June 17, 2019

12° C, Light rain showers

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Another big fork in the road

Many Red River graduates have already travelled far to get here


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Gold Medals

  • Angel Alice Compton — aboriginal self-government administration
  • Drew William Toews — aircraft maintenance engineer
  • Maria Munoz — animal health technology
  • James Daniel Dunlop, Yulia Runde — business administration
  • Denise Grossman — chemical and biosciences technology
  • Jackie Friesen — child and youth care
  • Donna Book Henrie — civil technology (structural engineering)
  • Marilyn Mitchell — community development/economic development
  • Brian Wills — computer analyst/programmer
  • Charles Gilbert Settee — computer applications for business
  • Heather Marie Bell — creative communications
  • Robert Huynh — digital multimedia technology
  • Sarah Hauptkorn — disability and community support
  • Teresa Ferreira Bras — early childhood education
  • Christopher John Bingham — graphic design
  • Michael Shaw — greenspace management
  • Elizabeth Stregger — library and information technology
  • Derek Klassen — power engineering technology


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

  • Patrick N. Brine, Drew William Toews — Snap-On Tools

Animal Health Technology

  • Julie Daniels — Manitoba Animal Health Technologist Association
  • Annette DeWit — Canadian Animal Blood Bank
  • Emily B. Doerksen — Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, Manitoba Animal Health Technologist Association, Purina Student Achievement
  • Heather Laurie — Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada, Small Animal Nutrition; Canadian Animal Blood Bank; Barbara Nagler Memorial
  • Regina Marsh, Terence Vandale — Sophie Katarynych
  • Jessi McIntosh — Barbara Nagler Memorial; Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association
  • Maria Munoz — Merial Canada; McPhillips Animal Hospital Nursing; Manitoba Animal Health Technologist Association
  • Warren L. Reis, Mela Beverley Salaam, Tiffany C. Tilley — Barbara Nagler Memorial
  • Courtney Sabo — Elsevier Science Canada; Barbara Nagler Memorial; Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association
  • Carla Ann Wsiaki — Animal Health Technology Faculty

Architectural/Engineering Technology

  • Gilles D. Comte — Bird Construction Company Limited; Paul Charette
  • Karlee Holditch — Civil Engineering Technology
  • Sherrie R. Jirasek — Paul Charette; Ernst Hansch Construction
  • Mallorie Kuhl — Mondrian Technology
  • Daniel J. Morton — Paul Charette; Ken Rist Memorial
  • Evan Paschke — F. Ross Browne CSC Technology
  • Patrick Nathaniel Touchette — Bird Construction Company Limited

Aviation Management

  • Katherine Patricia Weber — Geoffrey C. Morrow Memorial

Building Design CAD Technology

  • Julie G. Slavicek — Mondrian Technology

Business Administration

  • Janelle Marie Anders, Jenna L. Biegun, Teri Ann Clegg, Amanda Lea Jorundson, Andrew Maciejkow, Jocelyn McKee, Karyn Ann Pearson, Clayton David Pedden, Yulia Runde, Nelson Chester Buzon Te, Cassandra S. Walke — Academic Achievement Graduation
  • Lindsay Auld, Kevin A. Code — Society of Management Accountants of Manitoba
  • Keith C. Bishop — Business Administration Bridging
  • Patrick Chad Calder — Neill Nedohin CMA
  • Amanda M. Cantwell — Peter Nykoluk Memorial; Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce
  • Larissa M. Chornoboy, Yen Ha Phung — Business Administration Mentorship
  • Anna E. Ciecierska — International Student; Business Administration Bridging
  • James D. Dunlop, Chantal R, Fulkerson — Academic Achievement Graduation; Leslie Snell Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba
  • Carlee Anne Friesen — Norm Konowalchuk Memorial
  • Matthew Thomas Hiebert — Business Administration Bridging
  • Manuel Hildebrandt, Shannon C. Jones — Academic Achievement Graduation; Society of Management Accountants of Manitoba
  • Martin Paul Kelemen — Peter Nykoluk Memorial
  • Brigitte Levesque — Leslie Snell; Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba; Business Administration Mentorship
  • Yulia Runde — Leslie Snell Certified General Accountants Association of Manitoba
  • Adam M. Sharfe — Sun Life Financial
  • Michael P. Yarema — Red River Exhibition Foundation, Business Industry

Business Administration Integrated

  • Sonya M. Dubois — Peter Nykoluk Memorial
  • Sophia R. Kattenat — Academic Achievement; Peter Nykoluk Memorial

Carpentry and Woodworking

  • Iain Geeves, Michael Penfold — Pre-Employment
  • Ian Kent Powell Magarrell — Pre-Employment; H.C McGregor Memorial

Child and Youth Care

  • Germaine Marie Bear — Project Neechewan; Ross A. Johnston
  • Melissa Couto — Marymound
  • Jennifer May Ernst — Naturas
  • Jackie Friesen — B & L Youth Services; Cameron Lecuyer Memorial; Ross A. Johnston
  • Debbie L. Froese — Child and Youth Care Workers Association of Manitoba; Child and Youth Care Faculty
  • Monika Greniuk — Knowles Centre Justice Jim Smith Memorial
  • Marlie Jackson — B & L Youth Services; Cameron Lecuyer Memorial
  • Jessica A. Langes, Ogai Sherzoi — Ross A. Johnston
  • Kate V. Mark — Macdonald Youth Services
  • Amanda Ashley Popoff — Manitoba Association of Residential Treatment Resources
  • Melanie Webb — New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families

Commerce/Industry Sales and Marketing

  • Kimberley Halwas — Academic Achievement; Outstanding Student
  • Meghan E. McGill — Academic Achievement
  • Joel G. Kakoske — Outstanding Sales Performance

Computer Accounting Technician

  • Clarisse R. Joven — Peter Nykoluk Memorial

Creative Communications

  • Braden David Alexander — Advertising Association of Winnipeg; S.A.M. Advertising Award for Excellence
  • Heather M. Bell, Megan D. Benedictson, Karen Gwyndolyn Kornelsen, Kimberly Kaschor — See it On Shaw
  • Thorsten A. Blondal — Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association
  • Jason J. Booth — James S. Purvis Memorial
  • Emily C. Baron Cadloff — Manitoba Community Newspaper Association; Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association
  • Darren Cameron, Brenlee Michele Coates, Sean D. Grassie — Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association; Jack Matheson
  • Julie Andrea Capone — Eric and Jack Wells Excellence in Journalism
  • Mitchell J. Clinton, Melanie J. Fatouros, Rachel Hawryluk, Sean A. Ledwich, Rhéanne O. Marcoux, Mathew David Prepost, Kalen D. Qually, Shayna Wiwierski, Erica Zawadowski — Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association
  • Kiirsten May — MTS Allstream Inc.
  • Christine Mazur — Eric and Jack Wells Excellence in Journalism; Professional Writers Association of Canada, Winnipeg Chapter; See it On Shaw
  • Laurie McDougall — Broadcasters Association of Manitoba Aboriginal
  • Chris Moskowec — Broadcasters Association of Manitoba; See it On Shaw
  • Gina A. Nasuti — John Harding Memorial; Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association
  • Courtney E. Rutherford — Eric and Jack Wells Excellence in Journalism
  • Kate Schellenberg — Broadcasters Association of Manitoba
  • Bonnie L. Seidel — Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association
  • Teri L. Stevens — Eric and Jack Wells Excellence in Journalism; James S. Purvis Memorial
  • Steven R. St. Louis — Canadian Public Relations Society-Manitoba
  • Adam Toy — Robert Drinnan Memorial
  • Nicole Irene Trunzo — Advertising Association of Winnipeg; S.A.M. Advertising Award for Excellence
  • Jeffrey Vallis — University Women’s Club of Winnipeg
  • Daniel Weldon Vadeboncoeur — Broadcasters Association of Manitoba

Digital MultiMedia Technology

  • Jordan Antoni Balinski — Award of Excellence

Disability and Community Support

  • Traci Lynn Fischer — Association for Community Living Winnipeg
  • Tara-Dawn Biswanger — MK (Community Services)
  • Sarah L. Hauptkorn — Winnserv Award

Early Childhood Education

  • Elizabeth O. Akinyemi — Irene Stratford Memorial
  • Maja Aziraj — Frances Evers Early Childhood
  • Jennifer A. Didora — Dr. Gretta Brown
  • Selena S. Kern — Our Children, Our Ways
  • Laurie Anne Millions — Early Childhood Education Student
  • Kristen D. Munroe — MK (Community Services)
  • Karla L. Schultz — Pat Lucki Memorial; Early Childhood Education Student


  • John Forbes — H.C McGregor Memorial

Environmental Protection Technology

  • Johanne Deborah Mallord — Elizabeth Ptashnik Memorial
  • Cassandra L. Wong — Frank M. Fowler Memorial

Geomatics Technology

  • Ian Wray Baldwin — Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors
  • Johan Dyck, Gavin Olson — Alberta Land Surveyors Association
  • Brooke J. Hoornaert — Frank M. Fowler Memorial; Neelin Wilson Construction Ltd.; Andrew Pollock Geomatics
  • Kyle Saindon — Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors; Private Members
  • Jeff Adam Smith — Midwest Surveys
  • Hong Ye Tan — Frank M. Fowler Memorial

Graphic Design

  • Dylan Bekkering — Dennis Pankiw Memorial
  • Amity Bradbury, Paul Buccini — Margolis
  • Mark Dennis De Leon — S.A.M; Downtown Biz Banner Competition
  • Cara L. Jonasson — S.A.M
  • Rafal J. Kozak — OnWard Draw On
  • Christopher Kroeker — Dennis Pankiw Memorial
  • Nikita D. Nevard — Mandy Coyne Memorial
  • Kerrie L. Petrie — Valerie Fostey Memorial
  • Jacqueline Vanderpol — OnWard Achiever

Graphic Design — Advanced

  • Colin D. Sawatzky — Dennis Pankiw Memorial

Greenspace Management

  • Kirby J. Ashcroft, Charles J. Harris, Shawn Major — Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association
  • Benjamin Neufeld — Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association; Greenspace Management Faculty Practicum

Health Information Management

  • Johnson F. Fernandez — MED2020 Health Care Software Inc.; 3M Canada Company; Outstanding Student
  • Sara J. Harris — Manitoba Health Information Management Association; 3M Canada Company
  • Freweini Mebrahtu — 3M Canada Company

International Business

  • Fisyani Sinyama — Outstanding Student

Library and Information Technology

  • Fatima DeMelo, Yu Fang Zeng — Betty Andrich Memorial
  • Naomi Maendel — Manitoba Association of Library Technicians
  • Melissa J. Maskus — PAR Excellence E.Q.
  • Caroline Monnin — Manitoba Library Association

Municipal Engineering Technology

  • Joel Gonzales — Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Tanner J. Jangula — Lewis Instruments
  • Ashley Morrissey — Jim Mandryk Civil Engineering Leadership
  • Steven Penner — AECOM
  • Stephen Renner, Justin Taplin — Frank M. Fowler Memorial
  • Benjamin D. Wallace, Christopher E. Wilkinson — Civil Engineering Technology

Piping Trades

  • Colin Matthew Finney, Kyle Pollock — Pre-Employment
  • Paul A. Stoesz — H.C McGregor Memorial
  • Jarrod Patzer — Wolseley Mechanical; Steve Murowski

Power Engineering Technology

  • Kyle R. McDowell — Eric Littler Memorial Award
  • Michael John Pidwerbesky, Frank T. Sarzynski — Institute of Power Engineers

Structural Engineering Technology

  • Cody Keith Buskell, Jonathan S. Osadchuk — Ernst Hansch Construction Ltd
  • Philipp Friedrich, Tim C. Klassen — Beach Rocke Engineering
  • Kelly Groff — AECOM
  • Donna Book Henrie — Canadian Technology
  • Jessica Hoplock — Paul Charette
  • Kent A. Petersen — Neelin Wilson Construction Ltd
  • James G. Wilkinson — Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba; Ernst Hansch Construction Ltd


  • John M. Tronrud — H.C McGregor Memorial

Wood Products Manufacturing Technology

  • James R. Mitchell — H.C. McGregor Memorial

Honourary Diploma

John Buhler is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Buhler Industries, one of Canada’s largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment.

While owning an automobile dealership for 15 years, he also acted as secretary-treasurer for Standard Gas Engine Works. John purchased this company in 1969 and renamed the Morden factory “Farm King Ltd.” In 1981, he also purchased the Winnipeg factory.

Known as the “turnaround king,” Buhler acquired Standard Industries in 1983, as well as Morden Fine Foods, Birchwood Furniture, Ideal Glass and Mirror, Greensteel Industries, Riteway Industries and Craftech Manufacturing.

He amalgamated all these companies in 1994 to form Buhler Industries, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
As a result of his business success, Buhler has been an active and generous philanthropist, contributing more than $13 million to a variety of community organizations and capital campaigns. Notable donations include $6 million for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, $3.75 million for the John Buhler Research Centre at Health Sciences Centre, and $500,000 toward construction of Red River College’s Exchange District Campus.

Distinguished Alumni

Dawna Friesen is a foreign correspondent for NBC News and is based in the network’s London bureau. She joined the network in 1999. Friesen reports for NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today” and MSNBC, the network’s 24-hour news and information cable network.

Friesen has traveled extensively for NBC News, covering the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, the conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan, the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, reaction in the Arab world to the conflict in Iraq, and the guerrilla war in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Friesen joined NBC News from CTV’s Toronto bureau where she served as national news correspondent and anchor. Friesen also covered federal politics for the CTV network based in Ottawa.

Prior to her work at CTV News, Friesen worked as a reporter and anchor for CBC-TV in Vancouver and as an anchor for the 24-hour news channel, Newsworld.

Friesen began her journalism career in 1985 working in Brandon, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. A native of Winnipeg, Friesen graduated with a diploma in Creative Communications from Red River College in Winnipeg. In 1993, she received a Southam Fellowship for Journalists from the University of Toronto.

Merv Gunter

A 1970 graduate of Red River College’s Business Administration program, Merv Gunter is the owner of Frontiers North, one of Canada’s premier operators of wildlife and nature viewing programs in Canada’s North.

The company’s famous Tundra Buggies offer tourists the opportunity to get an up-close look at polar bears around Churchill, Manitoba. It also offers tours around Churchill, Nunavut and British Columbia based around beluga and bowhead whale, walrus, grizzly bear and Northern Lights viewing experiences.

Gunter began his business career with Sears Canada and London Life, before joining the Royal Bank of Canada in 1972. During a successful 27-year banking career, he held numerous branch management and Head Office management positions, including head of Retail Marketing for the Manitoba District.

Gunter retired from the Royal Bank in 1999, and he and his wife Lynda committed themselves to growing Frontiers North into a major ecotourism operator. Their son John joined the company in 2003.

In addition to his work with Frontiers North, Merv is also a founding member and President of Destination Churchill, a founding member of Continuity Care, an Advisory Board member for Polar Bears International, and a former President of the Churchill Chamber of Commerce.

Teaching Award of Excellence

A graduate of the University of Winnipeg (BSc Biology) and University of Manitoba (MSc Anatomy), Jason Taylor joined Red River College in 2000 after working in the biology department at U of W and as a lecturer in the U of M’s Faculty of Medicine.

During his time at RRC, he has taught anatomy and physiology to Nursing and Continuing Education students, as well as histology and pathophysiology to Medical Laboratory Sciences students.

In addition to his responsibilities as an instructor, he has also contributed to the development of several textbooks, including Memmler’s Structure and Function of the Human Body, Memmler’s Human Body in Health and Disease, and the Canadian Edition of Cohen’s Medical Terminology.

Taylor was nominated for this award by his Diploma Nursing Accelerated students, who noted, “he is passionate about what he teaches and has a great sense of humour” and “is a teacher who inspires students to learn.” They also cited his efforts to actively engage students in classroom material, and his ability to communicate complex concepts using easily understood examples.

This is the second time Taylor has won the Teaching Award of Excellence, having previously received the honour in 2001.

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