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Faculty Innovation Grant sends Tri-C students to state conference

In early April eight captioning and court reporting students from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland, Ohio, attended the Ohio Court Reporters Association’s (OCRA) annual conference thanks to FIG (Faculty Innovation Grant) funding. Tri-C assistant professor Kelly Moranz, CRI, accompanied them. 

With  business cards in hand, students exchanged information with industry professionals to enhance their networking and soft skills. Additionally, each student wrote a short essay describing their experiences.

As demonstrated by the comments below, taking students to an industry conference is an invaluable opportunity for them to gain real-world insights and expand their professional network. These conferences provide a platform for students to interact with industry professionals, learn about the latest trends and innovations, and gain a deeper understanding of the field they are studying.  Additionally, participating in such events inspires students to continue on to success and completion. 

Tammy Coffman

“The members of OCRA were extremely receptive to our group of students. It was refreshing to be so warmly welcomed. Once I shared that I was a student, the members would instantly introduce themselves, share their personal stories and experiences, ask questions about me and where I am in the program, and what my goals are — ultimately reaffirming my decision to venture into this field.” 

Shyleen Connally

“I recently attended OCRA’s annual conference with other Tri-C court reporting students and staff and am beyond thankful that I was granted the opportunity to do so. This experience is something that I will never forget, and I truly believe that it will remain a paramount event in my journey through court reporting school and hopefully my future court reporting career. I knew I loved court reporting and learning steno, but this conference cemented in my mind that I made the right decision to enroll myself back into school.”

Melissa Boros

“I made many contacts for future employment opportunities which also gives me more incentive to keep practicing as much as I can to complete this program. Everyone I met was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and inspirational to me. I am extremely thankful for this amazing, enlightening, and motivational experience.”

Ja’Vicia Smith

“Attending the OCRA conference was a game-changer for me. What truly resonated with me was hearing each court reporter’s journey from student to professional. As a student, I needed to hear the honest truth and they delivered it. Their stories instilled in me the realization that this journey won’t always be easy, but perseverance is key. Despite facing obstacles, they never gave up and their unwavering faith in their journeys inspired me to adopt the same mindset. I am committed to achieving my goals and I am excited to apply the lessons I learned at the conference to my future endeavors.”

Sarah Spence

“Meeting working reporters, especially those who own freelance firms, was one of the more important aspects of attending the conference. I was able to meet one owner of a firm who offered employment upon graduation, and who had a current job available for students. All in all, I’m very glad I attended the OCRA conference this year. Though I see remote learning in this program as mostly positive for me, there are just certain small benefits of getting to meet with your peers and future colleagues in an educational and professional environment. I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to go if there wasn’t the scholarship, and so I’m glad our program was able to be provided with the funds. The connections I made could end up lasting throughout my career.”

Laura Anderson

“Attending the OCRA conference this year was beneficial for me. I am grateful I had the opportunity to hear a variety of experiences from reporters in the scheduled sessions and in conversations with other attendees. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with the members of OCRA and see the change in the organization that Ms. Moranz had mentioned. I also appreciated that Ms. Moranz attended and helped facilitate some of our introductions. Without the grant opportunity, I would not have fostered these connections in the steno community.”

Meeso Ro

“I am so grateful to have attended the OCRA conference this year, especially with other Tri-C students and our wonderful former chair of the department, and I appreciate that the department provided funding. I have experienced some difficult personal challenges during my training in addition to managing the treacherous road that has been speedbuilding, but my faith has been renewed in what I am doing. I know I am not alone and have a support network of students, faculty, and working reporters as I conquer these final speeds and take my skills to the job market. I just have to reach out, which for someone introverted, perfectionist, and hard on myself like me, is easier said than done. Yet just like the old parenting proverb that “it takes a village,” we all should employ the resources available to us in pursuit of our goals!”

Esther Dynan

“All in all, I enjoyed the conference immensely. I made an effort to make those connections and exchange business cards with others in the field. Many told me they would love to mentor me and be a support and encouraged me to reach out when I begin interning. I went out of my comfort zone, but I know it will pay off in my future.”