As a wise man named Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”
And it certainly wasn’t luck, but hard work and passion, that earned Pablo Hidalgo — a Winnipeg-raised Star Wars fan, now working for Lucasfilm in California — a Distinguished Graduate Award from Red River College.
A 1996 alum of RRC’s Creative Communications program, Hidalgo proved to be more than a simple man trying to make his way in the universe. The skills he acquired at College put him on the path to where he is today.
While working at McKim Communications Group, he used networking skills to land a role with one of his clients, Frantic Films.
That leap took him to California, where he was quickly presented with an opportunity from Lucasfilm — to work as a writer and content developer for StarWars.com.
Since then, Hidalgo has become a creative executive as part of Lucasfilm's story development team, earning the unofficial title of Lucasfilm's ‘resident Star Wars geek,’ who’s most often consulted about the timelines and mythology within the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.
He’ll be presented with the award on Sat., June 23, at the second annual FanQuest convention taking place at RRC’s Roblin Centre. He’s also scheduled to speak twice at the event: presenting Inside Solo: The Official Guide (noon, Sat.) and From Winnipeg to a Galaxy Far, Far Away (1:00 p.m., Sun.).
“It feels great to be recognized by Red River College as a Distinguished Graduate,” says Hidalgo. “If anything, my journey has taught me to always take the opportunities that are presented to you and stay true to who you are. Growing up in Winnipeg was integral to growing my Star Wars hobby obsession, and it’s great to receive this award surrounded by people who understand the creative energy you can harness when you live somewhere that’s covered in snow half the year.” Read More →
Next week, Culinary Arts instructor Chef Gordon Bailey will return to his old stomping grounds in P.E.I., to represent Manitoba at the senior level of the Canadian Culinary Federation’s national competition.
And while the contest is sure to be the usual high-pressure affair, Bailey says the most exciting part so far has been coaching his junior representative — former Red River College student Argie Garcia.
An RRC instructor since 2013, Bailey describes Garcia as a gifted person who cares about his cooking, has a solid work ethic, and performs well under pressure.
“Cooking is about listening to the environment and the food,” says Bailey (shown above), who in 1999 moved from Winnipeg to Charlottetown, where he opened Lot 30, one of P.E.I.’s most celebrated restaurants.
“Food is something where your passion can be distinctly read through the taste and presentation of your plate. A good cook can put their personal story in it, and [Garcia] does that.”
This year’s competition also takes place in Charlottetown, as part of the Culinary Federation’s 55th annual national conference. The contest consists of a Black Box Challenge — similar to the Mystery Box Challenge on TV’s MasterChef — in which competitors from each province will be given 15 minutes to create a menu using a batch of secret ingredients and pantry staples, and an hour to prepare and plate their servings. Read More →
Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College's Lieutenant-Governor's Medals for Proficiency, who'll receive their awards as part of our 2018 Spring Convocation ceremonies on June 5 and 6.
Each year, up to four Lt.-Gov.'s Medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year's winners are:
Cheryl Janz — A May 2018 graduate of Red River College’s Disability and Community Support program, Cheryl Janz finds happiness in helping people.
Having worked in the disabilities services field for 20 years, Janz says being able to go back to school and improve her knowledge was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she didn’t want to miss out on.
“I’m someone who believes in lifelong learning,” says Janz. “And what I’m taking away from completing the course is more knowledge and understanding. That’s something I can share with others and will make a positive change for the people I support.”
The structure of the program — theory, practical work experience, and self-reflection — is something that resonated with Janz.
“Because there’s people in the program coming from different organizations and experiences, you get to hear a variety of perspectives and ways of doing things,” she explains. “Each course had a self-reflection component where I could take what I learned and ask myself, ‘What I can change, why I do things the way I do, and how I can do better to inspire equality?’”
A mother of three, Janz says the decision to go back to school was one that was fully supported and encouraged by her family, and by her manager at enVision Community Living, an organization that provides services to persons with disabilities in Southeastern Manitoba.
“It’s been an adjustment for everybody but it’s worth it,” she says.
Outside the classroom, Janz spends time with her family as much as possible. When she’s not cheering on her kids at soccer matches, curling games or school events, you can find them volunteering together for Faith and Light, Variety Children’s Charity and the Circle of Hearts Family Support Network.
Felipe Tadeu Matoso Gomes — Felipe Gomes always dreamed of moving to Canada to pursue his passion for business and creative marketing. Two years ago, that dream became a reality, when he packed his bags and moved to Winnipeg to enrol in the Business Administration program at Red River College.
Born and raised in Recife, a city in Northeast Brazil, the 27-year old was working as an engineer when he deciding to switch countries and careers.
“I spent a lot of time researching different schools and various business programs,” says Gomes. “I’ve always had a passion for marketing, but I wanted to find a program where I could learn the basics and have an opportunity to explore the various fields of business. RRC’s Business Administration program stood out to me as a program where I could test my general knowledge and get a sense of what I really liked before majoring.”
Gomes recalls being overwhelmed with the support he received from instructors, classmates and the larger College community.
“My dream has always been to work in a creative industry, but I had doubts this would be possible because English is not my first language,” he says. “My reservations quickly went away once I began my studies. The program provided me with the knowledge, experience, support and confidence that I needed to succeed.” Read More →
Today, as part of its first Indigenous Education Open House, Red River College has announced it will provide financial support for up to 85 students enrolled in one of five new academic programs being launched this fall.
Offered in partnership with Indspire, a leading national Indigenous charity, RRC’s new School of Indigenous Education Award will cover the full cost of tuition, books and supplies for students enrolled in one of the following new academic programs:
“Red River College is working to create a seamless flow of wrap-around supports for aspiring Indigenous students, to help increase enrolment and graduation rates across the College,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “These bursaries will help remove the existing financial barriers that many of our learners face.
“We are proud to partner with Indspire, (a group that) recognizes the important work we are doing as a College and has made an investment in a bright future for Indigenous students in our community.”
Supporting Indigenous student success is one of the key pillars of RRC’s five-year strategic plan. Through this initiative, the College will continue increasing access to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba.
“This partnership is another step in the direction of transforming education for our youth so they can in turn transform their families, communities and Canada,” says Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “We are grateful for the support of Red River College and for the work they are doing to advance Indigenous achievement and education.”
Indigenous students who’d like to learn more about available programs and supports are invited to attend the Indigenous Education Open House, which runs from 1–7pm today (May 31), at the Notre Dame Campus.
She’s going out on a high note.
When Eileen Oleski retires next year, she can rest assured she’s had a positive impact on her students. The coordinator of Red River College’s Health Information Management program is the recipient of this year’s RRC Students’ Association Teaching Award of Excellence.
Each spring, the RRCSA recognizes an instructor for their outstanding teaching practices and dedication to students. In the nomination submission that led to this year's honour, Oleski’s students praise her knowledge of subject material, her fun and flexible style of teaching and her eagerness to go the extra mile.
“Eileen always made sure her door was open to students,” one student wrote. “She often reminded [us] that if we ever needed extra help or guidance, she would always be there to make sure we succeed. I personally have taken her up on this offer and am glad I did. Eileen gave me the boost of confidence I needed.”
Oleski, who has taught at RRC since 2008, says her enthusiasm for the program comes directly from her students.
“They say I inspire them, well, they really inspire me,” she says. “You’re in the classroom, it’s all about them and their future. I always say, ‘I just set the foundation.’ The rest is theirs to build and take to where they want to go. The possibilities are there.”
A certified HIM professional through the Canadian Health Information Management Association, she earned her B.A. in Allied Health Sciences from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, worked in HIM roles at Seven Oaks General Hospital from 1981 to 2003, and was a health record consultant for the Manitoba government before arriving at RRC.
“I still do a lot of networking with a lot of my colleagues from my past, ensuring that the industry standards are being adhered to,” Oleski says. “We’re trying to teach the students what’s currently out there, and with technology changing, we’re constantly changing here, as well.” Read More →
The province will cover licensing fees to provide students and professionals across Manitoba with free access to the Science of Early Child Development (SECD), a suite of online learning resources developed by Red River College.
SECD includes regularly updated living textbooks and modules that offer current research and links to practice through a convenient online portal, accessible via computer, tablet and smartphone.
“We are making a first-of-its-kind investment in the early years fields in Manitoba to increase professional development opportunities, encourage independent study, strengthen the sectors that work with children and families, and improve the quality of services for Manitoba families,” says Families Minister Scott Fielding.
“Living textbooks are a cost-effective way to continually expand knowledge and provide educational opportunities to everyone involved in the sector.”
The province will provide $365,000 to RRC through the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, opening up province-wide access for two living textbooks and three additional modules.
This will eliminate the license fee currently required to register, which will benefit hundreds of students and teaching staff, as well as early learning and child-care professionals, family child-care providers, teachers, public health staff, community organizations and any Manitobans interested in the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being. RRC will oversee the initiative and report to government on annual usage.
Read More →
Staff and students at Red River College will be joined by hundreds of community members, distinguished guests, dancers and drummers tomorrow, at the annual Graduation Pow Wow celebrating the success of our Indigenous learners.
Hosted by RRC’s School of Indigenous Education, this year’s event honours more than 60 graduates from a range of College programs. It gets underway at 10am with a pipe ceremony in Room F20 (Notre Dame Campus), followed by the grand entry in the North Gym at noon, the ceremony honouring grads at 1pm, and a traditional feast at 5pm.
In addition to celebrating student success, the pow wow festivities reflect the College’s continued commitment to making education more accessible for Indigenous learners.
The College aspires to deliver excellence in Indigenous achievement through partnerships and networks, and by incorporating Indigenous knowledge, philosophies, perspectives and content into innovative and relevant programming.
“Supporting Indigenous student success by enhancing the College environment is our number one priority at Red River College, and as we continue to develop and provide more relevant programming for our Indigenous students, this annual event will continue to grow and expand,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.
“We look forward to continuing a lifelong relationship with each of our students and graduates.
Red River College’s Graphic Design program celebrates its 50thanniversary in style this week, with a showcase and pop-up shop featuring work created by students.
The ‘Best Ever’ Design Show — comprised of work by RRC’s Graphic Design, Advanced Graphic Design, Digital Media Design and 3D Computer Graphics students — takes place Wednesday and Thursday, May 2 and 3, at the Roblin Centre downtown.
The event also doubles as an anniversary for the Graphic Design program, which first launched 50 years ago in the fall of 1968. Originally called Advertising Art — with a focus on design for print — the program has evolved to incorporate digital design as a core component, preparing students for work in creative fields such as illustration, advertising, web design and app development.
From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, members of the public are invited to view or purchase students’ work in the Roblin Centre Atrium. The anniversary concludes Thursday with an industry night, where current students can network with RRC alumni and industry guests.
Red River College picked up a prestigious award this week recognizing its achievements in the field of applied research and innovation.
The College won gold in the category of Applied Research and Innovation Excellence at the annual Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) Awards of Excellence, handed out in Victoria, B.C., on Mon., April 30.
The awards recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements.
In RRC’s case, the honour caps off a marquee year of expansion that saw more than $200 million in infrastructure funding going towards 111,000 square feet of new facilities.
The College has also engaged in 543 applied partnerships with SMEs, large companies, and community organizations from 012 to 2017, resulting in the same number of new or improved products, processes, services and insights. Those initiatives are coordinated by the College’s Research Partnerships & Innovation office, which last year generated more research revenue than any other college in Western Canada.
“It is because of dedicated people working hard every day to improve educational programs and campus life, that colleges and institutes are able to offer such remarkable student experiences and training opportunities,” says CiCan President Denise Amyot.
“We are thrilled to honour these leaders and innovators who make the entire system stronger, more inclusive and more responsive to the needs of students, as well as employers.”
After two and a half years of hard work, a team of Mechanical Engineering Technology students have landed Red River College on the Shell Eco-marathon’s leaderboard for the first time.
The team placed 14th in the battery-electric category at the Sonoma, California event, where they were one of only 55 teams (out of the 100 teams competing) who passed inspection and made successful runs on the track.
“I feel very proud of the team. It’s been a huge commitment and it was amazing to watch SpaRRCky (the College’s battery-electric vehicle) every time it lapped around us on the track,” says Bin Yang, who was the RRC team’s manager until he graduated last December.
Behind the wheel of the car was RRC Automotive Technician student Daren Nuevo, whose teammates described her as “fearless” in the driver’s seat.
“I was more eager to drive the car than I was nervous, and once I was on the road it was more exciting than I imagined,” Nuevo says about the experience. “Time after time the team worked extremely hard, fast and efficiently to meet the inspection requirements, and throughout all the hiccups that came about.”
Those hiccups — including a broken motor, a blown fuse and a loose wheel — were seen by the team as opportunities to make quick repairs on the fly. Using the skills they learned while designing and building SpaRRCky at the College, they were able to stay calm and work together in the moment.
“A lot of the teams end up working together to help each other out,” says Yang, who now works at RRC as a research assistant. “We lent out tools and nuts and bolts to a few teams and were lucky to borrow a few things from other teams. Especially the team from Universidad de La Sabana (in Colombia) who were able to lend us a spare motor.”
To get on the leaderboard, the team had to complete seven laps in under 26 minutes.
“Daren was just flying by,” says Yang. “After we made the fixes we just wanted to make sure we completed a successful run and then worry about strategy later, so she was lapping every car.” Read More →