News

Teacher Education grads boost applied learning capabilities for students in Steinbach

April 19, 2017

Selkirk Regional Secondary School staff

James Gibson knows the value of hands-on education.

For one, the vice-principal of Steinbach Regional Secondary School sees his students learning by doing every day – whether they’re chiseling timber frames, installing electrical outlets or painting vehicles in some the school’s 10 vocational areas.

But Gibson (shown above, at centre) also understands how crucial it is for some students to get out from behind their desks – because he was once one of those students himself.

“I’m not a big ‘in the regular classroom’ kind of guy,” says the Red River College graduate. “I like to be up and moving around and doing things with my hands.”

RRC’s Teacher Education program allowed Gibson to do just that. Specializing in Industrial Arts, he was able to expand his knowledge and experience in woodworking and welding, among other areas. Along with the Industrial Arts diploma he received from RRC in 2004, he earned a Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg in 2005, thanks to a joint program between the schools.

“The program gives you the confidence to be able to take something apart and fix it and not be scared about it anymore,” says Gibson, who was born in England and moved to Winnipeg at the age of 13.

After teaching Industrial Arts in Elie, Man., for a couple of years, he moved to Steinbach in 2007 to teach junior high. He later took at position at SRSS teaching carpentry, and more recently stepped into the administrative role of vice-principal.

Even though he’s behind a desk more often than not, Gibson can rest assured the school’s vocational students are receiving top-notch training. That’s because a majority of the hands-on instructors at SRSS are Teacher Education grads, just like him. Read More →

RRC grad awarded inaugural Disability Studies scholarship from University of Winnipeg

April 18, 2017

A Red River College grad who’s now completing a joint honours degree at the University of Winnipeg is the inaugural winner of that institution’s Disability Studies scholarship.

Evan Wicklund, who completed RRC’s Disability and Community Support program in 2013, is now in his final year of study in UWinnipeg’s Disability Studies program. He’ll be the first student to complete the program with an honour’s degree.

Having explored several sub-sectors of the disability field over the years, Wicklund believes the critical engagement made possible by the joint program is key to understanding alternatives to disability as a bio-medical phenomenon.

“If we contextualize ‘disability’ through rights, social constructionist, or intersectional frameworks, we will be afforded the opportunity to think about disability in new and imaginative ways,” he told UWinnipeg.

“As someone engaged with community organizations as well as the academy, I advocate for disability studies because it acknowledges the value of critical thinking and reflexivity, while maintaining the fundamental values of diversity and human rights.”

Wicklund presented his work at the International Initiative on Disability Leadership Conference in Vancouver in 2015, and has a paper accepted at this spring’s annual meeting of the Canadian Disability Studies Association.

He also works as a special projects officer for the Canadian Centre for Disability Studies, having been hired there after completing his work practicum.

UWinnipeg’s new award was established to recognize students who demonstrate academic excellence and community involvement. The Disability Studies program was established in partnership with RRC in 2010, prior to which there was no way to proceed from RRC’s diploma program to UWinnipeg’s degree.

— Naniece Ibrahim, University of Winnipeg

Olympic-style trades and technology competition draws hundreds of young Manitobans to RRC

April 13, 2017

Cabinet making competition

More than 500 students and apprentices will show off their trades- and technology-related talents at Red River College today, as they compete in hands-on, Olympic-style contests as part of the twentieth annual Skills Manitoba Competition.

Many of the individual competition winners will advance to the Skills Canada National Competition, being hosted this year in Winnipeg from May 31 to June 3.

Today’s provincial event is held by Skills Manitoba Canada to raise awareness of the country’s skilled workforce shortage, and of the merits of post-secondary training in trades and technology.

“The skilled trades offer opportunities for positions with great pay, job security and flexibility,” says Maria Pacella, executive director of Skills Canada Manitoba.

“Manitoba’s economy needs thousands of skilled workers going forward, and colleges will play a huge role in filling this demand,” adds RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Competitions like Skills Manitoba and Skills Canada are extremely important, as they showcase the opportunities that exist for meaningful and rewarding careers in the trades. We are pleased to be supporting Skills Manitoba, and are particularly thrilled to be putting Winnipeg on the national stage when [the Skills Canada competition] comes to Manitoba in June.” Read More →

College opens new project space in Innovation Alley

April 7, 2017

Red River College’s ACE Project Space and North Forge Technology Exchange today celebrated the grand opening of their new Innovation Alley locations, by officially launching several new initiatives aimed at helping startup businesses innovate and grow.

In RRC’s ACE Project Space — part of the College’s thriving Exchange District Campus — Business Information Technology and Business Technology Management students work with entrepreneurs-in-residence on new technologies, product development, and pushing innovation to the edge.

The new space has allowed the program to grow rapidly and more than double its partnerships — to 16 successful projects to date. As well, the space allows students to work closely with non-profit organizations to provide IT solutions for them and the community.

“This is about students working hand-in-hand with private industry on real-world projects in real time,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “It provides our students with leading-edge, hands-on training and experience, while providing startups with much-needed technical support. This kind of partnership is essential to business growth and job creation in our province.”

Vogt says RRC is thrilled to partner with North Forge Technology Exchange and, together, anchor Winnipeg’s growing Innovation Alley.

“We are constantly working to support innovation on the ground floor and create critical mass for Manitoba’s startup community,” says North Forge President Jeff Ryzner. “The development of our new building at 321 McDermot advances our goals and provides entrepreneurs with a place to work together. It’s about fostering innovation, creating jobs and driving economic growth.” Read More →

Inaugural applied research showcase celebrates student achievements and partnerships

April 6, 2017

Today, Red River College welcomed more than 600 visitors to the first-ever Applied Research & Innovation Day, which celebrated our students’ achievements in applied research and innovation, while also recognizing RRC’s innovative research partnerships.

As part of the event, the College hosted a Student Quick-Pitch Competition where the top four student research projects — as selected by a group of 26 judges at a showcase held earlier in the day — had an opportunity to present their projects to some 200 guests from the College and industry.

“The work demonstrated by our students this year is remarkable, and highlights just how relevant applied learning and research is to preparing our graduates for careers here in Manitoba,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “Leveraging our in-house expertise not only exposes our students to leading-edge research, but it also helps businesses innovate to create new jobs and career opportunities for our students.”

The students were judged by a panel of experts: Martin Cash (business reporter, Winnipeg Free Press), Jeff Ryzner (president, North Forge), Freyja Arnason (manager of funding programs, Research Manitoba) and Tracey Maconachie (president, Life Sciences Association of Manitoba).

This year’s winners are:

Read More →

Eyes to the skies: Award-winning alumni billboard campaign returns

April 3, 2017

RRC billboard: Darrell Brown

Red River College launches its 2017 billboard campaign this week – marking the return of the highly anticipated public celebration of RRC grads and their diverse employers.

“Red River College is pleased to once again join forces with leading Manitoba businesses to showcase elite alumni who are working in industry and in the community across the province,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “This creative, co-operative marketing campaign is about recognizing strategic partnerships and celebrating student success.”

Appearing this spring and summer on nearly 60 billboards throughout Winnipeg and rural Manitoba, the 2017 campaign features 40 members from RRC’s diverse alumni community.

“It is wonderful to partner with Red River College and to help showcase the fact that RRC grads get jobs in their fields and are leaders in our community,” says Darrell Brown, founder and president of KISIK Inc., an Indigenous-owned and operated provider of office furniture.

“I think it’s important that we continue to reach out to young people, particularly Indigenous youth, to ensure they know about the tremendous opportunities that come from an RRC education. College education is a key pathway to success and I’d encourage all young Manitobans to take a close look at what RRC has to offer.”

The last iteration of the campaign, which rolled out in 2015 and 2016, has won several national and international awards including a CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence Award (Best Advertising Campaign: Silver), an International Signature Award (Best Practices in Communications and Marketing: Bronze, and the 2016 Communicator of the Year Award (Large Category) from the Canadian Public Relations Society of Manitoba. Read More →

Culinary instructor lauded with lifetime achievement award

March 31, 2017

RRC Chef Karl Oman

A longtime member of Red River College’s instructional staff has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Culinary Federation of Cooks and Chefs (CCFCC).

Chef Karl Oman, an instructor at RRC since 2006, has been an active member of the CCFCC since 1991, and has acted as the Winnipeg branch treasurer since 2012.

The organization’s award recognizes Oman’s track record of excellence and service to the culinary profession, via a career that began immediately after he graduated with honours from RRC’s Culinary Arts (then Chef Training) program in 1985.

Oman (shown above, with students) went on to work for size years as part of the kitchen team that opened the Sheraton Winnipeg Hotel, working his way from the garde manger area to sous chef.

In 1991, he accepted his first executive chef position with the Holiday Inn Winnipeg South, where he served for 15 years. During that time, he completed his Red Seal certification, and in 1995, went on to complete his chef de cuisine certification. (At the time, he was one of only 17 chefs in Manitoba to do so.)

In 1994, Oman was named Chef of the Year by the local CCFCC branch, and two years later, was invited by the provincial trades advisory committee to participate in the revision of the interprovincial Red Seal exam.

Out of the brew: RRC unveils new malt miso made from beer-brewing byproduct

March 31, 2017

RRC Chef Joel Lamoureux

Red River College partnered with two local microbreweries today to unveil a new culinary invention — miso made from spent grain — at an event showcasing the College’s growing Culinary Research and Innovation program, and its impact on food creation in Manitoba.

Partners from the province, federal government and industry were among the special guests at today’s miso soup tasting at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the hub of RRC’s culinary research and education activities.

“This miso project is a really innovative partnership that links Manitoba’s dynamic microbrewery industry with local culinary arts and research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

RRC teamed up with Farmery Estate Brewery and Torque Brewing to test methods for using spent grains from the beer-brewing process to produce miso, putting a new twist on an ancient culinary tradition. Other partners included the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) and the University of Manitoba’s Food Science department.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support scientific research and innovation that creates opportunities for the agri-food industry,” says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Finding alternative ways to use agricultural products and increase their value helps create good jobs and grow the middle class in Canada.”

Since 2014, RRC has been ramping up its culinary research through new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments. That growth has led to many new innovations with local producers.

“Partnerships help identify new and sometimes unexpected opportunities,” says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is proud to help support this project, which has the potential to create new value-added opportunities while creating new, delicious foods. This project reflects the innovative spirit shared by so many Manitobans.” Read More →

College named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for third year running

March 28, 2017

Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the third year in a row. This prestigious recognition — awarded today to 65 organizations across the country — highlights employers that stand out through their efforts to create diverse, inclusive workplaces.

“At Red River College we strive to ensure equity and diversity are embedded in College practices and demonstrated throughout the institution,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Equity and inclusion form part of our blueprint and help us create a welcoming and open environment. This reflects the commitment of our faculty and staff and it’s an honor to be recognized with this distinction for the third year in a row.”

The College coordinates a number of initiatives that encourage diversity and inclusivity, including workshops hosted by RRC’s Elders in Residence, our LGBTT* Initiative, our Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, and a workforce audit to determine representation of designated group members in the workforce.

RRC also recently conducted an Inclusive Campus Climate Review, which gave members of the College community an opportunity to provide feedback on what it means to create an inclusive climate. The Review will help guide RRC as mechanisms are put in place to make inclusion a self-sustaining part of the College environment.

Now in its tenth year, Mediacorp Canada’s Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes the nation’s leaders in creating inclusive workplaces for employees from five diverse groups: women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) peoples.

New supports launched to enhance mental health programming at RRC

March 24, 2017

Michael Landsberg, TSNRed River College has announced two new support services as part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative aimed at enhancing mental health programming for students, staff and faculty.

The announcement coincided with a broader awareness-raising event, in which TSN’s Michael Landsberg — one of the faces of Bell Let’s Talk Day — brought his #SICKNOTWEAK talk to RRC.

“We’re excited that Michael has joined us to help us announce these new and important initiatives, but to also talk about his personal battle with depression,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Michael’s leadership has made a tremendous difference in the lives of many Canadians.”

The two programs being launched by the College include:

The Red River ReliefLine, a 24/7 online peer support service provided free of charge to all students, who can access trained listeners through their computer, tablet, or smart phone. The College has purchased a one-year license for this service with funds from a Program Innovation Fund. The service is available in a variety of languages and gives students access to simple therapeutic exercises that can enhance coping skills.

The Working Mind, an educational workplace mental health and wellness program developed and endorsed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The program is designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and illnesses in the workplace. The training helps individuals identify poor mental health in themselves and others, while building resiliency. RRC has committed to training four internal champions who will in turn deliver the program to others.

“As both an educational institution and employer, RRC recognizes that it has a responsibility to create a safe, responsive and healthy environment that supports mental health and well-being for students, staff and faculty,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.

“For students, RRC is where they will learn and practice key competencies that set them up for success in their future workplaces. Learning to support their own positive mental health, and reach out for help when need, are among those competencies.”

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