20 Undergraduates Named UNC Phillips Ambassadors

The 2014 Phillips Ambassadors
The 2014 Phillips Ambassadors

Nineteen undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one Duke University undergraduate have been selected as UNC Phillips Ambassadors for summer and fall 2014 study abroad programs in Asia.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will study in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. One history doctoral candidate was awarded a Phillips Graduate Ambassador travel award for research in China this summer.

The Phillips Ambassadors Program is part of UNC’s Carolina Asia Center, in association with the study abroad office. Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $5,000 each. Selection is based on strong communication skills, intellectual curiosity and engagement, academic achievement, evidence of generous service to the campus and wider community and a previous record of leadership.

Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Up to two scholarships each year are available to qualified Duke University undergraduates.

Phillips Ambassadors choose from more than 50 UNC-approved academic programs in Asia that are approved by the College of Arts and Sciences and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Scholarship recipients enroll in a global studies course designed uniquely for them. Led by Carolina faculty, the course challenges students to explore their study abroad locale in significant detail and seek understanding of the region in a global context.

A distinguishing feature of the program is an emphasis on what is called a “Give Back,” or sharing of one’s study abroad experience in Asia with the Carolina community and a student’s hometown. In accepting the scholarship, students agree to fulfill a Give Back related to their study abroad experience. Give Backs include endeavors such as published articles, classroom presentations at a student’s hometown high school, photo and art exhibits, musical performances and group projects focused on Asia.

From left, Phillips Ambassadors Yasmin Khera, Molly Williams, Jan Michael, Roma Sonik and UNC faculty member Afroz Taj  in Rishikesh, India.
From left, Phillips Ambassadors Yasmin Khera, Molly Williams, Jan Michael, Roma Sonik and UNC faculty member Afroz Taj in Rishikesh, India.

The Phillips Ambassadors Program is made possible through a generous gift from Carolina alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, an entrepreneur and former U.S. ambassador, and his family.

“Our goal with this gift has been to encourage more students to spend their study abroad experiences focused on Asia — an increasingly vital region of the future,” said Phillips, who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill.

The first group of Phillips Ambassadors studied abroad in Asia in the summer of 2007. By the end of 2014, more than 200 Carolina undergraduates will have studied abroad in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors.

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