USAC Awards Scholarships in Honor of Exceptional Study Abroad Advocates

USAC recently honored the contributions of three outstanding study abroad advocates with USAC Posthumous Faculty Status and USAC Emeritus Faculty Status awards. These individuals have helped countless students throughout their study abroad journeys and have shaped USAC into the organization it is today.

In honor of these champions of international education, $1,500 scholarships were granted to three students studying abroad this spring. Since its inception in 2016, 9 awards have been granted, and a corresponding 9 students have received scholarships for a total of $13,500.

Posthumous Faculty Status:

Tom Tjaarda


Tom Tjaarda passed away in 2017 after a long, illustrious career as a world-renowned car designer. For many years he supervised USAC internships and events for USAC students in his design studio and was a true mentor and friend to staff and students for over 15 years. He was a very active member of the USAC Torino program, attending events, speaking at USAC Torino conferences and the 2014 Board Meeting, volunteering to help in any way, supporting other faculty and young designers and architects, and giving generously of his time to the program. He was a very humble person, always happy to be surrounded by USAC students, and in his own words, “They keep me young and I learn so much from them.” He cared greatly for USAC students and made a significant difference in the lives of so many.

Megan McCormick


Megan is medical sciences major and marketing minor at the University of Idaho who is participating on the Spring 2019 Torino, Italy program. Through her classes and interactions with locals, Megan aims to become fluent in Italian and grow personally while enjoying the history and culture of Torino.

Emeritus Faculty Status:

Susan Place


Dr. Susan Place was instrumental in implementing policies at Chico State that allowed it to become a top institution for student participants on USAC programs. During her tenure on the USAC Board of Directors (2001-2008), Susan worked tirelessly to strengthen USAC’s presence at Chico State, implementing policies that allowed students to use their financial aid on USAC programs, and removing barriers for nontraditional and underrepresented students so they could study abroad. For those of who worked closely with Susan, she was much loved – unconventional, an internationalist through and through, warm, free-spirited, willing to debate without being unnecessarily beholden to her views, and a lovely individual, leader, and colleague.

Nayeli Cordova


Nayeli is a finance major at Chico State University who is studying abroad on the Spring 2019 Valencia, Spain program.
Emeritus Faculty Status:

Dr. William A. Douglass


Dr. William A. Douglass pioneered Basque Studies and was highly instrumental in USAC’s founding. USAC would not exist today if it were not for William A. Douglass’s Ph.D. dissertation on Basque anthropology, his creation of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his and Jon Bilbao’s organization of summer study abroad sessions in the Basque Country. The Summer Programs inspired Pat Bieter and others to create a yearlong study abroad program in Oñati, Spain, which successfully merged with the creation of USAC several years later thanks to Douglass’s unwavering commitment and advocacy. It is clear that USAC was the fortunate beneficiary of this institutional trajectory and invaluable support.

Jared Lamb


Jared is an international business major and Spanish minor at the University of Nevada, Reno who is participating on the Spring 2019 Bilbao, Spain program. Jared is excited to immerse himself in the entirely new culture of the Basque Country, including the language, people, and cuisine. He hopes to build his language skills and business etiquette toward his goal of becoming an international businessperson.