Each year the International Visual Literacy Association awards a handful of individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field of visual literacy. These awards recognize achievements within the academic, creative and professional realms of visual literacy. We will post the 2021 winners after they are announced at the conference business meeting. 

For any questions contact the Awards Committee Chair, Dr. Kazuyo Kubo at

IVLA Award Recipients

John L. Debes Award

This is the highest award that IVLA gives. Established in 1977, in John Debes own words, it is reserved for people who have been strong leaders both in building and maintaining the Association and have been active in promoting visual literacy outside the organization. It recognizes a long-term active commitment to the advancement of understanding in the field of visual communication as well as a proven and exceptional commitment to the organization. It is given only when occasion merits it.

2019 Karen Tardrew
2018 Jung Lee
2009 Francis Dwyer
2008 Roberts Braden
1999 Rune Pettersson
1996 LaVeme Miller
1994 Alice D. Walker
1993 Dennis Pett and James Sucy
1989 Joel Benedict
1988 W. Howard Levie
1984 Lida M. Cochran
1978 Sister Bede Sullivan, O.S.B.
1977 John L. Debes III

Karen Tardrew, Ed.D, 2019 winner

Research Award

This award is given only when merited, to members of the Association who are actively involved in on-going outstanding research that furthers the cause of visual literacy, who have achieved a substantial, record of scholarly publication, and who have significantly advanced knowledge within the field.

2019 Eva Brumberger
2018 Dr. Danilo M. Baylen
2010 Steven Seidman
2009 Maria D. Avgerinou
1997 Barbara Seels, Roberts Braden
1996 Nikos Metalinos
1995 Hilary McLellan and Sandra Moriarty
1991 Francis Dwyer
1989 Rune Pettersson

Eva Brumberger, Phd, 2019 winner

Braden/Beauchamp Visual Literacy Award

This award, named for two previous editors of the Selected Readings, seeks to honor the paper that best helps contribute to the definition of the study of visual literacy. This award is given only in years where sufficient contributions have been made to the Selected Readings in this area. The editors determine this award.

2016    Dr. Rhonda Robinson Engaging the Senses: The Past, Present, and Future of Visual Literacy and IVLA
2010    Maria D. Avgerinou & Rune Pettersson Toward a Cohesive Theory of Visual Literacy
                Peggy Pruisner The Consideration of Graphic Text Cues in the Selection of Reading Strategies
2009     Erin Jurand Igniting Images: Visualization In The Writing Process
                 Luc Pauwels Visual Literacy, Visual Culture, And Visual Scholarship: Adjusting A Distorted                Pictures
2008     Marilyn Terzic Modern Views and Front Page News: Newspaper Design as A Form of Visual Communication
2007    Ian Brown & Lori Locklyer Dont Mention the T Word: Value and Validity in Testing Visual Literacy
2005    Emma Jefferies Devising a Method for Improving Design Education of Digital Visual Skills
2004    M. Barrett Cleveland Seeing The Light
2003    Petronio Bendito for his paper Teaching Interactive multimedia design from a visual communication standpoint: curriculum and assessment strategies.
2002    Janet Giesen and Rhonda Robinson for their paper Expanding Our Influence: Examining Visual Literacy in Related Disciplines.
2001    Rune Petersson for his keynote address Visual literacy and information design, at the 2001 IVLA Conference in Eskiltuna, Sweden.
2000    Jennifer Brill, Dohun Kim, & Rob Branch for their paper Visual Literacy Defined: The results of a delphi study. Can IVLA (operationally) Define Visual Literacy?
2000    Maria Avgerinou for her paper Towards a Visual Literacy Index
1999    Rachel Shalita for her paper A new method of a visual text analysis: Configuration Context Conflict.

Creative Achievement Award

This award is given only when merited, to members of the Association actively involved in on-going creative work which substantially furthers the cause of visual literacy and significantly advances the creative field through such factors as innovation, conceptual breakthrough, excellence of design and execution, and technical achievement.

2018 Deborah Curtiss
2016 Kristen Harrison, Sagashus Levingston
2007 Petronio Bendito
2005 Patricia Search
1997 Deborah Curtiss
1995 Mary Steiglitz Witt
1994 Roger Wyatt

Education Award

This award is given only when merited, to members of the Association in recognition of their significant professional contribution to visual literacy through exemplary teaching, educational outreach, and/or the development of model curricula and other educational materials.

2020 Domenic  Screnci
2019 Dana Thompson
2018 Dr. Rhonda Robinson
2017 Wendy Anderson Halperin
2015 Dr. Danilo M. Baylen
2008 David Considine
2006 Dr. Rhonda Robinson
2005 Landra Rezabek
1994 Dennis Dake

Domenic Screnci, 2020 winner

Dana Statton Thompson, 2019 winner

James G. Sucy Distinguished Service Award
(Formerly Outstanding Service Award, 2001 and prior)

This award is given only when merited, to members who have substantially contributed to the organization and furthered the ideals of visual literacy far above traditional expectations of membership, committee work, or publication functions. It implies work quality and personal commitment that merit very special recognition beyond the Associations usual appreciation.

2019 Dr. Danilo M. Baylen 
2018 Janet Hethorn
2016 Jung Lee, Frank Cerreto
2010 Rune Pettersson, Patricia Search
2009 Dr. Rhonda S. Robinson
2008 Sharon Smaldino
2007 Maria D. Avgerinou
2006 Robert Griffin
2005 Ladi Semali, Karen Stewart
2002 Anna P. Sucy
2000 Barbara Fredette
1997 Margaret Smith, Harry Davis
1996 Richard Couch, Pris Harden, Roberts Braden, Darrell Beauchamp, Judy Bacca, Ron Sutton, Ann Marie Barry
1995 LaVeme Miller, Ann DeVaney
1994 Francis M. Dwyer, David (Mike) Moore, Darrell Beauchamp, Nikos Metalinos

Dr. Danilo M. Baylen, 2019 winner


This award, given only when merited, honors non-member persons, institutions, or organizations making outstanding contributions either to the Association or to the furthering of visual literacy in research, education, publication, or creative productions.

2020 Michelle Wendt
2017 Rebecca Cote
2006 Dr. Jason Ohler
1996 Melba Rae Vic

Michelle Wendt, 2020 winner

Student Research Award

This award is given when merited for outstanding student research that furthers the cause of Visual Literacy. An IVLA member familiar with the students work must make this nomination.

2016 Christina Quintiliani, Scott R. McMaster
2011 Xenia Danos
2009 Emma Jefferies
2001 Maria Avgerinou