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B-CU Graduate Strives for Societal Change


Marlene Holmes Receives Acceptance into Doctorate Program In Social Work at Barry University

Marlene Holmes, a 2008 Bethune-Cookman University (formerly known as BCC) graduate will begin her doctoral program in fall 2017 at Barry University in Miami, Florida. This program will enhance the development of Marlene’s leadership qualities, social work knowledge and advanced practice. The doctoral program also emphasizes the importance of scholarly inquiry and direct practice.

In 2006, Marlene was recruited to B-CU on a full athletics scholarship to play volleyball for the lady wildcats. While at B-CU, Marlene earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with a minor in social work. Later, she was accepted into the University of Central Florida and earned her graduate degree in social work. “Being accepted into the PhD program, I will have concrete data to support the gaps in the economic and educational systems which limit our communities,” Holmes said. “I will be able to interact directly with key community leaders, students, families, and organizations. My vision is to develop solutions and collaborate with others to produce change within societies globally,” she added.

Currently, Marlene serves as the Director of Prevention at the Drug Abuse Foundation in Delray Beach, Florida. In her spare time, she teaches Mindfulness Meditation within the South Florida region. She also speaks to local athletes and students on the importance of maintaining a drug free lifestyle. Her goals include owning a private practice, and becoming a professional educator and motivational speaker.

A piece of advise Marlene would share with current Wildcats:

Be your own inspiration, YOU are your greatest role model!  Simply believe in yourself, because there's is nothing you can't achieve. You must think outside the box; you must refuse to settle for anything short of success. You must challenge yourself and plan for more than just tomorrow. Invest in yourself and invest in your education! You are developing a foundation for the rest of your life. Be selective in your decisions, as it only takes one bad decision to affect your life. Lastly, never fail to realize the gift of education for you as a Wildcat are destined for greatness. 

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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