Red River College Continuing Studies instructor Ursula Neufeld has helped transform one of Main Street's most colourful landmarks into a similarly eclectic downtown showpiece, while at the same time providing a creative outlet for those struggling with mental illness, addiction and homelessness.
Neufeld, a local visual artist who teaches Early Childhood Education courses at RRC, has for the last two years served in a lead role on a community arts project launched by local artists at the Red Road Lodge, 631 Main St. (formerly the New Occidental Hotel, now a transitional housing complex for at-risk individuals).
The result is a stunning outdoor mosaic located on the Lodge's north-facing wall — one that's inspired by traditional Aboriginal teachings, but also reflective of the diverse backgrounds of the hundreds of people who've contributed to its completion.
"We wanted to do something beautiful for the neighbourhood — to share in the creative process with the people here," says Neufeld of the creative types behind Studio 631, an arts and culture resource housed within the Lodge. "But they didn't just want to do a painting — they wanted to do something different." Read More →
Kirk Johnson, Blair Fraser, and Yanik Sourisseau, at PMI Manitoba's annual conference.
Recent Red River College graduate Blair Fraser has been recognized by the Manitoba arm of the Project Management Institute (PMI), having earned a $1,000 award from the organization at its annual conference last week.
Fraser was acknowledged just months after receiving his certificate in Project Management from RRC's School of Continuing and Distance Education. The award from PMI Manitoba recognizes his outstanding achievement as a student.
"We ask the instructors to think about the graduating class, and nominate the student that they would be most likely to refer to a colleague. Naturally this nomination is partially based on student grades, however it also recognizes attitude, drive, determination, initiative and teamwork skills,” said Kirk Johnson, the College's Program Manager, Information, Technology and Professional Studies.
For the second year in a row, Red River College served as Title sponsor for the event, which drew upwards of 150 participants — many of them RRC graduates who were attending on behalf of corporate Manitoba. This year, the College was proud to show off its newly-earned PMI Registered Educational Provider (R.E.P) status — a recognition that lets people know PMI has reviewed RRC's material and recognizes it to be on par with their high standards of training. At present, R.E.P status is recognized in over 70 countries worldwide.
"Red River College is a massive influence on PMI, because they offer the Project Management accreditation process — where you receive the training required to qualify you to write your certification exam," explained Yanik Sourisseau, chair of communications for PMI Manitoba.
"Not only do those courses give you the tools to become a better project manager, they are recognized internationally as the certification steps toward being qualified to write your exam."
Fraser, who currently serves as aproject manager and senior structural engineer for Stantec Consulting, credits his time at RRC with allowing him to take on more responsibilities at work.
"In most companies, they do have a project management philosophy, but nothing that's formally in place," said Fraser.
"Taking the program gives you the ability to go forth and learn the formalities behind the skills — to learn additional skills, and how to implement them in the workplace."
Click here to learn more about RRC's Project Management course.
Instructor Bob Chamberlain (left), accepts the School of C+DE's first-ever Teaching Excellence Award, as Raeann Thibeault, Dean of the School of C+DE, looks on.
Red River College shone a spotlight on some of its most important contributors last week, during the School of Continuing + Distance Education’s annual Instructor Appreciation Reception.
The event, which drew close to 200 attendees, gave staff members at the College a chance to pay tribute to C+DE’s pool of instructors, many of whom balance their teaching responsibilities with real-world industry jobs during the day.
“Tonight is our opportunity to say thank-you and to show appreciation for everything that our instructors do throughout the year,” said Raeann Thibeault, Dean of the School of C+DE.
“You help our students achieve their goals, and you help our students to be successful.”
Thibeault was joined at the speaker’s podium by David Leis, Vice-President of Business Development at RRC, and Stephanie Forsyth, the College’s President and CEO. Both spoke of the significant impacts that RRC instructors have on the lives of their students.
“This side of the College is so filled with that entrepreneurial spirit of creativity and integrity that is so great to be around,” said Forsyth.
“It’s like there’s this secret side of the College — a shadow side of the College — that comes alive at nights and on weekends. You’re really making a difference — both to students, and to industry here in Manitoba.”
As part of the reception, organizers paid tribute to instructors marking their 10th, 20th and 25th year of service with the College. They also honoured longtime instructor Bob Chamberlain — described by students as a “toasted marshmallow” (crusty on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside!) — with the first-ever Teaching Excellence Award.
Those recognized at the event included: Clara Baricz, Carlos Clark, Arnold Evans, Sandie Foster, James Hayes, Nancy Hughes, Suzanne Kelly, Phillip Klassen, Harold Klause, Daniel Larson, Dennis Mitchell and Bradley Schellenberg (10 years); Wayne Bemister, Leon Wartzaba and David A. Bibby (20 years); and Otto Gebhardt and Maureen Olafson (25 years).
Click here for more information about the School of Continuing + Distance Education.