Gadsden State student earns national scholarship

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyGadsden State Community College, Gadsden, Ala., announced in a press release issued Jan. 29 that Analisa Arnold is one of two students nationwide to earn the Student Intern Scholarship from the National Court Reporters Foundation. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and is offered to students who are enrolled in NCRA-approved court reporting programs and meet other requirements.

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NCRF announces winners of Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship and Student Intern Scholarships

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) has announced that Jared Orozco, a student from Sheridan Technical College in Hollywood, Fla., was named recipient of the 2017 Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship. The Foundation also announced that Summer Vaughan, a student from College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., and Analisa Arnold from Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Ala., are the recipients of the 2017 Student Intern Scholarships.

Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship

“I chose to be a court reporter because I wanted a job that has a relatively flexible schedule to permit me to do volunteer work and dedicate time to being a minister,” said Orozco. “After I finish school, my ultimate goal would be to work in transcribing sermons to expedite their translation so it can be of benefit to people all over the world.” He plans to use the scholarship funds to purchase a much-needed computer as well as CAT software.

Jared Orozco

The Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship is a $2,000 award, given annually to a high-achieving court reporting student. This scholarship honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students through years of service on NCRA’s committees and boards that guide the education of court reporting students. Recipients are nominated by their schools and must meet specific criteria, including:

  • having a GPA of at least 3.5
  • passing at least one of the court reporting program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 200 wpm
  • possessing all the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including professional attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation

“When called upon to read back in class, Jared summons his talent to imitate accents, ranging from Darth Vader to Southern drawl, to amuse and enthrall his classmates. However, when it comes to integrity, honesty, professionalism, and altruism, Jared is very serious,” said Aurora Joslyn, CRI, an instructor at Sheridan Technical College. Joslyn added: “Now, thanks to the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship award, Jared can proudly take his place among the ranks of professional court reporters equipped with the tools for success.”

Student Intern Scholarships

Summer Vaughan

“Court reporting has always been the one job that has stuck out in my mind as my ‘dream job.’ I was always discouraged from going into this career because people are very misinformed about the opportunities available for a court reporter,” said Vaughan, who had pursued a paralegal degree before entering court reporting. “Once I began my court reporting internship, I knew I was right where I had always wanted to be. The reporters I interned with have been so welcoming, helpful, and encouraging. Nearly all of them have continued to follow my journey and have cheered me on every step of the way.” Vaughan plans to put the scholarship funds towards professional software and certification fees.

“Summer will be a successful professional because she has grit. She not only has the skill but the mental fortitude, determination, and desire to be an outstanding court reporter. That same grit or perseverance that took her through court reporting school with honors will be what propels her into a highly accomplished career,” said Nicky Rodriquez, the director of admissions at College of Court Reporting. “Summer is very deserving of this scholarship and will, without a doubt, make a positive impact on the court reporting profession for years to come.”

The Student Intern Scholarship is a $1,000 award, given annually to two high-achieving court reporting students who have completed the internship portion of their education. Recipients are nominated by their schools and must meet specific criteria, including:

  • having a GPA of at least 3.5
  • passing at least one of the program’s Q&A tests at a minimum of 190 wpm (if pursuing judicial reporting) or at least one literary test at a minimum of 160 wpm (if pursuing captioning)
  • possessing all the qualities exemplified by a professional court reporter, including professional attitude, demeanor, dress, and motivation

Analisa Arnold

“Not only is the internship experience a great opportunity for easing fears a student may have about moving from the educational environment to the professional realm, but it also gives an in-depth chance to experience the multifaceted scene of court reporting. The most important lesson I learned from my internship process is court reporting is more than just a job; it’s a rewarding career opportunity that benefits so many people,” said Arnold. She plans to put the scholarship funds toward the start-up costs as she moves forward as a professional.

“Analisa Arnold is a well-rounded young lady who has high ambitions and this keeps her motivated to persevere through all the ups and downs as a reporting student,” said Michelle Roberts, CRI, an instructor at Gadsden State Community College. “Her practice habits throughout her stint here in school will assure her a great career as a realtime writer. Her precise writing style will assure her a big platform to display her talents in this field.”

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.

NCRA announces the winners of the 2017 CASE scholarships

Lisa Erickson

Lisa Erickson

The Council on Approved Student Education (CASE) has selected Lisa Erickson, a student at Prince Institute in Elmhurst, Ill., as the first-place winner of the 2017 CASE Scholarship. Maggie DeRocher, of Des Moines Area Community College in Newton, Ia., earned second place, and Meredith Seymour of Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis. earned third place. The first-place winner will receive $1,500; second place, $1,000; and third place, $500.

“Words fail to adequately express just how blessed I am to have received this award,” says Erickson. “As a double-duty parent, so many odds are constantly stacked against me. What this means to me is a bright start to the future I dream for my family. Thank you to all who helped make this possible.”

“I’m so honored to be a recipient of the CASE scholarship,” DeRocher tells Up-to-Speed. “It’s great motivation to continue to constantly learn and grow in this great profession.”

Meredith Seymour, who has worked as an American Sign Language interpreter, says she is “humbled and thankful to be granted this scholarship, yet also honored to be given this opportunity to spread awareness on behalf of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.”

maggie derocher_cropped

Maggie DeRocher

As part of the application process, students submitted an original essay on the topic “Describe what the professions of court reporting and captioning are like today from your perspective. What do you think those professions will be like in the next ten years?”

All three winning essays focused on the growing demand for reporters and captioners as well as a positive outlook for the future. “I conclude that in ten years and beyond,” Erickson writes, “this remarkable field will continue to turn heads and strengthen the backbone of the community.” Erickson’s instructors rated her as “exceptional” and used words such as “stupendous,” “persistent,” and “committed” to describe her.

Meredith Seymour

Meredith Seymour

Another common theme among the essays was the effect that technology will play in the future of the court reporting and captioning professions. Seymour points out the shortcomings of digital audio recordings in courtroom settings: “Although once thought as a convenient and inexpensive route, [technology] has been continuing to prove how inadequate and untrustworthy it is a reporting device for the court system.”

DeRocher, on the other hand, sees social media as a way to share information within the community: “There is camaraderie, punctuation and grammar advice, suggestions how to handle different situations that arise in the profession, discussions of the newest technologies, and everything in between.”

Applicants were also required to be current students at an NCRA-approved court reporting program, hold student membership with NCRA, write between 140-180 wpm, and submit three recommendation forms, among other criteria.

Scholarship recipients will be formally announced at the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. Visit the Student Resources page for more information about the CASE Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities.

VCRA marks 50th anniversary with scholarship

young woman looks up after reading paper

Photo by Regent Language Training

To mark its 50th anniversary, the Virginia Court Reporters Association (VCRA) is seeking applicants for a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded during its annual convention being held March 24-26 in Williamsburg, Va. The deadline for applying has been extended to Jan. 31. Applicants can be from any state.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student or students, who are in a current accredited court reporting program, either online or bricks and mortar, and have passed their 160 wpm testing requirement. The scholarship is being funded by the Carolyn M. O’Connor Education Fund, which celebrates the life of Carolyn Morris O’Connor.

“Carolyn loved the court reporting profession, and she was highly respected by clients and colleagues alike. This Fund was set up to honor her memory and the great contributions she made to the field of court reporting,” said VCRA President Carol Naughton, RPR.

Eligible students must also submit an essay and possibly be interviewed via telephone by a member of VCRA’s Education Fund Committee.

For more information, contact VCRA at VCRAexecutivedirector@gmail.com, or download an application here.

NCRF announces 2016 student scholarship winners

The National Court Reporters Foundation has announced that Natasha Jones, a student from Hoffman Estates, Ill., who attends Prince Institute – Great Lakes, was named recipient of the 2016 Robert H. Clark Scholarship. The Foundation also announced the two recipients of the 2016 Student Intern Scholarships: Aspen Keech, a student from Pittsburgh, Pa., who attends the Community College of Allegheny County, and Stephen Sudano, a student from Bohemia, N.Y., who attends the Long Island Business Institute.

Annually through 2019, NCRF will randomly draw one recipient of the Robert H. Clark Scholarship from nominations that have been submitted to receive a $1,800 scholarship to support the remainder of his or her education. Students are nominated by instructors or other officials at their schools. To be eligible, nominees must be NCRA members, enrolled in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, have passed at least one of their program’s Q&A tests at 200 words per minute, and possess a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, among other criteria. Jones is the second recipient of this award.

“I’m so excited and grateful to be the recipient of this scholarship. This scholarship will be very helpful in paying for my education,” said Sudano. “It feels really great to be entering a profession that includes such quality people. I’ve already met so many helpful and encouraging reporters through interning.”

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, enrollment in an NCRA-certified court reporting program, and a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. A generous annual donation from the Reis Family Foundation helps fund these scholarships. Keech and Sudano are the 23rd and 24th recipients of this award.

To learn more about NCRF’s scholarships, visit NCRA.org/NCRF/Scholarships.

NCRF announces deadline for student scholarship and grant

Nominations are now being accepted by the National Court Reporters Foundation for the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship and the New Professional Reporter Grant. The deadline for both the scholarship and grant is March 18.

The Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 has benefited court reporting students nearing graduation for nearly two decades. The New Professional Reporter Grant of $2,000 benefits a qualified new working reporter who has graduated from an NCRA-certified program within the past year. Both awards are based on nominations, and recipients must meet a number of criteria.

NCRF’s Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship honors the late Frank Sarli, a court reporter who was committed to supporting students at the highest level of their education. Sarli, who was studying to become a professional pianist, turned to court reporting when he could no longer afford the tuition to music school. During his career, he opened Accurate Court Reporters in Orlando, Fla., Orange County’s first independent court reporting firm, and was a founding member of the Florida Shorthand Reporters Association. Sarli also served in numerous roles at the national level, including as a director for NCRA. He was the first Floridian to earn NCRA’s Distinguished Service Award.

“The Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship not only helped me with the cost of schooling, but it also gave me the boost of confidence I needed to succeed through school and into this amazing profession,” said Kendra Steppler, who was the 2015 recipient of the scholarship.

“Realizing the director of my school believed in me through her nomination allowed for that. She also presented me with different experiences during school that allowed me to show my ability as a future reporter. Take on any task presented to you; it will lead to opportunity and reward,” added Steppler.

Steppler graduated from Sumner College in Portland, Ore., in June 2015 and is now an official court reporter for the First Judicial District Court in Helena, Mont. In the seven months since taking the job, she has had the opportunity to experience a number of amazing – and sometimes wild – scenarios, including a first transcript order for a case that was more than 800 pages.

“I was completely surprised when I received an email informing me I was being awarded with the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship. I had no idea I was even being nominated. It was very exciting and also extremely motivating. What a wonderful profession full of opportunity. I have the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship to thank for helping me along the way,” she added.

Both the scholarship and the grant are supported by donations to the NCRF Angels Drive and other fundraisers. Recipients will be recognized at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo., being held in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 4-8.

More information about all of NCRA’s and NCRF’s grants and scholarships can be found in the February issue of the JCR.

To learn more about the Frank Sarli Memorial Scholarship or the New Professional Reporter Grant, visit NCRA.org/Foundation.

NCRF announces new Robert H. Clark Scholarship

The National Court Reporters Foundation is proud to announce its latest scholarship for court reporting students. 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. Clark was the beloved, longest-tenured Librarian-Historian in NCRA history, serving for approximately 26 years. In 1993, he donated his extensive collection of books, artifacts, and documents related to court reporting to NCRF to help establish the Robert H. Clark Library at NCRF headquarters. Clark was honored with the title of Librarian-Historian Emeritus in 1997. He passed away in 2000.

This year, Clark’s cousin, Donna Hamer, made a generous donation to NCRF to honor him, and, as a result, the Foundation created the Robert H. Clark Scholarship. It will be awarded in the amount of $1,800 for five years beginning this year and running through 2019. Court reporting students must be nominated by an instructor or advisor and meet a number of specific criteria to be eligible.

Nominations are currently being accepted for this scholarship. The deadline for the award is Sept. 21. The nomination form is available here.

To learn more about the Robert H. Clark Scholarship criteria and to nominate a deserving student, please visit NCRA.org/Foundation.

 

Nominations being accepted for the 2015 CASE Award of Excellence and Student Scholarships

The Council on Approved Student Education has announce that it is now accepting nominations for the Award of Excellence to an Outstanding Educator, which is given in recognition of dedication to students and extraordinary contributions to reporter education. Recipients are nominated by an NCRA member.

CASE is also accepting applications for three student scholarships in the amount of $500, $1,000, and $1,500. Applicants must meet a number of requirements to be eligible, including attending a NCRA-certified court reporting program, write between 140 and 180 wpm, and submit a two-page essay on a pre-selected topic. Nominations and applications are being accepted through April 1.

For more information and nomination forms, visit the following web sites:
CASE Award of Excellence  – click here
CASE Student Scholarships – click here

Three students write their way to CASE scholarships

Three court reporting students were recognized for receiving CASE Scholarships during the Awards Luncheon at the NCRA Convention & Expo based on their winning entries in an essay writing contest entitled “The Probable Secret of Success in Court Reporting School.” A total of 12 nominations were received and were cited as all being thoughtfully written. Recipients included:

Elisa Greenwood, a student at the Business Informatics Center in Valley Steam, N.Y., who received a $1,500 scholarship;

Robert Leifer, a student at the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Ind., who received a $1,000 scholarship; and

Joan Yeatts, a student at the College of Court Reporting in Hobart, Ind., who received a $500 scholarship.

NCRA’s Council on Approved Student Education is responsible for the certification and development of court reporter student training and education programs and, as such, supports students on their path to becoming court reporting and captioning professionals.