Students Selected as Phillips Ambassadors for Study Abroad in Asia in 2017

April 20, 2017
Students were recently selected as Phillips Ambassadors for study abroad in Asia in summer and fall 2017. Photo by Steve Exum.

Students were recently selected as Phillips Ambassadors for study abroad in Asia in summer and fall 2017. Photo by Steve Exum.

Eighteen undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one undergraduate from Duke University have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for summer and fall 2017 study abroad programs in Asia. In addition, one history doctoral candidate was awarded a Phillips Graduate Ambassador travel award for research in India and Malaysia this summer.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will study in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

The Phillips Ambassadors program is part of UNC’s Carolina Asia Center, in association with the Study Abroad Office. Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $5,000 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.

Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Up to two scholarships each year are available to qualified Duke University undergraduates.

Phillips Ambassadors choose from more than 50 academic programs in Asia that are approved by the College of Arts and Sciences and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Scholarship recipients enroll in a three-credit hour global studies course designed uniquely for them. 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.

The Phillips Ambassadors program is made possible through a gift from Carolina alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, an entrepreneur and former U.S. 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, who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The first group of Phillips Ambassadors studied abroad in Asia in the summer of 2007. By the end of 2017, 289 Carolina undergraduates will have studied abroad in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors.

The new Phillips Ambassadors are listed below alphabetically by North Carolina county, followed by out-of-state recipients.

NORTH CAROLINA RECIPIENTS

Carteret

Grant Miller of Ocean will study through the National University of Singapore School of Computing fall program. He is a computer science major with a music minor.

Guilford

Maria Martinez Ospina of Greensboro will study through the National University of Singapore Arts and Socials Sciences fall program. She is a psychology major with a chemistry minor.

Jackson

Kyle Clapper of Cullowhee will study through UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major.

Mecklenburg

Kyle Asher of Charlotte will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language summer program. He is a Chinese and computer science double major.

Chichi Osunkwo of Charlotte will study through the Yonsei University summer program. She is a media and journalism and global studies double major.

Orange

Nico Krachenfels of Chapel Hill will study through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School International Internship in Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major with an entrepreneurship and Spanish for the business professions double minor.

Kristen Lee of Carrboro will study through the UNC Entrepreneurship in Shanghai summer program. She is an interdisciplinary studies in food systems planning major with a business administration and urban studies and planning double minor.

Pitt

Everette Lassiter of Greenville will study through the Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration and public policy double major with an entrepreneurship minor.

Wake

Lydia Field of Raleigh will study through the CET Harbin Intensive Language summer program. She is an Asian studies and global studies double major with a neuroscience minor.

Samantha Hutchings of Cary will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language summer program. She is an Asian studies and English double major.

Aneri Shah of Apex will study through the National University of Singapore School of Computing fall program. She is an information science and computer science double major with a linguistics minor.

OUT-OF-STATE RECIPIENTS

Delaware

Brandon Dawson of Middletown will study through the UNC Summer in India program. He is a public policy major at Duke University.

Florida

Khaleelah Elhajoui of Sarasota will study through the UNC Summer in Japan program. She is a linguistics and Asian studies double major.

Iowa

Scott Diekema of Iowa City will study through the UNC Summer in India program. He is an Asian studies and economics double major with an entrepreneurship minor.

Maryland

Olga Prokunina of Rockville and Moscow, Russia, will study through the SIT Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine summer program. She is a psychology major with a medical anthropology and chemistry double minor.

Massachusetts

Stephen Zawada of Groton will study through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major.

Pennsylvania

Catherine Lucchi of Scranton will study through the UNC Summer in India program. She is an Asian studies major with an education minor.

INTERNATIONAL RECIPIENT

Cathleen Rueckeis of Berlin, Germany will study through the National University of Singapore Science fall program. She is a quantitative biology major with a chemistry and astronomy double minor.

PHILLIPS GRADUATE AMBASSADOR

Zardas Shuk-man Lee, a doctoral candidate in history, will conduct research in India and Malaysia this summer.

Learn more about the Phillips Ambassadors.