News

Red River College and University of Manitoba Strengthen Partnership

May 10, 2011

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University of Manitoba President David Barnard and Red River College President Stephanie Forsyth.

Red River College (RRC) and the University of Manitoba (U of M) are joining forces to improve educational options for students, enhance research and development activities, and improve their ability to provide the highly skilled workforce Manitoba needs to innovate and grow.

The two institutions signed a Partnership Protocol Agreement yesterday that builds on a long history of working together to plan programs and services, facilitate joint academic programming, pursue bridge programming initiatives, enhance student mobility and foster collaborative research efforts.

This new agreement will include looking for additional opportunities for the articulation of courses and programs so that students can transfer smoothly between the two institutions. It also outlines a commitment on behalf of both institutions to furthering aboriginal student access and achievement in post-secondary education.

Stephanie Forsyth, President of RRC, views the partnership as a step toward even more collaboration to the benefit of students and the community.

"Our institutions already have a great working relationship, but this agreement positions us to develop even more comprehensive learning opportunities for students, and enhanced research and training initiatives for our industry partners," she said.

David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the U of M, believes the new agreement will help Red River College and the University of Manitoba continue to lead the way in advancing economic, social and cultural development in the province.  

“Between our two institutions, we address the full spectrum of post-secondary education, research and training needs in Manitoba and we see opportunities to build on our existing leadership in advancing Manitoba’s innovation agenda,’’ he explains. “This agreement reinforces what we are already doing and outlines specific ways in which we might enhance those efforts and build on them.”

This is the latest in a series of cooperative agreements that Red River College has established with other educational institutions in Manitoba and around the world. These partnerships include opportunities for students to advance their studies, for staff to share their expertise in developing nations, and for researchers to pursue innovations with global companies.

Red River College Plugs In to Electric Vehicle Partnership

April 26, 2011

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Chris Stoddart, VP Engineering Services for New Flyer Industries, provides details of RRC's new electric vehicle partnership. 

Premier Greg Selinger today announced the province will invest $1 million for the development of an all-electric transit bus and charging system, and $100,000 for the creation of an electric-vehicle learning and demonstration centre at Red River College, two of several initiatives under Manitoba’s Electric Vehicle Road Map.

“This is exciting.  We are working together to develop an entirely electric bus to get families around in cities all over North America,” said Selinger.  “We’re also creating opportunities for young people right here in the province to become leaders in developing and building clean, electric vehicles and helping cut greenhouse-gas emissions.”

The $3-million, three-year project brings Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, New Flyer Industries, Manitoba Hydro, Red River College and the province together.  The bus development will be completed within one year and tested in Manitoba for two more years, the premier said.  Project development will be focused at Red River College and New Flyer Industries’ Winnipeg facilities.

The electric-bus development will benefit from New Flyer’s experience in building hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell buses, Mitsubishi’s leading-edge lithium-ion battery technologies, Manitoba Hydro’s grid-management knowledge and Red River College’s instructors and students who can assist in solving the technological challenges coming from the project.

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Red River College Named One of Canada's Greenest Employers

April 26, 2011

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Sara MacArthur, RRC's Manager of Sustainability, inside one of the College's new greenhouses.

Red River College has been named one of Canada’s 50 Greenest Employers for 2011 by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

RRC received this prestigious honour thanks to its initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of College operations, incorporate sustainability into its research and academic programming, and engage staff and students in more eco-conscious behaviour.

"We’re proud that staff and students have embraced our commitment to adopt sustainable business practices and become a more socially responsible organization," said Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College. "This award recognizes the efforts of the many green leaders we have throughout the College."

Some of RRC’s recent environmental accomplishments include:

  • Increasing waste diversion rates by over 30% by implementing a new recycling system.
  • Conducting testing on new technologies for green construction and alternative energy vehicles through our applied research department.
  • Operating an on-site program at the Notre Dame Campus that turns organic kitchen waste into compost that’s used on College grounds.
  • Converting used cooking oil into biodiesel that can be used to power College vehicles.
  • Building new facilities, such as the Heavy Equipment transportation Centre and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, to meet LEED standards of energy efficiency.

RRC is one of only two Manitoba organizations to be named to this year’s Greenest Employer list (along with New Flyer Industries), and one of only five post-secondary institutions across Canada.

The award is the latest in a series of green honours for the College, including a 2009 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award, a 2010 Spirit of Winnipeg Award, and top finishes in the last two Winnipeg Commuter Challenges.

"Red River College is dedicated to being a sustainability role model in our community," explained Sara MacArthur, Manager of Sustainability at RRC.  "Sustainability isn’t limited to one office or one area in the College. It’s in our daily operations, our building projects, our research endeavours, our student projects and more."

Launched in 2007, the Canada’s Greenest Employers competition recognizes organizations that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their workplaces.

A Look at RRC's Technology Camps for Kids

March 26, 2011

 

To introduce young people to career options in technology and trades-related fields, Red River College runs a series of technology workshops throughout the year. One of our most popular options is the Saturday morning "Introduction to Electronics" sessions run at our Exchange District Campus.

RRC student Luke Marvin shot a fun video about his experience helping teach the basic concepts of electronics -- including voltage, current and resistance --  to junior high students as part of this year's workshop.

Urbee Rides Again: Eco-friendly Car Attracts International Attention

March 24, 2011

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An eco-friendly car being designed by a team of Winnipeg engineers could soon power demand for a new era in energy efficiency, says a Red River College instructor.

For the last several years, designers and engineers from local firm Kor EcoLogic Inc. have been hard at work on the "Urbee" — a low-energy passenger vehicle that's powered by electricity and ethanol, instead of fossil fuels.

"It has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of non-renewable energy we use," says RRC instructor Andrew Warren, who's been involved with the project off and on for the last 15 years.

"We've calculated that we can go 30 miles a day on energy gathered from the sun. So theoretically, you could buy this car and not have to put gas or hydro power into it — you'd just charge it from the solar panels on your roof at home."

Warren and his colleagues, under the direction of company president (and RRC alum) Jim Kor, were inspired to create the Urbee — short for Urban Electrical with Ethanol as Backup — after building a model of a human-powered transit system for the Seattle Bicycle Show.

Guided by the same principle — that of travelling the furthest distance possible while consuming the least amount of energy — they turned their attention to a passenger car, which they originally entered in the 2010 Progressive Automotive X-PRIZE competition.

The Urbee — a sleek-looking three-wheeled model — finished in the Top 30 of 111 entries, and also resulted in a treasure trove of media attention for the Kor team.

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RRC's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Program Earns Military Recognition

March 14, 2011

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Red River College's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program has been recognized by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (DND/CF), for enhancing the career opportunities available to graduates who may be considering a career in the military.

According to the notification that accompanied the recognition, RRC's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program has "accelerated the career opportunities for graduates of (the) program who may be considering a career in the Canadian Forces by providing them with advanced standing as an Aviation Systems Technician."

The notification also points out that AME students who may be considering a career in the military are eligible to receive a salary (with benefits) and support to offset tuition and materials if they're enrolled through the Canadian Forces Non-Commissioned Member — Subsidized Education Plan.

"This means that students wishing to join the DND can enroll or be currently enrolled in RRC's AME program, and tuition and related expenses will be paid by the DND," explains Dennis Doersam, Director of RCC's Stevenson Campus. "As well, they will receive a salary and benefits while attending the program. Upon graduating, they receive credit for the training and time spent in the AME program."

Once enlisted, students will receive basic DND training (as well as military-specific technical training), and will start at a salary substantially greater than the minimum enlisted salary. The accreditation provides students with better access to jobs within the military, Doersam says, while the training qualifies them for Civilian AME training certification, should they wish to apply.

Click here to learn more about the Subsidized Education Plan; for more details, contact Master Warrant Officer Paul Lucas (at the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre in Winnipeg) at paul.lucas@forces.gc.ca or 983-3680 (ext. 246).

Click here for more information about RRC's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program.

Princess Street Facility Becomes "The Roblin Centre"

March 3, 2011

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Jennifer Roblin speaking at the naming ceremony for The Roblin Centre.

Red River College’s facility at 160 Princess Street will now be known as The Roblin Centre, in honour of former Manitoba premier Duff Roblin, who played a crucial role in the College’s development.

The renaming was made official during a ceremony held at RRC’s downtown campus last Monday, during which Roblin was celebrated for helping to revitalize Manitoba’s education system — by building schools, introducing the current system of school boards, and helping to establish the community college model.

“We feel it’s important to recognize the critical role Premier Roblin played in the development of Red River College as one of Canada’s leading institute of applied learning,” said RRC’s President, Stephanie Forsyth.

The Roblin Centre is part of the College’s growing Exchange District campus, which also includes the nearby Massey Building on William Avenue, and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, opening in the old Union Bank Tower this September.

In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press, Roblin’s daughter, Jennifer Roblin, conveyed her family’s approval of the renaming, calling it “a huge honour and a tremendous tribute.”

“Education was Dad’s focal point in 1958 (when he became premier). It remained so throughout the premiership,” she told the paper. “He would be thrilled and humbled to know that this incredibly beautiful building is named after him.”

Manitoba’s 14th Premier, Roblin oversaw construction of the Red River Floodway (or “Duff's Ditch"), which has since saved Manitoba billions of dollars in estimated flood damages.
 
He was also a strong champion of education: establishing the current system of school divisions in Manitoba, promoting French language learning, and leading the drive to create a community college system. It was under his leadership, that RRC’s Notre Dame Campus was built in 1963.

Roblin was "a leader who had a vision for Manitoba’s future and took action to make his dreams a reality,” said the Honourable Rosann Wowchuk, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance.
 
Roblin's advocacy for community colleges in later years contributed to the creation of the College Expansion Initiative and the construction of RRC's Exchange District Campus.

Roblin passed away in May 2010.

 

RRC Resource Broadens Knowledge Base in Early Child Development

March 1, 2011

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In the realm of early childhood education, it’s estimated it currently takes 15 years for newly-discovered knowledge to be put into practice — in other words, the same length of time it takes for a baby to grow into a teenager.

But thanks to an ongoing partnership between Red River College and researchers from around the world — and the resulting multimedia resource, called The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) — kids might not have to wait that long to benefit from discoveries made in the field.

“There’s typically a 15-year gap between new knowledge and practice,” says Janet Jamieson, Academic Chair for Community Services at Red River College.

“This project aims to narrow that gap.”

The SECD project dates back about a decade, and was inspired by the work of Canadian researcher Dr. J. Fraser Mustard, an expert on the socioeconomic determinants of human development and health and others with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Working in partnership with Mustard and the University of Toronto’s Atkinson Centre — with funding from the Lawson Foundation, the World Bank, the Winnipeg Foundation and, most recently, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Geneva — the College collates research involving early brain development and population health, then translates it to an accessible online format that students and frontline workers can easily understand.

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Red River College Grad Advances to National Culinary Championships

March 1, 2011

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RRC grad Bryan Ursell (right), with Culinary Arts instructor Tim Appleton (left) and Sysco's Marketing Associate Sarah Anseeuw, at the Canadian Culinary Federation's 2011 Provincial Junior Culinary Challenge. (Photo courtesy 100 Acre Woods Photography.)

A recent Red River College grad will advance to the Canadian Culinary Federation’s national championships this summer, after serving up a smorgasbord of award-winning fare at a provincial competition last week.

Bryan Ursell, a recent Culinary Arts grad now working at Bergmann’s on Lombard, earned the gold medal at the CCFCC’s 2011 Provincial Junior Culinary challenge, held Thu., Feb. 24 at RRC’s Notre Dame campus.

Current RRC students Tasia Antoine and Claire Snowball earned silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In total, nine students took part in the annual contest, which requires entrants to prepare a three-course meal for eight, using ingredients from a list provided a month in advance.

Winners were selected by Kitchen Judges Melissa Hryb and Rain Ragalado — both RRC grads who’ve taken part in the Culinary Challenge in the past — and by Tasting Judges Ron Dobrinsky, President of the CCFCC in Winnipeg, Jon Hochman, Chef at the Lobby on York, and Luc Jean, a new RRC instructor who joins us from the Fairmont Hotel.

“It gives students a chance to improve their skills, first and foremost,” says event Chair (and Culinary Arts instructor) Tim Appleton. “They’ve got to think about menu design, they’ve got to think about work plans, and about the practical skills they’ll be utilizing. So it’s a very competitive thing.But really, you’re competing with yourself and your own abilities. That’s what excites them the most.”

Ursell moves on to the CCFCC National Junior Chefs Challenge, which will be held June 15, 2011, as part of the CCFCC National Convention in Vancouver.

RRC Curriculum Development Helps Northern Residents Address Housing Shortage

February 28, 2011

Standing Tree

A partnership between Red River College and the provincial arm of the Frontiers Foundation is helping residents of Northern Manitoba communities address a critical housing shortage in the region.

Through a recent enhancement and expansion of Frontier Foundation's Standing Tree to Standing Home program, First Nation residents in Manitoba are being provided with the skills and equipment required to fell trees, set up sawmills in their communities, and eventually construct their own houses.

The project was borne out of an observed need for improved housing on provincial reserves, and was developed through a partnership between Frontiers Foundation Manitoba (the local arm of an Ontario-based charitable organization that builds homes in Aboriginal communities), Red River College's Gimli Campus and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The College, for its part, was tasked with converting Frontiers Foundation's undocumented curriculum into five modules — including course outlines, skill checklists and tests — designed to help Northern residents get their own building program underway, using resources found in their own backyards.

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