Graphic Design student lends talents to former police chief’s first book

January 24, 2017

Emily Campbell, at Red River College

A Graphic Design student’s work is helping tell the story of a local trailblazer — tracing his rise from humble roots in Jamaica to his post as Canada’s first black police chief.

Third-year Red River College student Emily Campbell, currently completing the Graphic Design – Advanced program, is the illustrator of a new children’s book written by former Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis and his wife, Pearlene.

Campbell got involved with the project via a request to RRC from Clunis himself, who wanted to team with a local student-artist on the illustrations for his semi-autobiographical tale.

The Little Boy from Jamaica: A Canadian History Story explores Clunis’ early days, during which he grew up without electricity and running water before moving to Winnipeg’s North End with his family at age 11.

Campbell, 22, says the book was already written by the time she signed on, allowing her to work from a comprehensive outline. And though she’s never been to Jamaica, she said the Clunises were able to provide photographic inspiration for her ink and watercolour illustrations.

“They only had one photo from his childhood, when he was very, very young,” she says. “That’s what I based his character on. And then when he’s older, I obviously based it off what he looks like today.” Read More →

Back to school: Former teacher skips retirement in favour of new career

January 20, 2017

After a successful career as a teacher, Willa Klyne decided it was time to go back to school.

Last June, Klyne, 55, wrapped up 29 years of teaching in Frontier School Division. Not really the retiring type, she enrolled in Red River College’s Administrative Assistant program, completing the 17-week certificate program in December.

“I want to work for a very long time. My mom worked part-time until she was 75 years old and I see myself doing the same thing,” Klyne says.

“I’d like to have two or three careers in my lifetime. My plan is to work full-time until I’m 65 and then I’ll decide if I want to continue … or go down to part-time. But I don’t want my working career to be one thing. I can’t imagine sticking with one type of job for my entire lifetime. There are new things to learn and new experiences to have.”

Klyne admits she was a bit nervous about attending college at 55, but she’s not the first in her family to go back to school later in life. In the 1970s, Klyne’s grandmother, Violet McKillop, took a commercial cake decorating course at RRC while in her 70s.

“I would never let it stop me (being an older student), but I wondered how it would be. It turned out to be great. There were way more older students there than I thought there would be,” Klyne says. Read More →

Donor support helps Manufacturing grad qualify for trades and technology Olympics

December 15, 2016

silas-meechesIt’s safe to say Silas Meeches has turned out to be a good investment.

With the help of several donor-supported awards and bursaries from Red River College, Meeches, 20, graduated with his Manufacturing Technician diploma in May 2016. Now, he’s busy prepping for the 2017 World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, an event he describes as “the Olympics for trades and technology [students].”

Meeches first qualified for the event in June 2016 when he won a silver medal (in CNC Machining) at the Skills Canada National Competition in New Brunswick. Before nationals, he won gold in the Skills Manitoba Competition hosted at RRC.

Originally enrolled in the College’s Precision Metal Machining certificate program, Meeches didn’t feel it was a good fit for his skill set. He credits Manufacturing Technician co-ordinator Rob Ataman for pointing him to a program where he could thrive.

“From what I’ve heard [Rob] has always been a big help to students, and I was no exception,” says Meeches. “[There was] a lot of pushing in the right direction. I’d say ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ and he’d say, ‘I know you can.’” Read More →

Hours of operation during holiday break

December 14, 2016

RRC holiday mug

Red River College will again operate on restricted holiday hours, effective 4:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 23, 2016.

During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be limited to the following hours:

  • Dec. 23, 2016: Regular hours until 4:00 pm
  • Dec. 24-26, 2016: Closed (no access)
  • Dec. 27-31, 2016: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 1, 2017: Closed (no access)
  • Jan. 2, 2017: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Jan. 3, 2017: Resume regular hours, effective 7:00 a.m.

Lab access at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses during the above hours will be limited to the classroom labs listed below. Students who are in one of the designated labs prior to closure will be given a four-hour grace period (until 8:00 p.m.) to complete their studies or project before being asked to leave. Read More →

RRC alum launches bursary to support First Nations and Metis students

December 8, 2016

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Cindy Petrowski’s enthusiasm for education took root at Red River College in the early 1980s. Today, she and her partner are giving back in the form of a newly created endowment fund: The Cindy Petrowski and Phillip Marsh Helping Hands Bursary.

In honour of their Metis family members, the bursary will support First Nations or Metis students with their academic aspirations and help with financial burdens.

Speaking from her home in Victoria, B.C., the RRC graduate, who now spends most of her time with family and her dog, or volunteering for various non-profits, fondly recalls her time at the College.

Petrowski chose RRC because of its reputation then — as now — as a post-secondary institution that offered instruction in current and high-demand skills recognized and required by employers.

She enrolled in the stenography program at a time when computers were just emerging in office environments. “I felt the course offered me an opportunity to learn office skills, and to try my hand at technology,” she remembers.   Read More →

RRC named one of province’s top employers for seventh year running

November 30, 2016

Manitoba's Top Employers logoRed River College is proud to again be recognized as one of Manitoba’s Top 25 Employers for building a supportive, inclusive and engaging work environment for the more than 2,300 employees who’ve built their careers at one of Manitoba’s largest post-secondary institutions.

The designation — the seventh in a row for RRC — comes courtesy of the editors of Canada’s Top Employers, who each year recognize Manitoba employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.

“When it comes to growing Manitoba’s economy and driving innovation in education, Red River College plays a vital role in preparing students and industry for the economic and job opportunities of today and tomorrow,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“This important job is in the hands of Red River College employees, who are extremely dedicated and passionate about making a difference in the lives of their students. We recognize this commitment of our employees and try to return the favour by ensuring the College provides an environment where staff are supported and encouraged in meaningful ways.”

RRC has a comprehensive human resources strategy that has allowed it to continue being recognized as an employer of choice, through a variety of initiatives related to recruitment, retention, professional development, succession, total rewards, labour relations and organizational effectiveness.

The College provides exceptional benefits across its nine campuses, including three weeks of vacation for new employees, maternity top-up payments for new and adoptive parents, a defined benefit pension plan, a flexible health care plan, telecommuting, and an extended paid Christmas break. There is also on-site daycare and on-site fitness facilities at several RRC campuses.

Carols and cans: Police choir to perform at Roblin Centre food drive this Thursday

November 29, 2016

levee-2014-287In the spirit of the holidays, RRC students and staff are encouraged to bring a canned food item with them while enjoying the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) Choir as they perform carols at the Roblin Centre Student Food Bank this Thu., Dec. 1. The event will be held in the Roblin Centre atrium from noon to 1:00pm.

Overseen by the Red River College Students’ Association, the food bank allows students to help other students. RRC receives donated food and household items from Winnipeg Harvest and 30 community food banks held throughout the school year. Those goods are stored in a trailer on campus; every two weeks, they’re packaged and distributed to RRC students who have applied for assistance.

“Our Student Food Bank helps feed hundreds of RRC students and their families,” says RRCSA President Adam Taplin. “As students, we often have to decide between a night of studying or an extra shift at work to ensure we get a healthy meal. It’s only through the wonderful generosity of students, staff and the local community that we are able to restock the shelves and continue to provide food hampers year after year.”

This year will mark the first time the WPS Choir has performed at the food drive. When the choir first formed in 1974, it was only supposed to be for one year, in celebration of the City of Winnipeg’s centennial. More than 40 years later, the choir is still going strong, representing a link between the WPS and the community. Every year, the group performs free of charge at over 15 different venues and functions as a community service.

“We’re so excited to bring our group and holiday renditions to Red River College for the first time ever,” says Ron Smolik, Winnipeg Police Service and choir member. “Not only do we get to perform at one of the busiest campuses in downtown Winnipeg, but we get to do it while supporting a great cause.”

First-of-its-kind accounting program provides pathway to degree, professional designation

November 28, 2016

img_3226Post-secondary students pursuing careers as professional accountants now have a new pathway option, made possible through a partnership between Red River College, the University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba (CPA Manitoba).

The newly designed option, in effect September 2017, is the only pathway of its kind in Canada. It allows students to obtain a two-year diploma in Business Administration with a major in Accounting at Red River College, then ladder into UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Business & Economics to obtain a three-year Bachelor degree in Business and Administration, and finally to complete five CPA preparatory courses to meet the entrance requirements for the CPA Professional Education Program.

“We want to continue to be on the leading edge of meeting the needs of industry,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Today’s partnership with UWinnipeg shows that we are working together as a network of post-secondary institutions to create greater mobility for students. Our partnership with CPA further demonstrates our close connections to industry and our ongoing efforts to ensure that our programming is relevant, timely, and accessible. The end result will benefit the profession and open more doors to rewarding careers for our students.”

The three partnering institutions are committed to making the programs as accessible as possible. This commitment includes development of additional online degree courses that will provide greater accessibility and flexibility, and will support the needs of adult learners who may be in the workforce and intend to pursue the CPA designation.

“CPA Manitoba is excited by the opportunity to partner with two of Manitoba’s most highly respected post-secondary institutions,” says Todd Scaletta, President and CEO of CPA Manitoba. “Together we will provide aspiring professionals innovative pathways to the unlimited opportunities in business, accounting and finance as a CPA. This new partnership offers individuals the flexibility of efficiently achieving the academic requirements for entry into CPA’s Professional Education Program, while studying part-time and gaining practical experience full-time.”

Extreme weather testing facility coming to RRC

November 25, 2016

MotiveLab press announcement, November 2016

Red River College has announced the next steps in the construction of MotiveLab, a highly specialized extreme weather testing facility that will be the first of its kind in Western Canada.

MotiveLab is a 3,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility – essentially a giant heater or freezer – that will provide opportunities for industry testing on heavy vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including transit and highway buses. Already, companies have identified more than 65 full days of demand for MotiveLab’s research and development services.

“Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of our economy, and this research and testing facility is a direct result of our close ties with manufacturers, as well as our efforts to meet current and future training and technology needs,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“It’s an approach we are taking across all sectors to help local industry innovate, create jobs of the future and be more competitive in the global marketplace.”

A funding announcement made today provides a total of $6 million for the construction of MotiveLab, a climatic chamber that allows for year-round testing to be conducted at extreme temperatures and under full loads using a 1,000 horsepower, three-axle dynamometer. The program will also train students in this highly specialized and emerging program area.

“The heavy vehicle sector is faced with increasingly stringent environmental demands, which has its players pushing the envelope in terms of new design and technology implementation,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

“This all gives way to ever greater research and testing needs. MotiveLab will be a unique Western Canadian facility that will help give Manitoba firms a competitive edge.” Read More →

History made at inaugural Sweat Lodge ceremony

November 25, 2016

On a sunny, snowless November afternoon, students, faculty and administrators gathered at Red River College’s Medicine Wheel grounds to make history at the first on-campus Sweat Lodge ceremony.

In keeping with RRC’s strategic priority to advance Indigenous achievement — by weaving knowledge, philosophy and cultural perspectives into programming content and campus culture — the new Sweat Lodge facility, including fire pits and change rooms, marks the first step in the College’s ceremonial grounds expansion plan.

“I had a vision in 2004 of having a Sweat Lodge at Red River College available for students and staff, and that vision has now become a reality,” says Elder Jules Lavallee. “It’s a legacy for everyone to enjoy, and will help to heal for years to come. It was an incredible opportunity for staff and students to work together with the same purpose.”

Led by Lavallee and Mae Louise Campbell, RRC’s Elders in Residence, last week’s ceremony saw 17 people making their way into the Lodge for the inaugural sweat.

The structure, which represents the womb of Mother Earth, was made with willow branches collected and prepared in the days prior. Once the branches were in position, they were tied together and the frame was covered with canvas. The structure took approximately three hours to build, and was assembled in conjunction with Sweat Lodge teachings.

“Helping to put together the structure was a learning experience,” says a participating student from RRC’s Introduction to Trades Program. “Being Indigenous myself, it taught me some of the things that I did not know about these lodges and how they are built, and also how much work actually goes into it. It made me feel more connected to my ancestry.” Read More →