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 →
Red River College has announced new and enhanced programs — and more supports for Indigenous learners than ever before — as part of its strategic plan to grow its student population and chart a bold, new path forward for Indigenous Education.
“Red River College is proud to be a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, and we are fully committed to providing the student-centred and culturally relevant supports necessary to help aspiring students successfully transition from community to classroom to career,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.
“Over the last year, we have been working to create better access to programs, new training opportunities, and more pathways to post-secondary education for our Indigenous learners. We have taken important steps forward as a College community to grow and provide our students with the wrap-around supports and services they need to succeed.”
This fall, the College will launch five new programs for Indigenous learners:
- ACCESS Health Pathway Program
- ACCESS Engineering Pathway Program
- Social Enterprise Diploma Program
- Indigenous Languages Certificate Program
- Indigenous Culinary Skills Certificate Program
ACCESS programs provide learners with preparatory, exploratory and transitional experience, while the remaining three programs aim to grow Indigenous representation within their respective sectors. The culinary program, for example, will provide courses aimed at developing fundamental culinary and business skills, and will include a cultural component and land-based curriculum. The social enterprise program will focus on the principles of economic reconciliation and how it relates to the Canadian social economy. It will help students address and solve challenges in urban or rural communities. Read More →
An expanded urban beekeeping program, a renewed focus on active transportation, and two LEED Gold-designated buildings are just three of the initiatives that landed Red River College on Canada’s Greenest Employer list for the eighth straight year.
The annual award recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs, which continue to engage staff in sustainability efforts — on campus and at home. In surveys conducted over the past two years, 90 per cent of RRC staff and faculty said they believe sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations. The topic continues to be a key strategic priority for RRC, and is a fundamental part of the College’s Strategic Plan.
“Through the efforts of our Sustainability Office, and the commitment of our entire College community, RRC continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“Every day on campus there are innovating and engaging activities that create a sustainable culture and educate our staff and students about the roles they can play. Everything from pledging to power down over Earth Day, to learning about the energy reduction methods we use in our state-of-the-art buildings, to engaging in active transportation strengthens our overall commitment to sustainability.”
Last summer, RRC expanded its urban beekeeping initiative in partnership with Beeproject Apiaries. Three hives were installed on the rooftop of the Notre Dame Campus, complementing the three hives put in place on the fourth-floor patio of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute the prior year.
The new hives doubled RRC’s seasonal yield to more than 150 kilograms of honey, which is used as an ingredient in Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs, and is sold at the College-run farmers markets held throughout the year. Read More →
The Province of Manitoba is helping Red River College reach new heights in aviation and aeronautics training by supporting the acquisition of its successful Stevenson Campus, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.
“Our government recognizes the leadership shown by Red River College in the purchase of their campus property, where they provide essential training for Manitobans in a skilled and high-demand industry,” says Wishart.
“This is a fiscally responsible plan that will help ensure many more people can pursue a career in aeronautics and learn in an exceptional environment with industry leaders and experts.”
The provincial government enabled the purchase of the Stevenson Campus by approving RRC’s plan to borrow up to $8 million to acquire the previously leased facility. (The College requires government approval to borrow, as set out by The Red River College Act.)
By purchasing the campus from its landlord, Hubert Kleysen, RRC will save nearly $1 million over the term of the mortgage and will have greater flexibility to grow and adapt its renowned aviation and aeronautics programs.
“Red River College works shoulder-to-shoulder with industry to deliver cutting-edge training at our Stevenson Campus, and to provide students with the job-ready skills they need to compete here at home, and on a national and global stage,” says RRC President Paul.
“By acquiring our campus – with the support of the provincial government – we will continue to provide strong workforce training for Manitoba’s aerospace and aviation sector, which is one of the largest in Canada. This move will make us more agile and ensure that we are successful for generations to come.” Read More →
Creative Communications student Tamika Reid has been named the inaugural recipient of Red River College’s new Richard Asher Webb Social Justice Activist Memorial Award — a distinction that recognizes her work writing, designing and marketing a children’s book that raises awareness of disabilities and inclusion rights.
Established in memory of Webb, an RRC alum and longtime community activist, the award is given annually to a student who demonstrates exceptional effort and/or the ability to lead, organize and engage students or members of the community in embodying the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice.
It was a unanimous decision from the judging panel that Reid’s project — and her enthusiasm for creating solutions to social justice issues — made her the most deserving candidate.
“Winning this award means that my efforts in addressing the inclusion gap in children's literature area worthy cause,” says Reid (shown above, with book). “It acknowledges the stories of diverse people that need to be told.”
Reid’s book, Sweet without Sugar, is about a young girl who has autism and relies on a stuffed animal to feel comfortable. When her toy is damaged, the girl spends the day trying new things and discovers she can comfortably have fun without it. Reid’s book is part of the Literary Inclusion Project, which she founded as an initiative that responds to the intellectual disability topic gap in children’s literature.
The book also incorporates artwork of students that attend an after-school program run by the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg. Reid’s experience working with that program, and taking CreComm at RRC, helped her carve out a clear path for her professional career, where she works in communications for local non-profit organizations. Read More →
A team of Business Administration students from Red River College proved they have the know-how to assess a person’s situation and deliver successful financial planning advice, by winning first place at the 2018 Canadian Institute of Financial Planning Case Challenge in Calgary, Alberta.
This was RRC’s first time participating in the challenge, which saw four students — all specializing in Financial Services — competing against teams from three other Colleges in Western Canada.
“Competitions like this are as close to real life as the students are going to get,” says Maria Vincenten, a Financial Services instructor at RRC. “The feedback and experience is unbelievable for the students, and it helps the industry to recognize our program as having strong learning outcomes. We are applied learning — so any time we can showcase what we’re doing here (at RRC) helps us evolve the program further.”
Beginning in January, students Shelby Joss, Vitor Machado e Melo, Virginia Giesbrecht, and Shannon Krahn spent time practicing: In the morning, they’d receive the details of a case and spend two hours discussing and strategizing the best way to help their ‘client.’ In the afternoon, they’d briefly review their notes before giving a 20-minute presentation, followed by notes and discussion.
“Looking at cases and making recommendations for different clients was a fantastic way to pull together everything we were learning in class and apply it to real life situations,” says Krahn, the team’s alternate. “Aside from honing my teamwork skills, the experience also helped me grow in my understanding of financial products and how to deal with clients.” Read More →
An online divorce agency, an alternator-driven electric bicycle, a study on lullaby therapy for infants, and a social media assessment for the Winnipeg Police Service — just a small sample of the student-led research projects that’ll be on display today at Red River College’s Applied Research & Innovation Day.
Now in its second year, the event welcomes close to 200 participants from the College — as well as partners from business and industry — to learn about RRC’s many ongoing research initiatives, as well as students’ experiences and successes in applying their work in a real-world environment.
“We started our applied research initiatives a little more than a decade ago, and today we’re leading the way in applied research here in Manitoba, and across Western Canada,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“More and more, the idea of teaching and learning is moving away from students sitting in desks and taking notes, and towards hands-on, collaborative projects. Applied Research & Innovation Day strongly showcases the success of that approach to learning.”
Today’s event will feature an industry luncheon with a keynote from Paul Soubry, President and CEO of New Flyer Industries, who was recently named Canada’s top CEO of the year by the Financial Post. The event will also feature a quick-pitch student competition — similar to TV’s Dragon’s Den — where the top four teams from the morning’s student showcase will explain how their research created a sustainable solution to a real problem.
While today marks an important milestone for student-led research at RRC, it’s also an important day for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada — one of the many federal partners who support RRC’s applied research initiatives — as they announce their 10,000th Engage Grant in support of colleges and universities across Canada. Read More →
The soup’s on at Manitoba Hydro Place this Wednesday, when Red River College Culinary Arts students will join 11 other local chefs and restaurant staff for the sixth annual Stone Soup Fundraiser supporting the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba.
Chef and instructor Karl Oman, together with Culinary Arts students Sophie Thibodeau and Colin Stone, will serve up a newly created ‘Holiday Sweet Potato Turkey’ soup, a cream-based concoction packed with turkey and cranberry flavours that was prepared by 17 first-year students who are currently learning short-order cooking.
The soup will be paired with a stuffing-flavoured focaccia bread created by students from RRC’s Professional Baking and Patisserie program.
“The Stone Soup Fundraiser is a great opportunity for our students to work together and to apply their learning and culinary skills to make a difference for those in need,” says Oman.
“This is just one of the many ways we work to give back to the community. Whether it’s through our work with Siloam Mission, or delivering the After-School Leaders Program for at-risk youth, we’re a community partner and we’re very proud to help encourage people to come down, try some delicious student-made soup and support such an important cause.”
The event will run from 11:15am – 1:15pm in the Hydro building’s main gallery. Judges will be present to sample all the soups and select a winner, and the public is also invited to select a favourite for the People’s Award. The cost is $10 per person, which includes samples of soup from three participating chefs or restaurants.
Winnipeg Jets senior executive Craig “Zinger” Heisinger will trade the hockey rink for the presenter's podium this week, when he meets with College students and staff to discuss his personal connection with mental health, and why he feels it’s so important to keep the conversation going.
Heisinger’s noon-hour visit on Tuesday is part of RRC’s Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative, established four years ago to create a healthy College community, enhance mental health literacy, and better meet the mental health needs of students, staff and faculty.
“We are honoured to have such a well-known and respected member of the hockey community — and the mental health community — here to help us keep the conversation about mental health awareness going on campus,” says Breanna Sawatzky, RRC’s Mental Health Coordinator.
“Events like this are an integral part of our Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative, because they let those who may be struggling know they are not alone, and there are supports available. Mental illness knows no boundaries — it affects all of us, from post-secondary students to NHL hockey players.”
Heisinger is the Senior Vice-President & Director, Hockey Operations, and the Assistant General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. He was close with Manitoba Moose forward Rick Rypien, who struggled with mental illness and ultimately died in 2011.
Rypien’s legacy lives on through the True North Youth Foundation’s Project 11 and through Zinger, who visits local schools throughout the year, sharing Rick’s story and raising awareness of mental health. Read More →