Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

A dream found in Monsters, Inc.:

Student earns prestigious scholarship to attend illustration conference
Sarah Krzynowek describes advantages of studying animation at Huntington University, a Christian college.

"It wasn’t expected, but I’m very happy it’s happening."

Arolyn Krzynowek always saw her daughter as a writer and illustrator. And the summer before her senior year, Sarah had the chance to prove her right.

Sarah Krzynowek was awarded the Student Illustrator Scholarship to attend the 2011 Summer Conference hosted by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Sarah, an animation student and native of New Hartford, Conn., was one of only three to receive this scholarship.

The scholarship provided admission to all conference events including keynotes and breakout sessions, entry into the Juried Portfolio Showcase, attendance to the illustration master class, an individual portfolio consultation with an illustrator or art director and one year’s society membership dues.

The SCBWI is the biggest children’s book illustrator and writer professional organization in the world.

“It’s unheard of for a small liberal arts college student to receive this scholarship over an illustration major at an arts school. This is a big deal for the university,” said Bryan Ballinger, associate professor of digital media arts.

Sarah is the first student from Huntington University to receive this honor.

“I’m excited,” she said. “It wasn’t expected, but I’m very happy it’s happening.”

Sarah found her love for animation and illustration from – uniquely enough – the movie Monsters, Inc. The behind-the-scenes footage inspired her to pursue a career in the field.

“I like stories and characters,” she said. “I like the whole children’s book idea.”

After finding her passion for animation, a Google search led Sarah to Huntington and then under the direction of Prof. Ballinger.

“I got so much encouragement from (Prof.) Ballinger. I wouldn’t be there without him,” she said of her experiences at HU and the SCBWI conference.

As Sarah looked toward her final year at HU, she was still contemplating her future and what career options that may bring. She knew that she was fully prepared for whatever job she may find.

“Being here, in this environment, is so good,” Sarah said. “It keeps me motivated.”

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