Measuring Sustainability Success

July 6, 2011

Building on the honour of being named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2011, Red River College (RRC) is the first post-secondary institution in Manitoba to join a new program to measure sustainability in all aspects of higher education across North America.

The Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). To date, over 230 higher education institutions have registered as STARS participants, including 22 in Canada.

"We’re participating in STARS to give us a measure of our sustainability performance in all areas of the College – from the courses we deliver, to the way we operate our campus, and the way we plan for the future," explained Sara MacArthur, Manager of Sustainability for RRC.

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education & research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.

“The advantage of STARS is that institutions can earn credits for all of their contributions to sustainability,” said AASHE Executive Director, Paul Rowland. “From providing sustainability coursework, to using green cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.”

STARS is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the program criteria and ratings are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because it provides a common standard of measurement, STARS allows colleges and universities to compare their sustainability performance against peers across North America.

"We're looking forward to engaging the College community in this process, and watching our sustainability efforts grow across all our campuses through our participation in STARS,” said MacArthur.

For more information about the STARS program, visit

RRC Appoints New Chair of Aviation and Aerospace

July 5, 2011

Bill Fraser has been appointed the new Chair of the Aviation and Aerospace department at Red River College.

Bill has been involved in aircraft maintenance training for 16 years, and has spent the last nine years as the coordinator for the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) diploma program at RRC's Stevenson Campus in Winnipeg. Previously, he worked for several companies as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, including eight years as a crew chief supervising AMEs and apprentices. Bill holds a current AME M1 and M2 license.    

An accomplished writer, Bill is the author of “CARs for the AME”, a text on the Canadian Aviation Regulations used by approved training and maintenance organizations across Canada. He has also published articles for the CBC, Wings magazine and the Winnipeg Free Press. Bill has been very active within the Manitoba aerospace and aviation industry, and has received an award of recognition from the Manitoba Aerospace Association for his leadership in organizing aviation events, such as the Centennial of Flight Aircraft Display.

"Bill is very enthusiastic about the future for aviation and aerospace in Manitoba, Canada and globally," says Don MacDonald, Dean of RRC's School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing. "We are excited to have him lead our aviation and aerospace programs, staff and students — ensuring we meet the challenges and opportunities of the future."    

RRC Signs Credit Recognition Agreement with other PSE institutions

June 24, 2011


Manitoba’s public college and university presidents have signed an historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will make it easier for students to transfer credits between post-secondary institutions and receive credit for prior learning as they work toward careers in today’s provincial economy.

“Today’s historic event is about system-wide collaboration and co-ordination between our institutions.  This new agreement focuses on the needs of Manitoba students who want to receive a high-quality, post-secondary education and develop the marketable skills they need to succeed,” said Premier Greg Selinger.  “The colleges and universities partnering in this MOU will aim to at least double the opportunities for student mobility in the next four years.”

A task group of key stakeholders will develop a plan for appropriate articulation agreements and credit-transfer arrangements between universities, colleges and post-secondary institutions to ensure students receive maximum benefit from prior learning.  Options may include articulation and credit‑transfer agreements, dual-credit courses, co-op programs and priority areas where prior learning will be assessed.

“On behalf of Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions, I am pleased to say we are forging ahead to create clearly defined education pathways that will help students move from technical and vocational schooling to certificate, diploma and degree programming,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College.  “It will be a pleasure to work with my colleagues to make Manitoba’s post-secondary education system as seamless and student-friendly as possible.”

The memorandum of understanding will guide the planning process and an interim report will be provided to the minister of advanced education and literacy later this fall with a final plan to be developed by no later than Feb. 15, 2012.

Animal Blood Bank Celebrates 15 Years

June 23, 2011

The Canadian Animal Blood Bank (CABB) will celebrate 15 years of giving the gift of life to animals at a special reception to be held on Thursday, June 23rd at Red River College's Exchange District Campus.

Established in 1996 by Red River College and the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, the CABB collects blood from hundreds of donors each year to assist dogs that need transfusion therapy to recover from illness or injury. It is the primary national supplier of animal blood products in Canada, providing over 1,800 units annually to veterinarians in every province.

The CABB is headquartered at Red River College's Notre Dame Campus, with a satellite collection site at NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta.

Event Details

Canadian Animal Blood Bank 15-Year Celebration
Thursday June 23rd
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Red River College, Exchange District Campus, 160 Princess Street

This event will be attended by representatives from the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, Red River College and the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association. Several canine donors will also be recognized for their years of service to CABB.


Simulation Lab Enhances MLS Program Training

June 22, 2011


Diagrams and PowerPoint presentations have been replaced by real-life technology thanks to a new simulation lab that's been added to Red River College's Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) training curriculum for biochemistry.

This innovative new teaching approach — the result of a partnership with Diagnostic Services of Manitoba Inc. (DSM) and Roche, a diagnostic vendor — provides RRC students with a more dynamic learning experience and better prepares them for both their on-site practicum and eventual employment.

"I was surprised that by just changing the way you teach and how you present your information, you can dramatically alter how we — the students — perceive the topic and our recall ability," said Anthony Villanueve, a med lab technologist-in-training who was among the first group of RRC students to use the simulation equipment.

"The activities stimulated our minds and made us think, instead of just absorbing. Instead of asking (us) what we would do in a situation, the situation was created and we were asked to fix it."

Read More →

Youth Rec Activity Worker Program Marks 10th Anniversary

June 22, 2011


Staff and graduates of RRC's Youth Recreation Activity Worker program were joined by community leaders and local dignitaries earlier this month, to celebrate the program's 10th year of making a difference in the lives of inner city youth.

The program — which prepares young adults (aged 18 to 29) to work with inner city youth by providing healthy recreational activities — was launched in 2001, in response to a need for trained staff to facilitate drop-in programming at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.

Building on existing materials from RRC's Child and Youth Care program, a new 10-month certificate program was created to train young adults as recreational leaders.

Students involved with the program — all of whom face multiple barriers themselves — study such topics as child and youth care, psychology and first aid. Many go on to find employment with Boys and Girls Clubs and other inner city youth agencies, and as childhood educators and teacher's aides.

Read More →

Rebels Soccer To Kick Off In September

June 21, 2011

Student athletes who are adept on the soccer pitch are sure to be in demand at Red River College this fall, as RRC will be fielding collegiate soccer teams for the first time in recent memory. Participating in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC), the RRC Rebels will compete against teams from Providence College, Canadian Mennonite University, Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface, and University of Winnipeg.

Twenty spots will be available on each of the men’s and women’s teams, with tryouts to be held in early September. The upcoming season — which will consist of eight games for the men and six for the women — is scheduled to extend through the end of October, culminating in a championship showdown.

“We’re really excited about the new RRC soccer teams and are confident they will carry on the Rebels sports tradition of success and sportsmanship,” says Ryan Ratushniak, Manager of Athletics and Recreation Services at Red River College.  “This new addition will give the RRC community of Rebels supporters and sports fans one more reason to cheer this fall.” 

For more information on Rebels Athletics, visit

RRC Director Wins National Award

June 10, 2011

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has named Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at Red River College (RRC) as their prestigious Gold Leadership Excellence Award winner.

“Mr. Hoemsen was recognized for the exceptional work he has done in creating and leading sustained applied research, innovation, and commercialization programs in Manitoba,” said James Knight, ACCC President and CEO. “His leadership in this area has been a model for other colleges regionally and nationally.”

Every year, the ACCC recognizes an individual from a Canadian college that has made the greatest impact on his/her institution and, as a result, the communities it serves.

Read More →

RRC Leads Way at Skills Canada Event

June 7, 2011

Red River College students led the way for a Manitoba delegation that earned the highest number of gold medals at the recently held 17th Canadian Skills Competition in Quebec City. The annual Skills Canada National event took place from June 1 to 4.

Team Manitoba received a total of 24 medals, including 13 Gold, 5 Silver, and 6 Bronze. The teams from Ontario and Quebec each earned 10 Gold medals, while the Alberta and British Columbia delegations each finished with 7 Gold.

Of the Team Manitoba medals, Red River College students won 4 Gold, 2 Silver, and 3 Bronze:

  • Andrew Hallmann, CNC Machining (post-secondary) – Gold
  • Markus Messerschmidt, Autobody Repair (post-secondary) – Gold
  • Ryan Peters, Carpentry (post-secondary) – Gold
  • Vasyl Zhukov-Malyeyev, Cabinet Making (post-secondary) – Gold
  • Jacob Bell, Brick Masonry (post-secondary) - Silver
  • Chad Verplaestse, Sheet Metal Work (post-secondary) – Silver
  • Colin Dewitt, Landscape Gardening (post-secondary) – Bronze
  • Mackenzie Harman, Landscape Gardening (post-secondary) – Bronze
  • Jesse Reimer, Architectural Tech & Design (post-secondary) – Bronze

Congratulations to the RRC representatives, as well as the rest of Team Manitoba, on an excellent showing!

RRC Receives Applied Research Grant

June 7, 2011

Red River College (RRC) was one of 35 colleges that will share in more than $8 million in federal grant money, via the federal government’s recently announced Applied Research Tools and Instruments Grants, a brand new initiative under the College and Community Innovation Program.

This grant supports the purchase of research equipment and installations to foster and enhance the ability of colleges to conduct applied research.

“This funding helps us with our ongoing mandate of applying knowledge to solve real-world challenges,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research and Commercialization at RRC.

RRC received a grant of $127,001, which will be used to upgrade the environmental test chambers in the College’s Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure and acquire air leakage testing equipment to be used for commercial and industrial buildings.

“Upgrades are under way and we are already using the air leakage testing equipment on a handful of projects,” says Hoemsen. “Applied research is a key element in improving Canada’s productivity and innovation capacity. We are thankful for the federal government’s continued support.”

Click to learn more about RRC’s office of Applied Research and Commercialization.