Disney Diversity Advancement Scholarship

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recognizes and embraces human diversity in all its forms and facets, while also acknowledging we continue to fall short in our efforts to be equitable and inclusive. We recognize that our work to conserve wildlife and wild places is inextricably linked to issues of environmental and social justice.

Diversity results from the equitable inclusion of different physical, social and cultural identities among people including but not limited to gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, national origin, and background. It is of particular importance to cultivate racial and ethnic diversity within AZA organizations and help build organizations that are responsive to and reflective of the diverse communities they serve.  The purpose of the Disney Diversity Advancement Scholarship is to provide support for in-person attendance to the AZA Mid-Year Meeting or AZA Professional Development courses. As part of the AZA’s larger commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion this scholarship is sponsored by Disney to provide support for professional development for members of an underrepresented group within the zoo and aquarium field.  

Scholarship Application

Click here for the 2023 scholarship application. Full submission information is included in the application. Members of international AZA institutions are welcome to apply. Applications are evaluated and recipients are selected by the AZA Professional Development and Diversity Committees along with the Association of Minority Zoo & Aquarium Professionals (AMZAP). 

Please note: If you do not receive the award and plan to take the course anyway, the scholarship application does not represent a reserved space in an AZA course. To secure a space in a course you must submit a completed registration form, and pay the tuition in full. If you receive the award, your full tuition payment will be refunded.

Application Timeline 
  • Applications open on August 26, 2022
  • Applications due before Midnight Eastern Standard Time on September 30, 2022
  • Recipients will be notified in November 2022
  • All scholarships must be used for Professional Development courses in 2023

Application Materials:

  • Scholarship Application Form
  • Two (2) Letters of Reference
  • Resume

Detailed Award Coverage

  • Course registration (full)
  • Round-trip airfare from the award recipient’s point of origin to the destination city (up to $550)
  • Round-trip airport shuttle ground transportation (full)
  • Hotel/lodging throughout the duration of the course (based on double occupancy rate)
  • A stipend to cover meals and incidentals.

The scholarship may be applied to any of the following offerings in 2023:

  • Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management
  • Animal Training Applications
  • Avian Management, Biology and Conservation
  • AZA Annual Conference
  • AZA Mid-Year Meeting
  • Conservation Education: Foundations of Conservation Learning
  • Conservation Education: Leadership in Conservation Learning
  • Creating Successful Exhibits
  • Crocodilian Biology and Professional Management 
  • Effective Leadership: Foundation & Development
  • Environmental Enrichment in Zoos and Aquariums
  • Institutional Records Keeping
  • Managing Animal Enrichment and Training Programs
  • Population Management I
  • Population Management II
  • Principles of Elephant Management I

Please note: The 2023 course schedule is tentative, and course dates may be subject to change.

Any questions, contact the Professional Development Program at scholarships@aza.org 

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