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21st June 2012
I am writing this testimonial to express my sincere support for for the consideration of Assistant Professor Mark Chavez as a successful applicant for tenure at Nanyang Technological University.
I was a Digital Animation major graduate from ADM back in 2009. In my four years of studies, I have took up several modules of studio electives which were conducted by Asst. Prof March Chavez, 2 of which I can recall, are Basics of modeling and Storyboarding, which I benefited greatly from. I remember Asst. Prof Chavez as a very helpful and sincere teacher who always tries his best to share his expertise and experience with us, and I have enjoyed my classes and learnt a lot from him. Besides the teaching content, he also shares his experience of good working habits with us, such as not listening to music while working. Although this might have been an individual preference, but this reminder has truly helped me stay focused on my work all this while, and is a habit which I carry with me even until now.
Besides being his student, shortly after I graduated from ADM, Asst. Prof Chavez has also kindly offered me a job as a Research Animator in his research project before I got a job in my current company Lucasfilm Singapore as a Digital Artist, which I have worked for 4 years now.
Asst. Prof Chavez’s industrial experience and connections which he had prior to his new role as a Professor in ADM is also greatly valuable to us. I recall that during a school sponsored trip to the 2007 SIGGRAPH Conference in San Diego, a few other school mates and I had the privilege of visiting some of the top notch animation and visual effects houses such as the Rhythm and Hues Studio and Dreamworks Animation, which I believe was a truly rare and amazing opportunity for students like us. It was the first time we ever got the chance to be exposed to the big players of the movie industry, and it was all because of the help of Asst. Prof Mark Chavez that all these were possible. I remember Asst. Prof Chavez’s great enthusiasm in contacting all his friends and ex-colleagues in LA before our trip so as to set us up for these in-depth studio visits and tours, although not all of us were taking his classes at that time. It was greatly memorable, and I am full of gratitude for the experience. Now that I am able to work in such a facility myself is like a dream come true, and the spark of those dreams had a large part originated from my visit to these studios, as well as the stories he shared with us about his industrial experience. It has encouraged me to pursue my dreams and career in this direction, and to a great extent, Asst. Prof Mark Chavez has a great part to play in it. I am sure he will continue to inspire his students in the same way too.
In addition, Assist Prof Mark Chavez is always helpful and patient to students even after we have graduated. His great warmth and empathy for his students is tireless and persistent. I have personally received kind help from him to retrieve my lost school work even long after I have graduated.
On the other hand, Assist Prof Chavez not only has dreams and goals for his students, but through his various research projects, one of which won several animation awards in festivals around the globe, he also shows his passion, faith, and goals in continuing to create works of art and to experiment with new technology. This sets a good example to his students and inspires people around him to embrace creativity with courage and endurance.
Last but not least, I truly believe that Asst. Prof Chavez deserves recognition for the good work and contribution he has done for the school and the students. Your committee would be well justified in granting him this award for tenure at NTU.