As a Senior Instructional Designer…

School of Arts & Sciences Leadership

 I’m really happy that you’ve found a position that combines the new with the familiar. This is a really good move for you.

Thanks for all you’ve done for us over the years, you’ve been a calm and guiding presence through a lot of choppy waters. Best of luck.

CS, 12/11/2017

Managers, The Language Center

I’m really sorry to hear that you’re leaving Rutgers. It will be such a blow to those of us who have benefited so greatly from the superb support you have provided in so many ways. It has been such a pleasure to work with you, and your thoroughness, attention to detail, subject matter knowledge, infinite patience and genuine kindness will be sorely missed.

Rutgers truly is diminished when standouts in our community decide to move on. I can’t send you enough good wishes for much happiness and success in your future endeavors.

With sincere thanks for all you’ve done for The Language Center.


I am saddened by the fact that we lose you!  You have been a wonderful person to get to know and to have around.  You will do great in your new endeavors.

TS & CB, 12/11/2017


Undergraduate Chair, Political Science

Working with you has been a joy and watching and hearing about how you have interacted with my instructors has been a real pleasure.  You’ve shown great sensitivity to the needs and preferences of our instructors and have helped us design many excellent online classes.  I will miss you and so will Rutgers.

WF, 12/12/2017

Former Supervisor

It was an absolute pleasure to know you over the past few years. You brought a fresh perspective and a strong work ethic to the team. Your contributions were paramount to the progress we made and I will always admire your courage for leaving an industry you knew well for one you knew very little about. You are a consummate professional and Success Academy is lucky to have you.

Please stay in touch and let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you. I truly hope our professional paths cross again.

CC, 12/13/2017

Director, Program within Rutgers Business School (on leaving Rutgers)

Congratulations on your new position though it is a great loss for us. You have been such a wonderful resource to us at the Business School and especially to our graduate program. I truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication in reviewing our courses and being our point person in many other areas. Your professionalism and enthusiasm along with your intellect and good nature will I am sure, help you succeed in your new position.

IB, 12/18/2017

Interim Department Chair (on leaving Rutgers)

What a huge loss to Rutgers! All of us at [my department] will miss your fantastic support through these many semesters you have worked with us. I personally want to thank you for the fantastic help you gave me every time I contacted you regarding some issue of online technology.

I hope you enjoy the move to NYC and if ever you return to these parts, do look me up.

If at any point you want someone to write about the fantastic work you do and what you did here at [my department], do not hesitate to let me know. The level of support, care and knowledge you brought to your job at Rutgers is rare and irreplaceable.

Good luck with the new job and all best wishes.

AN, 12/22/2017

Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator (Excerpt from Recommendation Letter)

In summary, Ismael went far beyond my expectations of support from Instructional Designers based on my experience as an online instructor at eight universities over the past 6 years. In fact, having worked in software development since the 1980’s, I would place Ismael in the top 1% of software analysts and support specialists with whom I have worked. With that background, I would strongly recommend Ismael for admission to the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

I urge the admissions committee to view the videotaped testimonial which I provided to the Rutgers University Office of Instructional & Research Technology at their invitation. Please feel free to contact me to discuss this recommendation further.


Former Graduate Instructor (Excerpt from Recommendation Letter)

In summary, Ismael’s dedication to education, along with his attention to detail, his initiative, and his humble personality, inspire confidence in me that he would make an ideal candidate for the Rutgers Ed.D. program. He has demonstrated exceptional diligence and work ethics in my class, and I have no doubt that he will be very successful in any initiatives he wishes to pursue in the future.


Former Supervisor (Excerpt from Recommendation Letter)

Izzy was new to the field of instructional design when he came to Rutgers, but he took to it immediately, showing he understood the underlying concepts and possessed the ability to communicate them to his audience. Izzy’s work is always finished quickly and completely and he regularly made himself available to his teammates to assist on their projects afterward. He is respected in all of his professional communities, from instructional design groups to the education gaming community. I believe that his success stems from his ability to foster relationships with those around him. He inspires others to be better and to try new things even if it means more work. Izzy is a natural collaborator, constantly seeking new venues for working with likeminded individuals.

Izzy’s poise and unwavering character are rivaled by few. He is a leader. He is a learner. He is a vital brick in the foundation of each community he is a part of. Out of all the traits that would lead me to believe Izzy would be successful with any venture he pursues is that I don’t believe he has reached his potential just yet. He will continue to grow and to learn and those around him will be better for it.


Program Director

I wanted to write you about my recent experience with Ismael Lara.  He worked with me and my colleague on Virtual Facilitator Training.  I have to say that Ismael is the consummate professional.  We were working with a very difficult client, that made constant last minute changes and was a poor communicator.  Ismael worked very hard to get us to all of our deadlines.  He put in many hours outside of the normal work day and always delivered, for example conference calls at 8:00 p.m. requested by the client.  His work was outstanding and his attitude superb.  Ismael is an absolute pleasure to work with.  I hope I have the opportunity to work with him again in the future.


Undergraduate Chair, Political Science

Ismael Lara has worked with several of our instructors and with me.  He’s really good with the ideas for improvement.



Ismael continuously exceeds the expectations set forth by his supervisors. Regardless of the task, Izzy finds a way to accomplish it in a timely manner and with excellent attention to detail. Over the past year, Izzy has single-handedly maintained 13 course development projects and a ½ dozen course reviews. Faculty and staff rave about his calming demeanor and have praised his ability to teach just about anything. Izzy is always available to help his coworkers with tough problems or over-burdened workloads. He is a true team player. Izzy also regularly presents at conferences and events to help educate our audience on the importance of instructional design.



Ismael is the best!  I have just completed an online “help session” that Ismael himself initiated in an attempt to help me better understand the Gradebook tool.  He took it upon himself (over the weekend) to figure out the problems that were particular to my course and very patiently, was able to make it crystal clear to me during our meeting today.  As an individual willing to go the “extra mile,” Ismael is an asset to the department and the University.



Thank you for your time, patience, and suggestions today.  Your input was greatly appreciated.  I have already made several of the course changes/improvements that we discussed.  You are a gifted instructor – thank you for walking me through all the steps in response to my many questions and issues.  I feel much more confident in my skills than I did at 3 PM this afternoon.  I will be certain to call or email in the future should I need additional assistance.  THANKS again!  You are a true asset of the University!


Same instructor also nominated me for 2010 SHRP Employee of the Year


I have told people that you are not only technically competent and proficient, but you go that extra step to find solutions.


As a Software Engineer…

On the importance of documentation:

Izzy created a document to help pave the way for future team members to understand and properly configure settings required to perform a specific task.  By doing this, many word-of-mouth/in-person training hours were saved and Izzy could know to just refer to the document at hand.

Understanding the importance of documentation, Izzy worked to create a fresh set of documents which the customer really appreciated.  A thankless task to many, Izzy saw a need and saw it through resulting in a very positive customer appreciation for his work.

Izzy takes his job very seriously and looks for all sorts of ways to collect feedback, better himself, and better the company through great work ethic and dedication.  Already, Izzy looks for ways he can help better lead projects, create more meaningful documentation, and continue to broaden his skill sets that will in turn help our company better achieve our delivery goals.

On communication:

Izzy always caries himself in a very professional manner and is well-organized in his thoughts while communicating through written correspondence or verbally.  Easy clear communication, professional demeanor, and work ethic have allowed him to overcome challenges with ease and encourage our customers to quickly develop trust in Izzy and his team.

On strong work ethic and customer service:

No matter his disposition on projects, his strong work ethic and drive have allowed him to come out shining no matter what.

Perhaps Izzy’s best category this year (“Providing a Positive Customer Experience”), Izzy always finds a way to create a great customer experience regardless of what the situation is.