Two Red River College students got the opportunity of a
lifetime during the summer of 2009 to help those less fortunate and in need.
Jamee Wiebe, a Dental Assisting - Level II grad from the RRC
Winkler Campus, was one of two students who got the chance to travel to
Guatemala for 11 days as part of a mission trip in July 2009. She, along with fellow
student Kaitlin Ward and Dental Assisting instructor Brian Minaker, joined a
group made up of dentists and doctors from across Canada and the United States.
The group was based out of the Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango (more commonly
known as Xela), but traveled to smaller communities in the surrounding area.
“We would go to a different town each day. I would help set
up and assist the dentists during the dental procedure,” says Wiebe, who
graduated last December and now works as a dental assistant at a dental clinic
in Winnipeg. The highly mobile group took three portable dental chairs and two
traveling units to perform fillings, as they visited the various communities.
They worked with the local population to promote good dental
care as well as perform fillings and tooth extractions.
“I found out that there are a lot of people in Guatemala
who, if they have a toothache or cavity, just get their teeth pulled out
instead of going to a dentist to get fillings,” says Wiebe. “It really makes
you appreciate what we have here and not take it for granted.”
The trip to Guatemala gave the students a chance to learn
about a different culture and get hands-on work experience that they’ll never
forget. Wiebe says it was an eye-opener for her and she plans on doing
something similar in the future. However, she’s quick to point out that even
with the beautiful scenery and hot weather, this trip was more than just
basking in the sun.
“It wasn’t anything fancy; that’s for sure. We were roughing
it out there, but it was worth it.”
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Alumni Publications page.
When people think of Red River College, many see a school
focused on training the next generation of skilled trades people.
They see a school that is expanding its state-of-the-art
facilities. They see a school working with industry to conduct applied
research. What many don’t see are some of the smaller, but just as important,
aspects of the College that aren’t always in the spotlight. RRC’s international
work is one of those hidden gems.
RRC’s international efforts started in 1987 when it began a
partnership with Shenyang Institute of Engineering in China. Since then, the
College has developed partnerships with scores of institutions in countries
across the world.
David Leis, Vice-President of Business Development at RRC,
whose portfolio includes International Education, says there are two primary
reasons the College is involved in partnerships worldwide. “Many of our
international partnerships help enhance our core business of delivering high
quality education to our students,” says Leis. “And as a leader in applied
learning, we are able to bring a considerable amount of expertise to schools
and countries around the world.”
Currently, RRC is actively engaged in partnerships in five
countries. Some of the affiliations involve student exchanges, while others
deal with RRC staff and faculty using their expertise and providing training
outside of Canada.
The College’s International Education department opened its
doors in 1994, welcoming a
Malaysian student as the College’s first official international learner. This
year, over 300 international students will come to RRC for an exceptional
education and to experience Canadian culture. The benefits of international
education are tremendous, both for international and Canadian students.
One of the reasons why international students come to study
in Canada is to improve their English, which helps them get better jobs back
home. RRC’s Language Training Centre is one of the premier facilities in Canada
and is well equipped to provide students with the best possible English
training. International students also learn about Canadian culture and receive
the same high quality education as their Canadian counterparts.
“Red River College is the preferred destination for
newcomers to Manitoba,” says Leis. “With exceptional language training and a
wide-range of hands-on programming, RRC helps international students make the
most of their time in Manitoba.”
As for Canadian students at RRC, International Education has
opened doors to new opportunities for them. RRC has several partnerships with
schools around the world that include student exchanges, which allow College
students to not only get hands-on work experience, but also learn about new
cultures and develop a global network of contacts.
Want to read more stories from RED magazine? Visit the Red
River College Alumni Publications page.
The Board of Governors of Red River College is proud to announce the appointment of Stephanie Forsyth as the institution’s next President and CEO.
Forsyth is currently the President of Northwest Community College (NWCC), based in Terrace, British Columbia, serving 10 communities in northern BC. She has held this position for the past ten years.
"Red River College is a dynamic and innovative institution that makes a significant contribution to the social and economic development of Manitoba," said Forsyth. "It is a good fit with my values and leadership style and a terrific opportunity."
Forsyth cited RRC’s national reputation, growing applied research program in sustainable technology, capital expansion plan and focus on aboriginal education as factors that drew her to the position.
"Stephanie’s positive and supportive leadership style will nurture the people-centered culture we’re creating at Red River College," said Sheryl Feller, Chair of RRC’s Board of Governors. "The Board is particularly impressed with her commitment to enhancing post-secondary education for aboriginal students, which is a strategic priority for the College and the Province."
At NWCC, Forsyth has woven indigenous knowledge and traditions into the college culture, and strengthened ties with aboriginal communities through initiatives like the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, the House of Learning and Applied Research, and the Challenge the Paradigm Conference on decolonizing post-secondary education. She is of Blackfoot ancestry, and is an adopted member of the Tsimshian Nation.
Forsyth has also been a leader within the Canadian college system in advocating for sustainability. She has challenged her colleagues across the country to green their campuses, initiated an ambitious plan to make NWCC a carbon-neutral institution, and overseen construction of several LEED Gold construction projects.
Prior to joining NWCC in 2000, Forsyth spent seven years as Dean of Community & College Partnerships and Dean of Career & Vocational Programs at Capilano College. She has also previously worked as an instructor and academic leader at Malaspina University College, Vancouver Community College and Selkirk College.
Forsyth holds a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University, a Master of Education from the University of British Columbia, and is currently completing a PhD in Higher Education from Deakin University in Australia. She is a Director of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the BC Achievement Foundation, Science World British Columbia, and the BC Post-Secondary Roundtable on Aboriginal Education.
Forsyth’s progressive vision, passionate leadership, and tireless work have brought vibrancy and innovation to NWCC, resulting in a college actively engaged in the social and economic development of the northwest and a leader in Aboriginal education. She leaves NWCC well-positioned for continued excellence.
Forsyth will assume her new position on September 27, 2010. Catherine Rushton will continue to serve as Interim President & CEO until that time.
Staff at RRC are feeling a bit healthier and energetic
thanks to the Wellness Committee at the College.
Two weeks ago, the Wellness Committee encouraged staff to take part in the “Take 5 Challenge”, an initiative encouraging staff to take
five minutes each day to enhance their well being.
There were free yoga lessons, “Meet and Greet” events with
various departments, exercise groups run by Recreation Services, plus daily
tips on how to relax and feel good while at work.
At one Meet and Greet, Sara MacArthur, Sustainability
Manager at RRC, hosted an information session on the College’s recycling
program and composting program at the Notre Dame Campus.
- The recycling program started in 1999 and collected paper
- RRC recycled nearly 500,000 lbs of material last year
- RRC diverts about 300 lbs of organics from the landfill
daily and sends it to its on-site compost pile
The Civil Engineering Technology (CET) department also
played host to RRC staff wanting to know more about its program area. CET
instructors demonstrated different GPS surveying equipment and let the guests
try it out. They also toured staff through the College’s Centre for Applied
Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) located at the Notre Dame
campus. The CARSI building is the first dedicated research lab at a college in
Manitoba. Some interesting facts about CET:
- CET is the second-largest program at RRC with seven
different program areas and the new Construction Management degree program
- CET trains students to use high-quality GPS equipment that can measure
to a spot within a centimeter
Besides the information sessions, one of the most popular
activities during the week was the potluck lunch. Departments were encouraged
to host or join a potluck lunch with others at the College. This was the second
time organized potlucks were held at the College this year and they were even
more successful this time around. The event built upon a tradition established
by areas such as Aboriginal Education and ACCESS Programs, who held a potluck
and invited everybody from the College community to join. All around, people
shared a lot of food, laughs and a good time.
RRC Regional Campuses also participated in many of the
activities, which truly made the “Take 5 Challenge” a College-wide initiative.
Upcoming Wellness Committee events include a breakfast and a walkathon to kick-off College Week on Monday, June 7.
The Wellness Committee was established as part of RRC’s
People Plan to help foster and sustain a healthy campus community for students
and employees through the development and implementation of a holistic health
and wellness program that is comprehensive, accessible and affordable.
Innovative and entrepreneurial, John P. Gale made his mark
in the mineral drilling industry before turning his attention to real estate
A native of The Pas, Gale began his career setting up remote telephone systems
in Northern Manitoba after obtaining a Certificate in Radio and TV Servicing
from Keewatin College.
Seeking greater challenges, he moved to Winnipeg to pursue a diploma in
Mechanical Engineering Technology from Red River College. Gale graduated in 1980
and began working in research and development for Midwest Diamond Drilling.
With Gale leading the way, the company revolutionized the industry through the
development of a new bit that was capable of drilling rock at three times the
speed of the technology it replaced.
Gale and three business partners subsequently bought Midwest
in the mid-eighties, forming a new operation called Dimatec Inc. The company
continued to develop innovative drilling products and manufacturing methods by
assembling a strong and capable engineering team coupled with the most current
Numerous awards were given to Dimatec as a testament to the strength,
dedication and professionalism of its employees. ISO-9000 Quality Assurance
certification, a "Best in Business" award from Manitoba Business
Magazine and membership in "Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies" were
highlights of a long list of accolades.
Gale decided to semi-retire in 2008 to spend more time on his beloved Lake of
the Woods. But after a few months the entrepreneurial bug bit again with the
opportunity to acquire a significant amount of property from the town's former
largest employer, AbitibiBowater.
Gale has since developed an ambitious plan to transform Kenora into a
world-class tourist and business destination, including the development of
several major new resort and residential properties over the next decade. He
recently sold his ownership interest in Dimatec to help finance the project.
Gale will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni award
at the RRC convocation ceremony at 7:30 pm on June 3rd.
Longtime Red River College partner, Toyota Canada, donated
two vehicles to the automotive programs at the College on Wednesday.
The two vehicles, a Corolla Sport and a Lexus RX350, will be
used as teaching aids for the instructors and will create hands-on learning
opportunities for the students.
Vince Di Vetta, Area Parts and Service Manager at Toyota
Canada, explained that the vehicle donation is only a small part of the
partnership with Red River College. “From providing scholarships and work
experience opportunities for students to hosting workshops for instructors at
local dealerships, Toyota Canada is committed to the education of automotive
technicians,” says Di Vetta.
Ken Webb, Vice-President, Academic and Research at Red River
College, says partnerships with industry are important to provide students with
the best training possible.
“Donations of vehicles and equipment are crucial to the
continued success of automotive programs at the College,” says Webb. “Giving
students the opportunity to work on actual vehicles helps prepare them for
their careers after graduation.”
The next generation of TV news anchors and weather reporters
were honing their skills at Red River College last week as part of the
RRC/Manitoba Moose Respond to Reading program.
A grade five classroom from Niji Mahkwa School won the TV
broadcast field trip through the Respond to Reading program and got to
experience what life is like inside a TV studio. Students took turns reading
the news from behind the news desk and doing the weather in front of a green
screen while their classmates watched on televisions throughout the studio.
Now in its tenth year, the Respond to Reading program is designed to encourage students in kindergarten to grade five to get into reading in a fun, motivational way.
Last week, a grade four class from Ecole Noel Ritchot shut
their textbooks, put on chef’s hats and made some delicious food at Red River
The culinary experience came as part of a prize for being
selected as one of the winning classrooms in the RRC/Manitoba Moose Respond to
Reading program. The program, now in its tenth year, is designed to be a fun,
motivational way to encourage children in kindergarten to grade five to read.
RRC Culinary Arts students and instructors helped the 30
grade four students make personal pizzas and decorate cookies. Afterwards, the
kids had a pizza party in the cafeteria before getting a tour of the campus.
Second-year Creative Communications students at Red River College are
showing off their Independent Professional Projects (IPP) at the Park Theatre
from March 10 to March 12.
The IPP is a self-directed course that Creative Communications students
are required to take in their second year. Here’s how it works:
- Students come up with an idea for a project and
present it to a panel of instructors. Projects generally fall into one of four
different categories: creative, promotional, documentary or research-based.
- Once approved, students spend the next year
- After the project is complete, students market
their work through the appropriate channels.
During the free, three-day IPP Presentations event, over 60 students
will be making 10-minute presentations about their work to peers, industry and
the general public. Projects being presented include novels, documentaries and events, just to name a few.
Take a look at the IPP Presentations program to see a full listing of students and
the projects they are presenting.