Alumni Engagement

Distinguished Graduate

Building a better Manitoba: Construction industry leader receives Distinguished Graduate award from Red River College

November 15, 2019

The vice-president of one of Manitoba’s leading heavy construction businesses — E.F. Moon Construction Ltd. — is the latest recipient of Red River College’s Distinguished Graduate Award.

Jack Meseyton, who’s also the chair of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, graduated from RRC’s Civil Engineering Technology program in 2005 with a diploma in Municipal Engineering Technology. His passion for, and commitment to the heavy construction industry in Manitoba, along with his dedication to the community of Portage la Prairie, set him apart and made him an outstanding candidate for RRC’s highest achievement.

“I am very humbled, excited and proud to be receiving this award,” says Meseyton. “I am a very strong believer in higher education and learning — our company has several RRC grads working with us. So, I am proud to have attended the College, proud to have RRC grads and alumni working for me, and very, very proud of this award.”

The Distinguished Graduate Award honours and recognizes RRC’s finest graduates — those who have distinguished themselves in both their chosen profession and their community through outstanding achievements in one or more of the following areas: humanitarianism, professional excellence, and community service.

Meseyton was a clear and deserving candidate for this honour, as he’d demonstrated all of the above in his life, through achieving professional excellence in construction and also by giving back to Portage’s community in a big way. Examples of this include his work fundraising for the United Way, his personal involvement in the Portage Potato Festival and for Merit Contractors Association of Manitoba.

“Red River College is proud to honour Jack Meseyton with the Distinguished Graduate award. His professional achievements exemplify the kind of commitment and leadership we strive to teach our students every day. They also represent the important contributions that RRC graduates make to Manitoba’s economy, including the heavy construction industry,” says Christine Watson, Vice-president Academic at RRC. Read More →

Inventing hope: Distinguished alum’s breakthrough helps doctors target brain tumours

March 3, 2017

Dr. Mark TorchiaThirty years ago, Dr. Mark Torchia started tinkering with an idea that had life-saving potential — a tool that could destroy inoperable brain tumours.

The seed was planted during a conversation with neurosurgeon Dr. Michael West at St. Boniface Hospital. A short time earlier, West had used a minimally invasive procedure to access a brain tumour and collect a sample for biopsy. To Torchia, it seemed logical to expand on that idea to deliver a killing blow to the target tissue.

“Taking the idea and turning it into something viable is where the challenge arises,” he explains. “It was one of those situations where the idea was there, but the core technology that was going to be required to really bring the idea to fruition didn’t exist.”

A 1995 recipient of Red River College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Torchia and engineer Richard Tyc eventually met the challenge, developing the NeuroBlate System at the St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre and in 1999, founding Monteris Medical Inc. to take it to market.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a visual guide, the complex system lets neurosurgeons insert a laser probe into the brain and destroy tumours without damaging surrounding tissue.

Approved for use in the U.S. in 2009, the system was first used in Canada in 2015. It’s now available in some 45 hospitals in the U.S. and in three Canadian hospitals — in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Torchia says it’s only a matter of time before it’s available in Winnipeg.

The invention earned Torchia and Tyc a $100,000 Principal Award from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation in 2015, and one of six inaugural Governor General’s Innovation Awards in 2016. Read More →

Help us find our next batch of billboard VIPs

December 8, 2014

Billboard2015Showcase your proud RRC connection — or that of an employee, mentor, or industry colleague — by taking part in our 2015 billboard campaign!

We want to celebrate the success of our alumni and the diverse, innovative organizations that employ our grads. Building on the momentum of our previous billboard campaigns, we invite you to join us in a creative, co-operative advertising opportunity.

You pick the grad, and we handle the purchasing and production work. Then we’ll split the hard costs — and share in the campaign’s success!

Deadline for submissions is Jan. 14, 2015.

Learn more about the new campaign →

Distinguished Alumni: Bob Tallman (Business Administration, 1976)

September 4, 2012

He’s built a local business into a national retailer, cultivated a passionate base of customers through a tireless focus on service, and devoted himself to revitalizing his community and helping dozens of young people pursue their own career dreams.

That’s why Red River College is proud to name entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Tallman as the 2012 recipient of our Distinguished Alumni Award.

Bob Tallman joined the family business, Princess Auto Ltd, in the mid-seventies, shortly after graduating from RRC with a diploma in Business Administration.

“I was the first in my family to be attending a post-secondary school,” he says. ”Our life had been focused around the family business, and I wanted to know something about business in general before I began working there on a full time basis.”

The investment in education paid off, as Bob and his brother Larry grew the small Winnipeg-based firm into a nationwide retail operation through the late-seventies and the eighties. Bob Tallman became the sole owner and CEO of Princess Auto in 1989.

Today, he oversees a network of 34 retail stores with over 1,800 staff specializing in industrial, garage and surplus items. The company prides itself on its diverse product assortment, boasting its one of the few places in the world where you can purchase a gas powered air compressor and an HDMI cable in the same building.

But it’s Princess Auto’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service that has earned it a cult-like following among shoppers, which is something Bob says was inspired by his time at RRC.

“I learned through my experiences at Red River College that a business ultimately is about the people who work in the business, the roles they play and most importantly, how they interact as a team,” he says. “It is probably the greatest lesson I learned at RRC, and has driven much of my strategy in building Princess Auto.” Read More →

“Rock star” grad honoured by PMI Manitoba

April 24, 2012

Red River College alum Scott Hinkson has been honoured by RRC and PMI Manitoba, having received a $1,000 student achievement award at the organization’s annual conference last week.

Hinkson, who earned his Project Management certificate through RRC’s School of Continuing and Distance Education in November 2011, works as a project manager for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. But he is also well-known in certain local circles as an acclaimed singer and songwriter.

“Every year, we ask all of the Project Management instructors to nominate a student for this award based on a combination of academics and attitude,” says Kirk Johnson, RRC’s Program Manager, I.T. and Professional Studies. “This year, the clear winner was more than just a good student — he’s actually an all-out rock star!”

Hinkson now has two RRC credentials under his belt, having completed the College’s Business Analyst program in 2010. Johnson says he made such an impression on his instructors, they quickly recommended he join the Business Analyst program’s advisory board — first as a student, and later, as a permanent member.

“(In the last year), on top of being a new father, Scott has somehow found the energy to successfully complete the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam, finish the Project Management program, and begin teaching in the Business Analyst program — all of this while holding down a fulltime Project Management job and releasing a fantastic new album,” says Johnson. “I’ve always said if you want something done, give it to a busy person — and Scott proves my point!” Read More →

RRC grad Dawna Friesen wins Best News Anchor Gemini

September 20, 2011

Dawna Friesen with Gemini Award

Red River College alum Dawna Friesen has been named the best news anchor in Canada, for her efforts in front of (and behind) the camera on nightly news show Global National.

Friesen, who serves as Anchor and Executive Editor of Global National, was named Best News Anchor at last month’s Gemini Awards Industry Gala honouring news & sports, documentary, lifestyle and reality programming.

“I take this one for the team, for Global National,” Friesen said at the event, held Aug. 30, 2011, at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre. “We are not the biggest, but we are the best.”

Friesen, a 1984 graduate of RRC’s Creative Communications program, thanked all the people who work on her show, in particular the reporters “who are out there every day working their butts off.”

During the same ceremony, Global BC’s News Hour was chosen as the nation’s Best Local Newscast, Large Market. Earlier this year, Global Toronto won “best newscast” honours at the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada (RTDNA) Awards

“To win Gemini Awards for both Best News Anchor and Best Local Newscast in Canada is proof that Global News has taken its rightful place among the world’s leading news organizations,” said Troy Reeb, Vice-President of Global News.

“This is a tribute to the leadership of Dawna Friesen, the incredibly talented team at Global BC, and the hard work of our teams around the world every day.” Read More →

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

Learn more ›