Strong Turnout at RRC Alumni Reception

October 1, 2010

Alumni Wine & Cheese

The achievements of Red River College grads were celebrated yesterday, as more than 150 former students gathered for the College’s second annual Alumni Wine & Cheese reception.

Held in the Loewen Atrium of RRC’s Exchange District Campus, the event gave grads a chance to get caught up with former classmates and instructors, and to shake hands with RRC’s newest President and C.E.O., British Columbia transplant Stephanie Forsyth.

“You are some of the living examples of the work this College has done,” said Forsyth, who for the last 10 years has served as president of Northwest Community College in B.C.

“We have graduates in every sector of the economy, and I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible.”

In her address, Forsyth gave reasons for her decision to join the RRC team, citing the College’s national reputation, its growing focus on research and its plans for expansion into other areas downtown.

Alumnus Ryan Garriock, owner and president of Garriock Insurance (and a member of RRC’s Alumni Advisory Board), spoke of the 100,000-plus College grads now working in all corners of the globe. 

Garriock also spoke of his excitement over efforts to convert downtown’s Union Bank Tower to the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (future home of RRC’s hospitality programs), before announcing the rooftop garden patio on the third floor of the finished building will be dedicated as an RRC alumni space.

Current and former RRC staff were on hand to provide tours of the Exchange District campus and to take donations for the Alumni Spirit Awards, which are awarded annually to recognize students’ commitment to their programs and to the College.


RRC Alumni Wine & Cheese from Red River College on Vimeo.

RRC Appoints New President & CEO

June 18, 2010

The Board of Governors of Red River College is proud to announce the appointment of Stephanie Forsyth as the institution’s next President and CEO.

Forsyth is currently the President of Northwest Community College (NWCC), based in Terrace, British Columbia, serving 10 communities in northern BC. She has held this position for the past ten years.

"Red River College is a dynamic and innovative institution that makes a significant contribution to the social and economic development of Manitoba," said Forsyth. "It is a good fit with my values and leadership style and a terrific opportunity."

Forsyth cited RRC’s national reputation, growing applied research program in sustainable technology, capital expansion plan and focus on aboriginal education as factors that drew her to the position.

"Stephanie’s positive and supportive leadership style will nurture the people-centered culture we’re creating at Red River College," said Sheryl Feller, Chair of RRC’s Board of Governors. "The Board is particularly impressed with her commitment to enhancing post-secondary education for aboriginal students, which is a strategic priority for the College and the Province."

At NWCC, Forsyth has woven indigenous knowledge and traditions into the college culture, and strengthened ties with aboriginal communities through initiatives like the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, the House of Learning and Applied Research, and the Challenge the Paradigm Conference on decolonizing post-secondary education. She is of Blackfoot ancestry, and is an adopted member of the Tsimshian Nation.

Forsyth has also been a leader within the Canadian college system in advocating for sustainability. She has challenged her colleagues across the country to green their campuses, initiated an ambitious plan to make NWCC a carbon-neutral institution, and overseen construction of several LEED Gold construction projects.

Prior to joining NWCC in 2000, Forsyth spent seven years as Dean of Community & College Partnerships and Dean of Career & Vocational Programs at Capilano College. She has also previously worked as an instructor and academic leader at Malaspina University College, Vancouver Community College and Selkirk College.

Forsyth holds a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University, a Master of Education from the University of British Columbia, and is currently completing a PhD in Higher Education from Deakin University in Australia. She is a Director of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the BC Achievement Foundation, Science World British Columbia, and the BC Post-Secondary Roundtable on Aboriginal Education.

Forsyth’s progressive vision, passionate leadership, and tireless work have brought vibrancy and innovation to NWCC, resulting in a college actively engaged in the social and economic development of the northwest and a leader in Aboriginal education. She leaves NWCC well-positioned for continued excellence.

Forsyth will assume her new position on September 27, 2010. Catherine Rushton will continue to serve as Interim President & CEO until that time.

Revving up education at RRC

May 27, 2010

Toyota Canada donates two vehicles to Red River College

Longtime Red River College partner, Toyota Canada, donated
two vehicles to the automotive programs at the College on Wednesday.

The two vehicles, a Corolla Sport and a Lexus RX350, will be
used as teaching aids for the instructors and will create hands-on learning
opportunities for the students. 

Vince Di Vetta, Area Parts and Service Manager at Toyota
Canada, explained that the vehicle donation is only a small part of the
partnership with Red River College. “From providing scholarships and work
experience opportunities for students to hosting workshops for instructors at
local dealerships, Toyota Canada is committed to the education of automotive
technicians,” says Di Vetta.

Ken Webb, Vice-President, Academic and Research at Red River
College, says partnerships with industry are important to provide students with
the best training possible.

“Donations of vehicles and equipment are crucial to the
continued success of automotive programs at the College,” says Webb. “Giving
students the opportunity to work on actual vehicles helps prepare them for
their careers after graduation.” 

RRC receives $2.3 million for sustainable infrastructure research

December 17, 2009

Research Funding Dec 17_1456
Dr. James Blatz (University of Manitoba, NSERC Council member), Ray Hoemsen (Director of Applied Research & Commercialization, RRC), the Honourable Vic Toews, Ken Webb (Vice-President, Academic & Research, RRC).

Manitobans and local businesses will benefit from a new research partnership that will bring together Red River College and industry. The partnership will support innovation and help move new discoveries, developed on campus, into the marketplace, where Canadians and people around the world can benefit from them. The initiative was celebrated at an official event at the college today by the Honourable Vic Toews, President of Treasury Board.

“Our government supports innovation because it creates jobs, improves the quality of life of Canadians and strengthens the economy,” said the President Toews. “This new partnership will provide skills training for Winnipeg, position the Red River College as a destination for international research talent and give local businesses access to the knowledge and resources they need to innovate.”

Red River College was one of nine colleges selected across Canada, following a peer reviewed competition, and will receive $2.3 million over five years. The campus project will focus on establishing a research group that will work with industry to develop improved building and construction technologies.

Funding for the partnership comes from the federal government’s College and Community Innovation Program (CCI), administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Established as a permanent program by the government in Budget 2007, the program enables colleges to develop or expand knowledge transfer activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. The program is supported as part of the government’s Science and Technology Strategy launched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2007.

"The CCI Program builds on other initiatives that foster collaboration between industry and post-secondary institutions,” said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. “The partners will be working on important, multifaceted Canadian projects with direct impact on their local communities. We look forward to helping them achieve their maximum potential and impact.”

RRC and Moose team up for reading

December 9, 2009

On Tuesday, December 8th, 2009, Red River College teamed up with the Manitoba Moose to launch the 2009-10 Respond to Reading program.

Moose Captain Mike Keane and teammate Nolan Baumgartner visited a group of excited grade three classes at Whyte Ridge Elementary School to read The Moccasin Goalie and answer any questions the 110 students had. Afterwards, Keane and Baumgartner signed autographs and handed out RRC and Moose memorabilia.

The Respond to Reading program is now in its tenth year and is designed to be fun, motivational and encourage children in kindergarten to grade five to read. Incentive prizes for students include having Moose players visit their class, a pizza party with Moose mascot Mick E. Moose, and two lucky classes will visit RRC to spend a morning in the broadcast studio or make pizzas with the Culinary Arts instructors.
To find out more about the exciting program, visit the Respond to Reading website.

RRC hosts free Christmas Village

December 9, 2009

Red River College’s School of Indigenous Education is hosting its second annual Christmas Village at the College’s Notre Dame Campus on December 10-11.

All members of the public can get into the holiday spirit by enjoying milk and cookies with friends and family and then getting their photo taken with Santa -– all for free. Children can also write letters and draw pictures for Santa at the colouring and craft station in the beautiful Christmas Village.

Thursday, December 10 – 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, December 11 – 9:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Aboriginal Student Support Centre (Building F – Room 209)
Red River College – Notre Dame Campus
2055 Notre Dame Avenue

For more information, please contact Angie Hutchinson at 632-3773.

Hundreds celebrate at immigrant & international student party

December 8, 2009

Diversity party 1 Over 350 students, staff and family members gathered at the Notre Dame Campus for RRC's 5th Annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students on Friday, November 20th.

The party featured Winnipeg’s premier sitar player Joshua Stanton, the Marco Castillo Brazilian Quartet, the reggae band Mello Man, salsa and meringue exhibitions by Bolero Dance Theatre, and the Latin Jazz ensemble Papa Mambo. Children could also enjoy carnival games, caricatures and glitter tattoos.

David Rew, Red River College Vice-President, Student Services and Planning; Miguel Lozupone, Project/Recruiter Officer, International Education; Richard Wolter, Red River College Students’ Association Vice President, Support Services, and Barbara Dixon, Manager, Diversity and Immigrant Student Support, brought greetings and talked about the significance of having this party for immigrant and international students to welcome them to the College.

“Over the past few years our immigrant student population has been progressively increasing, contributing significantly to the cultural diversity of our college. I'm delighted you not only have chosen to attend Red River College but that you have chosen to live in Canada and Winnipeg," said Rew. "Canada’s 142 year history is built on immigrants. I happen to be one of them. Immigrants have come to this country, sometimes through terrible adversity. They have worked incredibly hard, succeeded and made a difference to their communities and the country. You are our new generation of immigrant and international students. You too will succeed and make a difference. It is our job to help you succeed”.

Patricia Gonzalez, an international student from Chile currently studying the Sterile Processing Technician Program, attended the party with her classmates and said: “This party is amazing. It is a very good opportunity to meet new people, learn about other cultures and of course have a great time with your friends, especially because we could invite people who are not studying at the school, like friends and family. The food was delicious, the music very fun, good for dance. Thanks for let us having a wonderful time”.

Li Liu, international student at the Greenspace Management Program, originally from China, said: “I had a great time at the party. I absolutely loved it. It is an awesome place to meet people and make new friends. Thanks to all the people who organized this event.”Diversity party 2

The 5th Annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students was a joint initiative of the Diversity and Immigrant Student Support department, the International Education department, and Red River College Students’ Association. 

Zabudsky to leave Red River College

December 7, 2009

JeffDr. Jeff Zabudsky has informed the Board of Governors of Red River College that he will be stepping down as President and CEO, effective January 31, 2010.

Zabudsky will be relocating to Ontario to become the President and CEO of the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, which operates campuses in Brampton and Oakville. The move is a homecoming of sorts for Zabudsky, who is a native of Southern Ontario with several family members still in the area.

"I'd like to thank the Board and staff of Red River College, and our partners within government and industry for their tremendous support over the past five years," said Dr. Zabudsky. "Through their efforts RRC has established itself as an engine of growth for Manitoba, and a first-choice education option for students."

Highlights of Zabudsky's leadership at RRC include:

  • Five consecutive years of record high student enrolment. 
  • Completion of the Princess Street Campus fundraising campaign.
  • Construction of the new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre, and the start of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute/Union Bank Tower project.
  • Approval of the College's first degree programs, in Construction Management and Nursing.
  • Significant growth of the Applied Research and Commercialization program, including building the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure.
  • Expansion of regional campus services including a new facility in Steinbach.
  • Development of the People Plan, an initiative to make RRC one of Manitoba's employers of choice.

"Dr. Zabudsky has guided the College through a tremendous period of growth, and strengthened our profile in the community through his work with organizations like the United Way and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce," said Sheryl Feller, Chair of RRC's Board of Governors. "His energy and passion for college-based learning will be missed."

The Board of Governors has formed a search committee to lead a national search for a new President. Cathy Rushton, MBA, FCA, current Vice-President of Finance and Administration, will serve as Interim President.

RRC wins award for sustainable research

December 4, 2009

Red River College's leadership in developing sustainable new technologies has been recognized by the Province of Manitoba with a 2009 Excellence in Sustainability Award for Research and Innovation.

Through its Applied Research & Commercialization program, the College has engaged in several projects focused on sustainability in the building, construction and transportation sectors. Much of this research has centered on testing new technologies that bring environmental and economic benefits, such as:

  • Evaluating the thermal properties and performance of a prototype of the double curtain wall that was used in construction of Manitoba Hydro's new headquarters.
  • Converting 10 standard hybrid cars into plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and monitoring their performance in a cold weather climate, in partnership with the Province of Manitoba.
  • Integrating a new engine/transmission combination into a bus chassis for Motor Coach Industries to meet heightened emission standards in the United States.
  • Cold weather testing of a hydrogen-powered transit bus, including compressing the hydrogen, and maintaining and refuelling the vehicle.
  • Using spent cooking oil to produce biodiesel for College vehicles, and soap to be used as hand and equipment de-greaser.

"Red River College is committed to working with industry and public-sector partners to further Manitoba's economic growth and climate change goals through the development of innovative green technologies," said Ray Hoemsen, RRC's Director of Applied Research & Commercialization. "We're proud to have those efforts recognized by the Province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development with this award."

To support its sustainable research agenda, the College and its partners have invested in the development of new facilities, like the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) and the new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC). These centres will be key resources in Manitoba's efforts to develop new technologies that enhance environmental, economic and social well-being.

80+ college presidents push for increased federal support

November 17, 2009

Red River College's Dr. Jeff Zabudsky has joined over 80 college presidents from across the country on Parliament Hill this week to make the case for increased investment in Canada's colleges, polytechnics and technical institutes.

This is the first time the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has organized such a large group of college officials to meet with federal policymakers. It comes at a time when enrolment in college programs is growing across the country, and the need for college-based work to commercialize innovations is increasing.

For more information, see the ACCC news release below and Dr. Zabudsky's latest column in the Winnipeg Sun.


Keep Canada competitive: Support colleges, institutes and polytechnics

OTTAWA, Nov. 17 /CNW/ - Canada must quickly ramp up its support for colleges, institutes and polytechnics, if we are to keep pace with our international competitors, says James Knight, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

"Science and technology minister Goodyear said recently that Canada does very well at supporting 'basic, discovery-oriented research' but not so well 'getting innovations out the door'. We agree, and one of the reasons for this is that Canada is not doing enough to support its colleges, institutes and polytechnics."

Knight says Canada lags behind other countries when it comes to commercializing the fruits of research and developing the products, processes and materials that fuel companies and creates jobs.

Colleges, institutes and polytechnics are key contributors to Canada's innovation system. They help businesses start, develop and grow. They also lead in finding applications for scientific research and transferring technology to the marketplace. But the chronic shortage of funding limits their capacity to perform these crucial functions and meet the needs of Canada's economy.

ACCC gives full marks to the federal government for targeting post-secondary institutions for capital investment as part of its recession-fighting stimulus strategy, and investments under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) have been important. But the two-year, $600-million program ($1.2 billion including the provincial component) falls short of the estimated $7 billion needed to modernize and expand Canada's colleges, institutes and polytechnics.

"Our waiting lists were long before the recession," said Knight. "They are growing longer now as people who have lost their jobs in the recession flock to colleges to re-skill. Our capacity crunch is keeping thousands of qualified applicants who want jobs from acquiring the advanced skills they need."

The ACCC says two key issues require action: capital investment and support for industry-driven research partnerships.

To tackle the need for capital investment, the Association says the federal government should extend and expand KIP, and is calling for a five-year program would make $2.5 billion available to leverage matching provincial, private sector and institutional investments.

Second, ACCC is calling on the government to increase its current research and development funding by five per cent, or approximately $150 million and create an applied research and development fund to foster new research-and-development synergies between industry and colleges, institutes, polytechnics and cégeps.

"We understand the fiscal context that governments are in. But these are modest and realistic measures," said Knight. "Only by fueling our engines of innovation, skills-development and productivity growth can we continue to maintain the advanced, competitive economy needed to support a prosperous nation. From our perspective, inaction is not an option."

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