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Professor Zhou Receives International Communication Design Educators Award

Jing Zhou, MFA, associate professor of Art and Design, received the Creative Work Award of the 2020 Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards for her recent work Cradlr: A Design Project for Refugee Children—a United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) project at Monmouth University. Zhou currently serves as a member of the Institute for Global Understanding Faculty Advisory and is a UNAI representative.

The seed of this project was sown two years ago when Zhou initiated the Jiang Jian project—a research and design initiative that sheds light upon the forgotten stories of Jiang Jian and the Mothers’ Movement in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Supported mainly by donations, the Mothers’ Movement rescued and educated 30,000 displaced children during the war. This inspired Zhou to question how European countries protected and rescued children during WWII. Through research, she discovered that no digital platforms have hitherto been built for displaced children—the most vulnerable group who doesn’t have cell phones. Since then, the inception of Cradlr began to sprout. More information about this project is available at the Design Incubation website.

Design Incubation is a venue for educators and practitioners of communication design to discuss design research and practice. Its annual Communication Design Educators Awards offer international recognition in four academic categories: Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, and Service. One winner and a runner-up are awarded in each category. The purpose of these awards is to showcase design excellence and ingenuity in the academic study of design. The Creative Work Award category is for creative projects that demonstrate originality, rigor, impact, and scope. The jurying is a two-round process which takes place virtually over a two-month period. The 2020 award recipients are from the United States, Finland, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Argentina.

Prof. Zhou's Cradlr project