Tri-C annual open house boosts summer enrollment

The court reporting and captioning professions captivated attendees at the annual open house held April 25 by Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cuyahoga, Ohio. Sponsored by the college’s court reporting and captioning program, the event drew 75 attendees wanting to know more about the career choice and benefits.

Stefanie Sweet, a current student enrolled in Tri-C’s court reporting and captioning program, shares some insight into campus life and educational curriculum with open house attendees.

Stefanie Sweet, a current student enrolled in Tri-C’s court reporting and captioning program, shares some insight into campus life and educational curriculum with open house attendees.

According to Kelly Moranz, CRI, Tri-C’s program manager, attendees got an overview of the court reporting and captioning professions, including information about various work venues, earning potential, flexibility, and the college’s program. Attendees then embarked on a speed networking activity that allowed them to ask faculty, professionals, and current students more about available career opportunities, campus life, and scholarships.

“The opening comments were captioned remotely and put onto a large-screen monitor to demonstrate how captioning works,” said Moranz. “Overall, the open house resulted in numerous inquiries about how to get started, and there has been an increased enrollment in our summer introductory courses.”

Other topics addressed during the speed networking activity included a brief overview of the theory of steno, the importance of good English and grammar skills required by court reporters, examples of real-life experiences shared by professionals currently working in the field, and the chance to try writing on an actual machine.

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.

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Tri-C open house to showcase captioning and court reporting

JCR logoThe Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga, Ohio, announced in a press release issued April 17 that it will hold an open house on April 25 to showcase career opportunities in the growing field of captioning and court reporting.

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County not yet hit by court reporter shortage

jcr-publications_high-resSarah Nageotte, RDR, CRR, CRC, was interviewed about the court reporting profession in an article posted by the Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio, on Feb. 18. Nageotte, a past president of NCRA, is an official court reporter from Jefferson, Ohio.

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Students giving back to students

In the fall of 2015, Suzanne Rafferty and Kristina Carmody, court reporting students at the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), Cuyahoga, Ohio, co-founded a Court Reporting and Captioning Club with a mission to connect fellow students, support the profession, and help increase awareness about court reporting and captioning as viable career choices. Since the club’s launch, members have worked tirelessly to meet those goals. Recently, the club hosted its second Write-a-thon, a fundraising effort to raise monies to support court reporting students. In a recent interview, Rafferty, on track to graduate in 2017 and planning a career path in captioning work, talked about Tri-C’s Court Reporting and Captioning Club and the success it has had.

How long has the Captioning and Court Reporting Club been in existence?

Since 2015. We are the first club to include both online students and on-campus students. We have had students from Illinois and Pennsylvania travel to the campus to participate in person and connect with their fellow club members, too.

What is a Write-a-thon exactly?

tric-3_resizedClub members that signed up for the Write-a-thon were asked to obtain sponsors that would give money based on the number of hours the student would be writing. For example, I would get $10 for every hour I would write for the four-hour period. If I wrote for the entire time, I would collect $40 from the sponsor. We had a 10-minute break at the end of each hour. Sponsors were also able to donate a flat donation if desired. This year we did ask that everyone reach out to professionals as well as family and friends for sponsorship. All funds raised by the club are then matched by the college as well.

This is the club’s second Write-a-thon. How did the idea get started?

The idea came up at the beginning of last year when the officers and club advisors had a meeting and started brainstorming about what we could do to raise money for the club. It was a great way to earn money and bring exposure to the captioning and court reporting department.

Are there other aspects to the Write-a-thon event that help generate funds?

Our bake sale generated $370 this year, which is $100 more than what we generated last year. The bake sale runs concurrently with the Write-a-thon.

tric-1_resizedDo students from other departments in the school support your events?

Yes, other students support our events by purchasing bake sale goods at the bake sale table. It was held in the main concourse of our school.

What are the funds being raised for?

We are raising funds to go toward student memberships in state and national organizations, as well as helping cut the costs of required software and to attend court reporting conferences or conventions.

What other types of activities does the club partake in or sponsor?

Last year we had then-NCRA President Steve Zinone come out to talk to the group during Court Reporting & Captioning week. We had a CART provider do a webinar and talk to the students about what her job was like. We also had an adjunct psychology faculty member from Tri-C, Dr. Michelle Nicopolis, PCC, NCC, present a workshop about testing anxiety and lead the group through a guided imagery session. This month, we also collected socks to be donated to a shelter in conjunction with the counseling department.

Retired judge publishes book of practical law advice

The Medina [Ohio] Gazette posted an article on June 3 about Practical Tips for Trial Attorneys: A Conversation with Judge James L. Kimbler, which was released earlier this month. It is the first book by former Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler, who retired in late 2014. In the book, the Hon. Kimbler shares some advice about the law and courts.

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Tri-C court reporting program open house draws large crowd, generates interest in profession

Signing in at the Tri-C open houseThe court reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), Parma, Ohio, hosted its largest open house ever on April 19, attracting 92 attendees interested in learning more about the court reporting and captioning professions.

The event, which was also captioned to provide those attending with a better understanding of realtime, outlined the various areas of court reporting and benefits such as flexibility, salary, and employment opportunities. A speed-networking session allowed attendees the opportunity to spend a few minutes with a variety of working court reporters, faculty members, and students from the program to ask questions and learn more about the profession.

Participants in the speed-networking portion addressed questions about speedbuilding, steno theory, CART and captioning work, the importance of English and grammar skills to succeed in the profession, what it is like to distance learn, Tri-C Court Reporting and Captioning Club activities, the student experience, and available scholarships.

Suzy Rafferty, Tri-C student, talks to attendees during the speed networking session at the Tri-C open house NCRA Immediate Past President Sarah Nageotte, RDR, CRR, CRC, an official court reporter from Jefferson, Ohio, was also on hand to share information about the benefits of membership in NCRA and the Ohio Court Reporters Association.

“I was invited to speak about working as an official court reporter as well as about the importance of membership in professional associations while in school as a student in addition to as a professional in the field,” said Nageotte.

“While I was speaking specifically to my experience in working in the court systems of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now the federal courts, I was fortunate to be able to refer to all arenas encompassed within the profession, including CART and broadcast captioning and freelance reporting and the benefits to each,” said Nageotte.

Kelly Moranz, CRI, Tri-C’s court reporting program manager and an adjunct faculty member, talks to attendees during the speed networking session at the Tri-C open houseNageotte said that the strong interest expressed by attendees about the 100 percent placement rate for graduates of Tri-C’s program also prompted her to share the information about retirement rates and job opportunities for the future in the profession based on the findings of the 2013-2014 Industry Outlook Report by Ducker Worldwide commissioned by NCRA.

According to Kelly Moranz, CRI, Tri-C’s court reporting program manager and an adjunct faculty member, the attendees represented a mix of all ages and demographics. She said that they had heard about the event either through stories featured by local print and broadcast media outlets, demonstrations and presentations at career fairs and community events, or a flyer they received in the mail.

The speed networking session at the Tri-C open house.“We had very positive feedback on the effectiveness of the speed-networking format in providing information along with insight into the program and profession,” said Moranz.

Moranz said after the event she received a number of emails from attendees expressing interest in enrolling in the Tri-C program as well as from one parent who wrote: “It was very informative, and what a turnout! I may pass this info on to my daughter. Thanks for inviting me.”

The event wrapped up with attendees having the opportunity to ask additional questions, try their hand at a steno machine, and learn more about Tri-C’s program and application process.

Tri-C instructor wins award for drawing students into unheralded profession

Kelly Moranz, CRI, manager of the court reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, Ohio, was featured in an article posted April 6 by Fresh Water. The article includes Moranz’s comments about the growing opportunities in the court reporting profession, as well as notes that she was recently name a recipient of the JCR Awards for leadership and teambuilding.

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Clark State teams up with college for first-of-its-kind partnership

The Dayton Daily News posted an article on Feb. 24 about Clark State Community College, Springfield, Ohio, combining forces with Stark State College, North Canton, Ohio, to create a unique all-online combined judicial court reporting program. The program trains students to write on a stenographic writing machine at speeds fast enough to provide instantaneous translation of the spoken word.

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Court reporting and captioning club raises funds, builds camaraderie

IMG_1072_BFor a group of students from the court reporting program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), in Cleveland, Ohio, what started as an effort to individually raise money to help them get to the 2015 NCRA Convention & Expo in New York City led to the launch of a formal Court Reporting and Captioning Club. The club now includes 50 members and growing, according to Kristina Carmody, one of the club’s founders.

“Fundraising can only be done on the campus if you are a part of an officially recognized club for organizational purposes. Now we have the ability to hold more fundraisers to accomplish our goals and share the proceeds with more of the students in the program,” said Carmody, who helped establish the club along with fellow students Blanca Flores Robinson, Karen Herr, Suzy Rafferty, and Amy Williams.

And share the proceeds they have. In celebration of NCRA’s 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week held Feb. 14-20, the club was able to host a meet-and-greet event that featured NCRA President Steve Zinone as keynote speaker. Zinone, RPR, an official court reporter from Pittsfield, N.Y., spent most of the day with the Tri-C students before formally presenting a keynote address. He spoke of his own professional career background, encouraged students to keep striving to succeed in their program, and gave them tips to help reach their goal of a golden ring of opportunities.

“It is always an honor and a privilege to speak to students and encourage them and explain to them the many opportunities there are in our industry for professional court reporters, stressing to reach for that golden ring because it does exist,” said Zinone. “It is imperative to connect with our students and impress upon them that all of us at one time or another experienced bumps in the road as we progressed through school and that through hard work, determination, proper mentorship, and instruction, they too will matriculate and become successful court reporters.”

According to Carmody, the main purpose of the club now is to rally students who want to learn more about the field and have a passion for court reporting. The club allows members to participate in activities that foster student success, provide a sense of support and community, aid with fundraising efforts, and offer networking opportunities.

Club members also work to promote interest in the court reporting and captioning fields as well as engage in activities that build their skills and knowledge before entering the field, Carmody said.

“The camaraderie among members of the club is inspiring and motivational, keeping us all focused on our ultimate success and goal of becoming captioners and court reporters,” said Carmody. “Planning events to connect the club members with working professionals has been exciting. Those are the biggest benefits.”

IMG_1084_B“Tri-C is an exceptional program, with exceptional instructors and dedicated students,” said Zinone. “Visiting Tri-C was very special to me because having met some of the students at last year’s Ohio Court Reporters Association’s convention in Columbus, and then again at NCRA’s annual convention in New York in August, I have been very fortunate to spend quality time with them during their matriculation through school. It was a great opportunity to spend time with them during Court Reporting and Captioning Week. They really are a special group and have helped me enjoy my year as NCRA President because our visits are really priceless,” he added.

In addition to his visit to Tri-C, Zinone also participated in a presidents’ roundtable in celebration of 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The roundtable, hosted by the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Ind., was moderated by the school’s president Jeff Moody and was made available to court reporting students from all schools via the college’s Blackboard Collaborate system.

Joining Zinone on the panel were Tonya Kaiser, RPR, CMRS, a freelance reporter from Fort Wayne and president of the Indiana Court Reporters Association; Susan Gee, RMR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Cincinnati and president-elect of the Ohio Court Reporters Association; and Kathy McHugh, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Philadelphia and president of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association.

More than 30 participants joined the discussion to hear what the panelists had to say about the greatest challenges they faced in court reporting school and how they overcame them. They also discussed how they were motivated to become leaders within their associations, the benefits of membership at the state and local levels, and the importance of certification.

“We are all former students, and I’m sure we all remember a working reporter speaking to us as students and making a positive impression, which created optimism and motivation for us as we progressed through our studies as court reporters in training,” Zinone said.


What Tri-C students had to say about Zinone’s visit and keynote address:

“I’ve never been so motivated to practice after hearing someone’s life experiences.”

“Thank you for asking Steve Zinone to come speak with us. He was very informative and interesting!”

“I really enjoyed Stephen Zinone’s talk today! Thanks to all who made it possible and for including distance learners who couldn’t be there in person. I took so many great things away from it!”

“We greatly appreciated Mr. Zinone taking his time to come and share his experiences and tips for success in school and in the field. I look forward to seeing him in Chicago at the NCRA Conference!”

“Steve is really very inspiring and down to earth! I’m so glad I could be there.”