News

First-ever SECD International course: Featured fellows share their experiences

December 5, 2017

Science of Early Child Development: Kenya/TanzaniaThe first-ever 16-week Science of Early Child Development (SECD) International Course, co-facilitated by Red River College and Aga Khan University in Nairobi, recently came to an end this fall.

The course was a key component of the year-long World Bank Africa Early Years Fellowship, created for the purpose of assembling a select group of African professionals to work at capacity-building in their home countries, in support of governments and World Bank teams as they ramp up investments in early years resources.

Currently, 80% of children under five in sub-Saharan Africa are not enrolled in pre-primary programs and malnutrition is a persistent reality.

A bit of background

The SECD resource, developed by a small team at Red River College, began 16 years ago as a local initiative to create an accessible resource that could mobilize the possibilities of early brain development science to better equip early child educators in Canada.

Today, it’s a comprehensive, continually updated collection of on- and offline multi-media educational tools that incorporate research from around the world, providing cutting-edge resources to more than 40 countries. Readings, questions and interactive activities bring concepts to life, while captioned videos showcase the latest research, highlighting real-life examples.

The initiative wouldn’t have been possible without funding and collaboration from several key partners, including the World Bank, the University of Toronto, the Lawson Foundation, and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which works to improve living conditions and create opportunities in Asia and Africa. The World Bank and the AKDN took notice of SECD in 2007, effectively setting the wheels in motion to make it international.

A decade later, the World Bank Early Learning Partnership selected the SECD International resource as a foundation for the course that would become a key component of their Fellowship.

The Africa Early Years Fellowship

The 2017 Fellowship, now in its third year, began in January, and offers fellows the option of applying to extend their fellowship for a second year. A total of 20 fellows were drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, including economics, education, ECD, medicine/health, and international development. High-priority countries include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Mali, among others.

Featured Fellows Read More →

Positive initiatives propel RRC to provincial Top Employer list for eighth straight year

November 29, 2017

MAnitoba's Top Employers 2018A trio of Red River College initiatives focused on staff positivity have helped land RRC on Manitoba’s Top Employer list for the eighth year in a row.

Those initiatives include the College-wide wellness strategy known as Healthy Minds, Healthy College; Cheers for Peers, an ongoing peer-to-peer recognition program; and a day-long professional development event called RED Forum.

“These are the kinds of programs that can engage staff, help them interact with each other and dedicate time to growing themselves. It’s important for us to provide these types of resources on top of things like a solid health benefits plan, pension, and vacation to ensure staff are motivated and feel proud to work at the College,” says Lindsay Allen, Acting Director, Human Resource Services at RRC.

“These initiatives are positive incentives for self-improvement and peer recognition.”

Over the past year, major investments in the wellness and mental health of RRC employees have resulted in the hiring of a new, full-time Mental Health Coordinator responsible for the Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, and for ensuring that RRC is a mentally healthy place to work and learn. Read More →

College launches new Indigenous language courses

November 27, 2017

Indigenous Education, Red River CollegeToday, Red River College opened registration for two new Anishinaabemowin language and culture courses, created to support Indigenous language revitalization in Manitoba schools.

“As a College, we are taking the lead to provide more opportunities for educators to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous language and identity, and to continue to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous learners in our community,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

The new courses are the first of their kind to be offered by RRC, and will be delivered through a partnership between its Schools of Indigenous Education and Continuing Education.

As a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, RRC has responded to an identified need to fill the gap in opportunities for educators to learn to speak, read and write in traditional Anishinaabemowin languages. In doing so, the College will also help support and enhance Indigenous academic success.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has called for action to protect the right to Indigenous languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses,” says Chartrand. “As a learning institution, it is critical for RRC to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, perspective and content to create innovative and relevant programming in order to achieve this.”

Curriculum was developed by a working group comprised of representatives from RRC and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, as well as the Winnipeg, Seven Oaks, and Louis Riel School Divisions. The group’s priority was to ensure RRC could create programming that provides students with a deeper knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and language history. Read More →

CreComm students stage 12-hour radiothon to support children and youth in need

November 23, 2017

Creative Communications Radiothon 2017A centre that provides life skills, positive role models and a safe, fun environment for kids in Winnipeg’s West Broadway community will receive new supplies and funds, thanks to students in Red River College’s Creative Communications program.

Through CreComm’s Radio course, students are hosting a 12-hour radiothon, To West Broadway and Beyond, today from 7a.m. to 7p.m., on the College’s online station, The District. The endeavour supports West Broadway Youth Outreach (WBYO), a drop-in recreational and life skills program that provides free after-school and summer activities, year-round.

“Having the ability to help local charities, while putting our students’ skills to use, is what Red River College is all about,” says RRC Radio instructor Dan Vadeboncoeur.

“We are happy to support such an amazing organization like West Broadway Youth Outreach, which helps youth in Winnipeg learn important skills like leadership, accountability and confidence.”

Throughout the day, CreComm students will be collecting donations in the atrium of The Roblin Centre at 160 Princess St. Among the items they're hoping to receive: youth bus tickets (sheets), school supplies, old video games, books, board games, toys, juice boxes, tickets to concerts or events, and for people to sign up to become WBYO volunteers.

To listen to the radiothon, visit radio.rrc.ca — or follow along with the students on Twitter at @RRCdistrict.

Business and Technology students partner with local law firm to create web app for low-income clients

November 21, 2017

BA and ACE students with Evans Family LawIt’s being billed as the “TurboTax for law,” and Red River College students are helping to bring it to the web.

Students from the College’s Business Administration program and Applied Computer Education (ACE) department have partnered with Winnipeg’s Evans Family Law Corporation, to develop an interview-based web application that allows users to access and fill out basic family law documents themselves.

In the works since last year, the app is slated to be built and brought online by RRC students sometime in 2018.

“Access to justice, particularly in family law, has been recognized as a serious issue with the legal community for some time,” says Business instructor George Allen. “It is believed the kind of technology this project is looking to implement could play an important role in addressing some of the access issues inherent in the current system.”

Allen says the project would be designed to provide Manitobans with access to court forms using intelligent documents, and to use an interview-style dialogue process for gathering client data — much like TurboTax does to complete federal and provincial tax forms.

The prospect of saving thousands of dollars in legal fees could be particularly attractive to the large number of working Canadians for whom the ability to retain a lawyer is out of reach due to costs.

“If you’re working and you’re making a certain level of income, and you have a divorce proceeding or a wills and estate issue, you won’t qualify for Legal Aid because you make too much money or you own property,” says Allen (shown above, fourth from right). “You may also be in a situation where paying $300 an hour for a lawyer is really a hardship, or even out of the question.”

“An uncontested divorce or separation is really a straightforward process that most paralegals would normally be doing under the guidance and underwriting of a lawyer. So we’re looking at taking those forms and that process and providing it at a low cost to this particular population that otherwise likely wouldn’t have access to it.”

Greg Evans, principal at Evans Family Law, says the idea is to provide some of the same services already offered at Winnipeg’s Legal Help Centre, only for an online audience.

“People are much more used to having services provided online or through online websites and applications,” says Evans (shown above, second from right). “It’s an idea that takes a look at what potentially might be the wave of the future, particularly with simple legal documents.” Read More →

Nursing students win big at international skills competition in Shanghai

November 20, 2017

Shanghai International Nursing Skills Competition 2017A pair of Red River College Nursing students have returned home from an international skills competition with some well-deserved hardware and a greater sense of pride in their work.

Second-year student Elyse Griffith (shown above, third from left) and third-year student Rachel Rubin (holding flag) took first place amongst international student competitors, and earned a silver medal overall, at the seventh annual International Nursing Skills Competition in Shanghai, China, earlier this month.

“Being able to participate in this competition was an incredible experience, and I know I will be a better nurse for having participated,” says Rubin. “I was proud of how we represented RRC on an international level and showed what our students are capable of. It was a great opportunity to learn more about nursing in other countries and see the strengths of the participating students from all around the world.”

This year marked the first time RRC sent a team to the competition, which is hosted by the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences (SUMHS) in cooperation with the Shanghai Nursing Education Group. To earn their medal, Griffith and Rubin faced off against 15 student teams from around the world— all testing their abilities to assess and react and perform various medical procedures in a series of simulated medical situations. Read More →

Skilled trades training extended to communities in Lake Manitoba and Sagkeeng First Nations

November 9, 2017

Red River College has launched two programs that move education outside of the traditional post-secondary setting and into remote Manitoba communities — helping Indigenous learners gain the tools they need to enter careers in carpentry, plumbing and other skilled trades.

One of the programs — the first to be delivered by RRC at Lake Manitoba First Nation — has allowed 15 students to work on completing their Level One Carpentry Apprenticeship training while at the same time helping to renovate local infrastructure in their community. The other program, delivered at Sagkeeng First Nation, provided an introduction to trades and plumbing skills via RRC’s mobile training labs (MTLs).

“These community-based training programs are an important example of how the College is helping create more pathways to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy.

“Classes like the one in Lake Manitoba First Nation provide learning opportunities to students who might not be able to access education otherwise. They allow students to remain in their homes and stay connected to family and other support systems, while receiving vital training and doing hands-on work in their community and the surrounding areas.”

Delivered in partnership with Apprenticeship Manitoba, the Lake Manitoba First Nation initiative is a 12-week program that combines theory, safety training and practical learning. It’s delivered in the industrial arts and shops space at the community’s own middle school. The College provides tools and equipment, and students are taught by an RRC instructor and journeyman carpenter. Read More →

Culinary Arts grad takes top honours at Gold Medal Plates competition

November 9, 2017

Mike Robins, Gold Medal Plates 2017For the second year in a row, a Red River College grad has taken the top prize at an annual competition showcasing the local culinary scene’s best and brightest.

Chef Mike Robins (Culinary Arts, 2010), of Osborne Village eatery Sous Sol, claimed the prime podium spot at this year’s Gold Medal Plates competition in Winnipeg. He now advances to the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna.

Robins edged out the competition with a perfectly seared scallop dish that judges described as “so simple [and] so delicious” — though they went on to concede the rest of the elements on his plate were anything but basic.

“Headlining in terms of umami-saturated flavour was a superb sauce — a beurre blanc made from a dashi broth and enriched with miso, [Robins’] homemade Dijon-style mustard, lemon, wine, and the liquor from the raw scallops,” reads a rave posted to the event’s blog site.

“Button-sized slices of zucchini, pickled in apple cider and cider vinegar flavoured with turmeric and mustard, stood upon dots of puréed carrot. A half teaspoonful of pickled mustard seed was carefully judged — not too tangy — while fresh dill fronds and a cool herb oil made with sorrel, dill and chives brought a little chlorophyll to the party.

Mike Robins' seared scallop dish“Potato also featured, but in a most unexpected way. They had been put through a Chinese turning slicer, emerging like string, which [Robins] dyed black with cuttlefish ink, wrapped around a cannoli tube and then deep-fried into crispy spirals.”

Each year in cities across the country, Gold Medal Plates regional events find chefs battling each other and the clock — with just 90 minutes to prepare and serve their culinary creations to a crowd of 600.

Dishes are then judged by a panel of food critics and culinary experts. This year’s judges included RRC’s Jeff Gill (Director, Food Services), former College staffer and MasterChef Canada contestant Mike Green, and last year’s regional winner, Culinary Arts alum Jeremy Friesen, of Pizzeria Gusto.

The events also double as a fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which supports the technical, scientific, medical and coaching needs of Canada’s athletes.

The national competition takes place Feb. 2 and 3, 2018.

Photo credits: Peg City Grub/Mike Green

College picks up Long-term Achievement Award from Manitoba Chambers of Commerce

November 3, 2017

Last weekend, in front of a crowd representing all sectors of the provincial economy, Red River College was honoured with a Long-term Achievement Award by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

Presented as part of the 34th annual Manitoba Business Awards gala, the designation recognizes the College’s unwavering dedication to education and to community — a tradition, point of pride, and driving force that has led RRC to become Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning, and a global leader in research and innovation.

“It may seem unconventional to regard Red River College as a business, but we haven’t achieved this level of success by following convention,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Part of what makes the College such an outstanding place to study, teach and work is our ability to continually push the boundaries and shape Manitoba’s economy every day.”

The Long-term Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements made by the Manitoba business community. Nominees are evaluated on sustained growth, contributions to Manitoba employment, and community involvement, demonstrating a commitment of at least 50 years in operation.

From its beginnings in the 1930s as the Industrial Education Centre, to the opening of the Notre Dame Campus in 1963, to the ongoing expansion projects currently underway today, the College has long been celebrated as an institution that’s committed to meeting the needs of Manitoba growing economy.

“We are very proud of our growing partnership model and working relationships with industry — many of whom are also members of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce,” says Vogt.

“We are proud of the entrepreneurs, products, services and innovations that we continue to bring to the market in Manitoba and on a global level, and we look forward to continued successes as we look toward the future.”

Shown above (from left): Judy Murphy, Board Chair, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce; Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic, RRC; Tim Silversides, Board Chair, CPA Manitoba; Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy, RRC.

RRC named top research college in Western Canada

November 2, 2017

Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges logoRed River College is now the top research college in Western Canada, according to Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges, an annual ranking conducted by Re$earch Infosource Inc. that was released today.

“It’s fantastic to once again be recognized for our overall research efforts and successes in building research and innovation capacity for Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our research programming has never been more important as we work to support the increasingly sophisticated needs of current and future graduates, employers and industry.”

This has been a marquee year for the College, with major infrastructure announcements for both its Exchange District and Notre Dame campuses. Applied research has been the impetus for much of the recent growth.

“We now have so much research-related activity happening at the College – all in response to expressed needs by industry and our community,” says Ray Hoemsen, RRC’s Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation. “Being recognized as the top Research College in Western Canada validates that we are not only playing a key role in economic development, but also that our knowledge, expertise and facilities are highly relevant.”

Visit our Research Partnerships & Innovation blog to read more about the top 10 research-related highlights from the past year.

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