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Court reporting programs nationwide celebrate For the love of steno

NCRA’s 2020 Court Reporting & Captioning Week celebrated the love of steno nationwide with official proclamations and an array of activities ranging from career days to Veterans History Project events to social hours and more. This year’s theme, For the love of steno, marked the week that was observed Feb. 8-15 and embraced especially by students and faculty in court reporting programs across the country. Below is a wrap up of the week:

At Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), Cuyahoga, Ohio, where the court reporting program is experiencing a record enrollment this semester, students were treated to a surprise guest speaker hosted via WEBEX so those locally and around the country could listen in. Students also took shifts in the main galleria of the college to staff a prize wheel and steno machine station. Passersby who tried out the steno machine on display were then given the chance to spin a prize wheel.

Members of Tri-C’s Court Reporting Club hosted two meet-and-greet sessions with working reporters for all the students at the college. The professionals shared their experiences and best advice and then answered student questions. Students shared that it was highly motivating and provided them with actionable steps they could follow for success. Both sessions were also webcast to students nationwide.

Karen Santucci, CRI, New York State Court Reporters Association (NYSCRA) vice president and the director of the court reporting program at Plaza College in Queens, said the school kicked off the week with a visit by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, who presented students with a proclamation recognizing its dedication to educating men and women in the field of court reporting. During the week, the school also hosted five guest speakers representing official court reporters, firm owners, and grand jury reporters to share stories of their experiences. More than 100 students at the college also competed in a nationwide fast-fingers contest to celebrate the week.

Downy Adult School, Downy, Calif., celebrated the week by hosting a variety of different activities, including a pajama day where students and faculty enjoyed cupcakes embellished with the For the love of steno message and a hat day. There was also an “I scream for steno” day where participants made T-shirts celebrating court reporting and captioning, enjoyed ice cream cones, and watched the court reporting documentary For the Record. The school held a bake sale, a wear-red-and-pink day, and raffles for students to win prizes.

SimplySteno, an online court reporting program based in Tigard, Ore., celebrated by allowing free online screenings of the court reporting documentary For the Record.

In Chicago, Ill., students at MacCormac College hosted the Court Reporting & Captioning Week interactive question-and-answer session and reception that featured guest speaker NCRA member Isaiah Roberts, RPR. Roberts spoke to students and answered their questions about life on the “other side” of the RPR. Several other court reporters from the professional community were also on hand to answer questions.

The College of Court Reporting (CCR), Valparaiso, Ind., hosted NCRA President Max Curry, RPR, CRI, a firm owner and court reporter from Franklin, Tenn., as a guest speaker during the week. Curry addressed students, alumni, and the general public about the importance of the court reporting profession, the role schools play in educating students, and the value of being an NCRA member. 

To celebrate the week, court reporting students from the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania participated in the 57th annual Academy Mock Trial Competition.

NCRA member Marjorie Peters, FAPR, RMR, CRR, volunteered to write the final round of the competition. She live-streamed to the iPads (courtesy of the court reporting program at CCAC) of the law students and trial judges 253 pages of impeccable realtime translation.

According to Natalie Kijurna, director of alumni and employer relations for CCR, the college also highlighted alumni in their chosen field by running a social media campaign based on the For the Love of Steno theme. Alumni also did a takeover of the school’s Snapchat account to spread the word about court reporting and captioning. Other activities included a Facebook Live event with a working court reporter, during which the school challenged their students and students at participating schools who use EV360 software to practice as much as possible. The top three students who practiced the most were awarded prizes.

Students at Atlantic Technical Institute in Coconut Creek, Fla., celebrated the week by holding a mock trial for students in a legal administration class to demonstrate the role of the court reporter and realtime writing. The mock trial was The Government vs. Tarzan. Tarzan was accused of kidnapping Jane. The students that attended the mock trial were the jurors, and they came back with a not guilty verdict. The school also hosted two of its recent graduates, who visited with current students and shared their experiences as new reporters and answered questions.

Even though the 2020 event is over, it is always a good time celebrate and promote the court reporting and captioning professions. Be sure to visit the NCRA Court Reporting & Captioning Week resources page to download a variety of materials, including many that can be customized and designed to help promote the profession.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars and start planning now to celebrate NCRA’s 2021 Court Reporting & Captioning Week Feb. 6-13.