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Red Deer College

New Head Coach of RDC Queens Basketball program coming over from Grande Prairie

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  • From RDC Communications

    Botham named Queens Basketball head coach

    Red Deer College and RDC Athletics are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mandy Botham as the head coach of the Queens Basketball program. The past two seasons, Botham was the head coach of the Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) Wolves, who play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Basketball North Division.

    “Mandy is a young coach with a lot of potential,” says Diane St-Denis, RDC Athletic Director. “She has taken the right steps to secure and maintain her coaching certification, and she is connected to great mentors from the national team program and U Sports.”

    Botham, who is nearly finished the Train to Compete stages of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), brings a gamut of valuable ACAC coaching and playing experience to RDC.

    Prior to her time guiding the Wolves, she was the head coach of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles and an assistant coach with the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves, in her hometown of Prince George. Botham was also the assistant coach of Team B.C.’s U15 Girls in 2014 and head coach in 2015, and she coached at the Canada Basketball Centre for Performance in Vancouver.

    “I am excited to have the opportunity to come to Red Deer College and lead the Queens Basketball team,” says Botham. “RDC is known for its strong tradition of athletic excellence and I look forward to building on these traditions.”

    Botham will join a strong and knowledgeable group of RDC coaches, who have achieved success at the ACAC and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) levels.

    “Mandy is a student of the game and our job will be to support her ongoing development,” says St- Denis. “Mandy displays the necessary skills and attributes that will help her succeed, and she has the support of our experienced coaches and staff at RDC.”

    Botham’s time coaching in Grande Prairie was a homecoming of sorts. She was a student-athlete on the most prolific Women’s Wolves Basketball team in GPRC history. During the 1994-5 season, Botham’s Wolves had a perfect ACAC regular season record and captured the ACAC Championship. Then at the CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship, the Wolves earned a bronze medal in Nova Scotia.

    Botham will arrive in Red Deer in mid-May and will step into her duties as Queens Head Coach on May 16.

    “I’m looking forward to coming to Red Deer and immersing myself in the high-performance environment at RDC,” says Botham.

    For more information about RDC Queens Basketball, please visit: rdcathletics.ca.


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    RDC’s Business Development VP prepares to leave work he excelled at

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  • From Michael Donlevy – VP, Business Development at Red Deer College

    Investing in education inspires student success

    I was inspired to accept an offer from former Red Deer College President, Ron Woodward, to join the Executive Team at RDC in 2001. This was initially through my involvement as a volunteer on the RDC Campaign Cabinet that raised $7.2 million – still a lot of money today – to help build the College’s Library Information Common. I was inspired by the College’s leadership and vision, along with a foundational commitment to student success from those leaders and by faculty and staff, inspiration that has continued under the leadership of current President Joel Ward.

    Coupled with this was my own belief in the value of RDC to Red Deer and Central Alberta as essential to what makes our region a special place to live. Our family grew to love the community we now call home and being able to make a mid-career change and remain in Red Deer was exciting. Now, as I retire from RDC after 18 years, having been privileged to serve in variety of meaningful and influential roles, I remain just as inspired and passionate about our College – soon to become Red Deer University.

    Along the way, that inspiration has been fueled by my deep belief in the importance of investing in education – and not just by Governments who often see post-secondary education only as an expense line item in a budget. It is why I dedicated my efforts, along with the teams that I had the privilege of leading, to seek to inspire corporate entities, business owners and individuals to consider the value of RDC to our region and to invest in the success of our students. Over the years, that came about in many ways, through incredible donations, committed sponsorships, major events and “in-kind” contributions.

    Sometimes, fundraisers are viewed less positively – hold onto your wallet, here they come again. Yet I have witnessed the laudable and inspired efforts of colleagues in so many charitable organizations throughout Alberta and beyond, who want to inspire donor investment in causes so critical to the fabric of our communities.

    I am proud to be a fund development professional and to strive for success in this good work. Because at the core, it isn’t about fundraising, it is about seeking to build respectful relationships, earning the trust of individuals that we will honour and steward their investment, large or small, in a way that preserves the trust we have been given.

    The experiences I’ve enjoyed over almost 20 years of working with RDC’s amazing group of senior administration colleagues, staff and faculty, being part of helping learners achieve their educational goals, has been a true privilege. But so memorable and humbling, has been the opportunity to engage donors, alumni, partners, sponsors, volunteers and community members. They showed me, time and again, their own passion for RDC, their commitment to our students and so often, the true meaning of generosity and philanthropy.

    I have been honoured to work with donors who, during the saddest times of their lives, would establish a student award in memory of their spouse, son or daughter. As well, in the best of times, donors from our own community came forward to invest in RDC with major, transformational gifts, whom we have gratefully recognized. And in challenging times, I have seen businesses and their owners support new programs, believing in the value of investing in RDC to build and expand.

    Because of these investments, we have been able to construct incredible new facilities, bring new programs to life and create scholarships for students, whose lives have been changed in remarkable ways.  As RDC becomes RDU, I hope you will also be inspired to invest in the exciting future that lies ahead for the College – and continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our learners.

    Michael Donlevy, Vice President, Business Development at Red Deer College, will be retiring at the end of June.


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    New RDC Student Residence officially open for students

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  • From Red Deer College Communications

    Red Deer College celebrates grand opening of new Residence

    It was a day of celebration at RDC Thursday, as the College’s newest building – the impressive five-story Residence – was officially opened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    “Our newest Residence building is another important piece in the evolution of RDC as we transition to become a university,” says Joel Ward, President & CEO. “This Residence was created through collaboration with our team of experts and with feedback from current and past students, so every square foot was purposefully designed to meet the needs of students and guests living on campus.”

    One of the major benefits is the studio suite design, which combines the privacy of independent living with the socializing and collaboration of a Residence environment. There are 145 studio suites, including 10 barrier-free suites, each with a self-contained kitchen and bathroom complete with a shower. The bright, five-story central atrium is at the heart of the building, and there are spaces throughout that will allow students to connect, socialize and study as they live and learn together.

    “The Students’ Association is thrilled for the grand opening of Red Deer College’s new residence, primarily because of what it will provide for students during this university transition,” says Brittany Lausen, President of the Students’ Association of Red Deer College. “The new residence will be a fantastic resource for students seeking a more independent option and short-term tenants, such as our apprenticeship students, with its reduced weekly rate. This June, the Students’ Association is hosting the annual Alberta Student Executive Council conference at Red Deer College, and we are excited to share our new residence with other student leaders from across the province to showcase what an amazing facility Red Deer College has built.”

    The Residence has been unique since its planning stages, as it was designed and created by an integrated project delivery team. This team, made up of representatives from 11 different companies, included a range of consultants and contractors required to complete the project. By working together, the group identified and solved potential issues during the design phase, which saved time and money throughout construction.

    “Our team worked collaboratively on this hefty goal of creating a beautiful building with limited resources,” says Vedran Skopac, Project & Design Lead with Manasc Isaac. “The new student Residence design is focused on social interaction of students. The building offers seven distinct gathering spaces, which represent the sacred “Seven Stages” of personal growth in the life of a Red Deer College student. This concept is an optimistic effort to support the students’ well-being on all three levels: physical, spiritual and, especially, mental health.”

    Construction was complete in January 2019, and the first guests to enjoy the thoughtfully designed spaces were athletes on campus for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Students are currently living in the building, and it will be utilized by guests on campus – including those from Summer Camps and Series Summer Arts School – throughout the coming months. Moving forward, it will continue to be used by students, and it will increase RDC’s overall complement of student Residence units to 675.

    “This building has been built to be innovative, with 545 solar panels that contribute to our Alternative Energy Initiative. And it was also built to be innovative for how people will live and connect with each other throughout the space,” says Ward. “It’s a beautiful, functional and flexible facility, and a welcome complement to our existing Residences on campus.”


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