Travel Awards Committee

To maintain the Travel Award program that has been established to encourage participation and attendance by VRA members at the Association’s annual conference; to administer the awards by formulating criteria for application guidelines and the selection of the award recipients upon approval by the Executive Board; and to arrange for the presentation of the awards.

Michael Donovan, Flaxman Library, SAIC

Lael Ensor-Bennett, Johns Hopkins University
Marcia Focht, Binghamton University
Allan Kohl, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Molly Schoen, Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY
Heather Seneff, University of Denver

VRA Executive Board Liaison:



VRA Travel Awards Information

The Visual Resources Association offers several awards to assist member attendance at the VRA Annual Conference. Several Tansey Awards are offered each year along with Corporate Travel Awards, New Horizon awards, named individual donor awards, Top-Up awards and student awards. (Please see Types of Awards and announcements on VRA-L for more information.) Selection of recipients is determined by the Travel Awards Committee. The goal of the Travel Awards Program is to encourage and support conference attendance by both new members/conference attendees and veteran members/attendees.

The Tansey Travel Award program was started in 1993 with initial funding by Luraine Tansey. She won the Distinguished Service Award that year and requested that her travel expenses reimbursement be used to assist other VRA members with their professional development.  This became the seed of the fund, further supplemented when she sent in her first retirement checks (one from teaching art history, and another much smaller one from slide librarianship).  The total was matched by the VRA and the Tansey Travel Award Fund was born.  The Travel Award Committee, formed in 1993, presented the first five awards of $400 each to VRA attendees of the 1994 New York City conference.

The Tansey awards are now funded through fundraising events, VRA member donations, and other VRA funds.  Full Tansey awards are now up to $850 each; in addition there are Top-Up awards available up to $599 intended for applicants who have partial institutional funding, and awards for International members of $1,000. For 2017, two anonymously donated New Horizons awards of $850 and a New Horizons student award of $300 were awarded.  In the past, several individual VRA members have sponsored named awards, for example the Kathe Hicks Albrecht Award and the Joseph C. Taormina Memorial Award.

The Travel Awards Committee especially encourages applications from new members/first time conference attendees, veteran members who have not had funds to attend conferences, international members, solo, isolated, and part-time VR professionals, students considering careers in visual resources, and any member actively participating in the conference who lacks sufficient funding to attend.  Beginning in 2012, travel awards were given to non-members with the provision they become members of VRA prior to attending the conference.

Types of Travel Awards

Travel Awards Rules, Guidelines and Tips

Past VRA Travel Awards Recipients