Past Weir Fellows

2020 Fellows

Tanisha Paul

Class of 2022
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Major: Business Administration and Global Studies

Tanisha began studying Mandarin when she was six years old, and it has always been her favorite subject. She has persistently pursued her interest in the Chinese culture and language by studying in Nanjing in high school, conducting research on China’s energy security, and teaching a Chinese Language and Culture Seminar at the North Carolina School of Science and Math. Through the Weir Fellowship, she hopes to gain a professional and native level of fluency where she can negotiate business deals in China. In the future, Tanisha hopes to significantly enhance the United States’ political and economic relationship with China.

Gabrielle Rousey

Class of 2022
Hometown: Atkinson, NC
Major: Economics

Gabrielle is passionate about studying behavioral economics and learning what factors and thought processes contribute the most during decision-making. With an understanding that language is the heart of any culture, Gabrielle seeks to improve her Chinese fluency so that she can experience Chinese culture more authentically by personally connecting with others. Through the Weir Fellowship, Gabrielle hopes to attain a fluency that allows her to work in the field of consumer research where she can study how China’s unique economic, cultural, and political climate affects the consumption of foreign goods.


2019 Fellows

Judy Cheng

Class of 2020
Hometown: Durham, NC
Major: Chemistry and Chinese

Coming from a background where many family members originated from rural China, Judy hopes to one day teach at underserved schools and help left-behind children. Through the Weir Fellowship, she wishes to attain a level of fluency in Mandarin that will allow her to work professionally in the field of electrochemistry in China while translating on the side. In her free time, Judy enjoys learning about Chinese culture and wishes to learn more about her heritage and identity.

Mattias Miller

Class of 2021
Hometown: Statesville, NC
Major: Media and Journalism

After participating in an exchange program at multiple Chinese schools his junior year of high school, Mattias became captivated with how language shapes thought and began pursuing Chinese his first year at UNC. Through the Weir fellowship, Mattias hopes to obtain a fluency in Chinese that allows him to understand people from the perspective that they understand themselves.

Owen Warmuth

Class of 2021
Hometown: Boone, NC
Major: Chemistry and Chinese

Owen started studying Chinese upon arriving at UNC, and quickly realized the beauty and intrinsic artistry of the written language. What started as a hobby developed into a passionate pursuit of understanding and communicating the Chinese language. As a chemistry major, Owen sees the importance of efficient communication in the scientific community and its effect on the development of biotechnological advances. The Weir Fellowship will allow Owen to develop his skills in Chinese so that he may one day use them to help bridge the communication gap between the scientific communities of China and the United States: two countries that will be powerful promoters of change when working together.

2018 Fellows

Kyle Asher

Class of 2019
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Major: Computer Science and Chinese

Kyle Asher started studying Chinese Language his first year at Chapel Hill. Quickly falling in love with the language, he continued to pursue Chinese and computer science majors. His research in computer science involves using embedded systems to intelligently aid visually-impaired individuals’ ability to navigate spaces with many obstacles. Kyle already spends a lot of time independently studying electronics and computer science related vocabulary, and hopes that through the Weir program he will be able to build his technical conversational skills to a professional level in both English and Chinese. Kyle hopes that one day he will be able to start a tech-related business with close collaboration between American and Chinese engineers.

Jolie Lau

Class of 2020
Hometown: Goldsboro, NC
Major: Chinese and Pre-Health Policy and Management

Jolie Lau hopes to work in East Asia one day to ameliorate health disparities, especially those between rural and urban populations. Through the Weir fellowship, Jolie aims to attain a level of fluency in Mandarin that parallels that of her Cantonese. Her interest in studying Chinese not only stems from professional development, but a desire to more deeply understand her own culture, language, and identity.

Spence Jorgensen

Class of 2019
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Major: Environmental Sciences and Chinese, with a minor in Geography

Spence Jorgensen is passionate about renewable energy, urban planning, and transportation. In the spring of 2017, Spence had the opportunity to conduct research on sustainable construction while on a semester abroad in Southeast Asia. During his time in China, he hopes to continue learning about sustainable development in light of China’s rapid urbanization. Spence is looking forward to developing professional proficiency in Chinese and implementing his language skills in an internship involving environmental conservation.

2017 Fellows

Brooke Fisher

Class of 2019 p_circle_weir_fisher
Hometown: Weaverville, NC
Major: Journalism and Global Studies with a minor in Chinese

Brooke Fisher is excited to be studying in China for seven months and to return to the place of her birth. She is interested in learning about the media outlets in China and how they have changed over the years. Brooke hopes to learn through a journalism internship how China’s rich culture blends with today’s technology. She also looks forward to expanding her knowledge of the Chinese language, history and culture.

Lee Mookp_circle_weir_mook

Class of 2019
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Major: Business and Chinese

Lee Mook is passionate about sustainable energy, education and foreign languages. As one of UNC’s Campus Y Global Gap Year Fellows, Mook had the opportunity to work and study abroad in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and China. His experience working abroad convinced him that he wanted to pursue a career in international development. His dream is to work among Chinese, American and Latin American businesses to promote international sustainable energy development. During his time in China, he hopes to gain a professional proficiency in Chinese, and looks forward to exploring the inner mechanisms of Chinese business culture and Chinese energy policy.

Quade Robinsonp_circle_weir_robinson

Class of 2018
Hometown: Midland, NC
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies and Asian Studies with a minor in Comparative Literature

Quade Robinson’s academic career shows his commitment to studying the language and culture of both China and Japan. He received the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship to study Japanese abroad in 2015, and declared an interdisciplinary studies major on the topic of Modernist movements in Chinese and Japanese film and literature. With the Weir Fellowship’s support, Robinson hopes to flesh out his Mandarin knowledge and utilize his language skills with an internship involving translation or interpretation.