NCRA member Deborah Cohen-Rojas, RPR, an official court reporter for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County, Ill., was named employee of the year by the court, according to an article that appeared in the Daily Herald on Feb. 16. Cohen-Rojas was selected from 12 employees who were recognized as employee of the month. She was honored in part for her work with the Veterans History Project.
In 2008, NCRF created the Student Initiatives Program as a means to involve students in its Oral Histories Program. The program, which has proven popular among students, will be continued into the 2015 membership year, allowing students who transcribe two oral histories from any of the Foundation’s partner organizations the opportunity to earn a free annual membership in NCRA.
NCRF’s Oral Histories Program serves as a way to do good while raising the stature of the court reporting profession to the general public. Among the organizations NCRF partners with through its Oral Histories Program is the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to support its Veterans History Project, which collects interviews of American war veterans to preserve their war memories. Court reporters transcribe these interviews for future generations to read and for historical research capabilities.
“No matter how many history books and movies that are out there, hearing the firsthand account of what happened during the war period will always be fascinating,” said PoSai Li, a court reporting student from Sacramento, Calif., who earned an NCRA membership by participating in NCRF’s Oral Histories Program.
“The veterans gave us a small glimpse of not just what the war was like, but how life was back in those times. It’s probably very similar to how our parents always tell ‘When I was your age, we didn’t have…’ stories.”
The Foundation also partners with the Center for Public Policy & Social Research at Central Connecticut State University and the Missouri Veterans History Project to ensure that the stories of wartime veterans from those states are made part of the VHP at the Library of Congress.
Through NCRF’s Oral Histories Program, court reporting students can also earn an annual NCRA membership through the National Equal Justice Library at Georgetown University, to help transcribe the school’s popular collection of oral histories provided by legal aid lawyers, administrators, and educators, and with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, to help preserve the stories of Holocaust survivors.
“Transcribing these histories is time-consuming based on the fact that not many students are used to editing, reediting, and proofreading so many pages. But if someone has extra time on their hands, I would recommend participating in the VHP to them,” said Li.
The Daily Herald posted an article on Nov. 11 about the Veterans History Project event held in Lake County, Ill. A total of 34 veterans were interviewed by volunteer court reporters for the event.
The Newton Daily News published an article on Nov. 10 about a Veterans History Project event hosted by the Iowa Court Reporters Association and the Des Moines Area Community College that captured the war stories of 16 Iowans, in honor of Veterans Day.
NCRF has announced that NCRA members exceeded the challenge to submit 3,500 oral histories of American war veterans to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project by Veterans Day 2014. The Foundation reports that 3,515 to date have been turned over to the Library of Congress.
The VHP program was launched by the Library of Congress to collect the stories of American war veterans by recording and transcribing interviews with them. The final transcripts are then submitted to the Library to be archived for future generations to read. Court reporters from around the country have actively participated in this program for more than a decade under NCRF’s Oral Histories Program.
“NCRA members are passionate about the VHP program as witnessed by the overwhelming response to meet and exceed the challenge of 3,500 interviews transcribed by Veterans Day. The Foundation is grateful to all who participated to make this happen including state associations, schools, individual members, state bar associations, and veterans groups,” said Irene Cahill, director of research and NCRF programs.
“These interviews are a vital part of our nation’s history, and the VHP is a powerful and priceless way court reporters can help preserve them for future generations. The Foundation looks forward to NCRA members to continue to reach out to our nation’s veterans,” Cahill added.
“We are excited about the members’ response to the challenge this year. In past years, NCRF has submitted an average of 325 transcripts per year. Thanks to the overwhelming efforts of the membership, NCRF has submitted more than 300 transcripts in half that time this year,” said B.J. Shorak, NCRF deputy executive director.
Across the nation Veterans Day was marked by Veterans History Project events. Groups that reported hosting events include: the Oregon Court Reporters Association, which partnered with the Oregon State Bar’s Military and Veterans Law Section to hold events in three locations; the Iowa Court Reporters Association, which partnered with the Des Moines Area Community College School of Court Reporting; the Hawaii Court Reporters and Captioners Association; the Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters Association, which partnered with the Ingham County Department of Veterans Affairs and the Ingham County Circuit Court; and the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association, which partnered with the Orleans Technical Institute in Philadelphia. Other VHP events that helped collect transcribed interviews include: official court reporters from York County, Pa.; volunteers from the Illinois State Library; the Illinois Court Reporters Association, which teamed up with the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County; students from Anoka Technical College, Anoka, Minn.; and court reporters from Paradigm Reporting, Minneapolis, Minn.
NCRF has partnered with the Library of Congress for more than 10 years to help generate transcripts of interviews with American war veterans for the Oral Histories Program. Professional court reporters can earn 0.25 Professional Development Credits for each transcript they complete and can earn up to a maximum of 1.0 PDC during each three-year certification period. Court reporting students can also earn a complimentary 2015 student membership in NCRA by transcribing two interviews through the Foundation’s Student Initiatives Program.
CBS Philly posted an article on Nov. 5 about a Veterans History Project event recently hosted by the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association and the Orleans Technical Institute. The article quotes one of the veterans who participated as well as NCRA member Julie Wilson, RPR, CRI, an official court reporter.
As we approach Veterans Day, the National Court Reporters Foundation urges all members of NCRA to honor our nation’s veterans this November by participating in a Make It Meaningful activity. There are so many things we can do to say thank you:
- Fly an American flag at your home or business.
- Observe a moment of silence to remember those who have died defending the cause of freedom.
- Write a letter to a soldier who is currently serving our country and give thanks to them. For an address, go to anysoldier.com.
- Create a thank you board in your workplace, where staff can write notes of appreciation for the veterans in your organization.
- Interview a veteran in your family, community, or workplace for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. You can find information on the VHP by going to ncra.org/Vets.
- Request a prerecorded interview of a veteran to transcribe for the VHP by contacting OralHistories@ncra.org.
Each veteran — and each story — is important. Thank you for participating in the Make it Meaningful initiative. For additional information on NCRF’s programs, call 800-272-6272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No ghoulish tricks. Our treats will make you scream with delight, not fright!
Make sure those devilish attorneys know your supernatural talents and what it takes to make an effective record. NCRF has all the tools you’ll need. Read more.
Don’t have nightmares over missing PDCs. You can get them free by participating in NCRF’s Oral Histories Program. Transcribing histories makes you feel good and provides an important service. Read more.
There’s no hocus pocus involved in financial support opportunities for court reporting students. NCRF awards several scholarships each year. Check out the website and watch for announcements throughout the year. Read more.
Becoming an NCRA student is not wizardry. Just do a couple of oral histories for a free NCRA student membership. See the Student Initiatives Program section on the Foundation’s Oral Histories page. Read more.