It’s being billed as the “TurboTax for law,” and Red River College students are helping to bring it to the web.
Students from the College’s Business Administration program and Applied Computer Education (ACE) department have partnered with Winnipeg’s Evans Family Law Corporation, to develop an interview-based web application that allows users to access and fill out basic family law documents themselves.
In the works since last year, the app is slated to be built and brought online by RRC students sometime in 2018.
“Access to justice, particularly in family law, has been recognized as a serious issue with the legal community for some time,” says Business instructor George Allen. “It is believed the kind of technology this project is looking to implement could play an important role in addressing some of the access issues inherent in the current system.”
Allen says the project would be designed to provide Manitobans with access to court forms using intelligent documents, and to use an interview-style dialogue process for gathering client data — much like TurboTax does to complete federal and provincial tax forms.
The prospect of saving thousands of dollars in legal fees could be particularly attractive to the large number of working Canadians for whom the ability to retain a lawyer is out of reach due to costs.
“If you’re working and you’re making a certain level of income, and you have a divorce proceeding or a wills and estate issue, you won’t qualify for Legal Aid because you make too much money or you own property,” says Allen (shown above, fourth from right). “You may also be in a situation where paying $300 an hour for a lawyer is really a hardship, or even out of the question.”
“An uncontested divorce or separation is really a straightforward process that most paralegals would normally be doing under the guidance and underwriting of a lawyer. So we’re looking at taking those forms and that process and providing it at a low cost to this particular population that otherwise likely wouldn’t have access to it.”
Greg Evans, principal at Evans Family Law, says the idea is to provide some of the same services already offered at Winnipeg’s Legal Help Centre, only for an online audience.
“People are much more used to having services provided online or through online websites and applications,” says Evans (shown above, second from right). “It’s an idea that takes a look at what potentially might be the wave of the future, particularly with simple legal documents.” Read More →
A pair of Red River College Nursing students have returned home from an international skills competition with some well-deserved hardware and a greater sense of pride in their work.
Second-year student Elyse Griffith (shown above, third from left) and third-year student Rachel Rubin (holding flag) took first place amongst international student competitors, and earned a silver medal overall, at the seventh annual International Nursing Skills Competition in Shanghai, China, earlier this month.
“Being able to participate in this competition was an incredible experience, and I know I will be a better nurse for having participated,” says Rubin. “I was proud of how we represented RRC on an international level and showed what our students are capable of. It was a great opportunity to learn more about nursing in other countries and see the strengths of the participating students from all around the world.”
This year marked the first time RRC sent a team to the competition, which is hosted by the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences (SUMHS) in cooperation with the Shanghai Nursing Education Group. To earn their medal, Griffith and Rubin faced off against 15 student teams from around the world— all testing their abilities to assess and react and perform various medical procedures in a series of simulated medical situations. Read More →
Red River College has launched two programs that move education outside of the traditional post-secondary setting and into remote Manitoba communities — helping Indigenous learners gain the tools they need to enter careers in carpentry, plumbing and other skilled trades.
One of the programs — the first to be delivered by RRC at Lake Manitoba First Nation — has allowed 15 students to work on completing their Level One Carpentry Apprenticeship training while at the same time helping to renovate local infrastructure in their community. The other program, delivered at Sagkeeng First Nation, provided an introduction to trades and plumbing skills via RRC’s mobile training labs (MTLs).
“These community-based training programs are an important example of how the College is helping create more pathways to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy.
“Classes like the one in Lake Manitoba First Nation provide learning opportunities to students who might not be able to access education otherwise. They allow students to remain in their homes and stay connected to family and other support systems, while receiving vital training and doing hands-on work in their community and the surrounding areas.”
Delivered in partnership with Apprenticeship Manitoba, the Lake Manitoba First Nation initiative is a 12-week program that combines theory, safety training and practical learning. It’s delivered in the industrial arts and shops space at the community’s own middle school. The College provides tools and equipment, and students are taught by an RRC instructor and journeyman carpenter. Read More →
For the second year in a row, a Red River College grad has taken the top prize at an annual competition showcasing the local culinary scene’s best and brightest.
Chef Mike Robins (Culinary Arts, 2010), of Osborne Village eatery Sous Sol, claimed the prime podium spot at this year’s Gold Medal Plates competition in Winnipeg. He now advances to the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna.
Robins edged out the competition with a perfectly seared scallop dish that judges described as “so simple [and] so delicious” — though they went on to concede the rest of the elements on his plate were anything but basic.
“Headlining in terms of umami-saturated flavour was a superb sauce — a beurre blanc made from a dashi broth and enriched with miso, [Robins’] homemade Dijon-style mustard, lemon, wine, and the liquor from the raw scallops,” reads a rave posted to the event’s blog site.
“Button-sized slices of zucchini, pickled in apple cider and cider vinegar flavoured with turmeric and mustard, stood upon dots of puréed carrot. A half teaspoonful of pickled mustard seed was carefully judged — not too tangy — while fresh dill fronds and a cool herb oil made with sorrel, dill and chives brought a little chlorophyll to the party.
“Potato also featured, but in a most unexpected way. They had been put through a Chinese turning slicer, emerging like string, which [Robins] dyed black with cuttlefish ink, wrapped around a cannoli tube and then deep-fried into crispy spirals.”
Each year in cities across the country, Gold Medal Plates regional events find chefs battling each other and the clock — with just 90 minutes to prepare and serve their culinary creations to a crowd of 600.
Dishes are then judged by a panel of food critics and culinary experts. This year’s judges included RRC’s Jeff Gill (Director, Food Services), former College staffer and MasterChef Canada contestant Mike Green, and last year’s regional winner, Culinary Arts alum Jeremy Friesen, of Pizzeria Gusto.
The events also double as a fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic Foundation, which supports the technical, scientific, medical and coaching needs of Canada’s athletes.
The national competition takes place Feb. 2 and 3, 2018.
Photo credits: Peg City Grub/Mike Green
Last weekend, in front of a crowd representing all sectors of the provincial economy, Red River College was honoured with a Long-term Achievement Award by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.
Presented as part of the 34th annual Manitoba Business Awards gala, the designation recognizes the College’s unwavering dedication to education and to community — a tradition, point of pride, and driving force that has led RRC to become Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning, and a global leader in research and innovation.
“It may seem unconventional to regard Red River College as a business, but we haven’t achieved this level of success by following convention,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“Part of what makes the College such an outstanding place to study, teach and work is our ability to continually push the boundaries and shape Manitoba’s economy every day.”
The Long-term Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements made by the Manitoba business community. Nominees are evaluated on sustained growth, contributions to Manitoba employment, and community involvement, demonstrating a commitment of at least 50 years in operation.
From its beginnings in the 1930s as the Industrial Education Centre, to the opening of the Notre Dame Campus in 1963, to the ongoing expansion projects currently underway today, the College has long been celebrated as an institution that’s committed to meeting the needs of Manitoba growing economy.
“We are very proud of our growing partnership model and working relationships with industry — many of whom are also members of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce,” says Vogt.
“We are proud of the entrepreneurs, products, services and innovations that we continue to bring to the market in Manitoba and on a global level, and we look forward to continued successes as we look toward the future.”
Shown above (from left): Judy Murphy, Board Chair, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce; Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President, Academic, RRC; Tim Silversides, Board Chair, CPA Manitoba; Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy, RRC.
Red River College is now the top research college in Western Canada, according to Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges, an annual ranking conducted by Re$earch Infosource Inc. that was released today.
“It’s fantastic to once again be recognized for our overall research efforts and successes in building research and innovation capacity for Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our research programming has never been more important as we work to support the increasingly sophisticated needs of current and future graduates, employers and industry.”
This has been a marquee year for the College, with major infrastructure announcements for both its Exchange District and Notre Dame campuses. Applied research has been the impetus for much of the recent growth.
“We now have so much research-related activity happening at the College – all in response to expressed needs by industry and our community,” says Ray Hoemsen, RRC’s Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation. “Being recognized as the top Research College in Western Canada validates that we are not only playing a key role in economic development, but also that our knowledge, expertise and facilities are highly relevant.”
Visit our Research Partnerships & Innovation blog to read more about the top 10 research-related highlights from the past year.
A pair of future nurses will soon take their training to the next level by having their skills and knowledge tested on an international stage.
Next week, a team of Red River College students will travel to Shanghai, China, to compete in the seventh International Nursing Skills Competition, hosted by the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences. There, they’ll face off against teams from more than 40 colleges and universities from around the world, in a series of intense nursing scenarios.
Elyse Griffith, a second-year student, and Rachel Rubin, who’s in her third year, will represent Red River College — and Manitoba — in the competition. This year marks the first time a Manitoba school has competed, and only the second year teams from Canada have taken part.
“I’m looking forward to engaging with students from other countries and learning about their experiences,” says Rubin. “There will be different procedures for the same scenario, and I think you can always learn from the way other people find solutions. It will be interesting to share knowledge and find common ground.”
Rubin and Griffith have been meeting weekly with Nursing instructors Myrna Davis and Sandy Alguire — and with Chris Hofer, a second-year student selected as the team’s alternate — to prepare for the competition.
“Most of the learning happens in the scenarios,” says Griffith. “A lot of the skills we’re learning are things I haven’t done in clinical [training)] yet. It’s really helpful, knowing what we might be walking into.” Read More →
Red River College has launched a number of new bursaries and awards aimed at supporting Indigenous learners, those committed to social justice, and those pursuing studies that support the environment.
Last year, a total of 2,300 financial awards — worth more than $1.5 million — were distributed to students enrolled at RRC.
“Many of our students benefit from access to the awards, bursaries and scholarships made available through the support of local businesses, industry partners, and community organizations and individuals who have made an investment in our students,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“This type of an investment not only benefits our students, it helps continue to support the province’s economy, as Manitobans are able to access the skills and training they need to join the workforce.”
In addition to support from donors and industry partners, student awards are also made possible through investments from the province, including matched funding amounts provided to participating post-secondary institutions.
“Manitoba’s economy relies on the success of our students — as about 98 per cent of our alumni live and work here after graduation — and financial awards help alleviate the pressures that many students face,” says Vogt. “This is one of the ways we support student success, which is a key strategic priority at the College.”
Students who are considering applying for a financial award are encouraged to explore the full list, which includes eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
New scholarships and bursaries available this year include: Read More →
Whiteboards and overhead projectors are some of the things that come to mind when the average person imagines a classroom — but that image is quickly changing. Today, educators from across Manitoba are at Red River College learning how they can incorporate new and emerging technologies — including drones, video games and virtual reality — in their classrooms.
“These are the early adopters,” says Dr. Eva Brown, Emerging Technology instructor for RRC’s Teacher Education department. “Our goal with this [workshop] is twofold: to prepare educators for the expectations and learning styles of their students, and to show how educators can prepare learners for what is in front of them.”
“Today’s learners are more familiar with technology than a pen and paper. Their pen and paper is a tablet or a computer. We need to embrace technology as a mechanism for engagement and 21st century learning.”
The workshop was developed by Brown and fellow instructor Daryl McRae — along with new media technician Jonathan Ferber, from the College’s eTV Learning Technologies media lab — in partnership with the Manitoba Association of Computer Educators, as part of a year-long project supported by RRC’s Program Innovation Fund.
Focusing on emerging drone technology, the team members have been researching feasibility, interest, regulations and legalities — while also becoming certified drone pilots themselves — to assist in the development of drone-based curriculum at the College.
Rounding out the roster are RRC media technicians Murray Toews and Dylan Smitzniuk, who’ll lead the virtual reality and games components of today’s workshop.
“Evolving education is about sharing knowledge,” says Norm Gould, President of the Manitoba Teacher's Society. “Today, teachers are attending different workshops across the province to learn new skills and will share that knowledge in their classrooms, at their schools and across their divisions.
“The fact is that most students in the K-12 system have grown up with technology in their hands. It's important for us as educators to understand technology and adapt it to our lessons to meet the needs of our students.” Read More →
Today, students in Red River College’s Pathway Program to Construction Skills provided a helping — and skilled — set of hands during a Habitat for Humanity build that doubled as their introduction to practical training.
The students are refugee newcomers to Manitoba who enrolled in the program to enhance their English skills and gain practical experience, with an eye on securing full-time employment in the construction sector once they’ve completed their training.
Many participants took up residence in Manitoba after being forced to flee their homes in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Though some had to leave almost everything behind, they brought with them their experience in construction and the skilled trades. Now they’re hoping to put those skills to good use as they begin their new lives in Canada.
“Most of us can’t even begin to imagine moving across the world to a new place where we speak a different language, and not being able to pursue employment in a career or industry we’ve spent our lives working towards,” says Stuart Schwartz, Program Manager at RRC’s Language Training Centre. “But this is a reality for many.”
“Other students may not have previous experience, but [they] have the desire to learn. This program aims to bridge the gap and remove the language barrier by providing students with the essential language training, technical skills and experience they need to gain employment working in Manitoba’s construction sector.” Read More →