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A view of the London Eye Ferris wheel.

The Life-Changing Magic of Study Abroad

Dr. Jodi Anderson ’94 helps Gauchos learn in the U.K.

Dr. Jodi Anderson ’94 remembers flipping through the UC Santa Barbara general catalogue like it was a magazine, eagerly circling classes. As the first in her family to attend college, she immersed herself in campus life. Interning through UCDC (formerly the Capitol Hill program), studying abroad in Mexico, volunteering with Associated Students — each experience heightened her sense of possibility. Through a generous legacy gift, Jodi and her husband, Christopher Field, will help students become more globally minded citizens through their support of the U.K. Education Abroad Program (EAP) Scholarships.

Jodi Anderson and husband Chris Field.
Jodi Anderson '94 and husband Chris Field

After graduating in 1994, Jodi worked in student affairs on campus. She then received a full scholarship to pursue her master’s degree in social policy at the University of Nottingham in England. The scholarship allowed Jodi to embrace life in the U.K., where she met the man who would become her husband. Upon her return, Jodi served as student representative to the UC Board of Regents during her Ph.D. studies in education at UCLA and stayed engaged as a UCSB alumna.

“I didn’t earn a lot of money as a new graduate, but my perspective has always been that we should give what we can,” said Jodi. “I started giving to UC Santa Barbara in 1995 — not a lot, but I made regular donations. We can achieve extraordinary things by all coming together to support UCSB. Just think if every graduate gave $100 back every year!”

When Jodi joined the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Board in 2005, she felt an urgency to create more opportunities for first-generation and low-income students. During her tenure, the Alumni Board established a scholarship fund that has distributed nearly half a million dollars.

Keen to stay involved with UC Santa Barbara after moving to England, Jodi formed a London supporters group with Mike Trovato ’95, Matthieu Duncan ’87 and UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee Philip White ’84. In 2012, they established the U.K. EAP Scholarship, which has supported over 50 students as of 2020.

“In addition to making a difference in the lives of students, the opportunity to work with phenomenal like-minded people like Matt, Phil and Mike is yet one more reason that I love staying involved as a supporter,” Jodi said.

“Students worry about whether they can afford this experience,” said professor Juan Campo, director of UC Santa Barbara EAP. “Private support is critical. Students who travel return wanting to make a difference based on their experience.”

By including the fund in their estate plan, Jodi and Chris will help ensure the longevity of the U.K. EAP Scholarship.

“Chris and I want to see graduates with global perspectives and the skills necessary to navigate an increasingly complex international community,” said Jodi. “I have been helped so many times in my life, and giving back to UC Santa Barbara allows me to extend the support I received to future generations of Gauchos.”