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Red River College pulls together for United Way Winnipeg

September 15, 2017

2017 United Way Winnipeg Plane PullRed River College’s Stevenson Campus was again the proud facility sponsor for the 14th United Way Winnipeg Plane Pull — providing the hangar and volunteers for the annual fundraiser, which doubled as the launch of this year’s United Way Annual Giving Campaign.

Nearly 2,000 people joined together Friday to pull 80,000 pounds of plane, while raising money to provide essential supports directly to kids and families in Winnipeg. But the heavy lifting for this event begins long before the first teams get their hands on the rope.

“In order for an event of this magnitude to take off smoothly, it’s all hands on deck,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “As the facility sponsors, our instructors and staff at the Stevenson Campus are involved in the planning nearly a year in advance — from scheduling classes and program training around the event date, to providing volunteers and working around the clock the day before to clear the hangar and have it set up and ready for participants.”

The 55,000-square foot training facility is home to RRC’s aviation and aerospace programs – making it the ideal location for the Plane Pull each year.

“We’re excited to be back on Stevenson Aviation’s tarmac, which is generously provided by Red River College, pulling together for a better Winnipeg,” says Colin Ryan, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director at BMO Nesbitt Burns, and United Way Winnipeg’s 2017 Campaign Chair.

“More and more, Winnipeggers are reaching out with kindness every single day, sharing our pride and shaping a Winnipeg we can all be proud to call home.” Read More →

The truck starts here: Inaugural Peterbilt training program scores 100% employment rate

September 8, 2017

2017 graduating class, Peterbilt Technician InstituteAll six students enrolled in the first class of a specialized mechanics and technology course will walk out the doors of Red River College and into new careers as certified technicians for Peterbilt Motors Company.

The students are graduates of the new Peterbilt Technician Institute (PTI), launched in partnership with the College earlier this year. The Institute is a manufacturer-paid training initiative offered to graduates of RRC’s Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic program, and to those interested in advancing their skills to become certified Peterbilt technicians.

For Alexandra Pratt, the experience means getting her foot in the door of a great career.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to get started in a career with such a well-known and reputable company,” says Pratt. “I learned so much through this program, and would recommend it to anyone looking to start a career with the Peterbilt family.”

The six students were the first to complete the comprehensive training program, earning 10 key certifications to earn their designation as Peterbilt Master Technicians.

This new program allowed the students to gain experience in all aspects of the work done at a Peterbilt dealership. Peterbilt Motors Company supplied the curriculum, laptops for the students, three trucks, two engines and specialized tools to help ensure the students’ success in becoming confident in their skills and career-ready by the end of the 12-week session. Peterbilt also trained RRC instructors to deliver the program at the College.

“Red River College is built on supporting the backbone of not only Manitoba’s economy, but many important sectors all across the country and throughout North America,” says Arnold Boldt, RRC’s executive director, Academic. “This new partnership with Peterbilt was a perfect fit when it came to accessing our expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.” Read More →

Application status: RRC launches new web app for campus community

September 5, 2017

RRC Life (Red River College web app)Want to know what’s going on around campus? Need a tool to help promote your event to the College community? Starting this fall, there’s an app for that!

Red River College has launched a mobile-friendly, device agnostic web app called RRC Lifewith features unlike those of other college and university apps. Instead of focusing on schedules, grades, links to class sites and other commonly used tools (all of which are available to students through the rrc.ca login), RRC Life is designed to help members of the RRC community — including students, staff and alumni — better engage with College life.

Much of the RRC Life app was conceptualized and developed by our very own students. The College’s Marketing and Web Presence team started the initiative by partnering with Business Information Technology (BIT) students on a curriculum-based project to design and develop a fully functioning web app for the College community.

“We’re very proud of the relationship our faculty and students have developed with our colleagues in Marketing and Web Presence,” says Haider Al-Saidi, Chair, Applied Computer Education (ACE). “Students gain most when they work on real-world problems and solutions, and it’s extra special to be able to do that for your school and fellow students.”

The app — which has a mobile-first design but works on all devices — can be used to access an RRC social media aggregator, an interactive campus maps utility, and a campus-specific user-generated events stream. Staying true to RRC’s brand, the app also allows user to access a real-time stream of job postings for students and grads.

“The goal of the app is simply to increase the quality of life at RRC by informing and engaging our audiences on whatever connected device they happen to have at their fingertips,” says Christian Robin, RRC’s Director of Marketing and Web Presence. “The version that’s out now was completed with help from one of our alumni, Paul Everton (BIT, 2007). The app has an API that will allow us to continue to work with students to test and build out additional functionality, and eventually launch native apps for iOS and Android devices.”

Use the free app today at rrclife.ca.

Indigenous and inner-city youth score thanks to RRC partnership with True North

July 27, 2017

Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement CentreA set of hockey sticks used by members of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose have been given new life at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC), where they’ll be used by local youths dreaming of becoming the next Mark Scheifele or Jocelyne Larocque.

The sticks, which were damaged or broken during game play last season, were donated to Red River College by True North Sports and Entertainment, and repaired to nearly-new quality by students in RRC’s Aerospace Manufacturing program.

As part of the program’s curriculum, the students fixed the sticks using a variety of composite materials, then delivered them to WASAC, which since 1999 has been providing Indigenous and inner-city youth with access to sport and leisure activities.

“The kids and staff at WASAC really represent the spirit of community, and we are thrilled to provide them with this new equipment,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “This project is a fantastic training opportunity for our students, who are learning to work with different composite materials, and as a bonus we are able to provide the younger generation of Winnipeg’s youth with opportunities to grow through sport.”

Vogt was joined at WASAC by RRC instructor Terry Morris (who led the project along with Chris Marek), to present the 18 sticks to WASAC participants, and join them in a game of hockey.

“We are humbled and excited to be recipients of NHL hockey sticks,” says WASAC Kids Camp coordinator Kate Doer. “These sticks were given to our children at summer camp and I know they'll create many special road hockey memories as the kids imagine themselves as their hockey heroes.” Read More →

TV spot promoting RRC nabs top award for post-secondary commercials

June 23, 2017

A TV spot promoting Red River College as a post-secondary option that stands apart from its peers has been named the best commercial of 2016 by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Produced and released in spring of 2016, RRC’s “The Difference Is Here” spot received a recent Circle of Excellence Gold Award from CASE, beating out submissions from 41 participating higher education institutions around the world.

A panel of judges described the spot — which first appeared as a 30-second trailer in Manitoba movie theatres — as “entertaining, thought-provoking and even disruptive.”

“This commercial spot stands out from the pack … for two really important reasons: RRC knows who they are talking to, and knows their mission,” the judges said.

“Everything in this spot — from the hypnotic drumming of the soundtrack to the style of the images — is selected for a purpose, and the purpose always connects with the target audience and the important take-away message.”

The recognition for the commercial comes weeks after RRC’s 2017 billboard campaign was endorsed by CASE’s Opportunity and Inclusion Committee, for achievement in Best Practices in Communication and Marketing, and for efforts to foster and promote diversity.

College shares Indigenous culture with kids from Early Childhood Education Centre

June 21, 2017

National Aboriginal Day at RRC

As part of National Aboriginal Day celebrations across Canada, Red River College invited a group from its Early Childhood Education Centre to learn more about Indigenous culture through a unique morning experience.

The children were hosted by members of RRC's Indigenous Student Support & Community Relations team, who read to them from David Courchene Jr.'s book, The Seven Teachings, and taught them about traditional drumming with help from wellness counsellor Sherry Gott.

"It was an honour and a privilege to share the Seven Scared Teachings with the children from our daycare centre here on campus as part of the ongoing process for reconciliation," says Gott. "Reconciliation is about action and understanding, and this was a great opportunity to share that knowledge with our next seven generations, in a respectful, supportive environment.

Observed on June 21 (the summer solstice), National Aboriginal Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First NationsInuit and Métis peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

For generations, many Indigenous Peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

A number of events and activities are taking place throughout Winnipeg to mark National Aboriginal Day, including:

The above activities are free of charge, and open to all audiences.

Rebecca Chartrand appointed executive director of Indigenous Strategy

June 19, 2017

Rebecca ChartrandRed River College has announced the appointment of Rebecca Chartrand as its new Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy, to lead in the enhancement of Indigenous education.

Chartrand will oversee a planned expansion of student supports, the creation of new academic programming, and the expansion and deepening of partnerships between RRC and Indigenous communities.

“We are thrilled to add Rebecca to our senior leadership team,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “The College is moving forward with a plan to add transition and mentoring services to support the success of Indigenous students across the College, and new programs designed to provide the skills needed in Indigenous communities. Rebecca will lead the process in consultation with our elders and our dedicated and experienced faculty and staff.”

Chartrand, who will start in August, comes to the College from Seven Oaks School Division, where she spent the last seven years as Division Lead, Aboriginal Education. Chartrand is also a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba, the president of the Indigenous Peoples Commission for Manitoba, the founder and professional development chair of the Council for Aboriginal Education in Manitoba, and an education advisor for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

“Education is the key to improving the lives of Indigenous peoples and to improving Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations across Canada,” says Chartrand. “We need to create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous peoples to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society. I am excited to be joining a strong Indigenous education program at RRC and a College that is committed to doing even more for Indigenous students.”

With 15 years’ experience in education, Chartrand has created several ground-breaking programs from scratch, including an Ojibwe Kindergarten-to-Grade 3 language school, the first of its kind developed with an urban school board. She also has experience in developing and implementing transitional supports for Indigenous secondary students moving to Winnipeg to attend high school, which in turn has supported their transition to post-secondary institutions. Read More →

Hospitality students explore southern culture on culinary tour of Belize

June 16, 2017

RRC Hospitality students in Belize

A group of Red River College Hospitality students got a head start on their summer this year, travelling to Belize in May for two weeks of culinary exploration.

The six second-year students — from RRC’s Culinary Arts and Professional Baking and Patisserie programs — made the trip alongside 14 students from Vancouver Island University.

While in Belize, the group spent time in five different cities and town, exploring everything from bakeries to banana plantations, marketplaces to Mayan ruins, and spice farms to sustainable nature preserves.

They also got a first-hand look at the region’s version of the farm-to-table movement, learning how the raw ingredients in coffee, chocolate, and corn tortillas (among other products) make their way from farmers’ fields to your plate.

“It was incredibly enlightening,” says RRC instructor Cameron Tait, who accompanied the students on the trip.

“There are very few people in the world who get to go from picking fruit in the jungle to making their own chocolate — pouring their own bars and wrapping the finished product themselves. You may get to see bits and pieces of that process if you’re lucky, so to see the whole thing unfold was fascinating.”

In addition to the cultural component of the trip — which also included visits to animal habitats, organic gardens, jungle tours and rum distilleries — the students were able to incorporate a charitable element, as well.

As part of their fundraising efforts, they collected several suitcases worth of school supplies, which they donated to an elementary school in the village of Blue Creek.

BIT instructor honoured for efforts to promote government transparency and public education

June 15, 2017

Canadian Open Data Awards winners, 2017

A Red River College instructor has received national recognition for his work creating online resources that promote government transparency and accountability.

Kyle Geske, a Business Information Technology instructor at RRC, was in Edmonton this week to pick up an Open Data for Democracy Award at the Canadian Open Data Summit.

He accepted the award on behalf of Open Democracy Manitoba (ODM), a citizen-run community organization that helps educate voters by empowering them to understand the roles and visions of their elected representatives, in order to create a more accountable and respectful democracy.

Geske (shown above in front row, third from left) co-founded ODM with fellow BIT instructor Jody Gillis in 2010; he now serves as its executive director and oversees operations alongside RRC grad Ken Harasym (Digital Media Design, 2006).

Since its inception, OMD has launched two election portals — WinnipegElection.ca and ManitobaElection.ca — that have allowed hundreds of thousands of voters to research their candidates and learn about local democratic processes.

The sites feature ward/constituency maps and statistics, historical information about past elections, candidate profiles and social media links, and links to media coverage of candidates and election issues.

ODM’s latest project, WinnipegElected.ca, was launched last November to provide Winnipeg residents with easy access to city council decisions on reports, motions and bylaws.

WinnipegElected.ca was developed in partnership with the City Clerk’s office; with only a few tweaks, ODM was able to update the city’s existing record-keeping processes, allowing council decisions to be posted on the city’s open data portal.

In addition to the Open Data for Democracy Award, ODM has been recognized previously by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the City of Winnipeg, Mayor Brian Bowman, and a host of national and local journalists and media outlets.

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Instructor recognized for full-circle approach to students facing barriers

May 30, 2017

Kerry Coulter, Red River CollegeShe’s spent her entire career working with at-risk children and youth.

But in her current role as an instructor for Red River College’s Youth Recreation Activity Worker program, Kerry Coulter gets to re-connect with many of those same kids as they prepare to make a similar difference in the lives of others.

“My students are youth with multiple barriers, so often times they’re kids I used to work with, but now they’re all grown up and seeking access to post-secondary [education], and a supportive environment in which to be successful,” says Coulter.

“It’s full circle. These students want to go back and be helpers in their own communities … They grow up, come to college, and are trained and educated in how to be helpers themselves.”

The recipient of this year’s RRC Students’ Association Teaching Award of Excellence, Coulter has been a Youth Rec instructor since 2002. Before that, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba (and later, a Masters degree in Education from Central Michigan University), and worked for a number of child and youth care organizations, including Child and Family Services and adolescent treatment centre New Directions.

Each year, the College’s Youth Rec program trains 16 participants — many of whom face socio-economic barriers themselves — to work with inner city youth as recreational leaders. Graduates of the program often find jobs with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (a program partner) and other inner city youth agencies, or as childhood educators and teachers’ aides. Read More →

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