_____Honors & Awards_____

Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2015

For the essay “Lenin” in Arts & Letters


Finalist, december magazine‘s Curt Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, 2015

For the essay “Jacqueline and the Negative Imagination”


Winner, Bellingham Review‘s 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, 2015

For the poem “For My Aspirated” (here is the announcement)


Finalist, Ruminate Magazine‘s Ruth Vandermey Nonfiction Prize, 2015

• For “Virgin”, an essay about shadowing family planning doctors in Ecuador


Finalist, Disquiet Literary Nonfiction Prize, 2015

• For “Jaqueline and the Negative Imagination”, an essay about working with the Survival Girls, a theater group I founded with Congolese refugee ladies in Nairobi


Finalist, Crab Orchard Review‘s Guyon Literary Prize, Fall 2014

• For “The Surest Way To Survive”, an essay about my experience visiting Syria’s Atmeh refugee camp in 2013


United States State Department Invitation to Diplomatic Speaking Engagement in Suriname, March 2014

• Invited under the auspices of the U.S. Speakers Program to work with trafficked persons, NGOs, journalists, and the general public in honor of Women’s History Month


Pushcart Prize Nominations, December 2013

• From Chattahoochee Review for “Coyote”

• From Box of Jars for “Shepherds and Inventions”


First Place, Glimmer Train‘s Family Matters Short Story Contest, 2013

• For “Keller’s Ranch”, published fall 2013


First Place, Chattahoochee Review‘s Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction, 2013
• For “Coyote”, nonfiction about Chumash Tribe member Tautahcho Muhuawit


Honorable Mention, Arts & Letters Nonfiction Prize, 2013

• For “Lenin”, an essay about my experience working in Russia for a sustainable forestry foundation


Honorable Mention, Arts & Letters Nonfiction Prize, 2013

• For “Nam”, a piece about the 2004 Tsunami


University of California Regents Special Fellowship, 2013

• For graduate studies in Theater and Dance


Woon-Joon Yoon Memorial Fellowship, April 2012
• For “Indiana University students who have exemplified tolerance and understanding across racial and religious lines through service, personal commitment, academic achievement and future potential.”  Won for travel to Bolivia summer 2012 to document the Rio Beni Health Project and translate contemporary Bolivian poetry.


USAID/Devex Worldwide Essay Competition, March 2012
• Essay on the Survival Girls one of five essays chosen in a global competition for inclusion in USAID’s “Frontiers in Development” publication, with contributions also by Bill Gates, Admiral Stavridis, Paul Collier, and Indra Nooyi


Wells Graduate Fellowship, February 2012
• Recipient of Indiana University’s largest Graduate Fellowship, “awarded to students who demonstrate the qualities for which Chancellor Wells was renowned: leadership abilities, academic excellence, character, social consciousness, and generosity of spirit”


AWP Intro Awards Nomination, November 2011
• For “Odette”, a nonfiction piece about working with refugee sex workers in Nairobi


Honorary Member, PEN Kenya, June 2011


International Enhancement Grant from Indiana University Graduate School, April 2011
• For the creation and implementation of creative writing workshops with young urban female refugees in Nairobi in collaboration with the UNHCR and the Great Globe Foundation


Runner Up, Best American Poetry Challenge, for “Please Hold”, January 2011


Speaker at Writers And Literary Translators International Congress 2010, Turkey
• Invited to present story of advocacy for exiled Mongolian Chinese writer for “Freedom of Expression” bracket of the Congress


Honorable Mention for New Millenium Writings competition, 2010


Louise McNutt Graduate Fellowship for study in the humanities, 2010


Nomination to Best American Short Stories by the editors of Cerise Press for fiction piece “Disturbing the Spirits”, 2009


Henry Luce Scholarship, International Relations Advisor to the Mongolian Writers Union, 2007-2008


Writers And Literary Translators International Congress Scholarship, 2008
• Presented paper on behalf of Mongolian Writers Union at inaugural conference in Stockholm


Brown University Kapstein Premium awarded to a senior who has done excellent work, 2007


Summer Literary Seminars Merit Scholarship for poetry workshop in St Petersburg, 2007


Juniper Summer Writing Institute Nomination and Scholarship, youngest recipient, 2006


Wesleyan Writing Conference Scholarship, youngest recipient, 2006


Michael Harper Poetry Service Assistantship for a Brown graduate or undergraduate to pursue pubic service project, 2006
• Towards an oral history book project with Tautahcho Muhuawit


Assatly Award for Praxis for essay submitted by a Brown graduate or undergraduate student, 2006


Creative Arts Council Grant to create the Brown Literary Review, fall 2005, spring 2006, and fall 2006


Michael Harper Poetry Service Assistantship, 2005
• For travel to Ecuador and Bolivia to write about family planning and rural health clinics


Barbara Banks Brodsky Prize for best creative manuscript submitted by Brown University junior or senior, 2005


Kim Ann Arstark Award for poetry submitted by a Brown graduate or undergraduate student, 2005


Pillsbury Scholarship for Creative Writing for college tuition, 2002 and 2003


Santa Barbara Foundation Writing Scholarship, Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, youngest recipient, 2002
• Honorable Mention in Poetry


Cosby Fellowship, for Wesleyan Writers Conference and summer home-stay in Ecuador, 2001

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