Trinidad & Tobago Independence “Diaspora’s Next Gen” Spotlight: Koren Bedeau

As Trinidad and Tobago celebrates 53 years of independence, the National Weekly turns to the Twin Republic’s booming diaspora here in South Florida, celebrating young and talented individuals 40 and under that are already taking our community to the next level. From young Taekwondo masters to university deans, from artists to tastemakers, no doubt our future is bright in their hands.

Meet distinguished dean, Koren Bedeau.

Age: 37

Hometown: Miami, FL

Profession: Graduate School Associate Dean, Affiliated Faculty School of Communication, University of Miami

A commitment to university administration, research, mass communication and empowering students is what defines Graduate School Associate Dean and Affiliated Professor in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Dr. Koren Bedeau.

For this Howard University and University of Central Florida graduate, athough based in Miami, Trinidad is the heart and soul of who she is today.

“I’ve always felt a connection to Trinidad, and my initial curiosity and questions were related to the sustainability of cultural tourism development, and connections between tourism and environmental health,” she says. She continues, “I wanted to understand how promoting Trinidad Carnival as a cultural tourism experience had implications for environmental health, and influence on the development of Carnival Arts.”

The importance of diversity in graduate study has also piqued Koren’s interest in more ways than one.

“For more than 12 years, I’ve developed programs that encourage students who are underrepresented in higher education to pursue doctoral education, and led efforts to support the academic success of diverse student populations. We require diverse perspectives in order to respond to the sophisticated challenges and opportunities that are before us in the 21st century.”

As current Associate Dean, Koren says her most memorable moments are those when she can help others.

“The most memorable moments are times that I play a role in assisting someone to think differently about an idea or seeing someone grow into leadership roles or new careers. These things happen in other environments but a university is a community of people who come together with these goals in mind.”

For Trinidadians back home or here in South Florida thinking of venturing into the graduate studies field, she says, “No matter what social or economic status, Trinidadians (and Caribbean people) have a unique experience that you will bring to graduate education. If you want to go to graduate school, take the time to determine which program and which university has the program of study that fits for your academic interests and life goals.”

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