I first officially met Will Kistler at Purdue in the fall of 2002 during our CGT 241 class. Later, he and I were part of a team of five students who were first to be involved in a special "Crazy Rig" collaborative project, in which we worked with a professor on a (pending) publication specifically for animal, anthropomorphic, and otherwise "crazy" rigging techniques. Then in 2004, Will and I traveled to the cities of Warsaw, Krakow, Rzeszow, and Posnan, in Poland. We were two of eight students selected to journey with two professors to a couple of private universities and teach a broad range of computer graphics skills and theory. We graduated from our own program with animation specializations in May of 2005.
I've kept in touch with Will over the last couple years primarily online, and otherwise at SIGGRAPH conferences. We've also been students at Animation Mentor - he started a few classes earlier than me and graduated from the program in early January of 2007. He recently returned from a year-long teaching gig in Japan.
Now, in one week from today, he will be on his way to Los Angeles to begin a month-long animation apprenticeship at Rhythm and Hues. Of course, if he shows them his true colors, this could turn into a more permanent position for Will, which of course would be awesome. He applied for the spot after seeing its availability on the AM job board. It's a pretty sweet deal, and I'm so excited he got the chance.
Congrats, Will, and best of luck!