Mathematics students selected as UNC Phillips Ambassadors

Two students from the mathematics department have been selected as UNC Phillips Ambassadors for study abroad in Asia. Benjamin Director, a mathematics and economics double major, with a minor in business administration, will study at the National University of Singapore Business School in the fall. Daniel Holmgren, a computer science major with a minor in mathematics, will study through the National University of Singapore – Honors University Scholars Exchange program.

The Phillips Ambassadors is a program 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.

Phillips Ambassadors choose from more than 50 UNC-approved 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 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 a student’s hometown. In accepting the scholarship, students agree to fulfill a Give Back related to their study abroad experience. Give Backs range from published articles, classroom presentations at a student’s hometown high school, photo and art exhibits, musical performances, to group projects focused on Asia.

The Phillips Ambassadors Program is made possible through a generous gift from Carolina alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, 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, who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill.

Congratulations to Benjamin and Daniel for this honor.