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CHAPEL HILL — Nine undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for spring 2018 study abroad programs in Asia. Two scholarship recipients will study in Japan, two in South Korea, one in Cambodia, one in China, one in Hong Kong, one in Singapore and one in Thailand.

The Phillips Ambassadors Program is part of UNC’s Carolina Asia Center, in association with the UNC Study Abroad Office. Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $5,000 each toward the cost of a UNC-approved study abroad program in Asia. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, strong communications skills, intellectual curiosity and ambition, evidence of generous service to campus and community, and a previous record of leadership.

Since the Phillips Ambassadors Program began in 2007, the scholarship program has supported over 300 undergraduates studying abroad in Asia. Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Several scholarships each year are available to qualified Duke University undergraduates. Scholarship recipients choose from more than 70 UNC-approved academic programs in Asia that are offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and Kenan-Flagler.

Phillips Ambassadors enroll in a global studies course designed uniquely for them. Successful completion of the three-hour credit course is required of all scholarship recipients. 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 the 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 exhibitions, musical performances and group projects focused on Asia.

Earl N. “Phil” Phillips Jr., who graduated from UNC with a business administration degree in 1962, established an endowment, along with his family, to create the Phillips Ambassadors Program. The program is intended to generate greater interest in Asia among UNC students. Phillips has worked and traveled in Asia for more than 30 years and is a former U.S. Ambassador to the eastern Caribbean.

“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 spring 2018 Phillips Ambassadors were formally recognized on November 15, 2017, at a reception at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.

Applications for summer and fall 2018 Phillips Ambassadors scholarships are open December 1, 2017 through mid-February 2018.



Kailyn M. Akers of Greensboro, NC will study through the Korea University Business School in South Korea. She is a Media and Journalism major.

Maximilian Conley of Morganton, NC will study through Keio University in Japan. He is a History and Philosophy double major.

Laurel Cunningham of Nashville, TN will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language program in China. She is a Global Studies and Chinese double major.

Graham Lowder of Raleigh, NC will study through the National University of Singapore Honors exchange in Singapore. He is a Political Science and History double major.

Jared Noble of Wake Forest, NC will study through the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business Program in Hong Kong. He is a Business Administration major.

Megan Raisle of Louisville, KY will study through The School for Field Studies in Cambodia. She is currently undeclared.

Schuyler Tanous of McLean, VA will study through the Chulalongkorn Business School in Thailand. She is a Business Administration major.

Kaitlyn Turner of Kissimmee, FL will study through Yonsei University in South Korea. She is a Global Studies major.

T.J. Turner of Kernersville, NC will study through Keio University in Japan. He is a Chemistry major.

Phillips Ambassadors contact: Dori Brady, (919) 843-7522,

UNC Global contact: Katie Bowler Young, (919) 962-4504,

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