USFSM Director of Global Engagement Amela Malkic, alum Michelle Teeter, USFSM student Tho Van, Joan Nixon, USFSM student Maggie Dougherty, Bradley Nixon, Amy Benninger and Lisa Nixon Smith at a recent luncheon to thank the Nixon family for their support of study abroad programs.

USFSM students thank Joan Nixon, family for scholarship supporting study abroad program

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: September 30, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2019)USF Sarasota-Manatee students thanked longtime study abroad benefactors Joan Nixon and her family at a special luncheon in Sarasota recently.

Students Miriam “Maggie” Dougherty and Tho Van discussed their study abroad experiences to Ireland and Costa Rica, respectively, and thanked Nixon and her family for their support of the Clyde G. Nixon International Study Abroad Endowment Scholarship, established in 2010.

Dougherty, who visited Italy a year ago, spent four weeks this past July and August at Maynooth University in County Kildare, Ireland, studying international business and Irish medieval history.

Maggie Dougherty

“Being able to receive the Clyde G. Nixon scholarship for the second time provided me with yet another amazing experience,” said Dougherty, who is set to graduate with a business degree in December. “This scholarship significantly relieved the financial burden that comes with studying abroad, and I cannot begin to express my appreciation to Mrs. Nixon and her family for their generosity. I had the absolute best time in Ireland, exploring not only different parts of the country but being able to do so with new friends from all over the world.”

Van traveled to Costa Rica over the summer as part of an intensive two-week study abroad field experience for select biology students. The students observed wildlife in lowland and upland regions, took field notes and prepared a report of their findings at the program’s completion. They also explored Costa Rican heritage and cultural sites.

“Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have had the chance to attend this study abroad program,” said Van, who graduates in the spring. “This experience allowed me to go outside my comfort zone and challenged my perspectives about other cultures. Every moment I spent abroad was memorable and meaningful.”

Before he died in 2007, Clyde Nixon was chairman of Sun Hydraulics Corp., a member of the USFSM Campus Board and chair of the Community Leadership Council, helping to raise $7.5 million for USFSM’s 2006 move to a new campus.

His innovative approach to global and regional business development inspired his friends and family to establish the fund in his memory, which provides scholarships to students with financial need in order to study overseas and experience other cultures.

Joan Nixon loved traveling the globe with her husband and continues to support the fund every year, as do family members, friends and business colleagues of Clyde Nixon.

USF Sarasota-Manatee Director of Global Engagement Amela Malkic organized the Nixon Scholarship Luncheon on Sept. 13 in collaboration with Vice Chancellor for Advancement Lee Williams and Associate Director of Development Clara Reynardus de Villanueva.

USFSM global engagement director completes Fulbright program visit to India

    Amela Malkic

“USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Study Abroad programs, organized by the Global Engagement Office, provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for students to expand their horizons while earning college credit abroad,” Malkic said. “Our sincere thanks go to the Nixon family for their ongoing support and generous contributions to the Nixon Scholarship Fund, which helps many of our students experience study abroad.”

Since its creation, the Nixon scholarship has enabled 25 USFSM students to study at universities and colleges abroad.

For more information about USFSM study abroad opportunities, visit

For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit

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