Lawson Foundation honours RRC’s Science of Early Child Development project

March 9, 2017

Early Child Education, Manitoba

Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development (SECD) project has received an award of honour from the Lawson Foundation for Innovation in Early Child Development.

The award recognizes the unique approach RRC has taken in creating multimedia “living textbooks” and online courses to ensure practitioners have the most current information at their fingertips so they can be at the forefront of early childhood education.

The award from the Lawson Foundation — a longtime supporter of SECD — will support necessary enhancements to the online resources and provide the College’s research team with important financial resources to undertake additional research.

“Not only will the financial gift support enhancing SECD, but we will use it to further promote awareness of the program, making it accessible to more practitioners and therefore to more families,” says Jan Sanderson, RRC research chair, Health Sciences and Community Services.

One of the many functions of SECD is to help train new childcare assistants in Manitoba. Currently, new childcare assistants are required to complete 40 hours of training in order to support the learning environment for young children. Through support from the Lawson Foundation, RRC will be able to take a closer look at how this training benefits new practitioners.

“We know the course is very successful and well-received by those practicing in the field — we hear many positive stories all the time,” says Sanderson. “This new funding will help us move beyond anecdotal evidence, to rigorous measurement of the impact of the training on the knowledge, attitudes and practice of childcare assistants. What we learn will help us to improve the existing resources and courses, and add to our repetorie.”

Since 2011, RRC has been a pioneer in developing leading research focused on early child development that has had an important impact across Canada, and in many international communities. Financial support for this initiative has relied on private and public funding from various organizations including the World Bank, the Winnipeg Foundation, the Aga Khan Development Network in Geneva, and the Lawson Foundation.

The Lawson Foundation is a national family foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people and organizations that contribute to the wellbeing of children and youth and their development as active and engaged members of society.

The Science of Early Child Development is a knowledge translation and mobilization initiative with a global perspective that introduces and synthesizes transdisciplinary research underscoring the importance of the early years.

College partners with province on new training program for refugees

March 7, 2017

A new program at Red River College is providing essential language and construction skills training to newcomer refugees who have arrived in Manitoba over the last year.

Announced today, the new Pathway Program to Construction Skills is one of four pilot employment projects launched recently by the Manitoba government under the Refugee Employment Development Initiative (REDI) for newcomers.

“Red River College is proud to play such an important role in supporting Manitoba’s international, immigrant and refugee community,” says Red River College president Paul Vogt. “This new program is a first in Manitoba and it will not only help our newcomer refugees develop their language and literacy skills, it will also provide them access to trades training and jobs in sectors where our partners have a need for more trained workers.”

The four-month program will help participants develop essential language skills, safety training and basic construction skills training in the areas of drywalling, masonry and flattop roofing. After completing the program, students will participate in a month-long, paid work placement to further refine their skills and gain essential on-the-job experience.

“As we’ve seen in recent months, there’s a growing need to provide support for refugees in a variety of ways, including direct employment and labour market programming,” says Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. “We commend Red River College for its vision in developing this important program, which will link newcomers with employment opportunities and allow them to develop the skills needed to succeed in the workforce.” Read More →

RRC’s Louis Riel Bursary fund reaches $1.2 million

February 21, 2017

RRC Graduation Pow Wow

In celebration of Louis Riel Day, Red River College and the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) are pleased to announce the Louis Riel Bursary fund has reached $1.2 million.

Since 2014, the MMF and the province, through the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative, have each contributed $600,000 to the Louis Riel Bursary Fund for Métis students at Red River College. Bursaries are awarded to eligible Métis students enrolled in a certificate, diploma or degree programs.

“[The MMF] government has been privileged to help Métis students reach for and achieve their educational aspirations,” says MMF President David Chartrand. “This has been accomplished by the MMF government investing into bursaries and scholarships designed to help provide opportunities for our students. We know education is key to building capacity within the Métis nation and we are pleased to continue our work and partnership with Red River College.”

Three years ago, the College, the MMF and the Louis Riel Institute (LRI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to improve opportunities and outcomes for Métis people in Manitoba. The MOU resulted in a joint working group focused on education, business and growing industry partnerships to increase economic prospects for Métis people in Manitoba.

“The MMF and the LRI are important partners in helping us advance Indigenous achievement at Red River College,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “These new funds will continue to support many Métis students’ academic pursuits, and help remove ongoing barriers that may prevent access to post-secondary education. Education is the future and, as signatories to the Manitoba Indigenous Education Blueprint, we play an important role in supporting reconciliation efforts in our province. This ongoing and important partnership with the MMF and LRI will help many Métis students in Manitoba succeed.”

College announces plans to redevelop and expand ACCESS programs

February 14, 2017

ACCESS Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing class

Red River College has announced plans to redevelop and expand its ACCESS programs in order to better meet the needs of its Indigenous and other students, by providing them with an opportunity to enrol in a wider range of offerings.

At present, ACCESS students are restricted to four program areas: Nursing, Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing, Business Administration, and Civil Engineering Technology.

“It’s time for us to modernize how ACCESS programs are delivered at RRC to better meet student, community and industry needs,” says Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC. “Ultimately one of our main goals is to remove some of the existing program restrictions and provide Indigenous, immigrant and other students facing barriers to education with more training options and new and improved pathways to meaningful careers.”

The ACCESS expansion plan is the result of an internal review and extensive consultations. In order to accommodate the redesign, there will be no intake of students to ACCESS programs for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. This will allow existing ACCESS students to complete their current programs, while a new model is designed for the 2018-2019 academic year.

As part of the process, RRC will work with community and industry partners to ensure the redevelopment is also responsive to their needs.

“ACCESS programs are very important to our students and we want to ensure [they] are accessible, agile and responsive to students who may not have had the opportunity to access post-secondary education due to a variety of factors,” says Watson.

“We know students, given these new opportunities, will contribute great things to their communities and Manitoba’s labour market.” Read More →

Engineering students take top honours for steering design at concrete toboggan race

February 13, 2017

Things went downhill fast (but in the best possible sense!) for a team of Red River College students over the weekend, when their design and engineering expertise paid off handsomely at the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race.

Held Saturday at Adrenaline Adventures near Headingley, the annual showcase of ingenuity and innovation drew teams of post-secondary students from across Canada — and in the case of the RRC team, resulted in a first place win for Best Steering Design.

The largest student-run engineering competition in Canada, the race requires entrants to design and construct a five-person toboggan with a running surface made entirely of concrete, an undertaking that provides ample opportunity to apply and develop skills in design, technical writing and management.

Teams work for months on their toboggans, which must weigh in at less than 350 pounds. All entries must pass a safety inspection before racing, and are judged on the basis of their concrete, frame, steering and brake design, as well as race-day results and team spirit.

RRC’s 15-member team included students from the College’s Structural, Architectural, Environmental, Municipal and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs. In addition to the races on Saturday, the team also took part in a technical exhibition at RBC Convention Centre on Friday.

This year’s event was hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Hot-button issues: RRC staffer rallies support for local Muslim community

February 9, 2017

A Red River College employee is encouraging Winnipeggers to show support for the city’s Muslim community, by literally opening their arms during a time of political turmoil.

Events and Facility Rental Coordinator Krista Michie recently hired RRC grad Kristen Masters (of Lemon Buttons) to design and produce hundreds of buttons bearing the slogan “Free Hugs for Muslims.”

She says the campaign was inspired by the current political climate, which has been further polarized in recent weeks by the attempted U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, continued debate over the plight of Syrian refugees, and a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead.

“I was feeling sad about what’s going on in North America,” says Michie (shown). “It was my way of trying to show love, solidarity and inclusiveness.”

So far, Michie has given out more than 200 buttons, including those shared with fellow marchers at last weekend’s walk for human rights (among them, RRC President Paul Vogt).

She’s also had requests from former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Obby Khan, who asked for a batch to be dropped off at his downtown eatery, and from friends and acquaintances in Brandon and Saskatchewan.

Michie currently has about 100 buttons left to distribute — either in person, or by mail — but is open to producing a second batch, if there’s demand.

So far, she hasn’t had any requests for hugs — though as the buttons point out, that’s a standing offer.

“Not too sure people will actually take me up on that,” she says. “It’s more about sending the message that Muslims are accepted here.”

To request a button, send Michie an email at kmichie@rrc.ca.

Warm up your winter with Meltdown Week activities

January 31, 2017

RRC students on skating rink

We’re still months away from the actual spring melt, but RRC’s Students’ Association is helping to heat things up a bit early with a full slate of Meltdown Week events running Feb. 8-17.

Starting next Wednesday, you can do your part to beat the winter blahs at a series of parties, events and activities aimed at reminding you spring is right around the corner!

This year’s Meltdown kicks off a bit early with the first-ever Rebels Winter Classic, an outdoor pond hockey tournament taking place Wed., Feb. 8, at Adrenaline Adventures (600 Caron Rd.). Sign up as a team of three to five, or as a free agent. Registration is $10 per person — sign up by Friday, Feb. 3 at The Ox or The Mercantile.

Other Meltdown Week activities include: Read More →

Recipients of Winter 2017 Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency announced

January 31, 2017

Lieutenant Governor awarding medals

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 2017 Winter Convocation ceremonies on Feb. 6 and 8.

Each year, a maximum of 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:

Joel StevensJoel Stevens — A proud graduate of RRC’s Electrical Engineering Technology program, Joel was drawn to this career path because he was determined to build a profession that was both challenging and exciting.

Joel demonstrated outstanding academic performance throughout his time at Red River College, earning a 4.5 GPA. He attributes this achievement to great time management skills and determination, as he was also renovating his home, planning a wedding, volunteering and working part-time while completing the program.

Joel is currently employed by ERLPhase Power Technologies as a Verification Specialist, a job he found less than a month after graduating. He’s responsible for testing relays and fault recorders, developing test procedures and providing technical support to customer service staff. He will now work towards acquiring his Certified Engineering Technologist designation.

When not at work or in school, Joel enjoys spending time with his wife and family – especially his five nephews. He loves to read books about history and theology and is very involved in his church community. He also loves sports and spends much of his free time playing soccer and long distance running.

Charlene TurcotteCharlene Turcotte — A graduate of RRC’s Technical Vocational Teacher Education program, Charlene entered the program as a passionate hairstylist and enrolled so that she could teach others to fall in love with her industry the way she did.

Making the decision to go back to school full-time was not an easy one, but after meeting her instructors and fellow students, she was encouraged to fulfill her goal.

Currently, Charlene is attending the University of Winnipeg to upgrade her Bachelor of Education. She also works as a part-time hairstylist and has started substitute teaching in the River East Trancosa School Division.

When not at work or in school, Charlene spends as much time with her family as she can. With three kids, she has a busy extra-curricular schedule and spends most of her time cheering on her kids at the local hockey rink.

Charlene takes pride in her community and volunteers on many boards, helping out at her local community club and volunteering at the high school where she performed her practicum. She is also the secretary of the Vocational Teachers Association of Manitoba.

CreComm students stage fashion show to benefit local homeless shelter

January 31, 2017

Madelaine Lapointe (left) and Ashley Tokaruk

Six clients from the Main Street Project — many of whom have gone long stretches without clean clothes or a roof over their heads — will walk the runway in their very own custom-made suits this week, as part of a fundraiser organized by a pair of Red River College students.

The Runway to Change project, organized by Creative Communications students Madelaine Lapointe (above, left) and Ashley Tokaruk (right), seeks to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in Winnipeg, and to end the stigma associated with living in poverty.

The evening fashion show, which takes place at 6:30pm on Thu., Feb. 2, at the Fort Garry Hotel, is part of a self-led project undertaken by Lapointe and Tokaruk as part of their studies. Over 200 guests — including Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and RRC honorary diploma recipient Ace Burpee — are expected to attend, with all proceeds raised going directly to the Main Street Project.

“It’s been amazing to have had the opportunity to do a project like [this],” says Lapointe. “Coming into the Creative Communications program, I never thought I’d be doing a project of this scale, but the hard work has — and is — paying off. Seeing the smiles on the clients’ faces at Main Street Project is a direct result of our helping to make a difference in the community.”

As for the first-time models taking part in the event, Lapointe says they’re equally proud, knowing the funds raised will benefit not only themselves, but also their friends at the shelter.

A number of local designers and stores have made or donated suits for clients to wear during the show (and to keep afterwards), including EPH Apparel, Lennard Taylor, Bellabalas, Topshop, Topman, Danali, Hush Collection, Margot + Maude, and Stylebar.

ConEd student teams with local chefs (and RRC grads) in support of Winnipeg Harvest

January 27, 2017

Leane Funk is using her good taste to fight hunger.

Funk, a professional server and Red River College Continuing Education student, is one of the foodies behind the Winnipeg Supper Club, a regularly occurring secret dinner event.

On Sat., Feb. 25, the Winnipeg Supper Club is teaming up with Winnipeg Harvest to present Harvest Homegrown, a not-so secret, collaborative dinner event. Harvest Homegrown will take place at Winnipeg Harvest (1085 Winnipeg Ave.) and will feature local food prepared by Deseo chef Jordan Carlson and MasterChef Canada runner-up Jeremy Senaris, both of whom are Red River College graduates.

Harvest Homegrown will raise money for Winnipeg Harvest and its hunger-fighting initiatives.

“It just so happened that six months ago, David Northcott (Winnipeg Harvest executive director) ended up at a table I was serving and we just started chatting,” says Funk. “I mentioned who I was and he had heard of (Winnipeg Supper Club). One thing led to another and we discussed starting something together. Then I went and met with Colleen McVarish (Harvest development manager) and now we’re doing a dinner.”

Funk is excited for dinner guests to see Carlson and Senaris in action.

“I thought with their contrasting cooking styles they would be a good collaboration,” she says. “It’s a pretty open kitchen and we have a chef’s table that is available for purchase for a group of 10. It’s available at a bit of a premium but they’ll be front row, watching the chefs and being served by Jeremy and Jordan.” Read More →