Instructors Honoured at Appreciation Reception

December 15, 2010

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Instructor Bob Chamberlain (left), accepts the School of C+DE's first-ever Teaching Excellence Award, as Raeann Thibeault, Dean of the School of C+DE, looks on.

Red River College shone a spotlight on some of its most important contributors last week, during the School of Continuing + Distance Education’s annual Instructor Appreciation Reception.

The event, which drew close to 200 attendees, gave staff members at the College a chance to pay tribute to C+DE’s pool of instructors, many of whom balance their teaching responsibilities with real-world industry jobs during the day.

“Tonight is our opportunity to say thank-you and to show appreciation for everything that our instructors do throughout the year,” said Raeann Thibeault, Dean of the School of C+DE.

“You help our students achieve their goals, and you help our students to be successful.”

Thibeault was joined at the speaker’s podium by David Leis, Vice-President of Business Development at RRC, and Stephanie Forsyth, the College’s President and CEO. Both spoke of the significant impacts that RRC instructors have on the lives of their students.

“This side of the College is so filled with that entrepreneurial spirit of creativity and integrity that is so great to be around,” said Forsyth.

“It’s like there’s this secret side of the College — a shadow side of the College — that comes alive at nights and on weekends. You’re really making a difference — both to students, and to industry here in Manitoba.”

As part of the reception, organizers paid tribute to instructors marking their 10th, 20th and 25th year of service with the College. They also honoured longtime instructor Bob Chamberlain — described by students as a “toasted marshmallow” (crusty on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside!) — with the first-ever Teaching Excellence Award.

Those recognized at the event included: Clara Baricz, Carlos Clark, Arnold Evans, Sandie Foster, James Hayes, Nancy Hughes, Suzanne Kelly, Phillip Klassen, Harold Klause, Daniel Larson, Dennis Mitchell and Bradley Schellenberg (10 years); Wayne Bemister, Leon Wartzaba and David A. Bibby (20 years); and Otto Gebhardt and Maureen Olafson (25 years).

Click here for more information about the School of Continuing + Distance Education.

Immigrant and International Students Welcomed

December 10, 2010

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Stephanie Forsyth (left), RRC's President and CEO, with Jhon Pinto (centre), a Civil Engineering student from Colombia.

Red River College's 6th Annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students, held Fri., Nov. 26th at the Notre Dame Campus, was an entertaining — and welcoming — event that drew over 380 student, staff and family members.

The party featured Bhangra dances by Sher-E-Punjab; French Canadian folklore courtesy of Ça Claque, African rhythms from the Casimiro Nhusi Band; and the Latin American energy of Cubanisimo and Papa Mambo.  Children in attendance also enjoyed caricatures, face painting and amazing balloon shapes.

Greetings were offered by a number of individuals — among them, Stephanie Forsyth, RRC's President and CEO; Nadia Mahmood, Acting Manager for Diversity and Immigrant Student Support; Levinia Brown, Elder; Stevenson Alloso, Director of International Education; and Danielle Funk, President of RRC's Students’ Association — all of whom touched on the importance of welcoming immigrant and international students to the College.

“Manitoba welcomed more immigrants last year than at any time in its recorded history — 13,520 people from around the world decided to make this province their new home," Forsyth said in her address. "As immigration to Manitoba increases each year, Red River College has seen significant growth in the number of immigrant and international students on our campuses. We've responded to that demand with more programs and services catered to you, and I'm proud to say that we are a leader in Canada when it comes to innovative ways to support immigrant and international students.

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Holiday Closures at Red River College

December 8, 2010

Red River College will close for the holidays, beginning at noon on Wed., Dec. 22nd, 2010. The College will re-open at 7 a.m., on Tue., Jan. 4th, 2011.

Both the Notre Dame Campus and the Exchange District Campus will be closed during this time, as will RRC’s Steinbach campus. Campuses at Gimli, Peguis-Fisher River, Portage and Winkler will also close at noon on Dec. 22nd, but will re-open at 8:30 a.m., (not 8 a.m.), on Jan. 4th, 2011.

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

December 22nd -23rd: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
December 24th: 8:00 a.m. to 12 Noon
December 25th and 26th: Closed – no access
December 27th to 31st: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
January 1st, 2011: Closed – no access
January 2nd – 3rd: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
January 4th: Resume regular hours effective 7:00 a.m.

Lab access on 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 4 hour grace period (until 4:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. depending on day) to complete their studies or project before being asked to leave. Designated Labs are:

NDC Labs:
• D315 – Business Division students using desktops
• BB12 – Hospitality students using lap top computers
• A423 – Advanced Diploma – (GIS)
• A226 – Electrical/Electronic Engineering Students

Roblin (PSC) Labs:
• A 106 – PC Lab
•W 412 – Mac Lab

Entry to the Notre Dame Campus during restricted hours will be permitted via the East Plaza door of Building C. Entry to The Roblin Centre (PSC) will be permitted through the North Atrium doors. Sign In /Sign Out procedures will be in effect. Identification will be required for admission. Staff and students are advised to carry their College identification cards.

The Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre will be closed to students during the holiday break. Other campus locations will issue separate memos with respect to their hours of operation. 

Limited technical support will be available to Continuing and Distance Education students from Mon., Dec. 27th, to Fri., Dec. 31st, 2010. Students requiring assistance with a LEARN course can email learn@rrc.mb.ca, while those seeking assistance with a SharePoint course can email osierra@rrc.mb.ca. (Please allow 24 hours for a response.)

Q + A with RRC President Stephanie Forsyth

November 29, 2010

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Here's the full version of the Q+A with Red River College's new President and CEO Stephanie Forsyth that was excerpted in the most recent issue of RED magazine.


1. What led you to a career in post-secondary education?

Prior to my first job in PSE, I was working in the hospitality industry and it was a challenge to get highly qualified people. Selkirk College approached me to develop and initiate programs for the hospitality sector. Over the next several years I worked both within the college sector and in the hospitality industry. I became engaged in assisting the more marginalized to obtain an education and employment and realized the power of education to transform lives. It has been inspiring and deeply gratifying. There was a time I would have never imagined I would be in education; now I’m completely devoted to this work.

 

2. What drew you to Red River College?

It’s perhaps the only college in Canada that could lure me out of B.C. It’s located in a “big small town,” it has an excellent reputation and its values and strategic directions fit with my interests and background, such as: working closely with communities, industry and the province in social and economic development; seeking to enhance access and success of Aboriginal learners and the chronically underemployed; leading in applied research and innovation; aspiring to be a green college; and the list goes on!

Additionally, I was very interested in learning about the lifestyle and culture of prairie Canada. So far, my impression is that Winnipeg is a great place to live that’s greatly misunderstood by the rest of Canada. It’s an accessible, affordable city with a lot to offer! I’m very impressed with the arts and culture, the amenities, and the warm and welcoming spirit of so many people, from shopkeepers to college staff.

 

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Achievements Celebrated at 2010 Alumni Dinner

November 25, 2010

2010 Alumni Dinner

Several decades’ worth of accolades and achievements were celebrated in style last week, as former students and current faculty — along with a host of community partners — gathered at Red River College’s 2010 Alumni Dinner.

The event — held Friday, Nov. 19th at The Fairmont Winnipeg — gave those in attendance a chance to pay tribute to their peers, among them entrepreneur John Gale, the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Gale, a 1980 graduate of RRC's Mechanical Engineering Technology program, was one of the driving forces behind the creation of a diamond drill bit that revolutionized the drilling industry in the mid-1980s. He’s currently overseeing a development plan that aims to turn the city of Kenora into a world-class business and tourist destination.

“It was definitely the most successful alumni dinner to date,” says Dale Oughton, RRC’s Alumni Coordinator, of the event, which drew more than 400 attendees.

“John Gale had the entire room in stitches, He was absolutely priceless, and very eloquent.”

As always, the event helped RRC raise awareness of its Alumni Program, the purpose of which — as Oughton explains — is to maintain relationships between the College and the graduates, while celebrating the achievements of alumni.

Emceed by Creative Communications instructor Steve Vogelsang, the event also featured tributes to RRC students Nikki Brown and Andre-John Camara, winners of this year’s Alumni Spirit Awards.

Money raised by the event will be used to support RRC’s Alumni Scholarships. A portion of the funds raised will also go towards the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the rooftop deck of which will be reserved for Alumni Association functions.

RRC Staffers Bring the Heat at Inaugural Chili Cup

November 22, 2010

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From left: Mario de Negri, Al Richards and Ryan Ratushniak, winners of RRC's inaugural Chili Cup.

Staff and faculty at Red River College found a novel way to beat the winter blues last week, by engaging in some five-alarm fun at the College's first-ever Chili Cup.

The cook-off, held Nov. 16th at RRC's Notre Dame Campus, saw 13 teams putting their culinary skills to the test. Upwards of 150 students and staff members took part in the "tasting" component of the event, which helped to raise nearly $400 for RRC's Students' Association Food Bank.

The event boasted two award categories: the President's Choice Award (determined by Stephanie Forsyth, Cathy Rushton and John Reimers), and the Chili Cup Award (determined by the tasters).

The competition was close, but in the end, the following teams emerged victorious:

Chili Cup (First Place): Rebels Burning Fire Chili — Ryan Ratushniak, Mario de Negri, Al Richards and Dan Gilbert. The Rebels' chili wowed the tasters with its unique flavour and surprising undercurrent of cinnamon. It'll be served up in the voyageur Dining Room on Thu., Nov. 25th — aka "A Chili Day in November."

Chili Cup (Second Place): Tammy's Revenge — Tammy Kowerko

Chili Cup (Third Place): Piementas de Chili Caliente — Garry Giesbrecht

President's Choice: 33 Miners Trapped in Chili — Colin Fast

Congratulations also go out to staff and students at RRC's Winkler Campus, who also participated in the event. With six entries, the Winkler competition was similarly fierce, but the aptly named El Scorcho dish (courtesy of Shane Dubyk) eventually took the top prize.

 

 

Rebels Player Earns MCAC Honour

November 19, 2010

A member of the Red River College Rebels was named Male Athlete of the Week by the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) on Nov. 16, 2010.

Mike Kozoway, a starter on the Rebels mens' volleyball team, was honoured for his excellent play. In a recent match against Assiniboine Community College, Kozoway had seven kills on 12 attempts, with only one attack error for a 58% kill percentage and a 50% attack efficiency. He also had a team-high five blocks.

The Rebels will battle to retain first place in the MCAC with two matches against a fellow undefeated squad, the 3-0 Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, on Fri., Nov. 19 at 8 p.m., and Sat., Nov. 20 at 3:30 p.m. Both matches will take place at RRC's Notre Dame Campus.

For more info, please click here.

Roblin Centre at the Exchange District Campus

November 17, 2010

The Board of Governors of Red River College is proud to announce that In recognition of former Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin, the College’s buildings at 160 Princess Street will be renamed The Roblin Centre at the Exchange District Campus.

In bestowing this honour, the Board acknowledges the significant contribution Premier Roblin made to Manitoba’s post-secondary education system. While perhaps best known for the Winnipeg Floodway, Roblin also established Manitoba’s community colleges and regional secondary schools.

In the early 1990s Premier Roblin’s report, Post-Secondary Education in Manitoba: Doing Things Differently, laid the groundwork for an expansion of Manitoba’s college system that included enhancing the participation of Aboriginal people in post-secondary education. RRC’s significant growth over the past several years can be credited to the recommendations of the Roblin Report.

A ceremony to officially rename the building will be held in the near future, and at that time the name change will take effect.

Lighting Up History In the Exchange

November 9, 2010

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Red River College has flipped the switch on a dramatic display that lights up one of Winnipeg’s most prominent heritage structures and serves as a preview of the exciting new energy coming to the Exchange District.

To launch its “Lighting Up History” capital campaign, the College installed an LED lighting system that covers the front of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (formerly the Union Bank Tower at the corner of Main Street and William Avenue) in a captivating field of blue and green light.

College officials say the display is symbolic of RRC’s efforts to bring this historic building back to life, after nearly two decades spent in darkness.

The $27-million Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will be a new home for RRC’s culinary, hospitality and tourism programs, and site of the College’s first-ever student residence. The facility is scheduled to open in September 2011.

At the lighting ceremony — attended by dozens of business leaders, community representatives and students — Andrew Paterson, President and CEO of Paterson GlobalFoods Inc., and Vice-President of The Paterson Foundation, announced the capital campaign has already reached 64% of its goal for fundraising from private sources.

Both Paterson and RRC President Stephanie Forsyth stressed the importance of this project to enhancing the learning environment for students, expanding capacity at the College, building new economic opportunities in the food and hospitality sector, and further revitalizing the Exchange District.

Fall Enrolment Hits Record High

November 8, 2010

Red River College welcomed more new faces than ever before this fall, as the number of full-time students at its eight Manitoba campuses jumped by 5.5%, setting a new enrolment record.

Growth took place across the college, including big jumps in Advanced Diploma (+15.1%) and Fast Track (+45.7%) enrolments.
 
The introduction of RRC’s first two degree programs, in Construction Management and Nursing, has also proven popular with new students.

"Degree programs allow students to obtain a more advanced level of technical training than is available in a traditional two-year diploma program," explained Ken Webb, RRC’s Vice-President of Academic & Research. "These programs have been developed in direct response to industry demand for more highly skilled graduates in certain occupational areas."

Full-time enrolment is also up 17.6% at RRC’s five regional campuses, located in Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, Gimli, Winkler and Peguis/Fisher River.

Those figures should continue to increase in the years ahead, as a new campus under development in Portage la Prairie — located in the historic former Victoria School building — will allow the College to expand training opportunities in the Central Plains region.

While students are increasingly seeing the advantages of a college education — including hands-on learning, instructors with real-world experience and work placement opportunities — RRC officials say finding somewhere to put them all is a growing challenge.
 
"Red River College has been operating at close to full capacity for several years," said Webb. "We’ve been very creative in making use of our existing space, but to continue our critical role in supporting the growth of Manitoba industry, we are going to have to grow ourselves."

Webb said the development of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute in the Exchange District — a new home for RRC’s culinary and hospitality programs and site of the College’ first student residence — will provide some much-needed new teaching space. However, he stresses the college must continue to work closely with industry and government to ensure the facilities are in place to meet the labour demands of the province.