Repeating a tradition first established last fall, organizers of RRC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) welcomed a special addition to the College community yesterday.
Members of the program’s Local Committee were joined by RRC executive and staff from Diversity and Intercultural Services, to greet Wasim Alkabani (above), the second student to arrive at the College under a sponsorship with the SRP, an initiative of World University Service of Canada (WUSC).
Now a permanent Canadian resident, Wasim arrived from Lebanon on Monday afternoon. Fluent in both English and Arabic, he’ll begin his Applied Accounting studies at the Exchange District Campus.
Born in Syria and raised mostly in Dubai, Wasim has a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Damascus University. He’s interested in a career in business or finance — just like his SPR predecessor, Yves Ngendahimana (below, at right), who arrived last fall from Malawi as the program’s first sponsored student. Read More →
New funding for Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development program will help explore the impact of improved language and literacy skills on vulnerable children and their caregivers.
The nearly $234,000 in funding — from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund — will support new research to understand how changing at-risk children’s education environments can have a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.
The College will use the funds to expand current work studying the Abecedarian Approach, an internationally recognized intervention that creates a play-based, language-focused environment to promote development in at-risk kids from birth to age five.
“We believe an important part of the story is missing where the research focus is solely on child outcomes,” says Janet Jamieson, research chair for RRC’s Health Sciences and Community Services department. “While a child’s world is shaped by their environment and those around them, it should not be ignored that they in turn can have important impacts on those external elements.”
While there are plenty of studies demonstrating the success of the Abecedarian Approach on child development, very little has been documented on the effects had on adult caregivers of children enrolled in the program.
The College’s research is expected to play a meaningful role in informing policy, through insights into how evidence-based interventions with children in impoverished and challenged neighbourhoods could have positive impacts on families and communities. Read More →
Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.
Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.
Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.
“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.
“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.” Read More →
Amanda Wallace, Claire Oswald and Baldeep Dillon (front row, from left to right) are three Red River College students who take their academic careers very seriously.
All three are punctual, motivated self-starters who know how to prioritize in order to meet the demands of their course loads. They’re also immersed in all aspects of student life, from student council and advisory committees to work experience programs.
Claire and Baldeep want to work in the provincial government, while Amanda has her eyes on a career at City Hall. Like many others in RRC’s Transforming Futures program — a pilot project launched in 2014 — all three have blossomed into exemplary students, thanks to the support of their instructors and peers.
A first of its kind program in Manitoba, Transforming Futures helps students with intellectual disabilities and other significant barriers prepare for and deal with the realities of post-secondary life. The first stage of the program allows students to explore career options based on their interests and strengths. Students are introduced to College-level studies, as well as personal management, job searching, interviewing and essential workplace skills.
“During high school your life was basically structured for you,” says Claire. “When you enter college, it’s a lot more independent, a lot more responsibility’s on your head. You’re responsible for you.” Read More →
Red River College students helped shine a light on the challenges faced by those living with disabilities recently, by assisting at the first provincial election debate in decades to focus specifically on disability-related issues.
Students from RRC’s Disability and Community Support program served as volunteers at the Disability Matters Great Debate, helping to ensure as many people as possible were able to gain access to the event, held March 31 at the Norwood Hotel.
The debate was hosted by Disability Matters, a non-partisan public awareness campaign dedicated to ensuring Manitobans with disabilities can participate fully in election activities, promoting priority attention to disability issues in the election, and supporting Manitobans with disabilities in making informed voting decisions.
Candidates from throughout the province took part, including James Beddome (Green Party leader and candidate for Fort Garry-Riverview), Vanessa Hamilton (Liberal candidate for Brandon East), Kerri Irvin-Ross (NDP candidate for Fort Richmond) and Ian Wishart (Conservative candidate for Portage la Prairie).
The debate was moderated by CBC Radio One’s Marcy Markusa (herself an RRC grad), and addressed the five key priorities of the Disability Matters campaign: accessibility, fair wages, access to services, employment, and dignified income.
More than 650 people attended the debate at the Norwood, while another 350 took part at satellite sites throughout the province where the proceedings were streamed online. The debate was a cross-disability event attended by those with physical, intellectual and mental health disabilities, as well as their friends, families and supports. Read More →
A Red River College student is providing support to those affected by an ongoing epidemic of violence in Canada, by creating an online community for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Brittany Hobson, a second-year Creative Communications student, recently launched the website Stolen Voices, which provides a platform for families of missing and murdered women and girls, allowing them to share their stories and connect with other families.
The website is comprised of a series of family profiles — which may include essays, poems, artwork or music — and other contributed work related to ending the cycle of violence against Indigenous women.
“There are more than 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women throughout Canada, and each of them have family and friends that care for them,” says Hobson. “Those families deserve to have their voices heard.”
A journalism major, Hobson was born and raised in Winnipeg, but has roots in Long Plain First Nation and Sandy Bay First Nation. She first started exploring the issue of missing and murdered women while in university a few years back.
“I’m an Indigenous woman myself, but I didn’t grow up in a traditional household,” she explains. “In university, I started looking into issues surrounding Indigenous people, to get a better sense of where I was coming from.” Read More →
Jeremy Torrie is running a gauntlet every filmmaker knows. He’s pulling together the fine cut of Juliana & The Medicine Fish, his adaptation of Jake Macdonald’s beloved bestselling young adult novel.
There are thousands of takes from this past autumn’s work with stars Adam Beach and Emma Tremblay to comb through, and agonizing choices to face. Does he use the shot where Beach’s dialogue was note-perfect, or the one with the best lighting? When should he cut from one shot to the next? Is there a way to reclaim the out-of-focus footage?
“Those are the compromises you make,” Torrie says of the labour of love, which leans on his talents as writer, director and producer. “Films are not perfect – they’re a microcosm of anything and everything happening during prep, production, post-production… Most people don’t care about the behind-the-scenes stuff, but those are the things you have to deal with in the industry and hopefully come out on top of.”
It’s exactly the sort of industry insider insight — coupled with storytelling craft — that Torrie imparts to students taking Red River College’s AV Short Video Production course, and to those enrolled in the three-month Enhanced Filmmaking Skills & Techniques certificate course, offered in partnership with the Adam Beach Film Institute.
The fusion of art and business savvy is critical, Torrie says, for young filmmakers hoping to go on to full careers.
“Just because it’s artistic doesn’t mean it’s not a business,” he explains. “That’s what someone like me can bring to the table: to allow for the appreciation it’s not just a story – the story is absolutely important – but beyond that, there is an entire industry.”
“When you’re able to bring real business experience to a teaching setting, you’re going to set people up for success.” Read More →
Here’s hoping The Force will be with our Creative Communications students next weekend, as they gear up for another fundraising telethon in support of the Winnipeg Humane Society.
On Sunday, March 20, students producing the annual 1001 Donations Telethon will have to harness the power of the Dark Side: guests from the 501st Legion — an imperial Star Wars costuming club — will be joining them to help raise funds for animals in the shelter’s care.
“The bad guys will do some good for the WHS,” says event manager Jill Voth. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for Star Wars fans to get up close and personal with characters from the series, and see how detailed their costumes are.”
In addition to the intergalactic villains (Darth Vader, his stormtroopers and a host of bounty-hunting baddies), the ninth annual telethon promises to attract some more down-to-earth guests, including members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Police Service K-9 Unit.
Every year, second-year CreComm students produce a series of pre-recorded pieces that air during the telethon, and also serve as technical crew and on-air talent while broadcasting live from the Humane Society (45 Hurst Way).
If you can’t drop by in person, the event will be streamed live online from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To make a donation, tune in during the telethon and follow the call-in instructions, or visit winnipeghumanesociety.com.
Elder Mae Louise Campbell carries the gift of women’s medicine. All her life, she has shared her knowledge of Indigenous culture and traditional teachings to help empower the women around her.
And while Campbell (shown above, at left) is a familiar face at Red River College — where she’s served as a mentor for more than a decade — it’s her work with women in the larger community that led to her being honoured over the weekend with an Indspire Award in the category of Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.
“The thing that I look forward to the most is for our women to be able to see it and say, ‘Well, this Grandmother got this award, and the reason she received it is because of all the work she’s doing to heal women,’” says Campbell. “That message to me is more important than anything else.”
Campbell’s desire to see Indigenous women empowered was born out of her own personal journey of self-awareness, healing and spiritual awakening. Like many Indigenous people, Campbell says she struggled to find her identity. Her refusal to accept the difficulties of being a young wife and mother in a controlling relationship set her on the path of discovery.
“I knew that I had to find my voice and believe in the fact that I have the strength and the wisdom to be well in my mind, body and spirit, and to continue to grow,” says Campbell. “And I knew I would have to do that by discovering our traditional ways of women’s knowing, and understanding women’s roles in the community.”
Read More →