June 29, 2021

Fourteen undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for Summer, Fall and Academic Year 2021 study abroad programs in Asia. The scholarship recipients will study in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

Caroline Le of Raleigh, N.C., is a health policy and management major at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She and fellow Gillings student Skyler Noble of Chapel Hill, N.C. — an applied mathematics and biostatistics double major  — both plan to study through the Yonsei University international summer school program. 

These are the 14 Phillips Ambassadors for 2021.The Phillips Ambassadors Program is a program run by UNC’s Carolina Asia Center in association with the Study Abroad Office. Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $6,000 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.

Phillips Ambassadors choose from more than 70 approved academic programs in Asia. Scholarship recipients enroll in a 3-credit-hour global studies course designed uniquely for them. Led by Michael Tsin, PhD — UNC’s Earl N. Phillips Jr. Distinguished Professor of International Studies — 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 members of 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.

The Phillips Ambassadors Program is made possible through a gift from Carolina alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips Jr., an entrepreneur and former United States 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.

The first group of Phillips Ambassadors studied abroad in Asia in the summer of 2007. By the end of 2021, more than 350 Carolina undergraduates will have studied abroad in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors.

Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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