Ethan Phillips ’23 (Photo by Leon Godwin)

Written by Cate Miller ’25 of the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team

Ethan Phillips ’23 has received the John and Daria Barry Scholarship to pursue studies in health policy, health economics, and global health research at Oxford University in England. The scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated academic excellence and a “pursuit of truth.”

Ethan said he was interested in becoming a Barry scholar because of Oxford’s reputation in public health and medicine research.

“I hope to use this opportunity to conduct research and work with leading health professionals,” said Ethan, a BSPH in Health Policy and Management major at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He plans to earn a master’s at Oxford through the two-year program, then attend medical school to become a physician-researcher.

“I think this is going to give me some background for helping develop the research skills and the network to pursue that goal long-term, and then get the clinical experience afterwards,” he said.

The Barry Scholarship provides funding for tuition, housing, and room and board, as well as opportunities for research and travel. The prize is awarded to nominated students by academics in the United Kingdom and United States.

The scholar said following his curiosity during his time at Carolina has served him well in preparing for a transition to post-graduate education, and he encouraged other students to do the same.

“Find things that you’re passionate about and that make you want to learn more,” he said. “The more you find those opportunities and pursue the things you enjoy, I think that’s where you’ll set yourself up really well for future opportunities.”

Ethan is vice president of health and wellness for the UNC System Association of Student Governments. He said the role has allowed him to “step outside his comfort zone as a leader,” as well as to develop communication, project management, and advocacy skills. He previously served as executive branch director of student wellness and safety forUNC Undergraduate Student Government.

The scholar is also a research assistant at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research, where he’s assisted consulting for the state Medicaid office and researching clinical referrals to address patient social needs. In addition to a bachelor’s from Gillings, Ethan will also graduate with double minors in public policy and chemistry.

More about the author

Cate Miller ’25 of Wilmington, North Carolina, focuses on social media strategy and alumni features for the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team.

Cate is passionate about public policy and healthcare. At Carolina, the scholar is involved with the Undergraduate Executive Branch and Active Minds. She serves as healthcare policy head of the UNC Roosevelt Institute.

The second-year scholar graduated from Hoggard High School, where she served as student body president and president of her school’s National Honor Society chapter.

About the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team

The Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team is an extracurricular program and internship run by the Foundation’s communications team. Scholars of all backgrounds and class years collaborate to produce multimedia content on the topics and issues they’re passionate about, as well as support Morehead-Cain’s institutional communications.

Members cover the following beats tied to Morehead-Cain’s departments: selections and recruitment, the scholar experience, development, and alumni engagement. Scholar-generated content is distributed across all of Morehead-Cain’s channels, including social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube), the Catalyze podcast, email newsletters, and the website ( The team’s audience comprises more than 3,300 scholars and alumni.

Current members of the team for the spring 2023 include William Dahl ’25, Laurelle Maubert ’25, Cate Miller ’25, Ria Patel ’25, Tucker Stillman ’25, Flavia Nunez Ludeiro ’26, Elias Guedira ’26, Aayas Joshi ’26, Stella Smolowitz ’26, and Sri Pothanker ’26. The team is led by Content Manager Sarah O’Carroll of the Morehead-Cain Foundation.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Scholar Media Team, contact the communications team. Participation is a semester-long commitment.

Published Date

February 7, 2023


Academic Excellence, Awards and Honors, Health, Science, and Medicine, Public Policy and Public Service

Article Type

Alumni Stories, News