PhD Alumni

Tracie Ortiz

"The best part of the program was the feeling of ohana and all the support of everyone in my cohort and the professors."


Austin, Texas


Learning Design and Technology

Related Degrees

  • PhD, Learning Design & Technology

What is your current job position?

As an Instructional Designer for the Center for Learning and Teaching at Old Dominion University, I provide leadership and Project Management skills when working on multiple major projects applying diverse learning methodology, theory, and principles. This role extends to faculty support and management of course production for multiple delivery modes utilizing accessible environments for the widest audience possible.

Please briefly describe the path that brought you to the LTEC program.

I was the first one in my family to graduate from college and the only one so far to earn a PhD. Coming from a large family, it was always difficult to make a mark for myself. I decided that education would be what I would excel in. However, when I started college, it was very challenging. I was put on scholastic probation my very first semester of college. I didn’t know how to study at the college level. Not until I became a senior did I realize I needed to actually read my notes and study on a daily basis. After graduating with my BBA, I decided to go to graduate school in something entirely different. I graduated with my Masters in Deafness and Habilitation. I taught individuals who were Deaf and Hard of Hearing in K-12. This experience broadened my teaching and learning to expand to reach more students than those who could not hear. Twelve years later, after getting married and having three children, I applied to the PhD program at the University of Hawaii @ Manoa. Having a husband in the military afforded my family the opportunity to live in Hawaii. Although he was deployed for an entire year and having to take care of a 2-year old, a 3-year old, and an 8-year old while being a full-time PhD student and a part-time GA, God was in full-time mode in taking care of everything! Looking back now, I don’t know how I could have done any of it without Him.

How do you apply what you learned in the LTEC program to your current work?

Having a diverse educational background along with cultural influences, I am an Educator first and foremost. In my current role as an Instructional Designer, it is my responsibility to provide an educational experience for faculty and students alike in an accessible and comfortable environment cohesive to teaching and learning.

What do you hope to inspire by sharing your education experience?

Sharing experiences and knowledge from being a student to working in a professional environment continually motivates me to support others in their educational goals and inspires me to reach goals of my own. Respecting people’s differences and acknowledging the diverse learning styles people have to encourage growth for learning and teaching.

What was your favorite part of being in an LTEC program?

The best part of the program was the feeling of ohana and all the support of everyone in my cohort and the professors. Everyone was accepted and motivated each other to succeed.

What are your future plans?

Currently, as an ID/PM, I intend to gain my certification in Project Management and implement these skills with larger projects. I also want to begin teaching again specializing in designing for online accessibility.

What advice would you have for others currently in the LTEC program?

Don’t let your fears of any kind deter you from pushing forward. Continue to push taking one step at a time. Be kind to yourself and don’t try to finish everything quickly. Give yourself time to learn and grow. Don’t rush the process and enjoy the journey.

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