Prince Institute Campus Convention
NCRA’s first mini campus convention of 2011 was held at Prince Institute of Professional Studies in Montgomery, Ala., on April 18. Forty-seven students enjoyed a keynote presentation by Judge Tracy McCooey from the 15th Judicial Circuit Court. Judge McCooey emphasized the importance of professionalism on the job, and her court reporter was there to participate in a Q&A session before they headed off to trial.
NCRA President Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag presented the opening seminar, encouraging the students to strive throughout their careers for the highest levels of certification they can achieve and sharing her tips for speedbuilding and for conquering testing jitters. Alabama Court Reporters Association President Linda McSwain was joined by ACRA members Sabrina Lewis, Greta Duckett, Pat Higgins, and Jenny Dunn for a panel discussion on reporting in Alabama and on the benefits of state and national association involvement. Following lunch and time to visit the vendors, the afternoon agenda included a dictionary-building seminar by Anissa Nierenberger and a seminar by Attorney Joseph Saloom, a forensic scientist who gave the students a taste of the vocabulary they will confront during testimony involving controlled substances, blood analysis, and firearms. Motivational speaker Joe Schmidt rounded out the line-up, followed by an ice cream social. Five vendors exhibited – ProCAT, Advantage Software, Stenograph, Stenovations, and Dictionary Jumpstart.