Nine undergraduates selected as UNC Phillips Ambassadors for study in Asia in spring '15

The Spring 2015 Phillips Ambassadors

Standing, from left: Raymond Stanton, John Farmer, Oscar Menzer, Gabriel Allen, Alex Arditti.

Seated: Erin Posas, Blair Burnett, Juliana Powell. Not pictured: William Stelpflug.

Nine undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for spring 2015 study abroad programs in Asia. One scholarship recipient will study in China, one in Hong Kong, one in India, two in Japan, two in Singapore, and two in Thailand. All nine students are from North Carolina, although being a North Carolina resident is not an eligibility requirement.

Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $5,000 each to defray 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, it has sent 228 undergraduates to Asia, including this cohort. Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors from Kenan-Flagler Business School. Scholarship recipients choose from more than 50 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 3-hour credit course is required of all scholarship recipients. The course includes two pre-departure, day-long classes on two Saturdays during the semester; continues with online distance learning exchanges while abroad; and concludes with three day-long Saturday classes upon return to Chapel Hill. 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.

The program emphasizes what is called “Give Back,” having the Ambassadors share their study abroad experiences with the Carolina community and their hometowns. In accepting the scholarship, a student agrees to submit an article about his or her studies in Asia to a campus or hometown publication. Students also give outreach presentations about their experiences at a school in their hometown and North Carolina schools.

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. The program is intended to generate greater interest in Asia among UNC students. Phillips has worked and traveled in Asia for more than 20 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, an entrepreneur who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill.


NEW PHILLIPS AMBASSADORS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS, LISTED ALPHABETICALLY

Gabriel Allen of Apex will study at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan. He is a biology and Asian studies double major.

Alex Arditti of Hickory will study through the Kenan-Flagler Business School: National University of Singapore Business School program. He is majoring in Business Administration.

Blair Burnett of Cary will study through the School for International Training: Public Health, Policy Advocacy & Community in Delhi, India. She is a public policy and journalism and mass communication double major.

John Farmer of Charlotte will study through the Kenan-Flagler Business School: National University of Singapore Business School program. He is majoring in Business Administration.

Oscar Menzer of Greensboro will study through the UNC Institute for the Environment, Thailand Field Site in Energy and Environment in Bangkok. He is majoring in environmental science with a minor in computer science.

Erin Posas of Raleigh will study through the Kenan-Flagler Business School: Peking University Guanghua School of Management in Beijing. She is a business administration and Asian studies double major.

Juliana Powell of Chapel Hill will study at Keio University in Tokyo. She is an Asian studies major with a speech & hearing sciences and chemistry double minor.

Raymond Stanton of Charlotte will study through the UNC Institute for the Environment, Thailand Field Site in Energy and Environment in Bangkok. He is majoring in environmental science.

William Stelpflug of Raleigh will study at the University of Hong Kong. He is a peace, war and defense and economics double major.