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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson correctly pronouncing a guest's name on her show seems simple but it speaks volumes

Viewers appreciated how respectfully Clarkson handled her interview with K-pop group TWICE when she asked performer Tzuyu how to properly pronounce her name.

kelly clarkson, twice
The Kelly Clarkson Show/Youtube

It really is as simply as that.

What’s in a name?

A lot, actually. We know that names reflect certain aspects of one’s identity. We know that repeated mispronunciation of a person’s name potentially undermines that identity. We know that sometimes this is unintentional, and other times, more insidious intentions of “othering” are at play. Especially when it comes to those with non-English names.

We also know that, on the flip side, making the effort to properly pronounce a person’s name is one of the simplest forms of kindness and respect that someone can offer. And it really pays dividends.

Just take a page from Kelly Clarkson’s book.

Clarkson recently had K-pop girl group TWICE on her show to perform their latest English single, "Moonlight Sunrise."

With the help of an onstage translator, Clarkson bonded with the group about starting their careers from reality TV—Clarkson from “American Idol,” and TWICE from South Korean TV show “Sixteen”.

During the interview, Clarkson made sure to personally address all nine members in the group—Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu—by their name.

Then, at one point, Clarkson checked with the translator to see if she was pronouncing Tzuyu’s name correctly.

Clarkson pronounced it the way many English-speaking fans did—”Tzoo-Yoo.” The translator explained that while that version is “good,” the Korean version is actually pronounced “Jjeu-Wee.” Almost resembling the word “chewy.”

The stark contrast between pronunciations at first threw the host a little. And after doing a lighthearted doubletake (“Wait, what?!”) Clarkson quickly decided to go straight to the source.

"How do you want me to say it?" she asked Tzuyu.

Tzuyu responded, "Jjeu-Wee."

In typical Kelly Clarkson fashion, she quipped, "How you say it is adorable! OK, so, Jjeu-Wee—I think I said it right, I'm trying," before moving on to talk more about their song.

It’s such a short exchange, but it made a huge impact. Those who watched online complemented Clarkson on her efforts to make her guests feel welcomed.

“I love that Kelly is trying so hard to pronounce her name and making them feel comfortable. And that was the closest she could get to correctly pronouncing Tzuyu in one day! I could barely pronounce it perfectly in a month so, congrats Kelly!” one person wrote.

Another added, “The way Kelly pronounced Tzuyu to cheewy and saying it's adorable you can feel she knows how to respect and entertain her guest even though there is a language barrier. We love you Kelly and Twice.”

Watch below:

Big thanks to Kelly for showing just how easy it is to offer this truly simple gesture. And within the span of 30 seconds, no less.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
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