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March 6, 2024

Carolina senior Logan Dosher studied Mandarin in Taipei, Taiwan, as part of Honors Carolina’s Weir Fellowship. (photo by Jess Abel)

Logan Dosher’s interest in studying Chinese was sparked during an immersive Mandarin language program in Xi’an, China.

Dosher, a UNC senior from Winston-Salem, traveled there on a full scholarship after his junior year of high school as part of the U.S. Department of State’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth.

Before spending a summer in Xi’an, I didn’t know a lick of Mandarin,” he said, “but the idea of challenging myself to such a drastic degree invigorated me.”

During the program he stayed with a host family who welcomed him “with open arms.” That, coupled with new friendships and connections, fostered a newfound sense of belonging, acceptance and confidence.

“In short, it was a life-changing experience,” he said.

Inspired by his experience, he left Xi’an knowing he would study Chinese in college. The supportive community created by the professors and students in the Asian and Middle Eastern studies department have continued to affirm that decision.

Dosher, who has a second major in global studies, says it is tough to narrow down his favorite classes over the past four years, but two stand out among the rest.

“Asian American Graphic Form,” taught by Kita Douglas, teaching assistant professor and Dosher’s senior thesis advisor, explores “topics of immigration, belonging, trauma, joy and healing as conveyed through Asian American comics and other visual media.”

The class allowed him to visually explore Asian studies and aligned with his thesis, which will use Dosher’s original art to help analyze the work of Taiwanese authors.

The course “Indigenous Ecologies in Literatures of China and Taiwan,” a graduate-level seminar, was memorable because of the coursework and professor Robin Visser’s “contagious excitement.” It also connected Dosher to Taiwan, where he spent time abroad his junior year as part of Honors Carolina’s Weir Fellowship.

While at National Taiwan University in Taipei, he bolstered his Mandarin skills, took an economics class and interned at podcast company Ghost Island Media.

“I fell into step with Taiwanese life and discovered a new home. I miss it every day,” said Dosher, adding that he is “eternally grateful” to the Weir Fellowship for the opportunity.

Back in North Carolina, Dosher feels lucky to be able to share what he’s learned abroad and in class with the Chapel Hill community.

As a Makery Fellow at Kidzu Children’s Museum, he and his colleague Elim Lee helped to create a Mandarin story time for Chinese-speaking children, the first ever at the museum.

“We translated kids’ books into Mandarin, networked with local Chinese churches and scaffolded a new program,” shared Dosher. “To be able to celebrate these kids and provide an inclusive space for them has been my greatest accomplishment at UNC.”

He is also leaving a legacy for LGTBQ+ Tar Heels as a founding member of Chapel Heelz, Carolina’s first student drag troupe.

When he imagines life after graduation, Dosher hopes to begin a career that allows him “to serve people through global mindedness,” whether that be for a nonprofit, a media company or something else.

“My time at UNC has illuminated my love for storytelling, my affinity for international relations and my passion for being a bridge between people,” he said.

By Jess Abel ’19, for College Up Close

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