Scholarship Program > 2022-23 Winners


Out of 192 applications from 74 schools across the US and Puerto Rico as well as Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, and Sri Lanka during the 2022-2023 program, the WIA scholarship committee selected these 15 amazing students as most deserving of scholarships, in addition to 25 students as honorable mentions.


Michelle Cheng

California Institute of the Arts

Michelle is a Toronto/LA based aspiring story artist currently studying at CalArts. While she enjoys the filmmaking process as a whole, she’s particularly interested in creating work at the intersection of animation and education, often taking inspiration from literature, history, and mythology.

Taharida Rahman

California State University, Northridge

Born and raised in Dhaka, Taha rahman is a Bangladeshi-American animation student at California State University Northridge, currently striving to be in visual development, with an affinity for designing different worlds and storytelling with color and light. Originally a STEM major, the world of animation was fascinating enough for her to start doing art for the first time as a hobby in 2018, which has now turned into a fully realized dream and aspiration to be an artist in the animation industry. Additionally, she enjoys cooking, journaling, teaching her peers, and leading collaborative creative projects.

Rui Han

University of Southern California

Rui Han is a story artist and filmmaker from Changchun, China. With an enormous passion for art and animation storytelling, after graduating from Tianjin University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Rui decided to chase her dream and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in animation at USC. Rui aspires to become a better storyteller who could one day use her storytelling to inspire and bring joy to young artists and dreamers around the world.

Maggie McKelvey

California Institute of the Arts

Maggie McKelvey is an experimental animator from Los Angeles, currently studying at CalArts for their BFA. Maggie’s work often centers around ideas of home and connection to the self and world around you.

Sherry Li

University of Pennsylvania

Sherry Li is an artist and computer graphics student at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s passionate about character design, vibrant colors, and art that evokes emotion!

Kaylee Tian Lin Tan

Ringling College of Art And Design

I was born and raised in Singapore and am currently a Computer Animation senior at Ringling College of Art and Design, working on my thesis film “Head in the Clouds.” I love telling fun and heartwarming stories, and hope to spread positivity to inspire others through my art works. I am a huge advocate of volunteering and am leading a team of students to develop a children’s picture book for a local non-profit organization. In my free time, I also volunteer with Asians in Animation and enjoy fun pursuits like cooking and vlogging!

Ruby Saysanasy

Sheridan College

Hi! my name is Ruby, I am currently in my senior year at Sheridan College majoring in Animation! I love drawing and designing characters! Thank you so much WIA for this amazing opportunity to further my skills as an artist, so much appreciation for all this organization does!

Brooke Burnett

School of Visual Arts

Brooke is a 2D animation generalist with love for creating silly things! Heavily inspired by board games, fantasy media, and her talented friends, Brooke aspires to make films and artwork that draw people together. She’s currently doing freelance animation and character design for Spindlehorse Toons but hopes to one day direct her own team of artists on an animated project.

Ejun Hong

University of Pennsylvania

I am a sophomore (‘2025) at the University of Pennsylvania studying Design, Fine Arts, and Cinema and Media studies. I am an award-winning animator, a filmmaker, a graphic designer, a creative storyteller, and a compassionate leader. I am passionate about animation and film production, graphic design, visual development, mixed media drawing, making an impact through civic engagement, and telling stories through my art.

Hailey Bair

Ringling College of Art and Design

Hello! I am a senior Computer Animation major at Ringling College of Art and Design. I love the way animation allows for the impossible to become possible, telling memorable and impactful stories. I am beyond excited to be able to make such magic with my passion for character animation and CG generalism!

Fan Zhang

Academy Of Art University

I graduated from the Character Animation program at CalArts in 2020. Presently I am in the graduate program at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco, CA. My goal is to grow into a good animation filmmaker and an art educator.

Safia Colbert

Arizona State University

Safia Imani Acua Colbert (born in Scottsdale, AZ 2000) graduated from Saguaro High school in May of 2019, before in 2016 joined the ACE program to start early in her college classes, and is now at the end of her junior year in college in early January 2023. Works in Hospitality at a hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. Presently, she is taking classes for her BFA major in becoming an Animation/Storyboard artist major. Studies art as a genre such as the digital medium, drawing, and painting. Has Achieved her AFA (Associates in Fine Arts) as of December 28, 2021, at Scottsdale Community College. She enjoys the part-time hobby of Photography, Instrumental practices (violin and piano). The key themes in her artwork are Identity, Invention, and Progress.

Patricia Alyson Deogracias

Ringling College of Art and Design

Hello! I am a Filipino story artist studying at Ringling College of Art and Design. I’m passionate towards bringing my appreciation for life into every aspect of my work, by helping create diverse stories that can entertain, comfort, and inspire audiences in the same way that animation has helped me navigate my identity and worldview.

Isabella Bajestani

Belmont University

My name is Isabella (Darya) Bajestani, and I’m a queer Iranian-American illustrator, character designer, and story artist. I aim to represent the underrepresented through my work and to cultivate a sense of empathy for migrant families through storytelling and design. When I’m not working on my portfolio, you can find me knee-deep in West Asian historical clothing archives or writing meta-analyses on the intersection of animation and diaspora experiences.

Tiffany Book

ArtCenter College of Design

I’m Tiffany Book and I am a visual development artist graduating from ArtCenter College of Design in spring of 2023. I design moody stories and explore styles to enhance them. Most importantly, I love painting and learning new things!


Madison Banks – Columbus College of Art and Design

Mira Belle – University of the Arts

Simone Bhoolai – Columbus College of Art and Design

Mikayluh Bowers – Ringling College of Art and Design

Amandine Cayla – ECV Paris

Amanda Chew – School of Visual Arts, New York

Izzy Delore – School of Visual Arts

Torianna Jacque – California Institute of the Arts

Saige Kanik – Rochester Institute of Technology

Jee Eun Kim – School of Visual Arts

Claude Lau – Savannah College of Art and Design

Zilan Lin – School of Visual Arts

Monica Miranda Morales Rosales – California Institute of the Arts

Sung Eun Park – California Institute of the Arts

Rebecca Payne – California Institute of the Arts

Eden Quan – Ringling College Of Art and Design

Shameegah Rajah – SAE Institute

Beilianne Rivera – Atlantic University College

Lizzete Rivera – Middlesex College

Sophie Schmid – Chapman University, Dodge College Film and Media Arts

Emily Sherwood – Animation Mentor

Zoe Sweeting – School of Visual Arts

Emily Urban – School of Visual Arts

Kasey Uhter – Moore College of Art & Design

Jee Young Whang – School of Visual Arts

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