The Zankel Scholar Competition

The most useful advice that I have received has been to work hard and keep moving forward. With the help of my instructors and fellow students at Ringling College and the Illustration Academy, I have worked diligently to advance to the next level and apply for every opportunity and award that I've qualified for. During the beginning of April, my department head informed me of the Zankel Scholar award offered by the Society of Illustrators for the first year. When I applied for the award, I knew it was the most prestigious national opportunity currently offered to illustration students. As such, it went beyond any other goal that I could wish to accomplish and it seemed impossible to attain.

On June 13th, on the most exciting, happiest, and scariest day of my life, I was awarded the 2007 Zankel Scholar award.

It's still hard to wrap my head around it and I don't quite believe that it happened. I'm just a person from a rural town, working to achieve my goals of becoming an illustrator. The best part of the experience was when I walked away with connections to an incredibly supportive community of my heroes, inspirations and new friends.

To Judy Francis, Terry Brown, Scott Bakal, Dennis Dittrich, Marcos Chin, Jack Tom, Donato Giancola, Vicki Nightingale, the staff at the Society, and Andrea Rhodes, Christina Mrozik and Adrienne Balthuis: thank you for being so kind, generous, and supportive. You inspire me to work harder and keep reaching for the "impossible" goals.