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Red River College’s skilled trades students build new multi-purpose shed for Oak Hammock Marsh

June 27, 2019

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.”

 

Crunching numbers and crushing the competition; RRC financial planning students best in the west as they set their sights on nationals

May 28, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – For the second year in a row, Red River College (RRC) students in the Financial Services Specialization course have banked a first place victory at the 2019 Western Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFP) Case Challenge Competition, and will now square off against the best in the East next week in Vancouver.

The Business Administration students: Scott Lobban, Suzie Nguyen, Desiree Huang and Ron Eric Venezuela, led by their instructor Maria Vincenten, have invested countless hours practicing and preparing in the hopes that this year they will come home the national champions – leaving a statement in more ways than one.

“Students come to Red River College to gain the skills and knowledge that will make them employable. Competitions like the CIFP Case Challenge, provides our students with opportunities to practice problem solving, hone their innovation skills, strengthen their ability to communicate and work within teams, and acquire real-life experience that will ultimately lead them to a successful career,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO.

“We are so proud of these students and their instructor, who are representing Red River College on the national stage and are truly demonstrating the value of hands-on, applicable learning.”

The CIFP Case Challenge provides students with an opportunity to take what they have learned in their financial services programs and demonstrate their financial planning skills.

In the challenge, teams of three are sequestered in a room and receive a copy of a multi-page financial case study. Teams then have just two hours to develop a case analysis, recommendations, and an implementation plan.

Once completed, students then have up to twenty minutes to present their findings to a panel of judges (financial services professionals). During this time students must convince the judges that their solutions are viable and are the best solutions for the case. The team that makes the best and most persuasive case presentation wins.

“What’s really amazing about winning the western challenge and making it to nationals is that RRC’s Business Administration program is only two years, so our students only take the financial services courses over one semester in their final year. We are going up against students in four-year programs who have been learning this material for two plus years, and in some cases, post-graduate students,” said RRC Instructor, Maria Vincenten.

“There was some material in the case that we hadn’t even covered yet in class, so this is a really big deal for our students, the program and for the College.”

Vincenten said that this year, three of the students on the team are international students from the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, so they came into the program with a blank slate and had to learn the Canadian business and financial system from scratch.

“Whether we win or lose at nationals next week, in our minds we’re already winners,” said the students. “Red River has given us a very meaningful college experience – this program and the competition have already opened so many doors for each of us, and instead of us applying for jobs, we now have the big financial services players pursuing us. It’s a great feeling to graduate from this program with a career that we are excited and passionate about.”

The team will head to Vancouver June 2-5 for the 2019 Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFP) Case Challenge Competition.

School’s out for summer, but the learning doesn’t stop at Red River College’s Youth Camps

May 24, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Whoever said summer school couldn’t be fun hasn’t heard of Red River College’s (RRC) summer Youth Camps. For any child who dreams of building their own racecar, or cooks like they are Canada’s next master chef – RRC has a number of fun-filled, hands-on camps back by popular demand this summer.

“Red River College takes great pride in being a valued member of the community. Summer camps are just one way we are able to introduce young people to many potential career paths in a way that is interactive, engaging, and most importantly – fun!” said Christine Watson, RRC VP Academic.

“We are thrilled to offer a variety of different camps throughout the summer months – many back by popular demand – in our state-of-the-art facilities, and taught by our industry leading instructors.”

Each summer the College opens its doors and welcomes school-aged students ages 10 to 14 on campus for weeklong interactive learning experiences. This year, the College is pleased to offer the following summer program list:

Design Camp
Look out Jillian Harris! In this camp children ages 10-14 will learn how to design their very own product or living space. Under the direction of two experienced designers, children will have the option of designing their own Green room or perhaps a brand new product that is just waiting to be discovered.

Culinary Camp 
Budding chefs ages 10-14 will learn from RRC’s culinary experts in our professional-grade kitchens at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. From home-made macaroni and cheese to mouth-watering cinnamon buns, in this popular camp children experience the satisfaction of preparing food using quality basic ingredients. Your chefs will learn about food science, kitchen safety and the art of meal presentation.

Girls Exploring Trades and Technology (GETT) Camp
GETT camp introduces girls ages 12 to 14 to applied skills and technology careers and encourages them to consider a variety of career choices. This camp features fun projects and interactive team activities that show young girls the importance of taking sciences, advanced math subjects, and industrial arts in high school.

Technology Exploration Camp (TEC) Camp
TEC provides students ages 11 to 12 with a taste of various engineering technology-related disciplines through hands-on technology activities and demonstrations. Students will build a working model of a medieval catapult and learn about mechanical engineering, work with robots, have fun with static electricity, and learn about theory and safety.

“We are excited to give children the opportunity to discover their love for technology, the trades, and the creative and culinary arts. We hope to see many new faces as well as our returning campers this year, and welcome many of them down the road as Red River College students,” said Watson.

Registration for Red River College’s summer Youth Camps is now open. For more information please visit: www.rrc.ca/youth-camps

Residential Decorating Students Partner with IKEA on Co-Create Spaces

May 21, 2019

Today, a group of 24 Red River College’s (RRC) students unveiled five displays they created in partnership with IKEA.

The in-store displays are an iconic part of the IKEA experience and are different in every location, based on localized market research. They’re designed to address the needs of a specific person, place and price-point.

Josephine Pulver — an interior designer and Residential Decorating instructor at RRC — saw a chance to connect with the industry and turn IKEA’s design process into a final project for her students.

“Last year I placed two of my students at IKEA for their practicums and got to meet some of their staff, and saw the opportunity to set up a project with them,” says Pulver. “The mission is to get students involved, and show the industry what our students are doing at RRC.”

Five displays designed and built by Pulver’s students are now on display at IKEA’s Winnipeg location. The five rooms — called Co-Create Spaces — were unveiled over the weekend, and will remain in-store for the next three years.
Through the Co-Create project, students were able to work off-campus and immerse themselves in the process from start to finish. IKEA provided the research, room dimensions, budget and list of products, then the students broke into groups and began sketching solutions for better everyday living.

“We start from inspiration and develop a concept, which we present to our client, then we get our client’s feedback and get them involved in the progress of the plan development,” says Pulver. “We then carry that through to the completion of the project.”

“We have a specific way of working that comes with having been here for a while, so [the students’] designs suggested different ways to use our products that we may not have thought of before,” adds Andrea Dreilich, communication and interior manager at IKEA.

The Co-Create project marked the first time these students were able to take their drawings and translate them into real spaces. As Pulver notes, communicating directly with an actual client comes with lessons that can’t be reproduced in a classroom. The confined space and timeline limitations (students only had two weeks to build the spaces) afforded additional opportunities for learning.

“They’ve experienced what it’s like to work with a contractor, for example, and how on top of things you have to be. It’s also little things like remembering to bring your plans to the site … that will hopefully give them a step up when they join the workforce,” she says.

One of IKEA’s current interior designers is a recent graduate of the same program. Kerri Harpman completed her workplace practicum at IKEA in 2018 and was hired directly after graduating. She was recently selected to go to Coquitlam, B.C., for six weeks to join a team of specially selected interior designers from across Canada, and helped redesign the IKEA store there.

“I feel like I was well prepared. My instructors were awesome, and I was able to take things that I learned, like space planning, and apply it and see my work come to life,” says Harpman.

Here in Winnipeg, Harpman helped oversee the build-outs at IKEA. She says passing on her knowledge to a group willing to learn and adapt was a great experience, and also a reminder of how far she had come after only one year in the industry.

“Designing a room isn’t all about what it looks like. The room has to be functional,” she explains. “In a big store like IKEA, we have certain rules to follow and you can’t just change things, so it can be hard to wrap your head around that as a student. In school, you hand your plans in and think it looks good, but when you have to implement it, you learn a lot.”
Dreilich says the partnership is beneficial for all involved.

“We get an opportunity to see what up-and-coming designers are working toward, and see this as an opportunity to connect with fresh talent,” she says. “The students get to put it all together in real life, which is not typical in a design program.”

Pulver says the project wouldn’t have come together so quickly without interest and buy-in from IKEA, and internal support from RRC.

“Things like this set Red River College apart,” she says.

Red River College Unveils Indigenous Stoles at 19th Annual Pow Wow

May 3, 2019

WINNIPEG, MB – Today, Red River College will unveil a new Indigenous graduation stole at RRC’s Graduation Pow Wow to recognize the achievements of the College’s Indigenous students. The students will be presented with their stoles by RRC’s elders and members of the College’s leadership.

The 19th annual Graduation Pow Wow has grown by more than 25 per cent from last year and is one of RRC’s largest cultural celebrations.

“Advancing indigenous achievement is a key priority at Red River College, and the College recognizes the important role it plays in supporting reconciliation efforts across the Province,” said Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “Presenting our students with these beautiful Indigenous stoles will give them a great sense of pride at the Pow Wow and as they walk across the stage at convocation. Today is about celebrating our students’ success and this stole an important way of honouring who they are, their culture, and their achievements at the College.”

The stole was designed with symbols to represent The Seven Sacred Teachings, Métis culture, and Inuit culture. In the middle of the stole is the Red River College logo, which rests on the back of the neck. The Assiniboine and Red rivers are also represented throughout the design, which lays on red silk to proudly display the College’s brand colour.

“The Red and Assiniboine rivers are historically and culturally significant to Indigenous peoples; they are the reason so many groups came to reside on the land that Red River College campuses are located on. This geography has informed Indigenous history and is our College’s namesake, so it was really important to incorporate the rivers symbolically into the design,” said Chartrand.

Students who receive a stole at the Pow Wow are encouraged to wear their stole at the College-wide Spring 2019 Convocation ceremonies on June 4 and 5, 2019 at the Centennial Concert Hall. The stoles will also be available at convocation for Indigenous students.

Every year, the Pow Wow welcomes hundreds of guests, community members, dancers, drummers, college staff, faculty and students to join in the community celebration hosted by the School of Indigenous Education.

“Today is an important event for our students to not only honour and celebrate all their hard work and achievements, but it also gathers the community around our students to give them our support as they start their careers. We look forward to continuing a lifelong relationship with each of our students and graduates.”

In addition to celebrating student success, RRC’s Pow Wow festivities reflect the College’s continued commitment to making education more accessible for Indigenous learners. RRC aspires to deliver excellence in Indigenous achievement through partnerships and networks, incorporating Indigenous knowledge, philosophies, perspectives and content with innovative and relevant programming.

Media are invited to attend the Pow Wow festivities:

WHEN:               TODAY, Friday, May 3, 2018

10:00 am            Pipe Ceremony in the North Gym
10:30 am            Dancer, Drummer, and Honoured Guest Registration
12:00 pm            Grand Entry
2:00 pm              Honour Indigenous Graduates
5:00 pm              Feast

WHERE:               North Gym, Red River College, Notre Dame Campus

2055 Notre Dame Avenue

Red River College receives green thumbs up

April 15, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Red River College is abuzz once again and it’s not just the honeybees. This time paper reduction is taking a front-seat, even ahead of electric vehicles and urban beekeeping, as one of the many innovative and green initiatives that has once again landed Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning on Canada’s Greenest Employer list for the ninth straight year.

This annual award recognizes RRC’s environmentally friendly policies and programs that continue to successfully engage staff in their sustainability efforts on campus and at home. Staff surveys consistently show that 90 per cent of RRC’s staff and faculty believe sustainability needs to be a priority in all College operations. It continues to be a key strategic priority for Red River College and is a fundamental part of the College’s Strategic Plan.

“Organizational sustainability is a journey without a final destination at Red River College,” said Sara MacArthur, director of sustainability. “We must continually adapt to use resources more efficiently and reduce impacts by implementing new programs, embracing innovation and fostering a culture of sustainability among staff, students and stakeholders, and we are proud to say what we’re doing is working.”

One area where staff have really gone green this year is the Mechanical Engineering Technology department, where a group of instructors worked with the College’s Sustainability Office to reduce their overall paper consumption by 23 per cent over which worked out to 11,672 sheets of paper. Not only did that mean less paper use in their department, but it also resulted in a cost-savings of 33 per cent and earned them the College’s Sustainability Leadership Award.

“Staff and student engagement is critical for the success of any of the sustainability projects that we initiate, and we have seen that many areas of the College eager to get involved and make positive change within their departments,” said MacArthur. “We are fortunate to have a variety of individuals throughout the organization who are committed to sustainability and take initiative, over and above their job duties, to advance sustainability and inspire others”

Green transportation continues to be top of mind at the College and it didn’t just stop at the creation of the City of Winnipeg’s first all-electric transit bus either. Through the College’s applied research initiatives, staff, students and visitors now have access to seven multi-level electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Notre Dame Campus.

That means staff, students, and even visitors at RRC have an option to charge their car in as little as 30 minutes, using our Level 3 rapid charging station, one of the first of its kind in Manitoba, or they can plug-in to one of our Level 1 or 2 charging stations to top up their car while they’re on-campus.

Another exciting initiative is the College’s urban beekeeping project that is operated in partnership with Beeproject Apiaries. RRC has three hives installed on the rooftop of the Notre Dame Campus and three on the fourth floor patio of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, and together these hives yielded nearly 200kgs of honey last year that was sold at the College-run farmers’ markets held throughout the year.

Throughout the summer, staff and students had the opportunity to visit the hives and learn about the important role bees play in our food system.

Something Like A Genomenon: Genome360 Initiative Launches Today At Red River College

March 21, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Today, Red River College (RRC) is showing off its good genes, with the launch of the Genome360 initiative and the unveiling of new, state-of-the-art equipment to support ongoing learning and research at the College.

Today’s unveiling will showcase the iSeq100, a small but mighty machine – not much bigger than a microwave – that will bring Red River College into the era of next-generation DNA sequencing. Designed for simplicity, the iSeq100 allows labs of all sizes to sequence DNA rapidly and with high accuracy. The equipment will provide students with the hands-on training needed to excel within laboratories and to thrive in the workforce of this growing field.

Also on display at today’s launch is a prototype Molecular Biology Interactive Learning Enterprise – or MOBILE Lab, for short. The electric vehicle, that’s bigger than a golf cart but smaller than a car, will be parked temporarily inside RRC’s A building today, and while it’s designed for mobility, its permanent home is with Genome Prairie. The MOBILE lab, developed in partnership with Westward Industries, provides storage, transport, and sufficient workspace to bring the lab into the field or classroom.

With a total investment of $2.3 million, the Genome360 initiative aims to propel Manitoba to prominence in the genomics sector. Included in the investment is Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) equipment such as the iSeq100, now located at Red River College.

Genome360 is an initiative started by Genome Prairie and its funding partners to build a hub for genomics and phenomics capabilities in Manitoba.

WHO: Representatives from Red River College, Genome Prairie, Illumina Canada, Pest Surveillance Initiative, and the Composites Innovation Centre will speak prior to a reception and tour of the lab where the iSeq100 equipment is housed.

WHEN: Today, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 10:30a.m. (formal program to begin at 10:30a.m. with reception and tour to follow)

WHERE:
Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus – Building lobby (East entrance)
2055 Notre Dame Ave

Photo opportunities:

  • Announcement of funding from RRC President Paul Vogt, industry partners
  • iSeq100 sequencing machine in lab A205
  • MOBILE Lab – an electric-powered vehicle that provides storage, transport, and workspace to bring the lab into the field or classroom

 

Transportation Leader and Visionary Donates $1.5M to Red River College

March 20, 2019

A transportation pioneer will help Red River College train the next generation of industry achievers, and ensure the viability of Manitoba’s skilled workforce for decades to come.

Jan den Oudsten — founder and former president of New Flyer Industries, and inventor of leading-edge transit technology — along with his wife, Maria den Oudsten, is donating $1.5 million to RRC, one of the largest gifts the College has ever received from individual donors.

“I spent much of my life in an industry I am passionate about, and am incredibly humbled to be able to give back and inspire the next generation of learners,” says den Oudsten. “Working and living in Winnipeg was the best time of my life. Winnipeg has the best bus builders in the world, and it is my hope that with this gift that reputation of excellence can continue for many more years.”

RRC is celebrating the transformative gift by officially renaming its Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre. The 60,000-sq.-ft. training and research facility will now be proudly known as the Jan den Oudsten Vehicle Technology & Research Centre (VTRC).

The expansive complex was built in 2008, and was one of the first education centres in Manitoba to receive LEED® Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Every day, close to 170 students at VTRC are trained in transportation technology programs such as Heavy Duty Mechanic, Truck Transport Mechanic (apprenticeship), Trailer Mechanic (apprenticeship), Outdoor Power Equipment (certificate and apprenticeship) and specialized training for General Motors.

VTRC also works with industry partners such as New Flyer to drive applied research in vehicle technology and development, and to support the transportation industry on energy conservation and alternatives (such as electrification), cold-weather testing and technology integration.

This work is expanding with the construction of MotiveLab™, a 7,000-sq.-ft. research facility that will support Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector, including transit. MotiveLab™ contains a climatic chamber with the ability to test vehicles in extreme weather conditions — from -40C to +50C — while under full load conditions.

“On behalf of Red River College I am so grateful and honoured that the den Oudstens chose to support the College through this impactful gift. Their generosity will benefit thousands of students every year by enabling the College to build and upgrade its state-of-the-art facilities with cutting edge equipment,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Students today, and for decades to come, will be equipped with the confidence, training and skills necessary to become leaders in their chosen fields, all thanks to Jan and Maria den Oudsten.”

Den Oudsten’s contributions to the vehicle research sector have made a significant impact around the world over his 50 years of service. He purchased New Flyer in 1986 and introduced his vision for European-style accessible low-floor technology to the North American transit market, ensuring all passengers — including those with significant mobility challenges — are able to travel using regular transit services in cities across the continent.

Den Oudsten was also involved in pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology applications, and was the first to introduce a 60-foot articulated diesel-electric hybrid bus. In 1999, he unveiled the Invero, New Flyer’s state-of-the-art transit bus design. Under his leadership, New Flyer expanded to over 2,000 employees. Today, the company has more than 44,000 buses in service, just over 7,300 of which are electric powered and 1,600 of which are zero-emission.

On Thu., March 21, den Oudsten will also be recognized and honoured with the 2019 Pioneer Award from the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Manitoba.

Better, Faster, Stronger: SpaRRCky prepares to compete at the 2019 Shell Eco-marathon

March 14, 2019

Today, Red River College’s Shell Eco-marathon competition team will be unveiling the updated SpaRRCky battery-electric vehicle.

The Shell Eco-marathon is a competition that challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient vehicle. With three major annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe, student teams take to the track to see who goes the farthest on the least amount of fuel.

SpaRRCky raced against 100 student teams in the 2018 competition and placed 14th in the battery-electric category after a successful run around the track – achieving 104km/kwh. The team is hoping that with experience under their belt, and improvements to SpaRRCky, they’ll place even higher in the 2019 competition.

WHERE:      Skilled Trades and Technology Centre – 2055 Notre Dame Avenue

WHEN:          TODAY March 14, 2019

TIME:            4p.m

WHAT:        Guests and media will have the opportunity to hear from team members and
faculty advisers about the improvements and changes made to SpaRRCky
over the last year. Opportunity to view and photograph the completed
SpaRRCky vehicle with members of the team.

Indigenous Culinary Skills students open first pop-up short order restaurant at Red River College

March 11, 2019

Winnipeg, MB – Red River College’s inaugural Indigenous Culinary Skills program is cooking up opportunities for students and re-opening the doors to the College’s Prairie Lights restaurant at the Notre Dame Campus.

The College’s first-ever pop-up short order restaurant will see this inaugural group of students cooking made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch starting March 12th to April 17th, with a menu featuring a new take on some delicious Indigenous dishes.

“A key priority for the College is to advance Indigenous achievement and elevate student success. Our role as a college is to ensure we create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous peoples to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society,” said Rebecca Chartrand, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

The students will operate the restaurant as a real short order kitchen, which won’t only give students practical experience that they can use when they enter the workforce but it will also touch on power skills like team work, communication, time management and problem solving. This initiative demonstrates the College’s commitment to support Indigenous learners on their journey towards education and successful employment as well as growing Indigenous peoples successfully into all industries.

“By offering traditional Indigenous dishes such as bannock tacos and 3-sisters soup, these students will be sharing their culture with the rest of the College and members of the public who come to dine at Prairie Lights. That really fits into the work we are doing with Truth and Reconciliation through celebrating Indigenous culture and advancing Indigenous achievement in our communities. You can really see the sense of pride students have by sharing the food they make that is part of their history.”

The restaurant will also give employment experience to students enrolled in College Transition, a one-year exploratory certificate program. The College has hired these students to run the “front-of-house” operation and as part of their new role also received First-Aid Training and their Food Handler’s certification.

“Red River College is dedicated to finding innovative opportunities to build a better future for students,” says Chartrand. “There is a compelling need for financial assistance for Indigenous students who want to pursue post-secondary education, so we will find solutions and remove barriers to education and employment wherever we can.”

The Prairie Lights restaurant will be open to the public from March 12th to April 17th and offers made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch and daily specials. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday; 9 am to 10:30 am for breakfast, and 11 am to 12:30 for lunch. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.