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A Message of Gratitude from RRC’s Interim President and CEO

March 30, 2020

On March 27, Dr. Christine Watson, Interim President and CEO sent a message of gratitude to the staff and faculty at Red River College as they work tirelessly to move our College to alternative delivery to support our students:

To all Red River College faculty and staff,

The events of the past two weeks have presented the greatest challenge of my career – and I know it is the same for many of you at Red River College. I share some of my reflections in this video message:

Our collective response to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been met with an overwhelming desire to do what is right, to work together to slow the spread of this virus. At RRC this has meant making unprecedented changes to the way we deliver our programs and services, and to do so rapidly against the backdrop of an ever-changing public health emergency.

I am in awe and so very grateful for the hard work and creativity of our faculty and staff to make what feels like, at times, an almost impossible transition. Some of our programs and services naturally lend themselves to remote or alternative delivery, but others do not. This reality adds further stress to an already uncertain and difficult time.

As we move into the weekend, and reflect back on this past week, I would like to say thank you to each and every one of you who is working tirelessly to make this happen. I have received many notes from front line faculty and staff over the past two weeks, and the range of emotions people are experiencing run the gamut, often changing from day to day, even from hour to hour.

I want to stress that you are not alone in this journey. I appreciate that some instructors may be feeling overwhelmed from trying to do their jobs via technology in a way – and at a pace – that they never imagined possible. Many of our support staff are struggling to deliver services to students and to their colleagues that were never intended to be done in isolation.

These are challenging times – made even more difficult by being socially isolated and watching friends, family and loved ones deal with the health implications and economic turmoil unfolding around us.

As a leader in applied education and research, the College is taking something that we are so highly skilled at doing face-to-face, and finding new and innovative ways to deliver the same quality program. It is a big ask – and the reason why we need to manage our expectations – both our own and those of our students.

Not everything we are trying is going to work perfectly. There are going to be stops and starts and missteps. We are going to learn valuable lessons along the way. We are going to find our way forward, together, and the only thing I know for certain is we will emerge a very different College – and a stronger College community – when all is said and done.

What inspires me and helps keep me going through these trying days are your stories. Working to help public health track COVID-19 by providing 14 Health Information Management students to work on data collection. Using our equipment in TACAM to manufacture wheel bases for IV stands. Donating nearly 1,700 N95 respirators to help health care workers on the front lines.

Delivering education is one of the most important things we can do in society. It will be even more critical in the coming months and years as our community and country begins rebuilding our economy and dealing with the fallout that is touching so many lives.

Thank you for standing strong in our mission.

Take care of yourselves and your families. And stay safe.