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Animation Educators Forum Selects 2021-22 Student Scholarships

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Animation Educators Forum Selects 2021-22 Student Scholarships

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Educators Forum (AEF) announced its scholarship recipients for the academic year 2021-22. This year’s scholarships totaled $39,730 and will be distributed to nine students, both graduates and undergraduates, from five states and four countries. The scholarship funds will be used to cover costs for necessary software and hardware, creative and academic research, and tuition.

The AEF scholarships are merit-based and designed to support college students in continuing their education in the field of animation. Each individual student’s written proposals, letters of recommendation from faculty, and demo reel/still art were taken into consideration as part of the selection process.

The 2021-22 AEF Scholarship recipients are:

  • Damian Thorn-Hauswirth, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL | Graduate Student – Creative Animation Project – Returning to graduate studies after working eight years in the industry.
  • Jenielle Salardo, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA | Senior, Undergraduate – Creative Animation Project – Active member of the “Shrunkenheadmen” Animation & Illustration Club.
  • Jodi Kuchenbecker, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR | Senior, Undergraduate – Creative Animation Project – A pilot episode of her series proposal.
  • Joy Zhou, Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada | Third year, Undergraduate – Tuition – Goals include story and character design.
  • Kaitlin Yu, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY | Senior, Undergraduate – Creative Animation Project – Project focuses on the experiences of immigrants.
  • Keri Galindo, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia | Fourth year, Graduate Degree – Animation Research Proposal – Applying animation principles to the field of social robotics.
  • Stefie Gan, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA | MFA Student – Creative Animation Project – Studies architecture at Columbia University.
  • Swann Valenza, MoPA, International School of 3D Animation, Arles, France | Fourth Year, Undergraduate – Creative Animation Proposal – Taught herself to use Blender 3D software while in high school.
  • Thomas Edgar-McNerney, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA | Fourth year, Undergraduate – Creative Animation Project – Inspired by special effect animation of dragons to pursue a career in animation. Hopes to be a storyboard artist.

AEF is proud to support these nine animation students on their journey towards membership in the global animation community. Now more than ever, animation in its many forms provides a way to communicate across cultures and across borders.

As previously announced, the AEF has selected nine diverse faculty animation projects to support with its 2021 Faculty Grants, totalling $24,880. This international cohort of grant recipients and projects comprises:

  • Alexander Sergeant, University of Portsmouth, U.K., to support his open access digital resource website and podcast project,, which examines the relationship between fantasy storytelling and animation.
  • Ana Mouyis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA, for research travel to Cyprus to conduct interviews and continue research on the similarities between the divided communities of Cyprus for her experimental animated documentary.
  • Anitha Balachandran, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, India, towards her five-minute experimental animated biographical film featuring legendary Indian singer Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.
  • Javad Khajavi, Maynooth University, Ireland, to help finance the acquisition of additional properties and rights furthering the development and expansion of the online Animated Calligraphy and Animated Typography Database (ACTD).
  • João Paulo Schlittler, University of São Paulo, Brazil, to assist in the continued progress of his animated 2D short film Tabacaria (The Tobacco Shop), an interpretation of Alvaro de Campos poem, employing china ink illustrations created in 1985.
  • Mette Peters, University of the Arts Utrecht, Netherlands, to support research and presentations of her project bringing George Debels (1890-1973), Dutch animation pioneer, out of obscurity via public screenings and teaching events.
  • Paul Taberham, Arts University Bournemouth, England, to help finance his solo-authored book Animated Visions: Theory, History and Aesthetics;
  • Raquel Coelho, San Jose State University, CA, to assist in completion of pre-production work on her stop-motion short film After the Great Collapse, which follows discussions by two women scientists post-pandemic.
  • Timothy Jones, Robert Morris University, PA, to assist in his project “Reframing Materials Best Practices for Inclusive and Accessible Learning in an Interdisciplinary Animation Lab,” developing materials for animation faculty to create inclusive workshops and curriculum for comprehensive learning experiences.

ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest chapter of the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (International Animated Film Association), supports a range of animation activities and preservation efforts through its membership. Current initiatives include the Animation Archive, Animation Aid Foundation, Animation Educators Forum, animated film preservation, special events, scholarships, and screenings.


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