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.

Coash & Coash announces recipient of first annual court reporting scholarship

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn July 17, Coash & Coash, Phoenix, Ariz., posted a story on its website announcing that Jordan Jackson of the GateWay Community College court reporting program has been awarded the first annual $1,000 Coash & Coash court reporting scholarship.

Read more.

NCRF announces deadline for student scholarship and grant

Nominations are now being accepted by the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) for the Student Intern Scholarship and Robert H. Clark Scholarship. The deadline for nominations is June 17.

Each year, NCRF awards two $1,000 scholarships to students who have completed or are currently performing the required internship portion of their court reporting program. They must also meet other specific criteria, including current membership in NCRA, having a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and attending an NCRA-certified court reporting program. A generous annual donation from the Reis Family Foundation helps fund these scholarships.

The Robert H. Clark Scholarship, in its second year, is awarded in the amount of $1,800 each year through 2019. Court reporting students must be nominated by an instructor or advisor and meet a number of specific criteria to be eligible, including enrollment in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, passing at least one of the court reporting program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 200 words per minute, having a GPA of 3.5 or above, demonstrating the need for financial assistance, and possessing the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation.

“As a hardworking young woman trying to balance being in school full time, being available to assist my parents, and running my own home on a tight budget, the lack of available funds can be the source of much stress and worry,” said Chaya Shusterman, the recipient of the first-ever scholarship in 2015. “Thanks to the generosity of the Robert H. Clark Scholarship, I received the relief I needed at just the right time! Thank you so much for assisting me in my journey to achieve my goals. I am deeply grateful.”

This scholarship is named for the late Robert H. (Bob) Clark, a court reporter from Los Angeles, Calif., who was dedicated to preserving the history of the profession. In 1993, he donated his extensive collection of books, artifacts, and documents related to court reporting to NCRF to help establish a namesake library that is housed at NCRA headquarters in Reston, Va. This scholarship was made possible thanks to a generous donation by Donna Hamer, Clark’s cousin, made in 2015.

The recipients of these awards will be recognized at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo in Chicago, Ill.

To learn more about and apply for the Student Intern and Robert H. Clark scholarships, visit NCRA.org/NCRF.

Financial support available for new working reporter

NCRF offers a $2,000 grant each year to a New Professional Reporter who graduated from an NCRA-approved court reporting program and who is in his or her first year of work as a court reporter. The reporter must be nominated by his/ her supervisor or employer. The Nomination Form may be found at www.ncra.org/NCRFscholarships, or call NCRA’s Member Services and Information Center on 800-272-6272. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2013.