Instructors Insight

May 2014




Rooted restoration: Applied Counselling grad uses cultural rediscovery to help survivors of domestic violence

Imagine: you've escaped domestic violence and are trying to heal, but starting the process is tough since you don’t know who you are.

It's a situation counsellor Allison Spak sees every day, and one she's helping to rectify as a cultural therapy coordinator.

"[I'm] helping women move along in their journey to live healthier lives," says Spak, who graduated from Red River College's Applied Counselling program in April, and now works at Wahbung Abinoonjiiag Inc., a domestic violence centre for children and families. The North End facility provides opportunities for holistic healing using culturally appropriate teachings.

"It's working with Aboriginal women that have lost their culture, [who don't know] who they are," Spak explains. "If you don’t know who you are culturally, these women are kind of lost. So it's getting them back to their roots, to knowing who they are, to helping them on their healing journey."

In order to help women rediscover their roots, Wahbung uses the traditional knowledge of Aboriginal ancestors, including the Medicine Wheel and the Seven Sacred Teachings. Spak contributes the therapy support and works side-by-side with an elder who oversees the cultural teachings.


Despite the tragic and upsetting situations that bring women to Wahbung, Spak manages to find joy in her work.


"There are moments when it's hard, but there's a lot of resilience in these women that nakes it great -- seeing them move forward a little bit every day."


Click here to learn more about Spak's work at Wahbung.




Spring Convocation: Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Red River College's Spring 2014 Convocation ceremonies will be held Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 4 at the Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main St.

The convocation date for Continuing Education students is June 4, at 7:00 p.m. Graduates are encouraged to bring as many family, friends and guests as they'd like.

Can't make it to the Concert Hall? Click here to stream this year's Convocation ceremonies.




Information Sessions: Railway Conductor Certificate

Get on the fast track to a career that offers opportunities beyond expectation. Learn the skills required by railway conductors -- including how to apply hand brakes on stationary and moving equipment, conduct brake tests on locomotives, and switch and sequence cars -- all while under the supervision of industry-experienced instructors.

Our Railway Conductor program integrates theoretical knowledge in safety, business and communications with practical railyard experience. Curriculum is designed and developed in consultation with Canadian railway companies (including CP and CN), and the program is the only college offering in the country to be accredited by the Railway Association of Canada.

Free information sessions are scheduled to take place every Thursday at 7pm, from May to July, at 9-1500 Regent Ave. Click here for more information on the sessions, or visit for program details.    




Project Management award winner endorses program across industries

The latest recipient of a joint industry award from RRC and the Project Management Institute (PMI) says she so enjoyed her time as a student, she was sorry to see it end.

"I felt like I was losing my best friends," says Alexandra Cristea, a 2013 Project Management grad and the recent recipient of a $1,000 student achievement award from RRC and the Manitoba chapter of PMI.

"It was absolutely wonderful, and very helpful," she says. "They really prepared us for the real world."

Cristea moved to Canada from Romania in 2001, while still working as an operations manager for SGS, a Swiss-based inspection and certification company.

In order to expand her skill set, she made the move to project management in 2011 -- landing a job as project manager with Assiniboine Credit Union just before signing up for the program through RRC's School of Continuing Education.


Currently on maternity leave from Assiniboine (she has a six-month-old baby at home), Cristea earned a perfect GPA for her efforts. She says she's humbled to have been singled out by the College, crediting her instructors and colleagues as inspirations, and wholeheartedly recommending the program to employees of all stripes.


"Not only to project managers, but any kind of manager or supervisor or even team member," says Cristea. "It's very valuable-- and it really goes across industries. My colleagues and I are from all over the place -- construction, banking, telecommunications, everywhere. It's not just limited to one industry."




Pull ahead of the pack with ConEd's 2014-15 Program Guide!

Get a head start on the competition by enhancing your employability through personal and professional development at RRC.

To register, pick up Continuing Education's new 2014-15 Program Guide, which contains the latest course information for all ConEd programs -- including dates, times, course codes, fees and locations.

Also, be sure to check out the new 2014 Course Schedule, which provides an overview of the 100-plus certificate and diploma programs offered on a part-time and full-time basis, as well as an at-a-glance legend showing availability by delivery method for each course.

Hard copies of both the Program Guide and Course Schedule can be found at all Safeway and 7-11 locations in Winnipeg. Registration will open in mid-June.



Instructors honoured at annual Appreciation Reception

We shone a spotlight on some of our most important contributors this month, at the annual Continuing Education Instructor Appreciation Reception.

Held May 15 at the Notre Dame Campus, the event provided an opportunity to recognize outstanding instructors for their teaching excellence and continued support of students. Laurie Messer (shown above, at centre), who teaches a number of courses in ConEd's Justice and Public Safety program, and Terry Maryk, lead instructor of the Therapeutic Recreation for Older Adults program, both received Teaching Excellence Awards at the ceremony.

The College also paid tribute to those instructors who achieved long-service milestones this year, awarding them Certificates of Appreciation for their efforts.


Click here to view a photo gallery from the event.




Buy your textbooks online from the RRC Bookstore!

Wondering where to find your in-class textbook list?

1. Go to the Red River College Bookstore's website.
2. Click on the photo of your campus.
3. In the "Find My Textbooks" section, enter your last name and student number, then click "Search".
4. If you are registered in the class, the list of textbooks for all the courses you're enrolled in will appear on-screen.
5. Add the books to your cart to purchase online, or print the list when you come to campus.

Get your books before classes start! For questions and other information, email





Educational Assistant Certificate


Prepare for a career working with students in an educational setting, where you can support the work of teachers and clinicians.

Study and explore the developmental needs of children and the instructional strategies to meet those needs.

RRC's Educational Assistant Certificate program focuses on a variety of topics, ranging from inclusive education and learner characteristics to supporting learning environments, managing behaviours and professionalism.

Oral presentations, written assignments and group projects are all part of the program, which is available at six RRC campuses (Notre Dame, Interlake, Peguis-Fisher River, Portage, Steinbach and Winkler). The program is also available by distance delivery, as well as on a full-time basis.


More Options For Personal and Professional Development

Red River College has hundreds of quality part-time workshops and courses available to deliver the knowledge and skills you'll need to succeed in the workplace or guide you along the path of personal development. Click below for direct links to info on upcoming courses and workshops.


Course Name

Start Date

Calculus June 3, 2014
Human Resource Management June 11, 2014
Basic Business Communications June 12, 2014
Mental Health First Aid - Youth June 14, 2014
Marketing 1 June 16, 2014
Interview Skills - Employee June 17, 2014
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention June 21, 2014
Cisco Networking 4 June 23, 2014
Administrative Procedures June 24, 2014


"The Human Resource Management Certificate Program was extremely beneficial to the positions I have held. Recruitment, Retention, Training and Development were all excellent courses, which I have found very relevant to the work I have done with non-profit and charitable organizations, and managing volunteers and recruiting employees."

- Cat Ross (Human Resource Management, 2005)







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