

Juror for the Portuguese Heritage Speakers’ Writing Contest “O Brasil para mim.” Organized by the Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago in Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Brazil’s Independence (Dec 2021- Jan 2022).

Test Design and Project Development: “Test Design for First Year Portuguese Instruction.” The University of Chicago (Aug-Dec 2019)

CLACS Faculty Research Award. To travel to Brazil to observe a Study Abroad Program (2017)

Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies. Professional Development Award (Aug 2017)

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Professional Development Award (Aug 2017)

STARTALK Portuguese Teacher Training Program. Boston University, Boston, MA (Jun 26-July 29, 2017)

STARTALK Portuguese Teacher Training Program. Boston University, Boston, MA (Jun 23-Aug 16, 2014)

STARTALK Portuguese Teacher Training Program. Boston University, Boston, MA (Jul 1-Aug 24, 2013)

MyCAA Scholarship Award. Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Program- U.S. Department of Defense

Courses Taught

  • Port 201/400- Intensive Beginning Portuguese
  • Port 202/401- Intensive Intermediate Portuguese
  • Port 200/402- Advanced Grammar (Portuguese)
  • Port 403- Readings in Portuguese- Doing Business in Brazil
  • Port 404- Studies in Luso-Brazilian Culture- Regional Cultures of Brazil
  • Port 404- Journey Into Brazil
  • Port 404- Cultures of the Lusophone World
  • Port 199- Undergraduate Open Seminar. Study Abroad in Brazil. (to be offered in the Spring 2024)

Developed under the Andrew W, Mellon Grant to be offered through Course Share:

  • Fall 2021 "Journey to Brazil: Beyond Survival Skills" - taught by MSU
  • Fall 2022 "Cultures of the Lusophone World" - taught by The University of Chicago

Other courses:

  • Portuguese Summer Bridge, a two-week language camp offered to high school students during the Summer to introduce them to Portuguese and Brazilian Culture. Funded by a Title IX grant from the Department of Education. Offered by the Center for Latin America and Caribbean Studies. (2016-2019)
  • I-FLIP Beginner and Intermediate levels of Portuguese. Department of Linguistic/ School of Literature, Cultures, and Linguistics (2015-2019)

Additional Campus Affiliations

  • Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies
  • Illinois Leadership Institute
  • Center for Latin America and Caribbean Studies- CLACS
  • European Union Center- EUC