NCRA announces first A to Z Scholarship recipients

Winners of the first NCRA A to Z™  Scholarships have been announced. The recipients are students that have completed an NCRA A to Z ™ Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program and are enrolled in a court reporting program. Scholarships in the amount of $500 have been awarded to the following students:

  • Stacie Cain, a student at the College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind.;
  • Tonya L. Cross-Casado of San Antonio College;
  • Jennie Dunlap, a student at Hardeman School of Court Reporting and Captioning in Tampa, Fla.;
  • Camryn Dunne, a student at Des Moines Area Community College in Newton, Iowa.;
  • Alicia Floerchinger, a student at Alfred State College in Alfred, N.Y. “I took the NCRA A-Z program in hopes to get a feel for the machine before starting school. Not only was I able to experience that, but the A-Z program taught me key combinations, along with how to write the alphabet on the steno machine. Having this knowledge made me feel confident in my first semester of court reporting. The A-Z program was the greatest opportunity I had before pursuing my career in court reporting.”
  • Marie Forman, a student at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “After years of working retail, I wanted a change, but wasn’t sure what career would be right for me. At the NAIT open house, I was intrigued by captioning and court reporting, but still knew very little about them. It was the NCRA A to Z program that really got me interested in pursuing stenography further, and it also helped me keep up with the first few weeks of a very fast-paced college course.”
  • Jennifer Gale, a student at Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pa.;
  • Jana Oelbaum, a student at Long Island Business Institute, Commack, N.Y. “I can’t speak highly enough about the NCRA A to Z program, and I recommend it to anyone who is curious about the court reporting profession.   Not only was the material presented in clear and organized lessons, but we also got to hear from working professionals and ask questions of them during live web seminars.  I am certain that my participation and completion of this course put me at a great advantage once I enrolled in my first theory class at school.   I was already familiar with the steno machine, the steno alphabet, and how to write basic words which those letters and keystrokes make.”;
  • Diego Ramirez, a student at San Antonio College, San Antonio, Texas. ““The A-Z Program was a wonderful introduction into the professional world of court reporting for me.”; and
  • Karlye Walton, a student at Des Moines Community College, Newton, Iowa. “”Nothing could have prepared me or helped solidify my decision more than participating in the A to Z program. I strongly encourage anybody interested in this career path to participate in this class beforehand!”

To be eligible to apply for the NCRA A to Z™ Scholarship, students must meet the criteria below: 

  • Have completed an NCRA A to Z™ Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program;
  • Have received an NCRA A to Z™ Certificate of Completion;
  • Have attained an exemplary academic record;
  • Have passed one skills test writing 60-100 words per minute at the time of submission.

For more information on the NCRA A to Z™ Scholarship, please contact the Education Department at schools@ncra.org

NCRA announces 2019 CASE Student Scholarships

NCRA has announced the winners of the 2019 CASE (Council on Approved Student Education) Student Scholarships. The winners were chosen based on their winning entries in an essay writing contest. The essay question was “Describe the importance of earning your Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification as a new professional.”

Each year, CASE awards five scholarships to students who attend an NCRA-approved court reporting program. To be eligible to apply, students must also hold a student membership in NCRA, have attained an exemplary academic record, and passed one skills test writing at between 140 and 180 words per minute. Students are also required to submit a speed verification form, three recommendation forms, a copy of their most recent transcript, and an essay in response to a topic chosen by members of CASE.

Philip A. Dawson

Philip A. Dawson, a student at the Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pa., secured the top spot by winning the $1,500 scholarship. “I am honored to be a recipient of the CASE Student Scholarship. My training as a court reporter has been a life changing experience. The teachers and reporters I have met along the way have been truly great people that earnestly want me to succeed and I am grateful for their support,” he said. “This scholarship is a testament to their support and a tremendous help to me and my family, as it will aide in the transition from school to my new career as a court reporter and will allow us to care for our needs while also enable us to spend value time in our volunteer work.”

Lora Zabiran

Recipient of the $1,000 scholarship was Lora Zabiran, a student at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “Winning this scholarship has made me feel included and not forgotten being only the second Canadian recipient so far,” said Zabiran. “I am honored by being chosen, and I’m thankful for the prize.”

Julie Layton

Julie Layton, a student at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, said she was both thrilled and honored to be the recipient of a $750 scholarship. “This award is helping to pay for my start-up equipment which a great start to my career,” she said. “Thank you for this opportunity you have given me.”

Patricia Lopez

The essay written by Patricia Lopez, a student at the College of Court Reporting, Valparaiso, Ind., earned her a $500 CASE scholarship. “Receiving the scholarship will help me accomplish my dream of becoming a court reporter and will provide me the opportunity to create a better life for my family,” she said. “I love the court reporting profession, and it is truly an honor to be part of this community,” Lopez added.

Lydia Palcuk, a student at MacCormac College, Chicago, Ill., was awarded a $250 scholarship. In her essay, Palcuk wrote that earning her RPR is a goal she cannot wait to accomplish. She recently passed her 180 words per minute speed and noted that she loves getting to see the progress she is making every day through her hard work.

Lydia Palcuk

“As important as it is to get through school, looking toward the goal of becoming a RPR is also vital,” Palcuk wrote. “I want to be as certified as I possibly can be in my career, and that is why getting the RPR means the world to me. When you earn that certification, you have the confidence to know you are accredited I your career.”

The winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon being held at NCRA’s 2019 Convention & Expo being held Aug. 15-18 in Denver, Colo.

For more information about the CASE Scholarships, contact Ellen Goff, NCRA Assistant Director, Professional Development at egoff@ncra.org, or visit NCRA.org.


NCRA member honored by school with Alumni Award of Distinction

RenaNCRA member Rena Nathanail, a broadcast captioner and owner of National Captioning Canada, Calgary, Alberta, was recently honored by her alma mater, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), with its Alumni Award of Distinction. She was recognized in May for her outstanding career as an entrepreneur and her support of the community.

Nathanail’s firm is the largest Canadian-based provider of live closed captioning. With more than 100 employees working from home studios across Canada, the company provides 1,800 hours of closed captioning and realtime transcription services a week for news, sports, political commentary, entertainment, and government proceedings. Their clients include major broadcasters across the country like Rogers, Bell, Shaw and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as the Alberta Legislature and the House of Commons.

According to the press release announcement, when Nathanail started working in Toronto in the 1980s, the field of closed captioning was a fledgling industry. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission had just begun to mandate that broadcast stations provide closed captioning for a certain amount of hours of programming per day as a condition of license. Nathanail, who graduated from NAIT’s court reporting program in 1984, was one of only two realtime closed captioners in Canada working for the sole not-for-profit captioning provider; it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I started the business in 1988, captioned full time at all hours of the day and night until 2001,” said Nathanail. “I hung up my captioning gloves then and focused solely on building the e-business. We have more than 100 employees stationed from Australia to France and everywhere in between,” she added.

Nathanail said she learned she was being nominated for the award by faculty of NAIT’s court reporting program, who she and her firm work closely with.

“We are on the NAIT advisory board, and we were instrumental in having the program changed to the broadcast captioning and court reporting program. We have our own captioners teaching continuing education using their knowledge of closed captioning and work with NAIT and other advocacy groups to set a standard and maintain the quality of closed captioning in Canada,” she said.

“I was honored to have been chosen, but the most important thing was it allowed me to recognize and give credit to my employees that helped build the business and provide such a valuable service to the hard-of-hearing community in Canada,” Nathanail added.