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Literature Alumni Highlights


Aimee Bender Aimee Bender, ’91

Aimee Bender is the author of five books, including The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998), a NY Times Notable Book; An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000), an L.A. Times pick of the year; The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010), winner of the SCIBA award for best fiction; and The Color Master, a NY Times Notable Book for 2013. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at USC. She has been featured on a UC San Diego “We Are Tritons” campus banner.

Dr. Gregory Buford

Dr. Gregory Buford, ’90, MD, FACS

In addition to running a successful practice as a Denver, Colorado Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and national expert on non-invasive surgical technologies, Dr. Buford is a published author, writing on both medical and business topics.

Kate Cook

Kate Cook, ’03

Director, Marketing at Pivot TV Network/Participant Media

Prior to her current job, Kate Cook held senior marketing positions at Participant Media and A&E Television Networks. She started her career working in production at MTV Networks, Hoosick Falls Productions, and Ironweed Films before moving into brand strategy and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Paul Flores

Paul S. Flores, ’95

Paul S. Flores is a published poet, performance artist, playwright, and well known spoken word artist. His PEN Award winning novel ALONG THE BORDER LIES reflects his experience growing up in Chula Vista, CA, on the border of Tijuana, Mexico. Flores work explores the intersection of urban culture, Hip-Hop and transnational identity. His spoken word poem “Brown Dreams” from Def Poetry on HBO has been viewed on YouTube 100,000 times, and continues to inform and influence young people all over the United States.

Literatures in English

Carol Becker

Carol Becker, Ph.D. ’76

Carol Becker is Dean of Faculty and Professor of the Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Art in Society for the World Economic Forum. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, the education of artists, art and social responsibility, to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism. She was honored by UC San Diego as the 1999 Outstanding Alumna and was recognized during the 50th Anniversary Year in 2010.

Adriana Cara

Adriana Cara, ’92

Founding Attorney, Cara & Garland, APLC, one of the few female- and minority-owned law practices in San Diego County. In a June 2015 profile story in the San Diego Union Tribune, Cara confided that reading literature is an essential part of who she is and has served her well since her days at UC San Diego, providing an enjoyable escape during her stressful law school days and a solid foundation for developing persuasive legal arguments as an attorney.

Kathryn Frengs

Kathryn Frengs, ’01

Global Marketing Communications Lead, Firewood Marketing at Google

Kathryn Frengs started her professional life as an Intern in The Clinton White House, was Staff Assistant and Field Rep to U.S. Congresswoman Jane Harman, and has worked, among other places, at Apple, in Paris and in the U.K.

Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson, ’74, Ph.D. ’82

Kim Stanley Robinson is a renowned science fiction author, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. He has penned more than 20 books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica. According to a 2013 article in the New Yorker, he is "generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers." He was honored by UC San Diego in 2005 for Professional Achievement and by Muir College as a 2011 Environmental Fellow.

Alan Russell

Alan Russell, ’78

Bestselling author of ten mystery novels, including Burning ManShameMultiple WoundsThe Hotel Detective, and Political Suicide, Alan Russell’s books have been nominated for most of the major awards in crime fiction, including a Lefty award for best comedic mystery, a USA Today Critics’ Choice Award, two San Diego Book Awards for best mystery novel, and the Odin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the San Diego Writers/Editor Guild. Alan served as editor of The Guardian newspaper while a student at UCSD and returned to UC San Diego in 2014 to give the Warren College commencement keynote speech. He lives with his wife and children in Encinitas, California.

Literatures in Spanish

Christopher Yanov

Christopher Yanov, ’99

Founder, Reality Changers

Since Chris Yanov founded Reality Changers in 2001, the program has helped award nearly five million dollars in scholarships to inner-city students. Reality Changers students are part of the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program at UC San Diego. He has been named one of the most-admired CEOs by the San Diego Business Journal and one of San Diego’s new civic power brokers by San Diego Magazine. In 2015, he received UC San Diego’s True Triton Award for volunteer service.

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