Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor's Medals for Proficiency, awarded as part of our 2015 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 9 and 10.
Each year, a maximum of four Lt-.Gov.'s Medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year’s winners are:
DIEGO FERNANDO MENDOZA, Chemical and Biosciences Technology
A May 2014 graduate of the College’s Chemical and Biosciences Technology program, Diego Mendoza was born in El Salvador, and moved with his family to Canada in 1993, following years of civil unrest.
He graduated with an International Baccalaureate diploma from Miles MacDonnell Collegiate in 2003, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Sciences degree with a major in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba.
After working in quality assurance for a local food company, he enrolled at RRC, where he hoped to gain further experience in analytical and laboratory work. As part of his program’s co-op education component, he landed his current job as a laboratory technician with the City of Winnipeg’s Water and Waste Department, where he monitors local industries to ensure proper waste treatment processes and environmental protections are in place. Read More →
Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover visited Red River College today to launch the new Canada Apprentice Loan, which provides interest-free loans of up to $4,000 for apprentices in Red Seal trades.
Glover toured the College on behalf of Canada's Employment Minister Jason Kenny. While here, she reiterated that enhanced support for apprentices and apprentice training are key to powering and growing the Canadian economy.
"Our government has recognized the important role that apprentices play in Canada's economy and to this end has made significant investments to help apprentices and the employers that hire them," Glover said. "Now, thanks to the Canada Apparentice Loan, more Canadians are able to complete their training and become skilled journeypeople and fill in-demand jobs."
In addition to the Canada Apprentice Loan (a 2014 budget commitment that provides up to $4,000 per period of technical training), the government also supports apprentices through a number of other initiatives, including tax credits and nearly $700 million in grants since 2006.
It's estimated at least 26,000 apprentices a year will apply for over $100 million in Canada Apprentice Loans. According to Statistics Canada, almost 360,000 people are currently enrolled in apprenticeship training; as RRC Interim President David Rew points out, the College is in a unique position to help meet the growing demand. Read More →
Red River College helped to showcase the latest in culinary research and innovation today, incorporating bean flours and purées into delicious and healthy dishes.
The ‘Plating Pulses’ showcase, held at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, was the product of a research partnership between RRC and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA), a not-for-profit organization representing 3,000 farmers of edible pulses such as soybeans, dry beans and peas.
“We are thrilled with the work the College has been doing to develop nutritional and delicious recipes that demonstrate to consumers how locally-produced pulses can be incorporated into their everyday diets,” says Kyle Friesen, MPGA president.
Research has shown that only a half-cup of beans per day can reduce bad cholesterol, help manage hunger, and provide a sustainable source of protein.
“That is why we partnered with College,” says Friesen. “We know about the amazing health benefits of pulses, but we wanted to create more awareness among consumers and the Manitoba food industry by modifying traditional dishes that feature pulses, without affecting the taste or texture of the food.”
The dishes showcased include perogies made from bean flour dough, chicken potpie with a bean flour crust, and crème brulée with half of the fat cut using navy bean puree.
“This showcase is an excellent example of the role that our culinary institute plays in supporting the growth of Manitoba’s food producers,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research and Commercialization at RRC. “Along with training the culinary innovators of tomorrow, RRC provides a wealth of applied research resources for local businesses, including recipe development, test marketing and demonstrations.” Read More →
Winnipeg Transit will soon begin daily service using up to four battery-electric transit buses developed and designed by a consortium that includes researchers from Red River College .
The New Flyer Xcelsior® buses will be in daily operation on a 40-kilometre, two-hour route starting at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, making its way through the city centre to East Kildonan, and returning to the airport.
The route was chosen because its length, speeds and loads are typical of many central business district routes in Canada and the U.S., and because the Winnipeg Airports Authority permitted New Flyer to install a high-power charging station at the airport – a project that was completed in October 2014.
“We didn’t want an easy route,” says Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We encouraged Winnipeg Transit to select a route that would showcase the technological capability of our Xcelsior battery-electric bus in a real life in-service situation that will experience a wide range of weather and traffic conditions.”
The project is a continuing collaboration between New Flyer, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Red River College and Winnipeg Transit. The project team – which started the effort in May 2011 – received additional assistance in October 2012 when Sustainable Development Technology Canada announced funding of $3.4 million to take the project from prototype to full production and field demonstration, and in 2014 when Manitoba’s Vehicle Technology Centre provided an additional $94,000 for charging station development.
“This electric bus project is a key element in Manitoba’s Clean Energy Strategy and supports our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of effective, cost-efficient, renewable energy,” said Eric Robinson, Minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro. “Our innovative advancements in clean energy technologies have contributed to our placement as the first in Canada to employ the new, unique on-route rapid charging system, promoting affordable public transportation and electric vehicle knowledge which will create jobs.”
Zero-emission battery-electric propulsion transit buses are expected to significantly reduce green house gas and smog-causing criteria air contaminant emissions. In Manitoba, where the electrical grid is highly renewable (nearly 100 per cent of electricity is generated without burning fuel), the use of electric propulsion buses are expected to translate to an estimated reduction of 160 tonnes of green house gas emissions, per bus, per year.
“Red River College is proud to support community economic development as a participant in this project,” said David Rew, Interim RRC President. “Our instructors, staff and students have all contributed to the success of the consortium and we look forward to the zero emissions bus going into commercial use at many transit authorities across North America.”
Already 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 →
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 →
Red 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."
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 →
Preliminary 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.
At 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 →