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This year International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) annual conference (4-6 November 2021) came with a surprise to me – I received the IVLA Research Award! It was presented to me in recognition of my active involvement in outstanding research that furthers the cause of visual literacy and my achievement in advancing knowledge within the field.

As it stays in the award description, it 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.

I am very honored with this recognition of my research work. It truly motivates me to continue with research and pedagogical projects related to visual literacy in a higher education context. I also hope that my hope institution, University of Jyväskylä, will finally acknowledge the importance of cross-disciplinary visual education and I will have a chance to develop this area further.

And here is some information from the press release about the award:

Joanna Kędra was nominated for the Research Award for her heavy involvement in bringing consistency to how the term visual literacy is used within scholarship and her ability to arrive at concrete goals for the field of visual literacy through her own scholarly work. Kędra’s visual literacy scholarship within the last three years has resulted in editing a special issue of the Journal of Visual Literacy and a forthcoming book on visual literacy in education. These are just two examples of Kędra’s accomplishments within the field of visual literacy but there are many more. Gary McLeod, Kędra’s nominator and Assistant Professor of Photomedia and Visual Design at the University of Tsukua, Japan wrote that Kędra’s work is, “vital for future generations to identify and manage visual bias regardless of whether they are ‘reading’ images, making them, or even thinking in terms of visuals. It is difficult to imagine the current picture of VL studies without her contributions”. Joanna Kędra is one of ten people to be awarded the Research Award since its inception in 1989.