Author who received the 2010 Bellwether Prize for Fiction for her novel, “Running the Rift,” and the 2006 Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction for her short story collection, “Love Letters from a Fat Man;” teacher in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and mentor for Afghan women through the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. Recipient of AULA’s 2013 President’s Award for Distinction in Professional Accomplishment."AULA did not make me the person I am today, but it opened the doors for me to walk through into who I am. I always felt supported, nurtured and encouraged in my MFA studies. The focus on social justice was life-affirming, especially in a world where such work seems less and less valued."