Huang Program Current Scholars

2018 Huang Program Scholars

Ellie Koepplinger

Huang Scholar Ellie KoepplingerEllie Koepplinger is a graduate of UWC Costa Rica, and is currently at UC Berkeley studying for an undergraduate degree in Economics and Chinese. Academically, Ellie is fascinated by the role of both central banking and corporate policy in the macro-economy. Why is it that multi-national corporations are more economically efficient than governments? She is also passionate about the complexity behind medieval Chinese literature, and loves music and dancing in her spare time. Born in Scotland, Ellie aspires to utilize her fluency in Mandarin Chinese and her international experience living in both Costa Rica and California to bring a global perspective to her future workplace.

Paige Strockis

Huang Scholar Paige StrockisPaige Strockis is currently a sophomore double majoring in Political Economy and Art History with a minor in Chinese language. Her concentration in economic studies focuses on a deeper understanding of U.S. and Chinese relations, as well as a focus on contemporary artistic iconographic exchange between Western and Asian societies within her Art History major. When she is not in class or hitting the books, she is exploring herself through painting, listening to psychedelic rock, and hiking. Paige is over the moon to be a Huang Scholar and to have the inimitable experience of engaging with Chinese contemporary art, music, nature, language, and society.

Alexia Armstrong

Huang Scholar Alexia ArmstrongAlexia Armstrong is a sophomore majoring in Political Science. Growing up in Switzerland in a bilingual Franco-English household fostered her love of languages at a very early age, and she has continued to develop this interest through studies of Spanish, Mandarin, and Italian. She loves travel, adventure and everything outdoors, and is excited to have the opportunity to discover a whole new continent and the rich culture of China over the next two summers.

Grace Hunter

Huang Scholar Grace HunterGrace Hunter is a second-year majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chinese. Growing up, she learned a little Chinese from family members, but didn’t begin studying the language in earnest until high school. Now, she is determined to become fluent enough to live and work in China. She is excited to be a part of the Huang Program, and hopes her summers in China will help her reach her language goals and develop a better understanding of Chinese culture. As an aspiring digital product designer, she looks forward to taking on the fascinating challenge of adapting Chinese products for the American market, and vice versa. Outside of class, Grace is an avid figure skater and also enjoys cooking, hiking, and reading.

Kristina Schagane

Huang Scholar Kristina SchaganeKristina Schagane is currently a second-year student at UC Berkeley, intending to study Public Health and Environmental Economics. She is a girl who loves to go camping and spend time outdoors, and also holds an interest in fashion. She first started studying Chinese in high school and has found learning Mandarin to be an integral part of reconnecting with her own heritage. She is excited to be a Huang Scholar and aspires to not only use the program as an opportunity to communicate with her family, but also to make a positive impact in China in the future.

Aubrey Hill

Huang Scholar Aubrey HillsAubrey Hills is a junior majoring in Conservation and Resource studies with a focus on waste management and public policy, and minoring in Chinese. She views learning Chinese as a way to challenge herself, as well as a way to take a step towards improving environmental policies in both the US and China. She looks forward to learning more about the history and culture of China, and to meeting many new interesting people throughout this program. Currently, Aubrey is a zero waste coordinator on the Berkeley campus, and the communications associate for the Student Environmental Resource Center.

Dylan Goldfine-Middleton

Huang Scholar Dylan Goldfine-MiddletonDylan Goldfine-Middleton is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Linguistics and Chinese. First exposed to Chinese language and culture through his childhood best friend, he later enrolled in a Cantonese course in community college, a highly transformative and fulfilling experience which inspired him to subsequently take classes in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and several other languages. In addition to his studies, Dylan also enjoys hunting for mushrooms and cooking for family and friends in his free time. Cognizant of China’s superlative regional and global significance, he hopes to utilize the incredible opportunities afforded by the Huang Program to further realize his goal of bridging linguistic, cultural, and ideological divides between people in our increasingly interconnected world.

Edgar Hernández Gallegos

Huang Scholar Edgar Hernández GallegosEdgar Hernández Gallegos is a third-year student at UC Berkeley double-majoring in Asian Studies and Linguistics. After immigrating to the United States from Mexico as a child, Edgar was exposed to a new culture which allowed him to widen his view of the world and also instilled within him an appreciation of cultural diversity around the world. Having this appreciation of cultural diversity around the world sparked his interest in learning foreign languages and ultimately led him to study Mandarin. He hopes that participating in the Huang Program will allow him to further develop all his skills in Mandarin (particularly his speaking skills). After graduating from Berkeley, he plans to attend graduate school in China in order to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese society and consequently have a more holistic view of the world.

Harsimran Bhandal

Huang Scholar Harsimran BhandalHarsimran Bhandal is a 3rd year student double majoring in Biochemistry and French, and minoring in Chinese. Harsimran is eager to study in China, and complete an internship in Taiwan. As a pre-med student, he believes that the best way to practice medicine is to not only have a comprehensive understanding of medicine, but also the cultural competency necessary to understand one's patients. Harsimran hopes as Huang scholar to sharpen his Chinese skills, as well as expose himself to Chinese culture. He sincerely thanks UC Berkeley's Chinese department and Charles Huang for offering him such a tremendous opportunity.

Joshua Lin

Huang Scholar Joshua LinJoshua Lin is a second-year student currently studying Asian Studies and Environmental Sciences. As a Chinese-Indonesian American, he grew up learning Indonesian at home, so he first began learning Chinese during his freshman year at UC Berkeley. He chose to study Mandarin so that he could one day use the language to research Chinese society and learn more about his Chinese heritage and Chinese social values regarding the environment. Ultimately, Joshua hopes to one day use everything he learns from his experience in China to teach future students China’s unique political and social intricacies.

Keika Shumiya

Huang Scholar Keika ShumiyaKeika Shumiya is currently a junior majoring Global Studies with a focus on Asia. She was born in Yanbian, Jinlin Procine of China as a member of an ethnic minority called 'Chaoxianzu' (朝鲜族). In Yanbian, people speak both Korean and Chinese and have a mixed culture. After she immigrated to Japan, she realized that she had lost touch with her native languages and culture. Being part of Huang Program allows her to improve her Chinese and reconnect with her native identity. In the future, Keika hopes to contribute to her hometown's economic development and bridge the Chaoxianzu community and Han community.

2017 Huang Program Scholars

Revyn Crowley

Revyn Crowley is a junior majoring in American Studies. Her concentration focuses on international law, particularly war crimes and humanitarian law. She's excited to not only have a greater command of Chinese language but also learn about the culture, politics, and society.

Nadelyn Jhervis L. Lim

Nadelyn Jhervis L. Lim is currently a freshman at UC Berkeley. She is planning to pursue a B.S. in Nutritional Science in the College of Natural Resources with a double minor in Linguistics and Chinese. She is a very adventurous girl who loves travelling, dancing, taking pictures, writing, listening to different genres of music, and learning languages, a newly founded passion that she hopes to pursue more of in the future. She is so excited to be a part of this Huang Program where she could hopefully learn a lot more about the Chinese culture, heritage and language through exposure and immersion. 

Hoyun Kim

Hoyun is currently a sophomore majoring in Economics and minoring in Chinese and Education. Although Freshman year was her first time learning Chinese, she has always been interested in China's economic potential and the country’s relationships with the two Koreas and the US. As a Korean international student and aspiring graduate student, she hopes being a part of the Huang Program will help her better understand Mandarin and the culture behind it, and eventually tackle common issues in East Asia such as economic inequality and the educational system. Her other interests include puzzles, animation, and philosophy.

Austin Maxwell Frenes

Austin Frenes is a second-year student studying political science and linguistics. He first started learning Chinese by practicing with some friends in high school. He speaks four languages, but the Chinese language has a special place in his heart because of all of the close friends he has made along the way. He is fascinated by how much his hometown's demographics changed since his childhood, and how China plays a huge role in it. He is very grateful to be a Huang Scholar, and will make the most of this amazing opportunity to prepare him to improve ties not just among governments, but among peoples.

Isaac Levine

Isaac is a second-year student double-majoring in Political Economy and Chinese Language. His interest in Chinese language and culture began after living in Shanghai in early 2015, and he is excited to return this summer. He is honored to be taking part in the Huang Program, and hopes that language immersion and work experience in China will prepare him for his career goal of working on climate change policy between the US and China. He is looking forward to continuing his Chinese studies with the Huang Program and to getting to know new people and new places along the way.

Asli Akalin

I am a second-year international student from Turkey, hoping to major in Economics and Computer Science with a minor in Chinese (and possibly in Astrophysics). I enjoy reading, traveling and learning new languages -most of which happen to be programming languages. I have started learning Chinese in UC Berkeley in my freshman year and since then, my interest of Chinese culture, language and literature has grown each day. I hope through being a part of the Huang program I can improve my fluency as well as experiencing a life changing summer with amazing food, new friends and exposure to Chinese language and customs. I look forward to interning in China and hope to live in China in the future.

Mira Chaplin

Mira Chaplin is a first-year student studying Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chinese. She started studying Chinese in middle school and has lived and studied in several cities in mainland China. Mira hopes to improve access to clean water for all, and is working towards doing so in Engineers Without Borders. Over winter break, she traveled with a team to Panama, where she worked with the community to prepare plans for implementing a water distribution system. This summer she can’t wait to go back to her favorite places in Beijing, like the Lu Xun museum and the outdoor market near her host family’s house. She hopes to reach professional fluency in Chinese, furthering her career goals of working on environmental research or environmental policy in China. In her free time, she loves hiking, ceramics, and tea. 

Griffin Fay

Blue Fay is a freshman and intended linguistics and sociology major. He started studying Chinese in high school and developed a deep appreciation for the picto-phonetic aspects of the language. He hopes that while in China he will have the opportunity to pursue an internship in an urban art and literary scene, and looks forward to becoming more adept at speaking the language. He would like to eventually work for an international publishing house as a translator, and to use his Chinese abilities therein.

Tracy Yan 

Tracy Yan is a second-year student intending to major in Economics and minor in Education. She grew up speaking Cantonese to her parents and attending Mandarin school on the weekends. However, she lost touch of her passion for Chinese when she quit going to Chinese school in the pursuit of other extracurriculars. It was not until she joined Project Pengyou at UC Berkeley did her interest in Chinese language and culture rekindle. Tracy wants to use her knowledge in economics and education to help alleviate the education inequality in China. In the future, she hopes to work in a NGO to raise awareness about left-behind children and empower the teachers in remote areas.

Sam Good

Sam Good is a first year majoring in Environmental Science Engineering, hoping to pursue a double major in Chinese and minor in Global Poverty and Practice. She spent her junior year of high school living in Beijing, via the School Year Abroad study abroad program for high school students, where she lived with a host family that fostered her love of the Chinese language and culture. She is ecstatic to have the opportunity to return to Beijing, and see them again. In the future, she hopes to work towards preventing environmental degradation while pursuing environmental justice efforts in China and around the world!

Adora Lily Svitak

Adora Svitak is a third-year undergraduate majoring in Development Studies and minoring in South Asian Studies. In past summers, she has interned at Tata Communications in New Delhi (conducting research on corporate social responsibility programs) and written content for TED's education division. Today she writes for UC Berkeley’s Social Science Matrix and is a Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Berkeley Political Review. Though many of Adora’s academic interests bring her to places far-flung from her Chinese and European roots, Adora has studied Chinese since her sophomore year at Berkeley and is deeply interested in the subjects of minorities, politics, and urbanization in modern China.

2016 Huang Program Scholars

Sean Cho
SeanSean is currently a second-year student majoring in legal studies. Being part of the Huang Program has allowed him to pursue his interests in Chinese language and culture.  Whether it’s the Chinese language, calligraphy, or cuisine, Sean is open to further exploring and various aspects of Chinese culture and society. He hopes that through the Huang Program he can broaden his understanding of Chinese and use it to see Chinese as an integral part of society today.


Kelsey Chong
Kelsey Chong is a second-year student at UC Berkeley, double-majoring in Chinese and Japanese and minoring in Korean language. As her family in Singapore is several generations separated from China, she is excited to participate in the Huang program to improve her Chinese and reconnect with her heritage. With her foreign language skills, Kelsey hopes one day to work somewhere in East Asia, possibly in translation or international communications.



Carolyn Dunlap

KelseyCarolyn Dunlap is a second-year student majoring in molecular and cell biology and public health with minors in Chinese and CalTeach. Although she began officially studying Chinese as a freshman at Berkeley, she knew long before that point that Chinese language and culture was something she was very passionate about. Carolyn hopes that through this program, she will be able to increase her fluency in the language and experience life in China. In the future, she plans to use the skills she develops through the Huang program to help combine all her academic interests and transfer them to the professional realm.


Julian Early
Julian Early is a sophomore studying electrical engineering and computer science. He started studying Chinese in high school and has grown to love the language. He is extremely interested in the start-up culture in China and looks forward to working in China in one of the internships offered by the Huang Program.  Julian is very excited to live in China and get to know Chinese culture more intimately.




JJ (Jaejoon) Kim
JJJJ (Jaejoon) Kim is a second-year student majoring in political science and minoring in Chinese studies. He is an active member of the Cal Debate Team and editor at the Berkeley Political Review, a campus newsletter. He began studying the Chinese language upon witnessing China's rapid rise in international influence, and first experienced Chinese culture during an exchange trip between his high school and its sister school in Hangzhou. Finding both to be fascinating, he hopes to further study Chinese language and culture through the Huang Program. Eventually, JJ would like to use his experience in China to be a contributing voice to security and peace in Northeast Asia.


Ji Eun Lee
Ji Eun Lee is a second-year applied mathematics major and Chinese minor. She started learning Chinese in high school out of curiosity, and quickly became interested in the language, culture, and potentials held by Chinese economy. She has a long-term goal of working at global financial institutions that will provide opportunities to work in East Asian countries, specifically China and South Korea. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, baking, watching movies, and getting milk tea with friends.



Regina Leung
ReginaRegina Leung is currently a second-year student pursuing an economics major and music minor. She enjoys outdoor activities, traveling and learning about different cultures, and discovering new and unique restaurants. She grew up in a Cantonese-speaking household in San Francisco, where weekends involved eating dim sum in Chinatown and visits to Fisherman’s Wharf with her grandparents. Regina has always been proud of her Chinese heritage and eager to learn about it every chance she got. After studying Chinese for only one semester and coming across the Huang Program, she knew that it was an opportunity she could not pass up. “I am beyond excited to travel to Beijing this summer to improve my Mandarin Chinese speaking skills and to fully immerse myself in the heart of China. In the future, I look forward to bridging cultural and language barriers as a business consultant, focusing on U.S.-China relations.”

Joyce S. Luong
JoyceJoyce S. Luong is a second-year computer science student. She knows nine languages (seven of these happen to be programming languages) and hopes to make Chinese one that she knows especially well. That was her reason for signing up with the Huang Program. Outside of optimizing algorithms and proving theorems, Joyce also dances ballet about seven hours each week. Other fun facts: she had a heart surgery done the past summer, once had three turtles that ran away from home, and sleeps nine hours a night (even during the semester).


Young Jin Park
YoungYoung Jin Park is a third-year student majoring in economics with a minor in Chinese. He has been learning Chinese at UC Berkeley since Fall 2014, and fell in love with Chinese culture, customs and language. He is excited to be one of the great Huang Scholars whose academic curiosity and passion are second to none. His summer stay in Beijing will help him foster his Chinese language skills.  Furthermore, he believes that it will be a crucial scaffolding for his career in the field of finance and consulting in Asia.



Thuan Phung
ThuanThuan Phung is an intended economics major. She hopes one day to open up a ballet studio for low-income students and eventually expand this studio to an international dance studio. She believes that, because dance is an art form that requires individuals to be physically and mentally in tune with themselves, it is essential for her future dance school to cultivate self-esteem and build cultural pride in a dancer. Through the Huang Program, she hopes to further her study in Mandarin and the Chinese culture so that she will be capable one day of creating a ballet studio in China. Thuan knows that her experiences in China and knowledge of Mandarin will be key in grasping the intricate relationship that the people there have with the performing arts and will be essential in creating an appropriate ballet school.


Preston Tso
PrestonAs the lone first-year student among this year’s Huang Scholars, Preston Tso is incredibly grateful for this life-changing opportunity that UC Berkeley and Charles Huang have provided him. He never would have imagined that taking his middle school’s first-ever Mandarin class would lead him to China for two summers. Preston considers learning Mandarin one of the best decisions of his life, for it has connected him not just to his heritage, but also to a fascinating country and amazing people. Preston has made several lifelong friends through his Mandarin classes, and hopes to make eleven more this summer in Beijing. Although his long-term plans are very much up in the air, he plans to study economics to help solve problems such as inequality: a critical issue facing China.


 Learn more about The Huang Program.

2015 Huang Program Scholars

Anna Mai
AnnaAnna Mai is a second-year student majoring in business with a minor in Chinese. She is deeply interested in environmental sustainability and has the long-term goal of opening an environmental business in China that strives to reduce pollution on a large scale. She is excited to be a part of the Huang Program because she believes that this program will broaden her knowledge of Chinese and prepare her for the life that she plans to take on in the future. During her free time, she loves to dance and grab boba with friends. 
Finn Wurtz
FinnFinn Wurtz is a second-year student and is probably majoring in urban studies and/or cognitive science. He enjoys studying Chinese because of its unique aesthetic properties, its unparalleled utility, and the fresh perspective it brings to his consciousness. He is excited about the opportunity to travel, and hopes that living in China will both bring him closer to his dream of bilingual fluency and leave him with a better understanding of China’s contemporary urbanization program.
Tuhin Choudhary
TuhinTuhin Choudhary is a second-year Biology major. She really enjoys learning foreign languages and, aside from speaking English and Hindi fluently, she has been taking Chinese and Korean classes at Berkeley and is hoping to minor in both. Tuhin began studying Chinese in high school and traveled to China for the first time last summer through the AP International Leadership Program and Confucius Institute Scholarship. She is very grateful for the Huang Program and is excited to advance her Chinese studies this summer. In the future, she hopes to work in a field that allows her to combine her interests in science and foreign languages spend some time working in East Asia.
Madlyne Woodward, Meili
MadlyneMadlyne's majors are Asian studies and art practice. Now she will be able finally to see and immerse herself in China. Learning Chinese over the past few years has deepened her interest in the Chinese culture, especially the artistic aspects: calligraphy, paintings, theater, music, poetry, and architecture.  She is excited to be part of the Huang Program, since it not only gives her the opportunity to utilize what she has learned, but to continue her passion of learning about Chinese culture. She looks forward to building relationships with her fellow Huang Scholars, and to further her studies in China. She would like to pursue a career in museum studies, with the hopes of being able to utilize the skills she will gain through the Huang Program.
Janelli Vallin
JanelliJanelli Vallin is a second-year student majoring in public health and double-minoring in global poverty and practice, and Chinese. She is originally from San Fernando in Southern California and first began learning Chinese in her high school. She finds learning and writing different characters to be quite fascinating. She hopes that through the Huang Program, she can strengthen her speaking skills in order to make connections with people and eliminate cross cultural barriers. Although her first language was Spanish and she is currently fluent in both English and Spanish, she finds that Chinese would be a great asset to working in a health related field. In the future, she also hopes to use her language skills to alleviate global health issues at an international level.
Jonathan Khalil Robinson
JonothanJonathan Khalil Robinson is a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Chinese language and literature. Jonathan is fascinated by China’s ethnic minorities, and has taken a particular interest in the Tibetan, Hui, Yi and Uighur peoples, as well as African immigrants who in recent years have formed their own “Africa Town” in the heart of  Guangzhou. He intends to use the education he receives at UC Berkeley to pursue a career in diplomacy with the Department of State.
Kurt Cakmak
KurtKurt Cakmak is currently a sophomore studying statistics and Chinese. He is deeply interested in mastering the Chinese language and fascinated by China's grand history and charming culture. Previously, he studied Chinese at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan.  Kurt also participated in an intensive Chinese language and culture program at Beijing Normal University last summer. He is very honored to be a Huang Scholar and is committed to advancing the economic, political, and social ties between China and the US.  Combining his interests in global finance and Chinese, Kurt plans to work for an international investment firm specializing in China.
Alexander Walczak
AlexAlex is a sophomore studying mathematics who also appreciates the life sciences, doing computational research on fluorescent E. coli at LBNL during much of his spare time. Going on the Huang Program, Alex hopes, will be a nice break from the sometimes robotic routine of being a math major. Alex looks forward to meeting new people, improving his Chinese, and opening up the possibility of working in Asia.  In the immediate future, Alex would like to encounter how the world's most populous nation integrates Western social institutions as its population becomes more aware through the Internet. Alex's interests in this pertain primarily to China's biotech research scene and expanding health care system.
Young Eun (Vanessa) Lee
YoungYoung Eun (Vanessa) Lee is a second-year applied mathematics major and Chinese minor. She started learning Chinese in middle school and her interest for the language grew even more in college. Through learning Chinese, she finds it interesting that, though every city in China has its own distinct culture, the language somehow shapes and binds different cultures into a single nation. With her growing knowledge in Chinese in addition to her English, she aspires to play an active role in bridging the two countries, United States and China. For now, she enjoys the Chinese classes she is taking in college and wishes to expand her knowledge more by planning on going to study abroad to China in the summer.
Sarah Yang
SarahSarah Yang is a second-year student pursuing a simultaneous degree in business administration from the Haas School of Business and economics from the College of Letters & Science. She started taking Chinese as a first-year student at Berkeley and quickly fell in love with Chinese culture, music, traditions and the language itself. Sarah plans to work in finance or consulting for a few years before attending law school to obtain her J.D. She hopes that her knowledge of Chinese will one day allow her to work with her future firm's East Asian clientele. She especially looks forward to one day being able to work abroad either in South Korea or China. 
Imani Ivery
ImaniImani Ivery is a third-year student majoring in interdisciplinary studies. She is a recent transfer and has enjoyed continuing her Chinese studies at UC Berkeley. Since the beginning of her college career, it has been her goal to study and participate in an internship in China. Imani has been very passionate about her research concerning economic development and cultural change in China, specifically the change in consumer culture. Learning Mandarin has made her research even more dynamic and rewarding. Imani plans to become fluent in Mandarin and some day to work for a multinational company as a cultural advisor. She is excited to be given this amazing opportunity and will treasure this experience.
Learn more about The Huang Program.