It all started with two words: Harn-Harn.
On the first day of pre-school, my mom told the teacher that my name was Liao Shu Han, but that at home, everyone called me Han Han.
Before my parents came to St. Louis from Taiwan, they hired a tutor who made them memorize episodes of Three's Company. At that time, my mom had the vocabulary of 80's sitcom television, so maybe Mrs. Brown, with two kids climbing up her back and half a jar of glue in her hair, didn't quite catch that my given English name was Janet, and not the strange combination of words that was to be my name in preschool.
"Harn-Harn?" The teacher stared at me, trying to sort through my mother's accent. "Is that your name?"
It's been quite a journey since then.
A name change in first grade did the basic trick, and a love for reading, writing and words helped, too (I was the kid who read books underneath the table at restaurants).
I earned a B.A. in English at Cornell University with distinction in all subjects. In 2003, I was named Beat Writer of the Year at the Cornell Daily Sun for coverage of health issues on campus.
I later was awarded a Chinese Cultural Scholarship in 2005 to study Mandarin at the Beijing Language and Culture University.
In 2006, I was in the first class of McCormick Scholars at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. My graduate work included training in business reporting, new media storytelling and the business & culture of journalism.
Today, I'm a published writer. My work has appeared in The Daily Herald, Northwest Indiana Times, Residential Lighting, Event Marketer, PM Network, The International Interior Design Association's Perspective magazine, MSCI's Forward magazine, (website hidden) and (website hidden).
In addition to my journalism skills, I'm proficient in Mandarin and Spanish, as well as conversational in Taiwanese. I enjoy running and completed my first 10-mile (Soldier Field) and half marathon (Rock 'n Roll Chicago) last year. I also enjoy cooking and practicing bikram yoga.