Throughout the year, Red River College hands out various awards to faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication. The following are award winners who were recognized at events prior to Friday’s Gathering with the President.
Hidden Hero Awards
The Hidden Hero Award recognizes employees or teams who put RRC’s core values into action while quietly contributing to success for the whole organization.
Kristine Metcalfe, Nursing Instructor
(Nominated by Karen Wall, Chair of Nursing)
Kristine is a well-loved instructor who brings creativity to her approach in teaching, while developing clinical scenarios that students can expect to encounter when they graduate. She is diligent in all aspects of her work, responding quickly and thoroughly to requests during office hours or over the weekend, making time to tutor students at their convenience, and sharing her wealth of computer knowledge to help others advance. Projects such as her student photo album help to promote inclusiveness while creating a connection between students and staff. Kristine takes a lead role in organizing the department Christmas party any other functions, and her volunteer efforts promote a strong sense of community within her department. That passion extends beyond the College to her involvement with the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and the Internationally Educated Nurses conference.
Nirdosh Ganske, (Lead) Instructor, Mechanical, Manufacturing and Communications
(Nominated by Jacqueline Wood, Diversity & Immigrant Student Support)
Nirdosh Ganske promotes and achieves student success in incredible ways that often go unrecognized yet still make a profound difference. As lead faculty member in the Technology Management Post-Graduate Diploma program, she creates a safe and welcoming environment for students not only at RRC, but also outside the College when she helps students on her own time. At RRC, Nirdosh goes above and beyond by ensuring students that are new to Canada have all the resources they need by way of an in-depth preparation and orientation program that spans a week prior to classes starting in the fall. During the school year she also makes sure that students get all the instruction they require, usually providing extra class time on a regular basis. Nirdosh works frequently with departments throughout the College to integrate programs like the LGBTT* Initative to the unique needs of international students. This promotion of inclusiveness and respect for all is one of the very many characteristics that make her a Hidden Hero.
Joanne Rodeck – Educational Assistant, Allied Health Services
(Nominated by Michele Sykes, Medical Laboratory Services)
Joanne Rodeck is the example of ‘going above and beyond’ and is an example to her peers. She continuously works to ensure all systems are in place so that students are concentrating on their studies and not distracted by unnecessary disorder. Inclusiveness is second nature to Joanne; she actively encourages staff and students to participate in recruiting activities, including Discovery Days, Open House and Children of the Earth. She’s also an active volunteer and coordinator on these programs, and her passion for her career consistently encourages prospective students, her peers, students and her community. Joanne is a model of professionalism and integrity. She offers advice and guidance to students in a non-judgmental way, holding the highest expectation for herself so she may lead by example. Her positivity and passion are only a few of the details that make her a Hidden Hero.
Leadership at All Levels Awards
These awards recognize individuals who model exemplary leadership qualities and actions, and who contribute significantly to organizational vision and change.
Judy McMullen, Assistant Controller
(Nominated by Chau Le, Controller’s Office)
Judy is a natural leader, a likely by-product of her positive disposition, ability to influence others, and optimistic attitude. Those who work with her never feel stressed and always feel like a special part of a cohesive team. It’s a wonder Judy can stay so humble after being with the College for 30 years, and playing an integral part in so many changes and improvements. Among her many accomplishments, she recently led the financial team through the integration of Colleague, acting as cheerleader when times became difficult and helping smooth the transition with her infectious positive influence. Judy is dedicated to the College and her team; she is passionate about what she does and it comes through in her work every day. This passion also shows in her volunteer work for RRC, where she coordinates DUG, a training program for Colleague users.
Rob Ataman, Coordinator Manufacturing Technicians
(Nominated by Leon Fainstein, Mechanical Engineering Technology)
Rob is committed to the College’s Core Values, this is apparent in his demonstrated achievements and other involvements within and outside RRC. His leadership is evidenced by his commitment to student success and by his participation in such activities as:
- Coordination/construction of the RRC Solar Car
- Skills Manitoba Technical Chair (14 years)
- Skills Canada Technical Chair (13 years)
- Coordinating/selection/purchase of Mobile Training Labs
- Member of College Council
- College Daycare board member
- Member of all Department advisory boards
Rob is also an active STARS team member (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). He finds creative ways to dispose of old and outdated equipment by selling it to companies that can find uses for materials. Rob’s achievements demonstrate leadership by example, and it’s this example that will help pave the way for his graduates to be successful.
Research Excellence Awards
These awards recognize faculty, students or staff who’ve made an outstanding contribution in the field of applied research, who’ve established an environment that welcomes and supports research endeavors, or who’ve made an outstanding contribution to a course, project program or community partner.
Leon Fainstein, Instructor, Mechanical Technology
(Nominated by Bill Noakes, Chair, Mechanical, Manufacturing and Communications)
As a Mechanical Engineering Technology instructor, Leon has provided leadership in many innovation projects — leading the team that designed and manufactured the RRC Solar Car, working with students in the development of an electric motor bike, and developing the unique Sterling engine project. Other accomplishments include: developing courses that are both academically and industry-applicable, an environmentally-friendly alternate energy program, and setting up the machine shop model factory (a key component in the TSERC grant for a Technology Access Centre). Leon sets the example of developing and leading projects, always including his students and ensuring all faculty and students have the opportunity to be involved in research activities. He works closely with students, offering all the time they need for support, and his courses are popular because of his teaching style, which incorporates valuable personal experience. His co-op opportunities are similarly popular, and he consistently accepts project advisory roles from his students, for whom he goes above and beyond.
Tatjana Brkic, Instructor, Business Administration
(Nominated by Gail Shimonek, Chair, Applied Commerce & Management Education)
- Implementation of business-related research initiatives within ACME
- Realization of eight pilot projects within two business programs at RRC, and resultant development of Applied Research reports in five distinctive areas
- Exposure of 150 RRC students to social innovation and applied research activities
- Integration of an applied research component within five different courses
- Integration of the environmental and social responsibility-related issues course curriculum for both Business Administration and International Business programs
Tatjana has enhanced connections between academic programs and applied research activities with community and workforce needs. She and her student teams have familiarized faculty and decision-makers in ACME with the opportunities associated with the implementation of applied business research in academic curriculum within the School of Business and Applied Arts.
Safety Champion Awards
These awards recognize College employees who promote a safe work environment and contribute to RRC’s culture of safety. Nominees contribute to safe work practices and demonstrate a safety-conscious ethic to fellow staff and students.
Anita Keith, Instructor, Aboriginal Education and ACCESS Programs
(Nominated by Sandra Williams, Aboriginal Education and ACCESS Programs)
Anita is an energetic and passionate champion for innovative health and safety training. She has successfully implemented the “Wings of Change” teaching modules into the Aboriginal Education department’s Safety and Wellness course. Through her work, Anita’s students are informed, empowered and taught to become proactive about safety in the workplace. Her approach provides Aboriginal students with better insight into the root causes of dealing with their workplace — including health and safety-issues — and continues to help Aboriginal workers transform their personal and work lives.
Angel Unrau, Administrative Assistant, School of Indigenous Education, Winkler
(Nominated by Keith Doerksen and Joanne Gonda, Regional Campus, Winkler)
Angel is an example of how one person can make a huge, meaningful difference in the safety culture of RRC. She was whole-heartedly embraced the role of Winkler Campus safety representative, showing a commitment to excellence, a willingness to learn, and leadership in the area of health and safety. The result is a positive impact on safety culture that benefits all who work and learn at the campus. Her friendly nature and customer service-focused attitude have made for a great fit in implementing many safety-related programs and improvements.
Teaching Excellence Awards
These awards recognize faculty members who have exhibited exemplary instructional qualities over a sustained period, and who have made an outstanding contribution to the educational environment at Red River College.
Continuing Education 2012
Michelle Alarie, Instructor, Nursing
(Nominated by Charlene Currie, former Program Manager, Health Sciences)
Michelle began teaching at RRC’s Distance Education Department in 2001. Since then, she has taught a number of Continuing Education programs, including Health Care Aide, Health Unit Clerk and Medical Device Reprocessing Programs. She has also taught theory courses and skills labs, and has provided instruction during clinical placements. Michelle also very compassionately assumes the role of the student advisor.
Sandie Foster, Instructor, Business Analyst
(Nominated by Kirk Johnson, Program Manager, IT and Professional Studies)
Sandie worked as a Senior Business Analyst and Project Manager at MTS for 37 years, remaining there until her retirement a couple of years back. In 2008, she played a lead role in the redevelopment of the Business Analyst program at RRC, and later that year helped the College secure its designation as an Endorsed Educational Provider from the International Institution of Business Analysts. Starting in 2009, Sandie added online courses to her regular in-class duties. She is described as a “caring, knowledgeable, and dedicated” instructor with a roster of valuable industry connections.
Industrial Technologies 2012
Mark Queen, Instructor, Civil Engineering Technology
(Nominated by Bob Watson, Instructor, Civil Engineering Technology)
Mark Queen has been with the College since 1999, and has instructed a wide range of courses in both the Geomatics Technology and Municipal Engineering Technology programs. Recently, he has redeveloped, reorganized and delivered two courses for RRC’s bachelor’s degree in Construction Management. Students in Mark’s classes describe him as punctual and well-prepared for each day’s lecture. He’s extremely well-versed in his subject area, and always challenges his students — who in turn speak openly about their respect for Mark’s instructional methods and intelligence.