“We wanted to do something that would reinforce the spirit and purpose of the Phillips Ambassadors Program,” said Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, who, with his family, established the program. Phillips, a Carolina alumnus, entrepreneur and former United States ambassador, has had business interests in Asia for more than 25 years. In marking the 10-year milestone of the scholarship program, Phillips said he and his family decided to look no further than the program’s alumni. “Our alumni are our strength and a tremendous resource for each other and Carolina overall,” he said.
The intent of the awards was to generate effective initiatives related to Asia and to share some aspect of those efforts in the recipient’s community, place of employment or current place of study. Forty-three alumni submitted proposals. (All proposals received a $500 award to encourage further engagement on their chosen topics.)
The 10th Anniversary Alumni Award Recipients
2011 Phillips Ambassador in Vietnam
UNC Class of 2012: Bachelor of Science in Public Health; 2nd Major in Global Studies
Project: Increasing engagement of International Youth Alliance for Family Planning in Myanamar, Vietnam and the Philippines
In 2013, Bozkurt co-founded the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, whose mission is to enable youth from around the world to contribute a significant voice and lead interventions and decisions on family planning and reproductive health and rights. She was selected for a Phillips Ambassadors 10th Anniversary Alumni Award for her proposal to increase engagement of the organization in Myanmar, Vietnam and the Phillipines. She now works in Washington, D.C., as a consultant for the Health Plan Advisory Council at the Advisory Board Company.
Melissa Brzycki2007 Phillips Ambassador in ChinaUNC Class of 2009: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Project: “East Asia for All,” development of a podcast series with a focus on East Asian popular culture
Brzycki developed the podcast "East Asia for All" with her colleague Stephanie Montgomery. Together they produce podcast episodes focused on East Asian pop culture and media. They bring their academic knowledge to the conversations in a way that is accessible to the wider community, in order to foster more nuanced understanding and discussions of East Asia and Asian cultures. The series can be found at: eastasiaforall.com/listen/. Brzycki is now a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California at Santa Cruz, with a focus on childhood in China between 1949 and 1966.
2009 Phillips Ambassador in India
Class of 2010: Bachelor of Arts in English; 2nd Major in Interdisciplinary Studies
Project: Development of Tibetan language textbooks for young children
Dowd was awarded a Phillips Ambassadors 10th Anniversary Alumni Award to further his work in developing Tibetan language textbooks for young children in Ladakh, a culturally Tibetan region of the Indian Himalayas. He is a student at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing a master’s degree in international educational development, where he focuses on indigenous education and language revitalization. Dowd recently returned from six months of research in Tibetan areas of the People’s Republic of China and Ladakh, India, and is now completing his final semester at UPenn in Philadelphia. On the completion of his master's degree, he will return to Ladakh to oversee the writing, publication and distribution of an original Tibetan language textbook designed for young Ladakhs.