Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, who’ll receive their awards as part of our 2017 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 6 and 8.
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:
Joel Stevens — A proud graduate of RRC’s Electrical Engineering Technology program, Joel was drawn to this career path because he was determined to build a profession that was both challenging and exciting.
Joel demonstrated outstanding academic performance throughout his time at Red River College, earning a 4.5 GPA. He attributes this achievement to great time management skills and determination, as he was also renovating his home, planning a wedding, volunteering and working part-time while completing the program.
Joel is currently employed by ERLPhase Power Technologies as a Verification Specialist, a job he found less than a month after graduating. He’s responsible for testing relays and fault recorders, developing test procedures and providing technical support to customer service staff. He will now work towards acquiring his Certified Engineering Technologist designation.
When not at work or in school, Joel enjoys spending time with his wife and family – especially his five nephews. He loves to read books about history and theology and is very involved in his church community. He also loves sports and spends much of his free time playing soccer and long distance running.
Charlene Turcotte — A graduate of RRC’s Technical Vocational Teacher Education program, Charlene entered the program as a passionate hairstylist and enrolled so that she could teach others to fall in love with her industry the way she did.
Making the decision to go back to school full-time was not an easy one, but after meeting her instructors and fellow students, she was encouraged to fulfill her goal.
Currently, Charlene is attending the University of Winnipeg to upgrade her Bachelor of Education. She also works as a part-time hairstylist and has started substitute teaching in the River East Trancosa School Division.
When not at work or in school, Charlene spends as much time with her family as she can. With three kids, she has a busy extra-curricular schedule and spends most of her time cheering on her kids at the local hockey rink.
Charlene takes pride in her community and volunteers on many boards, helping out at her local community club and volunteering at the high school where she performed her practicum. She is also the secretary of the Vocational Teachers Association of Manitoba.
Six clients from the Main Street Project — many of whom have gone long stretches without clean clothes or a roof over their heads — will walk the runway in their very own custom-made suits this week, as part of a fundraiser organized by a pair of Red River College students.
The Runway to Change project, organized by Creative Communications students Madelaine Lapointe (above, left) and Ashley Tokaruk (right), seeks to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in Winnipeg, and to end the stigma associated with living in poverty.
The evening fashion show, which takes place at 6:30pm on Thu., Feb. 2, at the Fort Garry Hotel, is part of a self-led project undertaken by Lapointe and Tokaruk as part of their studies. Over 200 guests — including Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and RRC honorary diploma recipient Ace Burpee — are expected to attend, with all proceeds raised going directly to the Main Street Project.
“It’s been amazing to have had the opportunity to do a project like [this],” says Lapointe. “Coming into the Creative Communications program, I never thought I’d be doing a project of this scale, but the hard work has — and is — paying off. Seeing the smiles on the clients’ faces at Main Street Project is a direct result of our helping to make a difference in the community.”
As for the first-time models taking part in the event, Lapointe says they’re equally proud, knowing the funds raised will benefit not only themselves, but also their friends at the shelter.
A number of local designers and stores have made or donated suits for clients to wear during the show (and to keep afterwards), including EPH Apparel, Lennard Taylor, Bellabalas, Topshop, Topman, Danali, Hush Collection, Margot + Maude, and Stylebar.
Leane Funk is using her good taste to fight hunger.
Funk, a professional server and Red River College Continuing Education student, is one of the foodies behind the Winnipeg Supper Club, a regularly occurring secret dinner event.
On Sat., Feb. 25, the Winnipeg Supper Club is teaming up with Winnipeg Harvest to present Harvest Homegrown, a not-so secret, collaborative dinner event. Harvest Homegrown will take place at Winnipeg Harvest (1085 Winnipeg Ave.) and will feature local food prepared by Deseo chef Jordan Carlson and MasterChef Canada runner-up Jeremy Senaris, both of whom are Red River College graduates.
Harvest Homegrown will raise money for Winnipeg Harvest and its hunger-fighting initiatives.
“It just so happened that six months ago, David Northcott (Winnipeg Harvest executive director) ended up at a table I was serving and we just started chatting,” says Funk. “I mentioned who I was and he had heard of (Winnipeg Supper Club). One thing led to another and we discussed starting something together. Then I went and met with Colleen McVarish (Harvest development manager) and now we’re doing a dinner.”
Funk is excited for dinner guests to see Carlson and Senaris in action.
“I thought with their contrasting cooking styles they would be a good collaboration,” she says. “It’s a pretty open kitchen and we have a chef’s table that is available for purchase for a group of 10. It’s available at a bit of a premium but they’ll be front row, watching the chefs and being served by Jeremy and Jordan.” Read More →
A Graphic Design student’s work is helping tell the story of a local trailblazer — tracing his rise from humble roots in Jamaica to his post as Canada’s first black police chief.
Third-year Red River College student Emily Campbell, currently completing the Graphic Design – Advanced program, is the illustrator of a new children’s book written by former Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis and his wife, Pearlene.
Campbell got involved with the project via a request to RRC from Clunis himself, who wanted to team with a local student-artist on the illustrations for his semi-autobiographical tale.
The Little Boy from Jamaica: A Canadian History Story explores Clunis’ early days, during which he grew up without electricity and running water before moving to Winnipeg’s North End with his family at age 11.
Campbell, 22, says the book was already written by the time she signed on, allowing her to work from a comprehensive outline. And though she’s never been to Jamaica, she said the Clunises were able to provide photographic inspiration for her ink and watercolour illustrations.
“They only had one photo from his childhood, when he was very, very young,” she says. “That’s what I based his character on. And then when he’s older, I obviously based it off what he looks like today.” Read More →
It’s safe to say Silas Meeches has turned out to be a good investment.
With the help of several donor-supported awards and bursaries from Red River College, Meeches, 20, graduated with his Manufacturing Technician diploma in May 2016. Now, he’s busy prepping for the 2017 World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, an event he describes as “the Olympics for trades and technology [students].”
Meeches first qualified for the event in June 2016 when he won a silver medal (in CNC Machining) at the Skills Canada National Competition in New Brunswick. Before nationals, he won gold in the Skills Manitoba Competition hosted at RRC.
Originally enrolled in the College’s Precision Metal Machining certificate program, Meeches didn’t feel it was a good fit for his skill set. He credits Manufacturing Technician co-ordinator Rob Ataman for pointing him to a program where he could thrive.
“From what I’ve heard [Rob] has always been a big help to students, and I was no exception,” says Meeches. “[There was] a lot of pushing in the right direction. I’d say ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ and he’d say, ‘I know you can.’” Read More →
Cindy Petrowski’s enthusiasm for education took root at Red River College in the early 1980s. Today, she and her partner are giving back in the form of a newly created endowment fund: The Cindy Petrowski and Phillip Marsh Helping Hands Bursary.
In honour of their Metis family members, the bursary will support First Nations or Metis students with their academic aspirations and help with financial burdens.
Speaking from her home in Victoria, B.C., the RRC graduate, who now spends most of her time with family and her dog, or volunteering for various non-profits, fondly recalls her time at the College.
Petrowski chose RRC because of its reputation then — as now — as a post-secondary institution that offered instruction in current and high-demand skills recognized and required by employers.
She enrolled in the stenography program at a time when computers were just emerging in office environments. “I felt the course offered me an opportunity to learn office skills, and to try my hand at technology,” she remembers. Read More →
Red River College is proud to again be recognized as one of Manitoba’s Top 25 Employers for building a supportive, inclusive and engaging work environment for the more than 2,300 employees who’ve built their careers at one of Manitoba’s largest post-secondary institutions.
The designation — the seventh in a row for RRC — comes courtesy of the editors of Canada’s Top Employers, who each year recognize Manitoba employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.
“When it comes to growing Manitoba’s economy and driving innovation in education, Red River College plays a vital role in preparing students and industry for the economic and job opportunities of today and tomorrow,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“This important job is in the hands of Red River College employees, who are extremely dedicated and passionate about making a difference in the lives of their students. We recognize this commitment of our employees and try to return the favour by ensuring the College provides an environment where staff are supported and encouraged in meaningful ways.”
RRC has a comprehensive human resources strategy that has allowed it to continue being recognized as an employer of choice, through a variety of initiatives related to recruitment, retention, professional development, succession, total rewards, labour relations and organizational effectiveness.
The College provides exceptional benefits across its nine campuses, including three weeks of vacation for new employees, maternity top-up payments for new and adoptive parents, a defined benefit pension plan, a flexible health care plan, telecommuting, and an extended paid Christmas break. There is also on-site daycare and on-site fitness facilities at several RRC campuses.
In the spirit of the holidays, RRC students and staff are encouraged to bring a canned food item with them while enjoying the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) Choir as they perform carols at the Roblin Centre Student Food Bank this Thu., Dec. 1. The event will be held in the Roblin Centre atrium from noon to 1:00pm.
Overseen by the Red River College Students’ Association, the food bank allows students to help other students. RRC receives donated food and household items from Winnipeg Harvest and 30 community food banks held throughout the school year. Those goods are stored in a trailer on campus; every two weeks, they’re packaged and distributed to RRC students who have applied for assistance.
“Our Student Food Bank helps feed hundreds of RRC students and their families,” says RRCSA President Adam Taplin. “As students, we often have to decide between a night of studying or an extra shift at work to ensure we get a healthy meal. It’s only through the wonderful generosity of students, staff and the local community that we are able to restock the shelves and continue to provide food hampers year after year.”
This year will mark the first time the WPS Choir has performed at the food drive. When the choir first formed in 1974, it was only supposed to be for one year, in celebration of the City of Winnipeg’s centennial. More than 40 years later, the choir is still going strong, representing a link between the WPS and the community. Every year, the group performs free of charge at over 15 different venues and functions as a community service.
“We’re so excited to bring our group and holiday renditions to Red River College for the first time ever,” says Ron Smolik, Winnipeg Police Service and choir member. “Not only do we get to perform at one of the busiest campuses in downtown Winnipeg, but we get to do it while supporting a great cause.”
Post-secondary students pursuing careers as professional accountants now have a new pathway option, made possible through a partnership between Red River College, the University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba (CPA Manitoba).
The newly designed option, in effect September 2017, is the only pathway of its kind in Canada. It allows students to obtain a two-year diploma in Business Administration with a major in Accounting at Red River College, then ladder into UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business & Economics to obtain a three-year Bachelor degree in Business and Administration, and finally to complete five CPA preparatory courses to meet the entrance requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program.
“We want to continue to be on the leading edge of meeting the needs of industry,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Today’s partnership with UWinnipeg shows that we are working together as a network of post-secondary institutions to create greater mobility for students. Our partnership with CPA further demonstrates our close connections to industry and our ongoing efforts to ensure that our programming is relevant, timely, and accessible. The end result will benefit the profession and open more doors to rewarding careers for our students.”
The three partnering institutions are committed to making the programs as accessible as possible. This commitment includes development of additional online degree courses that will provide greater accessibility and flexibility, and will support the needs of adult learners who may be in the workforce and intend to pursue the CPA designation.
“CPA Manitoba is excited by the opportunity to partner with two of Manitoba’s most highly respected post-secondary institutions,” says Todd Scaletta, President and CEO of CPA Manitoba. “Together we will provide aspiring professionals innovative pathways to the unlimited opportunities in business, accounting and finance as a CPA. This new partnership offers individuals the flexibility of efficiently achieving the academic requirements for entry into CPA’s Professional Education Program, while studying part-time and gaining practical experience full-time.”
Red River College has announced the next steps in the construction of MotiveLab, a highly specialized extreme weather testing facility that will be the first of its kind in Western Canada.
MotiveLab is a 3,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility – essentially a giant heater or freezer – that will provide opportunities for industry testing on heavy vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including transit and highway buses. Already, companies have identified more than 65 full days of demand for MotiveLab’s research and development services.
“Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of our economy, and this research and testing facility is a direct result of our close ties with manufacturers, as well as our efforts to meet current and future training and technology needs,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“It’s an approach we are taking across all sectors to help local industry innovate, create jobs of the future and be more competitive in the global marketplace.”
A funding announcement made today provides a total of $6 million for the construction of MotiveLab, a climatic chamber that allows for year-round testing to be conducted at extreme temperatures and under full loads using a 1,000 horsepower, three-axle dynamometer. The program will also train students in this highly specialized and emerging program area.
“The heavy vehicle sector is faced with increasingly stringent environmental demands, which has its players pushing the envelope in terms of new design and technology implementation,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.
“This all gives way to ever greater research and testing needs. MotiveLab will be a unique Western Canadian facility that will help give Manitoba firms a competitive edge.” Read More →