A self-professed "word nerd," she majored in journalism, at Howard University, worked on the student newspaper during the school year and took internships during the summers at large market newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer. Soon after undergraduate school she attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school where she served on the prestigious Penn Law Review and was a published author. After practicing law for several years, she conceived of the first collaborative crossword puzzle, Kids Across Parents Down and decided to launch. In less than a year, Jan launched with Tribune Media Services and became the first African-American female syndicated Cruciverbalist. After a successful ten year run, Jan continued to syndicate her work independently as well as expand into restaurants and magazines where her total reach exceeded 44MM.
In 2013, Jan launched Black Crosswords. This idea grew out of her long-standing relationship with Essence and Ebony Magazines. Jan also has developed puzzles for McDonald's Corp. and Cracker Barrel Restaurants.
Jan lives in the Chicago area with her husband and business partner Reginald.