Out of 170 applications from 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 during the 2021-2022 program, the WIA scholarship committee selected these 18 amazing students as most deserving of scholarships, in addition to 18 students as honorable mentions. The announcement was made at the 2022 BRIC Summit on February 11-12, 2022. Special thanks to WIA’s sponsors: Animation Focus, Animation Mentor, Autodesk, Foundry, Laika, Toon Boom, Wacom, and the WIA Bay Area and Montreal chapters for making this year’s program possible!


Ollie Yao

School of Visual Arts


I am a 3D look development artist based in New York obsessed with finding cool things and seeing how they work. In my spare time I enjoy going to ballet class, longboarding, and making my own clothes!

Irida Zhonga

University of Groningen


I am a Greek Animation Director specializing in stop motion and 2D/mixed media techniques, currently based in the Netherlands and studying a Research MA in Arts, Media, and Literary Studies with a specialization in film and animation. I find animation as a great medium to comment on the world in which we live and produce believable worlds no matter how surreal or strange they may seem. My hope is to create stories that entertain and inspire people to be their true selves!

Jennifer Wu

Sheridan College


Jennifer Wu is a Chinese-Canadian animation student at Sheridan College currently pursuing a career in visual development and character design. However, she loves all parts of film-making and has experience in production management, storyboarding, animation, compositing and more. Outside of films, Jennifer enjoys leading collaborative projects with friends, teaching, trying new recipes and thinking of funny stories to tell.

Laura Alejandra Correal Cardenas

Savannah College of Art and Design


Laura is a Colombian Animation junior at SCAD, passionate about visual development, color, and set design. She is drawn to whimsical stories, nature and loves avocados and her two cats dearly. Upon graduating, she hopes to participate in projects that promote positivity, respect, and social inclusion for kids.

Jennifer Nie

California Institute of The Arts


Jennifer Nie is a film maker, designer, and illustrator based in Los Angeles. She loves to draw fun pictures and work with colors.

Yulong Jones

Ringling College of Art And Design


Yulong Jones is a CG Generalist with a focus in look development and texturing currently based in Sarasota, Florida. As a Black and Asian woman, intentional representation is a pillar of her artwork. Her love for animation as a medium is ever evolving as it is a marriage between her favorite hobbies growing up (painting, theater, dancing, etc).

Anna Dinh

California State University Long Beach


I am a Vietnamese-American visual development artist and illustrator with a passion for visual storytelling. My work primarily revolves around my love for color, light, and landscapes.

Joy Zhou

Sheridan College


Hi! I’m Joy, and I grew up coast-to-coast in Boston, Massachusetts and the San Francisco Bay Area! I’m a story artist and character designer currently studying animation at Sheridan College. I love telling stories, making people laugh, cooking without a recipe, and writing cheesy pun poetry.

Kaiyun Yang

California Institute of the Arts


Kyky Yang is a Taiwanese story artist and a BFA4 Character Animation student in Calarts. She does comedy, action and her work always tries to bridge the Eastern mind with global audiences.

Vanessa Schneider

Animationsinstitut of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg


My name is Vanessa Schneider, and I study Character Animation at Animationsinstut of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany. My passion for acting and stories inspired me to become an Animator by telling stories through a character who is thinking and moving. If I’m not animating, I spend my time making music.

Lou Thoby

Ecole MoPA – Motion Pictures in Arles


My name is Lou Thoby, and I am a 3D animation and filmmaking student from MoPA school, based in Arles, France. I am passionate about art, especially when it comes to story-telling, colors and lighting. I love making images, as well as thinking about how to achieve the look I am heading for.

Anya Butler

California Institute of the Arts


Anya is a British/Russian/American artist and animator currently studying at CalArts. She is inspired by her upbringing in the English countryside and old Soviet cartoons. Her work is whimsical, surreal and a little melancholy.

Bekka Goldstein

Ringling College of Art and Design


My name is Bekka Goldstein and I am currently studying Computer Animation at Ringling College. I am passionate about 3D modeling and digital sculpting and enjoy creating assets that bring stories to life. I strive to one day contribute to the impactful animations that inspire me. In doing so, I hope to empower other female artists to pursue artistic careers and never give up on their dreams.

Chelsea Ortega

School of Visual Arts


I’m Chelsea Ortega and I’m a Filipino 2D animation student studying at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I want to showcase beauty and spectacle while capturing the quieter moments in life as a storyboard artist and animator. With a focus on the supernatural and magical, I’m passionate about creating stories that people can escape to and find a little piece of home in.

Daphne Reynolds

Ringling College of Art and Design


Daphne Reynolds is an animation student at Ringling College of Art and Design, specializing in lighting and set modeling. Daphne has a strong passion for leadership and DEI efforts. When she’s not working on CG work, she is a student worker at the school’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, a member on multiple Diversity & Inclusion Committees, and the President of the Students of Color Alliance Club at Ringling, which provides a safe space for students of color at a PWI.

Elena Fazio

Ringling College of Art and Design


My name is Elena Fazio and I am currently studying computer animation at Ringling College of Art and Design. I am a passionate animator who loves bringing characters to life through unique, fun, and nuanced performances. After graduating, I hope to collaborate with other amazing artists in my field and have the chance to grow my skills as an animator!

Nomin Ochir

Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design


Mongolian story artist striving to work in feature animation. I am currently a senior 2D Animation student studying at RMCAD. I love making stories with my friends and supporting my peers!

Meghan Graham

San Jose State University


Meghan Graham is a stop-motion fabricator and multimedia animator currently studying at San Jose State University. When she isn’t going to school, doing freelance stop-motion, or working as a professional time machine operator she is completing her duties as Vice President of the Shrunkenheadman Animation Club and making funky creations which she sells on Esty.


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

Viviane Feltrin – Think Tank Training Centre

Claire Foxworth – Laguna College of Art and Design

Stefie Gan – University Of Southern California

Alyah Hijar – Savannah College of Art and Design

Malwina Jablonska – Glasgow Caledonian University

Mary Lindstrom – School of Visual Arts

Ke Yu Liu – ArtCenter College of Design

Emily Mah – Drexel University

Anya Martin – California Institute of the Arts

Dane Ronsayro – Ateneo de Manila University

Violette Talalaeff – Ecole MoPA – Motion Pictures in Arles

Michelle Tang – California Institute of the Arts

Yisel Tapia – San Jose State University

Melanie Tikhonova – Sheridan College

Yuen Wang – Ringling College of Art and Design

Kamilah Wong – Savannah College of Art and Design

Johanna Xue – New York University

Shyaoman Zhang – Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)


(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. Three WIA scholarship recipients will each receive a place in a 2022 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.


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 joining the WIA Scholarship Program for the first time 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 focused on promoting the presence and mentorship of women at every level of the animation industry. Our annual partnership with WIA through programs such as ACE, MUMA/WIA Mexico mentorship program, as well as our contribution to WIA’s annual Scholarship Program allow us to continue our pursuit of our objectives. This year Toon Boom will provide both software and scholarship funds for the chosen winners of the WIA Scholarship Program, up to $2,000 USD. One-year bundled licenses of Storyboard Pro 20 and Harmony Premium 21 will be awarded to each finalist as well as funds to support their education.


Wacom is excited to be a part of the Women In Animation’s mission to help young women find careers in the animation space. 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

The 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

The WIA Montreal Chapter is working alongside Cinesite and ReelFX to offer a $1,000 CAD scholarship to one student who is currently studying in Montreal or living in Montreal but is taking online classes at schools in other countries.


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

2020-2021 Scholarship Winners

2019-2020 Scholarship Winners


In addition to the WIA Scholarship Program, please check out a growing list of scholarship opportunities offered by many other domestic and international organizations. If you have any scholarship opportunities that you would like to share with the WIA student members, please contact us directly at [email protected].