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Student Spotlight: Off the back burner

Emily Faulds

Emily Faulds, of Greenburg, Pa., was initially turned onto stenography by her grandfather, who felt her attention to detail and skills with language would make her a good fit. But it wasn’t until years later that, working in the county courthouse, she took the thought of becoming a court reporter off the back burner.

UTS | How did you first get the idea of being a court reporter? Did you have another career before you started school?

EF | I started at a state university in Pennsylvania to become a teacher. After two years, I realized that even though I like working with children and teaching, I did not want to do that full-time. I ended up at my local community college and earned a business-marketing degree. 

While I was in my degree program, my grandfather called me and suggested that I look into becoming a stenographer because of my attention to detail and my English skills. He proceeded to tell me that the college I was attending had a program. I checked with the registrar and was told that they had not had the program since the 1970s, so I put the thought about being a court reporter on the back burner.

I ended up working at the county courthouse in a filing office during the pandemic. The job was not what I wanted to do, and I would see the court reporters dropping off transcripts and the thought of becoming a court reporter came off the back burner. I looked at the NCRA website and found that the neighboring community college, Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), had a court reporting program. I contacted CCAC and program director Mary Beth Johnson, CRI, and she called me back and within a few days I was enrolled.

UTS | What do you love about stenography?

EF | I love that stenography is such a unique skill; it takes a lot of time and energy to learn. I also love that it’s such a small community of people who are there to protect the record as well as provide captioning and CART services to those who need them. 

UTS | Was Houston your first NCRA Conference? Tell us about it! Do you plan to go to Louisville next year?

EF | Houston was not my first NCRA Conference. I attended the NCRA Conference in Orlando in 2022. I had a great time both years! I made some great friends and have kept in touch with them since leaving Houston. I am planning on going to Louisville next year!

UTS | What is the best advice you’ve been given so far?

EF | Practice, practice, practice! We all hear that, and it is true, but I have also been given the advice that if you can write a dense literary take at 95% accuracy, then you can write anything.   

UTS | What are your plans for when you finish school? What is your dream job?

EF | When I finish school, I am hoping to start working as an official reporter in the county that I currently work for.  

UTS | Do you have a favorite legal movie or TV show?

EF | I love watching Legally Blonde, NCIS, and SVU

UTS | What do you do when you aren’t studying?

EF | When I am not studying or working, I participate with a local community theater in their pit orchestra playing violin. I also enjoy reading, hiking, baking, and being with my friends and family. 

 Missed previous issues of Up-to-Speed? Access them here.