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Hundreds celebrate at immigrant & international student party

December 8, 2009

Diversity party 1 Over 350 students, staff and family members gathered at the Notre Dame Campus for RRC's 5th Annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students on Friday, November 20th.

The party featured Winnipeg’s premier sitar player Joshua Stanton, the Marco Castillo Brazilian Quartet, the reggae band Mello Man, salsa and meringue exhibitions by Bolero Dance Theatre, and the Latin Jazz ensemble Papa Mambo. Children could also enjoy carnival games, caricatures and glitter tattoos.

David Rew, Red River College Vice-President, Student Services and Planning; Miguel Lozupone, Project/Recruiter Officer, International Education; Richard Wolter, Red River College Students’ Association Vice President, Support Services, and Barbara Dixon, Manager, Diversity and Immigrant Student Support, brought greetings and talked about the significance of having this party for immigrant and international students to welcome them to the College.

“Over the past few years our immigrant student population has been progressively increasing, contributing significantly to the cultural diversity of our college. I'm delighted you not only have chosen to attend Red River College but that you have chosen to live in Canada and Winnipeg," said Rew. "Canada’s 142 year history is built on immigrants. I happen to be one of them. Immigrants have come to this country, sometimes through terrible adversity. They have worked incredibly hard, succeeded and made a difference to their communities and the country. You are our new generation of immigrant and international students. You too will succeed and make a difference. It is our job to help you succeed”.

Patricia Gonzalez, an international student from Chile currently studying the Sterile Processing Technician Program, attended the party with her classmates and said: “This party is amazing. It is a very good opportunity to meet new people, learn about other cultures and of course have a great time with your friends, especially because we could invite people who are not studying at the school, like friends and family. The food was delicious, the music very fun, good for dance. Thanks for let us having a wonderful time”.

Li Liu, international student at the Greenspace Management Program, originally from China, said: “I had a great time at the party. I absolutely loved it. It is an awesome place to meet people and make new friends. Thanks to all the people who organized this event.”Diversity party 2

The 5th Annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students was a joint initiative of the Diversity and Immigrant Student Support department, the International Education department, and Red River College Students’ Association. 

Zabudsky to leave Red River College

December 7, 2009

JeffDr. Jeff Zabudsky has informed the Board of Governors of Red River College that he will be stepping down as President and CEO, effective January 31, 2010.

Zabudsky will be relocating to Ontario to become the President and CEO of the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, which operates campuses in Brampton and Oakville. The move is a homecoming of sorts for Zabudsky, who is a native of Southern Ontario with several family members still in the area.

"I'd like to thank the Board and staff of Red River College, and our partners within government and industry for their tremendous support over the past five years," said Dr. Zabudsky. "Through their efforts RRC has established itself as an engine of growth for Manitoba, and a first-choice education option for students."

Highlights of Zabudsky's leadership at RRC include:

  • Five consecutive years of record high student enrolment. 
  • Completion of the Princess Street Campus fundraising campaign.
  • Construction of the new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre, and the start of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute/Union Bank Tower project.
  • Approval of the College's first degree programs, in Construction Management and Nursing.
  • Significant growth of the Applied Research and Commercialization program, including building the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure.
  • Expansion of regional campus services including a new facility in Steinbach.
  • Development of the People Plan, an initiative to make RRC one of Manitoba's employers of choice.

"Dr. Zabudsky has guided the College through a tremendous period of growth, and strengthened our profile in the community through his work with organizations like the United Way and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce," said Sheryl Feller, Chair of RRC's Board of Governors. "His energy and passion for college-based learning will be missed."

The Board of Governors has formed a search committee to lead a national search for a new President. Cathy Rushton, MBA, FCA, current Vice-President of Finance and Administration, will serve as Interim President.

RRC wins award for sustainable research

December 4, 2009

Red River College's leadership in developing sustainable new technologies has been recognized by the Province of Manitoba with a 2009 Excellence in Sustainability Award for Research and Innovation.

Through its Applied Research & Commercialization program, the College has engaged in several projects focused on sustainability in the building, construction and transportation sectors. Much of this research has centered on testing new technologies that bring environmental and economic benefits, such as:

  • Evaluating the thermal properties and performance of a prototype of the double curtain wall that was used in construction of Manitoba Hydro's new headquarters.
  • Converting 10 standard hybrid cars into plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and monitoring their performance in a cold weather climate, in partnership with the Province of Manitoba.
  • Integrating a new engine/transmission combination into a bus chassis for Motor Coach Industries to meet heightened emission standards in the United States.
  • Cold weather testing of a hydrogen-powered transit bus, including compressing the hydrogen, and maintaining and refuelling the vehicle.
  • Using spent cooking oil to produce biodiesel for College vehicles, and soap to be used as hand and equipment de-greaser.

"Red River College is committed to working with industry and public-sector partners to further Manitoba's economic growth and climate change goals through the development of innovative green technologies," said Ray Hoemsen, RRC's Director of Applied Research & Commercialization. "We're proud to have those efforts recognized by the Province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development with this award."

To support its sustainable research agenda, the College and its partners have invested in the development of new facilities, like the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) and the new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC). These centres will be key resources in Manitoba's efforts to develop new technologies that enhance environmental, economic and social well-being.

RRC’s 2009 Distingushed Alumni

November 22, 2009

Red River College hosted its annual Alumni Dinner on November 20th, where the two recipients of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award were honoured.

Dawna Friesen is a 1984 graduate of the Creative Communications program. After getting her start in broadcasting with local stations like CKX (Brandon) and CKND (Winnipeg), Dawna has gone on to work for the past ten years as a foreign correspondent for NBC News, based in London, UK. 

Mervyn Gunter completed the Business Administration program in 1970. After a successful career with Royal Bank of Canada, Merv now owns Frontiers North Adventures, which operates the famous Tundra Buggy tours in Churchill, Manitoba.

80+ college presidents push for increased federal support

November 17, 2009

Red River College's Dr. Jeff Zabudsky has joined over 80 college presidents from across the country on Parliament Hill this week to make the case for increased investment in Canada's colleges, polytechnics and technical institutes.

This is the first time the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has organized such a large group of college officials to meet with federal policymakers. It comes at a time when enrolment in college programs is growing across the country, and the need for college-based work to commercialize innovations is increasing.

For more information, see the ACCC news release below and Dr. Zabudsky's latest column in the Winnipeg Sun.


Keep Canada competitive: Support colleges, institutes and polytechnics

OTTAWA, Nov. 17 /CNW/ – Canada must quickly ramp up its support for colleges, institutes and polytechnics, if we are to keep pace with our international competitors, says James Knight, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

"Science and technology minister Goodyear said recently that Canada does very well at supporting 'basic, discovery-oriented research' but not so well 'getting innovations out the door'. We agree, and one of the reasons for this is that Canada is not doing enough to support its colleges, institutes and polytechnics."

Knight says Canada lags behind other countries when it comes to commercializing the fruits of research and developing the products, processes and materials that fuel companies and creates jobs.

Colleges, institutes and polytechnics are key contributors to Canada's innovation system. They help businesses start, develop and grow. They also lead in finding applications for scientific research and transferring technology to the marketplace. But the chronic shortage of funding limits their capacity to perform these crucial functions and meet the needs of Canada's economy.

ACCC gives full marks to the federal government for targeting post-secondary institutions for capital investment as part of its recession-fighting stimulus strategy, and investments under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) have been important. But the two-year, $600-million program ($1.2 billion including the provincial component) falls short of the estimated $7 billion needed to modernize and expand Canada's colleges, institutes and polytechnics.

"Our waiting lists were long before the recession," said Knight. "They are growing longer now as people who have lost their jobs in the recession flock to colleges to re-skill. Our capacity crunch is keeping thousands of qualified applicants who want jobs from acquiring the advanced skills they need."

The ACCC says two key issues require action: capital investment and support for industry-driven research partnerships.

To tackle the need for capital investment, the Association says the federal government should extend and expand KIP, and is calling for a five-year program would make $2.5 billion available to leverage matching provincial, private sector and institutional investments.

Second, ACCC is calling on the government to increase its current research and development funding by five per cent, or approximately $150 million and create an applied research and development fund to foster new research-and-development synergies between industry and colleges, institutes, polytechnics and cégeps.

"We understand the fiscal context that governments are in. But these are modest and realistic measures," said Knight. "Only by fueling our engines of innovation, skills-development and productivity growth can we continue to maintain the advanced, competitive economy needed to support a prosperous nation. From our perspective, inaction is not an option."

Cre Comm bloggers featured on Citytv

November 12, 2009

A new feature in Red River College's Creative Communications program this year is a requirement that all students maintain a professional blog. Students are gaining exposure to the growing field of social media, developing their online writing styles, and building an electronic portfolio or work.

As part of a recent story on blogging, Citytv's Megan Batchelor (a recent Cre Comm graduate herself) –  interviewed several of the students along with PR/Advertising instructor Kenton Larsen about their experiences.

Waste Reduction Week at RRC

October 29, 2009

Waste Reduction Week 2009 (Oct. 19-25) was a success at Red River College as staff and students participated in a variety of activities to encourage them to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Vermicomposting Demonstration

Greenspace Management instructor Ruth Rob gave a demonstration of vermicomposting — a method of processing organic waste using Red Wriggler worms. Ruth was kind enough to offer an explanation for the RedBlog cameras:

Reusable Mug Sale

Urged on by a new poster that showed the staggering amount of disposable cups the College uses every year, coffee drinkers took advantage of a great deal on reusable mugs. In total 245 mugs were sold, which is equivalent to diverting 49,000 cups from the landfill each year.

Composting Lunch & Learn

A representative from Resource Conservation Manitoba gave a noon-hour workshop on composting.

Recycling Facility Tour

A dozen staff from different areas of the College toured the
facility that sorts through millions of tonnes of recyclable material
collected by the City of Winnipeg each year.

Recycling Bin Giveaway

Dozens of the College's old metal recycling bins were given away for reuse as planters and storage containers.

Waste Reduction Quiz

Congratulations to Notre Dame Campus student Max B. who won a $50 RED card for answering all the following questions correctly:

  • The average person produces 5 pounds of waste every day.
  • Staff and students at the Notre Dame Campus go through 600,000 paper cups a year.
  • Paper is the most recycled material at the College. It comprises 50% of all materials recycled at the College, and it equivalent to every staff and student discarding 14 pounds of paper every year.
  • Tim Horton’s cups cannot be recycled. The plastic lids can be recycled from your residential blue box, but our recycling provider does not accept them.
  • Yes, the stack of paper cups used by the College in just one year would be taller than Mount Everest.

In the news: Exchange District expansion, United Way, alumni success

October 22, 2009

Jessica Cable, a student at RRC's Exchange District Campus, penned the "letter of the day" in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct. 21st. Cable wrote about her enthusiasm for the College's plan to transform the union Bank Tower into the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, saying:

"It's great to see Red River is continuing to occupy these historic and vacant buildings, maintaining the heritage while converting them into incredible college campuses. Hopefully this conversion will be a catalyst to bring more people, more life, to the neighbourhood."


Red River College President Jeff Zabudsky used his most recent column in the Winnipeg Sun to talk about the other job that's keeping him busy these days: serving as Chair of the 2009 United Way of Winnipeg Campaign.

Zabudsky discusses the widespread impact of United Way in our community, and urges readers to participate in this year's campaign:

"There's never been a more important time to support United Way of Winnipeg. Without you, there would be no way."


Dovbniak1 The Winnipeg Free Press recently profiled Staci Dovbniak, a graduate of the Youth Recreation Activity Worker program that's delivered by Red River College and funded by the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg and the United Way.

A regular at the Knox United Boys and Girls Club when she was a child, Dovbniak has returned to the organization to work as a program facilitator at the Victor Mager Club in St. Vital.

Manitoba’s new Premier makes RRC his first stop

October 20, 2009

After being sworn in as Manitoba's new Premier yesterday, the Honourable Greg Selinger's first public duty was a visit to Red River College's new Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre this morning.

Selinger met with senior College staff, including President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, and had the opportunity to talk with instructors and students in the heavy transport apprenticeship programs.

Read more in the Winnipeg Free Press