Instructor Profile

Full circle: Administrative Assistant grad enjoys role at RRC, helping new students

February 28, 2018

Courtney Brown

When Courtney Brown was a student at Red River College, little did she know her career path would bring her right back where she started.

Brown completed the 17-week Administrative Assistant program in 2014. After building up her experience with a real estate firm and in the Winnipeg school division system, she joined RRC’s School of Continuing Education in 2017 as a Customer Service Representative (CSR).

“It is kind of funny to be back at Red River,” Brown says. “I certainly didn’t expect it or plan it.”

As the member of a small team of CSRs, Brown fields all kinds of queries from current and potential Continuing Education students. Being a student herself not so long ago is an asset in the role, Brown says.

“I know the campus and I’m familiar with Continuing Ed. programming, even if every program is different. Having been here full-time was a great background. Not that you need to attend RRC to work here, but I feel like it’s helped me perform well in my role.”  Read More →

The more, the merrier: Culinary grad pens cookbook with tips for feeding crowds

November 24, 2017

Sharon Steward’s cooking is a real crowd-pleaser — and her new cookbook is sure to be, too.

A Continuing Education instructor at Red River College, Steward is busy prepping for the launch of Volume: Cooking for a Community on Sat., Dec. 2, at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

The book is inspired by Steward’s role as the kitchen manager and head chef at InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Manitoba, a Christian summer camp located on MacKinnon Island at the north end of Shoal Lake.

During camp season, Steward and her staff are responsible for serving three meals a day (plus snacks) to anywhere from 180 to 200 people at a time. Suffice it to say, she knows how to cook for a crowd.

“Each recipe in the book has an amount for four to six people, and then also for about 80 servings,” Steward explains. “It’s a very exciting tool — one I’m hoping a lot of other places, facilities and individuals can use to help them serve their communities.”

Learn more about Seward’s RRC training here. To order a copy of the book — or to peruse Steward’s recipes and blog posts — visit

Y2K for a project management instructor

September 29, 2017

Amanda Simpson, Program Manager of IT and Professional Studies, and Steve Thompson, 2017 Teaching Excellence Award winner

Steve Thompson has been a Project Management instructor (in IT and Professional Studies) for the last 12 years, and has been instrumental in the development of the Project Management Fundamentals course content.

As of this term, he has now taught 2,000 students in the Project Management Fundamentals course alone.

Read More →

Continuing Education Instructor recognized for full-circle approach to students facing barriers

May 31, 2017

She’s spent her entire career working with at-risk children and youth.

But in her current role as an instructor for the Red River College’s Youth Recreation Activity Worker program, Kerry Coulter gets to re-connect with many of those same kids as they prepare to make a similar difference in the lives of others.

“My students are youth with multiple barriers, so often times they’re kids I used to work with, but now they’re all grown up and seeking access to post-secondary [education], and a supportive environment in which to be successful,” says Coulter.

“It’s full circle. These students want to go back and be helpers in their own communities … They grow up, come to college, and are trained and educated in how to be helpers themselves.”

The recipient of this year’s RRC Students’ Association Teaching Award of Excellence, Coulter has been a Youth Rec instructor since 2002. Before that, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba (and later, a Masters degree in Education from Central Michigan University), and worked for a number of child and youth care organizations, including Child and Family Services and adolescent treatment centre New Directions.

Each year, the College’s Youth Rec program trains 16 participants — many of whom face socio-economic barriers themselves — to work with inner city youth as recreational leaders. Graduates of the program often find jobs with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (a program partner) and other inner city youth agencies, or as childhood educators and teachers’ aides. Read More →

ConEd instructors celebrated at annual appreciation reception

May 25, 2017

Between them, they have a combined 32 years of experience as instructors for Red River College’s School of Continuing Education.

And this year, they find themselves the very worthy recipients of ConEd’s Teaching Excellence Awards, presented annually to those who demonstrate innovative and effective teaching practices, a willingness to assist and mentor students, and an appreciation for (and response to) diversity among students.

Debbie Phythian, 2017 Teaching Excellence Award winner

The first of this year’s winners, Debbie Phythian, has taught ConEd’s Aboriginal Child Care post-diploma certificate for more than two decades.

A dedicated mentor who is student-centric in her approach, Debbie is known for going above and beyond to ensure her students get the most from their learning experiences.

For their part, students tend to appreciate how quickly Debbie responds to their questions and concerns, and how committed she is to providing helpful and informed feedback on their assignments and their progress.

“She is passionate about the program, the content and her students — and it shows,” according to her nominators. Read More →

All sewn up: Apparel instructor takes fashion-forward approach

April 3, 2017

Talk about a stitch in time. Jan Bones has been teaching clothing design for nearly 40 years.

An instructor teaching Apparel Design courses at Red River College, Bones began her teaching career in 1978 at the University of Manitoba.

In 2008, after courses at the U of M were discontinued, Bones seamlessly transitioned to RRC, albeit with the help of a human ecology lab at the university for the first two years. Now, the Apparel Design courses are housed in the Heritage Room at RRC’s Princess Street Campus.

Bones says teaching students about pattern design and garment construction is still spools of fun, even four decades in.

“For me, it’s the giving of information and watching people take that information in a way they can fit it into their choice of design work,” Bones says. “It’s watching the lightbulbs go on in class.”

“I enjoy the students immensely. I enjoy the classroom setting, I enjoy their questions, and watching them shine, watching them learn something new and shine.”

“Everybody has a creative spirt. They might be a fabulous bread maker or great mechanic or a great house painter — everyone has something in them that is creative. I have the joy of helping students figure out if designing patterns is their creative spirit.” Read More →