A true testament to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, John Gale has made a name for himself in two distinct realms — first blazing trails in the mineral drilling industry before setting his sights on real estate development in the Lake of the Woods region.
Having begun his career installing remote telephone systems in Northern Manitoba, Gale — a native of The Pas — moved to Winnipeg seeking greater challenges, later earning a diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Red River College in 1980. From there, he began working in a research and development capacity for Delro Industries, then the manufacturing arm of Midwest Diamond Drilling.
With Gale leading the way, the company revolutionized the industry through the development of a new diamond bit capable of drilling rock at three times the speed of the technology it replaced. Continue reading
She knows only too well the frustrations of the child welfare system, having herself survived upwards of 160 placements before she turned 17.
But thanks to the network of supports in place to help students achieve success, Red River College grad Rebecca Begg is now working to improve the system from within — as a support worker with community advocacy group New Directions.
“When you’re genuinely interested in a person’s well being, you go to a whole other level in your relationship,” says Begg, the first RRC grad to earn her Child and Youth Care diploma through a joint program offered by the College and local community resource Ndinawe. “That’s what these kids need, because they’ve got big stories to tell.”
Begg knows about big stories: A few years ago, she was a widowed mother of two who’d only reached Grade 9. These days — having passed her RRC courses with flying colours — she’s helping to meet the needs of other at-risk women and children in Winnipeg, by framing the lessons she learned in College through the lens of her own struggles and success.
“I have no illusions that I’m going to save these kids, or that I’m going to be the one and only positive influence in their lives,” says Begg. “I’m just there to plant the seed — to help them make the changes they need to make, and to walk with them in their journey.”
Click here for more information about New Directions.
Click here to learn more about the Child and Youth Care program at Red River College.
When you consider her history, it’s really not surprising that Red River College alum Crystal Hay wound up working in the hospitality industry.
For Hay — a recent graduate of RRC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program — hotel work is literally a family affair.
“My family owned a few small rural hotels — in Grand Marais, Falcon Lake and Lake of the Woods,” says Hay, 28, who earned her major in the program’s Hotel and Restaurant Management stream.
“So I spent a lot of my summers as a teenager out at Falcon Lake, doing everything from housekeeping to serving to working in the front office, and everything in between. I guess that’s how I got my start in the industry.” Continue reading
Burton (back row, centre) and RRC's Diesel Class of 1965.
It’s not often someone manages to kick-start their career by turning down one of the first job offers to come their way.
But that’s exactly how longtime Red River College instructor (and former student) Cliff Burton got started on the path toward teaching — by declining a job offer from the University of Manitoba in order to finish up his studies.
It was the mid-1960s, and Burton, then a young man, had recently completed the 10-month Diesel program at RRC (then called the Manitoba Institute of Technology). He was employed for a time rebuilding automotive engine heads and valves at Manitoba Bearing Works, and later at StandardAero, where he rebuilt aircraft engines. It was the latter position that twigged his interest in machining, and by 1966, he was back at MIT, enrolled in the 10-month Machine Shop course.
In April of the following year, Burton was offered a job building research equipment for the U of M’s Mechanical Engineering department. They wanted him to start immediately. Burton told them he wasn’t finished with his coursework. Continue reading
Four years ago, she couldn’t even turn on a computer — let alone operate one properly – and she was only vaguely familiar with the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada.
But these days, Red River College grad Sharon Fletcher is not only 100% computer-savvy, she’s helping to shine a light on one of the darkest periods of Aboriginal history through her work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
Fletcher, 34, has been working as a hairdresser since she was a teenager (she got her licence midway through Grade 12, and still does hair on the side), but in 2007 decided to broaden her horizons by enrolling in RRC’s Computer Applications for Business program.
“When I first took the course, I was completely computer-illiterate,” says Fletcher, who currently works as the Financial Officer at the TRC’s national headquarters on Main Street. “While everyone else was logging on their computers, I was the only one in class trying to figure out how to turn the thing on.” Continue reading
Matt Best always figured he had a future in marketing.
But it wasn’t until he took the lead role on a class project at Red River College that he knew for certain he could make a career of it.
“When I got to Red River College, I quickly realized that marketing was one of my passions,” says Best, 24, a former Winnipeg resident who now calls Calgary home. “After having the opportunity to work on the Entrepreneurship (program) practicum as the leader of my marketing group, I also realized that I was good at it.”
These days, Best works as Coordinator of Consumer Engagement for TrojanOne, a Canadian marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. In addition to running the Calgary office, Best also contributes to marketing efforts for a roster of blue-chip clients, among them Canadian Tire, Mattel, Coca-Cola and Bank of Montreal. Continue reading
There’s more than one way Red River College can help you get your wings. Just ask RRC alum Tim San Diego, who took a slightly different path to a career spent flying the friendly skies.
A former Winnipeg resident who now spends most of his time in Thompson, Man., San Diego graduated from RRC’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineer program in 2007. Though he’s always been mechanically-minded (his father was a hobby mechanic, and he spent his high school years studying robotics) he’s also harbored a lifelong fascination with flying, which he now gets to indulge as one of the few licensed pilots working in an engineering capacity at Perimeter Aviation.
“That’s pretty rare,” says San Diego, who managed to earn his pilot’s license while apprenticing at St. Andrews Airport, his first post-RRC place of employment.
“There are probably 100 people working at Perimeter right now, and only me and Mark (Wehrle, Perimeter’s President) can do both.” Continue reading
For a good chunk of each day, he’s alone with his thoughts — or at least, as alone as a guy can be when 50,000 people are listening in.
That’s the paradox faced daily by Red River College alum Casey Norman, who broadcasts his cultural musings to a devoted army of fans from the comfort of his studio at local rock station Power 97.
“I like interacting with the audience — it’s an immediate connection with the listeners,” says Norman, Power’s Music Director, Assistant Program Director and host of the Power Drive every weekday afternoon from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
“The great thing about Power 97 is that you can say something on the air, and before you’re even finished the sentence, someone’s on their cell phone calling you to talk about it.” Continue reading
RRC grad Anna Marie Prince, with husband Edward.
Heading back to the classroom as a mature student can be stressful enough for the best of us, especially when it comes to balancing schoolwork with familial obligations.
But Red River College alumna Anna Marie Prince had an even tougher time than most: Her husband was hospitalized with a life-threatening kidney disease just months after her program’s start date, requiring her to squeeze a risky organ transplant into her already hectic schedule.
“I remember we were going through our final tissue tests, and she was reading a textbook while we were doing it,” says Anna Marie’s husband, Edward Prince, for whom she bravely served as an organ donor in December 2008.
“I told the doctor, ‘Don’t mind her – she’s studying for a test!’” Continue reading
As part of their efforts to make composite manufacturing more economical, an instructor and a grad from RRC’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program have developed a new means of making dissolvable mandrels and patterns, otherwise known as “rapid prototype composite tooling (RPCT).”
Composite manufacturing currently has substantial overhead costs, partly due to the expense of tooling.
“To produce these tools, one typically requires expensive machines that are also very slow and costly to operate,” says Leon Fainstein, the instructor who led the development of the new RPCT. “By contrast, RPCT involves only one affordable machine — a 3D printer.”
The 3D printer will print virtually any shape of dissolvable mandrels and patterns in about four to eight hours, and even print multiple mandrels or patterns at once. Continue reading