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Helping our community

April 2, 2020

These past few weeks have challenged us in unimaginable ways. Many of us are currently facing unprecedented changes to how and where we work, and some of us have had to make some big adjustments.

But, now more than ever, we are seeing our Red River College community come together to help one another get through this stressful time. Our alumni community is tapping into the RRC spirit of innovation, flexibility, and problem-solving, and we are proud of the creative and kind solutions so many of you have implemented to help out.

Here are a few examples of our alumni going above and beyond:

  • Amie Seier, owner of The Community Gym, is providing fitness classes free of charge via Facebook and Instagram Live (though you can choose to donate $10 to keep the business thriving). On top of providing multiple online classes a day, The Community Gym has also rented out ‘equipment packages’ and spin bikes to those who don’t have a home gym.
  • Kiirsten May of UpHouse Inc., has launched a new book with her UpHouse co-owner Alex Varricchio, The Proximity Paradox.
    • Kiirsten and Alex have been going live on Instagram daily to talk through key findings in each chapter of their book, and provide tips and inspiration to help communicators, marketers, and creators get through this uncertain time.
  • Christopher Paetkau and Trevor Gill of Build Films have been supporting community members working on the front lines and those who deserve some extra help by asking their Instagram community to nominate deserving folks. Each day, they are awarding one nominee with a gift card to a local business.
  • Pita Pit North Main (co-owned by RRC grad Adrienne Douglas) is supporting front line workers by delivering donated meals to paramedics and community members working in hospitals, grocery stores, fire halls, and other essential services.
  • Taylor Cole of King Cole Catering is delivering free food to front line and emergency department staff at St. Boniface Hospital and several paramedic stations.
  • Jessie Thiessen, mastermind behind Small Jane Kids, has put together some at-home activities for parents with young children, including an “Around the House Scavenger Hunt Game” free of charge.

We know this is just a small sampling of what our alumni community is up to – we will continue to share these good news stories with you!

If you have some good news to share, DM us on social media, email us, or update your contact information to let us know.

Read More →

‘Tis the Season of Giving

December 9, 2019

With the help and generous support of our amazing alumni, Red River College has made significant strides in 2019 to ensure our students succeed and partnerships with industry are strengthened. Here are a few highlights and statistics from 2019:

New Prairie Research Kitchen Opens in Downtown Winnipeg

Darin Brecht and Ralph Eichler, Prairie Research Kitchen

Darin Brecht, Interim RRC President, and Ralph Eichler, Prairie Research Kitchen

Red River College is helping to feed Manitoba’s vital food and agriculture industry through the recent opening of its new Prairie Research Kitchen.

RRC’s newest research facility — and third Technology Access Centre (TAC) — brings together food scientists, culinary arts students and industry on the 11th floor of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. The kitchen supports industry growth through new product development and by providing culinary students with food science skills required by this crucial economic sector.

Food and feed processing is the largest manufacturing sub-industry in Manitoba, accounting for 26 per cent of sales in 2018. Many of the companies working in this area are small and medium-sized enterprises, which the Research Kitchen can work with to help bring new ideas and products to life.

“The Culinary Research team at RRC has been with me from the start,” says Hailey Jefferies, president of Prairie Fava. “It has been invaluable to brainstorm with the team and quickly test some of the ideas. This has helped shape my business and our direction.”

The opening of the Research Kitchen makes RRC the only college outside of Quebec with three federally funded TACs. Its launch speaks to how rapidly the College’s work with industry has grown in 15 years, when applied research first began at RRC.

For more information on how you can support projects at the Prairie Research Kitchen, contact Lauren Konrad, Donor Relations Manager, at lkonrad@rrc.ca.

Indigenous Education at RRC Celebrates 25 Years

Indigenous graduation ceremony

Red River College is quickly becoming the college of choice for Indigenous learners in Manitoba. This year, RRC will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its School of Indigenous Education.

With expanded student supports, new and innovative programming, and an increased financial commitment through a partnership with Indspire, the College continues to grow its commitment to Indigenous student success.

“Forty-three per cent of our students come from other post-secondary institutions — this suggests we should have been their first choice,” says Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy at RRC. “We are the step before employment, or where people come to upskill. We’re focused on Indigenous achievement at the College, and it’s important that we look back to see where the successes have been, but also where we need to go next.”

Over the last two years, Indigenous Education has grown by adding new staff, supports and programs that ensure Indigenous peoples have the opportunity to grow into every sector.

No matter which field students choose to pursue, they can learn more about Indigenous culture, participate in ceremonies and connect with Elders at RRC, where enhanced and holistic wraparound supports ensure students are supported — both inside and outside
the classroom.

“Our role is to train people for employment,” says Chartrand. “But from an Indigenous perspective, we want our students to achieve wellness as much as we want them to achieve academic success.”

Price Family Foundation’s Donation to Support Engineering Technology Students

Aileen Najduch, Jessica Burzminski, Gerry Price and Derek Kochenash

Aileen Najduch, Jessica Burzminski, Gerry Price and Derek Kochenash

Students in RRC’s Engineering Technology programs now have the chance to earn life-changing scholarships, thanks to a pair of local philanthropists.

Dr. Gerry Price, chairman and CEO of the Price Group of Companies, and his wife Barb have committed to donating $525,000 to RRC over the next five years.

Their scholarships will recognize high-achieving Engineering Technology students, providing them with the financial support needed to minimize time spent working to pay for tuition and rent, or simply to survive.

“If you can barely keep food on the table and have a part-time job just to survive, you might not be able to put your best effort into school,” says Dr. Price. “Students need to put in long hours, but if you’re broke, you’re in trouble because you need to eat and sleep, too. We want these scholarships to provide more time for students to focus on their studies, so they can be the best they can.”

Through the Price Family Foundation, the Prices already fund approximately 200 scholarships each year, and are particularly committed to supporting those who don’t always have champions — children, single mothers and families in distress.

Jessica Burzminski (shown second from left, above), a 2018 Manufacturing Technician grad, says she benefited greatly from similar supports while a student.

“The one thing I am most thankful for … is the ease it gave me,” she says. “I have no family here in Manitoba that were able to help support me financially, and when I was finding it difficult to work and study, these generous offers helped me to pursue my studies and goals.”

With this announcement, the Prices will now support an additional 40 to 60 students every year. Our thanks to Gerry and Barb for their support and generosity.

ACE Project Space and new Innovation Centre Receive Generous Support from RBC

Students in ACE Project Space

Red River College extends its sincere gratitude to RBC, for the recent contribution of $300,000 in capital to support the College’s ACE Project Space and the new Innovation Centre.

The ACE Project Space is an interactive workspace where students, entrepreneurs, non-profits and corporations collaborate to bring unique ideas to life. Under the guidance of staff and faculty, students of the Business Information Technology, Business Technology Management and Information Security programs work with industry clients to create prototypes, products and services that can be introduced to market.

The experiential model used in the ACE Project Space will be applied to all programs in the College’s new Innovation Centre, set to open in 2021. The Innovation Centre will bring together students from different programs to work together with businesses and entrepreneurs on real-world products and solutions.

RBC’s gift was made through its Future Launch program, which will invest up to $500M over the next 10 years in programs and opportunities that help youth gain work experience, grow networks, acquire new skills and enhance their mental well-being.

A Year to Remember

Funding the Future: A record-breaking $3,252,316.68 in student awards were distributed in 2019.

Innovation: Five new learning facilities opened in 2019: The Smart Factory, Gene Haas Innovation Lab, Prairie Research Kitchen, MotiveLab, and Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre.

Industry Partnerships: 916 students completed industry-relevant co-op learning programs in 2018-19.

Holiday greetings

Thank you to our family of alumni and supporters for continuing to stay in touch with Red River College. We wish all of you a safe and joyous holiday season.

Your investment makes a significant difference in the lives of Red River College students. Help us to elevate student success by making a gift and joining our growing philanthropic community. For all inquiries and giving support, please contact the Development office at 204.632.3031.

CreComm grad named Global News’ Europe Bureau Chief

November 18, 2019

Crystal GoomansinghCongratulations to Red River College grad Crystal Goomansingh, longtime reporter and news anchor, on being named the new Europe Bureau Chief for Global News.

A 1999 graduate of RRC’s Creative Communications program, Goomansingh will be stationed in London effective January 2020. Since 2015, she has served as Global’s nightly news anchor for multiple markets across Canada, including Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.

An award-winning journalist with experience as a reporter, anchor and national correspondent, Goomansingh has covered stories throughout the world since joining the Global team in 2007. Career highlights include a series on the manhunt for two murder suspects that stretched from B.C. to Manitoba last summer, as well as a stint covering the Afghan War from Kandahar for Global National.

Most recently, she’s been the face of the multi-market content (MMC) project launched by Global in 2015 — a model of newsgathering that was recognized with a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation from the American Radio, Television and Digital News Association in 2017.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be able to follow in the footsteps of the talented, insightful, and dedicated journalists who have held this position previously for Global News,” says Goomansingh. “I am passionate about journalism and providing Canadians balanced and contextual information about events happening around the world that shape our collective understanding of one another.”

Goomansingh launched her career in Winnipeg after graduating from RRC, working first in radio for stations in Dauphin and Kenora before moving on to TV news gigs at A-Channel and later, Global National’s Winnipeg office.

“I love the program,” she said of RRC’s CreComm offering, in a 2016 profile for the College. “I’m a big supporter of it. Even to this day, when I find out that someone’s a CreComm-er, I make a point of saying, ‘Hey, I am too. What was your year?’”

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 →

Manufacturing Technician grad tapped for Air Force One clean team

July 5, 2019

For the second year in a row, a Red River College alum has been hand-picked to join Air Force One’s Detailing Team, whose members will spend the next week restoring a fleet of historic aircraft on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Crisanto Aquino, a 2004 Manufacturing Technician grad now working at Dr. Shine Auto Spa in Winnipeg, is the only Canadian detailer to be selected for the task — by no less an expert than the man who’s overseen Air Force One’s restoration efforts for the last 16 years.

“He’s perfected his skill at cleaning and polishing paint and metal,” says U.S. detailer Renny Doyle of Aquino.

“When I chose him for the team last year, I was confident he was qualified for the job. After a year on the team, he’s proven he has the experience needed to continue our work, and he has the leadership skills to help us coordinate new team members and show them the ropes.”

Each year, a team of detailers from Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S. is selected to restore, maintain and protect Air Force One — which served as a flying Oval Office for former U.S. presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon — and more than a dozen other historic aircraft, including the first ever Boeing 747, the Concorde Alpha Golf and the first Boeing 727-022 commercial airliner.

Recent additions to the fleet — currently on exhibit at the museum’s Airpark Pavilion — include a solid aluminum WWII B-29 Super Fortress bomber and a badly deteriorating Vietnam-era B-52G Stratofortress bomber.

All told, Aquino will spend eight days working on the aircraft under Doyle’s direction.

“I am just as excited about being chosen for the team … but I think I bring more to the table this year than last,” he says. “It is an honor to be stewards and caretakers for all these iconic aircraft — especially Air Force One.”

Doyle and his team were first tapped to restore Air Force One in 2003, when a Bush administration exec learned of his expertise restoring classic cars. Though it no longer sits on an open tarmac, the jet still requires a cleaning every year, as the open-air pavilion where it’s displayed leaves it exposed to dampness and cold that causes paint and brightwork to become cloudy.

Casting call: Red River College’s RRC Works Campaign

December 12, 2018

Ever wanted to appear in print or TV ads promoting Red River College as an integral part of the province’s educational landscape, not to mention a key driver of Manitoba’s economy?

If so, you’re in luck! The College’s Marketing department is in pre-production mode for the next phase of its far-reaching RRC Works campaign, and is putting out a call for alumni who might be interested in taking part.

Demographic info for next month’s photo and video shoots is below. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Paid opportunity: Four key non-union, non-agency actors/models to be featured in a multi-media marketing campaign, including (but not limited to) province-wide billboards, supporting video for television, and other. We also require extras to complete background requirements for certain scenes. Previous experience an asset, but not necessary. RRC grads welcome to apply. (This is definitely an asset!) Read More →

Solo artist: Graphic Design grad a hitmaker in the Canadian music scene

December 7, 2018

It didn’t take artist Roberta Landreth long to find her groove after she graduated in 2012 from Red River College’s Graphic Design (Advanced) program.

The 32-year-old proprietor of Treehouse Design landed a gig at brand development and communications firm Honest Agency directly out of college, working with clients like Folklorama and KidsFest. Just two years later, while she was deeply immersed in a side project, she was ready to hang out her own shingle.

In 2015, that side project — designing album art and a 150-page booklet for Christian musician Steve Bell’s 25th anniversary box set Pilgrimage — earned her a Juno Award, a Western Canadian Music Award (WMCA) and the Gospel Music Association of Canada’s Covenant Award.

“That one was a huge amount of work, like hundreds of hours,” she says.

“I just finished another kind of heavy-duty one for a guy named Matt Dusk out of Toronto. That one was crazy.”

As in crazy-cool. Working on a tight deadline, that job included a 50-page book with 10 illustrations for retro-crooner Dusk’s new JetSetJazz tribute to Frank Sinatra.

Her most important client is much closer to home — her husband of two years, David, who founded local roots-rock outfit the Bros. Landreth with his sibling Joey.

Bell first enlisted Landreth (nee Hansen) after seeing her artwork on their album Let It Lie, for which they picked up a 2015 Juno Award just moments before Roberta’s win at a gala in Hamilton, Ont.  Read More →

CreComm grad creates opportunities for fitness and friendship in the Exchange

October 19, 2018

Bringing people together through sweat and a sense of community, Red River College grad Amie Seier is opening up a new gym in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

The Community Gym, which gives members the opportunity to take spin, boxing, yoga and bootcamp classes at a central location, began pop-up classes in September and is currently housed in what used to be Berns & Black Salon, next to Parlour Coffee on Main Street.

“I wish I had a place like The Community when I was going to school,” says Seier (shown above, at centre), who graduated from RRC’s Creative Communications program in 2012.

“Exercise reduces anxiety and improves mental performance — it’s what our bodies are meant to do. And The Community is more than just a place to work out, it’s a place to escape your screens and find real people.”

Seier, who has worked in marketing since graduating, credits her experience in CreComm for giving her the skills to launch a business.

“It’s more than a program to prepare you for the workforce as an employee — it really gives you the foundation as a business owner,” she says. “What you won’t find online about the program is that it makes you realize that you can make anything a reality with hard work. It forges you through the fire, and you learn, ‘Hey, I can actually do this idea I had. It’s real and I made that happen.’”   Read More →

Joint Business Administration degree program launched with Booth University College

August 1, 2018

Anyone passing by Faith Uminga last spring would be forgiven for doing a double take. If she looked familiar, it’s probably because she was the face of a new billboard campaign promoting the RRC 2+2 program— a joint venture between Red River College and Booth University College.

In partnership with RRC, Booth UC recently established a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree completion program, of which Uminga is poised to become the very first graduate.

She first heard about the program — in which students attend RRC for two years, then complete their degree at Booth UC — while taking Business Administration at RRC.

The advantages seemed obvious.

“First, I’d be able to experience two different learning environments — Red River College and Booth UC,” she explains. “Second, after my studies at RRC, I’d have the opportunity to complete my degree in two years, rather than in three years at other universities such as the University of Winnipeg or the University of Manitoba.”

Under the 2+2 program, students establish competence in five major areas of business, including accounting, finance, human resource management, marketing and organizational behaviour. A degree achieved through the program lays the foundation for a successful profit or non-profit career, in roles such as business analyst, market researcher, fundraiser, loan officer or financial advisor. Read More →

Instrumentation grad named highest-achieving new journeyperson

May 10, 2018

A Red River College grad is making industry waves, having been named the highest-achieving new journeyperson in the field of Instrumentation and Control Technician.

Justin Gaudry, who graduated from RRC’s Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology program in 2014, was deemed best in his trade last month based on a range of criteria, including on-the-job performance, classroom accomplishments, certification exam results and recognition from employers.

Now an employee of Lakeside Process Controls, where he’s worked since January 2015, Gaudry was formally recognized for his achievements at an April 19 ceremony hosted by Apprenticeship Manitoba and the Apprenticeship and Certification Board.

“It’s exciting to know that industry leaders are appreciating what I’m doing,” says Gaudry (shown above), who first entered RRC’s Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program so he could learn to repair his guitar amps.

A longtime axe-slinger — whose most memorable on-stage moment was being chosen to accompany TV’s Bubbles at a Trailer Park Boys Live show in 2008 — Gaudry says he had little knowledge of Instrumentation as a second-year option when he enrolled.

“But after the first year of EET, Instrumentation made the most sense,” he explains. “There were perks — you get to travel and make good money. There’s also a certain element of mystery to it, because not many people know what Instrumentation is.” Read More →