Staff

Development of new ceremonial grounds underway at Notre Dame Campus

June 29, 2016

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In the northwest corner of Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus, there’s a peaceful retreat students and instructors can explore when they need a break from the hustle and bustle of classes. A loop of trees, small boulders and benches encloses another circle of coloured bricks, the quarters of which align with the four points of a compass.

The College’s Medicine Wheel Garden isn’t just a quiet pavilion, however. The Indigenous symbol at its heart emphasizes different concepts for different people — the four seasons, the journey from birth to old age, and the meeting of different nations. It’s a familiar image for young people who may have moved hundreds of miles from their home communities in order to attend College.

“The medicine wheel is certainly an important symbol to Indigenous people of North America,” says Dr. Mark Aquash, RRC’s Dean of Indigenous Education, who uses the medicine wheel as a tool for teaching students from any cultural perspective. “The Indigenous worldview is an important perspective today, as we are now feeling the impact of disrespecting Mother Earth and damaging our fragile ecosystems. Understanding the Indigenous worldview is learning about respect.”

In keeping with RRC’s strategic priority to advance Indigenous achievement over the next five years — weaving knowledge, philosophy, perspectives and content into programming and campus culture — a sweat lodge and change rooms will be installed at the same site this summer, marking the first step in the College’s ceremonial grounds expansion plan.

“There are several phases,” says Mark Wills, the project manager overseeing the build and a 17-year veteran of previous RRC expansions. “The committee involved has plans to extend the ceremonial grounds for powwows, and to set up sites for tipis and other structures.”

“The change rooms will be permanent, but the actual sweat lodge structure will be erected per use. They’re relatively simple, just a structure made of willow branches lashed together to create a shell. That’s covered by canvas, which I understand the elders will set up and take down themselves.” Read More →

‘CASE’ closed: RRC billboard campaign earns international award

June 29, 2016

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Red River College’s 2015 billboard campaign has attracted some international recognition, scoring a prestigious award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Earlier this month, it was announced RRC’s “Our Grads Get Hired” promotion had won a CASE Circle of Excellence Award (Silver) in the category of Best Advertising Campaign.

The Circle of Excellence is a global awards competition judged by peer institutions from around the world. This year, CASE received 3,356 entries from 10 different countries,

“We are honoured to be recognized by our peers around the globe,” says Christian Robin, RRC’s Director of Marketing and Web Presence. “To be in the company of institutions like Boston University and the University of Melbourne demonstrates once again that Red River College punches well above its weight.”

“Our campaign certainly was innovative — nothing like it had ever been done before, and now I’m working with colleges and universities across Canada to replicate its success in their communities.”

Launched last spring by RRC’s Marketing and Web Presence team, the campaign built on the success of previous alumni-focused promotions, by inviting industry partners to collaborate with the College in showcasing the range of organizations where graduates find employment.

Employers were invited to nominate VIPs from within their organizations, and to share in the cost of promoting their employees’ success on billboards, bus benches, transit ads and other print and digital media. Read More →

Red River College signs MOU with Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

June 22, 2016

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Red River College and the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology will explore new ways to provide programs and services that benefit learners, employers and communities, having signed a memorandum of understanding today that renews their commitment to partnerships and shared resources.

“This new agreement builds on the strengths of MITT and RRC by growing the relationship between both of our institutions,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Not only will today’s commitment support our work in driving our province’s skilled trades agenda, but it will put us in a position to collaborate on initiatives that help all students succeed, including Indigenous, newcomer and international students. This evolving relationship between our institutions will continue to allow us to provide meaningful and rewarding educational opportunities and pathways for students.”

The MOU reaffirms the institutions’ commitment to working cooperatively to provide programs, improve pathways and expand services throughout Manitoba.

The MOU further states that both RRC and MITT will examine ways that each institution can share resources — including but not limited to facilities, equipment, curriculum and faculty expertise — while also supporting economic and social development initiatives to boost opportunities for Manitoba’s Indigenous and international students.

“The signing of the MOU demonstrates the commitment of both colleges to work together to the benefit of our students,” says MITT President Paul Holden. “We have to continue to encourage these forms of agreements across the post-secondary system. Whether that be between universities and colleges, or between a college and another college as is the case here, students need the opportunity to take what they have learned and see it recognized as they pursue advanced studies in other institutions in Manitoba.”

Both RRC and MITT are known for developing quality programs that are responsive to Manitoba’s evolving economic conditions and labour market. Both institutions have agreed to meet regularly to identify opportunities to work collaboratively and identify opportunities for mutual partnerships, with a goal of increasing credential portability in Manitoba’s post-secondary environment, while supporting each institution’s larger goals.

Shown above: Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic and Research, RRC; Paul Holden, President and CEO, MITT; Paul Vogt, President and CEO, RRC; and Ray Karasevich, Vice-President Academic, MITT.

New SSHRC funding supports social innovation research into the impacts of positive learning environments

June 20, 2016

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New funding for Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development program will help explore the impact of improved language and literacy skills on vulnerable children and their caregivers.

The nearly $234,000 in funding — from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund — will support new research to understand how changing at-risk children’s education environments can have a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.

The College will use the funds to expand current work studying the Abecedarian Approach, an internationally recognized intervention that creates a play-based, language-focused environment to promote development in at-risk kids from birth to age five.

“We believe an important part of the story is missing where the research focus is solely on child outcomes,” says Janet Jamieson, research chair for RRC’s Health Sciences and Community Services department. “While a child’s world is shaped by their environment and those around them, it should not be ignored that they in turn can have important impacts on those external elements.”

While there are plenty of studies demonstrating the success of the Abecedarian Approach on child development, very little has been documented on the effects had on adult caregivers of children enrolled in the program.

The College’s research is expected to play a meaningful role in informing policy, through insights into how evidence-based interventions with children in impoverished and challenged neighbourhoods could have positive impacts on families and communities. Read More →

Eyes on the future: College unveils new mission, vision and values statements

June 16, 2016

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Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.

Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.

Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.

“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.

“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.” Read More →

Accounting instructor honoured with teaching excellence award

May 30, 2016

Barry Balanduk cropBarry Balanduk doesn’t just make learning fun for his students — itself no easy feat, especially when the subject matter is accounting.

He also finds a way to make their classroom experiences ‘better,’ by investing everything he does with patience and passion.

Barry is this year’s recipient of the Red River College Students’ Association’s Teaching Award of Excellence, which recognizes outstanding teaching practices and dedication to students.

Having taught in RRC’s Applied Accounting, Business Administration and Business Information Technology programs for the last 15 years, he’s earned a reputation as a positive influence who’s always willing to help out.

“You can always tell he not only enjoys the subjects he teaches, but the opportunity to teach others,” they said in their award submission. “He inspires you to do your best, jokes around with you, and always makes you feel at home in his class. Whatever subject he teaches is made immediately better by having him as an instructor.”

A graduate of RRC’s Business Administration program, Barry continued his education in the Certified General Accountants program and started his accounting career at Colliers Pratt McGarry, a property management and commercial real estate company.

He later moved to a position at Great West Life Reality Advisors, and then at the Lions Club of Winnipeg, before joining the faculty at RRC. He says his favourite aspect of working in post-secondary education is the opportunity to interact with students — giving them a little entertainment with their education, and allowing them to enjoy their time together while learning.

“I find it very rewarding to know that I am having a positive influence on my students,” he says. “And my students should know they have a positive influence on me.”

Barry will receive his award next Wednesday afternoon during RRC’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies, which take place June 7 and 8 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

RRC instructor named ‘rising star’ by Canadian Association for Nursing Research

May 2, 2016

Kendra_Rieger_editRed River College Nursing instructor Kendra Rieger has been named the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Association for Nursing Research (CANR) Rising Star Graduate Student Award.

Presented every two years, the award recognizes Rieger’s doctoral research work at the University of Manitoba, where she’s part of the first cohort of Nursing PhD students in the province.

Her devotion to research is evident in her scholarly work: As primary author or co-author, she has nine articles either in-press of published, with two more publications currently under review. Among those she describes as pivotal: “Arts-based learning: An analysis of the concept of nursing education” (published in the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship), and “The effectiveness and experience of arts-based pedagogy among undergraduate nursing students: A mixed methods systematic review” (currently under review).

Research work forms a core component of Rieger’s doctoral thesis, and she hopes to build on it even further as she continues exploring the fields of arts and health. She is also interested in systematic reviews, and hopes to develop a research program focused on arts and health initiatives, including creative approaches to teaching and learning.

Rieger’s interest in research work dates back to her childhood. She always wanted to be a scientist, and as she got older and continued her training as a nurse, she became even more convinced of the importance of research in nursing care and education.

She describes herself as a firm believer in evidence-informed practice, which integrates the best research evidence with patient preferences, clinical context and nurses’ expertise in order to provide the best patient care possible.

Rieger acknowledges her advisor, Dr. Wanda Chernomas, for nominating her for the award, which she will formally accept on May 2 at the College of Nursing Researcher in Residence event.

Learn more about her research career, and her award.

Advance voting location at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus until Friday, April 15

April 12, 2016

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The upcoming provincial election takes place on Tuesday, April 19, and every vote counts.

You can vote in advance at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus anytime from Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 15, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Voting takes place in the Library hallway on the lower level.

To be eligible to vote, you must be:

  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least 18 years of age on election day; and
  • a resident of Manitoba for at least six months before election day.

Voters are required to show one piece of government-issued photo identification (such as a driver’s licence) or two other documents with their name. Votes will be accepted for any electoral division in Manitoba.

For more information, visit electionsmanitoba.ca, or download Elections Manitoba’s new mobile app, Manitoba Votes 2016, available for Apple, Android or Blackberry.

Film and video instructor balances business savvy with artistic insight

March 21, 2016

JT imageJeremy Torrie is running a gauntlet every filmmaker knows. He’s pulling together the fine cut of Juliana & The Medicine Fish, his adaptation of Jake Macdonald’s beloved bestselling young adult novel.

There are thousands of takes from this past autumn’s work with stars Adam Beach and Emma Tremblay to comb through, and agonizing choices to face. Does he use the shot where Beach’s dialogue was note-perfect, or the one with the best lighting? When should he cut from one shot to the next? Is there a way to reclaim the out-of-focus footage?

“Those are the compromises you make,” Torrie says of the labour of love, which leans on his talents as writer, director and producer. “Films are not perfect – they’re a microcosm of anything and everything happening during prep, production, post-production… Most people don’t care about the behind-the-scenes stuff, but those are the things you have to deal with in the industry and hopefully come out on top of.”

It’s exactly the sort of industry insider insight — coupled with storytelling craft — that Torrie imparts to students taking Red River College’s AV Short Video Production course, and to those enrolled in the three-month Enhanced Filmmaking Skills & Techniques certificate course, offered in partnership with the Adam Beach Film Institute.

The fusion of art and business savvy is critical, Torrie says, for young filmmakers hoping to go on to full careers.

“Just because it’s artistic doesn’t mean it’s not a business,” he explains. “That’s what someone like me can bring to the table: to allow for the appreciation it’s not just a story – the story is absolutely important – but beyond that, there is an entire industry.”

“When you’re able to bring real business experience to a teaching setting, you’re going to set people up for success.” Read More →

Red River College earns second recognition for workplace diversity

February 24, 2016

diversity-2016-englishRed River College is proud to again be named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, a designation that celebrates employers who stand out through their efforts to create diverse, inclusive workplaces.

This is the second year in a row RRC has been recognized with this distinction. To date, RRC is the only post-secondary institution in Manitoba to receive the designation.

“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 enable RRC to create a welcoming and open environment. I know I speak for the entire College community when I say how honoured we are to be recognized with this distinction for the second year in a row.”

As part of RRC’s submission, many initiatives supporting inclusive and open environments were highlighted, including the College’s LGBTT* Initiative, our Leadership Development Program (which includes Managing Mental Health in the Workplace training), our College-wide Mental Health Strategy, the development of a mentorship program for visible minorities, and our overall Workplace Equity and Diversity Strategy, which includes an employment systems review.

“Red River College continues to be proactive in efforts to support its employees, and today’s award is validation of the work being undertaken,” says Lori Grandmont, Vice-President, Human Resources and Sustainability. “I want to congratulate our employees for their work on these initiatives and for continually finding new and innovative ways to strengthen our workplace.”

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2016 were announced today, with 65 organizations leading the nation in creating inclusive workplace cultures.

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