The Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA) held an open house on Belmont’s Scholarship and Awards Day to officially unveil the newly renamed “CCSA Scholarship Fund” in honor of the previous executive director Dr. Michael Klembara and also a new scholarship in his and his wife Linda’s name. Having moved to Belmont six-months ago, the central office is officially opened and staffed. CCSA held its first semi-annual board meeting in its new host city of Nashville.
CCSA is a higher education consortium of 24 colleges and universities, headquartered at Belmont University. CCSA currently works with member schools from Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee and offers study abroad programs in Australia, Belize, Canada, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Scotland and South Africa. Classes are taught by faculty from consortium-member schools, and CCSA attracts more than 500 students per year to its wide range of programs.
The “CCSA Scolarship Fund” was renamed the “The Michael A. Klembara CCSA Scholarship Fund” to recognize and honor Dr. Klembara’s commitment during his 22 years as executive director of the organization, bringing study abroad into the financial reach of as many students as possible. In that time, the number of member schools in the organization grew from six to 24 and the organization expanded the global reach of its programs from Great Britain to worldwide. The scholarship fund itself was established at the recommendation of Dr. Klembara to the CCSA Board of Trustees in 1994. Since that time, over $300,000 in scholarships have been awarded to students at CCSA member schools to participate in CCSA programs around the world.
The newly created “Michael & Linda Klembara Scholarship for Non-Consortium Students” was also unveiled to honor Dr. Klembara and his wife Linda for advancing not just the cause of study abroad generally but specifically the reach nationally and internationally of CCSA. It is hoped that the scholarship, which will be awarded annually to worthy applicants to CCSA programs from outside the consortium, will continue to increase the recognition of the organization to which they dedicated so much of their lives.
Belmont University has been the host institution of CCSA since September. CCSA was previously headquartered at Northern Kentucky University under Klembara’s leadership. During his tenure, CCSA significantly expanded its geographic locations and variety of programs, and increased the consortium membership, making it a national leader in study abroad programming. Dr. Maggie Monteverde, Belmont’s newly named assistant provost for international education and study away, now serves as executive director.
CCSA is governed by a Board of Directors representing the member institutions. The Board affirmed Belmont University being named the CCSA host institution based on the leadership Belmont could provide for international education and the record of participation by Belmont faculty and students. CCSA has a staff of five that are housed on Belmont’s campus and where the open house took place.
“Study abroad is without a doubt one of the most important educational experiences students will have,” said Monteverde. “I’ve seen first-hand how these trips enable students to connect classroom knowledge to the places they visit. Perhaps even more importantly, by studying abroad students gain understanding of their own culture and identity because things we as Americans take for granted become visible for the first time.”
Belmont University Provost Marcia McDonald added, “Belmont University is honored to host CCSA on campus because it has been one of the main resources for our students and faculty to engage in overseas study. Belmont’s mission is to empower students to engage and transform the world, and we are actively seeking ways to expand opportunities for students to participate in study abroad. CCSA programs are nationally known and respected, and CCSA will join our strong set of study abroad offerings through the Rasmussen Center for International Education to enable us to make overseas study more accessible to our students.”
For a video of the Scholarship Fund presentation, please visit www.ccsa.cc/info/updates.
For more information on CCSA, visit www.ccsa.cc.