Manitoba Post-Secondary News Roundup

Dylan WoodcockNews


Fall is in the air as we welcome everyone back to school! It’s been a while since we shared the news, so enjoy this double-dip edition! And, you can always catch up on the last roundup here.

New Canadians Sworn In at Brandon University

Brandon University opened its campus this summer, for a Canadian Citizenship ceremony that proudly welcomed and acknowledged 173 new Canadians.

New citizen (and BU employee) Angel Nerio Leon recognized the power of the ceremony and how it pointed to the University’s broad and longstanding recognition of empowering others: “It makes me feel so proud to take the oath at BU,” he said. “Brandon University gives opportunities to people coming from different culture, that speak different languages and with different traditions.”

The ceremony individually acknowledged all new Canadians, and all in attendance enjoyed a welcome video from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the reception that followed, BU President David Docherty shared his pride, acknowledging that “international experience and cultural diversity add so much depth and richness to our community. We are so proud that BU is home to so many newcomers, and that we attract so many people who come to BU from outside the country.”

New Brandon University Centre Brings Together Rural Mental Health Studies

Dr. Rachel Herron, the centre's founding chair, and Dean of Health Studies, Dr. John Moraros
Dr. Rachel Herron, the centre’s founding chair, and Dean of Health Studies, Dr. John Moraros (Grant Hamilton // Brandon University).

Brandon University has approved a new Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health to accelerate the already growing number of studies on rural and remote mental health and wellness at Brandon University.

The Centre, housed in BU’s Faculty of Health Studies, hopes to unite diverse segments of the university community in the name of mental health. According to its director, Dr. Rachel Herron, “The centre will bring different groups of people together to work on, share and improve what we know as well as how we respond to mental health problems.”

The Centre will add to BU’s ongoing commitment to studying mental health and researching new supports and initiatives specific to the Westman region and rural populations. Already, the school offers a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing, as well as a Master of Science in Mental Health, the only program of its kind in the country.

UM Welcomes $10 million Gift, New Graduate School

The University of Manitoba is in receipt of a transformational gift that will enhance the I.H. Asper School of Business as a leader in business education and research.

Alumnus Stu Clark has provided a $10-million dollar donation to the school to elevate and enhance existing programs, increase scholarship provisions, and develop programming in new and emerging areas of business research.

Clark sees incredible impact in the Asper School’s current offerings and is excited by the prospect of them growing further: “I believe very strongly in the vision and direction the Asper School and the University of Manitoba have taken towards sparking students’ entrepreneurial spirit. Supporting our future leaders, and bolstering their potential, is the best investment you can make.”

Build from Within Program Launches at U of W

In June, the first cohort of students from the Build from Within (Ozhitoon Onji Peenjiiee) teacher development program visited their future school, The University of Winnipeg.

The program is a multi-level partnership between UWinnipeg, Indspire, and the Winnipeg School Division, and has 27 participants from Winnipeg’s North End. The unique offering allows students to obtain college Education Assistant credits while completing high school, before moving on to study at UWinnipeg’s Faculty of Education.

Following high school, students will work part-time as educational assistants while completing their degrees at UWinnipeg. During their post-secondary years in the program, tuition, a monthly bus pass, access to cultural activities and mentors, and summer job opportunities are provided. Indspire CEO Roberta Jamieson highlighted cultural awareness and individual growth as key-points of this initiative: “we acknowledge the central role of education. Education nurtures our spirit, values, and culture. I’m pleased UWinnipeg has been such a leader in this regard.”

Wesmen Rookies and Seniors Team Up for Positive Energy

Wesman Soccer Team, Manitoba Post-Secondary News Roundup
The Wesmen women’s soccer team enters the new season with a positive outlook (Daniel Crump // University of Winnipeg).

On September 6th, the University of Winnipeg Wesmen women’s soccer team faced off against the University of Regina Cougars for their first game of the regular season.

Even though the Wesmen dropped a 3-1 decision, fifth-year player Katia Occhino recognizes how the roster’s re-invigoration with younger talent creates a more positive team dynamic headed into the season: “In the past years, we have had problems with negativity and we would lose focus easily during games. But this year, we have a lot of new players. We are a much more high-energy and positive team.”

Cougars Soccer and Volleyball to Compete for National Title

Students may have crossed the stage to pick up their diplomas since our last roundup, but that has not stopped the excitement at Assiniboine Community College, where the Cougars joined the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) for men’s and women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer.  

The CCAA governs the hosting of national championships for existing members, so the inclusion of the Cougars allows for increased competition, retention and home-growing of high-level recruits, and the chance to compete for national titles.

Athletics Manager Beth Clark recognizes that student growth sits at the centre of this announcement: “it’s exciting for Assiniboine and our league to get the chance to represent Manitoba on the national stage…a great platform to enhance the student athlete’s experience.”

ACC and SCO Partner to Deliver Restorative Justice Program

The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) has partnered with Assiniboine Community College to deliver a Restorative Justice program to 30 students from SCO-member communities across Southern Manitoba.

Restorative Justice is an approach which has roots in traditional Indigenous culture and forms of justice. It focuses on repairing the harm caused by crime, within the context of relationships and communities. It also seeks to restore balance and harmony to all involved. 

SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels states: “As part of our First Nation Justice Strategy, we have created a unique educational opportunity for members of our communities. [The program] will be an opportunity for our community members to receive a holistic education through Anishinaabe and Dakota lenses. The overall purpose of this program is to build capacity of our community members in administering forms of justice [which are] rooted in Anishinaabe and Dakota worldviews.”

RRC Debuts New Space for LGBTTQ+ Students and Allies

Red River College is beaming with pride through its celebration of Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ+ community.

In addition to participating in the Winnipeg Pride Parade earlier this month, RRC also opened The Spectrum, a new Students’ Association space for members of the LGBTTQ+ community and their allies.

The Spectrum is available for meetings and events and aims to provide information on internal and external supports relevant to the LGBTTQ+ community. RRCSA executives say they chose the name for everyone, as “The Spectrum” has a double meaning: it invokes the rainbow (a widely used symbol of the LGBTTQ+ community), and the spectra of gender and sexuality.

“Red River College is committed to creating a safe campus environment by fostering an atmosphere of respect, equity and support, and ensuring everyone has the chance to work, learn and access services in an inclusive and welcoming manner,” said Christine Watson, RRC’s Vice-President, Academic.

New Garden at RRC ‘The Bees Knees’ for Sweeter Honey Yields

Red River College is sweetening the deal for its insect friends this year, having added a new pollinator garden to the grounds of the Notre Dame Campus.

For four years, the College has partnered with Beeproject Apiaries to bring hives of honeybees — not to mention the delicious honey they produce — to the rooftops of RRC. Urban beekeeping is one of the many innovative and green initiatives offered by the College as a way to engage staff and students in sustainability efforts on campus and at home, and has contributed to RRC being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the ninth straight year.

RRC’s Director of Sustainability, Sara MacArthur, is not surprised that this initiative is creating a ‘buzz:’ “Staff and student engagement is critical for the success of any of the sustainability projects that RRC initiates, and we’ve seen that many areas of the College are eager to get involved and make sustainability a priority within their departments.”

USB Names A New President

Dr. Sophie Bouffard, new USB President
Dr. Sophie Bouffard (Universite de St. Boniface).

Université de Saint-Boniface is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sophie Bouffard as President.

An experienced academic, Dr. Bouffard has enjoyed extensive work as an opera singer, educator, musicologist, and champion of new music. She will be USB’s second female President in its history, and officially assumed her position on August 1.

“The new president’s analytical abilities, caring nature, and engaged and enthusiastic leadership style allow her to effectively lead our institution in its strategic directions and vision for the future,” said Micheline Lafond, President of USB’s Board of Governors. “Her impressive background is complemented by her experience in Ontario and in Western Canadian communities, which fits perfectly with the Francophone minority setting here in Manitoba.”

Major Research Grant for USB

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has awarded a significant research grant to Dr. Yves Frenette, Canada Research Chair on Migrations, Transfers and Francophone Communities, in the amount of $2,495,100 over seven years for his project entitled Trois siècles de migrations francophones en Amérique du Nord (1640-1940) – Three Centuries of Francophone Migrations in North America (1640-1940).

The study will focus on four Francophone populations: Acadians, French-Canadians from the St. Lawrence Valley, Métis, and migrants from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Syria and Lebanon.

“This project will further thought and discussion on current affairs and issues surrounding immigration, cultural diversity, living together and community life”, explains Frenette. “I feel privileged to lead this exciting research endeavour.”

UCN Releases Plan to Strengthen Development in Northern Manitoba

In keeping with University College of the North’s new Strategic Plan, UCN has released details as to how the institution will support economic and social development in the north.

The plan focuses on initiatives that further UCN’s agenda for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, engages directly with Northern communities and industries, and strengthens student success.

“As the only educational institution located in the north and led by northerners, UCN has a key role to play,” said UCN’s President and Vice-Chancellor Doug Lauvstad. “We have unique insights into the north, an established network of campuses and training centres, and the infrastructure to contribute to ensuring that [the north] is a crucial economic driver for Manitoba.”

UCN Faculty and Students Present at Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

The University College of the North (UCN) was well represented at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in June. Drs. Ying Kong and Joseph Atoyebi, along with UCN students Taylor Flett and Kassidy Burden, attended the conference and delivered individual presentations under the theme: “Voice, Image, Prose, and Poetry from Indigenous Students.”

This was the first time that students attended and presented at Congress. “It felt very good to represent northern Manitoba and to bring the talent of northern Manitobans to light in other parts of Canada,” said 3rd year UCN Nursing student Kassidy Burden, “A big highlight for me was having the opportunity to see Vancouver and represent UCN and northern Manitoba.”

Taylor Flett’s presentation was titled, “A Copy Editor’s Point of View on Students’ Publication.” She said that the experience made her realize that she wants to pursue graduate studies, that it has motivated her to complete a novel after seeing so many authors who had their works displayed at the congress.


Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public universities and colleges. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to campusmanitoba.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.casetyourcourse.ca, and openedmb.ca.