Broaden your horizons! Volunteer for RRC’s Intercultural Mentorship Program

September 16, 2014


Would you like to expand your worldview by mentoring a Red River College student who’s new to Canada?

The College’s Intercultural Mentorship Program pairs immigrant and international students with Canadian-raised students or staff for friendship, language practice and intercultural exchanges.

For immigrant and international students, the program provides an opportunity to get to know Canadian culture, while sharing some of their own unique experiences with their Canadian-raised counterparts.

For Canadian participants, the program provides an opportunity for developing leadership and mentorship skills — and building intercultural competencies — while learning more about the world outside their door.

The College is currently recruiting volunteers for this year’s program. The time commitment is a mere 10 hours, spread over the course of an academic term. (The program runs twice a year, during the Fall and Winter terms.)

Participation is voluntary, though some academic programs also partner with RRC’s Diversity and Intercultural Services office to offer the mentorship program as a graded assignment option.

The deadline for volunteers is Wednesday, Sept. 24. Click here to apply; for more information, contact Michelle Johnson, Mentorship Program Coordinator, at or 204.632.3847.

Take a bow: BRAVO Awards honour staff members’ leadership and contributions

September 16, 2014

From left: Nancy Alexander with BRAVO Award winners Rebecca Girard, Alex Hay, Michael Watson and Hal Hokanson.

In the day-to-day work here at Red River College, there is evidence everywhere of dedication to our values of learning, respect, inclusiveness, integrity, healthy environment and community contribution.

Our staff members make these values come alive – through our programs, and their services and actions every day. We have many great leaders in our midst – irrespective of role or position – who are models to those around them, who motivate us all, and who make each day a great day to come to work!

One of the ways we celebrate and acknowledge these individuals is through the College’s annual BRAVO Awards. This summer, we celebrated our BRAVO winners with a three-course meal at Jane’s Restaurant and a short presentation from Nancy Alexander, Vice President Human Resources and Sustainability, after which they were presented with their awards and a $75 RED card each.

When you next see these outstanding RRC staff members, give them a pat on the back! Scroll down for award info including winner photos and full biographies; in the meantime, our sincere congratulations go out to:

  • Hal Hokanson, Instructor, Piping Trades (Hidden Hero Award, Faculty)
  • Alex Hay, Automotive Store Keeper (Hidden Hero Award, Non-Faculty)
  • Michael Watson, Chair, Construction Trades (Leadership at all Levels, Faculty)
  • Joanne Gonda, Office Manager, Winkler Campus (Leadership at all Levels, Non-Faculty)
  • Rebecca Girard, Night Supervisor, Building Services (Safety Champion Award)

Read More →

Fueling Manitoba’s economy: RRC reports 4.3% increase in full-time attendance

September 10, 2014

Fall2014Preliminary numbers for Red River College’s Fall 2014 full-time attendance show an increase of 4.3% over the previous fall.

“The growth in full-time attendance at the College is a testament to increasing student and employer demand for the programs we offer, and to the solid reputation the College has in delivering those programs to a high level of satisfaction for both,” says David Rew, Interim President and CEO, Red River College. “Credit must be given to RRC’s initiatives and those of the Province in raising awareness of skilled trades training, which is reflected in these preliminary numbers.”

With 96% of graduates finding employment — and a 96% satisfaction rate amongst grads — Red River College has become a compelling first choice for post-secondary education.

Of particular note, this year’s increases include Culinary Arts (up 23%), Hospitality and Tourism Management (up 52%), Automotive Technician (up 78%), Intro to Trades (up 76%), Precision Metal Manufacturing (up 216%), and Cabinetry and Woodworking Technology (up 21%).

RRC’s degree programs in Construction Management and Nursing, and its Access Nursing program, saw a 4.7% increase in overall attendance.

Over the next few weeks, attendance may fluctuate as numbers from RRC regional campuses, and Continuing Education and Apprenticeship programs are tabulated.

Sandvik applied training workshops benefit RRC students and staff

September 10, 2014

Sandvik_Coromant_LogoA big thank-you to our partners at Sandvik Coromant Canada, who visited RRC’s Notre Dame Campus this week to conduct applied training workshops on lathes and mills.

Sandvik reps — highly visible in their trademark yellow shop coats — conducted two workshops with RRC staff and students: one on Vibration Reduction Metal Cutting Operations (Sept. 9), the other on Drilling Applications for CNC Milling Operations (Sept 10).

The workshops were hosted by RRC’s Technology Access Centre (TAC), and were offered at no charge through a sponsorship agreement with Sandvik.

Under the terms of their partnership with RRC, Sandvik contributes a combined in-kind and cash pledge of $102,500 over five years, $5,000 of which supports students directly (through annual awards for those entering the second year of RRC’s Manufacturing Technician program).

Visit the TAC website for more information.

New RRC Interim President discusses his vision for the coming year

September 9, 2014

David Rew_for webAt the start of the current academic year, David Rew — formerly the Vice-President of Student Services and Planning at Red River College — took over as Interim President and CEO, following the departure of former president Stephanie Forsyth.

Born in Scotland and raised in Malaysia, Rew has been an RRC employee for the last 35 years, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role, having in the past served as everything from co-op coordinator and instructor to program chair and dean.

We sat down with Rew to discuss his vision for the coming academic year, as well as his hopes and goals for the College going forward.

You’re taking over as president and CEO under somewhat challenging circumstances. What would you like to say to staff, students and supporters of the College about the events of the last few days and months?

The last few months have certainly created a sense of uncertainty and unease. But the reactions to these events have — from what I’ve sensed and picked up — created a sense of relief, primarily because we now know that we have fully staffed and engaged leadership at the College. Part of that sense of feeling good about where we’re heading is that I’m really encouraged by how the Executive group has rallied and is committed to rebuilding a really effective team.

Last week, we had a couple of gaps in the Executive group. We’ve now filled those. Raeann Thibeault is coming in as acting Vice-President of Community Development, and Cindee Laverge is coming in as acting Vice-President of Student Services and Planning. This rounds us out, and we’re going to spend some time together working through the key issues and priorities we know we have to address, and we know we have to address them pretty quickly. We’re not going to be doing that in isolation — we’re going to be engaging people from around the College who we feel can help us work through the problems we’ve identified.

On a broader note, going down to the staff barbecue last Friday — and getting a chance to walk around and talk to people — felt really good and really positive. There were smiling faces, people were glad to be back, and they were wishing me well, which I really appreciated. I felt we got off to a good start to the year, so I’m really encouraged and really hopeful that we will have an excellent year. Read More →

RRC team takes NAOSH trophy for fourth year in a row

September 8, 2014

NAOSH_2014 Selfie_PrintCongratulations to the team behind Red River College’s NAOSH (North American Occupational Safety and Health) Week activities, whose efforts at reminding us to make safety a habit earned them a trophy at this month’s provincial awards ceremony.

The NAOSH team — comprised of members of the College’s Joint Workplace Safety and Health committees and Environmental Health and Safety Services department — received the “Most Innovative” designation at the 2014 NAOSH Awards, handed out last week by the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE).

This marks the fourth year in a row RRC has been recognized for their NAOSH Week activities (an improvement over their previous three-year winning streak, from 2006-2008).

As a means of promoting this year’s “Make Safety a Habit” theme, RRC staff and students were encouraged to submit their own “Safety Selfies” — photographs in which they’re depicted wearing proper safety equipment or following appropriate safety procedures. An online “Find the Closest AED” contest was also held in an effort to increase awareness of the College’s automated external defibrillators.

In addition, the team hosted a pair of safety-themed barbecues for RRC staff and students, and set up safety-themed displays and exhibits in the halls of the College during NAOSH Week.

CBC Radio devoting full day of programming to RRC students

September 2, 2014

CBCCBC Radio One (89.3 FM/990 AM) is preparing to broadcast live at not one, but three Red River College campuses on Thursday, Sept. 4!

Marcy Markusa, host of Information Radio, Marilyn Maki, host of Radio Noon, and Ismaila Alfa, host of Up to Speed, will bring listeners live interviews and stories about how RRC students are making an impact on Manitoba’s workforce.

CBC Manitoba will have a station set up at specific times during the day at each campus; students are encouraged to be on the lookout. Those who stop by the station and show the CBC Radio App on their smartphone will have the opportunity to win an iPad mini!

Locations and Times

Notre Dame Campus
Information Radio, 6:00am – 8:30am with Marcy Markusa

Roblin Centre
Radio Noon, 12:00pm – 1:00pm with Marilyn Maki

Paterson GlobalFoods Institute
Up to Speed, 3:00pm – 6:00pm with Ismaila Alfa

More programming information is available at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at

Follow CBC’s radio hosts on Twitter at @CBCMarcy, @CBCMarilyn and @CBCIsmaila.

Full slate of back-to-school events on tap, courtesy the RRC Students’ Association

August 28, 2014

_99A8279Welcome back, all new and returning Red River College students!

As a way to celebrate your first few weeks of classes, and to help you get a feel for your new surroundings, the Red River College Students’ Association has a full slate of back-to-school events planned.

See below for details on welcome events and DisOrientation Week activities. And don’t forget our Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations team is also hosting a Welcoming Celebration for students, this Thursday at the Notre Dame Campus!

Tuesday, Sept. 2
Maw’s Eatery and Red River College Students’ Association presents…
Back to School BBQ
Free food, drinks and Fanta floats for students
Where: Bijou Park (beside Paterson Global Foods Institute, 504 Main St.
When: 11am – 1:30pm
*Rainout backup at Maw’s Eatery and Beer Hall (291 Bannatyne Ave.)
Feat. Musicians Mark Mills & The Vikings

Back to School BBQ Afterparty
Live music; food and drink specials for students
Where: Maw’s Eatery and Beer Hall (291 Bannatyne Ave.)
When: Doors open at 1:30pm

Wednesday, Sept. 3
MTS and Red River College Students’ Association presents…
Welcome Back BBQ
Free food, drinks and Fanta floats for students
Where: Outdoor courtyard between buildings D,E,F at Notre Dame Campus
When: 11am – 1:30pm
*Rainout backup in The Cave Lounge at NDC
Feat. Musicians Mark Mills & The Vikings

DisOrientation Week 2014 (Sept. 8-12)

Monday, Sept. 8
Magic performance: Wonderist Chris Funk
Where: The Cave Lounge at Notre Dame Campus
When: 12pm – 1pm
Free show for students Read More →

Welcoming Celebration for RRC students: Thursday, Sept. 4

August 21, 2014

Welcoming PartyRed River College’s Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations team will host a Welcoming Celebration for students on Thursday, September 4, from 11:15am to 1pm, at the Notre Dame Campus.

Students have a lot on their minds when going back to school — like housing, buying textbooks, and just finding their way around campus. The Welcoming Celebration offers a break from it all — complete with a free lunch and the chance to meet other students while being entertained by comedian Don Burnstick.

Date: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Time: Doors open at 11:15am; Don Burnstick’s comedy show starts at noon
Place: F209, Aboriginal Support Centre (Notre Dame Campus)

For more information, please call 204.632.3773.

Become a volunteer ambassador for RRC’s International Student Airport Pickup program

August 7, 2014

455054067Would you like to meet someone new, from another country and culture? Are you proud of where you study or work? If so, then please help us welcome new international students to Red River College! We’re looking for ambassadors to serve as a friendly, welcoming face when our international students first arrive in Winnipeg.

RRC first piloted an Airport Pickup Service for international students during the fall semester of study in 2013. The service is made possible by volunteers from RRC’s staff, faculty and student communities.

Since the program’s inception, we’ve been able to welcome many international students as soon as they arrived in Winnipeg, but in order to continue this service, RRC’s International Education office needs your help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment? Do I just complete the student pickup and drop-off?

The time commitment is usually two hours. You’re simply expected to pick up the student from the airport and bring them to the location where they’re staying. If you would like to take them for a tour (or go shopping, etc.), you can do so, but it is not the expectation of this initiative.

Can I specify a time I’m available?

Your availability is a key factor when matching up our arriving students and our volunteers, so you’re more than welcome to identify times when you are not available. Since the students arrive on various dates and times, we’re not able to specify the time until the request for pickup comes in. Our pickup service will be offered from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. only.

International Education will handle the coordination and scheduling of all pickups. In addition, your parking at the airport will be reimbursed.

If you would like to volunteer, or have any questions, please email