Nine to Study in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors

Nine Carolina undergraduates representing eight academic majors will study in Asia in the spring semester as Phillips Ambassadors.

The students have been awarded scholarships for study in China, Singapore, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. The Phillips Ambassadors program in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences chooses ambassadors each year based on academic achievement and commitment to activities, service and leadership roles in the classroom and community.

The program has sent 49 undergraduates to Asia since its launch in 2007. This spring, the total will increase to 58 as the new ambassadors embark on innovative study abroad experiences. A quarter of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

High Point and Chapel Hill businessman Earl N. “Phil” Phillips Jr. ’62 created the program with a gift in 2006. Phillips, a business executive and former U.S. ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean region, is a former chair of UNC’s Board of Trustees and of N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry.

“The 21st century belongs to Asia,” Phillips said. “To me, studying abroad is not a question – it is the answer. My long-term goal is for every Carolina undergraduate to have an international experience before they graduate.”

Phillips Ambassadors can choose from 54 academic programs in Asia, including 15 in greater China and 10 in India.

The spring 2009 Phillips Ambassadors, with their Asian destinations and academic majors, are listed below, alphabetically by N.C. hometown and by state:

North Carolina


  • Elliott Davis, Singapore, business administration
  • Justin Loiseau, Vietnam, environmental studies and economics
  • Katlin Smith, Singapore, business administration

East Bend

  • Patrick Dowd, India, English and cultural studies


  • Cheryl Blake, Singapore, international and area studies


  • Christine Ezzell, Thailand, business administration


  • Melissa Megginson, Korea, international and area studies and communication studies
  • Julia Wood, Thailand, public health


  • John Ames of Annapolis; China, business administration

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