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RRCC and Backus Community Introduce Voyageur Food Pantry


The Voyageur Food Pantry started in early February as a community collaboration with Backus Community Center, Falls Hunger Coalition, Second Harvest Food Bank, Ruby’s Pantry and Rainy River Community College. This collaboration along with staff, faculty and community donations allowed us to launch the pantry quickly.

Approximately 20 students visit the pantry each day, they can choose from a piece of fruit, granola bar, box of cereal or spaghetti sauce and noodles. Whatever meets their needs. The only thing we ask is for them to put a tick on the board that they visited the pantry, no questions asked.

Hunger and food insecurity are growing problems on college campuses and have a negative impact on the educational experience. The rising cost of a college education and the increasing number of non- traditional students, mean that more students are living on a shoestring budget. Problems with food harm student’s educational efforts. A range of consequences could mean they are missing or dropping a class, their energy level is low, and they cannot focus.

Robin and Steve Bjorkquist volunteer to purchase, stock and inventory the food pantry. Bjorkquists said, "We have surveyed our students on items they would like to see and try to purchase them for the pantry. We also receive left over food from Ruby Pantry distribution."

Cash contributions have also come in from RRCC faculty, staff and students, as well as local community members. If you would like to donate, please mail or drop a check off to Backus Community Center, in the memo, RRCC Food Pantry or give to LeAnne Hardy on the RRCC campus.

New Faculty Join RRCC

New faculty join RRCC

Rainy River Community College (RRCC) has five new additions to its teaching staff. Joining the ranks at RRCC are: Andrea Luella Gohl, art; Andrew Berry, philosophy; Britta Lofgren, phlebotomy; Kallie Kantos, sociology; and Kyle Anorve-Andress, chemistry.

Gohl received her Master of Fine Arts degree in studio art from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Gohl said, “The one thing I enjoy the most about being a part of the RRCC community is the people. At RRCC, we have a diverse community that is full of so much positive energy. The students are enthusiastic and eager to learn. Everyone has been wonderful in welcoming me into the college. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of RRCC’s dynamic community while helping students discover and express their creative voices.”

Berry grew up in Walker, attended Concordia College in Moorhead, and graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of arts degree in communication and minor in religion. After college, he attended Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, graduating in 2012 with a Master of Divinity. Berry said, “I am excited for the opportunity to be an instructor at Rainy River Community College because teaching is a part of my ministry I want to grow in and it’s a privilege to help students explore the rich diversity of religious thought and practice.”

Lofgren graduated from North Dakota State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science. Lofgren said, “My passion is to bring attention to the medical laboratory technician and medical laboratory science careers and to provide proper techniques to all involved with laboratory specimens. I am incredibly happy to see RRCC partner with LSC to bring this program to our community and I am happy to be a part of it in any way that I can.”

Kantos has a Master of Science, Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Deviance, from North Dakota State University. Kantos said, “I attended five colleges and graduated from four. My first college experience was RRCC. I enjoyed the small class sizes and the attention that the instructors were able to provide. The same things that I enjoyed as a student at RRCC, I enjoy as an instructor. I like being able to interact with my students one on one. I feel like I am part of a close-knit family working at RRCC. Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful.”

Anorve-Andress has a Master of Science, Organic Chemistry, from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Commenting on his experience, Anorve-Andress said, “The Rainy River community is full of numerous friendly and intelligent people that are always striving for excellence.”

Gopher Sport Presents MCAC Coach-of-the-Year

Rainy River Community College (RRCC) women's basketball coach, Dieter Humbert, has earned the MCAC Northern Division Coach-of-the-Year, as voted on by his coaching peers. Humbert led an amazing turnaround of the Voyageur team, racing out to a 10-2 Division record and a shared portion of the Division championship.

RRCC landed outside of the playoff field in 2017, but a strong recruiting class over the off-season and some balanced, solid basketball on the court helped lead Humbert's team to the top of the 2018 Division standings. Rainy River shared the title with perennial champion Northland CTC, who earned a 10-2 mark as well, and came out on the wrong end of the coin toss to host the Region XIIIB tournament.

RRCC men's basketball head coach Bill Engel made it a 'Voyageur-sweep' of Coach-of-the-Year honors in Northern Division basketball in 2017-18, riding a first-place Divisional finish to a COY honor, based on the votes of his peers.

The Voyageur basketball team found a way to rise above a crowded and competitive field of Northern Division challengers, finishing with a 12-2 mark, just above Vermilion at 11-3 in league play. Engel has mentored one of the top performers in MCAC Basketball this year, with Davarius Wright leading the RRCC team in many offensive statistical categories and earning multiple Player-of-the-Week honors along the way.

In Conference action, RRCC never lost more than one game in a row, and seemed to pull away late in contests against some of the traditional powers. An overtime win against Central Lakes was a key part of a 6-1 February that paced them to the top of the Division.

RRCC Will Celebrate TRIO-Student Support Services 30th Anniversary

RRCC will celebrate TRIO-Student Support Services 30th Anniversary

The Rainy River Community College TRIO- Student Support Services program will celebrate 30 years of Inspiring Student Success on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. TRIO students and staff along with the Provosts from each of the five NHED campus’, Rainy River Community College, Mesabi Range College, Itasca Community College, Hibbing Community College and Vermilion Community College will participate in the days leaderships activities.

The day will begin with lunch, a short award ceremony with comments from Rainy River Provost Dr. Roxanne Kelly, NHED President William Maki, and Regional Director of TRIO programs, Annette Horvat. Students will then be given the choice of participating in an escape room leadership adventure or relax and paint with local artist Cherie Serrano. The day will conclude with a postcard writing exercise to our U.S. Senators thanking them for supporting TRIO programs.