Two Students Selected as 2023 Weir Fellows

After a two-year hiatus, Honors Carolina is pleased to announce that two students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were selected as recipients of the 2023 William D. Weir Honors Fellowship in Asian Studies, a program designed for students who have started their Chinese language journey and would like to develop advanced working language skills in order to bridge the linguistic and cultural divides between our two nations.

Third-year students James Dosher and Hope Fauble will join the ranks of Carolina students and alumni who have been awarded the prestigious Weir Fellowship during the program’s many successful years. For the 2023 program, recipients will spend the spring and summer in Taipei, Taiwan for intensive language study through CET Taiwan at National Taiwan University’s Chinese Language Division (CLD). Concurrently with their course work, Fellows will commit to an internship to put their advanced professional language skills in application. Internships are customized to match a broad range of student interests, from law and business to the arts, journalism, and health and human services.

The William D. Weir Honors Fellowships in Asian Studies were established in 1995 by Peter Boneparth ‘80 and Heather Weir Boneparth ‘80, to honor Heather’s late father, William Donald Weir. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and, following a long career with defense contractors and consultants to the Pentagon, Mr. Weir joined the State Department as a foreign services reserve officer and expert in US naval expenditures for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as they engaged in the SALT-START talks.  The fellowship was conceived while Peter was serving as the CEO of the Jones Apparel Group and recognized the importance of having employees with Chinese language skills to creating lasting business relationships with partners in China. He came to believe the long-term, sustainable success between the two countries would be predicated on many more U.S. citizens immersing themselves in the language and culture of China.

James Dosher, a junior from Clemmons, North Carolina is majoring in Global Studies and Asian Studies and minoring in Chinese. James has taken a Mandarin course every semester while at UNC thus far and has developed a deep passion for the Chinese language and culture. While he was in high school in 2019, James participated in a short-term program in Xi’an. This past Summer, he spearheaded a new program at the Kidzu Children’s Museum that works with young Chinese speakers and teaches them about Chinese culture. Upon his return from Taiwan, James hopes to connect with Chinese learners on UNC’s campus and work to bolster Sino-American relations for the future. Additionally, James is passionate about advocating for underserved LGBTQIA+ populations and wishes to have a better understanding of Taiwan’s queer community to better serve those at UNC.

Hope Fauble, a third-year student from Bunnlevel, North Carolina, is majoring in Computer Science and Asian Studies with a minor in Statistics and Analytics. Hope began taking Chinese language classes during her sophomore year in high school to try something new. She quickly gained a passion for language learning as she began connecting with people she was once separated from by a language barrier. Hope not only sees this opportunity as a means to continue connecting with Mandarin speakers, but also as a method to invest in her own lifelong happiness and humanity. Through the Weir Fellowship, Hope aspires to gain a deeper understanding of the lives of people in another part of the world and continue carrying out her life goal of exploring and experiencing new things and meeting new people.

William D. Weir Honors Fellowships in Asian Studies offer Carolina undergraduates a unique opportunity to develop their language skills and gain practical, independent work experience in China, with the 2023 iteration being in Taiwan. The fellowship plans to return to China as soon as it is practical to do so. The fellowship is open to all UNC Chapel Hill undergraduates with at least three semesters in residence, a 3.2 GPA or higher, and at least three semesters of Chinese language.

The Fellowship covers most of the program expenses, including CET program fees, airfare, housing, textbooks, excursions, and medical insurance. Students contribute the equivalent of UNC tuition for one semester and cover their food and personal expenses.

Read more about the Weir Fellowships on the program’s website.


Weir Honors Fellowships in Asian Studies contact: Gina Difino, (919) 962-9680,

Communications and Public Affairs: (919) 445-8555,