Alumni Profile - RoseAnna Schick
1995 Creative Communications
Like any writer worth her salt, Red River College grad RoseAnna Schick can pinpoint with acuity the childhood passions that paved the way to her career as a communications expert.
She remembers the diaries she began keeping as a seven-year-old girl, the makeshift office she set up in her bedroom, and the first time she was published -- at the ripe old age of nine. (The story in question, a Yuletide tale of a little boy who wants to be an elf, won third place in a rural newspaper's holiday fiction contest, netting Schick, now the head of local communications firm RAS Creative, an impressive $20 cash prize.)
She also recalls her first forays into publishing, as the self-appointed editor of a weekly newspaper launched while working a summer job as a counsellor at Camp Stephens.
"It was called Stephens' Surroundings, and it was mostly gossip and a bunch of other stuff the campers weren't allowed to read," says Schick, who graduated from RRC's Creative Communications program in 1995. "We had an old Gestetner machine -- this was pre-photocopier -- so I would hand-write the newspaper on a carbon sheet, then I'd have to crank out all the copies by hand. I'd stay up all night, writing these stories and cranking them out ... that's what gave me the idea that I really enjoyed writing for a purpose."
Schick was drawn to RRC's CreComm program while completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Winnipeg, after an instructor suggested she'd be a good fit. She signed up, thinking she was on her way to becoming a journalist, but soon realized she might not have the stomach for a career in hard news.
"I enjoyed the fluffier stories -- feature writing and movie reviews -- but when it came to chasing fire trucks, I just wasn't interested," says Schick. "Instead, I sort of fell into Public Relations, because I thought it was a good alternative -- a field where I could still use and develop my writing skills, but in a different way."
Schick also discovered she had a knack for video production, so after graduation began looking for ways to marry the two interests. Inspired by news coverage of the Winnipeg film industry's negotiations with the Brad Pitt feature Legends of the Fall, Schick began cold-calling local entertainment reps in the hopes of gaining a foothold.
Her first job was a year-long term with Paquin Entertainment Group, where she facilitated contracts for local booking agents. After that, she began a four-year term with local production house Buffalo Gal Pictures, working her way up from office production assistant (read: office supplies and clean-up) to production and marketing coordinator, taking on more and more communications-related work along the way.
"I managed all the communications because no one else at the company wanted to," she explains. "So I did press releases, I coordinated deliverables for the distributors -- I basically started doing then what I do now as a job."
"That's what CreComm taught me, to be open to learning new things. I always think of it as having learned a little bit about a lot of things. So when I got out of college, it felt like my education was just beginning -- CreComm gave me the skills to pursue those opportunities."
Having successfully transitioned from production to publicity, Schick left Buffalo Gal for a two-year stint with the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association (or MMPIA, now known as Onscreen Manitoba). But she found herself spending most nights working on freelance publicity projects, so in 2004 made the decision to branch out on her own, using the same business name -- RAS Creative -- she'd registered while still in CreComm.
"I knew going into it that I had a certain niche -- that I knew a lot of people in the music and film industries. And I always knew I could fall back on production coordinating, but fortunately, I haven't had to," she says.
"I had a good reputation as far as my abilities, so local producers started giving me the opportunity to work on their films as a publicist. I was fortunate, in that I've never really had to scramble for work. Basically it's all been word of mouth since 2004."
These days, Schick is busy tending to a thriving stable of clients, among them local musicians, TV and film producers, and such events and organizations as the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Manito Ahbee Festival, the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Clearly, her efforts haven't gone unappreciated: Earlier this month, she picked up a YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the category of Public Awareness. (That's her at the event in the pic above, with emcee Jennifer Botterill.)
When she's not keeping fit as a member of the Winnipeg Rowing Club (a hobby she picked up after serving as the lone female contestant on Frantic Films' "living history" challenge Quest for the Bay), she's attending workshops to improve her screenplay-writing skills.
Schick is currently in the process of setting up a pair of scholarships for CreComm students -- both as a means of giving back to the program and remaining connected to the College. (Since graduating, she's been called back as a mentor on many occasions; she also sits on the program's Advisory Board, and frequently hires CreComm students to assist with her promotional work.)
"They always say to discover your purpose in life, you should look back on what you loved doing as a child," she says. "I used to love writing, and I used to love playing office ... Now I'm a writer, and I have my own office. I'm doing what I feel like I'm meant to be doing."
Click here to learn more about RAS Creative.
Click here to learn more about RRC's Creative Communications program.
If you’re interested in being profiled in the RED alumni e-newsletter, e-mail Dale Oughton, Alumni Coordinator, at email@example.com.
RRC Announces Recipient of 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award
After months of careful consideration, Red River College’s Alumni Board is proud to announce the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award: Regina resident Wayne Morsky, president and CEO of Morsky Group of Companies.
Inspired equally by his passion for his family and for family-run businesses, Morsky has been working for his own family's business since the age of 13, and now oversees a thriving infrastructure development operation that for 55 years has been involved in diverse sectors of the industry, including highway construction, railway maintenance, industrial services, HySpeed soil nailing, and oil and gas development.
Born and raised in Virden, Manitoba, Morsky graduated from RRC’s Business Administration program in 1981, having attained skills he now describes as vital to his success as an entrepreneur.
"I could take the things I learned at RRC and put them into daily effect quite quickly after getting out of school," says Morsky, "especially because I was involved with a family-owned business.”
Since graduating, Morsky has helped take the family business to new heights, while maintaining his commitments to the profession and the community. He’s a founding member of the Regina chapter of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE), and was the 2010 Chairman of the Canadian Construction Association.
He’s served as past president of the Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association of Saskatchewan and past chair of the Western Canadian Roadbuilders Association, and sits on the boards of both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Saskatchewan Centre for Excellence for Transportation and Infrastructure.
A proud father of four, Morsky counts his family as his greatest personal achievement, and the Morsky Group’s continued status as a family business as his greatest career goal to date.
"My proudest achievement has been taking a first generation company and moving it along to a second generation company ... continuing with the same integrity that the company was originally built around, and moving it forward," he says.
"A lot of this country was built on the backs of family businesses. I take the analogy that if you take one pencil, you can snap it in half, but if you’ve got a handful of them, it’s much harder to break."
Morsky is equally motivated by his love of community. Each year, his family’s breeding farm donates horse-drawn carriage sleigh rides to various community groups and charities, among them the Shriners’ Children’s Hospital, local veteran’s groups, and the RCMP’s Heritage Days.
"The ability to receive is important, but the ability to give back is just as important," he says. "We were raised on the philosophy that if you give bread, it will come back buttered."
Red River College’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates who’ve distinguished themselves in both their professional achievements and their contributions to the community. Click here to learn more about past recipients.
Click here to learn more about Morsky Group of Companies.
CreComm Awards Honour Achievements of Students, Alumni
Over 250 students, alumni and industry professionals gathered April 26th at the Millennium Centre for the 2011 Creative Communications Media Awards (CCMAs).
A total of 19 awards were handed out to first- and second-year CreComm students, as well as the first-ever Alumni Award of Achievement, which was accepted by Winnipeg Free Press crime reporter Mike McIntyre.
"The evening was a complete success," says event coordinator Nicole Dola (shown, at right, with co-coordinator Kristel Mason). "Make sure to mark your calendars for the 2012 Creative Communications Media Awards -- a truly awesome celebration and networking event."
Click here for a full list of award winners.
Click here for more information on RRC's Creative Communications program.
RRC Grad Recognized by Project Management Institute Manitoba
Recent Red River College graduate Blair Fraser has been recognized by the Manitoba arm of the Project Management Institute (PMI), having earned a $1,000 award from the organization at its annual conference last month.
Fraser was acknowledged just months after receiving his certificate in Project Management from RRC's School of Continuing and Distance Education. The PMI Manitoba award recognizes his outstanding achievement as a student.
"We ask the instructors to think about the graduating class, and nominate the student that they would be most likely to refer to a colleague. Naturally this nomination is partially based on student grades, however it also recognizes attitude, drive, determination, initiative and teamwork skills," said Kirk Johnson (shown at left), the College's Program Manager, Information, Technology and Professional Studies.
For the second year in a row, Red River College served as Title sponsor for the event, which drew upwards of 150 participants -- many of them RRC graduates who were attending on behalf of corporate Manitoba. This year, the College was proud to show off its newly-earned PMI Registered Educational Provider (R.E.P.) status -- a recognition that lets people know PMI has reviewed RRC's material and recognizes it to be on par with their high standards of training. At present, R.E.P status is recognized in over 70 countries worldwide.
"Red River College is a massive influence on PMI, because they offer the Project Management accreditation process -- where you receive the training required to qualify you to write your certification exam," explained Yanik Sourisseau (shown, right), chair of communications for PMI Manitoba.
"Not only do those courses give you the tools to become a better project manager, they are recognized internationally as the certification steps toward being qualified to write your exam."
Fraser, who currently serves as a project manager and senior structural engineer for Stantec Consulting, credits his time at RRC with allowing him to take on more responsibilities at work.
"In most companies, they do have a project management philosophy, but nothing that's formally in place," said Fraser (shown, centre). "Taking the program gives you the ability to go forth and learn the formalities behind the skills -- to learn additional skills, and how to implement them in the workplace."
Click here to learn more about RRC's Project Management course.
Alumni Meet & Greet Honours RRC Grads in Brandon
On May 5th, Red River College hosted its first Alumni Wine & Cheese reception for graduates living in Western Manitoba. The event was held at the Lady of the Lake in Brandon, and drew upwards of 50 people, ranging from RRC alums to Brandon city officials -- all of whom had a chance to mingle and reconnect with old classmates.
RRC president Stephanie Forsyth and members of RRC's Alumni Board were also in attendance, and Forsyth has already confirmed a similar event will be held next year.
"I was very happy to see the notice in the local paper about RRC coming to Brandon for a reunion," said RRC grad Tara Hamilton (Civil Engineering, 2008). "It was great to share college stories with fellow alumni. Many of us past RRC students now make our homes in Brandon -- I hope that RRC makes the trip out here again next year for another fantastic event!"
Special thanks to RRC grads Brenda Johnson (X-ray Technician, 1981) and Matt Gale (Mechanical Engineering Technology, 2010), who were instrumental in tracking down a number of "lost" alumni.
Don't Leave Basketball on RRC Grad's Buffet
Something tells us Nadine De Lisle's son wishes he'd been a little more neat and discreet as a teen.
De Lisle, a graduate of RRC's Creative Communications program, recently released a self-published memoir detailing her experiences as a single mom raising a sometimes surly, sometimes sloppy teenager.
There's a Basketball on my Buffet! is a collection of first-person essays about De Lisle's relationship with her son, 25-year-old Brett Delisle-Boughen (now a linebacker for the Manitoba Bisons).
The Winnipeg Free Press described the essays as "honest, self-deprecating snapshots of motherhood during Brett's teen and young-adult years, interwoven with memories of (Nadine's) own Winnipeg childhood and interior monologues of worry, guilt, pride and bewilderment."
De Lisle, a provincial government employee (shown at right with Brett in a Free Press photo), launched the book in April with a reading at McNally Robinson Booksellers. She's encouraging other mothers to share their stories at her blog: http://motherofason.wordpress.com.
Click here to read the entire Free Press profile.
Click here for more information about RRC's Creative Communications program.
In other publishing news, RRC grad-turned-professional wrestling star Chris Jericho (CreComm, 1990) has released a sequel of sorts to his first autobiography, called Undisputed: How to Become World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps.
Jericho's first book, the 2007 release A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex, detailed his early years and attempts to break into the world of professional wrestling. In the new book, Jericho touches on his struggles to gain prominence in the WWE after leaving the World Championship Wrestling roster, as well as his rivalries with fellow wrestlers The Rock, Triple H, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and with WWE head Vince McMahon.
Jericho recently left the wrestling world to focus on his book tour, a stint on TV's Dancing with the Stars, and his side career as frontman for the heavy metal band Fozzy.
RRC Grad, Instructor Develop "Rapid Prototype Composite Tooling"
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.
"Manufacturers require permanent composite molds for short production runs. RPCT can make them with dissolvable patterns," says Serge Broeska (shown, above), the program grad who's now working as a Research Technologist at RRC's Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI). "These composite molds can be very complex, have smooth surfaces, and are comparable to metal molds, with the exception that they are much less expensive."
While there are other methods of making dissolvable mandrels and patterns, RPCT is the only method whereby dissolvable mandrels and patterns can be made directly from CAD files.
"With the progressive development of RPCT, the possibilities for composite design and manufacturing are becoming endless," says Broeska.
To learn more about this breakthrough, read Broeska's article here.
Click here for more information about RRC's Mechanical Engineering Technology program.
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