I am a wanderer through life, and have spent long stretches in different places as a way to live my goals.  A flirtation with France had a hold on me in high school and Chinese became my focus during college.

Growing up in Los Angeles, China was a familiar concept which took form in the juicy griddle of oil in a wok and the smell of incense in Chinatown.  I wanted to know what they were talking about:  I wanted the key to the inside.

I lived for more than a decade in Asia, mostly in China.  I taught English at first, and then shifted to journalism during the political upheaval of the Tiananmen Square protests. 

Over the years I nurtured my fascination for gems and distinct jewelry.  I collected pieces that represented the design aesthetic of local women who would buy something for themselves.  What I purchased on reporting trips were by necessity quick decisions, which comes naturally.

Returning to the United States, I transitioned to teaching.  I started by developing the professional communications degree program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.  

At the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication I spearheaded faculty training and course design that helped the School retool for the digital age.  

During that time I also deepened my interest in gems by obtaining the GIA Graduate Gemologist degree.  This has allowed me to understand the scientific properties of diamonds and colored stones.

Yet the human aspect is just as important: culture, stories and great design. This is my quest. 

Wenchun Fan, CNN. Beijing 2003.

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