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 →
From left: Levinia Brown, RRC elder-in-residence; RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; MMF President David Chartrand; Joan Ledoux, Minister of Education, Louis Riel Institute.
As part of its commitment to improving opportunities and outcomes for Métis people in Manitoba, Red River College has entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Manitoba Metis Federation and Louis Riel Institute.
Signed this morning at RRC’s Roblin Centre, the new MOU creates a joint working group with representation from all three organizations — one that focuses on education, business and growing industry partnerships to increase economic prospects for Manitoba’s Métis populations.
In addition, a new $400,000 bursary for Métis students was announced — one made possible through matching $200,000 investments by the MMF and RRC.
“[Today] signals an extremely satisfying phase of accomplishments for Red River College,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “Driven by the mission of the College and that of our Strategic Plan, [this] announcement reflects our goal of serving the educational needs of Aboriginal students.”
“The collective efforts of those involved … will benefit Métis people in Manitoba [by] improving access to training and employment opportunities,” says David Chartrand, President of the Manitoba Metis Federation. “We applaud Red River College for their leadership and contributions towards today’s announcement.”
In a case of perfect timing, Red River College will wrap up the Victoria Day long weekend by getting ready to welcome actual royalty to its Exchange District and Stevenson Campuses.
On Wednesday, May 21, the College will play host to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as part of a four-day excursion to Canada that also includes stops in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
On Wednesday morning, the royal couple will tour RRC’s Stevenson Campus, where they’ll be greeted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover and RRC President Stephanie Forsyth, among others. The couple will arrive just in time for Aviation & Aerospace in Manitoba Day, an annual event that showcases the province’s thriving aerospace and aviation industry for the benefit of more than 700 Grade 6 students.
Later the same day, Prince Charles will join President Forsyth for a tour of RRC’s Roblin Centre, where they’ll be joined by representatives from Prince’s Charities Canada, an organization that works with existing Canadian charities on a number of core objectives.
The last time RRC hosted visiting royalty was in 2002, when Prince Philip took part in the opening of The Roblin Centre (then called the Princess Street Campus).
Visit Stephanie Forsyth’s blog for more information on the 2014 visit.
Congratulations to RRC instructor Scott MacAulay, who was recently named the Prairie region's Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by Startup Canada.
He’ll be formally recognized at the Prairie Startup Canada Awards in Calgary on May 15.
MacAulay (shown above) has been an entrepreneurship and finance instructor with RRC’s Applied Commerce and Management Education (ACME) department for the last eight years. Recently, he’s been seconded to research better ways to activate entrepreneurs, and is currently gathering best practices for how to implement an entrepreneurial lifestyle in Manitoba.
MacAulay is also very active in the local startup scene, working alongside such organizations as Ramp Up Manitoba, AssentWorks and Innovation Alley to connect RRC students and instructors with other members of the innovation community.
As well, he’s the co-founder of his own tech startup, PermissionClick, a productivity tool aimed at making it easier for teachers to collect permission slips and payments from students and parents. Read More →
(From left): Third-year Construction Management students Yared Melketsadik, Linh Trinh, Prohor Kernos and Jarrod Serens.
A team of Construction Management students from Red River College has tied for first place in a bid simulation contest pitting them against colleges throughout Canada.
The RRC team — comprised of third-year students Prohor Kernos, Yared Melketsadik, Jarrod Sarens and Linh Trinh — tied for first in the “Most Professional” category of The Construction Institute of Canada’s 2014 Student Bid Competition.
The annual contest requires students to successfully complete each step of the bidding and estimation process for a simulated construction project, just as they would if they were working in industry. Team members study drawings, estimate the quantity of materials needed, and apply realistic pricing — all while working to a strict deadline.
“We are very proud of the effort and dedication on the part of the students, who undertook this competition outside of their regular coursework," says Jerry Johnstone, Chair of RRC's Civil Engineering Technology department. "The work ethic they exhibited will serve them well in their future careers."
RRC’s team members had originally ranked eighth out of 62 teams from 10 participating colleges, but were recently informed they’d tied for first after judges discovered an error in scoring. While preparing their bid, RRC students worked closely with coach (and instructor) Adam Ding, Barb Boroskae from the Winnipeg Construction Association, and mentor James Melendez from PCL Construction, who was named “Esteemed Mentor” by contest judges.
Other contest categories include “Most Accurate and Complete Bid Package”, and “Closest to the Target Price”. RRC’s first-place ranking in the “Most Professional” category comes with a $1,000 prize.
Click here for more information on RRC’s Construction Management program.
Red River College was awarded new funding today from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to continue applied research in the fields of electric vehicle (EV) testing, large building envelope research, and robotics innovation.
A total of $327,842 was awarded as part of NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program Applied Research Tools and Instruments grants.
“This funding allows us to purchase and install specific research tools and equipment that will have an immediate impact on our applied research capacity across several industrial sectors,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President and CEO of RRC.
The tools and equipment being purchased and/or built include an EV rapid charging station and battery testers, a building envelope test chamber to test wall sections and materials, and new end-of-arm and imaging tools for existing robotics.
“These are assets that will directly support our industry partners’ research and training needs as well as enhancing student and instructor applied learning at the College,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC. “They support our strategy to drive Manitoba’s economy in an innovative and sustainable way.” Read More →
Congratulations (and best of luck!) to first-year Culinary Arts student Janine Sumner-Traverse, who's on her way to Vancouver to prove her pears have the most flair.
Sumner-Traverse, 25, is one of five regional finalists chosen to compete in the Pear Excellence Culinary Student Competition, an annual student recipe contest hosted by the Pear Bureau Northwest. The event requires students to showcase the flavour and versatility of pears, with points awarded for creativity, mechanics, appearance, inspiration, and the inclusion of at least one Canadian-grown ingredient.
The grand prize winner receives US $2,500, with an additional $500 going to their school for supplies or scholarships. Sumner-Traverse has already beat out competitors in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, taking top honours in the Prairie region with her mouthwatering recipe for pork tenderloin with pear and blueberry stuffing, and a red wine poached pear spinach salad with candied walnuts and pistachio-crusted goat cheese.
A former resident of Lake St. Martin First Nation, Sumner-Traverse is one of more than 1,400 people displaced by flooding in her home community. After taking up a new residence in a Winnipeg hotel, she opted to enrol in RRC's Culinary Arts program — having already received some early training while cooking bannock, boiled pudding and fruit cake alongside her father as a young girl.
The finals take place April 8 in Vancouver. If she wins, Sumner-Traverse plans to use the prize money to help pay for her first apartment (as well as a much-deserved shopping spree). Click here for more information on the competition.
Red River College has launched a new website in support of its Technology Access Centre (TAC) initiative, serving aerospace and manufacturing organizations at home and abroad.
Funded in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC's) Community and College Innovation Program, the TAC supports both large and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing enhanced access to RRC's technological assets, subject matter expertise, and specialized facilities and equipment. Organizations benefit by gaining access to technology and expertise that was previously unavailable directly to industry.
The new website provides an industry portal through which aerospace and manufacturing organizations can view RRC's resources, including: information on full-time student programming (from which they can draw their future workforce), information on hiring co-op students and interns, information on facilities and equipment available to assist them in projects, and information on how the College can support industry through applied research, technical services and training activities.
The site also highlights success stories and student projects, along with an events calendar listing upcoming seminars and events, and an area for posted tips and tricks helpful for practitioners in the workplace.
"This new website continues to promote the valued partnership we have with companies like StandardAero and our industrial campus, the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT)," says Don MacDonald, Dean of RRC's School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing. "This new resource will ultimately mean more opportunities for industry, and for our students studying in these areas."
Visit the new website to learn more about the Technology Access Centre.
Red River College is pleased to see infrastructure and skills training identified as top priorities in the Federal Budget 2014.
“We welcome a collaborative approach with government, industry and community partners in expanding our ability to train Manitoba’s workforce,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President & CEO, Red River College. “This approach will ensure we meet the needs of education in the 21st century and prepare students for the demands of the modern workforce.”
With the creation of the Canada Apprentice Loan, additional funding by the federal government will reduce waiting lists for access to education and meet employer demands for skilled workers. This can help address youth unemployment at the same time.
The government’s pledge of $305 million over five years to extend and enhance broadband high-speed Internet access for rural and Northern communities is welcomed. This aligns with RRC’s strategic plan in ensuring access to education for all Manitobans. RRC is equipped to provide distance education via Internet training but we are hampered in rural areas, particularly in the north for Aboriginal students. Expanding broadband networks and making the Internet more available is a way to open the door to post-secondary education for many, while also providing another solution to the anticipated skills gap.
Read More →
Red River College’s (RRC) 2014 winter convocation saw 107 students graduate from the inaugural Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree program.
“Red River College is proud to offer this degree program, designed by us for the benefit of Manitoba students and the provincial health care system,” said Stephanie Forsyth, RRC's President & CEO.
“I congratulate the staff in RRC’s Nursing Department and the leadership of Dean Louise Gordon and Program Chair Karen Wall for developing and implementing this innovative program.”
RRC first launched its Bachelor of Nursing program in 2010, in order to provide an accelerated alternative to the four-year programs offered at universities. RRC's first class of graduates completed their studies in August 2013, and crossed the stage during winter convocation ceremonies held Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
Read More →