Denise has a teaching degree in Languages and Literature, a MA in Linguistics and Portuguese at São Paulo State University (UNESP), a Ph.D in Applied Linguistics, at University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and a post-doctorate in Distance Learning at Purdue University, USA.
Her research was about foreign language teacher education, multiple intelligences and tutoring in distance education environments. Since 1994, she has been an Associate Professor at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). She was the Open Brazilian Distance Education (UAB) coordinator from 2006 to 2012 at UFSCar and chair of UAB Coordinators Forum from 2011 to 2013. Since 2013, she has been an advisor to the Secretariat of Higher Education (SESu) at the Ministry of Education, Brazil.
Denise is also the president of Languages without Borders Programme, which involves around 120 Brazilian public universities, spread in all states, main capitals and cities of Brazil, with specialists in eight different languages.