Alumni Success Stories

Listen to Cynthia Rowley (BFA 1981) talk about her time in SAIC's Fashion Design program.

Our Students and Alumni Design Their Own Creative Pathways

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), we will not define your career. We will, however, provide you with the interdisciplinary education and resources you need to define it for yourself. Our graduates move on to do great things; more than 17,000 alumni across the world impact their communities through their work, scholarship, teaching, and service. The video profiles on this page provide a glimpse of the endless possibilities open to graduates of SAIC.

For nearly two decades, Julie Rodrigues Widholm’s (MA 1999) laser focus on elevating artists whose work is often underrepresented in museums helped to shape Chicago’s contemporary art community.

Yanira Collado’s art making is informed by her roots.

Amanda Brinkman portrait

Amanda Brinkman (MA 2010) gives voice to women through her socially conscious business platform.

SAIC New Arts Journalism alum Jessica Barrett Sattell (MA 2015) describes her work as a content strategist for the social media giant Facebook.


SAIC alum Jessica Barrett Sattell (MA 2015) designs the words that make Facebook accessible to the billions of people that use it. 

Here is an excerpt from our recent conversation with Amy Lawson Smeed (BFA 1997) who was the first woman head of animation in Disney history when she led the team for Moana.

SAIC alum, artist, and writer Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010) has published a monstrous graphic novel. We talked to her to find out what she is reading, listening to, watching, and thinking about.

Norman Teague (MFA 2016) was the 2016 recipient of the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, a one-year, $30,000 award to a recent alum of SAIC. Since 2010, this highly competitive award has recognized the creative potential of artists who began their career at SAIC and is meant to provide the means to substantially advance their practice.