Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) is the evolution of Red River College – embracing the unique education, training and partnerships it offers to Manitoba. To learn more about the recent evolution, and to view its new five-year strategic plan In Front of What’s Ahead visit the RRC Polytech site.
When referring to RRC Polytech in writing, please adhere to the following style guidelines:
First mention: Red River College Polytechnic
Subsequent mentions*: RRC Polytech
Please do not use the following: Red River College Polytech RRC Polytechnic Red River Polytech Red River College Poly OR any other combination of the aforementioned
*Please note: it is acceptable to refer to RRC Polytech as ‘the College’ in subsequent mentions as well.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Treaty No. 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation — Today, the province’s largest college has unveiled a bold new strategic direction and will embrace its identity as Manitoba’s polytechnic by bringing that word into its name, as Red River College Polytechnic, or RRC Polytech.
For RRC Polytech to continue to grow as the post-secondary institution that Manitoba needs today, and into the future, we are redefining ourselves. This will enable RRC Polytech to continue to modernize apprenticeship training and expand in areas that are hallmarks of a polytechnic education – applied research and work-integrated learning – which allow students to seamlessly transition from the classroom to their careers.
Embracing this new identity recognizes RRC Polytech’s evolution into a unique kind of post-secondary institution that blends deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience, and highlights the important role our graduates will play in growing Manitoba’s economy as our province recovers from the pandemic and looks to the future.
“For more than 80 years, Red River College Polytechnic has been a driving force to keep our province moving forward – economically, socially and culturally – by working on the cusp of what Manitoba needs now, and as we look towards the future,” said Honourable Wayne Ewasko, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, Province of Manitoba.
“With this new identity and strategic direction, RRC Polytech is well-positioned to continue to meet the goals of the Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy – which provides an important framework for post-secondary institutions to prepare students for in-demand, good jobs, while accelerating our economic recovery and growth.”
The term polytechnic is used around the world to identify institutions who focus on strategic workforce development, applied research, and offer a variety of credentials from micro-credentials to bachelor degrees. The polytechnic model enables us to build on our strong foundation as a post-secondary institution and grow and expand our current offerings.
For students, a polytechnic education means more choices, flexible options, and opportunities to gain highly sought-after skills – at the start of their career or anywhere along the way.
For employers and industry partners, it means a pipeline to top Manitoba talent and a direct hand in developing a workforce that meets their current and future needs. It also means expanding partnerships and applied research collaborations to help position employers at the forefront of innovation and growth.
“Sectors across Manitoba continue to experience disruption at a faster and more frequent pace than ever before. This quickened pace demands an urgent and agile response, and RRC Polytech is perfectly positioned meet the emerging needs of our students and of the workforce they are entering,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO, RRC Polytech.
“The polytechnic model best describes not only who we are, but where we are going. Aligning our new identity and strategic direction lays a strong foundation to be bold, to continue to take important leaps, and it allows us to play the larger role we need to in Manitoba’s post-secondary ecosystem. It puts us in the right place, at the right time, to stay in front of what’s ahead.”
RRC Polytech Strategic Plan 2022-2026: In Front of What’s Ahead
This new mission, vision, and direction for RRC Polytech was influenced by thousands of stakeholders and community partners who participated in the creation of the new five-year Strategic Plan: In Front of What’s Ahead. This plan provides a roadmap for how these commitments will position Manitoba’s polytechnic to respond to what our province needs next.
RRC Polytech’s Commitments are:
Transform our learning models to meet emerging needs.
Commit to Truth and Reconciliation. Pursue Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in everything we do.
Deepen partnerships to maximize prosperity across industry and community.
Staying in front of what’s ahead requires RRC Polytech to align efforts across all priorities. These commitments ensure RRC Polytech can continue to meet the evolving needs of industry, employers, and communities, by shaping the future of learning, building the collaborations that drive shared outcomes, and deconstructing colonial and biased assumptions that have broken trust in post-secondary education, employment, and administration.
This new strategic plan will cement RRC Polytech’s unique position in Manitoba’s post-secondary eco-system and will guide our work in a measurable way as we move forward.
“Across every industry and sector, jobs are changing, technology is evolving, and responding to disruption in new and innovative ways has become the new normal,” said Bram Strain, President and CEO, Business Council of Manitoba.
“As a diverse group of leaders of companies who are committed to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development, we rely on RRC Polytech as a valued partner to provide a talented and multifaceted pool of graduates who can anticipate the needs of today, and who can look to the future of what our business community will need tomorrow – in order to stay competitive.”
For more information about RRC Polytech’s Strategic Plan 2022-26: In Front of What’s Ahead, and its role as Manitoba’s polytechnic, please visit rrc.ca/polytech
Campbell’s contributions to College and community recognized with Indigenous Social Enterprise Diploma
Winnipeg, MB – Elder Mae Louise Campbell is a healer, teacher, grandmother and social advocate who has made it her life’s work to support and strengthen Indigenous women – both individually and collectively. Today, Red River College is proud to recognize her contributions to the community by awarding the Honorary Diploma in Indigenous Social Enterprise with a focus on Community Development and Social Innovation to Elder Mae Louise Campbell.
“In an organization as large as Red River College, it’s special to find someone who is known, respected, and beloved by an entire community, and Elder Mae Louise is all of those things to so many. During her 14 years with the College, she was invited by all 110 academic program areas to conduct and lead countless workshops, ceremonies and teachings. She is known and celebrated for her stories that underscore the importance of harmony, respect, and resilience,” said Fred Meier, President and CEO of Red River College.
“Elder Mae Louise Campbell’s leadership has left an indelible mark on Red River College and the province of Manitoba, and we are pleased to award her with the Honorary Diploma in Indigenous Social Enterprise and recognize her important contributions.”
Elder Mae Louise Campbell’s knowledge and experience has been embraced by many. Her life lessons and unique ability to educate and share knowledge around Indigenous worldviews creating dialogue outside of textbooks has been imperative to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community.
She has been an instrumental figure supporting many initiatives and committees both nationally and across Manitoba including: Grandmother Moon Lodge, Clan Mothers Healing Village and Knowledge Centre, Mayor Bowman’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, Wisdom Keeper on the Grandmother Council of Manitoba, First Nations Advisory Committee to Canada’s Prenatal Nutritional Program, the Canadian Women’s Foundation on matters concerning the sexual exploitation and human trafficking of women and girls, and was the recipient of the 2016 Indspire Award in the category of Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.
The College announced and presented Elder Mae Louise Campbell with the Honorary Diploma yesterday at the first ever Fall Virtual Convocation ceremony, where over 900 graduates from every campus across Manitoba celebrated this milestone achievement.
“I am very humbled to receive this gift presented to me by Red River College. My time at the College has been exciting and I am proud of the way we have moved ahead to advance Indigenous education, and stressed the importance of having Elders on board and part of the College community,” said Elder Mae Louise Campbell.
“I often think about those of us who are instructors, teachers and knowledge sharers, and I think it’s so important for us to learn from one another and from our students – this is how we gain wisdom. I respect and honour Red River College’s commitment to further Indigenize the College, and I encourage all of us educators to continue to keep our minds open to new ways of learning – especially in these challenging times.”
Red River College awards an Honorary Degree or Diploma to an individual who demonstrates high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements, and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.
Winnipeg, MB – Today, the Red River College community will come together – virtually – to celebrate over 900 graduates from every school and campus across the province for the first ever fall Virtual Convocation ceremony.
“This has been a year like no other. It has forced the College to teach and learn differently, and it has pushed us to work harder, to try new things and embrace change in a way that we have never had to embrace it before,” said Fred Meier, RRC President and CEO.
“This is simply the RRC way. We’re agile, we’re adaptable and in unprecedented times, we turn to unprecedented solutions: to innovation, creativity and cutting-edge technology that allow us to keep going. We are proud to celebrate over 900 graduates who persevered to get here today, and who will enter the workforce with skills and training that industry needs now more than ever. This is an exciting time to begin your career and build on the momentum that Manitoba needs to move forward.”
This is Red River College’s first-ever Convocation Ceremony to take place in the fall, and the virtual event will feature messages from speakers across the College and province, including:
Fred Meier, RRC President and CEO;
Christine Watson, VP Academic;
Loren Cisyk, Chair of Red River College Board of Governors;
The Honourable Ralph Eichler, Minister of Economic Development and Training;
Deans, Chairs, Coordinators and Instructors from across the College;
Elder Mae Louise Campbell, Honorary Diploma recipient; and
Natalie Bell, Alumni, Class of 2004
Michelle Queau, Alumni, Class of 2019
“Convocation is an important milestone for our students, and an exciting moment for the College community to come together and celebrate with friends, family and peers. It takes a lot of time and energy to acquire a credential, and while we can’t be together in person, we are thrilled channel this excitement and energy as we celebrate the hard work of our 900 graduates and award winners online for our first ever fall Convocation,” said Dr. Christine Watson, VP Academic.
Graduates are encouraged to take photos in your cap, tassel and wear your alumni pin proudly. Please share photos on social media by tagging Red River College (@redrivercollege) and using the hashtag RRC Alumni (#rrcalumni).
RRC’s fall Virtual Convocation Ceremony will stream on Facebook Live today, Tuesday, November 17 at 1:00pm. For a full list of graduates, award winners, and to stream the ceremony please visit rrc.ca/convocation.
Red River College is now one of the fastest growing research colleges in Canada thanks to two new grants totaling $300,000 awarded by Mitacs earlier last month.
“Red River College is proud to be a leading Canadian institution in applied research,” said Fred Meier, RRC President and CEO. “We continue to expand our research efforts into new and emerging areas of technology – such as AI and machine learning – and through collaboration with businesses across Manitoba and our ACE Project Space.”
“These partnerships with Mitacs help support more opportunities for our students to use their hands on training and skills to think creatively for their clients, to problem solve and implement innovative solutions, and drive industry forward.”
Mitacs fosters growth and innovation opportunities for companies and communities, while supporting applied learning for students across all industry sectors and academic disciplines – making Canadian colleges and polytechnics a natural fit their support.
Red River College is now one of the fastest growing colleges for Mitacs in Canada, and these two initiatives alone will engage 17 RRC student interns in innovative industry research.
The first Mitacs grant – one of the largest – awarded to any college in Canada – is an $180,000 partnership with RRC and IT operations optimization startup, Optimiz. With the support of Mitacs, 12 students from the Business Information Technology (BIT) program will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning explore new approaches and technology applications to monitor the health of IT systems. This important work will allow for quicker and more effective implementations of AIOps systems, and will result in cost savings to Canadian businesses.
“In today’s ever-changing world, many businesses must quickly adapt to our new norm and over the last six months, digital accessibility has quickly become an essential need in order for them to effectively sustain their business offering,” said Tom McIlwham, Chief Strategy Officer, Optimiz.
“We identified Red River College as an excellent source of enthusiastic and highly qualified students to help us build out our solution for AIOps monitoring and management needs, and Mitacs has provided guidance and expertise to assist us through the funding process. We are very pleased to be collaborating with Mitacs and RRC on this exciting initiative, and we truly appreciate the opportunity to make this win-win-win scenario a reality.”
The second is a $120K joint partnership with RRC, the University of Manitoba (UM) and the Arctic Research Foundation (ARF). With support from the Mitacs Accelerate internship, five students from RRC’s Applied Computer Education (ACE) Department will use their skills to gather data from the Canadian Arctic to create a user-friendly, free, centralized database that will serve governments, universities, Indigenous communities and researchers from around the world, for the first time.
“RRC’s ACE Project space has established itself as a key player in Winnipeg’s start-up community, and with their cross institutional research relationships with the University of Manitoba and others, non-academic partners can receive end-to-end support for their product development with funding from Mitacs,” said Brent Wennekes, Director, Business Development, Mitacs Canada.
“Red River College has been a trailblazer for applied research at the college level and remains a national leader. Mitacs is so pleased to be able to support their researchers, students, and community partners with our Accelerate program.”
Manitoba has been the fastest growing province for Mitacs over the last two years, with over 420 internship units applied for last year alone, equaling over $6 million in research awards to Manitoba institutions.
RRC is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning and research, with more than 200 full- and part-time degree, diploma and certificate options. Through hands-on and online learning opportunities and state-of-the-art instruction, we prepare our students to become leaders in their fields — while also ensuring they can meet changing industry demands, and contribute to the province’s economic growth. For more information visit rrc.ca.
Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.
June is a milestone month at the College. It is typically the end of the school year, the start of summer and graduation for many of our students. It is also a time when we celebrate Pride, where the world’s LGBTQ2+ communities come together in strength, struggle and accomplishment.
June is very different this year – for all of us at RRC and beyond. The immense upheaval caused by COVID-19 means Pride celebrations, like the Winnipeg Pride Parade, have been postponed until the fall.
But while we may not be able to march together, it is important we mark the occasion.
In these turbulent times, I’m going to take a moment to remember that Pride’s history is rooted in protest and the fight for fairness, change and social justice. I am forever grateful for this legacy, for the determination, courage and achievements of those who came before us and fought for our equality and human rights.
What is happening south of our border – and within our own country – is a different fight for equality. Against this backdrop, Pride reminds us how important it is to stand up for diversity, inclusion and equality – and in solidarity against prejudice, intolerance and injustice.
It isn’t about saying that each struggle for change is the same. They are not. The experiences of black people are their own. As such, this means we have a role to play in listening to and learning from black voices in our community. It is about recognizing that profound and lasting societal change is extremely difficult to achieve and often begins with the right to gather in protest.
Pride Month reminds us that we have much to learn from one another. It is an opportunity to express and value our diversity, and challenge the barriers that people of different sexual and gender identities, orientations, and expressions still face each and every day. This struggle is not over – it is a journey of a million steps along the road of progress.
I am proud of the work our faculty, staff and students have done to create a safe campus environment founded in respect, equity and support. I know we still have a lot of work to do – and I know we will do that work together.
When Winnipeg gathers to march this September, I hope you will join my wife and I in celebrating the many faces of Pride – both at Red River College and in our community.
Christine E. Watson Ph.D. | Interim President and CEO Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology
Like many of you, we watched this weekend as protests swept across our neighbours to the south and erupted in Montreal and Toronto.
Diversity, equity and inclusivity are Red River College’s heart and soul. They are values we celebrate, hold dear, and continually aspire to. It is important we acknowledge that we still have much work ahead of us to ensure all our faculty, staff and students truly feel safe, respected and equal.
As individuals and as members of our College community, we have a responsibility to support one another, stand up for our values, and work towards reconciliation. It is important we stand together in solidarity with those seeking equality, even when we are hurting the most.
In the midst of all the challenges we’ve faced over the past several months, this weekend’s horror, heartbreak, fear and anger feel especially overwhelming.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. Support is available if you need help coping with overwhelming feelings brought on by recent events.
Students can access counselling services by phone or video conference – you can also call the Mobile Crisis Service at 204.940.1781, or the 24/7 Klinic Crisis Line at 204.786.8686 for immediate support. To connect with our Indigenous Supports, visit Indigenous Education. To connect with International Student supports, visit International Education.
RRC staff can connect with mental health support via the Employee Family Assistance Program at 1-800-663-1142 or at https://homeweb.ca.
If you would like to share ideas or ask questions about our diversity programs and initiatives, please contact Priyanji Mediwake, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-632-2004, or contact Carla Kematch, Truth and Reconciliation Manager, at email@example.com or 204-632-2148.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Christine E. Watson. PhD | Interim President and CEO Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology
For immediate release: March 12, 2020
Red River College (RRC) is working closely with public health authorities and is focused on providing timely information, reassurance, and support to our staff, faculty, and students as we continue to take necessary measures to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 at all of our campuses and to our broader community.
Our campuses are currently open and our classes, labs and exams have not been cancelled, however, our Senior Leadership Team is working with academic program areas to determine alternative program delivery approaches and models that could be implemented in order to further reduce the numbers of students, faculty and staff on site.
Additionally, RRC has suspended all international and domestic travel outside of Manitoba; cancelled all College events and large gatherings; and restricted the number of meetings to only those that are essential to core operations.
RRC’s Incident Management Team continues to monitor the situation closely in concert with our response plans, and in conversation with our colleagues at other post-secondary institutions across the province, and with advice and direction from our provincial and federal public health authorities.
As news and information regarding COVID-19 continues to unfold, the College will continue to ensure that staff, faculty and students are informed and that we continue to take necessary action to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE– 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 (RRC) Distinguished Graduate Award.
Jack Meseyton, who is 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,” said 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 Red River College 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 deserving candidate for this honour, as he’d demonstrated all of the above in his life, through achieving professional excellence in construction and also giving back to Portage’s community in a big way. Some 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.” said Christine Watson, Vice President Academic at RRC.
Meseyton began working in the construction industry in 1985 when he joined his father’s company – Meseyton Construction. By 1992 he was made partner and helped run the business through daily operations and projects. He entered the Civil CAD program at RRC in 2003 and graduated with honours in 2005 – the same year he began working at E.F. Moon. He later went on to obtain his Civil Engineering Technologist (CET) designation and his Gold Seal Certificate (GSC) in project management.
Growing the heavy construction industry in Manitoba
One of the reasons Meseyton is proud to be recognized as this year’s distinguished graduate, is because of the strong connection RRC has with the heavy construction industry in Manitoba.
“RRC has provided skilled people with the technical knowledge and problem solving skills they need,” he said. “This has given many companies the support staff needed to work on ever increasingly complex construction projects. Knowing some of the theory behind how and why things are constructed in the way they are has allowed companies to make educated, informed decisions on how to proceed with and undertake the construction of these projects.”
RRC programs that filter into the heavy construction industry take place in the Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre and new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), a state-of-the-art 104,000 sq-ft. facility, which opened in 2018. The STTC has allowed RRC to increase its capacity for skilled trades and technologies programs by up to 1,000 additional students each year. This upgraded facility and the equipment it houses allows students to remain ahead-of-the-curve to meet the ever-changing demands of their chosen industry.
Jack Meseyton will be presented with the 2019 Distinguished Graduate Award this evening, November 14, 2019 at the Portage & District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Celebration.
Stonewall, MB – If you’re planning a nature walk along the trails at Oak Hammock Marsh this Canada Day long weekend, you may spot a new cabin-like structure along the path. Today, Red River College’s students and staff from the skilled trades programs will officially donate a new multi-purpose shed that they designed and built for the interpretive centre.
“As Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning and research, we take a hands-on, learn-by-doing approach to education, and this shed is a true example of this at work,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College.
“We are proud to donate this structure to the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, and to share the talent and craftsmanship of our students and staff with the community to use and enjoy for years to come.”
The shed project was an assignment for students in the Level 3 Carpentry, Level 2 Roofing, and Pre-Employment Electrical programs as part of their academic learning goals. Twenty-four students led by four instructors worked on the structure over five weeks between classroom theory lessons and time in the lab. The windows and doors were supplied by Jeld-Wen and the delivery of the structure was donated by Greg’s Tilt Deck Service.
“This assignment is such an important learning opportunity for the students because it’s often the first time many of them will work together, across multiple trades disciplines to apply their knowledge in a collaborative way – much like they will once they graduate and go on to work in industry,” said Rob Masi, Carpentry Instructor.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to share the student’s completed work by donating the structure to a non-profit organization that could utilize it in a meaningful way, and we are thrilled that the shed has found a permanent home at Oak Hammock Marsh. We hope to work with more community partners who could benefit from a project like this in the future.”
Oak Hammock Marsh recently received funding to launch a new self-guided canoe tour program through the wetland trails, and with the donation of the shed from Red River College, they will also be expanding their courtyard – creating even more space for visitors to enjoy and explore.
Moving forward, the shed will be used by the staff, volunteers and visitors for interpretive programming and events.
“Our goal at Oak Hammock Marsh is to create new and innovative opportunities to connect people with our wetlands, and this multi-purpose structure is yet another way that we can expand our facilities and programs in order to provide these meaningful interactions,” said Nathalie Bays, Manager of Interpretive Centre Operations, Oak Hammock Marsh.
“We want to thank the students and instructors at the College for donating this beautiful shed, and we look forward to using it and sharing it with the many school groups, tourists and visitors that we welcome to Oak Hammock Marsh each year.”