Shen Lu is a student in the Medill School of Journalism studying business and economics reporting. She is a Chinese village kid in the process of becoming a global citizen, thanks to journalism. Her somewhat unconventional upbringing in Hangzhou, China — her parents basically respect her independence and encourage her to pursue her passions — taught her to be a self-starter and value innovation and creativity. She won the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for her enterprise piece about the University of Iowa’s institutional failures in integrating Chinese and U.S. students. She also earned fleeting fame in China for being a “loser” and “running dog” after she wrote for CNN about her experience of failing the college entrance examination. She graduated from Iowa with a double major in journalism and art. Before going back to graduate school, she worked at CNN in Beijing.