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 →

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 →

Construction begins on new Innovation Centre downtown

July 20, 2018

With funding now in place, Red River College is moving forward this week with construction of its new $95-million Innovation Centre, plans for which had to be put on hold while financial arrangements were sorted out earlier this year.

College President Paul Vogt received confirmation from the government recently that the $40.6 million in funding required for the project is now secure, and the College can begin issuing tenders so that construction can get underway.

On Wednesday, stakeholders gathered at site of the new Centre — at 319 Elgin Ave., right across the street from RRC’s Roblin Centre — to learn more about how the College’s latest expansion plan will help transform the Exchange District.

“For those of you who have been following this project closely, and have been wondering if we are still moving forward, let me be the first to say ‘yes,’ we are very proud to be starting construction,” Vogt said Wednesday.

“Nothing gets built without a vision. And right now it excites me to visualize that in a few short years we’re going to be able to look across the street from here and see a hub for creative innovation.”

Construction of the new Centre is slated to be complete by the fall of 2020. Once open, it will serve as the home of RRC’s business and information technology programs, as well as its Language Training Centre, ACE (Applied Computer Education) Project Space, and Research Partnerships & Innovation office. Read More →

The Force is strong with this one: Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo to receive Distinguished Graduate Award

June 14, 2018

As a wise man named Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”

And it certainly wasn’t luck, but hard work and passion, that earned Pablo Hidalgo — a Winnipeg-raised Star Wars fan, now working for Lucasfilm in California — a Distinguished Graduate Award from Red River College.

A 1996 alum of RRC’s Creative Communications program, Hidalgo proved to be more than a simple man trying to make his way in the universe. The skills he acquired at College put him on the path to where he is today.

While working at McKim Communications Group, he used networking skills to land a role with one of his clients, Frantic Films.

That leap took him to California, where he was quickly presented with an opportunity from Lucasfilm — to work as a writer and content developer for StarWars.com.

Since then, Hidalgo has become a creative executive as part of Lucasfilm’s story development team, earning the unofficial title of Lucasfilm’s ‘resident Star Wars geek,’ who’s most often consulted about the timelines and mythology within the ever-expanding Star Wars universe.

He’ll be presented with the award on Sat., June 23, at the second annual FanQuestconvention taking place at RRC’s Roblin Centre. He’s also scheduled to speak twice at the event: presenting Inside Solo: The Official Guide (noon, Sat.) and From Winnipeg to a Galaxy Far, Far Away (1:00 p.m., Sun.).

“It feels great to be recognized by Red River College as a Distinguished Graduate,” says Hidalgo. “If anything, my journey has taught me to always take the opportunities that are presented to you and stay true to who you are. Growing up in Winnipeg was integral to growing my Star Wars hobby obsession, and it’s great to receive this award surrounded by people who understand the creative energy you can harness when you live somewhere that’s covered in snow half the year.” Read More →

Pressure cooker: RRC instructor and former student to face the heat together at national culinary contest

June 7, 2018

Next week, Culinary Arts instructor Chef Gordon Bailey will return to his old stomping grounds in P.E.I., to represent Manitoba at the senior level of the Canadian Culinary Federation’s national competition.

And while the contest is sure to be the usual high-pressure affair, Bailey says the most exciting part so far has been coaching his junior representative — former Red River College student Argie Garcia.

An RRC instructor since 2013, Bailey describes Garcia as a gifted person who cares about his cooking, has a solid work ethic, and performs well under pressure.

“Cooking is about listening to the environment and the food,” says Bailey (shown above), who in 1999 moved from Winnipeg to Charlottetown, where he opened Lot 30, one of P.E.I.’s most celebrated restaurants.

“Food is something where your passion can be distinctly read through the taste and presentation of your plate. A good cook can put their personal story in it, and [Garcia] does that.”

This year’s competition also takes place in Charlottetown, as part of the Culinary Federation’s 55th annual national conference. The contest consists of a Black Box Challenge — similar to the Mystery Box Challenge on TV’s MasterChef — in which competitors from each province will be given 15 minutes to create a menu using a batch of secret ingredients and pantry staples, and an hour to prepare and plate their servings. Read More →

Recipients of Spring 2018 Lt.-Gov.’s Medals for Proficiency announced

June 4, 2018

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of Red River College’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Medals for Proficiency, who’ll receive their awards as part of our 2018 Spring Convocation ceremonies on June 5 and 6.

Each year, up to four Lt.-Gov.’s Medals are awarded to RRC students who best combine good character, academic and technical achievement, and involvement in College and/or community activities. This year’s winners are:

Cheryl Janz — A May 2018 graduate of Red River College’s Disability and Community Support program, Cheryl Janz finds happiness in helping people.

Having worked in the disabilities services field for 20 years, Janz says being able to go back to school and improve her knowledge was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she didn’t want to miss out on.

“I’m someone who believes in lifelong learning,” says Janz. “And what I’m taking away from completing the course is more knowledge and understanding. That’s something I can share with others and will make a positive change for the people I support.”

The structure of the program — theory, practical work experience, and self-reflection — is something that resonated with Janz.

“Because there’s people in the program coming from different organizations and experiences, you get to hear a variety of perspectives and ways of doing things,” she explains. “Each course had a self-reflection component where I could take what I learned and ask myself, ‘What I can change, why I do things the way I do, and how I can do better to inspire equality?’”

A mother of three, Janz says the decision to go back to school was one that was fully supported and encouraged by her family, and by her manager at enVision Community Living, an organization that provides services to persons with disabilities in Southeastern Manitoba.

“It’s been an adjustment for everybody but it’s worth it,” she says.

Outside the classroom, Janz spends time with her family as much as possible. When she’s not cheering on her kids at soccer matches, curling games or school events, you can find them volunteering together for Faith and Light, Variety Children’s Charity and the Circle of Hearts Family Support Network.

Felipe Tadeu Matoso Gomes — Felipe Gomes always dreamed of moving to Canada to pursue his passion for business and creative marketing. Two years ago, that dream became a reality, when he packed his bags and moved to Winnipeg to enrol in the Business Administration program at Red River College.

Born and raised in Recife, a city in Northeast Brazil, the 27-year old was working as an engineer when he deciding to switch countries and careers.

“I spent a lot of time researching different schools and various business programs,” says Gomes. “I’ve always had a passion for marketing, but I wanted to find a program where I could learn the basics and have an opportunity to explore the various fields of business. RRC’s Business Administration program stood out to me as a program where I could test my general knowledge and get a sense of what I really liked before majoring.”

Gomes recalls being overwhelmed with the support he received from instructors, classmates and the larger College community.

“My dream has always been to work in a creative industry, but I had doubts this would be possible because English is not my first language,” he says. “My reservations quickly went away once I began my studies. The program provided me with the knowledge, experience, support and confidence that I needed to succeed.” Read More →