USF Global Spotlight

Marlene Joannie Bewa

Marlene with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau

Bewa with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.

Marlene Joannie Bewa, Class of 2018

November 12, 2019

Originally from Benin, Marlene Joannie Bewa was drawn to USF for many reasons, specifically for its diverse population and programs.

“USF has an internationally recognized public health program, outstanding faculty, diversity, international community and is also a leading producer of Fulbright scholars,” Bewa said.  “When I was admitted and awarded this scholarship, I was convinced USF was the best choice.”

Bewa graduated with her master in Public Health from USF in 2018 and has stayed in Tampa to pursue a doctorate in Public Health.

Her passion for health started at a young age when she almost died due to sudden health issues in her home country. Saved by a qualified doctor, the traumatic event instilled a motivation within her to become a physician and save lives.

Over the last 10 years she has served her peers in many roles within the field of reproductive health and HIV awareness.

Her work does not go unnoticed. Bewa’s resume says it all. She founded the Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA), was awarded the First Lady Michelle Obama Young African Women Leaders Grant in 2012 and was featured on Melinda Gates’ list of six influential women on the topic of global access to contraception in 2016, just to name a few accolades. Bewa holds her head high as she looks back at all of her accomplishments.

“I am proud of every little step of the journey,” she said.

Additionally, she received the USF Global Achievement Award and USF Golden Bull Award in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

As for her plans after receiving her doctorate? Bewa sees herself pursuing research in public/population health and lead large scale programs both domestically and internationally.