29 January, 2018
Gadsden State student earns national scholarship
Gadsden State Community College student Analisa Arnold received the good news that she is one of two students nationwide to earn a scholarship from the National Court Reporters Foundation. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and is offered to students enrolled in Realtime Reporting programs. Gadsden State is the only community college to offer the program in Alabama.
“I am so excited about the scholarship,” she said. “I always set goals for myself and I’m always self-challenging. I want to always improve; to get better. This scholarship is validation that hard work pays off.”
The NCRF, an organization of the National Court Reporters Association, supports the court reporting and captioning professions through philanthropic activities funded through charitable contributions. Arnold is the second Gadsden State student to win the scholarship since its inception in 2005. Rebecca Russo won in 2014.
To be eligible for the award, the realtime reporting student must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. They also have to test at a minimum of 190 words per minute on the stenography machine as a judicial court reporter or 160 wpm for captioning.
“I always push myself for speed,” she said. “I compete with myself and always have a personal goal to achieve.”
Arnold hopes to graduate from the self-paced program at Gadsden State this semester.
“The program is highly individualized, and we go at our own pace,” she said. “I’m three tests from graduating.”
She will use the scholarship to purchase software and equipment that can be used in her career.
“I will use the money to help me take the leap from student to professional,” she said. “The software and equipment required is very expensive.”
Arnold, a native of Huntsville who moved to Rainbow City to attend Gadsden State, said there are three careers she can pursue following her graduation: judicial, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and captioning.
An official court reporter works in the judicial system converting the spoken word into text during courtroom proceedings.
CART is also known as live-event captioning, which allows court reporters to provide more personalized services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, such as providing computer-aided transcription in a school setting. Arnold currently provides this service at her church.
A captioner uses realtime reporting skills to provide captions of television programs for deaf viewers through technology that produces readable English text. Captioners provide captions for local, national and cable channels as well as news, emergency broadcasts and sporting events.
“I feel like I’m going to have a rewarding career,” she said. “I can branch into a variety of fields because there are so many opportunities.”
Opportunities, she said, would not be available to her if it were not for Gadsden State.
“I have really loved it at Gadsden State,” she said. “My instructors and my fellow students are like a family. They’re so supportive and encouraging. It has been a long journey for me and my instructors have been very involved all along. They have helped me immensely.”
Michelle Roberts, a realtime reporting instructor at Gadsden State, is very proud of Arnold’s achievement.
“Analisa is a well-rounded young lady who has high ambitions that keep her motivated,” she said. “Her practice habits throughout her time at Gadsden State will assure her a great career as a realtime writer. Her precise writing style will assure her a big platform to display her talents in this field, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Gadsden State students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Realtime Reporting or in Broadcast Captioning Specialist. A short-term certificate is available for those completing the litigation assistant requirements.
For more information on the Realtime Reporting program at Gadsden State, visit www.gadsdenstate.edu or call 256-549-8694.