The first weeks of a new semester can be hectic times, so it might be easy for students to lose track of a critical event that's occurring this Fall: the 2011 provincial election.
While it may be tempting to disregard the issues facing our province, it is an important time to consider how the many decisions made by our provincial government directly impact a student’s life. The province funds transportation systems that students use to get to campus, regulates the rent on their apartments, determines the minimum wage for their part-time jobs, and even sets operating rules for their favourite pubs or restaurants.
Unfortunately, many students don’t seem to make that connection, and decide not to participate in our democratic process. In a typical election, over half of all people aged 18-29 do not cast a ballot. An even smaller number listen to debates, attend candidate forums, or volunteer with political parties. Read More →
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.
A commentary on International Women's Day from RRC President Stephanie Forsyth:
Today is International Women’s Day, and a time to reflect on the change and progress that has occurred in our society for women. The media is full of statistics about the progress (or lack thereof) that women have made in the past decade and they are worth taking time for consideration.
In Canada, women still earn less than men for the same work, a gap that is widening for women with university degrees; women serve on fewer than 15% of corporate boards, and; women are all but absent from powerful political positions. This latter statistic is all the more interesting when one considers that women constitute 52% of Canada’s population. With women holding only 22% of the seats in the House of Commons, Canada ranks 52nd in the world in representation of women in the national parliament, behind many poor countries, including Rwanda and Afghanistan.
Today, 43% of Aboriginal women live in poverty in Canada, double the percentage of non-Aboriginal women and significantly more than the number of Aboriginal men. The 2010 Sisters in Spirit study shows that 582 Aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1970, with 39% of the cases having occurred since 2000. While Aboriginal women make up only three per cent of the population, they comprise 10 per cent of the murder victims in the past 20 years.
Throughout the world thousands of women are victims of violence and rape, women and children are still dying from starvation at alarming rates, and abuse continues to proliferate regardless of social or economic status or education achievements.
While the focus of International Women’s Day is women, ultimately it is about fighting for humanity and dignity. It is crucial that we take time to not only reflect on the incredible disparities that still exist in society but more importantly, to do what we can to make a difference.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Here's the full version of the Q+A with Red River College's new President and CEO Stephanie Forsyth that was excerpted in the most recent issue of RED magazine.
1. What led you to a career in post-secondary education?
Prior to my first job in PSE, I was working in the hospitality industry and it was a challenge to get highly qualified people. Selkirk College approached me to develop and initiate programs for the hospitality sector. Over the next several years I worked both within the college sector and in the hospitality industry. I became engaged in assisting the more marginalized to obtain an education and employment and realized the power of education to transform lives. It has been inspiring and deeply gratifying. There was a time I would have never imagined I would be in education; now I’m completely devoted to this work.
2. What drew you to Red River College?
It’s perhaps the only college in Canada that could lure me out of B.C. It’s located in a “big small town,” it has an excellent reputation and its values and strategic directions fit with my interests and background, such as: working closely with communities, industry and the province in social and economic development; seeking to enhance access and success of Aboriginal learners and the chronically underemployed; leading in applied research and innovation; aspiring to be a green college; and the list goes on!
Additionally, I was very interested in learning about the lifestyle and culture of prairie Canada. So far, my impression is that Winnipeg is a great place to live that’s greatly misunderstood by the rest of Canada. It’s an accessible, affordable city with a lot to offer! I’m very impressed with the arts and culture, the amenities, and the warm and welcoming spirit of so many people, from shopkeepers to college staff.
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