Three Conventions and Counting…

Michelle Myott

Michelle Myott attends South Coast College in Orange, Calif., and has been a student member of NCRA since 2015. This year she will be attending her third NCRA Annual Convention & Expo. She hopes to graduate before her fourth.

UTS | What is it like to be a student at Convention?
Myott | Attending the Convention the last two years has been so encouraging to me. After last year, I went home feeling so positive and motivated and I passed my next speed within two weeks. The average person doesn’t understand what court reporting school is like. From going to the Conventions I have met some other students who I still am in contact with, who I can talk to about how school is going, and we help each other out. You will meet working professionals from your own state as well as from all around the United States.

UTS| Have you been able to network with other reporters in the field?
Myott | My aunt, who is a court reporter and my mentor, got me involved with NCRA. As a student, it is so nice to know someone to help you get involved and help you meet other working professionals as well as other students.

UTS | What is the best way to connect or make friends with other students at Convention?
Myott | It is important to get connected with other students at the Convention. I have stayed connected to other students through social media. We all have the same struggles in school and we need to support each other.

UTS | What was your favorite student seminar at Convention and why?
Myott | You will also attend seminars that touch on some very relevant topics in the court reporting world. I highly encourage other students to get involved as much as possible. My favorite seminar at the Convention was the “mock trial.” We got to see how it would go from the court reporter’s perspective. The reporter would stop and explain how to handle each situation that came up, and we got to hear how other reporters would handle the same situations.

UTS | Anything else you would like to share about Convention?
Myott | There are always amazing motivational speakers and, I feel that every student needs to hear these every so often to help get through school. I have learned so much from attending these Conventions and met some really great people. Every year I leave the Convention with a new excitement for this career that I will be starting.

 

Don’t miss your chance to save on 2018 Convention registration fees. Register by July 23 to save!

Networking advice for students

Cuyahoga Community College’s (Parma, Ohio) Captioning and Court Reporting Club President, Todd Robie, held a “How to Network at a Conference” seminar on April 3 for all students in the program. Both on-campus and online students were invited to participate. Robie gave valuable pointers for small- to mid-sized conventions and events. As he pointed out, these are your future colleagues and people you may have the opportunity to work with or for in the future. Make it your goal to start building your network!

Here are a few tips and tricks to review and take along with you to a conference you may be attending:

  1. What’s the best thing to get out of a conference? Connections! You want them to remember you and you to remember them.
  2. Everyone expects to meet new people at a conference and to talk with them.
  3. Wear your nametag! It can be a conversation starter in itself.
  4. Remember, folks are especially receptive to students so take advantage of that while you can.
  5. Take the initiative, as that sets you apart from others right from the start.
  6. Start out in a group if you are nervous and then branch out individually.
  7. You are terrific! Keep that in mind because it takes a terrific person to take on the challenge of this career and you have a lot to add to the profession.
  8. Start by preparing and having two basic introductions in mind along with two questions to start conversations. One intro should be a quick one and the second should be two or three sentences. Good news – you can use the same ones over and over again!
  9. Remember, the goal is to turn that conversation into a networking opportunity.
  10. Check out the layout/floor plan of the convention in advance. Common areas are the best places to network.
  11. Take the time to review the schedule and circle potential networking opportunities. Most of your connections will be made outside the sessions in such places as food lines, coffee and drink stations, and breaks.
  12. Do a little research on who is attending the convention and who you would like to meet. Make a list of them.
  13. Keep a file of any business cards you receive and ask them if you can contact them with any additional questions you might have as you continue on your journey as a student.
  14. Take the time to write down what you talked about with the individuals you’ve spoken with.
  15. Of course, dress appropriately.
  16. Feel free to send the people you meet a thank-you email.
  17. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and all those you meet!
  18. So go ahead and join your state and national organizations and make your plans to attend these conventions and conferences!

Don’t miss your chance to save on 2018 Convention registration fees. Register by July 23 to save!

College of Court Reporting welcomes guest speaker Tammy McGhee

Tammy McGhee

One hundred and fifteen students and faculty from the College of Court Reporting, Valparaiso, Ind., welcomed Tammy McGhee, RMR, as their guest speaker in the I-Auditorium on Monday, May 21. Tammy took time out of her busy captioning schedule to speak to all in attendance. Tammy addressed many topics of interest including why she chose court reporting as her career, a day-in-the-life of a captioner and freelance reporter, the importance of understanding and using her software, the benefits of being involved in and volunteering for the profession, the qualities of a new reporter, and some great reporting stories. Her love and enthusiasm for the profession was inspiring!

The College of Court Reporting knows what a few inspiring words from our professionals can do for the spirit of the student body.  Ashleigh Wiesman, a transfer student, said it best: “I just wanted to say that last night’s presentation was just what I needed.  I feel like I’m really struggling lately, so I needed that!” Lois Schoenbeck, CCR instructor, summed it up on behalf of all in attendance: “I love your enthusiasm for the profession. Thank you for giving us your time and knowledge.”

Tammy is currently vice president of the Ohio Court Reporters Association. She has also held the position of district representative and secretary. Tammy was an official court reporter in both Common Pleas and Municipal Court in Ohio and has been a firm owner. She currently works for VITAC as a broadcast captioner and loves to caption sports.

The students and faculty at the College of Court Reporting would like to, once again, thank Tammy for enlightening all and sharing her knowledge, experience, passion, and love for the court reporter profession. Thank you so much for sharing your great tips, taking time away from your busy captioning schedule to be with us, and giving back to the profession.  Awesome presentation, Tammy!

College of Court Reporting student graduates in 24 months

Kyra Kustin learned the EV360 Realtime Theory and graduated with the A.A.S. Degree in less than 24 months

Valparaiso, IN—In June of 2018, Ms. Kyra Kustin passed her final tests and received her A.A.S. in court reporting in less than 24 months! Kyra, a resident of Wading River, New York, was a recent online graduate of the College of Court Reporting (CCR). Kyra works as a freelance court reporter in New York.

In addition to developing a strong academic background, Kyra learned CCR’s EV360 Realtime Theory to master the ability to write with virtually perfect accuracy on a stenographic machine at 225 words per minute. As a result of her education and skill, she is capable of working in a variety of fields such as official reporting in state and federal courts, broadcast television captioning, educational reporting for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and freelance reporting for attorneys.

Before starting classes at the College of Court Reporting, Kyra worked as a medical transcriptionist. Unfortunately, that profession did not adapt to industry and technology changes, which resulted in less work and dwindling income. The scarcity of work combined with her children getting older opened the door for her to change careers and go back to school. A family member familiar with court reporting suggested the profession. Although very different from transcription, it was similar enough to catch her eye. She was also intrigued by the variety of opportunities (freelance, official, captioning, CART) and availability of a flexible schedule.

This led, Kyra to research school. She diligently proceeded to educate herself to make the best decision for her future. “I spent a really long time researching schools, and never heard anything but overwhelming praise for CCR, which made it an easy decision and by far the best decision I made. The support from all of the teachers and staff, and the overwhelmingly comprehensive education you get at CCR was more than I could have asked for,” Kyra stated.

While a student at the College of Court Reporting, Kyra studied general education, medical terminology, legal terminology, machine shorthand, and court reporting technology courses. She developed a strong background in English and communications. Additionally, Kyra received numerous honors and high honors throughout her schooling.

Kyra had this to say about CCR:

“First off, the program at CCR is amazing. I’m so confident going out working and knowing that I am totally prepared in every way. Second, making a meticulous schedule held me accountable for keeping up with the plan I had made for getting through school. Lastly, to be honest, I’m super competitive, and when I set goals, there’s not much that I will let get in my way.”

Kyra acknowledges that she completed school in such a short amount of time because of her support system:”I have three daughters. My oldest two are 8 and 6, and my youngest was born in June 2017, right in the middle of my time at CCR. She’s another reason I credit for my success. I found out I was pregnant a few months into school. I knew what was coming in the months ahead, so I really pushed myself as hard as I could to get my speed up as much as I could before she was born. I made it to 140/160 speeds in that first year. My husband was the best support I could have had. He never complained a single time about giving me whatever time or resources I needed to succeed. It was extremely difficult and there was a lot of trading the girls back and forth, but without his support, I couldn’t have finished school, and definitely not in the time that I did.”

According to an independent study conducted by Ducker Worldwide (Ducker Report), one of the nation’s leading marketplace analyst firms, demand for court reporters will exceed supply within five years, yielding a nationwide shortage. By this year, there will be 5,500 new court reporter jobs available in the U.S., with the greatest demand occurring in: California, Texas, Illinois, and New York, according to the 2013-14 Court Reporting Industry Outlook Report.

College of Court Reporting was the first online program in the country to be certified by the National Court Reporters Association in 2006. With the help of CCR’s modern theory, proprietary teaching methodology, patented speedbuilding technologies, and innovative minute-by-minute testing method, the College now maintains one of the highest graduation rates among court reporting schools nationally. For more information on furthering your education, contact Nicky Rodriquez at 866-294-3974.

https://www.smore.com/3jfbp

South Suburban College to hold court reporting open house

The Illinois Patch.com posted an announcement on July 10 about an open house being hosted July 26 by the court reporting program at the South Suburban College.

Read more.

Local court reporter earns national certification

Shoreline Area News posted a press a release on June 30 announcing that NCRA member Douglas Armstrong earned his RPR. The press release was issued by NCRA on Armstrong’s behalf.

Read more.

Only 34 days and counting! Don’t wait, register now

Spots are filling fast, and the deadlines for lodging and registration are looming for NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La. July 6 marks the deadline to reserve a room at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans using NCRA’s special discount, a deal that also gets you a free breakfast on Friday and Saturday (a $75 value). Save more by registering for the Convention & Expo before July 23, when online registration closes, and avoid a $100 additional fee for onsite registration.

This year’s all-inclusive schedule is sure to appeal to anyone in the court reporting, captioning, and legal video professions, or in the educational arena. But hurry; there are only 28 spots available for the ever-popular Punctuation Workshop, 18 spots for the National Speed Contest, and 15 spots for the National Realtime Contest. Last year, all three of these events sold out, so don’t miss your chance this year.

Other schedule highlights include workshops, business sessions, and Learning Zones that will offer attendees added opportunities to mingle and network. Throughout the Convention, attendees can earn up to 2.3 CEUs.

The Keynote speaker for NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré (U.S. Army, Ret.), a 37-year veteran of active service who served as the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, during which time he became known as the “Category 5 General” for his striking leadership style in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans.

In addition to sharing insights into his leadership skills with attendees at the premier session, Honoré will write his military story in a special Veterans History Project event. Honoré will be interviewed on stage by NCRA member Michael Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. Accompanying Miller on stage will be NCRA member Daniel Griffin, RPR, a freelance reporter from Phoenix, Ariz., who will transcribe Honoré’s story. Once completed, Honoré’s story will be preserved at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as part of its VHP program.

Get into the New Orleans mood even more by checking out this party playlist of songs selected by NCRA’s Board and Staff to get everyone excited to meet at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo!

For more information about the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs at mpetto@ncra.org.

Winnebago County looks to recruit more court reporters to the court system

NCRA member Joan McQuinn, RPR, CMRS, an official court reporter from Rockford, Ill., talks about her career and the shortage of students entering the profession in an article posted June 12 by WREX Channel 13. McQuinn also serves as co-chair of NCRA’s Contests Committee.

Read more.

IN MEMORIAM: Freida Sclafani Williams

Freida Sclafani Williams

Freida Sclafani Williams

Freida Sclafani Williams died on June 3, 2018, after a long fight with cancer. Born on Aug. 10, 1944, in Deland, Fla., the only child of Rosie and John Sclafani, Freida was full of ambition. As a young girl, Freida was a talented dancer, with the skill and dedication to make this her profession. Instead, she went on to forge one of the most successful court reporting careers in Florida.

Court reporting piqued her interest at an early age. When she was 9 years old, she placed the carbon between the sheets of paper to help her mother type transcripts for the court reporting firm then-named Rosie Sclafani and Associates. After attending the University of South Florida, she became the judicial assistant to former Circuit Judge A.H. Lane. In 1962, Freida enrolled in the Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville and joined her mother’s firm as a court reporter in 1971.

In 1979, Freida was appointed a state official court reporter and served in that position until 1995. During this time, she also oversaw the daily operations of the Lakeland office. In 1980, the name of the firm was changed to Sclafani Williams Court Reporters, Inc. Five years later, Freida became president of the company to continue her mothers legacy once Rosie fell ill. Under Freida’s keen management, the business was the first in the area to integrate new technologies, such as video conferencing and digital reporting, and by the end of her career, she had opened 6 office locations.

Among her many recognitions and achievements, Freida served as president of the Florida Court Reporters Association (FCRA) from 1999-2000 and was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Service Award by FCRA in 2002. She was the recipient of the National Association of Women’s Business Owners “Women of Distinction Award” and Sclafani Williams Court Reporters, Inc., was listed in the Tamp Bay Business Journal’s top 75 women-owned business in the state of Florida in 2003 and 2004. She also served as vice president of the Florida Official Court Reporter Association, an organization committed to court reporting education.

More often than not, Freida wore black, red, and white with a sparkling swan pin, symbolizing her love of Lakeland. She will be remembered for her commitment to service both the court reporting and Polk County communities while helping others achieve their dreams. Throughout her 36-year career, she mentored and encouraged countless court reporting interns — teaching them business strategies and best practices. In addition, she was heavily involved in the Society for Technological Advancement of Reporting, eventually becoming president in 2007, and was part of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the National Court Reporters Association, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, and the National Network Reporting Company. In Polk County, she helped fundraise for the restoration of the historic Polk Theater, supported the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and provided pro bono video conferencing services to the Polk Museum of Art.

Freida believed that being involved in the community she loved was her strength: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” She will be missed.

Tom Crites
Savannah, Ga.

 

IN MEMORIAM: Joseph T. Pudlo

Joseph T. Pudlo, age 86, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2018.  He was a partner with former NCRA President Sally J. Cochran and Secretary-Treasurer Richard B. Heilig, along with Jerome B. Sewell, John Jaroski, and Ken Kozlowski in Chicago.

“Mr. Pudlo,” as he became known to the legion of reporters he trained, was an avid story teller and mentor, and he left a significant mark on everyone he came in contact with. His high standards challenged every reporter to be the best and always “reach for the stars.”

Here is a recent photo with a small fraction of reporters he took under his wing when they were very young and now showing their respect almost 30 years later.

Everyone has a “Joe Pudlo story” that they could tell and would fill the pages of this Journal; but suffice it to say, he will be remembered fondly. In his honor we will always sing:

 

 

Sto lat Sto lat!
Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Sto lat! Sto lat!
Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Jeszcze raz! Jeszcze raz! Niech zyje, zyje nam.
Niech zyje nam!

100 years! 100 years!
They live, live among us!
100 years! 100 years!
They live, live among us!
Again, again! They live, live among us!
Live among us!

 

Ken Kozlowski
Marco Island, Fla.