23 to Study in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors

Recipient Laura Brown and Kim Glenn Phillips with Earl N. Phillips '62.

Earl N. “Phil” Phillips Jr. ’62 looks on, as his wife, Kim Glenn Phillips, poses for a photograph with Lauren Brown, a junior from Mocksville majoring in nutrition at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Brown, who will study abroad in China this summer, is one of 23 Phillips Ambassador headed to Asia this summer and fall.

Twenty-two undergraduates and one graduate student at Carolina have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for 2010 study abroad programs in Asia.

The scholarship program is offered through study abroad programs in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and Kenan-Flagler Business School. Students from other UNC units may apply for the award. The scholarship combines an award for study in Asia with a three-credit-hour academic course that puts the experience in greater global context and challenges students to share their experiences of Asia upon their return.

Fifteen of the newly selected students are from North Carolina. Six are from other states, and one is from Scotland. They have been awarded scholarships for study in China, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Eighty-five UNC students have studied in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors since the program started in 2007. The selection of 23 new ambassadors brings the number to 108.

Phillips Ambassadors are chosen twice each year, with 25 percent of the scholarships reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors from Kenan-Flagler. Scholarship recipients are selected for academic achievement and commitment to activities, service and leadership roles in the classroom and community. Phillips Ambassadors can chose from more than 50 UNC-approved academic programs in Asia.

A key feature of the program is an emphasis on what is called “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 submit an article about their studies in Asia for a campus or hometown publication. They also give an outreach presentation about their experiences in Asia to a school in their hometown and other local schools around North Carolina, introducing more young people to Asia.

Generating greater interest in Asia among UNC undergraduates was in part the motivation for UNC alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips Jr. ’62 in his endowment of the program.

Phillips, an entrepreneur who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill, has said that he hopes his gift will encourage more students to spend their study abroad experiences focused on the increasingly vital region of Asia. He has worked and traveled in Asia for more than 20 years and is a former U.S. ambassador to the eastern Caribbean.

His long-term goal, he has said, is for every Carolina undergraduate to have an international experience before they graduate.

Phillips Ambassadors receive up to $7,500 each for a semester or yearlong program and up to $5,000 each for a summer program.

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