As part of the 2021 BRIC Talent and Innovation Summit, WIA’s Chair of Education Hsiang Chin Moe announced the recipients of this year’s WIA Scholarships on Friday. This annual award is committed to furthering deserving animation students who demonstrate artistic talent, a passion for animation, a financial need and a promising future in the field of animation.
Student members of WIA were encouraged to apply, no matter in what region of the world they are academically pursuing their animation career interests. The scholarship pool totals $15,000 and also features workshops and software packages for recipients of the 2021 cycle from industry partners Animation Mentor, Autodesk, Toon Boom and Unity.
“WIA’s annual scholarship program is very dear to my heart because we are able to provide direct support to future generations, who play an essential role in WIA’s goal of reaching 50/50 by 2025. I am extremely proud of all the students in the world who keep creating and sharing their stories despite all the difficulties they may have, especially in this time of pandemic,” said Moe.
Out of 97 applicants from 49 schools across U.S. states as well as Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, China, Germany, Indonesia, Sweden and Vietnam this year, the WIA scholarship committee selected these deserving students:
- Tessa Abrams from California Institute of the Arts
- Juliana Belmonte from Sheridan College
- Anayis Der Hakopian from Royal College of Art
- Sebrina Gao from ArtCenter College of Design
- Vi Le from School of Visual Arts
- Winnie Mai from School of Visual Arts
- Christina Oyebade from Loyola Marymount University
- Nadine Promes from U-Tad
- Gabriela Soto from Ringling College of Art and Design
- Jiamu Tao from School of Visual Arts
The scholarship winners’ bios and website links can be found on the WIA scholarship page.
Beyond those students who received cash scholarships, WIA also announced 26 Honorable Mention Winners who were awarded software and/or workshop packages to boost their animation skills. For yet another year, 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 benefited 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. 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. Unity provided 15 Annual Unity Pro licenses and 15 Annual ArtEngine licenses to help female animators gain employable skills and practice of real-time 3D tools and technologies used in the animation industry.
“I am especially grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and partners that have extended their offers to many more deserving students this year. The 2021 application pool was incredibly inspiring due to the applicant’s exceptional creativity as well as their determination to learn and to grow, and I know our Honorable Mention winners will do great things with access to these software and workshop prizes,” said Moe.