Li-ling, who is a report writer and analyst in PPCC’s Institutional Effectiveness office, has lived in the United States for seventeen years and earned her Ph.D. in Information Systems from UC Denver

Anyone who has the time to stop by and chat with PPCC staff member Li-Ling Hsu is in store for a few good laughs. A word of caution, however: Don’t go by if you’re hungry because Li-Ling will make you even more ravenous. “Taiwanese people are real foodies,” she says, “I love good food!” In fact, food is one of the main things that makes her nostalgic for her native Taiwan. “In Taiwan we have night markets, sometimes with over 100 vendors,” she tells me as her eyes light up, reflecting on the wonderful cuisine of her homeland. It took her a while to adjust to the food in the United States, but she did find some regional cooking to her liking. “I like Cajun. And southern food. I love fried okra!” Hearing this, my own nostalgia for my home in Alabama kicked in, though she was a little perplexed over one southern dish. “I was not sure about chicken-fried steak. It’s not chicken, but it doesn’t seem like steak either. I think it’s pork?” Unfortunately, since I’m more into eating than cooking, I could not clarify this mystery for her. Later, though, she e-mailed me to say she had looked up the dish on the web: “Chicken-fried steak is actually ground beef, so it’s not the chicken or steak I was expecting.” I think it was just the terminology that was baffling me. We called it hamburger steak back home, but now I feel more confident that Li-ling has given me the official terminology.

Li-ling, who is a report writer and analyst in PPCC’s Institutional Effectiveness office, has lived in the United States for seventeen years. She lived in Oklahoma for six years, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Still, she wanted to live someplace with a little more diversity, so she moved to Colorado and earned her Ph.D. in Information Systems from UC Denver. Although she misses her family back in Taiwan, she has a sister who lives in Orange County, California. She likes the Colorado Springs area because the terrain is similar to the countryside where she grew up. She speaks fondly of Taiwan. “My parents owned a rice store,” so everybody knows my family. This, she suggests, was a mixed blessing growing up. “I could not do anything to get in trouble when I was young, or someone would certainly tell my parents!”

She also related a rather humorous incident of culture shock that once happened to her in America. “Someone gave me yellow chrysanthemums on my birthday. I was confused, because in Taiwan these are flowers we use to honor the dead and worship our ancestors!” Of course, since Li-ling is such an upbeat person, she simply laughed and said, “Thanks?”

Li-ling is pictured here with a beautiful picture painted by her niece. “She is only eleven years old!” Li-ling says, brimming with pride.

By Dana Zimbleman, Faculty, College Composition and Reading

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Published: March 17th, 2017

Tagged in: Staff Profile