Jim Woitalla’s legacy continues with student scholarships

By Jennifer Sati

As we all cherish our memories of Jim Woitalla and relish every single moment we spent with him, his legacy continues through his scholarships for judicial reporting students at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn.

Callie Sajdera, Anoka Tech student, and Peter Gravett, Anoka Tech Foundation director

Three $1,000 scholarships were awarded this past summer semester to students. All three of the recipients had Jim as their technology instructor, which made the award all the more special. The recipients were Jennifer Brama, who has since graduated; Callie Sajdera, a 200 wpm student; and Jamie Ward, a 180 wpm student.

The scholarships were presented on Oct. 5 at the Anoka Technical College fall scholarship dinner and ceremony. It was a privilege and blessing to have Jim’s mother and two of his sisters attend the scholarship ceremony and be a part of awarding the very first Woitalla scholarships. Callie Sajdera, the student speaker at the foundation ceremony, shared heartfelt stories of Jim as her instructor.

The judicial reporting program would like to thank everyone who has generously donated toward Jim Woitalla’s scholarship fund. Please know that the students are very appreciative of the thoughtfulness of others and that the money has made a difference in their education. We at Anoka Tech will keep Jim’s passion for this amazing profession thriving by continuing to graduate students who share his same passion and enthusiasm for technology and excellence.

Court reporting students Callie Sajdera (far left) and Jamie Ward (far right) pose with members of Jim Woitalla’s family

Since the inception of the scholarship fund, a total of $8,500 has been donated. We are hopeful we can keep Jim’s scholarship fund active with continued donations and use the funds to award two $1,000 scholarships annually. The family discerningly suggested that more funds be given out this first year or two so that students who learned from Jim could receive the most benefit.

Jim was loved and respected by countless reporters and captioners around the country, and it is a great privilege to be able to continue to share his legacy with students, our future! Learn more about how to get involved with the Anoka Tech Foundation and the “Judicial Reporting Program/Woitalla Scholarship Fund.”

Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, is a captioner and an instructor at Anoka Tech. She is also on NCRA’s Board of Directors. She can be reached at jsati@anokatech.edu.

What are you planning to do to mark National Court Reporting & Captioning Week?

In less than two weeks, 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week will kick off, with court reporters, captioners, firms, state associations, and court reporting schools hosting an array of activities to showcase the profession and to raise public awareness of the growing number of career opportunities the field has to offer.

Among them is Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn., where the court reporting school will host an on-campus “Court Reporting & Captioning Spring Fling,” on Feb. 19. The school is inviting students, reporters, judges, legislators, representatives from the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, and members of the general public to attend the event which will feature realtime and captioning demonstrations, opportunities for students to mingle with working reporters, and food and drinks.  Contact Jennifer Sati at JSati@atech.edu.

Ill ProcStenograph, based in Elmhurst, Ill., and a major product and service provider to the court reporting and caption profession, has received an official proclamation from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, recognizing Feb. 16 – 22 as the official 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Contact Dan Peterson, Director of Marketing and Inside Sales for Stenograph at DPetersen@stenograph.com.

The Oregon Court Reporters Association is urging its members to spread the word to clients, friends, and associates about 2014 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, as well as working on partnering with the Oregon State Bar to host a Veterans History Project to market the event. The State Bar will also run an ad in the February edition of their magazine using NCRA’s promotional logo to recognize the week. In addition, Carol Studemund, chair of OCRA’s Legislative Committee, has arranged for NCRA’s proclamation about Court Reporting & Captioning Week to be read at the Oregon Legislature and at the city councils of Portland, Eugene, and Beaverton. Contact Robin Nodland at rnodland@LNScourtreporting.com.

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association is planning to encourage its extensive member base to get involved with National Court Reporting & Captioning Week by engaging in a grassroots effort to promote the profession and educate local communities about the value stenographic skills bring to today’s marketplace.  PCRA is working very closely with the three nationally-accredited court reporting programs that are located in Pennsylvania to recruit and retain students and bring awareness of the profession to the public. Contact Donna Betza, PCRA President dbetza@betzaandassociates.com.

To find out how you can celebrate 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week or to find the latest in resources including press release templates, media pitches, power points, and more, please visit NCRA’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week resources page or contact the NCRA communications team at PR@ncra.org.