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WIA Announces 2022 WIA Scholarship Recipients

Out of 170 worldwide applicants, 18 students were awarded scholarships with an additional 18 receiving honorable mentions.

Women in Animation (WIA) has announced the recipients for this year’s WIA Scholarships. The announcement was made by WIA’s chair of education Hsiang Chin Moe via a video presentation as part of the 2022 BRIC Talent and Innovation Summit.

36 recipients were selected from around world, making this the largest group to receive cash awards and honorable mentions in the program’s history. The WIA Scholarship Program is an annual award committed to supporting deserving animation students who demonstrate artistic talent, a passion for animation, a financial need, and a promising future in the field of animation.

The scholarship pool totals $28,000 and features workshops, tutoring opportunities, animation equipment, and software packages from industry partners Animation Focus, Animation Mentor, Autodesk, Foundry, Laika, Toon Boom, and Wacom. 

“Providing direct support to future generations of animation creatives through WIA’s Scholarship program is essential to creating a more just and diverse animation industry,” noted Moe. “I am extremely proud of this diverse and talented group of 36 artists — and all the students in the world — who keep creating and sharing their stories. The much-needed change starts with all of you.”

Out of 170 applicants, 18 students were awarded scholarships, with an addition 18 students receiving honorable mentions. The applicants represented 72 schools across the US as well as Australia; Brazil; Canada; Colombia; Finland; France; Germany; Indonesia; Mexico; Mongolia; Netherlands; Poland; South Korea; Spain; and the Philippines.

The scholarship recipients are (in alphabetical order):

  • Anya Butler - California Institute of the Arts
  • Laura Alejandra Correal Cardenas - Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Anna Dinh - California State University Long Beach
  • Elena Fazio - Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Bekka Goldstein - Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Meghan Graham - San Jose State University
  • Yulong Jones - Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Jennifer Nie - California Institute of the Arts
  • Nomin Ochir - Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design
  • Chelsea Ortega - School of Visual Arts
  • Daphne Reynolds - Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Vanessa Schneider - Animationsinstitut of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
  • Lou Thoby - Ecole MoPA - Motion Pictures in Arles
  • Jennifer Wu - Sheridan College
  • Kaiyun Yang - Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Ollie Yao - School of Visual Arts
  • Irida Zhonga - University of Groningen
  • Joy Zhou - California Institute of the Arts

A complete list of recipients including their bios is available here.

"The WIA Scholarship program is a perfect example of how given the proper tools, training and support, these brilliant students will be making the change we are working so hard toward in the animation field,” commented WIA president Marge Dean “I am overjoyed to see we are building a truly global community with applicants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, and the Philippines. I can't wait to see what these brilliant artists will do.”

Beyond those students who received cash scholarships, WIA also announced 18 Honorable Mention Winners who were awarded software and/or workshop packages to boost their animation skills. Once again, Toon Boom supported the WIA Scholarship Program with both software and scholarship funds. One-year bundled licenses of Storyboard Pro and Harmony Premium were awarded to finalists as well as virtual training. In addition to supporting the cash prize pool, Autodesk awarded this year’s recipients with licenses of their 3D modeling and animation software. Winners have the choice between one-year subscriptions of Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max. Animation Focus provides online animation tutoring on a 1 to 1 basis with a professional feature film character animator — 1 hour per week for 4 weeks.

Three WIA scholarship recipients will each receive a place in a 2022 Animation Focus class. Scholarship partner Animation Mentor offered one WIA Animation Scholarship winner a six-week workshop and will allow that awardee the choice of several courses including Maya Workshop: Animation Basics and Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators. Foundry will award $2,000 in scholarship funds together with a permanent Production Collective license to its suite of products, including Nuke Studio, Katana, Mari and Modo.

WIA is proud to have stop-motion powerhouse Laika join the WIA Scholarship Program for the first time this year. They will be giving out two cash awards, up to $2,000 to two deserving students who specialize in stop-motion. Laika hopes to take this opportunity to foster future talent that shares the same passion for stop-motion filmmaking. Wacom is donating Cintiq Pro 16’s because they understand the importance of having professional-level technology as it will set the talent apart for both freelancing work and their creative portfolios making them more hirable in the animation industry.

“I am beyond thrilled and in awe of the continued generosity of our sponsors and partners who have made these gracious donations that will allow our talented and deserving students the ability to reach their dreams and surpass our expectations,” added Moe. “I know our Honorable Mention winners will do great things with access to these software and workshop prizes.”

WIA sponsors who helped make this year’s program possible included Animation Focus; Animation Mentor; Autodesk; Foundry; Laika; Toon Boom; Wacom; and the WIA Bay Area and Montreal chapters.

Source: Women in Animation

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.