Feds launch new fund to strengthen communities, support social innovation research in Canadian colleges

November 21, 2014

CCSI FundAlready a model of the potential for success through partnerships with community organizations, Red River College stands to benefit even further from a new pilot project aimed at strengthening communities through social innovation research.

Announced today by the Hon. Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), the new Community and College Social Innovation Fund will increase colleges’ capacity to engage in collaborative projects with community organizations and businesses to address such social issues as poverty, crime prevention, community safety and economic development.

“Our government understands that local community organizations are essential in addressing social issues like economic development, poverty, education and integration in Canadian communities,” says Holder (shown above, fifth from left). “The Community and College Social Innovation Fund will connect the innovative talent of researchers and students at colleges and polytechnics to meet the research needs of local community organizations to build stronger, safer, healthier communities.”

Administered through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the fund allows colleges and polytechnics to partner with community organizations and businesses to apply for funding of up to $200,000 (plus an additional 20 per cent to offset overhead and administrative costs) to undertake collaborative projects that address community issues.

The new fund will provide $15 million over three years in support of social innovation projects, which could take the form of products, processes or programs that create positive social outcomes for communities.

“Social innovation requires breakthrough ideas, applied research and community collaboration,” says David Rew, Interim President of RRC. “We welcome the government’s recognition that colleges like RRC are instrumental in making meaningful contributions to advancing solutions to issues that face communities, not only in Manitoba, but [throughout the globe].” Read More →

RRC ironworking expert named Instructor of the Year by Apprenticeship Manitoba

November 20, 2014

20141119_neil and barry_0049_sm[1]A heavy metal shout-out to Red River College instructor Barry Chetyrbok, who’s spent the last 10 years forging a reputation as a highly-respected mentor to apprenticing ironworkers in Manitoba.

A former tradesman who turned to teaching after being injured on the job, Chetyrbok was recently honoured as the Instructor of the Year at Apprenticeship Manitoba’s annual Awards of Distinction.

Chetyrbok says his instructor position gives him the opportunity to invest in the next generation of ironworkers, by sharing his expertise with students and doing his best to prepare them for careers in industry.

“In my mind, the students themselves are responsible for their own learning. I’m just here to facilitate,” Chetyrbok told the Winnipeg Free Press recently. “I try my best to instill character, work ethic and a strong command of what the trade involves. I’m here as the result of an accident, so I really stress the safety part of it.”

Chetyrbok (shown above with Neil Cooke, chair of Transportation and Heavy Apprenticeship Trades at RRC) got his start as a student in RRC’s Welding program, but took an interest in ironworking after visiting a friend at a job site. After he suffered an on-the-job injury that prevented him from returning to work, his business manager suggested he try teaching.

Chetyrbok said he’d give it a go, and hasn’t looked back. He recently took time out of his schedule to coach a trio of students taking part in a Western Canadian apprenticeship competition.

Two of those students (Sebastian Barychynski and Jordan Orieux) took first and second place, respectively, while the third (Matthew Chetyrbok, Barry’s son) took sixth. All three travelled to Toronto in September for the 2014 Iron Workers International Apprentice Competition. Read More →

Teaching the teachers: Teacher Education students help integrate technology in Manitoba classrooms

November 18, 2014

Eva Brown2Teacher Education students at Red River College are flipping the professional development experience by teaching teachers how to integrate technology into their classrooms.

It’s all part of Flipping PD, a program developed by RRC’s Eva Brown, an instructor with the Business/Technology Teacher Education program offered jointly through the College and the University of Winnipeg.

Brown knows it’s impossible to anticipate the future of technology. Instead, she focuses on developing the skills teachers need to effectively utilize technology in lessons.

“My student teachers need to learn how to use tools, but more than that [they need to know] which tool to go where and how to help their students figure things out, because things are changing so rapidly.”

Future teachers need the ability to constantly learn and adapt; Flipping PD facilitates this by putting them in situations where they’re forced to think on their toes.

“I take my student teachers out into the world. I take them to conferences and different schools and they deliver professional development to reach teachers that want to use these technologies to teach in their classrooms.”

For example, Brown’s students might demonstrate ways classrooms can use Google Drive or Skype to facilitate global learning. Rather than demonstrate how to use a specific tool for a specific lesson, however, they show the learning opportunities that can be facilitated through technology.

“It’s categories of tools that we try to teach, and the ones that will be the most bang for your buck.” Read More →

International Business student wins $1,000 for innovative startup pitch

November 13, 2014

20141112-IMG_5796A smartphone-controlled dog collar designed by a Red River College student fetched a $1,000 prize at Innovate Manitoba’s annual pitch-off.

Pablo Steinberg (above), an International Business student at RRC, won the Best Student Pitch award at Innovate Manitoba’s Pitch’Day, where 20 local startups were given two minutes each to convince a panel of judges to support their respective business concepts.

Steinberg’s award was for N’leashed, a dog-training collar that’s operated with a smartphone. Steinberg will soon take the next step to finish the N’leashed prototype and bring it to market.

This year’s Pitch’Day drew its largest attendance yet, with roughly 200 innovators, investors and business leaders gathering to challenge and cheer on the startups pitching their ideas.

The event’s $7,500 top prize went to Chris Karasewich, whose Cattle Track app digitizes farmers’ log books, while the $2,500 second-place prize went to Matthew Doak, whose GameChangr service matches competitive eSports players with suitable one-on-one coaches.

The People’s Choice Award, Best Researcher Pitch and Best Technology Pitch (worth a combined $3,000) all went to Andrea Kraj and Noel Ferrer, whose CORE Renewable Energy Inc. provides real-time solutions for complex energy problems.

All of the event’s winners received entry into Innovate Manitoba’s Launch’Pad Startup Skills Workshop. Jan Lederman, Innovate Manitoba president, said she was thrilled with the concepts presented.

“The quality of the pitches was impressive, and I have no doubt that many of these innovative companies will go on to great things,” said Lederman. “[Even] companies that didn’t win here today may be our next big success stories.”

Click here for more information on Innovate Manitoba, and here to learn more about RRC’s International Business program.

LTC students receive Powerland Computers awards for EAL achievements

November 12, 2014

IMG_1779Powerland Computers has recognized a pair of Red River College students for their progress and achievements in English as an Additional Language (EAL) studies.

Language Training Centre students Anna Lofichenko and Yevgeniya Gavrys each received $500 as part of the awards, which are presented annually to two RRC students who successfully complete the EAL program.

Both Lofichenko (above, left) and Gavrys (right) are currently enrolled in RRC’s Academic English Program for University and College Entrance (AEPUCE), which means their next step will be post-secondary education in their respective fields.

Lofichenko was previously in RRC’s Communication for Health Professions program (formerly English for Health Care Aides), while Gavrys was in the Communication for Professionals program (formerly English for Professional Purposes).

Both students were nominated for the award by their instructors, who cited their academic achievement, attendance, positive attitudes, independence and engagement with fellow students as contributing factors.

Read More →

Chemical and Biosciences grad awarded UTSA scholarship for research on autoimmune disease

November 3, 2014
Photo credit: UTSA

Photo credit: University of Texas at San Antonio

A graduate of Red River College’s Chemical and Biosciences Technology program has been awarded a prestigious doctoral scholarship from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), to help further her research on the mechanisms of autoimmune disease.

Julie Tudyk, who graduated from the program (now called Science and Laboratory Technology) in 1999, received a $23,000 doctoral scholarship from the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) at UTSA — funds that will help advance her research on Erk2 signaling in lymphocytes and autoimmunity.

Tudyk is particularly interested in understanding mechanisms of disease and developing treatments. While still at RRC, she was named a gold medalist as the highest-ranked student in her graduating class. The education she received here paved the way for her job as a senior microbiology technician at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg, where she spent eight years identifying unknown pathogens with the Foodborne and Enteric Diseases Program. Read More →

Show off your “Ghoul Spirit” this week at RRC

October 27, 2014

Unknown-6Red River College’s Students’ Association invites you to get in the Halloween “spirit” this week, with a series of haunted happenings and ghoulish goings-on.

Get ready for the big night by taking part in the following eerie events:

Pumpkin Carving Contest
Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the Cave Lounge (NDC)
Wednesday, Oct. 29 in the Roblin Centre Cafeteria (EDC)
11am – 1:30pm

Grab a sharpened implement and show off your creative side! Or compete for prizes in a host of Halloween-themed games!

Halloween Kegger
Thursday, Oct. 30 in the “Haunted” Cave Lounge (NDC)
3-7pm
(18+ event; bring student and gov’t ID)

Celebrate All Hallows’ Eve a day early at the SA’s annual party. Come in costume — enjoy all-night drink specials, terror-inducing tunes and (best of all) FREE admission!

Costume Contest* and Movie Marathon
Friday, Oct. 31 in the Cave Lounge (NDC)
Until 3pm

Stop by your nearest SA office to have your photo taken and entered in the Costume Contest. Or swing by the Cave to watch back-to-back Halloween classics — perfect for getting you in the mood for a freaky Friday night!

* Just a friendly reminder that your costumes can’t include weapons of any kind, including replica and toy guns, knives, explosives, hatchets, etc.

RRC earns global award for commitment to social development

October 24, 2014

IMG_2158Red River College’s commitment to social development was recognized today with an International Award of Excellence from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

The bronze award, presented at the WFCP’s World Congress in Beijing, China, recognizes colleges and polytechnics from around the world for their commitment to community engagement, diversity and sustainability — with an emphasis on international campus collaboration, best practices and technologies, and advancing institutional diversity.

“This is another outstanding achievement for the College,” says David Rew, RRC’s interim President and CEO. “Sustainability, international collaboration and diversity are  key focus areas for the College. Our staff and students make substantial investments in these areas, so it is very satisfying to receive this type of recognition.”

The College’s award application focused on international applied research collaborations relating to the Zero Emissions Transit Bus, the Science of Early Child Development (pictured above), sustainable infrastructure, and clean water technologies.

In 2013, RRC marked a decade of applied research, and in recent weeks was ranked one of the Top 10 Canadian Research Colleges for the second year in a row.

“From day one, we have been very engaged in sustainable infrastructure research in response to local industry demand and community needs,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC. “Social development is a key strategic heme for the College and related research initiatives have been advancing rapidly. We are also seeing the results of our relationship-building efforts with international partners.”

RRC climbs to sixth spot on list of Canada’s top research colleges

October 22, 2014

For the second year in a row, Red River College has ranked among the top Canadian research colleges and polytechnics, climbing to sixth place on the list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, released this month by Research Infosource Inc.

The College posted $5.82 million in research income during the 2013 fiscal year, an increase over the previous year, when it ranked seventh with $4.37 million.

“Red River College has been a leader in applied research over the last decade, and we’ve seen a steady increase in research income each year,” says David Rew, Interim President at RRC. “Applied research is an integral part of our overall strategy — it contributes in a very productive way to our communities and the experience of our students.”

RRC remains best known for applied research capabilities relating to extreme climate and cold weather technologies and applications, but a number of other research thrusts are rapidly emerging.

“We have built our applied research enterprise in response to community needs, especially our partners in industry.” says Ray Hoemsen, RRC’s Director of Applied Research & Commercialization. “With the support of both the federal and provincial governments we’ve been further developing capacity based upon our core capabilities within the schools and their respective faculty, staff and students.” Read More →

Cut it out! RRC marks Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 20-24

October 17, 2014

11999551035_10584e029c_zThis week, Red River College joins the growing number of individuals and organizations across Canada taking steps to cut waste and improve the environment.

From Oct. 20-24, RRC will mark Waste Reduction Week with a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging the College community to rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle — whether on campus or at home.

Waste reduction is a year-round effort at RRC, where each month we collect and recycle over nine tonnes of paper, food and beverage containers and cardboard. The diversion rate at RRC is over 50% — an impressive figure, considering Winnipeg’s residential diversion rate is only about 28%.

Here are three ways you can get involved: Read More →