In 2019, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) awarded her 2nd place in their quadrennial Creativity Award in Literature for her story “Transit عبر الحياة”, which she co-wrote with poet Amna Alharmoodi. For June 2019, she has been awarded a scholarship to attend Aspen Words and take a fiction workshop with Tom Barbach, and in July 2019, she was selected to attend Tin House’s fiction class with Karen Shepard.
Recently, she presented on interrogating monolingualism in Beirut, Lebanon. In summer 2018, she presented her work on experiential learning in Utrecht, The Netherlands, at the European First Year Experience Conference. Previously, she has presented her work at conferences in: Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and several cities across the United States. In 2017, Samantha was awarded International Program of the Year Award for her work developing First Year Dialogue, a unique first year seminar in the Gulf, by the International Knowledge Community of NASPA. In 2015, she won the International Abu Dhabi Time Out Magazine Poetry Competition.
In the past, she served as the Associate Editor for the She’s the First Poetry Anthology. Samantha has also worked part-time as a Special Correspondent for AFAR magazine and for Weight Watchers Magazine. Samantha has been published in Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Hell Gate Review, Time Out, Tuck Magazine, HEADWAY, F word magazine, Singapore Unbound, among others.
Samantha likes to remember some advice Toni Morrison gave her own students: “When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”
Samantha is a first-generation college student, and she is full of gratitude for the village(s) who got her to where she is today. She is a joyful graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study (B.A.) and the University of Pennsylvania (M.S.Ed).