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Your Local Connection, Worldwide

Chapters Workshop
On July 29th the PSCC hosted its traditional Chapter Leaders' Workshop in advance of SIGGRAPH 2017 in downtown LA.  It was a full house with over 35 attendees representing over 20 chapters worldwide.  It was exciting and very different from workshops done in the past.

We began with a game!  Participants were organized into groups and provided about 100 balloons of different sizes, masking tape, and scotch tape.  The goal was to build the tallest, self-sustaining tower in 20 minutes using only the materials provided.  Each team had 4 minutes to plan their tower before they were allowed access to the materials.

Once it was time to build, the groups quickly discovered that the long and thin balloons were very hard to blow up, turning many groups' strategies head over heels!  There were also a few other surprises thrown in for good measure during the process, keeping participants on their toes.  The exercise was a lot of fun!
During the ensuing discussion, Jacky asked the participants to share with the group what happened, how their teams planned and adjusted, and how each individual participated in the team.  Then, he quickly made the exercise relevant by likening the construction of the tower to the running of a Chapter: plans don't always work as expected and Chapter leaders sometimes need to make decisions without all of the information required.  The whole exercise was a mirror of real world situations and each participant experienced how this game is a reflection of how they show up in their leadership roles.
Afterwards, we had our traditional Chapters Fast Forward presentations, followed by a quick presentation of the results of the communications survey sent out to Chapter leaders earlier.  Some of the key results: almost 80% of Chapter leaders are comfortable using social media to communicate among the leadership team (90% have Facebook accounts and 74% have LinkedIn accounts).  Also, many Chapters use Trello (44%) and Slack (47%) for keeping track of tasks and communications, and 44% use GitHub for managing assets.  The PSCC will use this information to develop ways for Chapters to reach out to each other, share ideas, answer questions, and collaborate on events.  Thank you to Mari Kyle of the PSCC team for leading this initiative.

After lunch, the PSCC presented one of the initiatives it has been working on over the previous year: we unveiled a new Chapter leaders’ website.  It collects all of the information Chapter leaders need to run a Chapter, as well as a general guide and links for more information about the ACM SIGGRAPH community.

Finally, the "main event" of the workshop arrived.  Participants were broken into groups and asked to provide answers to the following question:  What do you know now that you would have liked to know when you began your career as a Chapter leader?  The goal of the exercise was to collect valuable tips and other important information that would be useful to, in a sense, train new Chapter leaders when they begin their Chapter.  The PSCC intends to generate a Chapter leader training manual with the information YOU, our dear Chapter leaders, provided.  If you have any ideas and/or further tips you'd like to share, please send them our way!
The attendees of the SIGGRAPH 2017 Chapters Workshop
The workshop concluded with our traditional tour of the convention center. It was a fun workshop, and many attendees told us how much they enjoyed it and how they feel closer to the other Chapter leaders.

A big "thank you" to those who attended.  We hope to see you at our next workshops at SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 or SIGGRAPH 2018!
The Chapters party was a great success this year.  A very special thank you goes to Jerome Solomon for providing conference support for the Chapter.  This year there was a special VIP area for Chapter leaders as well as ACM SIGGRAPH Standing Committee volunteers and Conference Committee volunteers.

Another thank you goes to those chapters who submitted their logos in advance.  With the help of Scott Lang's SCOOP Team, we created beautiful graphics that played all night at the party venue, showcasing the Chapter logos.  It was a nice touch that really communicated the extent of our world-wide Chapters network.  We are truly a global family!

Finally, a big shout out for PSCC’s own Maya Martinez for putting all the pieces of the party together.  Without her expertise and negotiation, the party would never have happened.  Thank you Maya!
Chapters SV Luncheon with Pixar Animation Studios
This year we switched our traditional SV luncheon to a breakfast on Thursday morning.  Pixar Animation Studios was once again our sponsor.  Even with two sessions, we could not accommodate all the students who were interested in joining--the event "sold out" before the PSCC even put together its promotional material!

The students enjoyed interacting with both Pixar employees and Chapter leaders. In fact, after the second session we had to encourage everyone to go see the rest of the conference.  A wonderful success!  Big thanks to Pixar Animation Studios for your support!
Chapter Highlights
Congratulations to the NJIT ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter for having their Halloween VR experience highlighted in their University Student Newspaper.  Find out more here.

Our newest chapter is Belgrade ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter. Welcome to the family!
Announcements
1. New Chapter leaders website at http://chapters.siggraph.org.  

This website contains all the information you need to learn about ACM, ACM SIGGRAPH, and Chapters, including links for starting a Chapter.  We also point you to other opportunities for volunteering at SIGGRAPH (for example, if you'd like to participate in conference or other parts of the ACM SIGGRAPH organization).

We have sections where these newsletters will be posted so you may refer to them in the future.  To support our Chapters even further, we have added an Events section for Chapters to highlight any upcoming events (just send us a note to pscc@siggraph.org and we will post it). 

Also, we have a Chapters Spotlight Newsletter to highlight any events you might have had that were very  successful and you are really proud of.  Please send us your information so we may add it to this amazing new resource!

Special thanks to Jenny Dana and Kerry Kirkpatrick for all of their work over the year creating this site, and to Demetra Auel for the new PSCC logo!

2. Next Chapters Workshop: SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 in Bangkok.

For the first time, the PSCC will host a Chapter leaders workshop in Bangkok. The workshop will be held at BITEC Rooms SILK 3 & 4, from 13:30-17:00, on Monday, November 27th.  If you'd like to participate in the workshop, please have your Chapter Chair sign up by November 23rd using the following link.


3. Get your SIGGRAPH 2018 promotional material:

If you'd like to receive SIGGRAPH 2018 posters, lapel pins, and stickers, kindly e-mail Leona Caffey and let her know how much of each item you'd like to receive. Remember to also send her your shipping address!
Does Your Chapter Have a Code of Honor?
Most organizations have a mission, defining the problem they solve for their customers, and a vision, painting the picture of what the world will look like when the organization is successful.  According to the well-known sales and performance trainer Blair Singer, author of the books  "Sales Dogs" and "Little Voice Mastery,” teams that perform exceptionally well--so called “championship teams”--also have a "Code of Honor."

What is a Code of Honor?  It is a basic set of agreements and rules under which your team operates.  It defines how team members behave towards one another and provides the structure for them to hold each other accountable for their words and actions.  It provides the blueprint for how your organization should act in the heat of the moment when the team is under duress and emotions are running high.

In many organizations, this code is not explicitly laid out but implied, described as “acting professionally” or simply a matter of “corporate culture” or “organizational values.”  However, this is where organizations quickly get into trouble, since, without explicit rules, people simply make up their own.  

An explicit Code of Honor is helpful not just to set the behavioral standard but also to manage expectations.  Click to take a look at an example - Code of Honor - Example.

I hope this simple example illustrates the power that a Code of Honor can bring to your Chapter.  I invite you to consider where else in your Chapter the leadership team could create a code of honor… for example: what is your code of honor for holding and running meetings?

Share your ideas or questions about this article!  E-mail Jacky to start a discussion or get your questions answered.

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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