Oneida County court reporter sheds light on court reporting profession

NCRA member Lynn Penfield, RPR, CRR, an official court reporter from Harshaw, Wis., was featured in a story posted by WHFW-Channel 12 on Sept. 20. In the piece, Penfield talks about how she entered the profession.

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Fellowship of Academy of Professional Reporters nominations open

fellows1NCRA is currently seeking nominations for its Academy of Professional Reporters. Nominations are due Dec. 15. Fellows represent the pinnacle of excellence among NCRA members. They are individuals who are a credit to the reporting and captioning professions and embody the highest level of professional ethics. Their support of the profession can be seen in their activity in professional associations at the state or national level or through a number of other venues. If you know of such a person who has not been named to the Academy, now is your chance to recognize his or her contributions to the profession. View the full criteria and download a nomination form at

Court reporter plans move to closed captioning career

The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., posted an article on Sept. 19 about Dunn County court reporter Cory Crandall, RMR, CRR, of Menomonie, who is retiring after 26 years to transition into the field of captioning.

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Sheriff gets 40 backpacks of hope

The Times Daily, Florence, Ala., posted an article on Sept. 12, about a donation of 40 backpacks by members of the Alabama Court Reporting Inc. to support the Lauderdale County Sherriff’s Department’s “My Guardian Angel” program. The program provides children being moved to foster homes the backpacks in place of plastic bags to pack their personal items.

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NCRA member recognized for new certification

The Fairborn Daily Herald, Fairborn, Ohio, posted an article on Sept., 12, about NCRA member Julie Hohenstein, RPR, CRR, earning her Certified Realtime Reporter certification. The article was generated by a press release issued by NCRA on behalf of Hohenstein, who works for the Greene County Common Pleas Court.

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There’s still time!

By Natalie Dippenaar

This is part two of a three-part series. Part one was titled, “What can I do in a month?

Why do I need CEUs?

First, let’s explain that CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice their professions. To answer the question more directly, many certifications and professions ranging from lawyers to hair dressers, require professionals to participate in continuing education programs for a certain number of hours every year in order to keep their certificates or skills current. The field of court reporting and captioning demands that its practitioners acquire and maintain a broad base of knowledge. This is important – it means your skills will stay up to date and your certification is truly worth all the effort you have put into it.

How can I earn CEUs?

There are several last-minute options to earn CEUs if your cycle is expiring at the end of the month. Members can sign up for webinars scheduled throughout the month of September. In addition, e-seminars and book and article tests, to name a few, are a great way to earn last-minute CEUs at on your own schedule.

Webinars can earn you 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.

  • Friday, Sept. 16: 5 – 6 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Disability awareness and etiquette: More than one out of every five individuals in the United States has a disability. As the baby boomer population ages, the prevalence of disability is expected to increase. People with disabilities are entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to anyone. Yet many of us have not had personal experience with a person who has a disability and/or have not been exposed to a wide variety of types of disabilities and, thus, feel awkward or inadequately prepared to interact or respond appropriately. This session will review common disabilities and discuss courtesies and responses that are applicable in everyday interactions. Individuals will have an opportunity to dialogue about personal experiences and discuss specific situations with the presenter, Robin Jones. Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 22: 4 – 5 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Developing resiliency: Six powerful strategies to thrive at work: During this webcast, Dr. Kevin Nourse and Dr. Lynn Schmidt will introduce the Resiliency Framework, which was developed from extensive research and interviews. The framework consists of six strategies that help people thrive in the face of career challenges. Attend this session to find out which resiliency strategy you need to strengthen to increase your career satisfaction and viability. You will take a brief assessment to determine your resiliency needs, and you will leave with at least one action that you can take immediately to increase your resiliency. By using the six resiliency strategies, you can create a career defined by growth, success, and satisfaction. Register here.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 1 – 2 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

Practicing in the digital age: How to evolve with your attorneys: In a recent survey, 97 percent of attorneys said they believe electronic case management can mitigate the risk of missing critical details. Attorneys today are under constant pressure to produce an accurate, efficient work product with the expectation of providing exceptional client service. Attendees will learn how transcript workflow technology benefits both you and your clients by relieving pressures and producing secure, flexible transcripts efficiently. Brought to you by Thomson Reuters. Register here.

Watch the CEU Corner and visit the NCRA webinar website for late additions to the schedule.

E-seminars can earn you 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.

  • 90 apps in 90 minutes:In this fast-paced, high-energy session, learn from Christine Phipps, RPR, and Sara Wood about the latest and best apps that can help you improve your productivity, organize your day, and provide you with the necessary tools to be a rock star in the field. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
  • How to caption sports like a pro!An overview of captioning sports for the seasoned captioner, and newbies, too! We’ll start with the opportunities available, where to begin, dictionary management, and how to prep! Tips, tricks, and sports-related terminology. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
  • How to make the most out of the best practices for CART captioning: Learn about CART captioning best practices with Sami Silvia, RMR, CRR, CRC, and Carol Studenmund, RDR, CRR, CRC. The e-seminar discusses the roles of all the parties involved in bringing access to people with hearing disabilities through CART captioning. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
  • Empower hour with Julie: This webinar, taught by Julie Lessa, RPR, discusses equipping, empowering, and educating women on safety. She presents different lethal and nonlethal options for protecting yourself in different situations. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
  • Medical captioning: Mirabai Knight, RDR, CRR, CRC, discusses how prefixes, suffixes, research skills, fingerspelling techniques, and other strategies that can be used to build a robust medical dictionary. 0.15 CEU. Register here.

Courting Disaster game: Play a game, purchase the e-seminar, and earn 0.15 CEUs. Courting Disaster is the first online learning game designed to simulate the unique challenges that court reporters face every day. The game is free to play and offers a one-of-a-kind interactive learning experience for court reporters, students, and anyone interested in the reporting profession. To earn CEU credits, purchase the follow-up e-seminar that explores the issues encountered in the game in more detail. To play now, register here.

What about earning PDCs?

Members may earn up to 1.0 Professional Development Credit (PDC) to apply towards their current cycle requirements. Generally speaking, PDCs acknowledge that many members give back to the profession in many ways, including through providing pro bono service, promoting the profession at career days, or other service, and that those activities can increase a person’s knowledge of the world around them. PDCs may not be applied to CLVS or reinstatement continuing education requirements.

  • Article tests: You can earn 0.25 PDC by reading one of the listed articles and then passing a short multiple-choice test. The questions are based on the material in the article, although some may require additional research. The passing score is 75%, and tests are marked Pass or Fail. Each test may only be taken once, and your results will be automatically downloaded to your official NCRA transcript within 5-7 business days, reflecting the day you completed the test. But remember, units will only be awarded to participants who pass the exam and tests may not be repeated. Check out the list of articles and read more here.
  • Book tests: You can earn 0.25 PDC by reading one of the books approved by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) and then taking a short multiple-choice test. The passing score is 85% and each test may be taken only once. Click here for the list of approved books and to take a book test.
  • Distance learning ideas: The Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) and the NCRA Independent Self-Study Task Force Committee (ISSTFC) have pre-qualified a number of third party providers/programs as activities acceptable for CEUs or PDCs. Click here for the list of approved programs.
  • Oral Histories Program: You can earn 0.25 PDC per completed transcript from an interview of a veteran, Holocaust survivor, or attorney who participated in Legal Aid, through NCRF’s Oral Histories Program. The completed veterans transcripts must be mailed to NCRF, so keep postal time in mind if you’re facing the September deadline. The transcripts for Holocaust survivors and Legal Aid, however, are submitted electronically, which gets you your credits even faster. Contact NCRF’s Foundation Manager, April Weiner, at for more information.

What if I run out of time without finishing my required number of CEUs?

If you’ve run out of time, you can opt to pay for a four-month extension from Sept. 30 to Jan. 31, 2017. The processing fee is $99. Click here for a Cycle Extension Request Form.

And don’t forget, it’s cheaper to submit your CEUs online!

For more information, visit Ways to Earn Continuing Education.

Natalie Dippenaar is NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager. She can be reached at



NCRA President recognized in Congressional Record

Rep. Lou Barletta, who represents Pennsylvania’s 11th District, recognized NCRA President Nativa P. Tiva Wood, RDR, CMRS, in the Sept. 6 edition of Congressional Record. Barletta noted that Wood served for 35 years as a court reporter in the Dauphin County Courthouse in his district, including the last 11 years of her career as the chief court reporter.

Read more.

‘Like a video game’: Edmonton stenographer speediest in North America

CBC News posted a story Sept. 7, profiling NCRA member Jeffrey Weigl, RMR, CRR, who won the Association’s 2016 National Speed Contest held last month in Chicago, Ill.  Weigl is the first Canadian to ever win the contest. The video shows Weigl captioning and includes an interview with him about the court reporting profession.

Watch the video.

Weigl was also featured in a CBC/Canadian Radio interview on Sept. 7.

Listen to the interview.

Seasoned court reporter/writer co-writes new book with New York Times bestselling author

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Brash Blonde, coauthored by NCRA member Kelly Nasuti, RMR, CRR, CRC, and New York Times bestselling author Gemma Halliday, debuted on bookshelves both real and virtual Sept. 6. 

The story places best friends Martha “Marty” Hudson, a barista at a Stanford University coffee bar, and Irene Adler, a dot-com millionaire, in the middle of a murder investigation as a result of contents Hudson discovers in an old Victorian home an aunt leaves to her. Getting no help from a grumpy detective, the two friends invent fictitious private investigator Sherlock Holmes to help them find answers.

According to Nasuti, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Brash Blonde is a fun, modern take on the legendary Sherlock Holmes franchise.”

Before teaming up with Halliday to co-write the Sherlock story, Nasuti, who writes under the pen name Kelly Rey, authored three mystery novels including Motion for Murder, Motion for Malice, and  Motion for Madness. Each of the books features main character Jamie Winters, a full-time law firm employee and part-time sleuth. After Motion for Madness was published, Nasuti became a USA Today bestselling author.

Nasuti, who has been a court reporter since 1989, operated as Regional Reporting Inc. until 2005 when she joined VITAC, a full service closed captioning and subtitling company. She currently works as a full-time captioner. Nasuti is a member of Sisters in Crime, a group that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

All four books are currently available in e-book format for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. They are also available in paperback at and

Read the first chapter.

JCR Awards nominations open through Oct. 31

Nominate yourself or a noteworthy court reporter, captioner, videographer, scopist, teacher, school administrator, or court reporting manager for recognition through the JCR Awards. Conceived as a way to recognize and highlight the exemplary professionalism, community service, and business practices of NCRA members, the JCR Awards is a way to tell compelling stories that bring to life innovative and successful business strategies from the past year. In addition to nominations for several subcategories, NCRA is looking for a firm and an individual who show excellence in more than one category for an overall “Best of the Year” award.

Any current NCRA member in good standing, with the exception of students, may be nominated for these awards. Court reporters, captioners, videographers, scopists, teachers and school administrators, and court reporting managers are all eligible for nomination. Self-nominations are accepted. Firms, courthouses, or court reporting programs may be nominated as a group as long as they meet the criteria for membership for one of the definitions in the JCR Awards Entry Form.

To nominate yourself or someone else, submit a written entry to the JCR between 300 and 1,000 words explaining the strategies you implemented and why they were successful. Ancillary materials, such as photos, may also be submitted with the nomination. Nominations will be considered by the JCR editorial team based on the best fact-based story. Please be prepared to offer documentation, verifiable sources, or other assistance as needed to be considered for these awards. The stories of the finalists will be published as featured articles in the March JCR.

Nominations are due by Oct. 31. Read more about the JCR Awards.