Rising through the ranks: New Dean’s background brought to bear on design, construction of STTC

September 17, 2018

In both his early career and its latest evolution, Derek Kochenash learned a lot about climbing ladders.

A Red Seal-endorsed Sheet Metal Worker, Kochenash has spent the last decade rising through the ranks at Red River College.

A 2001 Apprenticeship grad, he began working at the College in 2006 as a Related Math and Sciences instructor, and in 2010 became academic coordinator of the Related Math and Sciences Department.

Two years later, Kochenash was named Chair of the Electrical, Math and Sciences Department, and in 2017 took on the role of acting Dean of the School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing.

Now, Kochenash is Dean of the School of Skilled Trades and Technologies, the newly amalgamated entity comprised of the School of Engineering and Construction Technology and the aforementioned School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing.

“I never did have this as a goal. Each time that I’ve taken on new roles and moved up into larger responsibility positions, I’ve never ever predicted the future throughout the process,” says Kochenash, who also holds a M.Ed. from the University of Manitoba

“I’m very humbled and excited about the opportunity to be the Dean of this school, considering I started my career as a sheet metal worker and took my training here at RRC.”

“I’ve always taken on leadership roles. I love working with people to solve problems. I love trying to resolve conflicts. I’m passionate about that kind of work and that’s what drives me to take on these roles. Many people think I’m crazy, my wife included. ‘Why do you like that?’ I don’t know, but I do.” Read More →

Summer internship opens doors for RRC grad

September 13, 2018

School may have been out for summer, but the learning certainly didn’t stop for Theressa Genaille.

After graduating with honours last spring from Red River College’s Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment and Transition — a program recently relaunched as the College Transition program — Genaille was selected for an eight-week paid internship at the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce (ACC).

In that time, she was able to take the knowledge and skills she gained in the classroom and put them to work supporting the daily operations of the ACC.

“As the first person in my family to pursue post-secondary education, it was really important for me to enter into a learning environment like Red River College,” says Genaille, “where instructors and advisors took the time to understand my individual needs and provide the supports I needed to achieve my academic goals and thrive in my studies.”

In addition to her achievements in the Transition program — created to help students enhance their core competency skills in areas such as reading, writing, math, science and technology — Genaille’s education and volunteer experience made her the ideal candidate for the ACC Internship, funded by the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development.

“Theressa’s name was put forward with glowing recommendations from her instructors due to her volunteer experience, positive attitude and great work ethic — and from the moment she joined our team, we could certainly see why,” says Darrell Brown, Chair of ACC’s Board of Directors, and a proud RRC grad himself.

“We were so fortunate to work with Theressa and have her support to move important initiatives forward. In turn, we were able to provide a supportive learning environment for her to experience the daily operations of the ACC, gain a deeper understanding of the business community as a whole, and apply the valuable skills she learned as a student.” Read More →

RRC President Paul Vogt to speak at Manitoba Chambers of Commerce breakfast

September 6, 2018

The nature of work is changing across all sectors, driven by innovation and disruptive technologies.

Career paths now have a zig-zag shape, and “continuous learning” is a reality for workers who wish to stay viable in their fields. Employers are not only looking for technical skills, but for adaptability, resilience and the ability to problem-solve.

Red River College President Paul Vogt will return to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce as the keynote speaker of its latest MBiz Breakfast Series event on Thu., Sept. 27, at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre. Join him to learn how the College’s priorities and direction will help ensure that Manitoba’s workforce remains ahead of the curve.

Through ongoing investments in new state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and through new and updated programs that encourage cooperative work placements and collision by design, Red River College is continuing to adapt to the needs of today’s learners — and their future employers.

Tickets to the breakfast are available here.

 

Financial supports available for new and returning RRC students

August 30, 2018

Whether you’re pursuing an education in Culinary Arts, Construction Management or Electrical Engineering Technology (shown above) — or any of the other 200-plus full- and part-time programs at Red River College — there are financial supports available to help you along the way.

The College encourages all eligible students to apply for awards and bursaries that will help them achieve their academic goals. Last year, RRC handed out 3,881 awards (an increase of almost 70 per cent from previous years) that supported 1,840 students across the College. This year, close to $3 million will be available for eligible students who choose to apply.

Made possible through generous support from the College’s donors and the provincial government, these awards help students who are experiencing financial barriers stay focused on their educational goals.

“Our top priority as a College is for our students to succeed,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “These awards are a way to alleviate financial pressure and ensure that students have a positive experience at the College, which helps them transition into the workforce as confident leaders in their chosen fields.”

“We pride ourselves on having students who graduate ahead of the curve, who enter the workforce with hands-on experience and expertise and with strong industry relationships. That can’t happen without the financial support being provided.”

Students who are considering applying for a scholarship, bursary or financial award are encouraged to explore the full list of awards available here.

New awards available for the 2018/2019 academic year include: Read More →

New scholarship launched to help Nunavut residents strengthen communities through Engineering training

August 29, 2018

Red River College and Accutech Engineering Inc. are proud to announce a new scholarship for students from Nunavut who are attending Engineering Technology programs at RRC.

The annual $3,000 award will support one full-time student per year who has relocated to Winnipeg to pursue Civil Engineering Technology (shown above), Electrical Engineering Technology or Mechanical Engineering Technology.

Many of the Engineering programs will take place in the College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, which opened its doors to students this month. The new 104,000 square-foot facility features state-of-the-art equipment and learning spaces that focus on collaboration and applied-learning

“This award offers accessibility to education, which is something we at Red River College strive for,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our nine campuses, along with our Mobile Training Labs, help us to reach students in communities across Manitoba — and we are very grateful to Accutech for helping to expand that reach into Nunavut. We’re looking forward to meeting the first recipient and continuing to help them while they take the first steps in their career here at the College.”

The award is Accutech’s way of giving back to the people — and future technologists — of Nunavut, recognizing that educations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) have a positive impact on capacity-building and self-reliance within the Territory.

“Accutech Engineering is proud to be able to provide professional services to the people of Canada’s Arctic,” says Brent Wall, President and CEO of Accutech. “Under an atmosphere of mutual respect, we are honoured to be able to give back to help Nunavummiut develop and implement their own solutions, just as the Elders did for generations.” Read More →

First class of students welcomed to new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre

August 28, 2018

This week, thousands of students began their studies at Red River College campuses across the province, including — for the first time ever — at RRC’s new 104,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

The new STTC will increase trades and technology training spaces at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus by more than 30 per cent, and will prepare up to 1,000 students a year for careers in high-demand industries including carpentry, electrical, and mechanical and manufacturing.

The facility is home to new classrooms, labs and shop space, and is expected to play a key role in boosting Manitoba’s workforce by 75,000 highly trained people by 2020.

In addition to opening the doors of the STTC, the College will also mark a number of other back-to-school milestones this month, including a new series of student orientation sessions, the launch of new programs, awards and bursary opportunities, and a full slate of events and activities hosted by the RRC Students’ Association.

“The first day of school is always a mix of excitement and nerves, whether it’s the start of a new program or the start of another year in a student’s educational journey,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We look forward to welcoming students back to our nine campuses across Manitoba, and — for the first time — to our dynamic new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, a facility equipped with the latest in teaching technology and hands-on learning spaces.”

Last year, RRC welcomed more than 22,000 students through its doors over the course of the academic year. While current enrolment figures are still being tallied, early indications suggest most programs are near-capacity or full.

Mexican students make first trip to Manitoba as part of language and cultural training initiative

August 17, 2018

Thirty post-secondary students from Mexico visited Manitoba for the first time this summer, soaking in the local culture and sharpening their English skills with help from Red River College’s Language Training Centre.

The students were here as part of the Mexican government’s Proyecta 10,000 initiative, which sent 10,000 students to locations throughout Canada to explore culture and history while practicing their English.

The students visiting Winnipeg spent nearly a month attending the College’s LTC, where they mixed classroom study with off-site excursions to sites such as FortWhyte Alive, Shaw Park and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

While in town, they billeted at homestays with local families, who also exposed them to such Peg-specific traditions as kayaking along the Red River and visiting the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

In order to qualify for a spot with the sought-after Proyecta program, students had to have good grades, letters of reference, and high-level language skills — though the latter improved significantly as a result of their time in the city.

“I’m astounded with how much it grew,” LTC program facilitator Carleigh Friesen said (to the Winnipeg Free Press), of the students’ fluency, vocabulary and pronunciation.

This marks the sixth year RRC has hosted a summer institute — a two- to four-week language improvement program that’s usually attended by students from the College’s sister schools in China — and the first year that RRC hosted students from Mexico, though Friesen says she hopes it won’t be the last.

“The community really embraced them,” she said.

Learn more about RRC’s Summer Institutes.

Instrumentation grads design training skid for use by Engineering students at U of M

July 25, 2018

Demonstrating core institutional values of leadership, ingenuity and collaboration, a pair of Red River College students created a new process control training skid that’s being used by the University of Manitoba to prepare their own Engineering students for industry.

As part of their final-year engineering design project, Eric Champagne and Joao Fidencio — both recent graduates of RRC’s Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology program — partnered with Canadian firm Lakeside Process Controls on the skid, which is now a component of the U of M’s control engineering laboratory.

“Lakeside had been trying to find the time to design, build, test and commission a DeltaV process control training skid for the U of M’s Engineering lab for some time,” says RRC instructor David Bertin. “They had put some effort into it, but hadn’t been able to complete it, so our students took on the project.”

Fidencio, who was working as a summer student for Lakeside when the project first came up, asked his manager if he could take the lead and use it as his final project at RRC.

The form and construction of the skid were similar to one Bertin had designed earlier for the College, but there were enough differences to require a significant amount of additional work on the part of Fidencio and Champagne (shown above, at left and right).

The skid itself is an invaluable tool for Engineering students looking to develop their process control skills using the latest hardware and software on the market. Equipped with Emerson transmitters and control valves — plus state-of-the-art DeltaV software — it allows students to control pressure, level, flow and temperature the same way they would on the frontlines of industry, introducing new capabilities to the U of M that RRC has offered its own students for years. Read More →

Funding announced for new culinary research centre at PGI

July 25, 2018

The eleventh floor of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will soon be transformed into a multi-functional culinary research centre, thanks to new federal funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan stopped by Jane’s restaurant this morning to formally announce the new project — one of several made possible through more than $10 million in funding for new research infrastructure at 11 colleges and polytechnics across Canada.

Through the CFI’s investment of more than $1 million in RRC, students and staff working at the new research lab will be even better positioned to collaborate with the food and agriculture industry on projects that will enhance food safety research, and address changing consumer needs and challenges such as food waste.

“Red River College is a leader in culinary research and innovation,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “To date we’ve worked on more than 40 different projects with local food and agricultural producers in Manitoba to help them innovate and bring new products to market.

“This support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation means that we can expand our research capabilities to meet this growing demand, and create a dedicated state-of-the-art facility for researchers, instructors and students to work collaboratively — shoulder-to-shoulder with industry — to make the impossible possible when it comes to new food product creation and culinary innovation.” Read More →

RRC grad dominates at Manitoba men’s amateur golf championship

July 23, 2018

A Business Administration grad — and current Red River College staffer — made some serious waves on the fairway last week, maintaining a dominant lead to capture his first title in the Manitoba men’s amateur golf championship.

Justin McDonald — an accountant with RRC’s Finance department — quickly set himself apart from the pack during the first two rounds of play at Quarry Oaks last Monday and Tuesday, holding onto his lead for the final rounds at Glendale, and eventually finishing eight shots ahead of the field on Thursday afternoon.

The only golfer to finish the event under par, McDonald shot rounds of 68-70-73-74, for a four-round total of 285, or 3 under.

The Winnipeg Free Press described McDonald (who graduated from RRC’s Business Administration program in 2008) as arguably “the most impressive golfer of the summer,” noting he also took the provincial mid-amateur title at Falcon Lake on July 5 — with an equally dominant nine-stroke advantage.

Per the Free Press, McDonald hasn’t attended a driving range in years — and doesn’t hit balls before teeing off in tournaments, either — preferring to golf four to five times a week at Breezy Bend, instead.

McDonald’s clubmate Eric Johnson came second in the men’s amateur with a line of 69-73-73-78 to finish at 5 over, while Niakwa’s Todd Fanning finished third with a four-round total of 295.

Photo courtesy Golf Manitoba’s Twitter page.