The JCR Awards recognize innovative business strategies and more

The JCR Awards offer the perfect way to showcase innovative and successful business strategies from the past year. For the third year, the JCR staff is seeking stories that bring to life new and inventive ways that NCRA members change the way they do business, serve their communities, and help promote the professions of court reporting and captioning.

Nominations are currently being sought for several subcategories, such as best-in-class stories for: Marketing and customer service; Leadership, teambuilding, and mentoring; Use of technology; Community outreach; Service in a nonlegal setting; and Court Reporting & Captioning Week (2017) initiative. In addition, NCRA is looking for a group 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 as well as groups, such as firms, courthouses, or court reporting programs. Self-nominations are accepted. More information about specific criteria for each of the categories is available on the JCR Awards Entry Form.

To enter, submit a written entry to the JCR between 300 and 1,000 words explaining the strategies implemented and why they were successful. Ancillary materials, such as photos, may also be submitted with the nomination. Nominations will be considered 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 2018 issue of the JCR.

Nominations are due by Oct. 31.

Read about the winners from 2017 and 2016.

Tri-C court reporting professor earns national honor

JCR logoThe Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga, Ohio, issued a press release on April 18 announcing that the JCR recently honored Jen Krueger, RMR, CRI, CPE, an associate professor of captioning, with an award for innovative use of technology.

Read more.

JCR Award for Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR

Court Reporting & Captioning Week initiatives (2016)

Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, realtiming for students at Southside High School

Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, realtiming for students at Southside High School

Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR
San Antonio, Texas

Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, has been very proactive in the San Antonio area in promoting the profession. During the 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, she was able to get the court reporting profession highlighted on a local television station. The TV crew came to the courthouse at 5 a.m., and Uviedo was able to round up court reporting students and court reporters to get up very, very early and make it to the courthouse to be included in the segment.

In addition, spurred by the national week promoting the profession, Uviedo decided to contact as many students as she could to tell them how great court reporting and captioning are. She coordinated 26 career fairs and was able to get 30-35 court reporters and students to volunteer. Uviedo also designed a website with dictation for students to access called Since Uviedo’s involvement with

San Antonio College Court Reporting program, attendance has increased from 37 students two years ago to 67 students this fall.

JCR Award for Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association

Court Reporting & Captioning Week initiatives (2016)

Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association during their 2016 Day at the Races

Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association during their 2016 Day at the Races

Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association
Los Angeles, Calif.

On Feb. 20, 2016, the Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association hosted a “Day at the Races” to celebrate the profession with peers, friends, family, students, and the general public. In addition to family and friends, invitations were extended to judges, attorneys, courtroom staff, students, and broadcast and CART captioners. The day included a lunch buffet, a signature drink of “StenoRitas,” a Derby Hat Contest, and a special spotlight on the profession during the fourth race when the Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association was officially recognized in the program.

An example of a derby hat worn for the Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association's 2016 Day at the Races

An example of a derby hat worn for the Los Angeles County Court Reporters Association’s 2016 Day at the Races

“This was a unique way to come together with our justice partners, have a lot of fun, and introduce a wide audience to the profession of court reporting,” wrote Julie Granger, RPR, in her nomination. “Getting the word out about court reporting countrywide can be a logistically difficult endeavor due to the physical size and scope of the country. This event was a great way to celebrate the week and put our wonderful
profession in the spotlight in front of a wide public audience.”

JCR Award for Cuyahoga Community College Captioning and Court Reporting Program

Steve Zinone addresses court reporting and captioning students at Cuyahoga Community College.

Steve Zinone addresses court reporting and captioning students at Cuyahoga Community College.

Court Reporting & Captioning Week initiatives (2016)

Cuyahoga Community College Captioning and Court Reporting Program
Parma, Ohio

During National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, Cuyahoga Community College invited then-NCRA President Stephen Zinone, RPR, to speak to the program’s current and prospective students during an Open House. Zinone’s keynote speech highlighted the many perks of becoming court reporters and captioners and spoke passionately about the profession. The event was held in the college’s SmartTV studio, so that attendees who could not be present in the studio could view the event through a live steaming feed on Tri-C’s website. This afforded them the opportunity to participate “live” by calling in with questions. Additionally, the address was recorded and the link posted to Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, a local news station, WKYC, fi med a segment on the profession, highlighted the program at Cuyahoga Community College, and the program’s Open House. Consequently, the Captioning and Court
Reporting Open House had a record number of more than 90 attending. This segment continues to appear on Tri-C’s website under the “See the Possible” initiative. All of these efforts resulted in increased awareness of the profession, contacts, and enrollment for the fall 2016 semester.

JCR Award for Aimee Goldberg

Community outreach

Aimee Goldberg

Aimee Goldberg

Aimee Goldberg
Minneapolis, Minn.

Aimee Goldberg, who owns Benchmark Reporting Agency in Minnesota, gives back to her community wherever and whenever she can. Her most prominent philanthropic work is raising money for research on multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed in 1999 with the disease, Goldberg formed a team through her company and raised more than $130,000 walking in the Twin Cities MS Walk. The company ranks as one of the highest fundraisers for the MS Walk. In addition, Goldberg and her company have adopted a family through the Simpson House, an organization that provides assistance to people experiencing homelessness. Each year they adopt and provide Christmas presents for an entire family.

JCR Award for Robin Nodland, RDR

Leadership, teambuilding, & mentoring

Robin Nodland, RDR

Robin Nodland, RDR

Robin Nodland, RDR
Portland, Ore.

Robin Nodland, RDR, a firm owner based in Oregon, is always reaching beyond herself and helping to build the industry. With her firm and committee work for both the state and national associations, she is always thinking about the industry and often suggests new ideas to people around the country. She also encouraged other court reporters, through her work on the NCRA Technology Committee and by personal mentoring of many new court reporters, as well as encouraging her local community to embrace captioning and bring greater understanding to the importance of court reporters in all their roles.

JCR Award for Jay Vettickal, CRI

Jay Vettickal, CRI

Jay Vettickal, CRI

Use of technology – school

Jay Vettickal, CRI
College of Court Reporting
Hobart, Ind.

College of Court Reporting’s campaign to recruit new students this fall had significant impact on enrollment. CCR created its #PlusOne campaign in an effort to promote the profession of court reporting and captioning careers. The objectives included increasing public awareness and interest, as well as
having more students take the first step toward entering one of the professions. The goal of the promotion was to have those working in the profession reach out to prospective students and get them to just try it. CCR took the first step by offering a free five-week online introductory course, “Hooked on Court Reporting,” for almost 60 students. The goal is to introduce prospective students to the professions and the opportunities related to court reporting.

CCR launched the #PlusOne campaign using social media and email marketing to garner the support of all working professionals. Here is how it worked: CCR emailed more than 3,500 working court reporters and firm owners asking them to help promote court reporting to the people they already knew. They were further asked to explain “Hooked on Court Reporting” to those same people and ask them to participate in the program’s free course in order to learn more about what it is like to become a court reporter.

The program’s strategic partnerships with working court reporters, professionals, and employers amplified its efforts by tapping into word-of-mouth marketing. The #PlusOne campaign was designed to challenge all court reporters and those affliated with the professions to help one student start at
an NCRA-certified program. “The truth is, the faster we familiarize the public about these amazing and important professions related to court reporting, the more people we will have to fill those vacancies,” said Vettickal of the program. CCR’s social media efforts increased lead generation by more than 40 percent, and the responses to email blasts allowed more than 60 prospective court reporting students to participate in the “Hooked on Court Reporting” course. Ultimately, CCR was able to start more than 30 percent more students in the fall of 2016 as compared to the fall of 2015.

JCR Award for Jen Krueger, RMR, CRI, CPE

Use of technology

Jen Krueger, RMR, CRI, CPE, received the CASE Award of Excellence in 2011 from past NCRA President Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC

Jen Krueger, RMR, CRI, CPE, received the CASE Award of Excellence in 2011 from past NCRA President Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, RDR, CRR, CRC

Jen Krueger, RMR, CRI, CPE
Parma, Ohio

Dr. Jen Krueger, an associate professor at Cuyahoga Community College, has been using several technologies with students to promote learning: CAT software; Realtime Coach; Audacity; snipping tools; Camtasia; and Excel. Using these tools allows her to create and track data to help students understand how they are progressing and helps her figure out ways to help them advance through their classes. Krueger evaluates students’ writing within their digital transcript files and the feedback they receive within Realtime Coach. She tracks hours practiced in correlation to strokes attained against accuracy achieved using an Excel spreadsheet. Krueger actively searches for patterns in the Excel spreadsheets
to identify problems executing appropriate key strokes for each individual student. Krueger creates a differentiated instructional plan for her students. For example, some are advised to work at a particular speed, within a category, or in a minute-by-minute fashion.

Based on her observations and the feedback, she creates audio files in a drill-like format using Audacity to enhance a student’s automatic response to ensure accurate translations. Additionally, Krueger creates screenshot videos reviewing passages to transcripts. These are emailed and/or provided through grading feedback. By combining these technologies, Krueger fosters a positive learning environment that focuses on each individual. This creates an environment of improved communication, heightened student awareness of their own writing, greater motivation, along with positive relationships between faculty member and student. Taken together, “these efforts have impacted our program positively as evidenced by improved realtime writing skills and progress among our students,” wrote fellow Cuyahoga instructor Kelly Moranz, CRI, in her nomination of Krueger.

JCR Award for Deanna P. Baker, RMR

Service in a nonlegal setting

Deanna P. Baker, RMR, of Flagstaff, Ariz.

Deanna P. Baker, RMR, of Flagstaff, Ariz.

Deanna P. Baker, RMR
Flagstaff, Ariz.

Broadcast captioner Deanna P. Baker, RMR, worked with the World Institute on Disabilities, which is a leading force in 2016’s groundbreaking Conference Accessibility Initiative. For this effort, WID, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co., strives to make community development and policy conferences more accessible to, and inclusive of, people with disabilities. At all 11 conferences, Baker and WID employees have introduced captioning remotely using 1Fuzion, a new technology by 1CapApp, that mimics the look of an encoder but is strictly Web based and can easily be configured in many different ways by the conference coordinator.

Before each of these conferences, Baker and WID would teleconference in the AV teams and conference coordinators to test out the technology to ensure everyone had a good grasp of how everything would work. At every conference, WID employees were onsite answering questions and receiving words of appreciation. Many expressed amazement that the captions were created by a “real” human being! Some participants took WID’s information and passed it along to other conferences they attend and requested captioning be made available there. Due to Baker’s collaboration with WID, thousands of people experienced open captioning for the first time this past year.