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College opens doors to new state-of-the-art Smart Factory

June 28, 2019

Today, with the help of collaborative robots Baxter, Sawyer and UR10, Red River College officially opened the doors to its brand new Smart Factory, a state-of-the-art learning facility and applied research space that will directly support Manitoba’s growing aerospace and manufacturing industries, and RRC’s applied research initiatives.

“Red River College has always been at the forefront of emerging technologies. The opening of the Smart Factory ensures that our students are well-equipped to face the challenges that the future workforce may hold, and to thrive in ever-changing environments,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, at right).

“These expansions have significant impacts in our community and beyond, as we provide unparalleled access to cutting-edge resources for our partners in the aerospace and manufacturing industries.”

Located inside RRC’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, the Smart Factory is an experiential learning facility and technology demonstration site. It combines emerging technologies in metals additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics and autonomous factory vehicles, flexible robotic work cells, industrial automation, high-speed 3D laser metrology, industrial networking, and many more.

The new facility will enhance learning at RRC by allowing students to experience and work in factory settings. It will also provide Manitoba companies with access to state-of-the-art equipment, research and innovation expertise, and faculty and students — in order to evaluate, develop, demonstrate and implement new and emerging technologies.

The Smart Factory is the result of a $10-million investment — previously announced in 2017 — by the federal government through Western Economic Diversification Canada. In addition to supporting the development of the Smart Factory, this funding also supports the Phase 3 expansion of RRC’s Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT), located at StandardAero in Winnipeg. Read More →

Students’ Association launches new space for LGBTTQ+ students and allies

June 2, 2019

Red River College is beaming with pride as it prepares to again celebrate Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ+ community.

More than 100 students, staff and College leaders will walk in this Sunday’s Pride Winnipeg parade — just one of many LGBTTQ-related initiatives that reflect RRC’s ongoing commitment to diversity.

This year’s parade happens to coincide with the opening of The Spectrum, a new RRC Students’ Association (RRCSA) space for members of the LGBTTQ+ community and their allies.

“Red River College is committed to creating a safe campus environment by fostering an atmosphere of respect, equity and support, and ensuring everyone has the chance to work, learn and access services in an inclusive and welcoming manner,” says Christine Watson, RRC’s Vice-President, Academic.

“Participation in events like Winnipeg Pride, and the creation of spaces like The Spectrum are just a few ways we can create more opportunities for students and staff to meet like-minded individuals and allies, feel comfortable talking about their identity and experiences, and build a supportive and inclusive College community.”

Developed by the RRCSA with support from the College, The Spectrum is available for meetings and events aimed at students and allies, and to provide information on internal and external supports relevant to the community.

RRCSA executives say the space’s name was chosen to denote inclusion for everyone, as “The Spectrum” has a double meaning, invoking both the rainbow (a widely used symbol among the LGBTTQ+ community), and the spectrum of gender and sexuality.

“It’s essential for post-secondary institutions to create an environment where students feel safe and are free to interact and share with their community, and be themselves, so we are taking a proactive approach in supporting our marginalized students in a visible manner,” says Carmen McIntosh, the RRCSA’s Vice-President Academic and one of the coordinators of the space.

“The goal with safe(r) spaces like The Spectrum is to provide support to students who may feel as though they have nowhere else to turn. Students can come and meet others who share similar experiences and build a supportive community of allies.” Read More →

Technical support: Interlake instructor gives Computer Skills course an upgrade

April 11, 2019

Dr. Kasongo Kalanda began his journey with technology and education at a time — and in a place — where few people had even heard of computers.

Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kalanda’s options for post-secondary education were similarly limited as a young man, but he managed to find an opening at a private university, where he was among the first students to register for Computer Studies.

“It was the only available opportunity,” says Kalanda, now a Computer Skills instructor at Red River College’s Interlake and Peguis – Fisher River Campus. “I took things seriously from there and told myself it was this or nothing.”

Kalanda earned a bachelor’s degree in Science and a master’s in Computer Science from L’Institut supérieur d’informatique programmation et analyse (L’I.S.I.P.A.), before moving to pursue both a second master’s and a doctorate in Computing Education from the University of South Africa.

While there, he ran into a problem when his master’s thesis was required in English, a language he’d never had the opportunity to learn. Kalanda asked for three months to figure out how to read and write in English. He says it wasn’t easy, and compared it to a “do-or-die” situation.

In 2008, he was invited to participate in a Microsoft-sponsored program that trained teachers in how to integrate technology into education. During a brainstorming workshop, Kalanda helped come up with the idea to create a classroom technology integration competition for teachers using a World Cup Soccer model.

The end results were called School Technology Innovation Centres, an initiative for which Kalanda became manager for Africa and the Middle East, eventually travelling to more than 50 countries between 2008 and 2013. Read More →

Coast Guard donates surplus helicopter to RRC’s Stevenson Campus

March 7, 2019

Red River College’s aircraft maintenance training got a welcome lift yesterday, thanks to the donation of a surplus Coast Guard helicopter that’ll help support the development of skilled aerospace industry personnel.

Today at RRC’s Stevenson Campus, the federal government presented the College with a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm BO105 helicopter — one of 10 such assets being donated to training institutions across Canada.

“I am proud that these Coast Guard helicopters will help develop students across the country, allowing them to have practical and hands-on experience,” said Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, in a written release. “These assets have a lot of history and are part of the Coast Guard’s heritage. I am glad that they will benefit generations to come in building high-level maintenance expertise.”

The copters were in service with the Coast Guard for more than 30 years, the first having been purchased in 1985, and the last in 1988. The fleet played an essential role in supporting programs such as icebreaking, marine communication, navigation aids, environmental response, waterway protection, science, conservation and protection.

The helicopter donated to RRC will be used as part of aerospace and aviation training at the Stevenson Campus in Winnipeg, where it joins a fleet of roughly 12 planes and helicopters, most of which were also donated by industry and government partners.

“They are teaching tools, and this hangar is a classroom,” said RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above at right, with MP Doug Eyolfson). “This campus is ground control, and we are steering students with a clear path forward to a rewarding career by providing them with the training, knowledge and skills that this fast-paced and ever-changing industry demands.”

“After 30 years, this incredible piece of equipment may be retired from active service in the Coast Guard fleet, but its next chapter and journey is just beginning here at RRC.”

College appoints new Truth and Reconciliation Manager to lead in commitments to Indigenous Education Blueprint

February 7, 2019

Carla Kematch, Red River CollegeAs part of its commitment to advancing Indigenous achievement while strengthening ties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, Red River College has appointed its first Manager of Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement.

Carla Kematch will lead the College in its commitment to Manitoba’s Indigenous Education Blueprint, a pledge to advance Indigenous education in the province — and to make Manitoba a centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

As one of nine post-secondary signatories to the Blueprint — which takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada — the College recognizes it has an important, proactive role to play in supporting reconciliation efforts in the province.

“A key priority for the College is to strengthen our partnerships and continue to advance Indigenous achievement in our communities, and education is the key to improving the lives of Indigenous people and to improving Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations across Canada,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.

“Our role as a college is to ensure we create the programs, supports and opportunities that allow Indigenous people to demonstrate their leadership and innovation in all facets of our society. We are looking forward to the skills, experience and perspective that Carla will bring to the team as we address Truth and Reconciliation throughout the College.”

Kematch arrives at RRC with 30 years’ experience working within Indigenous communities in a variety of capacities, including the development of training programs for staffs, community clients, board members and other partners, in areas such as policy development, needs assessment, implementation plans, and evaluation and delivery of group training. Read More →

Mentorship exchanges allow students to ‘study abroad’ without leaving home

January 11, 2019

While attending Red River College, students will make friends, become exposed to new ideas, and learn the skills they’ll need to succeed in the workplace. The one thing they might not get to do is study abroad — unless they take time out of their academic schedule to do so.

But RRC’s Intercultural Mentorship Program allows students to broaden their horizons without having to incur the costs of plane tickets, living expenses or additional student fees. In fact, the only investment required is 10 hours of volunteer time, spread over the winter term.

Each year, RRC welcomes over 700 immigrant and international students who wish to further their education in Canada, just as the province regularly welcomes new immigrants who help to grow our economy and strengthen cultural diversity.

In the case of students, cross-cultural exchanges can have positive impacts on their careers, as well.

“Having an understanding of diversity and cross-cultural communication are key power skills to have in our global economy,” says Vera Godavari, RRC’s Mentorship Program Coordinator.

“In Michelle Obama’s talk on The Importance of Studying Abroad, she emphasizes building intercultural bridges as a key to success in the global economy. As she points out, good grades are important, but it’s also about having ‘real experiences with the world beyond your borders — experiences with languages and cultures and society that are very different from your own.’” Read More →

Interlake Campus business instructor makes marketing a ‘family’ affair

January 10, 2019

When it comes to career, Carmen Kaethler always accounts for family.

Kaethler is the lead instructor of the Business, Accounting and Management certificate program at Red River College’s Interlake Campus in Selkirk.

A mother to two young daughters, she also works part-time from home as an accountant for Elite Sports Injury, a network of physiotherapy clinics in Winnipeg.

Kaethler began instructing at RRC in 2017, and now spends about 12 hours a week teaching such courses as Financial Accounting 1 and Introduction to Canadian Business.

“I like the flexibility because it allows me to continue to give real-world experience to the students,” says Kaethler, who’s been a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) since 2013. “I’m still practising in a current local business, so I can give relevant examples to [my students] in class, instead of just talking about my past.”

Kaethler brings approximately 17 years (and counting) of office- and business-related experience to her classrooms.

“I love teaching and I love business, so being able to show that to students — to help them understand accounting, and make them see that it’s not that scary — I find it enjoying and quite rewarding,” she says.

In addition to accounting, Kaethler also has an entrepreneurial side. She’s a local publisher for Macaroni Kid, a website that publishes “hyper-local” e-newsletters and websites promoting products, events, activities and destinations for moms, kids and families.” A Transcona resident, Kaethler focuses on family events in east Winnipeg. Read More →

College establishes academic partnership with top-tier university in India

January 7, 2019

Red River College will partner with Chitkara University — one of India’s leading teaching and research institutions — to deliver innovative programming and continue efforts to internationalize the College and compete on the global stage.

“Red River College is a global operation, and growing in stature in the area of international education,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Over the past few years, we have significantly increased our efforts to internationalize the College, and the signing of this agreement with Chitkara University will allow us to continue to encourage academic collaboration, educational exchanges and innovative joint research projects with a leading institution in India.”

The College is exploring pathways to establish a satellite campus at Chitkara that will enable RRC to deliver the two-year Business Information Technology (BIT) program to students studying in India, beginning in the fall of 2019.

The proposed one-plus-one delivery model will also create new opportunities for students to complete their final year of studies here in Manitoba, and for RRC students to study overseas — part of the College’s student mobility strategy. Read More →

Holiday hours at Red River College

December 12, 2018

RRC Holiday Card

Red River College will be operating on restricted holiday hours, effective 4:00pm, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.

During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be limited to the following hours:

  • Dec. 21, 2018: Regular hours until 4:00pm
  • Dec. 24-26, 2018: Closed (no access)
  • Dec. 27-31, 2018: 8:00am to 4:00pm (Roblin Centre closed on Dec. 29)
  • Jan. 1, 2019: Closed (no access)
  • Jan. 2, 2019: Resume regular hours, effective 7:00am

Lab access at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses during the above hours will be limited to the classroom labs listed below. Students who are in one of the designated labs prior to closure will be given a four-hour grace period (until 8:00pm) to complete their studies or project before being asked to leave. Read More →

College to host public forum on safety in the Exchange District

December 5, 2018

In partnership with the Exchange District BIZ, Red River College will host a public forum on Safety in the Exchange on Tue., Dec. 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Roblin Centre (160 Princess St.)

Members of City Council, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Exchange District community will join to discuss ideas, solutions and opportunities for enhancing safety in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Red River College continues to be proactive in maintaining a safe and secure environment for staff and students. Recently, the College enhanced its security services at the Exchange District Campus and implemented a mobile street patrol unit that runs every day from 4:00 p.m. to midnight.

The College has also added onsite security and Safe Walk services at the Language Training Centre (in the VIA Rail Station on Main Street) and has extended the hours of security coverage until 11:00 p.m. at the ACE Project Space on McDermot Ave. (In addition to the 24/7 coverage already provided at the Roblin Centre and Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.)

Staff and students are encouraged to access the Safe Walk program, and to download RRC’s Mobile Safety App, which provides quick access to RRC Security and Safe Walk, and sends important campus safety alerts directly to users’ smartphones. The app is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices and can be downloaded here.

RRC looks forward to working alongside community leaders to establish even more ways to ensure Winnipeg’s downtown remains a vibrant place to learn, live and work.

Learn more about RRC’s Safe Walk program, and Security Services at the College.