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!


The following Honorable Mention students were awarded software packages from one of the above sponsors:

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


(Displayed In Alphabetical Order)

Animation Focus

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. One WIA scholarship recipient will receive a place in a 2023 Animation Focus class

Animation Mentor

Animation Mentor will offer one WIA Animation Scholarship winner a 6-week workshop (a $699-$899 value) and will allow that awardee the choice of several courses. With their choice of 10 different classes: Maya Workshop: Animation Basics, Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators, 2D Animation for beginners, 2D Animation: Walk Cycles & Character Movement, Pre-Visualization basics for animators, Storyboarding Fundamentals, Intermediate Storyboarding, Visual Development: Principles of Design, Game Animation Fundamentals, and Digital Painting, the student winner will have many options to best personalize this educational opportunity.


ArtStation is proud to support the WIA Scholarship Program and is offering 25 one-year ArtStation Pro upgrades to recipients. ArtStation Pro comes with a custom website builder, analytics, blog page, 4K uploads and video clips, and much more!


Autodesk is supporting this year’s recipients with licenses of their 3D modeling and animation software. Eight winners will have the choice between one-year subscriptions of Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max


Foundry will offer one WIA Animation winner, $2,000 in scholarship funds together with a permanent Production Collective license to its suite of products, including Nuke Studio, Katana, Mari and Modo. This license will allow the winner access to Foundry’s industry-leading compositing, editorial, review, modeling, 3D painting, look development and lighting software.


LAIKA is excited to participate in the WIA Scholarship Program again this year and they will be giving out two cash awards, up to $2,000 USD 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.

Toon Boom

Toon Boom is excited to support the WIA scholarship program for the third year in a row, helping to build a more diverse animation industry and providing support to new talent entering the market. The prizes include 20 licenses of Storyboard Pro, 20 licenses of Harmony Premium, and 10 Harmony Fundamentals Online Courses. The best way to prepare for a future in animation is to set a solid foundation with leading technology that will be used throughout a professional career.


Wacom is excited to be a part of Women In Animation’s mission. They believe everyone is creative and want to continue to provide access, support and awareness to those who are bringing a new voice to the industry. Wacom is donating Cintiq Pro 16’s to ten WIA scholarship winners 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.

WIA Bay Area Chapter

WIA Bay Area Chapter is offering a $1,500 USD scholarship to one scholarship recipient who is living and studying in the Bay Area. This opportunity is also open to students who are currently living in the Bay Area but are attending schools elsewhere remotely this year.

WIA Montreal Chapter

WIA Montreal Chapter is offering a $1,000 CAD scholarship to one student who is currently studying in Montreal or living in Montreal while taking online classes at schools in other countries.

Yellowbrick Learning

Yellowbrick Learning — Animation Mentor’s parent company — is proud to announce that they are also offering a separate scholarship award that will allow 3 awardees their choice of one Yellowbrick online course for each winner. (a $1,000 per class value, totaling $3000) With their choice of 22 different classes to choose from, such as Fashion, Music, Film & Entertainment, Beauty, Design, E-commerce, Hospitality, New Media, and E-Sports & Gaming, the 3 winners of this scholarship will get to choose 1 course each from their curriculum.


To view an archive of past winners and runner-ups of the WIA Scholarship Program click on a link below:

2021-2022 Scholarship Winners

2020-2021 Scholarship Winners

2019-2020 Scholarship Winners