Staff

College to add new $95-million Innovation Centre to Exchange District Campus

April 27, 2017

RRC Innovation Centre

Red River College will help create jobs, expand research and foster innovation downtown, having announced plans for the construction of a new $95-million Innovation Centre in the heart of Winnipeg Exchange’s District.

The College will use government and private-sector funding to develop the new facility, the first of its kind in Western Canada. The new Innovation Centre will attract an additional 1,200 students to the Exchange, stimulating economic development and further growth of the historic district.

The Centre will bring together students, instructors, researchers, industry and community members to work on commercialization projects for startups and SMEs. It will also enable social enterprise and Indigenous entrepreneurship, and help ensure students are job-ready and able to thrive in the economy.

“This is a major step forward for the future of Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown, below). “It represents a modernization and a new approach to teaching and partnerships while still doing what RRC does best — providing job-ready grads to industry and helping to drive economic growth.”

“This historic investment … is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation,” says Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources. “That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and startup companies into global successes.” 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.

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.”

College creates new executive director role to provide leadership on Indigenous strategy

March 16, 2017

On the same day Mayor Brian Bowman called on the city to adopt a municipal Indigenous Accord, Red River College announced the creation of a new executive director position to provide leadership on advancing Indigenous education.

The role of the executive director, Indigenous strategy will include providing direction on how best to expand programs and supports for Indigenous students, and to build partnerships with Indigenous leaders and the community.

Advancing Indigenous achievement is one of the top priorities in RRC’s Strategic Plan (2016-2021), as well as a key goal of the Academic Division, which is committed to enhancing the environment supporting Indigenous student success. RRC is also a signatory to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint (2016) — one of nine post-secondary institutions in the province — following the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“The TRC report is clear — Indigenous Canadians need access to post-secondary education and supports while in school if we are to close the income and employment gap in our country,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “One of the specific calls to action is to establish senior level positions in order to elevate the priority of Indigenous programming and forge new pathways to success. Today’s announcement is a major step in this direction.”

Christine Watson, RRC’s vice-president Academic, said the new executive director, Indigenous strategy will play a key role in helping RRC meet its strategic and academic goals. The new ED will work with and provide advice to all deans, academic divisions and student support services, as well as lead on enhancing relationships with the Indigenous community and the College’s recently-formed Indigenous Achievement Strategic Council.

The overall goal will be to improve and expand the College’s academic programming and supports for Indigenous students — building on recent recommendations from College staff and faculty during consultations on the Strategic Plan and through such forums as RRC’s Open Cafés.

“RRC has a significant and growing Indigenous student body and it is important that we are proactive in taking steps to ensure student success, to address historic barriers and to fill gaps that have been identified,” Watson says. “We are fortunate to have our Elders and an incredibly engaged, dedicated and experienced staff and faculty group who will provide leadership and a strong foundation for enhancing Indigenous education as we move forward.” Read More →

Red River College chef joins fellow Culinary grads at International Women’s Day gala

March 15, 2017

Claire Snowball, Red River CollegeA Red River College chef was among the coterie of culinary VIPs who marked International Women’s Day by serving up a showcase of their considerable talents.

Claire Snowball (shown at left), a banquet and event sous-chef for RRC’s Food Services, was one of 11 local chefs who prepared gourmet appetizers for a “Women. Wine. Food!” event held March 8 at the Qualico Family Centre.

The event — which served as a fundraiser for the Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) in Winnipeg — was cooked up by RRC alum Kelly Cattani (Culinary Arts, 2005), now a chef at the Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites.

Working together with Janet Hamel, Director of Development at WHC, Cattani coordinated both the event and its all-woman line-up as a means of benefiting the community-based Clinic, which has supported women through health services, education and advocacy since 1981.

A fellow Culinary Arts grad (2011), Snowball prepared two dishes for the evening: a Dungeness crab encased en gelée and chawanmushi tartlet, and a sour cherry and dark chocolate mousse cup with bourbon whipped cream, milk crumble and raspberry dust.

“The event was a roaring success, selling out early and packing the Qualico Centre with a great crowd,” says Snowball. “It was with pride that I was able to represent Red River College, which celebrates diversity in the workforce and identifies inclusiveness as one of its core values.”

Snowball and Cattani weren’t the only RRC grads involved in the event. The lineup of chefs also included Melissa Makarenko (Resto Gare and Train Bar), Kristel Pastorin (The Grove Pub & Restaurant), Heather Porteous (Boulevard Pub & Bistro), Rachel Isaak (Loaf and Honey, Sam’s Place); Tara Podaima (Segovia Tapas Bar); and Candace Hughes (Qualico Family Centre).

College announces plans to redevelop and expand ACCESS programs

February 14, 2017

ACCESS Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing class

Red River College has announced plans to redevelop and expand its ACCESS programs in order to better meet the needs of its Indigenous and other students, by providing them with an opportunity to enrol in a wider range of offerings.

At present, ACCESS students are restricted to four program areas: Nursing, Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing, Business Administration, and Civil Engineering Technology.

“It’s time for us to modernize how ACCESS programs are delivered at RRC to better meet student, community and industry needs,” says Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC. “Ultimately one of our main goals is to remove some of the existing program restrictions and provide Indigenous, immigrant and other students facing barriers to education with more training options and new and improved pathways to meaningful careers.”

The ACCESS expansion plan is the result of an internal review and extensive consultations. In order to accommodate the redesign, there will be no intake of students to ACCESS programs for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. This will allow existing ACCESS students to complete their current programs, while a new model is designed for the 2018-2019 academic year.

As part of the process, RRC will work with community and industry partners to ensure the redevelopment is also responsive to their needs.

“ACCESS programs are very important to our students and we want to ensure [they] are accessible, agile and responsive to students who may not have had the opportunity to access post-secondary education due to a variety of factors,” says Watson.

“We know students, given these new opportunities, will contribute great things to their communities and Manitoba’s labour market.” Read More →

Hot-button issues: RRC staffer rallies support for local Muslim community

February 9, 2017

A Red River College employee is encouraging Winnipeggers to show support for the city’s Muslim community, by literally opening their arms during a time of political turmoil.

Events and Facility Rental Coordinator Krista Michie recently hired RRC grad Kristen Masters (of Lemon Buttons) to design and produce hundreds of buttons bearing the slogan “Free Hugs for Muslims.”

She says the campaign was inspired by the current political climate, which has been further polarized in recent weeks by the attempted U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, continued debate over the plight of Syrian refugees, and a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead.

“I was feeling sad about what’s going on in North America,” says Michie (shown). “It was my way of trying to show love, solidarity and inclusiveness.”

So far, Michie has given out more than 200 buttons, including those shared with fellow marchers at last weekend’s walk for human rights (among them, RRC President Paul Vogt).

She’s also had requests from former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, who asked for a batch to be dropped off at his downtown eatery, and from friends and acquaintances in Brandon and Saskatchewan.

Michie currently has about 100 buttons left to distribute — either in person, or by mail — but is open to producing a second batch, if there’s demand.

So far, she hasn’t had any requests for hugs — though as the buttons point out, that’s a standing offer.

“Not too sure people will actually take me up on that,” she says. “It’s more about sending the message that Muslims are accepted here.”

To request a button, send Michie an email at kmichie@rrc.ca.

Donor support helps Manufacturing grad qualify for trades and technology Olympics

December 15, 2016

silas-meechesIt’s safe to say Silas Meeches has turned out to be a good investment.

With the help of several donor-supported awards and bursaries from Red River College, Meeches, 20, graduated with his Manufacturing Technician diploma in May 2016. Now, he’s busy prepping for the 2017 World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, an event he describes as “the Olympics for trades and technology [students].”

Meeches first qualified for the event in June 2016 when he won a silver medal (in CNC Machining) at the Skills Canada National Competition in New Brunswick. Before nationals, he won gold in the Skills Manitoba Competition hosted at RRC.

Originally enrolled in the College’s Precision Metal Machining certificate program, Meeches didn’t feel it was a good fit for his skill set. He credits Manufacturing Technician co-ordinator Rob Ataman for pointing him to a program where he could thrive.

“From what I’ve heard [Rob] has always been a big help to students, and I was no exception,” says Meeches. “[There was] a lot of pushing in the right direction. I’d say ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ and he’d say, ‘I know you can.’” Read More →

Hours of operation during holiday break

December 14, 2016

RRC holiday mug

Red River College will again operate on restricted holiday hours, effective 4:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 23, 2016.

During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be limited to the following hours:

  • Dec. 23, 2016: Regular hours until 4:00 pm
  • Dec. 24-26, 2016: Closed (no access)
  • Dec. 27-31, 2016: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 1, 2017: Closed (no access)
  • Jan. 2, 2017: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 3, 2017: Resume regular hours, effective 7:00 a.m.

Lab access at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses during the above hours will be limited to the classroom labs listed below. Students who are in one of the designated labs prior to closure will be given a four-hour grace period (until 8:00 p.m.) to complete their studies or project before being asked to leave. Read More →

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