Students

Apprenticeship grad becomes Canada’s first deaf iron worker with Red Seal certificate

November 10, 2016

A Red River College apprenticeship grad has made history, becoming the first deaf iron worker in Canada to receive his Red Seal certification.

Jonathan Anderson, 26, earned his iron worker credentials from RRC in 2015, and last spring wrote and passed his Red Seal exam. Over the weekend, he gathered at the Union Centre in Winnipeg to celebrate the achievement with friends, family and mentors.

Diagnosed as deaf shortly after his first birthday, Anderson attended the Manitoba School for the Deaf and St. James Collegiate, where he played hockey and football with the help of an interpreter, finding unique ways to communicate with this teammates.

“He learned to adapt,” Anderson’s mother, Bertha, told CTV News. “He couldn’t hear, but he always had his way of communicating.”

Anderson’s Red Seal certificate allows him to practice his trade anywhere in Canada. Since he began his career at the age of 17, he’s already worked on a number of high-profile job sites — among them, the Keeyask Generating Station, the Winnipeg Convention Centre and True North Square.

But the project he’s proudest of is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, of which he told CTV, “My parents will say, ‘My son helped build that building,’ … I have children, and they’ll say, ‘Daddy worked there.’”

Anderson hopes his accomplishment will inspire others with hearing impairments to continue pursuing their dreams.

“I want to show that deaf people can work with people who are not deaf,” he explains. “You can succeed and prove them wrong. If they say you can’t, show them that you can.”

Business students pitch research projects at national entrepreneurship and innovation forum

November 7, 2016

Colleges and Institutes Canada logo Three Red River College business students are in Toronto today to showcase and pitch projects at Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Applied Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, taking place at Seneca College Nov. 7 and 8.

RRC’s Dinae Robinson, Fatima Feliciano and David Schlaikjar are among 24 students from 12 Canadian colleges attending the forum, in which participants showcase team projects and pitch socially innovative ideas to a panel of judges comprised of MPs and influential leaders in innovation.

All three of the RRC projects resulted from an ongoing applied research initiative allowing students to collaborate with local businesses in exploring the emerging field of social innovation. The goal of the partnerships is to enhance students’ creativity while better positioning them to become innovators in their own careers.

Working with National Leasing, Robinson’s team sought to improve access to education about Canada’s Indigenous communities by offering Indigenous Immersion tours to students, including a walking tour of The Forks and a seven-day cultural trip for youth to Swan Lake First Nation.

Feliciano’s team, also in partnership with National Leasing, researched socially innovative businesses around the globe, with the goal of sharing best practices in social entrepreneurship knowledge — and the students’ own globally inspired business ideas — to the local community and SMEs in Winnipeg.

Schlaikjar’s team worked with Boreal Wildcraft and Cypher Environmental, both of whom wished to further commercialize their products in international markets. With further support from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, students profiled specific countries the companies thought were well-suited for expansion. Read More →

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week launches at RRC

November 2, 2016

National Skilled Trades and Technology lWeek launch, Red River College

Today, Red River College and Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) launched the twelfth National Skilled Trades and Technology Week (NSTTW), to create awareness for students and educators of the range of career opportunities available in skilled trades and technologies across the country.

“Careers in the skilled trades and technologies are of vital importance for Canada’s future economic stability and its standing in the global marketplace,” said Shaun Thorson, SCC’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is important that Canadian youth are informed about the many interesting and lucrative opportunities that are available to them in these sectors. During National Skilled Trades and Technology Week, students from across Canada will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that highlight these potential careers.”

The two organizations hosted the official NSTTW launch at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus, where the Hon. Ian Wishart, Minister of Education and Training, and HGTV’s Sherry Holmes (Holmes Make it Right) kicked things off with a table-building competition for those in attendance.

Following the official program, students from Winnipeg and area schools took part in other interactive Try-A-Trade® and Technology activities, including welding, industrial mechanics, millright, carpentry, workplace safety, autobody repair, information technology, hairstyling and esthetics.

SCC also took the opportunity to announce the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition will be hosted in Winnipeg from May 31 to June 3 at the RBC Convention Centre. Read More →

Photography student hailed as hero after raising funds for lifesaving surgery

October 11, 2016

Samantha Rae Lussier and Allexis Siebrecht

A Red River College student has been hailed a hero for helping to raise funds that allowed an 11-year-old girl to undergo a lifesaving surgery.

Professional Photography student Samantha Lussier (shown, right) was honoured at last month’s Our Manitoba Heroes gala for raising $30,000 to send Allexis Siebrecht (left) to Toronto for a liver transplant last year.

Allexis was born with bileary atresia, a rare condition affecting one out of every 19,000 Canadians. Lussier first became acquainted with the girl after coming across a Facebook post seeking someone with O-positive blood.

Lussier’s blood type was a match, so — inspired by thoughts of her own younger siblings — she started the necessary tests to become an organ donor. But after flying to Toronto for further screening, she was informed her liver was unsuitable for donations.

Disappointed but undeterred, she instead began fundraising on Siebrecht’s behalf, selling handmade bracelets with the girl’s name and hosting a Bud, spud and steak event that generated $30,000.

Siebrecht, meanwhile, saw her health quickly deteriorating — but her prognosis improved after receiving word from Toronto that a suitable donor had been found.

After undergoing a successful surgery, Siebrecht met with Lussier for the first time in Winnipeg.

“It was definitely an emotional day,” Lussier told The Projector, RRC’s student newspaper. “This kid who could have been sick all her life was so energetic and happy. You’d never know she was sick. She is very inspirational.”

Siebrecht made a full recovery within days, and is now busy with dance classes and her school’s basketball and badminton teams. Lussier is set to graduate from RRC in 2017.

Photo credit: Joe Bryksa, Winnipeg Free Press

De-stress and decompress: Thrive Week activities run Oct. 3–7

October 3, 2016

yoga class

We’re only a few days into October, but with assignments stacking up and exams just weeks away, you’re probably already feeling the stress of the new school year.

Thankfully, the Red River College Students’ Association has partnered with RRC’s Healthy College, Healthy Minds initiative to bring students and staff opportunities to de-stress, learn about their own well-being, and join the broader conversation about mental health.

Send Your Stress Away
(postcards and adult colouring books)

Mon., Oct. 3, 16
11am–1pm
P110, Roblin Centre
Various locations, Notre Dame Campus

Write about what’s been stressing you out — or draw or colour a picture — then send it away! Completed postcards will be displayed in hallways so others can identify with the stress factors faced by peers.

Painting Party
(evening event)

Mon., Oct. 3
3–6:30pm
Cave Lounge, Notre Dame Campus

Tue., Oct. 4
3–6:30pm
Cafeteria, Roblin Centre

Transform your feeling and creativity into art, under the direction of Amber Van Ma’iingan, from Painting on the Prairies. All-ages event; snacks and refreshments provided. Read More →

Show support for residential school survivors by wearing orange on Sept. 30

September 29, 2016

Orange Shirt Day participantsRed River College invites all students and staff to show their support for residential school survivors by wearing orange on Friday, Sept. 30.

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters provides an opportunity for First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities — along with government and educational partners — to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations to come. As organizers point out, it’s only through understanding and acknowledging the impact of residential schools that we can begin combatting the racism and stereotypes that have built up over generations.

Don’t have an orange shirt? Drop by RRC’s Campus Store to pick one up, and join in bringing awareness to this very worthy cause.

To learn more, visit the official Orange Shirt Day website, in particular, Phyllis’ Story, which explains the origin of the event.

For additional information and resources, visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s site.

Photo credit: orangeshirtday.org

Plane pull at Stevenson Campus helps raise nearly $50,000 for United Way

September 26, 2016

Stevenson Aviation students at the United Way's 2016 Plane Pull

Students and staff from Red River College lent some much-needed muscle to fundraising efforts for United Way Winnipeg last week, helping to land nearly $50,000 for youth mentorship initiatives in the process.

At the United Way’s annual plane pull — hosted Friday at RRC’s Stevenson Campus — the College entered two teams, one made up of Stevenson students (shown above), the other of staff and executive.

The event drew a record 78 teams and almost 2,000 plane-pullers — all of whom did their best to move both a Boeing 727 and a CL-215 water bomber across the tarmac. Together, the teams helped to raise nearly $50,000 — funds that will be used to create more than 100 new mentorship opportunities for local children and youth.

At Friday’s event, 19-year-old Victor Golondrina spoke about his own experiences with a mentor, noting his mother struggled with poverty and mental health issues while raising him and his siblings. He found positive role models through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, and today serves as a mentor to others through his work with West Broadway Youth Outreach.

“They gave me hope,” Golindrina said of his mentors, “and now I am giving it back.”

Learn more about United Way’s commitment to youth mentors, and see a full list of Friday’s fundraising and plane-pull results.

College awarded $5.9 million in funding to bolster research in heavy vehicles and culinary innovation

September 7, 2016

Ray Hoemsen, Guy Levesque, Bettina Hamelin, MaryAnn Mihychuk, Paul Vogt, Karen McDonald, Mark Hoddenbagh

Red River College has received the largest influx of research funding since its applied research enterprise was first founded in 2004. The new $5.9-million investment will allow the College to boost innovation capacity in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development sectors.

“This is a red-letter day for the College, our partners, and for Manitoba’s innovation outlook in general,” says Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “These national awards acknowledge not only industry needs, but the ability of the College to deliver innovation services, and Manitoba as a place where leading-edge products are developed.”

The Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (on behalf of the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science) announced today that RRC will receive $3.6 million for advanced and sustainable vehicle technology research and $2.3 million for culinary innovation.

“These new funds will be transformational for our research programs in the areas of vehicle technology and culinary innovation,” says Vogt. “Manitoba is already a major player in the world’s heavy vehicle sector, while we are undergoing a bit of a renaissance in terms of commercializing new food products. In both cases, these funds will help us work with producers to develop and test innovations.”

The awards have already sparked the establishment of a new Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) that will house MotiveLab, a 3,000-square foot research facility focused on supporting Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector. MotiveLab will feature a 1,000 HP engine dynamometer test cell and a drive-in climatic chamber (large enough to fit a bus, truck or farm vehicle) with an integrated 1,000 HP chassis dynamometer. Read More →

CreComm grad to make Canadian broadcasting history this weekend

September 1, 2016

Danielle Doiron, CHS Field, St. PaulFor the second time this week, a Red River College grad is poised to make history.

On Saturday evening, Danielle Doiron (Creative Communications, 2016) will become the first woman to call the play-by-play for a Canadian professional baseball team, when she covers the third inning of the Winnipeg Goldeyes‘ game against the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks.

The game will be broadcast on the Goldeyes’ flagship radio station (93.7 FM CJNU), as well as Kenora-based “The Lake” (89.5 FM).

Doiron is serving her second year as the Goldeyes’ media assistant, and also worked as a studio host and board operator during away broadcasts over the summer. Last winter, she received the Jack Matheson Award from the Manitoba Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association.

“Daniele has earned this [play-by-play] opportunity through her incredible work ethic and high-quality contributions to the Goldeyes’ organization,” says team broadcaster Steve Schuster.

“She has a bright future in the industry, and we are extremely proud to call her a part of our family. This is not only a monumental achievement for Danielle, but a significant milestone for Winnipeggers, Canadians and young women in general with career aspirations in sports media.”

Doiron is the second RRC alumna to make a foray into a male-dominated field this week. Last Saturday, Business Administration grad Amber Balcaen became the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned stock car race.

(Photo credit: Edward Doiron)

Give your head a shake! DisOrientation Week activities start Tuesday

August 31, 2016

Minute To Win It (2015); the Cave LoungeYou’re nervous, overwhelmed, possibly even panicked by the prospect of a new school year and related academic responsibilities.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re in good company. And thankfully, the Red River College Students’ Association has a full slate of DisOrientation Week activities scheduled to offset the chaos and confusion.

Starting Tuesday, you can work off some of that back-to-school stress at a series of parties and events aimed at reminding you that all work and no play … well, you know the rest. Read More →

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