College receives research grant to continue partnership on solutions for dust control

September 24, 2015



Red River College has received a $65,000 research grant to continue product development work with a local company specializing in environmental solutions for dust control.

The Applied Research and Development (ARD) grant — awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) — will allow RRC’s faculty researchers, staff and students to collaborate with Cypher Environmental staff to continue development and testing of Dust Stop, their dust control and dust suppression product.

This project will significantly enhance R&D capacity at RRC by engaging staff in a challenging multi-disciplinary area of research. The knowledge and experience generated will enrich curricula and teaching in different departments at the College; student engagement will contribute to new applied learning and expose students to real life experiences.

Through the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Cypher has been working with RRC researchers from Civil Technology (Neil Chandler) and Life Sciences (Aman Abrha, Said Hassan and Michael Judge) on different facets of product characterization and testing. Judge and Hassan will lead the next phase of the year-long NSERC ARD project, which commences this month. Read More →

College’s commitment to sustainability in building management earns Earth Award for HETC

September 24, 2015


Red River College has been recognized for excellence in building management with a 2015 Earth Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada.

The award went to RRC’s Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC), and was presented in conjunction with BOMA’s national conference in Quebec on Sept. 17.

“We have an excellent Facility Management team and this award further demonstrates our hard work and dedication to sustainability,” says Tom Skraba, director of Facility Management at RRC. “I wish to congratulate the team for their tireless efforts.”

BOMA’s Earth Awards recognize excellence in resource preservation and environmentally sound commercial building management. During the selection process, BOMA evaluates a building’s ability to reduce overall environmental risk, provide good indoor air quality, practice green cleaning, recycling, and energy conservation.

HETC is one of the largest industrial training facilities in Manitoba, and one of the province’s most environmentally friendly buildings. Read More →

RRC pilots new International Educator program for staff

September 23, 2015


In response to the ever-increasing demand for international education, Red River College has launched a new pilot program to provide staff with the tools and intercultural skills required to teach students from around the world.

“We’re truly a global college now,” says Eddy Lau, acting director of International Education at RRC. “We’re attracting more international learners every year, and our classrooms continue to become more diverse. As the College evolves, we have a responsibility to make sure our staff are prepared and have the right tools to facilitate learning for our international students.”

Launched over the summer, RRC’s new International Educator Certificate program helps instructors and staff develop their skills through a blend of workshops, practicums and online modules.

“We didn’t want to merely develop a seminar to help educators who are teaching international students,” says project manager Claudius Soodeen. “We wanted to create a program that would over time become a model in post-secondary education across Canada.” Read More →

NAOSH Week at RRC recognized with provincial award

September 23, 2015

17426533419_bd9d481a08_zFor the second year in a row, Red River College has been recognized for its efforts to mark North American Occupational Health and Safety (NAOSH) Week on campus.

On Sept. 15, RRC accepted a provincial NAOSH award for Best Representation of a Theme from SAFE Work Manitoba, the Workers Compensation Board, and various occupational safety and health professionals from across the province.

Held each spring, NAOSH Week finds employers, staff and partners throughout the continent promoting injury and illness prevention in the workplace. The theme of this year’s NAOSH Week, which ran May 3–9, was “Make Safety a Habit for Your Career.”

As always, the College planned a full slate of activities, including library and hallway displays, a lockdown awareness session, SAFE Work on Wheels demos, contests and a staff barbecue.

“While we are excited to have won this award, our main focus is building and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for our staff, students and visitors,” the College’s Environmental Health and Safety Services team said this week. “Meeting this goal is the true award.”

Last year, the College won a NAOSH Award for “Most Innovative” event programming from the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. In 2011 and 2012, RRC’s NAOSH Week activities earned awards at both the provincial and national levels.

Elder Mae Louise Campbell earns national award for cultural contributions

September 22, 2015

May Louise HeadshotIf ever an award’s name was a match for that of its recipient, it’s the recently announced Indspire Award being presented to Elder Mae Louise Campbell in 2016.

An advocate for traditional teachings (and an Elder in Residence at Red River College for the past 10 years), Campbell is one of 14 outstanding Canadians who’ll be honoured next year by Indspire, the country’s largest non-governmental funder of Indigenous education.

She’s one of two recipients earning awards for Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.

An Ojibway Metis Elder, Campbell has dedicated her life to teaching the values of kindness, humility and love — leading thousands of sharing and healing circles across Canada, and serving as keeper of Winnipeg’s Grandmother Moon Lodge, which provides spiritual healing and growth to women in need.

Earlier this year, she was appointed to the City of Winnipeg’s new Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, which aims to build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Winnipeg.

The highest honour bestowed by (and on) Indigenous people in Canada, the Indspire Awards have for 23 years celebrated the contributions of recipients with the discipline, drive and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals.

The 2016 awards gala will be held next February in Vancouver.

App-building brothers nominated for MBiz Award

September 22, 2015


From “best startup” to “best medium-sized business” in less than a year? Apparently it pays to be bold.

Congratulations go out to Red River College grads (and brothers) Yvan and Eric Boisjoli, two of the founding partners of local software suppliers Bold Innovation Group.

Earlier this year, the company was named Startup of the Year at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards. This year, they’ve been nominated for a Manitoba Chambers of Commerce MBiz Awards, in the Outstanding Medium Business category.

The Boisjoli brothers, both graduates of RRC’s Computer Analyst/Programmer program (now called Business Information Technology) launched Bold in March 2012, along with co-founders Stefan Maynard and Jason Myers.

They’ve quickly become one of the leading third-party suppliers of apps for e-commerce giant Shopify, with almost 50,000 clients served, including Wikipedia, Subway, Time-Life and Cirque du Solieil. They’ve also branched out with experimental new projects unrelated to e-commerce, including Kickbooster, Fishbowl Prizes and Inviid.

In addition to the above accolades, they also won in the Young Enterprise category of the St. Boniface Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur Prizes, and earned a national award for economic development and employability from Réseau de dévelopment économique et d’émployabilité (RDEE) Canada, the nation’s Francophone economic and employability network.

The MBiz Awards take place Wed., Oct. 28, at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg.

Fall enrolment figures remain steady for 2015-16 academic year

September 14, 2015


Early enrolment numbers from the first week of classes suggest it’ll be another busy academic year for students and staff at Red River College.

Preliminary figures for this fall are consistent with those from the same time last year, indicating RRC will continue its high-enrolment trend. Over the past 15 years, the College has seen an overall increase of 66 per cent in program enrolments.

“Human capital drives our economy,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “There is an increasing demand for a workforce with specialized skills, and Red River College delivers education and training that keeps pace with industry trends and needs in our province.”

Of particular note, this year’s enrolments saw increases in Business Information Technology (up 24 per cent), Mechanical Engineering Technology (up 11 per cent), Automotive Technician – Diploma (up 50 per cent), and Manufacturing Technician (up 30 per cent).

In addition to key program areas, RRC is also seeing continued growth in its post-graduate diploma programs (up 48 per cent) and in the recruitment of international students (up 32 per cent).

The steady growth means the College is operating at capacity. This spring, RRC and the province broke ground on a new 100,000 sq.-ft., state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at the Notre Dame Campus, set to be completed in 2017. Read More →

Province to create new hybrid engineering pathway between RRC and U of M

September 14, 2015


Manitobans who want to work as engineers will soon have more opportunities to enter the faculty of engineering, thanks to $500,000 in new provincial funding that’ll create 18 new seats and a hybrid pathway between Red River College and the University of Manitoba.

“Civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineers are in demand in our province, and increasing the number of engineering graduates is necessary to create more good jobs and keep our economy growing,” Premier Greg Selinger said today.

The U of M is the only institution in the province to offer accredited engineering degrees and the current seat capacity in the program is 336. Undergraduate engineering enrolment has increased by 48 per cent at the U of M since 2008.

The new hybrid engineering pathway will be introduced over several academic years through collaborative efforts between the U of M and Red River College, supporting increased credit transfer and recognition of prior experience for hybrid engineering students.

“Red River College is proud of the quality of its graduates and we welcome opportunities for them to further their education as a result of this pathway program with the University of Manitoba,” said RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above). “When you combine the experience our students receive from both institutions, it’s a recipe for success that will have a considerable benefit to many industries here in Manitoba.”

Once fully established, this new hybrid pathway will transition between 10 and 15 hybrid engineering students annually from RRC and other post-secondary institutions to U of M’s engineering degree programs.

“Engineers provide services that drive our economy,” said John Bockstael, president and CEO of Bockstael Construction, and a graduate of the U of M’s Faculty of Engineering. “It’s important that we provide opportunities for our students to receive a first-rate education in their home province where they can then build careers and contribute to our economy.”

Police chief ‘brings the heat’ to jerk chicken cook-off against RRC chef

September 10, 2015


“The Chief” faced off against “The Chef” at Red River College yesterday, as Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis and RRC instructor Tim Appleton put their culinary skills to the test for a worthy cause.

Two worthy causes, actually: the College’s first-ever Jerk Chicken Cook-off — held over the lunch hour at Bijou Park outside the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute — raised nearly $3,600, to be split evenly between the Winnipeg Police Service Endowment Fund and RRC’s Youth in Care Bursary.

The event drew close to 500 people, whose contributions earned them a chance to sample the jerk chicken dishes cooked up by both contestants – then vote on the winning recipe.

“Time to fire up the jerk pit and fan the flames of fundraising in the name of the Winnipeg Police Service Endowment Fund,” Clunis (shown above, at right) said prior to the competition.

“I know Chef Appleton can bring the heat, and I’m ready for the challenge. Between the two of us, we’ll add a little extra spice to September, and our efforts to make life a little brighter for organizations that share our vision for a stronger community.” Read More →

RRC extends warm welcome to inaugural arrival under new Student Refugee Program

September 3, 2015


One of Red River College’s newest students received a particularly warm welcome after arriving in Winnipeg for a bit of pre-class orientation last week.

To be fair, Yves Ngendahimana has travelled farther than most. The first student to enroll at RRC as part of the College’s new Student Refugee Program, Ngendahimana comes to us all the way from Malawi, Africa, where for nearly 20 years he’s lived in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

After touching down in Toronto last Wednesday, Ngendahimana, 22, became a permanent Canadian resident, one who’s now transitioning to his new life as a Winnipegger with help and support from members of the Student Refugee Program’s local committee.

A joint initiative between RRC Student Services, the RRC Students’ Association, and World University Service of Canada (WUSC), the program provides a 12-month scholarship for one sponsored student at RRC each year.

As part of his sponsorship, Ngendahimana will study Applied Accounting at RRC’s Exchange District Campus, while living in a dorm room at the College’s student residence at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

“[Yves] was an avid volunteer back at the camp, working with other students and tutoring them in various business and financial fields,” says Lauren Konrad, Student Integration Coordinator with RRC’s Diversity and Intercultural Services office. “He has a great academic background, and he’s really excited to be in this program.”

Ngendahimana will no doubt rely heavily on the supports and services provided by the College and committee members over the next few months. To that end, the committee is actively recruiting new members from RRC’s staff and student community, in order to further expand campus involvement and awareness. Read More →