2017 Spring Phillips Ambassadors Selected

The spring 2017 Phillips Ambassadors with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. From left, Peter Murphy, Hannah Nixon, Alexander Magee, Chancellor Carol Folt, Malik Jabati, Rachel Kleiman, Shawn Hines. Not pictured, Maddy Sweitzer -Lamme.

Seven undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for spring 2017 study abroad programs in Asia. Three scholarship recipients will study in Hong Kong, one in Hong Kong, two in Thailand, one in Japan, and one in Singapore.

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 270 undergraduates to Asia, including this cohort. Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. 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 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 a “Give Back,” having the Ambassadors share their study abroad experiences with the Carolina community and their hometowns. Students find many ways to “give back,” ranging from curating photo exhibits, making classroom presentations at area schools, and writing feature articles for campus publications.

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 2017 Phillips Ambassadors were formally recognized on November 4, 2016, at a reception at the Phillips' home in Chapel Hill.

Applications for summer and fall 2017 Phillips Ambassadors scholarships are open Dec. 1 through Feb. 19, 2017.


Shawn Hines of Spindale, N.C. will study through UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School: Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy in Bangkok, Thailand.  He is a business administration and media and journalism double major.

Malik Jabati of Alexandria, Va. will study through the National University of Singapore: Honors – University Scholars Exchange. He is a computer science and economics double major, with a philosophy, politics and economics minor.

Rachel Kleiman of Raleigh, N.C. will study through the UNC Institute for the Environment Program in Bangkok, Thailand. She is an environmental sciences and chemistry double major.

Alexander Magee of Raleigh, N.C. will study through UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School: Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a business administration major with a philosophy, politics and economics minor.

Peter Murphy of Highland Park, N.J. will study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a business administration and economics double major.

Hannah Nixon of Edenton, N.C. will study at Waseda University in Tokyo. She is an anthropology and linguistics double major, with a Japanese minor.

Maddy Sweitzer-Lamme of Durham, N.C. will study at the University of Hong Kong. She is an interdisciplinary and media and journalism double major.