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While the Society endures the effects of the pandemic including the temporary closure of our museum, our scholarship programs have continued as planned. Immediately upon lockdown in March, Society staff quickly set up a virtual jurying process using the competitions website, and video conferencing was used for medal discussions and finalist interviews. The Society is proud to announce this year’s scholarship winners! 

This year’s Annual Student Scholarship Competition features over three hundred works chosen from 7,300 entries submitted by professors of college-level illustration and animation students nationwide and Canada. In a competition which can kick start a career, students bring their most sophisticated, well-crafted and original work to be tested. A jury of professional peers, including illustrators and art directors, selects the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Work is juried into the competition based on the quality of technique, concept and skill of medium used. Thirty two students were awarded financial support from the show, which  is now viewable on the Society’s online exhibits platform.

The Zankel Scholar, established in 2007, is named in memory of Arthur Zankel, whose generous bequest made this scholarship possible. Mr. Zankel was a firm advocate for higher education, and the Society is honored to seek, in his name, the best illustration student of the junior class. Top students are nominated by faculty, and submit a portfolio of work to the Society. The jury chose as finalists Angela Wang (Maryland Institute College of Art), Ziwei Jin (School of Visual Arts), and Huahua Zhu (Rhode Island School of Design). After online interviews and a portfolio review, Angela Wang was selected as this year’s Zankel Scholar. 

On behalf of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, the Society is pleased to announce the annual Will Eisner Scholar, dedicated to one of the most influential comic artists of all time. This scholarship is awarded to the best comics and sequential art student currently enrolled in an undergraduate program in the US. Junior-level students are selected by their faculty and submit a portfolio to the Society. The jury chose as finalists Cecilia Cao (Rhode Island School of Design), Bryn Dougherty (Kansas City Art Institute), and Runqi Yang (School of Visual Arts). After online interviews and a review of their body of work, Cecilia Cao was selected as this year’s Will Eisner Scholar.

In 2010, the Society established the Society of Illustrators Scholarship in Memory of Joyce Rogers Kitchell, to honor her legacy as an illustrator and longtime member. The scholarship provides annual support for a student within The School of Art and Design at San Diego State University. Nominated students are selected by a committee of faculty members, and finalists are chosen by the Society based on their portfolios and written statements. This year’s winner is Andrea Mendoza.

About the Society of Illustrators

Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators and its Museum of Illustration together comprise America’s longest-standing nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration. The mission of SI/MI is to promote the art and appreciation of illustration and its history and evolving nature through exhibitions and educational programs.


About the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation 

The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. 


About the School of Art and Design at San Diego State University 

The School of Art and Design at San Diego State University values the theoretical and historical study of the visual arts, art making, and the practice of design; and recognizes that they are integral to society and beneficial to the individual. They promote the values of integrity, innovation, and interaction through their teaching, creative endeavors, and community involvement. The School’s progressive, dynamic, and relevant curricula attract ambitious, dedicated undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom become leading professionals in their fields. Their faculty and staff are distinguished by breadth of experience, expertise, and professional achievement.


For media inquiries please contact:

Kate Feirtag

Director of Communications and External Relations

Museum of Illustration | Society of Illustrators

128 East 63rd Street | New York, NY

212.838.2560 |

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