RRC's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Program Earns Military Recognition

March 14, 2011

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Red River College's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program has been recognized by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (DND/CF), for enhancing the career opportunities available to graduates who may be considering a career in the military.

According to the notification that accompanied the recognition, RRC's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program has "accelerated the career opportunities for graduates of (the) program who may be considering a career in the Canadian Forces by providing them with advanced standing as an Aviation Systems Technician."

The notification also points out that AME students who may be considering a career in the military are eligible to receive a salary (with benefits) and support to offset tuition and materials if they're enrolled through the Canadian Forces Non-Commissioned Member — Subsidized Education Plan.

"This means that students wishing to join the DND can enroll or be currently enrolled in RRC's AME program, and tuition and related expenses will be paid by the DND," explains Dennis Doersam, Director of RCC's Stevenson Campus. "As well, they will receive a salary and benefits while attending the program. Upon graduating, they receive credit for the training and time spent in the AME program."

Once enlisted, students will receive basic DND training (as well as military-specific technical training), and will start at a salary substantially greater than the minimum enlisted salary. The accreditation provides students with better access to jobs within the military, Doersam says, while the training qualifies them for Civilian AME training certification, should they wish to apply.

Click here to learn more about the Subsidized Education Plan; for more details, contact Master Warrant Officer Paul Lucas (at the Canadian Forces Recruitment Centre in Winnipeg) at paul.lucas@forces.gc.ca or 983-3680 (ext. 246).

Click here for more information about RRC's Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program.

RRC Culinary Grads Featured in Fundraising Calendar

March 11, 2011

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A pair of Red River College graduates are featured prominently in the first-ever Canadian Culinary Federation calendar celebrating junior chefs from across the country.

Culinary Arts grads Natasha Dyck and Jesse Friesen — now working at Tre Visi and Lobby On York, respectively — are both featured in the inaugural edition of the Federation's Made in Canada: A Collection of Recipes from Canada's Junior Chefs, an 18-month calendar highlighting the accomplishments of junior chefs from coast-to-coast.

The calendar features images of (and links to recipes for) Dyck's pan-seared Atlantic salmon and Friesen's lobster salad, along with a number of additional mouthwatering entries. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar go towards the 2011 Bidvest World Cooks Tour Against Hunger in South Africa (click here for more info), as well as the Junior Chefs Initiative in Canada.

Click here to view biographical information for all the junior chefs featured in the calendar, or to print out the monthly recipes. (Don't worry if you can't find Dyck's or Friesen's recipes just yet — they're being rolled out slowly, on a month-by-month basis.)

Click here for more information about RRC's Culinary Arts program.

Rebels Men's Volleyball Team Wins Fourth MCAC Championship, Finishes Third Undefeated Season

March 10, 2011

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Red River College's Rebels Men's Volleyball team wrapped up their third straight season of undefeated play over the weekend, winning their fourth straight Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) Championship Saturday night in front of 400 spectators.

The 2011 MCAC Final 4 Volleyball Championships, held last Friday and Saturday at RRC's recently-upgraded North Gym, saw the Rebels men's and women's teams playing host to squads from Canadian Mennonite University, Assiniboine Community College, Providence College and College universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

The Rebels men's team took the top spot at the tourney — besting the CMU Blazers with a 3-1 win, and finishing first in regular season standings with 12 wins and no losses. The women's team finished fourth in the tournament (the top spot went to the Providence College Freemen), but ranked second in regular season play with a 9-7 record.

The men's team's final match was a bit of nailbiter: Though RRC won the first, third and fourth sets (27-25, 25-20 and 25-15, respectively), CMU clinched the second with a 25-21 win. The second set also had to be delayed briefly after Rebels setter Curtis Sawatzky collided with teammate Dave Glass, opening up a cut on Glass's forehead.

"The guys have always responded to adversity this year," said Rebels head coach Dan Gilbert after the final. "With Dave (Glass) going out with that cut above his eye, and even though we dropped that set, it was the challenge we needed to really spark us."

Rebels hitter Jacoby Dueck's strong performance over the weekend earned him Final 4 MVP honours, while teammate Tom Oosterveen and CMU's Todd Reimer were named players of the game.

In related news, Dueck, Oosterveen and Erik Hansen were named 2010-11 All-Conference Selections (Oosterveen was also named Regular Season MVP), while on the women's side, Carley Dupuis and Amy Nachtigall earned All-Conference Selection honours.

For more information and standings, see mcacathletics.ca

Commentary on International Women's Day

March 8, 2011

A commentary on International Women's Day from RRC President Stephanie Forsyth:

Today is International Women’s Day, and a time to reflect on the change and progress that has occurred in our society for women. The media is full of statistics about the progress (or lack thereof) that women have made in the past decade and they are worth taking time for consideration.

In Canada, women still earn less than men for the same work, a gap that is widening for women with university degrees; women serve on fewer than 15% of corporate boards, and; women are all but absent from powerful political positions. This latter statistic is all the more interesting when one considers that women constitute 52% of Canada’s population. With women holding only 22% of the seats in the House of Commons, Canada ranks 52nd in the world in representation of women in the national parliament, behind many poor countries, including Rwanda and Afghanistan.

Today, 43% of Aboriginal women live in poverty in Canada, double the percentage of non-Aboriginal women and significantly more than the number of Aboriginal men.  The 2010 Sisters in Spirit study shows that 582 Aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1970, with 39% of the cases having occurred since 2000. While Aboriginal women make up only three per cent of the population, they comprise 10 per cent of the murder victims in the past 20 years.

Throughout the world thousands of women are victims of violence and rape, women and children are still dying from starvation at alarming rates, and abuse continues to proliferate regardless of social or economic status or education achievements.

While the focus of International Women’s Day is women, ultimately it is about fighting for humanity and dignity.  It is crucial that we take time to not only reflect on the incredible disparities that still exist in society but more importantly, to do what we can to make a difference.

Happy International Women’s Day. 

Princess Street Facility Becomes "The Roblin Centre"

March 3, 2011

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Jennifer Roblin speaking at the naming ceremony for The Roblin Centre.

Red River College’s facility at 160 Princess Street will now be known as The Roblin Centre, in honour of former Manitoba premier Duff Roblin, who played a crucial role in the College’s development.

The renaming was made official during a ceremony held at RRC’s downtown campus last Monday, during which Roblin was celebrated for helping to revitalize Manitoba’s education system — by building schools, introducing the current system of school boards, and helping to establish the community college model.

“We feel it’s important to recognize the critical role Premier Roblin played in the development of Red River College as one of Canada’s leading institute of applied learning,” said RRC’s President, Stephanie Forsyth.

The Roblin Centre is part of the College’s growing Exchange District campus, which also includes the nearby Massey Building on William Avenue, and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, opening in the old Union Bank Tower this September.

In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press, Roblin’s daughter, Jennifer Roblin, conveyed her family’s approval of the renaming, calling it “a huge honour and a tremendous tribute.”

“Education was Dad’s focal point in 1958 (when he became premier). It remained so throughout the premiership,” she told the paper. “He would be thrilled and humbled to know that this incredibly beautiful building is named after him.”

Manitoba’s 14th Premier, Roblin oversaw construction of the Red River Floodway (or “Duff's Ditch"), which has since saved Manitoba billions of dollars in estimated flood damages.
 
He was also a strong champion of education: establishing the current system of school divisions in Manitoba, promoting French language learning, and leading the drive to create a community college system. It was under his leadership, that RRC’s Notre Dame Campus was built in 1963.

Roblin was "a leader who had a vision for Manitoba’s future and took action to make his dreams a reality,” said the Honourable Rosann Wowchuk, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance.
 
Roblin's advocacy for community colleges in later years contributed to the creation of the College Expansion Initiative and the construction of RRC's Exchange District Campus.

Roblin passed away in May 2010.

 

RRC Resource Broadens Knowledge Base in Early Child Development

March 1, 2011

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In the realm of early childhood education, it’s estimated it currently takes 15 years for newly-discovered knowledge to be put into practice — in other words, the same length of time it takes for a baby to grow into a teenager.

But thanks to an ongoing partnership between Red River College and researchers from around the world — and the resulting multimedia resource, called The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) — kids might not have to wait that long to benefit from discoveries made in the field.

“There’s typically a 15-year gap between new knowledge and practice,” says Janet Jamieson, Academic Chair for Community Services at Red River College.

“This project aims to narrow that gap.”

The SECD project dates back about a decade, and was inspired by the work of Canadian researcher Dr. J. Fraser Mustard, an expert on the socioeconomic determinants of human development and health and others with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Working in partnership with Mustard and the University of Toronto’s Atkinson Centre — with funding from the Lawson Foundation, the World Bank, the Winnipeg Foundation and, most recently, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Geneva — the College collates research involving early brain development and population health, then translates it to an accessible online format that students and frontline workers can easily understand.

Read More →

Red River College Grad Advances to National Culinary Championships

March 1, 2011

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RRC grad Bryan Ursell (right), with Culinary Arts instructor Tim Appleton (left) and Sysco's Marketing Associate Sarah Anseeuw, at the Canadian Culinary Federation's 2011 Provincial Junior Culinary Challenge. (Photo courtesy 100 Acre Woods Photography.)

A recent Red River College grad will advance to the Canadian Culinary Federation’s national championships this summer, after serving up a smorgasbord of award-winning fare at a provincial competition last week.

Bryan Ursell, a recent Culinary Arts grad now working at Bergmann’s on Lombard, earned the gold medal at the CCFCC’s 2011 Provincial Junior Culinary challenge, held Thu., Feb. 24 at RRC’s Notre Dame campus.

Current RRC students Tasia Antoine and Claire Snowball earned silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In total, nine students took part in the annual contest, which requires entrants to prepare a three-course meal for eight, using ingredients from a list provided a month in advance.

Winners were selected by Kitchen Judges Melissa Hryb and Rain Ragalado — both RRC grads who’ve taken part in the Culinary Challenge in the past — and by Tasting Judges Ron Dobrinsky, President of the CCFCC in Winnipeg, Jon Hochman, Chef at the Lobby on York, and Luc Jean, a new RRC instructor who joins us from the Fairmont Hotel.

“It gives students a chance to improve their skills, first and foremost,” says event Chair (and Culinary Arts instructor) Tim Appleton. “They’ve got to think about menu design, they’ve got to think about work plans, and about the practical skills they’ll be utilizing. So it’s a very competitive thing.But really, you’re competing with yourself and your own abilities. That’s what excites them the most.”

Ursell moves on to the CCFCC National Junior Chefs Challenge, which will be held June 15, 2011, as part of the CCFCC National Convention in Vancouver.

RRC Curriculum Development Helps Northern Residents Address Housing Shortage

February 28, 2011

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A partnership between Red River College and the provincial arm of the Frontiers Foundation is helping residents of Northern Manitoba communities address a critical housing shortage in the region.

Through a recent enhancement and expansion of Frontier Foundation's Standing Tree to Standing Home program, First Nation residents in Manitoba are being provided with the skills and equipment required to fell trees, set up sawmills in their communities, and eventually construct their own houses.

The project was borne out of an observed need for improved housing on provincial reserves, and was developed through a partnership between Frontiers Foundation Manitoba (the local arm of an Ontario-based charitable organization that builds homes in Aboriginal communities), Red River College's Gimli Campus and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The College, for its part, was tasked with converting Frontiers Foundation's undocumented curriculum into five modules — including course outlines, skill checklists and tests — designed to help Northern residents get their own building program underway, using resources found in their own backyards.

Read More →

RRC Helps New Arrivals "Tap-In" to their Full Potential

February 17, 2011

Thanks to a continued partnership with Manitoba’s Immigration Centre, Red River College is helping recent arrivals to the province “tap in” to their full potential.

As part of the Immigration Centre’s aptly-named Tap-In Program, RRC (via the School of Continuing and Distance Education) provides training courses to low-income students working to improve their marketable skills.

The program is similar to flying standby on a commercial airline: Applications are submitted to program administrators two to three weeks prior to their start dates. If spaces are available, they’re allotted to Tap-In participants, who access the courses at a reduced fee.

Some clients are working towards certification, while others are just topping up their resumes, or upgrading their skills. To date, Tap-In clients have accessed upwards of $225,000 in training from post-academic institutions in Manitoba, while working towards careers in such fields as Applied Arts, Business and Management, Basic Computer, Community Services, Trades and Industrial, Health Sciences, French, Education, Information Technology, and Safety.

“It’s a partnership we’re extremely proud to be involved in,” says Raeann Thibeault, Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education. “We’re thrilled to be working with the Immigration Centre in helping newcomers attain the education they need to provide a better life for themselves, and in helping with the supply of the skilled workforce in Manitoba.”

Not surprisingly, Tap-In participants are equally effusive.

“I am the kind of person that always wants to excel in my life, and one of my priorities has been my education,” says Miguel Rodriguez, a student from Colombia who’s currently enrolled in RRC’s Justice and Public Safety program. “Unfortunately, I have never attended college because of money restrictions … This is why I thank God that through Red River College and the Tap-In Program, I am achieving my dream.”

Click here for more information about the Tap-In Program.

Red River College Keeps Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser on the Road

February 14, 2011

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Volunteers unload bikes from a pre-makeover version of "The Dinosaur," during Habitat for Humanity's 2010 Cycle of Hope. (Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity.)

Students and staff in Red River College’s Transportation program have helped ensure a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser remains road-worthy — just the latest example of how the College builds community ties through its partnerships with not-for-profit groups.

In recent weeks, students and staff from RRC’s Body Shop and the Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC) — under the supervision of Transportation Chair Neil Cooke — repaired, refurbished and repainted the bicycle-hauling trailer used in Habitat for Humanity’s annual Cycle of Hope fundraiser.

In addition to the new paint job, the trailer (affectionately known as “The Dinosaur” by Habitat insiders) also boasts new lights, new reflectors and a number of mechanical repairs — all courtesy of Red River College, with contributions from project partners Imperial Paint & Supplies and Derrick’s Sandblasting & Painting.

“It’s Habitat for Humanity — they do so much for the community, and they do so much for groups of people who really need the help,” says Cooke. “It’s really great that our staff and students had the opportunity to help them out.”

Click here for more information about RRC’s Transportation programs.

Click here for more information about Habitat for Humanity.

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Above: Habitat for Humanity's new and improved hauling trailer.