Carolina Up Close with Joe Kwon '02 | Tar Heels Together

Carolina Up Close with Joe Kwon ’02

Join Carolina alums Joe Kwon ’02 and Barb Lee ’88 for a virtual conversation that explores Joe’s successful career with The Avett Brothers, his Carolina story and his life as an Asian American in the South.


Joe Kwon ’02
Born in South Korea, Joe Kwon moved to High Point, NC, with his family when he was only a year old. Joe began playing the cello as a young child and planned on becoming a classical cellist. He attended Carolina on a music scholarship but ended up majoring in what was then called mathematical sciences. While at Carolina, Kwon joined the climbing club, played in the symphony orchestra and a band, and hung out in the Sitterson Hall lobby working on “algorithms and coding.” Eventually Joe focused his studies on computer science but after working at IBM for two years, he decided to pursue his passion of playing music full time. Today, Joe is the well-known high-energy standing cellist for American folk-rock band, The Avett Brothers.

Barb Lee ’88
Barb Lee is the founder and president of both Point Made Films, a documentary film company that focuses on American identity, and Point Made Learning, a consulting company that, using the stories of Point Made Films, provides organizations with creative, story-based education regarding issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Barb has dual degrees in broadcast journalism and speech communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has volunteered in numerous leadership roles including Chair of the UNC Board of Visitors, member of the Carolina Performing Arts International Advisory Board, Chair of ACRED (Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity), and as a member of UNC’s School of Media and Journalism’s Board of Visitors. Lee is the 2015 recipient of UNC’s Alumni Diversity Award, the university’s highest honor for work in racial justice, and was the 2016 commencement speaker for the UNC School of Media and Journalism.

This webinar was recorded on June 3, 2020.

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