Your Local Connection, Worldwide

Hello Chapter Leaders!

In this first newsletter following our North American conference, I’d like to share first some business items, and second some messages:
  1. A solicitation for new applications to the Chapters Committee
  2. An announcement of the Chapters workshop at SIGGRAPH Asia
  3. Instructions on how to request the traveling Electronic Theater show
  4. A livestream event for students and recent grads hosted by the Early Career Development Committee
  5. A farewell message from Jacky Bibliowicz, the outgoing Chair of the Professional and Student Chapters Committee (PSCC)
  6. A welcome message from me, AJ Christensen, your new Chair of the PSCC.
(1) If you would like to apply to join the PSCC, I am currently setting up interviews for open positions. Please send an email to me at expressing your interest with (1) a bullet-point list of your relevant experience and (2) a paragraph describing your skills and types of work you enjoy doing. Please email me before Friday, October 11. I will set up a Zoom call with each applicant. This is open to everyone, regardless of age, amount of experience, student/professional status, and nationality. Please also let me know if you have questions.
(2) We will be hosting a Chapters Workshop event at SIGGRAPH Asia on Sunday, November 17th. If you are attending SIGGRAPH Asia in Brisbane this November and would like 1 free conference registration pass, please sign up with this Google Form before Friday, October 11
 — As a reminder, each chapter is only eligible for 1 free pass to one conference each year, so if you have already attended SIGGRAPH in North America, you won’t be able to receive discounted registration until next year. 
 — If you need more time or are undecided, kindly also send a note to!
(3) Our friends who put on the Computer Animation Festival in Los Angeles in August are happy to announce they have begun accepting requests for the traveling show. If you’ve never requested the traveling show, the idea is that someone associated with the festival will travel to your town and present some of the best work from this year’s SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater show in exchange for assistance with travel costs. You can apply here (this link will be open for the duration of the year):
(4) Our other friends who run the Early Career Development Committee (formerly known as SIGGRAPH Student Services, re-named to be more inclusive of recent graduates) want to invite students and recent graduates to a webinar on Creature FX late next week. If you would like to attend, please register your interest and get details here:
(5) Jacky asked that I share his message thanking you all for his positive experience as Chapters Chair for the past several years:
Only a few years ago, I presented at the Chapters workshop the systems which the Toronto Chapter developed to streamline its event marketing and ticket sales.  I was excited to take the helm of the PSCC and implement these ideas and systems for all Chapters.  I also wanted to apply communication practices for globally distributed teams that I picked-up as Chair of the International Resources Committee.  Now, as my term as PSCC Chair comes to an end, it is natural and fitting to review how our progress from that day until today.

I often tell people that it takes a year to learn a new role with a new team.  Yet this time around, it seemed to me the new PSCC hit the ground running right from the start.  We created a new logo and brand for the PSCC. We created a new website centralizing all information for prospective and current Chapter leaders.  We assigned PSCC members to various geographical regions so Chapter leader requests could be answered same day, unhindered by time-zone differences.  We implemented a newsletter format for our e-mails to leaders. Relevant content from these newsletters is also published on our website for future reference.  We introduced the streaming kit for Chapters to live-stream their events.  Finally, we created a website template for newly chartered Chapters, reducing the amount of work required to get a Chapter up and running.

The PSCC remains active at the annual SIGGRAPH conference.  Attendance at our annual chapter leaders' workshops remains strong.  We restarted hosting workshops at SIGGRAPH Asia to learn about particular challenges chapter leaders face in the region. We introduced a Slack channel for Chapter leaders to ask the PSCC, and each other, questions.  Collaboration among Chapters has increased as well.  Most notably, the Shenzhen and LA Chapters have hosted two exchanges at SIGGRAPH in recent years.  I feel confident saying the Chapters network is strong, and the PSCC is more adequately equipped to support Chapter leaders efficiently and effectively.

I am very proud of the work the PSCC has done over my term as Chair.  It has been a fun and fulfilling experience leading this team.  Although I have the opportunity to renew my position, I have chosen to step down to focus on growing responsibilities at work and, more importantly, at the "family office."  As we announced at SIGGRAPH 2019, AJ Christensen will be the new Chair of the PSCC.  I feel confident he will serve our Chapter leaders admirably with his innovative ideas and youthful charm.  I will not go too far, however, as AJ has invited me to stay on the committee to mentor and provide any support I can.  So I hope to continue seeing you, Chapter leaders and friends, at future SIGGRAPH conferences.

It would have been impossible to complete all of the work listed above without the amazingly supportive PSCC team.  I cannot thank you all enough, but I will do my best effort here.  Thank you to Mashhuda Glencross and Alain Chesnais for suggesting I consider Chairing the PSCC and mentoring me along the way.  Thank you Brad Lawrence for being a great sounding board for many ideas, being instrumental in setting up our streaming system, and also for your tremendous help in making sure we stay within our budget.  Thank you AJ Christensen for your strong support in the team and for taking over my work when my schedule became untenable.  Thank you Fran McAfee for taking on two of the toughest jobs in the PSCC: managing the American chapters and hosting the PSCC face-to-face meetings.  Thank you Eric Liu for being instrumental in our communication with Chapters in Asia and helping us launch a few new ones in the region.  Thank you Thierry Frey for working with our Chapters in Europe and for being, undoubtedly (for me), the most connected person in the SIGGRAPH community--thank you for the many introductions and escapades.  Thank you Federico Burch for being a bundle of energy, a dependable source of fresh ideas, and for being the point man for student chapters.  Thank you Demetra Auel for your artistic talent in creating the new Chapters logo and for your gentleness.  Thank you Jenny Dana for managing all the technology for Chapters and the PSCC, and even more for mentoring me, challenging me, calling me out, and keeping me honest.  Thank you Kerry Kirkpatrick for your immense help in producing our digital content and newsletters, for your beautiful artwork, and for your tremendous work ethic which brought so many of our initiatives to life.  Thank you Mari Kyle for your amazing record keeping and beautiful photographs.  Last but not least, thank you Maya Martinez for your hard work in putting together the most awesome Chapters Parties we have ever hosted--and for hosting the team in your home.  All of you are the real heroes in my book.  I would also like to make a special mention to Scott Lang for his support, and for being the role model I could look up to while I was PSCC Chair.

And finally, thank you, my dear Chapter Leaders, for your volunteer hours leading Chapters, keeping the spirit of SIGGRAPH alive in your communities, and spreading the joy of computer graphics and interactive techniques.  It has been a pleasure to serve you and I hope we will continue to bump into each other and work together in the future.
AJ gifting the teapot signed by members of the PSCC, thanking Jacky for his service!
Left: AJ Christensen Right: Jacky Bibliowicz
(6) And finally, I wanted to introduce myself to those of you who might not be familiar and to say that I’m very excited to be working with you. My name is AJ Christensen, and I got started with the PSCC back in 2008 when I chartered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Student Chapter! I joined the committee in 2009 after graduating, and some years later prodded along the beginning of the London chapter while I was there working in visual effects at Double Negative. These days I am back at the University of Illinois working for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications doing data visualization for documentary films, and also pursuing my masters degree in science communication in digital environments. Many of us have interacted before online and at conferences, but I look forward to continuing to collaborate with you and starting new work with those of you who I haven’t met. If you have any concerns or ideas about chapters or anything, please send them my way at I’m looking forward to several years of working with all of you on opportunities in networking, career growth, and computer graphics education! Thank you for all the work that you do!


AJ Christensen

About the Professional and Student Chapters Committee

The PSCC is the ACM SIGGRAPH standing committee that oversees the network of Professional & Student chapters worldwide.
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