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Work experience

Jul 2008Present

Department Chair, Educational Design Resources

National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a College of Rochester Institute of Technology

I manage a team of fifteen individuals, in the only non-academic department in NTID's Academic Affairs. Our mission is to support teaching and learning of Deaf and hard of hearing college students at NTID. We do this by creating a wide variety of products with our faculty and staff partners. Our projects include everything from "serious" games, mobile apps, and insturctional materials,  to marketing and communications videos. Essentially, if you have an idea for a project, we will make it for you.

When I started with the team, they were not benefiting from the use of project management. I introduced the concept of project plans, and the use of Statements of Works to help manage client expectations and project scope. This has resulted in more efficiency in project delivery, and the ability of our team to take on more projects in a year.

My management style is egalitarian and empowering. I want team members to take risks, to stretch outside their comfort zones, to make mistakes. I feel if aren't making mistakes, we aren't trying hard enough. This hasn't been an easy sell to the team, but gradually I am seeing changes. This has led to greater creativity and willingness to explore and implement new technologies and processes.

Jan 2001Jun 2008

Manager, Business Skills and Leadership

Element K

I was hired by Element K to lead a team of instructional designers, graphic designers, and editors who were developing instructor-led training in the advanced technology content area. This included system administration, security, and Microsoft and Novell certification prep courses. I also occasionally oversaw development of programming, and Adobe product development. In this role I experimented with different ways to divide content, so that development times could be reduced. Eventually, my method for dividing content was adopted by the entire organization. Eventually this role was expanded to include development for online development as well as ILT content. I worked with teams located in Rochester, NY and in Chennai, India.

I was promoted to the position of Lead Instructional Designer where I oversaw the training of all new Instructional Designers and Content Managers that were located in India.I also was asked to develop a new product line for the company, content to support business skills development.

When the company was purchased by NIIT in 2006, the company established a team to develop Business Skills content full time. I was asked to lead that team. Besides online and web-based training, we also developed three entirely new blended-learning solutions to teach business skills. One of these used "serious games" as a central part of it's offering.

Mar 2000Dec 2000




When it comes to new software and technology, I am pretty fearless. I try to stay current with the latest trends. I tweet, blog, and mashup rss feeds with the best of them!

Software I am using these days includes:

  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Drupal
  • Prezi
  • Office
  • Blogger
  • WordPress


'There is no use trying,' said Alice; ‘one can't believe impossible things.' ‘I dare say you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'"—Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll Successful innovation is the fruit of intelligent risk taking. Helping creative teams be in position to capitalize on the next big thing is what I love to do. Improving lives through learning is my passion.


Innovation leadership, instructional design management, social media use for learning, personal branding, job search skills.

My Blogs

I currently write two blogs.

Clare Dygert: Thinking Out Loud

is my professional blog. I use this blog to explore my own thinking and to share interesting ideas of others. Deaf education, learning ASL, using the features of ASL to enhance instructional design, leadership of creative/innovative teams are all topics that I explore in this blog.

Oh! Beautieous! is my personal blog. Depending on the time of year, I write about photography, gardening, cooking, and entertaining.


My current interests include:

  • Creative/innovative team leadership
  • Emerging technologies and instruction
  • Deaf culture, ASL, and their role in instruction


I have attained a rating of "Survival Plus" Sign Language Proficiency Interview


Professional Teaching Certificate, Secondary Education

Texas Department of Education

Professional Teaching Certificate, Secondary Eduation

New York State Department of Education