orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

Alumni Engagement

Baking and Hospitality Grads Win Lt.-Gov.’s Medals at Winter Convocation

February 6, 2013

Each year, a maximum of four Lieutenant-Governor’s medals are awarded to Red River College students who, in the opinion of a selection committee, combine to the greatest extent in their graduating year academic and technical achievement, involvement in College and/or community activities, and good character.

Professional Baking and Patisserie

Kimberly Cowan credits Red River College’s Professional Baking & Patisserie program for allowing her to turn her life’s passion into a full-time career.

Cowan spent her childhood on her uncle’s grain and cattle farm in her hometown of Landis, SK. When her family made the move to Portage la Prairie, it meant a lot would change for a then-teenaged Cowan. Through those transitions, one thing remained the same: her passion for food (specifically baking), which she inherited from her mother and grandmother, both talented cooks.

A few years after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History, Kimberly decided to leave her full-time job at a local bank to go back to school and pursue a career in baking.  During her time with RRC, she competed in the Canola Bake-off in 2011 — tying for first with her Sticky Toffee Pudding entry. She also represented RRC in the baking category at Skills Manitoba and the Skills Canada Nationals, where she placed gold in the provincial competition.

Kimberly also played for RRC’s first ever women’s soccer team, helping them place third in the Manitoba College Athletic Conference in 2012. She is now in her eleventh year with Winnipeg’s Soccer League.

Today, Kimberly works as a full-time chef at Chocolatier Constance Popp, a premium artisan chocolate shop specializing in treats made with local ingredients.  She thanks her family, friends and instructors for their constant support and encouragement.

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Patrick MurphyA husband and father of two, Patrick Murphy left his full-time accounting job to follow his passion in hotel management. He enrolled in Red River College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program, having previously worked in the industry back when he first got married.

When asked what inspires him about the field, Patrick credits the people. He enjoys meeting guests from all over the world and learning more about their individual stories. As a child, Patrick had his own opportunity to travel the globe — his father’s military career took his family to the United States, Germany and Newfoundland.

He hopes to one day give his family the opportunity to travel the world as he has. Goal destinations include Baden-Baden, Germany, where he grew up, and of course, Disney World.

During his time with RRC, Patrick was awarded the Professional Leadership Award (2012), Canad Inns Award (2011) for academics and Fairmont Award (2011) for academics and student involvement. Today he is the Fairmont’s Gold Supervisor, responsible for the care of some of the Fairmont’s most special guests. His career goal is to work up the ladder and become general manager of his own hotel.

Patrick also contributes to his community as a team leader for Scouts Canada, an organization he discovered while looking for something to do with his son, Devon. He credits the program for teaching youth about the importance of diversity and respect.