Okanagan College News 2007

Records 1 to 4 of 118
Ecology students present semester projects to esteemed panel
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 7, 2007

Fifteen second-year ecology students will get a chance to hone some important skills when they present their term projects to a panel of judges that includes researchers from the Kalamalka Research Forestry Centre and Regional Dean John Lent, this afternoon.

Professor Laurie Donovan took a new approach in preparing his second-year ecology students for academic life beyond college by assigning a final term project which, over the course of a semester, has students explore a specific ecology issue of their choice and condense a few months worth of research into a professionally produced two-by-three-foot poster.

Donovan’s idea for the project came from his real life experience as a researcher.

“Researchers are required to be able to take a huge amount of information, condense it and then speak to the topic in many different situations in the real world,” explains Donovan. “I thought that teaching my students to learn in a similar environment would be useful to them in their educational pursuits as well as their life after college.”

Donovan’s class of 15 students all participated on projects that range in subject matter from regional endangered species to fire ecology, the plight of the Kokanee and mountain caribou, to name a few. Many of the projects focused on local ecological issues, others took on issues affecting Western Canada.

“The students have done an incredible amount of work on these projects and have really done a remarkable job,” says Donovan. “This project has required them to think like graduate students and by asking them to present their projects to judges of a high caliber, they are required to have a thorough knowledge of their subject, similar to a thesis presentation.”

From an instructional perspective, Donovan credits the students with being able to take a large amount of information, acquired mostly through research into academic journals, and condensing it into clear concepts and key findings.

“My students have worked on these projects all year and to be able to reduce their research into one poster and speak to judges articulately about their topics will be a great achievement in their learning process.”

The presentation of the research posters will take place in the cafeteria at the Kalamalka campus of Okanagan College today between 12 – 1:30 p.m.


Winter courses offer opportunities for creativity
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 7, 2007

If the snow and cold usually leave you feeling closed in, you may be interested in expanding your creative horizons through two new offerings at Okanagan College this January.

Continuing Studies’ new visual arts courses will give you an opportunity to explore the technical and creative approaches of pen and ink or life drawing.

Pen & Ink Drawing – Making the First Sketch will be held Tuesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. beginning Jan. 22. Life Drawing begins Jan. 24 and runs consecutive Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. until March 13. Both courses are instructed by Stephen Tulloch, a graphic and web designer, and will be held at the College’s Kelowna Campus at a cost of 249 + GST per course. 

“Participants will not only learn the techniques, but also how to use their imagination in new and creative ways,” says Tulloch. “I like to create an atmosphere where students are not afraid to experiment and can go to new places in their creative mind.”

Using brushes, technical markers and traditional nibs, students in Pen & Ink Drawing will explore the fundamentals of perspective, composition, tonal building, values and colour theory. In Life Drawing, students will discover how to become better artists by working with models. They will gain an understanding of form, light, negative space and drawing fundamentals using pens, pencils or brushes and ink, watercolours, or a medium of their choice.

“When people think outside their own creative space and expand their definition of art and then transfer that to the page it is an extremely rewarding journey,” says Tulloch, who has studied and taught animation and fine arts at colleges in Ontario and has traveled extensively developing his own drawing and sketching skills.

These visual arts courses are just two of the new offerings in the 2008 winter brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. “This year’s brochure offers a variety of courses to help you develop and expand your interests and reach your personal goals, whatever they may be.”
 
For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road, call 862-5480, or register online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/csreg.


They’re gonna put me in the movies* . . .
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 7, 2007

If being part of the film industry has always been your dream, three new courses offered at Okanagan College this winter may just be the way to earn your chops.

Screenwriting for Film and TV, Acting and Auditioning, and Me in a Movie, will be led by Robert McDonagh, an internationally recognized film director and screenwriter who has worked in the industry for more than 15 years.

Screenwriting for Film and TV is open to both novice and experienced writers who are interested in honing their skills. Participants learn about script formats, script development, writing dialogue and scene structure and at the end of the course, will have completed a five-page film script.

“I believe anyone can write and make a film,” says McDonagh, who has 16 films to his credit. “We all watch films and TV, so we understand the conventions already. The bridge from understanding to doing is fairly quick.”

The course runs from Jan. 19 - Feb. 23, 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

Acting and Auditioning is designed to take the fear out of the audition process. McDonagh will not only teach participants how to act, but what they need to do to impress a director. “They’ll have fun, hone their acting skills, and get a good grasp of how the business works, from learning the acting language, preparing for an audition, and on-set protocol to what to expect when you sign with an agent.”

The course runs from 1 - 4 p.m. beginning Jan. 19 for six weeks.

Me in a Movie is for the home movie buff as well as those who are interested in turning pro. “This course is a great primer for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the film industry,” says McDonagh who has worked with John Woo, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron’s cinematographer. “It provides an overview of the industry as well as hands-on experience in all aspects of filmmaking including acting, screenwriting, cinematography, directing and editing.” At the end of the course, participants will have worked together to produce a short film. The course runs from March 1 – April 12, 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

All three courses will be held at the Kelowna Campus at a cost of $199 + GST each.

“The burgeoning Okanagan film industry is opening the door to budding directors, screenwriters, actors, and technicians,” says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for Central Okanagan Continuing Studies. “With his extensive industry experience, Robert is able to share invaluable knowledge in a fun way that allows participants to gain an overview of the industry while developing talents that could lead to future jobs on set.”

Screenwriting for Film and TV, Acting and Auditioning and Me in a Movie are three of the new courses offered in the 2008 Winter brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Yacheson. “This year’s brochure offers a variety of courses to help you develop and expand your interests and reach your personal goals, whatever they may be.”
 
For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road, call 862-5480, or register online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/csreg.


New healthcare-focused endowment fund will support Mechanical Engineering Technologists
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 5, 2007

 ches
 Graham Baker, Peter van Wissen,
Iain Cameron and Jim Hamilton
With a limited supply of certified technologists entering the healthcare field and a looming shortage of skilled professionals, students enrolled in Okanagan College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program will benefit from a new endowment fund and scholarship program set up by the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, B.C. Chapter (CHES).

A $10,000 endowment fund was recently created by the local chapter of CHES with the goal of supporting Okanagan College technology students who show an interest in entering the healthcare industry. The award will be known as the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, B.C. Chapter Scholarship and will be distributed annually beginning this May.

“Almost all industries are scrambling to find employees and the hospital industry is no different,” explains Peter van Wissen, Manager of Plant Services at Kelowna General Hospital. “By offering this new scholarship we are hoping to focus some attention on another source of employment for mechanical engineering technology students.”

Van Wissen and Graham Baker, who managed Plant Services at KGH prior to van Wissen, are two members the B.C. chapter of CHES who felt strongly that the healthcare field has a lot to offer to technologists. In order to make employment opportunities more widely known, the duo approached their local CHES board to fund the Okanagan College scholarship.

Upon receiving the news from the CHES board that funding for the scholarship had been approved Baker replied “This is great news and demonstrates the commitment of the Executive Board of CHES B.C. towards the education of the next generation of people coming into the Engineering Technologies field. That the Board approved my motion of the bursary in just two fiscal years is just wonderful for a small society such as ours.”

“We hope to stimulate students to get a good education and recognize the hospital industry as a potential place to work,” says van Wissen.

The scholarship will be awarded to one student who has completed the first year of full-time student in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program and will be returning to complete the program the following semester. The Mechanical Engineering Technology department will select the recipient based on overall performance and participation.



Pay it Forward giving drive launches annual campaign
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 5, 2007

An unusually severe cold snap in November 2006 led second-year Business Administration student Sarah Comba to join forces with the Okanagan College Alumni Association in leading the Pay it Forward challenge, a giving drive aimed at helping local community organizations during the holiday season.

Driven by the motivation to make a difference in her community, and inspired by a concept taken from Catherine Hyde’s book “Pay it Forward,” Comba initiated the Pay it Forward challenge -- a concept that promotes a chain-reaction of single acts of kindness.

This year, Comba’s initiative is gearing up for an even greater outcome with the support of the Okanagan College Alumni Association. The Pay it Forward drive will operate at three of the College’s campuses: Salmon Arm, Penticton and Kelowna and will aim to collect a variety of useful items, food and clothing for a range of non-profit organizations in each of the three communities. 

“The Alumni Association is proud to carry on the important initiative that Sarah started,” says Christina Ferreira, President of the Alumni Association. “We felt there was an opportunity to help our students and staff coordinate a community-wide effort, making it easy for both the College and greater community to donate.”

Donations of laundered men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, nonperishable food items, small gifts, household items, toiletries, books and cash donations are being accepted at Okanagan College campuses up until the following dates: Salmon Arm Dec. 11, Penticton Dec. 13, Kelowna Dec. 10. For those who donate items during the morning of the last day of the drive, student volunteers will serve hot chocolate, coffee and snacks.
Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship comes to Vernon
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 4, 2007

A unique training opportunity for students in Vernon is the result of Okanagan College’s rotating trades program. The Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship program will be offered at the Vernon Trades and Apprenticeship Training centre this winter. 

A free information session for the program will be held at the Kalamalka campus of Okanagan College in room D221 on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m.

“This will be the second time the Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship program has been offered in Vernon,” explains Rob Kjarsgaard, program administrator. “Bringing the plumbing program to Vernon is a win-win situation for our community. We are able to address local employer needs while meeting the educational needs of our region.”

The program will run for 24 weeks, beginning Feb. 11, 2008, and will provide students with plumbing apprenticeship level one technical training credit.
 
Please call (250) 545-7291 ext. 2808 for details, or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/trades
Shutterbugs go digital
Okanagan College Media Release - Dec. 4, 2007

Okanagan College is introducing two new courses this winter to help shutterbugs make the transition from film to digital photography, understand the features of their more advanced digital single lens reflex cameras and learn how to deal with the range of images they produce.

Getting Started With Your dSLR Camera and Managing and Sharing Image Files will be led by Tom Cooper, a retired graphic artist and photographer who first went digital in 2000.

“Digital photography is great because you can immediately see if what you’re doing is working and learn what you have to do if it’s not,” says Cooper who has photos published locally and nationally. “It’s very motivating for people.”

Getting Started With Your dSLR Camera will strip away the intimidation factor and help participants understand and get comfortable with all the functions these cameras offer. A hands-on approach will ensure that all participants get the results they want with their own camera, says Cooper. The five-hour course is offered at the Kelowna Campus at a cost of $75 + GST. Participants can choose their dates: Jan 21 & 23, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Feb. 26 & 28, 6:30 – 8 p.m. or April 1, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“The biggest complaint I hear from people is they don’t know where their digital images are or how to retrieve them,” says Cooper. “Managing and Sharing Image Files will teach students how to organize their digital images after downloading them off their camera and to set up a logical filing system that works for them. Then, they will be able to share their photos easily with friends and family locally and around the world.” This three-hour course is offered at the Kelowna Campus on Feb. 12, 6-9 p.m. or March 13, 6-9 p.m. at a cost of $45 + GST.

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road, call 862-5480, or register online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/csreg
Home for Learning projects throughout the valley advance to finals for top housing awards

Okanagan College Media Release

With the announcement of the finalists for the Georgie and Tommie Awards this week, Okanagan College’s Home for Learning projects have a few more reasons to be proud.

Okanagan College’s Home for Learning projects received the highest regional and provincial honours this week when the Summerland project was selected as a finalist for the Georgie Awards in the category of Best Public-Private Partnership and the Home for Learning concept, which includes homes in Summerland, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke, won a silver Tommie Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Housing Industry by an individual or group.

“This has been an outstanding week for our Home for Learning projects,” says John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “By expanding our program this year to include four Residential Construction projects we were able to double the number of students we trained. To have each of the projects recognized with awards is like the icing on the cake.”

The builder for the Summerland project is Homescape Building and Design, led by Eric and Vicki Gerrits. Homescape Building and Design will be represented in a total of 11 categories at Georgie Awards, including the Home for Learning submission. The Summerland project is unique in that it is a Built Green BC gold standard home, taking environmental and energy efficiency building practices into consideration.

“As this project nears completion, we have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to partner with the College to promote the importance of skilled tradespeople,” says Eric Gerrits. “Working on this house has been a great experience and being chosen as a Georgie finalist is a real honour.”

The 2,600 square foot Summerland home project served as a training venue for 17 Residential Construction students as well as students from electrical and plumbing pre-apprenticeship programs. As with all Home for Learning projects, as soon as the home is complete, it will be put up for sale with the net proceeds going to support the further education of the students who worked on the home.

“We hope that the young builders will recognize the importance of building healthy homes and will continue to learn more about great programs like R2000 and Built Green BC,” says Gerrits. “We continue to be amazed at the generous support of our sponsors. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

The Gold Tommie Awards will be held in January, the Gold Georgie’s will follow in February.

Representing each of the partners in the College’s Home for Learning projects will be:

Summerland: Homescape Building and Design, TRAC Developments, School District 67
Kelowna: Vintage Design Ltd., The Village of Kettle Valley
Salmon Arm: Shuswap Construction Industry Professionals, School District 83,
Revelstoke: Vic Van Isle Construction Ltd., Jake and Jay Holdings, School District 19


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer information night
Okanagan College Media Release - Nov. 21, 2007

Okanagan College’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program is offering two information sessions on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 28. The hour-long sessions will be held at the Aerospace Campus in Vernon and will begin at 6 and 7 p.m.

“The current industry shortage of licensed AME's has led to a high demand for aircraft maintenance technicians in Canada and worldwide,” says Tom Armstrong, instructor of Okanagan College’s AME program. “Certified AME’s are eligible to work on all aircraft types including light and heavy fixed-wing and light and heavy helicopters. This flexibility opens the door to great employment options.”

Prospective students can expect to find out detailed program information as well as hear about potential job opportunities in the growing field of aviation. Instructors will be onsite to answer questions about the 72-week program, which will begin on Feb. 4, 2008.

Over the course of three semesters spanning nearly 17 months, students in the AME program receive a blend of training including classroom sessions during term one at Okanagan College, a 10-week paid co-op work placement and a final 14-week semester at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, where they will put their knowledge to work on a fleet of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

The curriculum in the program follows Transport Canada’s guidelines and covers the technical training required for the AME-M License.  Students will also receive 18 months of practical training credit towards the 48-month practical apprenticeship requirement for the AME M-License.

For more information about the information sessions please contact Rob Kjarsgaard at 545-7291 ext. 2808. The Okanagan College Aerospace Campus is located at 6225 Okanagan Landing Road in Vernon.
Kal Tire and College pair to offer Automotive Service Tech program

Okanagan College Media Release - Nov. 14, 2007

Okanagan College and automotive leader, Kal Tire, are teaming up to deliver a second offering of the Kal Tire Automotive Service Technician program – a successful training partnership that was first launched last year. 

A free information session about the program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in room T117 at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College for anyone interested in finding out more about the program or employment opportunities. 

The industry partnership component of the program will give Automotive Service Technician students the opportunity to combine their classroom training and hands-on practical experience with guest lectures, industry tips and job interviews from Kal Tire professionals.

The 30-week program will focus on transforming students with little previous experience in automotive repair into professional tradespeople capable of seeking employment as apprentice mechanics. 

The program will cover all of the fundamentals of the Automotive Service Technician program and will include sessions with human resource specialists from Kal Tire who will offer information and insight into potential careers.  At the end of the program students will be prepared to go to work with a range of employers, including Kal Tire.

“This program has an extremely practical application,” says Randy Werger, Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College.  “The partnership with Kal Tire is fantastic for our students because they will gain specialized knowledge and will be directly connected to potential employers.  However, students who complete the program will be qualified to work with any number of businesses in the industry.”

Students who complete the program will receive an Entry Level Training Automotive Service Technician certificate as well as apprenticeship technical training credit for level one. 

Entrance into the program requires Grade 12 graduation or mature student status (age 19 and out of full-time Secondary school for at least one year prior to the start of the program) with satisfactory standing in basic mathematics and reading tests.  Secondary school students are also eligible for entry and may receive dual credit toward Grade 12 graduation.  Interested Secondary students should contact their school’s career counselor for further information about admission requirements. 

The program will be offered in February at the KLO campus in Kelowna and runs for approximately 30 weeks at a cost of $2,760 plus ancillary fees.  For more information about the program or information night please contact Nancy Darling at 762-5445 ext. 3325.


Sky-high at Okanagan College’s Career Fair
Okanagan College Media Release - Nov. 1, 2007

It’s not every day the general public is invited to experience what it is like to be pilot-in-command of your own aircraft, but that is just one aspect of what Okanagan College is offering this Sunday at the 26th annual Career Fair.

For the first time ever, Okanagan College will welcome FMS Flight Motion Simulators Inc. to Career Fair. The Kelowna-based company makes DreamFlyer, a flight simulator that has been featured on the Discovery Channel, in the Globe and Mail and on YouTube, among others.

The flight motion simulator includes a pilot’s cockpit seat, rudder pedals, a control stick and throttle, and replicates flight motion so that the brain perceives that you are actually in flight. Seated in the cockpit, you experience the effects of flight – movement, pitch and roll, pilot lead and pilot-induced oscillation.

The DreamFlyer will be located in the Pit on the Kelowna campus and will offer first-come, first-serve opportunities for anyone interested in taking a flight.

Accompanying the DreamFlyer will be representatives from Okanagan College’s Commercial Aviation and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programs, which provide local training in the aviation industry. Anyone considering a career in the field will be able to ask questions about admissions, program requirements and career opportunities.

For more information about the DreamFlyer visit www.mydreamflyer.com or come to Career Fair on Nov. 4 from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College.


Record number of employers for College’s 26th Career Fair

Okanagan College Media Release - Oct. 29, 2007

A hot economy is translating into a bumper crop of companies and agencies attending Okanagan College’s annual Career Fair, which is set for this Sunday. The fair, which showcases a wide variety of career and educational opportunities for the public, will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the KLO campus of Okanagan College.

“We have more than 70 businesses and organizations coming to Career Fair this year,” notes organizer Michelle Lowry. “That’s up significantly from last year. Many of those agencies are looking for employees – either right away or with an eye to the future – and they are taking advantage of the chance to explain what’s involved in their business to students, adults, and even people thinking about changing careers.”

The range of careers and companies represented at the 26th edition of Career Fair is diverse: everything from police forces to environmental engineers, from estheticians to journalists.

“For high school students and young adults, this is really a one-stop shopping opportunity to find out more about specific careers and ask real people about their jobs, about what kind of training and education is required. It’s also a chance to learn more about the educational opportunities that Okanagan College offers,” says Lowry. “Almost all our departments and campuses will be on hand to talk about the education available. This year, we’re inviting the public to visit our lab building, too, where they can investigate the most up-to-date science labs in the Okanagan and also see what’s involved in the engineering technology labs.”

If it sounds all very serious and formal, it isn’t, Lowry says. “We’ve tried to ensure that there are a lot of events and lectures, some great food, and a chance to learn in an atmosphere that is fun and exciting.”

One of the companies that will use Career Fair to showcase an exciting new product is FMS Flight Motion Simulators Inc., an Okanagan company that is the producer of a flight simulator called DreamFlyer. Designed by a Penticton inventor, pilot and flight enthusiast, it has earned national media attention – it’s claim to fame is being able to replicate at a fraction of the price the experience provided by industry-standard flight simulators worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Visitors to Career Fair can check that out and the find out what’s involved in becoming a commercial pilot -- the commercial aviation program offered by Okanagan College in conjunction with Southern Interior Flight Centre will have a booth nearby.

The event and parking on campus are free this Sunday. A whole series of events have been planned:
•    Automotive Trades Live Interactive Demos
•    College Prep 101 for Parents
•    Ice Carving Sculpture
•    Kids’ Cookie Decorating Corner in the cafeteria
•    Kelowna Fire Department Ladder Truck Demo
•    Jaws of Life Demonstration
•    DNA extraction in the biology lab
•    Chemistry demonstrations
•    Interactive activities in Astronomy & Physics
•    RoboCup Jr. demonstration
•    Build and test electronic circuits in the Electronic Engineering Technology lab
•    Learn how to test and break materials in the Mechanical Engineering Technology lab
•    Demonstrations on computer technology, fibreoptics, wireless communications and more in the Network & Telecommunications Engineering Technology lab
•    Water quality analysis in the Water Quality Environmental Engineering Technology lab
•    Kitchen tours in the cafeteria


Careers abound in heavy-duty mechanic field
Okanagan College Media Release - Oct. 26, 2007

When Craig Werger graduated from Kelowna Senior Secondary he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the trades. As the son of Randy Werger, Okanagan College’s Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, Werger was well aware of the opportunities for skilled tradespersons.

In 2003, he enroled in Okanagan College’s Entry-level Heavy Duty and Commercial Transport Mechanics program where he benefited from industry-specific training and a two-week job placement that resulted in a booming career.

“There are lots of job opportunities in this field - especially if you are willing to go up north or to Alberta,” explains Werger. “There are certainly opportunities in the Okanagan as well. I was lucky to complete a work term with Finning in Vernon and it was such a good experience that I never left.”

At Finning Werger works a regular dayshift and usually puts in a 40-hour workweek. The opportunity for overtime is readily available and at times he has worked up to 75 hours in a week. He maintains some of the largest heavy-duty equipment made by Caterpillar including wheel loaders, compact construction equipment, excavators and skidders.

Werger points to the range of employment options as one of the reasons he took the program. Students who complete the Heavy Duty and Commercial Transport Mechanics program have the ability to work on heavy-duty equipment or in the transport end of things working on commercial vehicles.

Werger understands the importance of completing his apprenticeship training. Having now finished his level four apprenticeship, he will write the red seal interprovincial exam for his trade next week. Once accredited, Werger will be eligible to work anywhere in the country as a heavy duty or commercial transport mechanic. His chances of leaving the Okanagan are slim, explains Werger, who believes Finning is the best employer in the field.

“I wouldn’t work for anyone else,” says Werger. “Finning is a great company and there are so many opportunities for me here. I am taking on more and more responsibility and am really happy with my career.”

An intake of Okanagan College’s 38-week Heavy Duty and Commercial Transport Mechanics program will begin Nov. 13 in Kelowna. Classes run Tuesday – Friday from 12 – 8:10 p.m. Spaces are still available – anyone interested in finding out more about a career in Heavy Duty and Commercial Transport Mechanics can contact the Trades and Apprenticeship office at (250) 862-5457
Young Alumni Award winner feeling impact of honour
Okanagan College Media Release

Penticton entrepreneur Corinne Inman is busier than ever after being named Okanagan College’s 2007 Young Alumni Award winner.

Inman will receive her award at a dinner ceremony hosted by Okanagan College on Oct. 25 at the Ramada Inn in Kelowna. Tickets to the event are still available through Okanagan College.

Inman launched Morpheus Graphics, a full-service design and printing studio in 2005, just three years after graduating from Okanagan College with a diploma in Business with a specialization in marketing.

“I have been getting a lot of phone calls since being named Young Alumni Award winner,” says Inman. “Being selected by Okanagan College for this award has definitely helped my business – now people are more aware of who I am, where I am and what I do.”

In addition to her new status as Young Entrepreneur Award winner, Inman also benefits from her local roots. A graduate of Pen Hi Secondary, Inman’s connection to the community of Penticton and her personal community involvement gives people a lot of reasons to patronize her business and utilize her expertise and services.

“People in the Okanagan really like to support local businesses,” says Inman. “Now that more people know about the services I offer, I have gotten a lot more business.”

More business means longer hours for the 29-year-old who often puts in 14-hour days. Inman handles all of the marketing and design services for the company as well as managing all aspects of the business. She has two employees, one of whom is her mother Wendy, and hasn’t taken a vacation in nearly two-and-a-half years.

“My days don’t seem long because I truly love what I am doing,” says Inman. “The beauty of working for myself is that I get to be really creative and can devote myself to work that I feel is important and that I am proud to attach my name to. My community involvement is also very fulfilling and I feel so fortunate to be able to pursue my dream every day.”

In its start-up year, 2005, Morpheus Graphics was nominated for two Penticton Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards for New Business and Young Entrepreneur. In 2006 Inman and her company received three nominations, taking home the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Inman will attend the Alumni Awards banquet on Oct. 25 in Kelowna. Also receiving a top honour at the event is Nick Arkle, Distinguished Alumni Award winner and Woodlands Manager and Chief Forester at Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.

Arkle follows Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie, who was named DAA winner in 2006. Chosen for his community involvement and vast array of volunteer work, Arkle has committed a considerable amount of his personal and professional life to assisting local, national and international charities and organizations.

The 2007 Alumni Awards night will also include honours for members of Team Scott: Kelly Scott (Business Administration diploma 1999), Jeanna Schreader (Computer Information Systems diploma 2000) and Renee Simons (Office Administration diploma 1991). The fourth member of Team Scott, Sasha Carter, will be recognized as an honorary alumna. 

Four students from the Okanagan School of Business will be commended for their performance at the 43rd annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in San Diego. Competing under the name Inukshuk Sound, and competing as the only Canadian team, Arluene King, Janta Quigley, Arend Hoekstra and Jane Long won best overall team performance, top written report, top stock portfolio performance coach, top stock portfolio performance students (first and second place).

Young Alumni Award winner feeling impact of honour
 
                       

Okanagan College Media Release - Oct. 22, 2007

Penticton entrepreneur Corinne Inman is busier than ever after being named Okanagan College’s 2007 Young Alumni Award winner.

Inman will receive her award at a dinner ceremony hosted by Okanagan College on Oct. 25 at the Ramada Inn in Kelowna. Tickets to the event are still available through Okanagan College.

Inman launched Morpheus Graphics, a full-service design and printing studio in 2005, just three years after graduating from Okanagan College with a diploma in Business with a specialization in marketing.

“I have been getting a lot of phone calls since being named Young Alumni Award winner,” says Inman. “Being selected by Okanagan College for this award has definitely helped my business – now people are more aware of who I am, where I am and what I do.”

In addition to her new status as Young Entrepreneur Award winner, Inman also benefits from her local roots. A graduate of Pen Hi Secondary, Inman’s connection to the community of Penticton and her personal community involvement gives people a lot of reasons to patronize her business and utilize her expertise and services.

“People in the Okanagan really like to support local businesses,” says Inman. “Now that more people know about the services I offer, I have gotten a lot more business.”

More business means longer hours for the 29-year-old who often puts in 14-hour days. Inman handles all of the marketing and design services for the company as well as managing all aspects of the business. She has two employees, one of whom is her mother Wendy, and hasn’t taken a vacation in nearly two-and-a-half years.

“My days don’t seem long because I truly love what I am doing,” says Inman. “The beauty of working for myself is that I get to be really creative and can devote myself to work that I feel is important and that I am proud to attach my name to. My community involvement is also very fulfilling and I feel so fortunate to be able to pursue my dream every day.”

In its start-up year, 2005, Morpheus Graphics was nominated for two Penticton Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards for New Business and Young Entrepreneur. In 2006 Inman and her company received three nominations, taking home the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Inman will attend the Alumni Awards banquet on Oct. 25 in Kelowna. Also receiving a top honour at the event is Nick Arkle, Distinguished Alumni Award winner and Woodlands Manager and Chief Forester at Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.

Arkle follows Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie, who was named DAA winner in 2006. Chosen for his community involvement and vast array of volunteer work, Arkle has committed a considerable amount of his personal and professional life to assisting local, national and international charities and organizations.

The 2007 Alumni Awards night will also include honours for members of Team Scott: Kelly Scott (Business Administration diploma 1999), Jeanna Schreader (Computer Information Systems diploma 2000) and Renee Simons (Office Administration diploma 1991). The fourth member of Team Scott, Sasha Carter, will be recognized as an honorary alumna. 

Four students from the Okanagan School of Business will be commended for their performance at the 43rd annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in San Diego. Competing under the name Inukshuk Sound, and competing as the only Canadian team, Arluene King, Janta Quigley, Arend Hoekstra and Jane Long won best overall team performance, top written report, top stock portfolio performance coach, top stock portfolio performance students (first and second place).

The 2007 Alumni Awards banquet will begin at 5 p.m. on October 25, in Kelowna. Tickets are still available at a cost of $85 for alumni and $100 for other guests.  To purchase tickets, call Katerina Hay at (250) 862-5630, ext. 3.

It's not easy being green
Okanagan College Media Release - Oct. 10, 2007

You'd croak if you knew what was happening to frogs and amphibians in the South Okanagan and around the world.

Local amphibian populations face many threats including increasing urban and agricultural development. Local biologist Sara Ashpole works with amphibians at risk, like the Great Basin Spadefoot and Tiger Salamander.

On Monday, Oct. 15 Ashpole and Lindsay Coulter, Conservation Policy Analyst from the David Suzuki Foundation, will put local amphibians and other species-at-risk into the context of how we can protect them using legislation as well as tangible ideas on how to protect them at home and in our communities.

B.C. is home to 76 per cent of our nation’s bird species, 70 per cent of Canada’s freshwater fish species and 66 per cent of its butterflies. Unfortunately, the province’s biological wealth is under threat – more than 1,300 species are at risk of disappearing. Current B.C. laws and policies are failing our wildlife. Safeguarding our abundant biodiversity into the future will require stronger endangered species legislation.

Come learn about our remarkable biological richness. Discover which species are at risk of disappearing and find out if you live in a hotspot of endangerment. Most importantly, learn how you can help.

This free event will take place on Monday at 7 p.m. and is part of Okanagan College’s regular Speaker’s Series, which takes place every second Monday throughout the school year. This specific presentation is co-sponsored by both OC and the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA) and will take place in the Lecture Theatre of Okanagan College’s Penticton campus
Kalamalka Press launches new book in Mackie House Series by Robert Kroetsch and John Lent
Okanagan College Media Release - Oct. 10, 2007

On Monday, Oct. 15, Okanagan College’s Kalamalka Press will release Abundance, a book of conversations about writing and the writing life by internationally acclaimed writer Robert Kroetsch and local writer John Lent.  Both writers will be in attendance and the evening starts at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre at the Kalamalka campus of Okanagan College.

Abundance is the fourth book in the Mackie Lake House Writer-In-Residence Project, a collaboration between the Mackie Lake House and Okanagan College’s English Department.

 lentkroetsch
 Robert Kroetsch and John Lent
Kroetsch is a Governor General’s Award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and literary theory.  Kroetsch has over 20 books in print and has received critical acclaim in this country, in the United States and in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He has been referred to as “Mr. Canadian Postmodern” by Linda Hutcheon and others, and his work has always been characterized by its comic exuberance and his love of the tall-tale on the one hand, and his willingness as a writer to experiment in a wide variety of genres and materials.


Local writer John Lent has published seven books of poetry and fiction and considers Kroetsch to be a mentor for a new generation of Canadian poets and novelists.

“It was a thrill to sit down and have these conversations with Kroetsch,” Lent said, “because his thinking and his work is so vital to the unfolding of our literature now.  He is a Canadian writer who has always taken these beautiful risks in his writing, in both fiction and poetry, and his literary theory serves as a preliminary map for new writers at the beginning of this century.  There is no other contemporary writer quite like him.”

Staff of the Kalamalka Press, writers of The Kalamalka Institute For Working Writers, and students in Okanagan College’s new Diploma in Writing and Publishing are proud to host this evening of readings, commentary and questions.  This event is free and the general public is welcome to attend. 

Copies of Abundance will be available at the launch for a cost of $10
Senior Bank of Canada representative to present at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release - Oct. 10, 2007
 
The Okanagan School of Business will welcome Dr. Farid Novin, Senior Representative (economics) from the Bank of Canada, to the KLO campus of Okanagan College on Tuesday, Oct. 16 for a series of presentations to Business Administration students, staff and the general public.

From 8:30 – 9:50 a.m. Novin will discuss the short-term interest rate outlook and its implications on the Canadian equity and debt markets. Later that afternoon (4 – 5:20 p.m.), Novin will address the issue of how the Bank’s short-term interest policy affects foreign direct investment and inflation in Canada.

Novin has worked for the Bank of Canada for 23 years in a variety of senior roles. His extensive experience is coupled with remarkable scholastic credentials. He received a B.A. in Economics from the National University of Iran in 1971, a Post Graduate Diploma in Socio-Economic Planning from The Hague, Netherlands in 1976, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Economic Development from Manchester University in 1977. Novin also holds a master's degree in Economics from Manchester University and a PhD in Economics from Queen's University.

Novin is an experienced lecturer, having also pursued an academic career, teaching at Queen's University, Concordia University, the University of Ottawa, and Sauder School of Business at University of British Columbia.

Both presentations will be held in the lecture hall (S104) of the Student Services building and everyone is welcome to attend.
Mount Boucherie grads receive boost from Thorpe Scholarship
Okanagan College Media Release
Oct. 10, 2007
 thorpe
 Steve Tuck, Yasmin John-Thorpe, Kimberley Turner,
Jesse Emmond and Minister Rick Thorpe



Two Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary graduates, who now attend Okanagan College, will have an easier time covering the cost of pursuing their education after receiving $2,500 as recipients of the 2007 Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarship Fund.

Yasmin and Rick Thorpe, the Okanagan-Westside MLA, presented cheques to the students at their former Secondary school on Friday.

Kimberley Turner, one of the recipients who is enroled in Okanagan College’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program, says the help couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I just want to thank the Thorpes so much,” says Turner. “This scholarship is amazing – it gives me a great opportunity to get my education.”

Jesse Emmond, who also received $2,500, had the confidence to apply for the financial award after being selected as the second place winner in Yasmin John-Thorpe’s Young Writers of the Okanagan contest.

“I was inspired by Yasmin’s writing contest,” says Emmond. “My second-place finish inspired me to press on toward my education. I am very thankful and grateful for this help.”

Emmond is pursuing an Associate Degree of Arts at the College and plans on earning a law degree in the future.

The Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarship Fund was established to support students from the west side of Okanagan Lake from Penticton to Killiney Beach who enrol at Okanagan College in a range of studies including: business, viticulture, agriculture, engineering, tourism, trades, technologies, English or Creative Writing.

Recipients are selected based on a combination of financial need, academic standing, leadership potential and demonstration of contribution to their community.

“Yasmin and I are very pleased to present these awards to two outstanding recipients,” says Thorpe. “This is about giving back to our students – our future – and we wish Jesse and Kimberly all the very best.”

“Both Kimberley and Jesse are very deserving recipients,” says Steven Tuck, President of the Okanagan College Foundation. “This is a wonderful award that recognizes local students’ personal and educational achievements while fuelling their future potential.”

Study finds Okanagan College to be major economic contributor
Okanagan College Media Release - Sept. 19, 2007
 
A province-wide study released today found that Okanagan College’s impact on the region goes far beyond training and educating students.

An independent analysis of the College’s economic impact found the regional economy receives approximately $542.6 million in annual income from the activities of Okanagan College and the cumulative effects of its past students – contributing to roughly 4.4 per cent of the total income of the regional economy. 

The study was conducted for B.C. colleges by CCbenefits Inc. and included analysis of 13 colleges and institutes located in more than 50 campuses throughout B.C.

Today’s announcement by the British Columbia College Presidents (BCCP) concluded that the B.C. economy receives about $7.7 billion in annual income due to the economic impact of the consortium of institutions, an amount that equals more than four per cent of the provincial economy.

The report also finds that as a result of attending Okanagan College, students benefit from a 14 per cent annual return on their investment of time and money in their education due to increased earning potential and future income.

“This report provides clear evidence of the considerable impact that our college, and colleges throughout the province, have on our community and economy,” says Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “We have long known that educating and training our students contributes to the cultural and economic fabric of the Okanagan region and the numbers released today solidly support that view.”

Taxpayers may be interested to know that post-secondary students and the economy aren’t the only beneficiaries of an educated population. After weighing the fiscal cost of the provincial government’s investment in Okanagan College over the course of a year, the report finds the financial return far outweighs the cost, especially when considering social savings to taxpayers.

The study finds students and alumni of Okanagan College to be strong contributors to the economy who use fewer social services than do those without a college education.  Avoided costs in areas such as improved health, reduced crime, reduced welfare and unemployment result in an annual rate of return of 11 per cent on regional taxpayers’ investments in Okanagan College. 

“This study confirms the importance of B.C. colleges in contributing to a skilled workforce and to the vitality of both the local and provincial economies,” says Jim Reed, President of the BC College Presidents.

“The results show that rural colleges as well as urban colleges contribute a significant financial return to governments, students and communities,” said Lou Dryden, Chair of the BC College Presidents and president of North Island College in Campbell River.

CCbenefits Inc. reports a benefit/cost ratio of 3.8, meaning that every dollar of taxpayer money invested in B.C. colleges returns $3.80 to the provincial and local governments.

     Other key findings of the study, taking all institutions into account, include:

•    Community colleges encourage new business, assist existing business, and create long-term economic growth.
•    Students generate about $219.3 million annually in higher earnings due to their BC college education, thereby expanding the tax base and reducing the tax burden on taxpayers.
•    The province saves $19.6 million per year that college students are in the workforce due to improved health and reduced welfare, unemployment and crime.

The BC College Presidents is a consortium of 12 community colleges and the Justice Institute of B.C.  It was created in 2002 to represent B.C.’s community colleges and technical institutes. Its purpose is promote a better understanding of the role colleges and institutes play in British Columbia's post-secondary system.

CCbenefits Inc. is an economic modeling company. The economic impact model used in the analysis is a peer-reviewed model that has generated more than 700 studies for communities and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada.

PDFs of the Executive Summary for the province and Okanagan College are available by following this link.


Okanagan College student numbers increasing
Okanagan College Media Release - Sept. 26, 2007
 
Okanagan College has enrolled 5,229 students this fall – an increase of 9.8 per cent over last year.
“For the second year in a row, we have seen more students choose Okanagan College, and our programs,” notes President Jim Hamilton. “This signals that we are providing the access to post-secondary education that meets student and community needs. We’re well on our way to exceeding our targets for the third year in a row, and are anticipating another stellar year for the institution.”

Enrolment at the institution’s campuses (with 2006 fall enrolment in brackets) is as follows:

• Salmon Arm – 335 (277)
• Kalamalka – 754 (567)
• Penticton – 480 (448)
• Kelowna – 3,552 (3,359)

Another 108 students are enrolled in distance education.

There has also been significant growth in the number of international students attending Okanagan College: the 378 students registered this fall represents a 17 per cent increase over last year.

“It’s important to recognize that this is a snapshot of our fall enrolment,” notes Okanagan College Registrar Robert Ruf. “We have courses and programs that start after our stable enrolment date that are not reflected here, but will factor into our year-end report of student enrolment.”


Okanagan College and Human Resources and Social Development Canada partner to promote adult literacy
Okanagan College Media Release - Sept. 19, 2007

Okanagan College is pleased to announce $29,618 in funding from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) to be used to promote adult literacy, learning and essential skill development.

“Canada’s New Government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have the literacy and essential skills necessary to participate and succeed in the workforce,” said the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Canada. “Our goal is to create the best educated, most skilled, and most flexible workforce in the world.”

Okanagan College’s Revelstoke Centre will receive funding for its Adult Literacy Outreach Project, through the federal government’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. Okanagan College, in partnership with Human Resources Social Development Canada will work with a variety of local community organizations such as the Revelstoke Outreach and Awareness Project, the Revelstoke Family Literacy Program and Community Connections Food Bank, to help individuals increase their reading, writing, math, computer and communication skills.

“The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, which looks at Canada’s level of literacy, found that 42 per cent of Canadian adults do not have the minimum literacy skills for coping with everyday life and work,” says Simone Palmer, Okanagan College’s Volunteer Adult Literacy Tutoring program coordinator.

“In today’s society, being literate is more than being able to read and write,” explains Palmer. “Literacy involves all kinds of skills - from using an ATM machine, reading bills, creating a household budget or an email account to being able to read a work report or safety manual.  Low literacy impacts our local, provincial and national economies, the health of our citizens, civic involvement and much more.  The announced federal funding will help our community work on this critical issue.”

If you would like more information, please contact Simone Palmer at 837-4235 or via email at spalmer@okanagan.bc.ca.

For more information on Literacy and Essential Skills, visit http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/lld/olt/ADULTLLESP.shtml.


Student Connections and Office Depot partner to assist small businesses
Okanagan College Media Release - Sept. 17, 2007

A new three-part series of free seminars on small business office needs and wireless technology, offered this fall, will take participants on an interactive learning expereince.

Hosted by Okanagan College’s Student Connections program and held at Kelowna’s Office Depot, the seminars are geared toward entrepreneurs, small businesses and anyone interested in learning more about how to utilize technology in the workplace.

“We’ve developed these courses with the help of the Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) students at Okanagan College, and therefore have the most up-to-date technological information to present,” explains Sarah Duthie, Student Connections student program coordinator. “The seminars we have created are geared toward showing small business owners how they can make their office more efficient, less expensive to run and most importantly, less stressful.”

The initiative is being supported by Okanagan College, Office Depot, Cisco Canada and Linksys. According to Joanne Wong, Canadian Academy Manager for Cisco, there is no better place than Kelowna to offer this series.

“The majority of small business owners in the Okanagan Valley can benefit from this training,” says Wong. “The students working for Student Connections in Kelowna have demonstrated their competency and proven they are qualified and in a great position to help small business owners become more successful.”

The seminar series begins Sept. 25 from 7-8 p.m. with, Learn to love your computer again. Going Wireless: experience the good, avoid the bad and the ugly, will be held on Oct. 16 at the same time. The final session, VoIP technology: make long distance bills a thing of the past, takes place on Oct. 23. All seminars will be held at Office Depot.

For more information, contact Sarah Duthie at (250) 762-5445 ext. 4746 or stop by Office Depot at 1000 Keehn Road.


New forgiveness program benefits students in College's Home Support Resident Care Attendant program
Okanagan College Media Release - Sept. 7, 2007

A new B.C. Student Loan forgiveness program will make getting the education and training to become a Home Support Resident Care Attendant more affordable for many students.

Okanagan College has been approved by the government as one of the institutions that qualifies for the program, which may give students up to $2,500 in B.C. Student Loan reduction upon successful completion of the 6-month Home Support Resident Care Attendant program.  Tuition and fees for the program are approximately $2,675 and $735 for books and supplies.

The government program was announced this summer, but it only applies to students who attend qualified institutions.  Okanagan College was among the first institutions approved.

The loan reduction program will be available to students who start the full-time program between August 1, 2007 and July 31, 2009; who successfully complete their training; take out B.C. Student Loans for the program and keep those loans in good standing.

Okanagan College offers Home Support Resident Care programs in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton.  “Recognizing the very strong demand for these health care workers led us to dramatically increase our capacity for training home support resident care attendants,” says Phil Beckmann, Dean of Science, Health and Technology at Okanagan College.  “The government investment in substantially lowering tuition costs for students and encouraging them to attend will help answer that need.”

The next intakes for the Home Support Resident Care Attendant program are November 5, 2007 in Vernon and Penticton, January 2, 2008 in Kelowna and May 5, 2008 in Salmon Arm and Kelowna.  Interested students can call (250) 762-5545 or visit their local campuses for more information.

Nurses scrub up for Hospice

Car wash, bake sale and barbecue
raise funds for Hospice House

News Release - August 31, 2007

Okanagan College’s Practical Nursing students will be holding a car wash, barbecue and bake sale on Saturday, Sept. 8 to benefit the "Holding Hands for Hospice" campaign.

The nurses in the Kelowna program decided to undertake the fundraiser because they want to support the palliative care offered by Hospice House, according to Mary Pazur and Suzanne Mitchell, two of the students who have dedicated themselves to the effort.

"Our classmates, Anne O’Keefe (manager of Hospice), the College, everyone is getting behind this idea," says Mitchell. "We’re hoping for good weather and a lot of public support," says Pazur.

The event will take place at the College’s KLO campus at the west end, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The car wash and barbecue will be by donation.


Speaking with Confidence

Overcoming the greatest fear - speaking before a crowd

News release August 22, 2007

Given the choice, many people say they would face down a hungry grizzly bear rather than rise and speak in front of a group. In polls, public speaking is often listed as the number one fear, even greater than facing death.

Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies is offering a program this fall that will help people overcome their fear of public speaking and give them the skills they need to feel confident when asked to give a formal presentation, make a toast, or simply speak to a small group. Dr. Kyleen Myrah, College professor with the Okanagan School of Business, will lead Speaking with Confidence, November 13 and 20, at the Kelowna Campus from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $75 + GST.

"The fear of pubic speaking can be quite debilitating and prevents many people from reaching their career and personal goals," says Myrah. "But it doesn’t have to be so traumatic if you understand the real factors behind that stress."

Over the course of two evenings Myrah will offer practical steps people can take to overcome their fear and participants will get a chance to develop and present their own speeches for feedback, in a non-threatening and supportive environment. Understanding the basic styles of speeches, how to read body language, and various speaking tips are some of the topics covered to help participants become effective public speakers, Myrah says.

Speaking with Confidence is one of the new courses offered in the 2007 fall brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. "We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be."

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca
Mandarin for beginners

Two new courses provide introduction to Mandarin

News Release - August 16, 2007

If you are interested in China, you may want to enrol in two new language courses being offered by Okanagan College.

Introduction to Mandarin (Mand 111) was developed for anyone with an interest in learning the official language of Mainland China. No prerequisites are needed for this academic course and space is still available in the September class. As a follow-up to Mand 111, a second, more advanced course, (Mand 121), will be offered in January for students who successfully complete Mand 111.

Economic and political realities are marking Mandarin as an increasingly important language for people who rely on business with China. As British Columbia’s Asia Pacific Initiative gains momentum, opportunities for closer ties to China will unfold, creating a need for increased communication with Mandarin speakers.

Both of the College’s introductory Mandarin courses aim to prepare learners to communicate in Modern Standard Chinese at an introductory level. Mand 111 and 121 focus on four basic skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing and build a solid foundation for higher-level studies.  In addition to language fundamentals, students will be introduced to elements of Chinese culture.

Students will learn 150 basic Chinese characters in each course, the Romanized writing system and tones and basic vocabulary for everyday use. They will also practice speaking through pronunciation exercises and situational dialogues. Both courses are comprised of three hours of lecture and one hour of laboratory and guided conversation practice per week.

Professor Cynthia He will teach both introductory courses.

"We have had a significant level of interest in Mandarin," says Franziska Birker, Chair of the Modern Languages Department. "We already offer French, German, Japanese and Spanish courses and are excited to expand our course offerings with another world language. The demand is certainly there and we expect this course to satisfy the growing needs of a population more closely linked with Asia."
 
Professor He has been teaching Mandarin Social Integration courses to Canadian diplomats at the Language Training Centre of the Canadian Foreign Service Institute in Ottawa since 2005 and has a Master of Education degree from the University of Ottawa.

He was born in Hangzhou (180 km Southwest of Shanghai), a city well known for its beautiful natural scenery.  While in China, she worked as an exchange coordinator, international student counsellor and also taught Mandarin to international students at China National Academy of Arts, the leading art academy in China.  

Mand 111 begins in September at the KLO campus of Okanagan College and is offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 – 5:20 p.m. and includes a lab on Wednesdays from 5:30 - 6:20 p.m. No prerequisites are necessary and spaces are still available. For more information contact Franziska Birker at (250) 878-6689


Minutes count - taking note of meetings

The essence of a meeting: how to take better minutes

News release - August 24, 2007

Love them or not, meetings are an integral part of most organizations’ daily operations. So, accurately recording what occurs at them can greatly assist in an organization’s ability to reach its goals efficiently and effectively.

"Recording minutes at a meeting, whether in a formal or informal setting, can be a daunting task," says Jessica Oman, instructor of a new course called Taking Better Minutes being offered at Okanagan College this fall. "If you’re not familiar with the subject matter, you don’t have a lot of experience paraphrasing what others are saying, or if participants are using technical language and jargon, it can be very intimidating."

Taking Better Minutes, offered through Continuing Studies at the Kelowna Campus, will cover all aspects of meeting arrangements and recording plus provide tips and ideas for both novice and experienced note takers on how to be more organized and efficient. Ways to paraphrase and capture the essence of a conversation in a concise manner, formatting and organizing words on a page, and revising completed notes are some of the topics that will be discussed as well as scheduling and agenda preparation.

Participants will have an opportunity to apply what they learn in a simulated meeting where groups will conduct a meeting while others take notes and then reverse the roles so everyone gets some hands-on experience taking minutes using these tools, says Oman.

The course will run October 11 & 18, from 6-9 p.m. The cost is $159 plus GST.

Taking Better Minutes is one of the new courses offered in the 2007 fall brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. "We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be."

For more information or to register, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca
Writing for the Media

Understanding and writing for the media

News Release - August 27

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a news reporter? Or are you trying to get a message out to the public through the media? Okanagan College is offering two new courses this fall that will help you explore the ins and outs of the world of journalism.

News Writing is a course for aspiring journalists or freelance writers who want to get their work published in newspapers and magazines. "This course offers a real taste of what it’s like to be a news reporter," says instructor and award-winning journalist Shelley Nicholl. "Participants will be given real assignments and deadlines so they can experience what it takes to research and write a publishable news story."

News Writing is offered on Tuesday evenings at the Kelowna Campus, beginning October 2 – November 20, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $199 + GST.

The second course, Media Relations, will help to demystify the process of dealing with the media, says Nicholl. "It’s for anyone who wants to develop or improve their organization’s media relations so they can get their message out to the public more effectively." Participants will learn strategies that will help them navigate the media process and promote their organization or cause with confidence.

Media Relations will be held at the Kelowna Campus on Thursday evenings from October 11 – November 1, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $118 + GST.

Nicholl holds a degree in journalism and has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist for newspapers and magazines for two decades. She currently writes a column for the Kelowna Capital News.

News Writing and Media Relations are two of the new courses offered in the 2007 Fall brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. "We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be."

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca


Finding Grace Among the Greenery

Program focuses on healing powers of gardens

The healing properties of gardens will be explored in a unique retreat experience at Okanagan College this fall. Grace in the Garden is a new program offered through Continuing Studies at the Kelowna Campus September 22-23 that promises to lift your spirits and improve your well-being.

Instructor Grazyna Manturzyk, an agricultural microbiologist and horticultural therapist, will discuss how the natural environment engages the five senses and influences our well-being bio-chemically. "Participants will come away with a sense of peace and well-being, more knowledge of plants and gardening, and hopefully, some new friends who share their love of gardening," says Manturzyk.

The weekend includes an opportunity for participants to share their own gardening stories and experiences as well as prepare a dried flower arrangement, take a tour of Alyssum Gardens, and learn the principles of healthy landscape design and how to create their own healing garden. The program runs from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. Cost for the weekend is $175 + GST or $100 per day + GST.

Manturzyk holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Microbiology and a Master’s certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She has worked at the Pacific Agricultural Research Centre in Agassiz, BC as a research assistant and educator. She currently lives in Greenwood, BC where she started the Kettle Valley Garden Club and created a demonstration garden that follows her philosophy of promoting a better community by creating beauty in the immediate surroundings.

Grace in the Garden is one of the new courses offered in the 2007 Fall brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. "We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be."

Manturzyk will also offer a course in Christmas Wreath Making in November. Participants will learn how to bring the beauty of nature indoors by making a hand-tied wreath using all natural materials. The course runs Sunday, November 18, 2-5 p.m. Cost is $69 + GST. All materials are supplied.

"This class will give participants the opportunity to work with materials from nature, engage their senses and allow the beauty of the forest to enter their homes," says Manturzyk.

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca
Finding Grace Among the Greenery

Finding grace among the greenery

The healing properties of gardens will be explored in a unique retreat experience at Okanagan College this fall. Grace in the Garden is a new program offered through Continuing Studies at the Kelowna Campus September 22-23 that promises to lift your spirits and improve your well-being.

Instructor Grazyna Manturzyk, an agricultural microbiologist and horticultural therapist, will discuss how the natural environment engages the five senses and influences our well-being bio-chemically. "Participants will come away with a sense of peace and well-being, more knowledge of plants and gardening, and hopefully, some new friends who share their love of gardening," says Manturzyk.

The weekend includes an opportunity for participants to share their own gardening stories and experiences as well as prepare a dried flower arrangement, take a tour of Alyssum Gardens, and learn the principles of healthy landscape design and how to create their own healing garden. The program runs from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. Cost for the weekend is $175 + GST or $100 per day + GST.

Manturzyk holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Microbiology and a Master’s certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She has worked at the Pacific Agricultural Research Centre in Agassiz, BC as a research assistant and educator. She currently lives in Greenwood, BC where she started the Kettle Valley Garden Club and created a demonstration garden that follows her philosophy of promoting a better community by creating beauty in the immediate surroundings.

Grace in the Garden is one of the new courses offered in the 2007 Fall brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. "We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be."

Manturzyk will also offer a course in Christmas Wreath Making in November. Participants will learn how to bring the beauty of nature indoors by making a hand-tied wreath using all natural materials. The course runs Sunday, November 18, 2-5 p.m. Cost is $69 + GST. All materials are supplied.

"This class will give participants the opportunity to work with materials from nature, engage their senses and allow the beauty of the forest to enter their homes," says Manturzyk.

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca
Social Entrepreneurship Course at Okanagan College

Business students blend education
with helping social agencies

Media Release - August 29, 2007

Twenty-five students from Okanagan College’s School of Business have been blending their education this summer with work to help several of the area’s non-profit social agencies.

The students, registered in the College’s Business Administration degree program, teamed up with the agencies on 19 different projects that ranged from conducting surveys to developing marketing plans. It was part of a third-year course entitled Social Entrepreneurship. Organizations that benefited included Crossroads Treatment Centre, the Kelowna Community Foodbank, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Red Cross, the Kelowna YM-YWCA, and the Westbank Museum.

At the end of the course, the students presented their final projects to colleagues, faculty and clients.

"The students found out a lot about themselves, about the organizations they were helping and about the relationship between business acumen and social responsibility," explained Dr. Kyleen Myrah, who developed the course following on doctoral research she had done on entrepreneurship education. "The class experience aims to build character and instill in the students a commitment and responsibility to service and civic involvement, as future business leaders and citizens of their community."

The agencies, says Myrah, found great value in the exercise. April Stapon, Operations Manager at Kelowna Community Food Bank, agrees. "It was a win-win situation," she says. Student Carrie Trethewey worked with the Food Bank to market a Food Runners program to area restaurants, enticing them to participate and support the program. According to Stapon, the work was a success. "In fact, I just had a phone call from one of the organizations that Carrie had contacted."

"The service-learning project made me more aware of the societal issues that are present in the community," explains Trethewey. "Because of this new awareness, I find myself asking how my business education can find solutions for society."

Even after completing her coursework and earning high praise from the Food Bank, Trethewey continues to volunteer her time. It’s that kind of awareness of and commitment to social responsibility that the program was intended to achieve, says Myrah.

The Okanagan School of Business offers several courses that engage degree and diploma students in real-world work to give them a practical application of their acquired skills and knowledge, notes Dr. Jayne Brooks, Dean of the school. "We are fortunate to have good working relations throughout the valley with so many companies and agencies," she notes. "It works to the benefit of our students and we know it also works to the benefit of our partners."

"The Social Entrepreneurship course is just among the latest examples of how we contribute to our region’s social and economic development as a College, as a faculty and as individuals," says Brooks. "If you need an example, you don’t need to look any further than Kyleen, who developed this course. She has been on many boards and served many agencies in Kelowna and has earned national recognition for her work with the Canadian Junior Chamber."

For more information on programs and courses offered by Okanagan College’s School of Business, you can visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/business  or e-mail business@okanagan.bc.ca

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Professional Sales Program offered

College offers Professional Sales Program

News release - August 30, 2007

If a career in sales interests you but you’re concerned about how difficult it is to earn a living or have a negative perception about what the job entails, you need to meet Stacey Fenwick.

"There are so many great opportunities in sales right now," says the affable Fenwick. "With the right skills and a positive attitude, there is potential to earn a very lucrative salary and a wonderful lifestyle."

Fenwick, a career sales professional, says selling is all about building personal relationships and finding the right customer or client for your product or service. "Most people are afraid of a negative response and they view selling as being rife with rejection" says Fenwick. "I don’t deny that sales professionals do hear ‘no’ a lot of the time, but the key is not to take it personally. The customer is not rejecting you, they are simply making a business decision that your product/service is not a match for their needs at this time. Once people realize that, they are often more confident when making their sales presentations."

Fenwick is instructing the Professional Sales Program through Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies this fall. The course will help existing and potential sales professionals to maximize their potential by developing the basic sales and personal skills necessary to become an effective sales professional. It runs from September 25-November 29 at the Kelowna Campus, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $698.

Whether the sales professional is involved in major accounts, business-to-business or one-to-one sales activities, the responsibilities and competencies required to perform the job have grown dramatically, says Fenwick. Participants will explore the various aspects of the job through interactive role plays that cover the major stages of a sale, customer service and relationship building, industry best practices, and effective sales methods and techniques.

Participants will learn a practical approach to sales, how to sell from a buyer’s point of view, how to determine their customers’ needs, buying criteria, and dominant buying motives, and how to sell beyond the questions of price, she says. They will gain improved presentation skills as well as a solid understanding of the sales process.

Fenwick holds a Business degree from Simon Fraser University and has an extensive background in media and real estate sales. She recently accepted the position of New Business Development Manager at Madhouse Creative Inc. in Kelowna.

The Professional Sales Program is one of the new courses offered in the 2007 Fall brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. "We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be."

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca .

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For more information about the Professional Sales Program, contact:

Stacey Fenwick

764-8411; 317-4313



 
Shannon Roussel named top young chef at international culinary competition
Okanagan College Media Release - Aug. 2, 2007

shannonOkanagan College, The Harvest Dining Room and all of Canada have reason to be proud: Shannon Roussel.

The 23-year-old Harvest chef and Okanagan College alumna won top honours in the Gladmat International Culinary Competition in Norway last week.

Roussel graduated from Okanagan College’s Advanced Culinary Arts diploma program this spring and went to work for The Harvest under the leadership of Executive Chef Paul Cecconi. Originally from Ontario, Roussel moved to Kelowna at age 20 to attend Okanagan College, her top choice of culinary colleges in Canada, for the opportunity to become a part of the vibrant culinary industry in the Okanagan.

After being chosen to represent Western Canada as head junior chef at the World Junior Culinary Exchange between Canada and Norway, Roussel was asked to captain Team Canada and compete in Norway’s Gladmat festival in the Young Chef Competition: Flirting with Seafood. Other nations represented in the Young Chef Competition were Singapore, France, Spain and Norway.

Prior to the competition, participating chefs were challenged to build an extensive menu using four main ingredients: Norwegian Salmon, Halibut, Red King Crab and Jarlsberg cheese. Roussel spent many long hours coming up with her menu; an infusion of Okanagan cuisine with a Norwegian twist.

Roussel’s award-winning menu consisted of two courses. Her first course was singled out by judges as being the top course in the competition – it was also Roussel’s favorite. To start the competition off right, Roussel created a dynamic first course: cherry semi-cured salmon, pickled beet-maple emulsion, jarlsberg spring cabbage and chanterelle crepe and granny smith apple-chervil salad.

The Harvest’s own Paul Cecconi was asked to help judge the event and accompanied Roussel to Norway. Though Roussel cooked alone at the competition, she credits Executive Chef Cecconi and the team at The Harvest for her success.

“I have received so much support throughout this process, especially from Paul,” says Roussel. “I was given free product to practice with, professional and emotional support and invaluable advice from my team, all of whom worked extra hours with me to ensure my success.”

“It was a very busy month prior to leaving for Norway and I admire Shannon for all the hard work she put into preparing for the competition,” says Cecconi. “For myself, it was an honour to accompany her and represent Canada.”

In addition to her work in pastry and garde manger at The Harvest, Roussel has a wealth of experience having completed a stage at Fresco and full-time apprentice work at The Grand Hotel, The Yellow House and Sunset Ranch.

Roussel was one of only four students to graduate from the College with a diploma in Advanced Culinary Arts this year. The new program aims to prepare students for a career in the food industry, focusing on food and wine pairing, business training and experience in restaurant administration.

“The training I received at Okanagan College prepared me well for my career,” says Roussel. “I would recommend it to anyone who is considering a serious career in this industry. I learned so much about the work that goes on behind the scenes from how to start up a restaurant to the laws behind the industry.”

“We are extremely proud to see Shannon represent our College, community and country at a competition of this calibre,” says Pat Dandeneau, manager of apprenticeship programs. “She is an extremely talented and motivated young woman who undoubtedly has a great career ahead of her.”


Okanagan College professor publishes second book
Okanagan College Media Release - July 24, 2007

francesA new book by Penticton author and Okanagan College English professor Frances Greenslade examines the dichotomy of the first year of motherhood; from the somewhat traumatic circumstances of her son’s birth through the highs and lows of the adventure along the way.

By The Secret Ladder: A Mother’s Initiation is Greenslade’s second book published by Penguin Canada. Her first book, A Pilgrim in Ireland: A Quest for Home won the Saskatchewan book award for non-fiction.

“In this book I use the myth of the hero to look at my own and other women’s experiences of motherhood,” says Greenslade. “Becoming a mother is a transformative experience. It’s not just a lifestyle change: it changes the way you look at the world.”

Greenslade doesn’t shy away from exploring the darker sides of motherhood and has found that women who read the book can relate to her experience.

“A lot of women I speak to tell me they are glad I wrote about the dark moments. I use the motif of an adventure to capture that – at times you are scared and wish you could turn back but there are incredible highs as well. Part of becoming a mother, for me, was learning how to reconcile the worry and fear I felt with this overwhelming new love for my son.”

Greenslade began writing By the Secret Ladder when her son was six years old. She finished the book while teaching full-time in the English department at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. This fall she will continue her teaching while she works on her third book, a novel that covers the terrain of mother and daughter relationships.

She is passionate about teaching and will lead a creative writing course this winter in Penticton. Greenslade has a master’s degree in creative writing from UBC and enjoys the crossover that occurs between her teaching and writing.

“I understand some of the trouble that students may have when organizing their writing because I deal with those same challenges on a daily basis. Moving from an idea to printed page isn’t always a smooth process.”

 The best part of teaching for Greenslade is helping students discover they are talented in a way they may not have recognized. 

“When students tell me they like English and writing more than they thought they would, I think it comes from a sense of success at being able to make their writing match their ideas.”

By The Secret Ladder is available at Chapters in Kelowna, Coles in Penticton, the Bookstore at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College and online at www.penguin.ca.

Former Okanagan author wins coveted Ryga Award 2007
Okanagan College Media Release - July 20, 2007

The Wolves at Evelyn – Journeys Through a Dark Century, written by Harold Rheinisch, is this year’s winner of the George Ryga Award for Social Awareneness in B.C. Writing and Publishing.

The award will be presented to the Penticton-born author at a gala ceremony July 27 at Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre. The Wolves at Evelyn is a book that maps the author’s family history as they migrated from Germany to British Columbia’s interior, blending social commentary and analysis with imagination, popular culture, literature and history. As the book’s publisher, Brindle and Glass, describe it: “Sifting through the ashes of personal experience, family anecdotes, literature, art, history, and the land itself for clues to a great untold story, Rhenisch assembles a collage of images and ideas that becomes a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.”

Runner-up manuscripts in the fourth annual contest were Nobody’s Mother, edited by Lynne Van Luven with foreward by Shelagh Rogers (published by Touch Wood Editions) and Red Light Neon, A History of Vancouver’s Sex Trade, by Daniel Francis (Published by Subway Books).

This year’s final judge was Professor Sharon Josephson, who teaches Communications and Media Studies at Okanagan College.

"Harold Rhenisch is one of the best writers in the country,” says John Lent, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for the North Okanagan, and a respected author himself. “I'm not surprised at all that he won. And so many readers here will be fans of Harold's work. Sharon has made a wonderful choice.”

Lent was one of the preliminary judges of the 20 books submitted by publishers from across western Canada.

The award ceremony, at 8 p.m. on the 27th, will be hosted by CBC Daybreak’s Marion Barschel. The fourth Annual Ryga Award presentation will celebrate George Ryga’s 75th birthday! Featured entertainers for this special evening will be the Okanagan’s very own musical maestros Rob Dinwoodie & Dogwood Road. The winner will once again be presented with The Censor’s Golden Rope, a unique piece of sculpture recreated annually by Armstrong sculptor Reg Kienast.

The George Ryga Award is sponsored by The George Ryga Centre, Okanagan
College, BC BookWorld and CBC Radio One, Kelowna.

Tickets for the event are available at The Bean Scene in Vernon (558-1827) and The Brown Derby Café in Armstrong.
(546-8221).


In high demand, College produces first graduating class of Trades Technology Teachers
Okanagan College Media Release - July 12, 2007

To find out more about the TTTE
program, visit the department website
    

 stickney
 Gregory Stickney
For Gregory Stickney, the Trades Technology Teacher Education (TTTE) program could not have come faster to Okanagan College.

Since graduating from Penticton High School in 1994, Stickney aspired to become a shop teacher.  In 1994 the closest training facility was BCIT and the Okanagan native would have had to move to Burnaby, away from family and friends – something he was not prepared to do at the time.

Fortunately for Stickney, in September 2005 Okanagan College welcomed the first class of 14 TTTE students to the Kelowna campus. On June 2, 2007, 12 of those students graduated with a two-year diploma and most will continue on to pursue another 12 months of study at institutions like UBC Okanagan where they will receive the credits necessary to receive a Bachelor of Education degree and fulfill their goals of teaching trades and technologies in high schools across B.C.

“I have always wanted to be a shop teacher,” says Stickney. “When I wasn’t able to receive the training I needed close to home I decided to hone my skills in carpentry and worked in a cabinet shop. A few years ago I heard rumblings that the TTTE program might be coming to Okanagan College so I quit my job and enrolled at the College’s Penticton campus to fulfill the 30 credits of arts and science the degree requires.”

Stickney has now completed two of the three requirements to be certified as a trades and technology teacher. The three components include the two-year TTTE diploma, 30 credits of arts and science courses and completion of the 12-month Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which can be taken at UBC Okanagan.  

“We were the first class of TTTE at the College so of course there were a few hiccups and kinks to be worked out,” says Stickney. “The best part of the program was the teachers I had. They were so qualified and supportive, they did their best to keep us focused and encouraged us along every step of the way.”
 
When they complete their training, Stickney and others with his credentials will have no shortage of jobs to choose from, says Dan Hurd, department head of trades and technology at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary.

“We are facing what will be a severe shortage of trades and technology teachers in our province,” says Hurd. “The boom in the trades industry has made working in industry just too attractive for would-be teachers. That combined with the fact that many qualified teachers are being lured to the hot economy of Alberta means that we will be facing a drastic need in the near future.”

On July 9, 2007 Stickney and 11 of his classmates from Okanagan College began the STEP program at UBC Okanagan. They will take specialized courses for trades teachers and will also join other students pursing secondary teaching courses in a variety of disciplines for courses in secondary teacher training.

“Regardless of what I end up doing with my career I will never regret taking the TTTE program at Okanagan College,” says Stickney. “The knowledge and skills I am walking away with are well worth the effort I put in. I learned such a variety of skills and valuable trades – I will never take my car to another mechanic because now I can fix it myself.”

The next intake for TTTE at Okanagan College begins September 4, 2007. For more information about the program call (250) 762-5445 ext. 4424 or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/trades.


    
Three finalists for George Ryga Award announced
Okanagan College Media Release - July 11, 2007

This year’s finalists for the Fourth Annual George Ryga Award for Social Awareness are: The Wolves of Evelyn by Harold Rhenisch, Red Light Neon - A History of the Vancouver Sex Trade, by Daniel Francis; Nobody's Mother - Life Without Kids - edited by Lynne Van Luven with foreword by Shelagh Rogers.
 
“These three books surfaced through a very competitive field,” said John Lent, Dean N. Okanagan College, one of the preliminary judges.  “Each of these books is a winner in its own way,” Lent said. “They’re all so strong.” 

The winner of the competition will be announced at a gala event to be held July 27 at 8 p.m. at the Vernon Powerhouse Theatre.
 
Previous Ryga Award winners have included Missing Sarah, by Maggie de Vries (Penguin Canada); The Greenpeace to Amchitka - An Environmental Odyssey, by Robert Hunter (photographs by Robert Keziere) - Arsenal Press;  In Plain Sight - Life in the Downtown Vancouver East-side, Edited by Leslie Robertson & Dara Culhane (Talon Books).

This year’s final judge is Sharon Josephson, a professor in Communications and Media Studies at Okanagan College.

CBC Radio – a sponsor of the Ryga Award, along with Okanagan College, BC Bookworld and the George Ryga Centre - will air readings of short excerpts from the books in mid-July on CBC Daybreak, Kelowna.

Marion Barschel, host of CBC’s Daybreak Kelowna, will emcee the George Ryga Award Ceremony, when the award will be presented to the winning title and its author.  The physical George Ryga Award - entitled “The Censor’s Golden Rope” - is re-created annually by North Okanagan artist Reg Kienast. Upon presentation this “rare piece of sculpture” remains with the author.

In celebration of this special evening the Okanagan-Interior's very own musical maestros, Rob Dinwoodie & Dogwood Road, will perform in concert following the award presentation.

The fourth Annual gala award event commences at 8 p.m. at The Vernon Powerhouse Theatre, Friday, July 27 - commemorating George Ryga's 75th birthday.

Advance tickets are available now at The Brown Derby in Armstrong (546-9886) and at The Bean Scene, Vernon (558-1817).


College answers increased demand for heavy duty and commercial transport mechanics
Okanagan College Media Release - July 11, 2007

Okanagan College is responding to the demand for heavy duty and commercial transport mechanics by expanding its capacity this fall to accept another 20 students into the program.

“There is tremendous demand from industry for more heavy duty mechanics, and there is unmet student demand for the program, so we will be offering a second intake this fall,” explains John Haller, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

“This is welcome news,” says Harry Hohmann, Penticton branch manager of Cullen Diesel Power Ltd.  “I know our company is always on the lookout for heavy duty mechanics. There’s a definite shortage and anything that training institutions such as Okanagan College can do to remedy that is positive.”

The 38-week entry-level trades training program provides students with the basic theoretical and practical knowledge required in both the Heavy Duty and Commercial Mechanics trades and for entry into the apprenticeship program in either trade.

“Our Program Advisory Committee members – most of whom are involved with businesses in the industry - have been telling us about the shortage of mechanics, and hopefully this will help,” says Haller.

The program is offered in Kelowna at the College’s KLO Road campus, but Haller says the demand for mechanics is being experienced throughout the Okanagan and across British Columbia. “This program can open doors to great career opportunities with a whole array of employers.”

For more information about the pre-apprenticeship program in Heavy Duty and Commercial Transport Mechanics, call (250) 862-5457.


English professor honoured with national award
Okanagan College Media Release - July 6, 2007

jake8Add a national award for poetry to the ascending list of accomplishments of Okanagan College English professor Jake Kennedy.

Kennedy is this year’s recipient of the bpNichol Chapbook Award for poetry.

Kennedy won the honour for his chapbook Hazard, which was chosen out of 37 submissions from across Canada and given the top prize by judges Bev Daurio and Richard Truhlar, two prominent Canadian writers and publishers who were personal friends of writer bpNichol. 

“It is thrilling to think that in whatever tiny way I get to be associated with bp,” says Kennedy. “He was a relentlessly innovative writer. My connection to his memory knocks me over because I grew up reading his work.”

Considered by many as a trailblazer of experimental Canadian literature, bpNichol produced a prolific amount of work throughout his career and won the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1971. bpNichol established the annual Chapbook award in 1984, four years before his death, as a means of recognizing talent and encouraging new Canadian poets.

Hazard, a 27-page collection of Kennedy’s prose-poems and visual poetry, was written between 2000-2004. The work is comprised of seven distinct sections. Each section bears the name of a writer or artist and specifically considers an uncanny detail or event in his or her life.

In a piece entitled “Beckett,” Kennedy focuses on the notorious stabbing of dramatist/novelist Samuel Beckett at the hands of a Paris pimp in 1937.

2. Hole
 
In this space the words do not meet their
destinations. The words start out alright
but they end up turning into other things.
I have seen this happen, but on a different
scale: 'We walked to the' and what comes
after the 'the' is a hawk in the sky. Appearing
to take away our speech. Essentially these
ideas get silenced, it is sometimes a case
of substitutions. The environment takes
over from the talking. In this space, more
specifically, the knife is leaning over to the
lung. The lung is also calling to the knife.
We have tended to characterize violent
acts as unspeakable.


“In the poem I try to think through this bizarre event in terms of three terms--Knife, Hole, Lung--and the specific links they suggest between language and action,” explains Kennedy.

Considering the genre of avant-garde poetry is less than prominent in mainstream literature, Kennedy feels the recognition and tradition of celebrating aspiring writers is really what the award was meant to do.

“There is a group of folks in Canada who are all working in the field of experimental writing and also knowingly following quite a narrow path in the literary world,” says Kennedy. “To be chosen from that field is flattering and I feel I am quite lucky. I think that luck is important though and if everyone gets a bit of luck in their career, that is what can move you forward.”

This fall Kennedy will resume teaching full-time in the English department at Okanagan College. He will teach two sections of Readings in Short Fiction and the Novel, one section of Introduction to Creative Writing and one section of a course he designed himself, History and Theory of the Book.



Summer Convocation to celebrate students, deliver awards and recognize Honorary Fellow
Okanagan College Media Release - June 27, 2007

Okanagan College’s third Convocation ceremony in less than one month will see more than 100 students receive certificates and diplomas in 29 of the College’s programs.

Thursday evening’s Summer Convocation will conclude a series of 2007 graduation ceremonies for Okanagan College. Combining certificates, degrees and diplomas awarded at winter, spring and summer ceremonies, the total number of students who received credentials from Okanagan College throughout the academic year exceeds 1,100.

“We are proud to gather as a College tomorrow evening to confer certificates and diplomas on the last graduating group of Okanagan College students for the 2007 academic year,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Our students certainly deserve to be recognized for their personal and academic success, as does our staff and institution for the growth and development achieved this year.”

Diplomas in Human Service Work, Therapist Assistant and Adult Graduation will be presented as well as a range of certificates from 26 programs in business, trades, English as a second language, health and early childhood education.

Okanagan College will also present Ross Gorman with an Honorary Fellow distinction at the Thursday evening ceremony. Gorman joins Lorraine McGrath and Ken Smedley, who were honoured at the Spring Convocation, as one of three distinguished community leaders chosen by the College as 2007 Honorary Fellows.

Three distinguished students will receive academic awards at the ceremony – two of whom are from Vernon, the other, Revelstoke.  Ashley Lynne Frederick of Vernon will be named recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal for the highest graduating grade average for a full-time certificate student.

Receiving the President’s Award for the next highest graduating grade average for students enrolled in certificate programs on a full-time basis are Vernon’s Rylan Keith Sandberg and Revelstoke’s Megan Nicole Lowe. Frederick and Sandberg completed certificates in Home Support and Resident Care Attendant while Lowe completed the Applied Business Technology certificate.

Lowe and Frederick will join Kelowna’s Judith McCulloch in receiving Okanagan College Vocational, Health and Foundational Program Graduate scholarships for academic achievement.




Jamaican Minister of Labour and Social Security announces new services for Okanagan initiative
Okanagan College Media Release - June 26, 2007

ministerkellierThe Hon. Derrick Kellier, Jamaica’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, today announced new services to be introduced in the Okanagan to support the expected arrival later this year of skilled workers and College students from the island nation.

A new Jamaican liaison office and consular services, operating under the Jamaican High Commissioner to Canada, will be established in Kelowna, Kellier said today at a press conference at the Grand Okanagan.

“These are in service of the exciting new initiatives that will see many Jamaican workers and students come to the Okanagan as a consequence of the agreements developed between Okanagan College, the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission and my government and various agencies and institutes in Jamaica,” Kellier observed.

Skilled Jamaican workers have already been interviewed by Okanagan employers, with some expected to arrive this fall. Jamaican students have applied to Okanagan College and should start arriving in September.

“We want to ensure that these workers and students are supported with appropriate services and that employers and the community have a point of contact with the Jamaican community,” explained Kellier. Location of the liaison office and exact staffing details have yet to be determined.

Kellier also announced a new consultancy project for Okanagan College, focused on helping institute a micro-credit program for Jamaica. Professors with expertise in small- and medium-size enterprise will work with officials from Kellier’s ministry to develop a program to help unemployed and underemployed people get the financing necessary to start small businesses.

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to help answer an issue in our country, and we look forward to drawing on the expertise at the College to help us do so,” said Kellier.

Okanagan College and the Jamaican Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce will work with other agencies, such as the Canadian International Development Agency, to explore the potential of establishing a furniture manufacturing company in Jamaica to meet the needs of the burgeoning development in the hotel sector, Kellier revealed.

“There are thousands of rooms being created on our beautiful island, and we believe the ingredients are there, with some assistance, to develop an industry in furniture manufacturing,” said Kellier. “Okanagan College can play a critical role in helping us develop business plans and look at meeting the training needs of such an enterprise.”

“The connections that we have made in Jamaica and within our own community to help all this happen are powerful,” says Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair Janet Shaw. “Several people have observed that the model of co-operation that has developed between the Economic Development Commission and our College is one that bears emulation. It certainly drives home the College’s understanding that part of our role is to contribute to the region’s social, cultural and economic development.”

“The announcement of these services for workers and students, as well as the extension of opportunities for co-operation between our region and the Caribbean, is heartening news,” says Economic Development Commission Chair Ross Langford. “Finding ways to answer the skills shortages we are experiencing in the Okanagan and throughout B.C. has been a focus for our agency. Having partners such as Okanagan College and then connecting with Jamaica in such a strong way makes it all possible.”

“We’re looking forward to what’s ahead for these partnerships,” says Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd. “This is positive on so many levels, from answering skills needs, to helping the cultural diversification of our community, to improving connections between the Okanagan and other parts of the world.”



BC Electrical Association commits $25,000 to College Foundation
Okanagan College Media Release - June 21, 2007

bc elec foundation donation 
 Nancy Darling, Steve Tuck,
Barbette Cejalvo and Kevin Smythe
The establishment of two new annual financial awards for Okanagan College students is the result of a $25,000 donation by the British Columbia Electrical Association (BCEA).

Students pursuing Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship programs will be eligible for the new awards this fall through the Okanagan College Foundation.

The Executive Director of the BCEA, Barbette Cejalvo, and Chairman Kevin Smythe were in Kelowna yesterday to present a cheque for $25,000, which will be entrusted to the Okanagan College Foundation to set up the new endowment fund.

“As a non-profit trade association we are always looking for ways to give back to the industry,” says Cejalvo. “I can think of no better way than by supporting students who are pursuing careers in the industry.”

The provincial association, which is based in Burnaby, is pleased to be involved in the Kelowna area.

“Supporting Okanagan College students was an easy decision for us,” explains Cejalvo. “We understand their trade division is really expanding and with the growth currently underway in Kelowna, it made good sense to bring these funds to this area. The demand for trades is booming here and we wanted to do our part to help as much as we can and provide some funding.”

The two BC Electrical Association Awards will be valued at $600 each and will be granted to successful applicants who demonstrate good academic standing and who will be returning to the College the following year. The funds will be used to cover the cost of one year’s tuition for each of the programs.

“Receiving an endowment of this size is truly great for the Okanagan College Foundation, our students and our community,” says Executive Director Kathy Butler.  “Through the delivery of these new awards, more students will be able to complete their programs with job-ready skills and practical experience to help ease the burden of the trades shortage in Kelowna. We are extremely grateful for this tremendous show of support for our institution.”


Terbasket appointed to Okanagan College Board of Governors
MEDIA RELEASE - JUNE 12, 2007

Okanagan College has a new member of the Board of Governors.

Pauline E. Terbasket, Executive Director of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and member of the Okanagan Nation and Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB), was appointed to serve on the Okanagan College Board of Governors on May 30, 2007 by the province of British Columbia.

Terbasket brings more than 25 years of experience working for a variety of First Nations organizations and government. A strong advocate for social change, Terbasket has committed herself to tackling issues confronting the growth and wellness primarily of Indigenous citizens.

"Pauline’s experience, insights and abilities will be a welcome complement to the skills array our Board draws on as it guides the College," says Board Chair Janet Shaw.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Terbasket volunteers with a number of local and regional organizations and societies including the BC Native Women's Society, UBC Okanagan and the Ki-low-Na Friendship Society, which she was President of for four years.

"I am pleased to join the Okanagan College Board of Governors and am honoured to be in a position to contribute to the positive impact the College has on the communities and people it serves," says Terbasket.

Terbasket will attend her first Board meeting on June 26, 2007.

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Okanagan College carpenter is best in Canada
Media Release - June 13, 2007

Jace Albrecht may be asking his dad for a raise.

jace
 Jace Albrecht with his father Gux Albrecht
The 20-year-old Okanagan College Carpentry Apprentice is now back at work at his father’s company, Gux Construction, after winning the Skills Canada Competition held in Saskatoon this past weekend.

“I am proud of myself,” says Albrecht. “To be honest, I didn’t find the project that difficult. After all, that is what I am trained to do.”

Ask the eight competitors who didn’t even finish the project in the allowable time and they might have a different take on the task. Of the 12 competitors, Albrecht was one of four who finished the project. He did so with time to spare and according to the judges, did it better than anyone else.

“Jace is an excellent carpenter,” says instructor Don Campbell, who accompanied Albrecht to the competition. “Now he has proven he is not only the best in BC but he is the best in Canada.”

Albrecht qualified for the competition after winning the BC Skills Competition held in Abbotsford in April. He earned the right to compete at Skills Canada where the project was more time intensive and complex.

Competitors were given 13 hours to build a children’s playhouse from blueprints to completion. They were allowed half an hour at the beginning of the competition to study the design and ask any questions they might have. On the first day of competition the carpenters were given 7.5 hours to build. The next day they began at 8 a.m. and worked through until the time was up. Albrecht finished his project early on the second day, which gave him time to go back and fix anything that he thought could be improved upon. After checking his work and touching everything up, Albrecht was finished in 11 hours and seven minutes.

“I decided to build my project from the bottom to the top so that I didn’t have to go back and forth and waste time,” explains Albrecht. “I also cut all of the pieces I would need ahead of time and then assembled everything rather than cutting piece by piece. I think that definitely saved me some time.”

At the awards ceremony Albrecht received the gold medal for Carpentry -- the first Carpentry student from the College to win gold at the national competition -- and was also awarded the Best of Region award for delivering the top score of all competitors from the BC contingent at the competition. 

“That was a surprise,” says Albrecht. “I think there were about 35 different competitors representing BC in different events.”

While he is happy with his results and proud of the title, Albrecht is mostly appreciative of the support he has received throughout the process.

“I have to say thanks to the College,” says Albrecht. “They paid my way to the competition and that was a big help.”

Also supporting Albrecht was his wife, who never misses a competition, his instructor Don Campbell and Trans Canada Lumber. The Westside supplier paid for Albrecht’s wife to attend the national event and outfitted him with all of the tools he needed for the competition.

“Jace is a prime example of the quality of our students at Okanagan College and we are extremely proud of him,” says John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “He has certainly capitalized on the ability to blend excellent instruction with industry support and practical job training. Learning under these circumstances is what makes our students the best.”

Albrecht will continue working at Gux Construction until January when he will complete the final six weeks of his Apprentice training at Okanagan College.
Camp OC brings opportunities to life this summer
MEDIA RELEASE - JUNE 5, 2007

CAMP OC, the popular summer program for kids from grades 3-9 offered through Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, is back for its fourth year with a dozen new day camps and some much loved favorites.

"Camp OC just gets bigger and better every year, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for Continuing Studies in the Central Okanagan. "We are offering over 30 camps this year. We’re building on the rave reviews we receive from both kids and parents knowing that many of our camps are fast becoming an annual tradition for some families."

There are a number of new programs geared for younger children entering grades 3-6 including:
  • Babysitter Training (age 11+) (July 9-13)
  • Exploring College and Culture for Aboriginal Youth (July  9-13)
  • The Blast Behind Baseball (July 9-13)
  • Share the Earth (August 7-10)
  • Jam It Up…Move It, Groove It, Play It (August  13-17)
  • Back by popular demand are:
  • Wizard Academy (July 3-6 or July 23-27)
  • Sing Like a Pop Star (July 16-20)
  • Survival Raft (July 16-20)
  • Egyptian Week (July 30 – August 3)
  • OC Robot (August 13-17)
"Each camp provides an opportunity for fun and creative learning," says Lorrie Bauer, Program Administrator. "All of our camps are taught by experienced teachers who want to ensure that each participant has a positive experience. Camps do fill up quickly, so don’t hesitate to register or you may be disappointed."

Teens entering Grades 7-9 also have some new offerings to choose from including:
  • Hip Hop – Don’t Stop (July 3-6)
  • Get Ready to Work (age 15+) (July 9-13)
  • 3D Computer Animation (grade 8+) (July 23-August 3) 
  • Getting Results & Having Fun with your Digital Camera  (August 7-10)
  • Cryptography (July 23-27)
  • High Performance (July 23-27)
There are also a variety of returning camps for this age group that appeal to a wide range of interests:
  • Lego Robotics (July 3-6)
  • Sport Specific Training for Basketball (boys or girls)  (July 3-6)
  • Digital Animation Levels I (July 9-13) and II (July  16-20)
  • Flash Animation and Multi-Media Design (August  7-10)
  • Get Rich Quick – The Donald Trump Way (July  16-20)
  • Fitness Knowledge (age 16+) (July 9-13)
  • Video Game Programming Level 1 (grade 8+)(July 9-20) 
  • Get Your Wings Flight School (July 23-27 or August  13-17)
  • Small Engine Mechanics (July 23-27)
  • Teen Cuisine (July 23-27)
  • Digital Music Production (July 30-August 3)
  • Web Design (August 13-17)
  • Teen Makeover for Girls (August 13-17)
CAMP OC runs from July 3-August 17 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus at 1000 KLO Road. For program descriptions, dates, times and fees, visit the website at www.okanagan.bc.ca/campoc or call 250-862-5480.

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For more information, contact:

Lorrie Bauer

Central Okanagan Continuing Studies

Okanagan College

250-862-5480

lbauer@okanagan.bc.ca

 
Aerospace opportunities profiled at Okanagan College
MEDIA RELEASE - JUNE 10, 2007

Okanagan College will host an information evening about their Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) program and the aerospace industry at the Vernon Aerospace Campus on Thursday, June 14, 2007.

"Job opportunities abound in all facets of the aerospace industry," explains Dale Keegstra, AME instructor. "It is predicted that 2,000 jobs will be available in B.C. alone in 2008. The AME program is an excellent opportunity for men and women to get into a dynamic industry that allows them to travel worldwide."

Okanagan College, in partnership with Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, B.C. and the Vernon Airport Training Council, designed the 72-week AME training program to take a student with little or no previous experience in the aircraft maintenance trade and supply them with the necessary skills to seek employment in the industry as an Apprentice Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. The program also includes a 10-week paid co-op work term that provides students with a work placement in the industry.

The next intake for the AME program begins September 4, 2007. The upcoming information session will be held at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on June 14, and tours, information and registration forms will be available. The Vernon Aerospace Campus is located on the south side of the Vernon Airport at 6225 Okanagan Landing Road.

For more information about this information evening or about the AME program, please call (250) 545-7291 ext. 2808, or email rkjarsgaard@okanagan.bc.ca
Humanity in Action - Tales of Transformation
MEDIA RELEASE - JUNE 11, 2007

The story of how the efforts of individuals and service clubs are making dramatic differences for thousands of people in India will come to life June 27 at Okanagan College.

An evening of presentations, sponsored by Okanagan College, will focus on the work of Dr. Prakash Amte and Dr. Manda Amte, as well as the efforts of media personality Mohini Singh, Murli Pendharkar, and the Kelowna-area Rotary Clubs to aid people and institutions in India.

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Lecture Theatre at the KLO campus in Kelowna. Parking is free.

The Amtes provide medical care to more than 40,000 tribal people in India annually, and provide education for hundreds of children. They’ve been doing their work of daily miracles for almost three decades and in 2002, Prakash Amte was recognized for his distinguished contributions by the Indian government. The Amtes will describe their work and efforts at the event.

Singh, who has enjoyed a distinguished career as a journalist in the Okanagan, has become involved in a group supporting the Nava-Jeevan orphanage in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, which provides care to 90 children in need of medical attention and care. She will discuss the orphanage at the event. The work of the Kelowna-area Rotary Clubs - which have undertaken many projects in India - and especially the efforts of Murli Pendharker, a long-time Rotarian and well-known member of the Okanagan’s Indian community, will also be profiled.

There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome, with proceeds to be shared between the Amte’s charitable endeavours and the Nava-Jeevan orphanage.

 

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For more information:

Allan Coyle, Public Affairs

Okanagan College

862-5413 or acoyle@okanagan.bc.ca


Student Connections Exceeds Targets
MEDIA RELEASE - June 12, 2007

Students at Okanagan College have one more reason to celebrate thanks to a promising launch and successful first-year of Student Connections, training and consulting program for small businesses and individuals operating out of Okanagan College.

In its startup year of operations, the program surpassed all expectations and program targets, including the number of clients trained on e-Commerce concepts in the Okanagan valley.

"We’ve had a strong year and I’m so happy to be involved with a program like this," says Jennifer Dixon, student coordinator. "The thing that I find most satisfying is knowing that the training we are providing to businesses and seniors is showing them how technology can be used to improve the quality of their lives and expand their businesses."

Student Connections was launched at Okanagan College in June of 2006, and is the only Student Connections center in British Columbia. The mandate of the program is to hire qualified students and train them to deliver e-Commerce and computer basics training to small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) and senior citizens.

The program is an Industry Canada initiative and is funded by the Youth Employment Strategy (YES). Student Connections centers must achieve rigorous targets set by a funding body. In it’s first fiscal year, the team of Student Business Advisors from Student Connections Okanagan has blown past their target by 18 per cent, reaching over 690 clients -- an almost unheard of feat in any center’s start-up year. Most importantly, the program has created many return customers who have been pleased with the quality of service and knowledge of the students.

"I got a lot out of the free web evaluation," says Andrea Pyle, owner of Simply Baby Enterprises. "I have made all the recommended changes and have had way more traffic to the site. This type of service is good for people like me who aren’t that web-savvy. It is good for someone other than the web design people to take a look at it because they found a major problem with the meta tags. I didn’t even know what they were, but it got fixed. It is nice to have a totally fresh opinion of things as well. I also liked having a hard copy of the report to keep."

The students themselves are finding it to be an amazing opportunity to apply and develop their skill set.

"The best thing about the Student Connections program is that we get to apply the skills that we’ve learned in school as we work with all different types of businesses and individuals, helping them solve a variety of computer related problems," says Brett Vanderhoek, Student Business Advisor.

"Clearly, we’ve seen a strong demand for e-Commerce training in the valley, as local businesses search for ways to compete in the age of the Internet, and this program addresses that need, even for small businesses and individuals with a limited budget and no previous experience with e-Commerce," explains Robert Wright, Faculty Advisor.

With last year’s success behind them, the Student Business Advisors are poised to take on new challenges and opportunities as they continue to help businesses and seniors thrive and adapt in a technological age. New courses continue to be developed, customized group and one-on-one training is available and seminars are run on a regular basis.

For more information please contact Sarah Duthie at (250) 762-5445 ext 4746 or sarah.duthie@myokanagan.bc.ca

 

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For more information:

Christine Ulmer, Public Affairs

Okanagan College

862-5616 or culmer@okanagan.bc.ca


Okanagan College’s Suzanne Martin to represent BC at Dictee des Ameriques
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

Okanagan College’s Suzanne Martin, a second-year arts student enrolled at the College’s Penticton campus, recently won provincial honours to represent B.C. at a prestigious international language competition in Quebec City later this month.

 suzanne.gif
 Suzanne Martin
Considered the Olympic games of the French language, the Dictee des Ameriques is an international competition of orthography of the French language. On Mar. 17, 2007, 130 finalists representing 35 countries will fill the French National Assembly of Quebec to compete in the annual event.

More than just a spelling competition, the Dictee requires competitors to listen to a series of complex French readings before transcribing them. Judges review the written work and mark it based on the accuracy of spelling and grammar. The nuances and complexities of the French language make transcribing difficult; in order to do well competitors must have a level of mastery of the language.

"The Dictee is difficult because it requires that competitors really understand what they are writing," says Martin. "In English it would be much easier to transcribe an oral reading but writing complex passages of the French language is very much an art and science."

Martin is feeling up to the challenge and it certainly won’t be the first time she has taken a risk. The 50-year-old mother of three put her confidence to the test last year when she enrolled as a full-time arts student at Okanagan College.

"I had never written anything in English before I attended the College last year," says Martin. "I received so much support from my children and everyone at the College – I really couldn’t have made it this far without their support."

Martin was born in Quebec where she lived until the age of 26. With no first-hand knowledge of English or western Canada, she felt compelled to experience something new and literally picked the city of Penticton from a map and moved West.

"I am honoured to represent Penticton at this international event," says Martin. "What excites me most is the opportunity to meet so many French-speakers from around the world. I hope to do well because I feel like I have the pressure of all of the francophones from BC on my shoulders."

"We are extremely proud to have Suzanne represent our College and the city of Penticton at an internationally renowned event like the Dictee," says Donna Lomas, South Okanagan Regional Dean. "Suzanne’s achievement is a great example of the variety and depth of experience our students have and we wish her bonne chance."

Contenders will compete for top honours in five different categories: junior, senior amateur and senior professional from countries where French is the official language and junior and senior from countries where French is not an official language. Martin will compete in the category of senior amateur from a French-speaking country. She is one of three representatives of B.C.; the other two will represent the junior and senior professional categories.

To find out more about the Dictee visit: www.dicteedesameriques.com


Jamaica connections will bring skilled workers, students to the Okanagan
Okanagan College Media Release - June 1, 2007

A new initiative, launched by Okanagan College and the Central Okanagan Regional District’s Economic Development Commission, will bring skilled Jamaican workers and college students to British Columbia’s interior.

 mpatterson
 Okanagan School of Business Professor Michael Patterson explains details of the Jamaican initiative to members of the media.
The initiative, started by Okanagan College’s School of Business, Trades and Apprenticeship department and its International Education department early this year, has attracted national attention in Jamaica and Canada. When representatives from the College, the EDC, and area employers go to the Caribbean country next week, they will be meeting with the country’s Prime Minister, two ministers, and will be the centre of attention at a reception held at the Canadian High Commission on Tuesday.

“This has developed faster and further than we first conceived,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We have been partners with the EDC on European visits to recruit skilled immigrants, so when we decided to investigate educational partnerships in Jamaica, we asked the EDC to join us. The reception received by our representatives when they went in April was inspiring.”

“One of the first things we learned in Jamaica is the tremendous regard the people and the government have for Canada,” explains EDC Chair Ross Langford. “We also learned quickly that there are many skilled workers in Jamaica who are interested in coming to Canada for employment.”

“We are enthused about this developing relationship,” explains the Hon. Derrick Kellier, Jamaica’s Minister of Labour and Social Security. “We will do all that we can to expedite the linkages between our nation and the Okanagan for the benefit of students and our skilled workers. Already, the College and the Economic Development Commission are distinguishing themselves as able and valued partners.”

“Being connected with Okanagan College helped open doors in Jamaica,” explains EDC Director Robert Fine. “We were able to meet with Minister Kellier, as well as the Minister of Education, the Hon. Maxine Henry Wilson, to discuss opportunities for education, immigration, and co-operation. We also met with representatives of the Human Employment and Resource Training – National Training Authority (HEART-NTA), which provides skills training for trades workers and also oversees the community colleges of Jamaica.”

(A major reason for the mission’s success was the expertise and advice of an Okanagan College Professor, Michael Patterson, who began work with the College in January. Patterson is Jamaican-born and had experience in creating educational linkages in his former position with London Metropolitan University in England.)

This coming week, College and EDC representatives will be joined on the return trip to Jamaica by members of the business community, including Terry Brown, the General Manager of Greyback Construction, Glen McKillop, of McKillop and Assoc. Stucco Co., and representatives of Wescor Contracting Ltd.

“We see this as an opportunity to help address some real and pressing needs, not only for our company, but for our region,” says Brown, whose firm is one of the major contractors on the William R. Bennett Bridge project in Kelowna, and one of the largest construction firms in the Southern Interior. “The College’s role will be important, to ensure that the tradespeople either have the necessary skills and accreditation or can get them.”

One of the most interesting and positive outcomes of the initiative will be a flow of students from Jamaica to Okanagan College, observes Hamilton. “While we can’t exactly quantify how many students will come, we know there will be dozens in the first year, and that will grow in the years to follow. Since the first trip in late April, we have already received a substantial number of applications for the coming school year.”

Okanagan College will be signing agreements with several colleges in Jamaica in the coming week, and is opening the doors for graduates of Jamaican business diploma programs to transfer into the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program. As well, the College is creating linkages that will allow students from Jamaica to come to the Okanagan for trades and engineering technology programs. A program developed by Okanagan College will also link six months of trades training with six months of business education.

The agreements to be signed in Jamaica will also open the doors for Okanagan College students to go to Jamaica to study as well and will create opportunity for faculty connections between the schools, notes Hamilton. “This is important to us as an institution. We see internationalization of our campuses and our curriculum as an important direction, not only for our students, but also for our region.”

Labour Minister Kellier is scheduled to make a visit to Kelowna in late June, hosted by the College and the EDC.


Weekend ceremonies celebrate student success
Okanagan College Media Release - June 1, 2007

Okanagan College will confer close to 400 degrees and diplomas to students from a variety of programs during this weekend’s two Convocation ceremonies held on Saturday. A separate Commencement ceremony honouring Trades students will also take place tonight.

“We are anticipating a great weekend for our students, their families and our staff who have helped them on their path to success,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “It is incredibly rewarding to watch as students celebrate the culmination of the hard work and dedication they have invested in achieving their goals.”

The Trades Commencement begins at 6:30 p.m. and offers the opportunity for students to celebrate their achievements. In the tradition of Commencement, students will be recognized for their accomplishments but will not receive their certificates until June 28, 2007. More than 120 students will attend Friday’s ceremony. More than 400 Trades students in all will complete programs at the College in the coming month.

A morning Convocation ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 2 at 10 a.m. for 119 degree and diploma graduates from a range of programs. An afternoon ceremony honouring 280 Business degree and diploma graduates will begin at 2 p.m.

For students graduating with diplomas in, Early Childhood Education, Trades Technology Teacher Education and Advanced Culinary Arts, Saturday’s Convocation will be extra-special -- they will be the first graduating classes in each of these new programs.

Two Honorary Fellows will also be recognized at Saturday’s Convocation. Ken Smedley will be honoured at the morning session while Lorraine McGrath will receive the distinction during the afternoon ceremony. A third Honorary Fellow, Ross Gorman, will be recognized at a Convocation ceremony for Trades students on June 28 at 7 p.m.


ACE Okanagan builds momentum at National competition
Okanagan College Media Release - May 31, 2007

A trip to a National competition, a top 20 ranking and the top award for Alumnus of the Year was the result of a year of hard work for Okanagan College’s ACE Okanagan team.

Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national, not-for-profit organization that is igniting young Canadians to create brighter futures for themselves and their communities. In only its second year, the ACE Okanagan team out-performed 35 teams from post-secondary institutions across Canada.

“ACE Okanagan placing in the semi-finals is a success that belongs to our Okanagan community, including our many sponsors, faculty, staff and our Business Advisory Board,” said ACE Okanagan executive member Katie Keating.

Eight projects were developed by the 13 members of the ACE team, impacting over 500 individuals in the Okanagan and involving more than 4,100 volunteer hours. These projects included the creation of Solutions Consulting, a student enterprise to help local businesses, and the development and organization of mentorship support for over 180 students in the School District 23 Apprentice Contest.

Based on the success of their projects, ACE Okanagan traveled to the National competition in Toronto where they had the opportunity to showcase their projects and present them in front of hundreds of top-level executives and students from across the country.

One of the judges, Rob Henderson, Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Decosta Enterprise Inc., commented on the team’s performance. “I am amazed at the steps that have been achieved in only two short years. Outstanding -- I am looking forward to their third year as I will be judging again."

Dr. Kyleen Myrah, ACE Okanagan faculty advisor agrees. “ACE Okanagan’s performance at Nationals surpassed my expectations. They have certainly made an impression within the ACE organization and I am looking forward to continuing to build the team and project base in the upcoming year.”

While at Nationals, Okanagan College alumnus and Chair of the Business Advisory Board, Cliff Anderson was recognized with the Alumnus of the Year award. Anderson co-founded ACE Okanagan and was president in 2005-06. This year he worked closely with the ACE team offering guidance and support to the group.

Sponsors for this year’s ACE Okanagan team included: RBC, Labatt’s, Interior Savings, Rona, Grant Thornton, Acura, Capri Insurance, Green Solutions, Okanagan Wine Festivals, Andres Audiotronic, Okanagan College and Hartford Cruise and Travel.


College offers new discipline: expands existing course selection
Okanagan College Media Release - May 28, 2007

Okanagan College’s South Okanagan-Similkameen campus continues to grow. A new program in the University Transfer program, the inclusion of more second-year Arts courses, an in-class section of the Pharmacy Technician program and an expanded Home Support Resident Care Attendant program will be offered in the South Okanagan.

Beginning this fall, two courses in Human Kinetics will be available to students attending the South Okanagan campus. Human Kinetics 103 (Active Health) and 161 (Physical Activity in Canadian Society) were approved by the College’s Education Council and will be transferable into various degree programs throughout B.C.

“We are excited to be able to offer this new program for our students,” says Regional Dean Donna Lomas. “Students who choose to take these courses will open the door to a variety of interesting degree and career opportunities.”

In addition to the inclusion of Human Kinetics, the University Transfer program will offer a wider range of second-year Arts courses in English, Philosophy, Criminology, Sociology and Spanish.

Next February the Penticton Campus of Okanagan College will offer an in-class section of the Pharmacy Technician program through the Continuing Studies department. This six-month certificate program will prepare graduates for direct entry into retail or hospital pharmacies.

“Our aging demographic is driving this growing industry of pharmaceutical care,” says Basil Cogill, District Manager Wal Mart Pharmacies. “Opportunities for employment are everywhere across the province and we anticipate that the demand will continue for some time.”

Entry into the program is based on the successful completion of pre-requisites. Visit Okanagan College’s website to find out how to apply to the program. The program will continue to be available through Distance Education, offering enrolment on a continuous basis.

An expanded Home Support Resident Care Attendant program will be offered in the South Okanagan in November. Earlier this year Okanagan College created more than 120 new full-time equivalent student spaces in the program; 30 of those spaces will be offered in Penticton.

For more information about any existing or upcoming South Okanagan programs please call (250) 492-4305 or visit Okanagan College online: www.okanagan.bc.ca


College bestows honours on three prominent Okanagan residents
Okanagan College Media Release

Three prominent Okanagan residents who personify excellence, innovation and commitment to their communities will be recognized as Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College in June.

Lorraine McGrath, Ken Smedley and Ross Gorman have been selected by the College for their ongoing contributions to their communities, personal achievements and dedication to excellence. They will be recognized in convocation ceremonies in June.

“We are fortunate to be connected to each of these individuals,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “They represent a broad array of talent, diversity of experience and a range of communities. What they have in common is a shared commitment to volunteerism and each has had a very real impact on the communities where they live. We are proud to welcome them as Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College.”

mcgrathMcGrath will receive the Honorary Fellow distinction based on her visionary leadership, public service and record of mentorship in the Okanagan. She was recently chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Sarah Donalda Treadgold Memorial Award for Woman of the Year and in 2001 was the recipient of the Woman of Distinction, Lifetime Achievement Award. Both awards recognize her outstanding record of service and volunteerism holding positions such as President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Co-founder and Vice-Chair of Okanagan Innovation Fund, steward of the Okanagan Partnership, Co-Founder/Co-Chair of the Business Excellence Awards, Director of the Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission, and Director of the Interior Health Authority to name just a few. She draws on her considerable experience in the business world and is in high demand as a business columnist and keynote speaker.

Smedley demonstrates citizenship excellence through his work and activism in community arts. A proponent of the George Ryga Centre in Summerland, Smedley’s passion for social issues is exemplified in his involvement in the George Ryga Book Prize – an annual award for social awareness in B.C. writing. His initiation of traditional community cultural events like the annual George Ryga Week in B.C. celebration, proclaimed by the Provincial Government and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, featuring folk/country legends Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard, combined with the yearly Bill Henderson/Roy Forbes Songwriters’ Workshops and Showcase, have earned him a reputation as an entrepreneur of the Arts. At the 2006 Okanagan Music Awards Smedley was recognized with the Humanitarian of the Year award. Smedley volunteers a tremendous amount of his time to the many community projects in which he is involved. As an accomplished writer, he works closely with Okanagan College to allow access for writing residences through the George Ryga Centre.

gormanGorman is the Owner and Director of Westbank’s Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. -- arguably one of most philanthropically focused companies in the Okanagan, due largely to the generosity of Ross and his brother, the late John Gorman. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Gorman brothers came to fruition over the past few decades as their small family sawmill flourished, becoming a major employer on the Westside of Kelowna.  A staunch supporter of Okanagan College over the years, Gorman Bros. has provided donations of wood products for Trades and apprenticeship programs. More recently the company donated $10,000 to fund two $5,000 scholarships for financially needy students in the Licensed Practical Nursing program. Though the nursing program has no direct impact on the sawmill, Gorman felt strongly about the need to address the shortage in health care workers to benefit his community. Gorman has received several awards over the years including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for Outstanding Community Service. In 1988, Gorman was recognized as Business Leader of the Year and he received the Canadian Wood Council’s Paul Bunyan award in 1997 for outstanding service over the years. Gorman held several directorships for organizations such as the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association (ILMA) and the B.C. Forestry Association (BCFA).

The honourees will be recognized at the following ceremonies held at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus:

Lorraine McGrath: 2 p.m. June 2, 2007
Ken Smedley: 10 a.m. June 2, 2007
Ross Gorman: 7 p.m. June 28, 2007



Hamilton’s term as College President extended
Okanagan College Media Release

Jim Hamilton’s term as President of Okanagan College has been extended until March 31, 2010 by the Board of Governors.

"Jim helped steer the development of Okanagan College through the transition of OUC into the College and UBC Okanagan, and has offered exemplary leadership in the first two years of our operation," notes Janet Shaw, Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. "The decision to extend his term was an easy one for the Board to reach."

Hamilton has been affiliated with the institution for nearly 30 years, beginning as an English instructor in Vernon, and later serving as a member of the Board of Governors while working for School District 22. In 1998 he rejoined OUC as an administrator responsible for the Kalamalka campus. When the change from OUC was announced in 2004, Hamilton was chosen to lead the College transition team.

"I must express my appreciation for this vote of confidence," says Hamilton, a Vernon resident. "But I think that what it really reflects is the Board’s support for our staff and students and our track record of success and achievement over the past two years."

Okanagan College has about 5,900 students and about 1,019 employees.


College students confirm they have the skills for the job
Okanagan College Media Release

Four Okanagan College trades students posted medal-winning results at the 13th Annual Provincial B.C. Skills Competition, which was held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, BC. on April 18, 2007.

The College has a strong history of top performances at the competition, which tests students’ abilities to draw on their education, knowledge of their trade and work experience to complete a specific task on a tight timeline. The students who participated in this year’s competition did not stray from tradition.

The top performance in the carpentry competition was put forth by the College’s Jace Albrecht. Now finished his third year of a carpentry apprenticeship at the College, Albrecht won first place in the competition, in which competitors were charged with building a Japanese wishing well from a specific plan in under six hours.

In the Automotive Service Technician competition Chris Aitken won silver and Michael Russell was a close third winning the bronze. The third category featuring Okanagan College students was Automotive Collision Repair. Tyler Seltzer won bronze while Brandon Bernstein and John Kroeger placed somewhere outside of the top three. 

“I am always proud when our students do well in this competition because it confirms for them what I already know to be true – they have been trained extremely well and are prepared to handle practical challenges in their trade and careers,” says John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

Carpentry instructor Don Campbell watched Albrecht’s carpentry competition and was pleased to see him win first place as the only student to finish the project by the deadline.

“I was well prepared for this competition,” says Albrecht. “My program and knowledge of math served me well. Finishing the job on time was challenging but even more challenging was working in front of the dozens of people who came out to watch.”

Albrecht will move on to the National competition, which takes place in Saskatoon June 6-9, 2007. The winners of that competition are eligible to compete in the world championships held in Japan later this year.

“I would like to thank my instructor Don Campbell for making the trip to support me,” says Albrecht. “Having my wife there to watch me was great and of course I have to thank my dad who has been my biggest teacher.”

My students worked extremely hard to prepare for this contest,” says Jamie Bloomfield, Automotive Service Technician instructor for the College. “They deserve all of the respect they earned at the competition and I know they are well equipped to move forward in their careers.”


BC Hydro supports Trades training at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Trades and Apprenticeship students attending Okanagan College’s Penno Road location will benefit from an industry donation recently made by BC Hydro.

BC Hydro has given the Okanagan College Foundation $2,500 to support students attending Trades and Apprenticeship programs at Penno Road, the College’s newest trades centre in Kelowna, in an effort to help fulfill Hydro’s corporate mandate of supporting educational initiatives throughout the province.
 
“Every year in the interior of the province, BC Hydro extends more than $125,000 to non-profit and charity organizations in an effort to promote educational, environmental and community investment initiatives,” says Neil McPhie, Community Relations for BC Hydro. “We felt that supporting Trades and Apprenticeship training at Okanagan College was an excellent fit for our organization and are pleased to be able to invest in students as they complete their education and move into careers in their chosen field.”

BC Hydro’s investment will be used to purchase equipment and tools for students taking classes at the Penno Road location explains John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College. “Purchasing equipment for our students is extremely costly due to the fact that many of our programs require specialized tools,” says Haller. “This donation from BC Hydro will have a palpable impact on our current and future students as they receive the training they need to complete their education.”

“On behalf of the Okanagan College Foundation we are honoured to be on the receiving end of one of the many important community partnerships BC Hydro enters into,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “Their corporate goals are in keeping with our mission statement in which we aim to transform lives and communities.”

In addition to the donation to the Penno Road location, BC Hydro currently supports Okanagan College students with three separate awards: BC Hydro’s Scholarship program, the BC Hydro Aboriginal Scholarship and the BC Hydro L’Ecole Polytechnic Memorial Award.

To find out more about Okanagan College’s Trades and Apprenticeship programs call 862-5457 or go online, www.okanagan.bc.ca/trades. For information about BC Hydro’s donations and sponsorship program visit, www.bchydro.com/outreach.




Gorman Bros leads the way again!
rotary.gifROTARY CLUB OF KELOWNA PRESS RELEASE -


 
 gormandonation.gif
 From left, Rotary Club of Kelowna President Gary Bennett, Gorman Bros. Director Kathryn Vernon, Ross Gorman, Gorman Bros. CEO Bill Reedy and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton
Firm Partners with Rotary Club of  Kelowna and Okanagan College in unique scholarship  program
   
Renowned for its involvement with  the United  Way and the Kelowna Community Food Bank; for being  the largest corporate contributor to The Central Okanagan Foundation; and for  supporting many other community-minded initiatives, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd.  is arguably the Okanagan Valley’s leading  business when it comes to philanthropy in the community.   At today’s annual joint luncheon  between the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Kelowna, Gorman Bros.  demonstrated once again that it is serious about “giving back” to this  community.
   
Gorman Bros. is the Charter Corporate Partner in an alliance between The Rotary Club of Kelowna and  Okanagan  College in creating a  scholarship for mid-career people wanting to upgrade their job skills but  facing economic barriers to do so.

“With the growing skill shortage in trades  and other areas, combined with a lot of financially strapped mid-career people  wanting to upgrade their skills and standard of living, we saw an opportunity  to more closely link the needs of the business community with the Vocational  Service initiatives of Rotary,” said Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement for  Okanagan College and a member of the Rotary Club of Kelowna. The scholarship  program is funded primarily by Corporate Partners, with Rotary also  contributing. For the Corporate Partner, it is an opportunity to fund a trade  they have a need for; for Rotary, it is an opportunity to support someone with  the motivation to upgrade, but not the financial resources.  For the recipient themselves, it  presents opportunity not only to upgrade skills, but the potential opportunity  for future employment with the Corporate Partner who sponsors their  scholarship.
  
Gorman Bros. has taken the  program to another level. “We saw a need to be addressed which was more  important than any skill deficiency we may have. Skill shortages in the  health care sector are far and away a bigger concern, and we felt Rotary’s  program was an opportunity for us to lead the way and make a contribution,” said Bill Reedy, CEO of Gorman Bros. The initial contribution is $10,000 to  fund two $5,000 Scholarships for the Licensed Practical Nursing Diploma. Mr.  Reedy added, “We think this is a program other companies should consider, and  we challenge them to get on board; if not to help address community needs then  at least to address their own needs, and to help people improve their standard  of living.”

Gary Bennett, President of the Rotary Club of Kelowna, added,  “When we were developing this program, we knew its success would be predicated  on finding a company that is seen by the public and business community as a  pace setter, and Gorman Bros fit that bill perfectly. We want to expand and  perpetuate this program, and we are looking for other businesses to follow  Gorman Bros. lead.”
 
More information about the scholarship  partnership program can be obtained by contacting Kathy Butler at Okanagan College.           
 
 
 

Okanagan College business students set new standard at international competition
Okanagan College Media Release - April 17, 2007

Five trophies – including top team – and the admiration of competition judges was the outcome for a team of four students and their coach from the Okanagan School of Business as they competed at the 43rd annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in San Diego last weekend.
 San Diego
Arluene King (left), Janta Quigley, Arend Hoekstra and Jane Long proudly display the awards they received at the 43rd International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition

Arend Hoekstra, CEO, Jane Long, VP Operations and Finance, Janta Quigley, VP Marketing, and Arluene King, VP Corporate Communications received awards for both “Top Team” and “Top Reports” in addition to three trophies for earning top returns in a simulated stock market.  The four students were coached by Okanagan School of Business Professor Norm Letnick.

The students created a lot of buzz during the competition in which they controlled Inukshuk Sound, a simulated company selling headphones.  Inukshuk Sound finished with a stock price of $64.25, four times higher than the next best competitor: the MBA team from Regents Business School in London, England. 

As the only Canadian team, they went into the intensive phase of the competition with unimpressive financial ratios and the lowest income.  Within the first simulated year after arriving in San Diego, the team astounded not only other teams and faculty advisors from across the world, but also the simulation administrators and judges with growth of more than 1,000 per cent.

“Our plan from the beginning was to avoid drawing attention,” says Hoekstra. “So many of the teams said they never considered the Canadian team with the funny name as a threat.  Once we got there, though, our early investments began paying huge returns, and we outpaced our closest competitor by over 1,800 per cent.”

According to simulation administrator David Fritsche, Okanagan School of Business delivered “probably the best performance” that he had seen in all his 27 years running the competition.

The team’s reports and presentation exceeded all of the judges’ expectations.  The Okanagan School of Business “set the standard for all future teams,” and demonstrated “wonderful poise” said judge Chris Cook, who gave the team a standing ovation when it received its awards.  Judges were particularly impressed that the team stayed with its strategy and the members were “forethinkers” who “answered all questions before they could be asked.”

“This has been a terrific experience that has taught us so much,” says Janta Quigley.  “This team is incredible to work with.” 

“I’m so proud of the way that the team came up from the middle of the pack to produce such amazing results,” says Letnick. 

“Each year, students from the Okanagan School of Business engage in a variety of competitions provincially, nationally and internationally, and each year they distinguish themselves with their professionalism, accomplishments and achievements,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “My congratulations go to Arend, Jane, Janta, Arluene and to coach Norm.  I know they put a lot of time into preparing for this international competition and the results speak for themselves.”


Okanagan College and Lanzhou University sign letter of intent
Okanagan College Media Release - April 17, 2007

Okanagan College and Lanzhou University, one of China’s most prominent universities, have signed a letter of intent to develop academic and educational co-operation between the two institutions.

This is the first agreement that Okanagan College has signed with a Chinese university. 
The Letter of Intent was signed Monday by Lanzhou University Vice-President Professor Jing Tao and by Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

“This creates a remarkable opportunity for our institutions,” says Hamilton. “Our students, faculty and staff will benefit as we work together to develop and promote institutional exchanges in teaching, research and professional development.” 

“Our countries and regions will also benefit from the cultural understanding and links that this educational partnership should afford,” says Lanzhou University Vice-President Professor Jing Tao.

 Lanzhou3
 Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and Jing Tao, Vice President of Lanzhou University commit to an institutional partnership
The letter of intent also outlines that each of the institutions will receive undergraduate students from the partner institution for periods of study and/or research; that they will work together to organize symposia, conference, short courses and meetings on research issues; and, will carry out joint research and continuing education programs.

The agreement also commits the two institutions to exchanging information pertaining to developments in teaching, student development and research.

Lanzhou University was founded in 1909 and is in Lanzhou, which is the capital of Gansu Province. 
It has approximately 45,000 students: 35,700 undergraduates, 8,000 post-graduate and 1,300 PhD students.

Okanagan College can trace its history to 1963, and currently has about 5,900 students.
The College already has exchange partnership agreements with:

•    Berlin School of Economics, Germany
•    Jyvaskyla University of Applied Science, Finland
•    Hogeschool Zeeland, The Netherlands
•    University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Austria
•    ESPEME, France
•    ISAIP/ESAIP Group of Angers, France
•    Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
•    University of Southern Queensland, Australia
•    Griffith University, Queensland Australia
•    Swinburne University of Technology, Australia


Taking the fear out of public speaking
Okanagan College Media Release - April 16, 2007

Given the choice, most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy at a funeral. Study after study has shown that the majority of people say they fear public speaking more than they fear death.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah, college professor with the Okanagan School of Business, addresses this fear head on and offers relief to those who wish to overcome it in a course entitled Taking the Fear Out of Public Speaking. The evening course is offered at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus on Tuesday, April 24, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $52 + GST.

“This fear can be quite debilitating and prevents many people from reaching their career and personal goals,” says Myrah. “But public speaking doesn’t have to be so traumatic if you understand the real factors behind that stress.”

The three-hour session offers practical steps to help those afraid to speak in public and empowers them with the tools and confidence they need to address their fears and master effective public speaking, Myrah says.

Taking the Fear Out of Public Speaking is one of 40 new courses offered in the 2007 Spring and Summer brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, says Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan. “We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be.”
 
For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca.


Turn your pennies into a secure future
Okanagan College Media Release - April 13, 2007

People looking for the next get-rich-quick idea to help them save for the future are missing an obvious and easier way. All they have to do is follow Ben Franklin’s advice – ‘A penny saved is a penny earned.’

“Not spending money you don’t have to gives you the same result as if you were earning more money every paycheque,” says Jessica Oman, instructor of Okanagan College’s new course A Dollar Saved is Worth Two in the Bank. “We all have to buy food, clothing, pay for shelter, etc. but what we don’t have to do is pay top dollar for it.”

For example, most people buy the same types of food week in and week out, says Oman. “But most are not aware that there is often a price cycle for popular food items where a grocery store will put certain products on sale on a regular basis. If you stock up then, rather than buying the item each week at the regular price, you will realize huge savings over the long term.”

A Dollar Saved is Worth Two in the Bank offers practical tips and techniques on how to save small amounts of money on many everyday purchases that can add up to big dollars in your bank account. Oman will also outline strategies on how you can make the most of those savings to create a bright financial future.

Through research and practical application, Oman says she has used these principles and techniques to make her own money go further and has created a surprisingly large investment portfolio for someone in her salary range.

A Dollar Saved is Worth Two in the Bank will be held at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, Thursday, April 26 from 6 – 8 p.m. The cost is $28.

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca.


Expand your talents and your mind through the world of digital creation
Okanagan College Media Release - April 13, 2007
 
If you’re looking for a new way to tap into your creativity, Okanagan College is offering a series of computer courses this spring that will expand your graphic skills as well as your imagination.

For the first time in the Central Okanagan, award-winning animator and special effects artist Raymond Bailey will offer his expertise to amateur enthusiasts and professional digital artists. He will teach beginner and intermediate levels of Adobe Photoshop and Flash as well as a course on Video Editing beginning in April at the Kelowna Campus. Each course will run in the evenings for four weeks. Costs vary from $169 to $264 + GST per course.

From the hobbyist to the professional, these interactive courses offer effective tools for anyone interested in working or playing in the graphic arts, web design, and animation fields, says Bailey. “These courses are focused on design rather than a technical slant, so artistic skill is useful and you don’t have to be a computer geek to enroll.”

Adobe Photoshop is the professional image editing software used by photographers, digital artists and web designers. Bailey will teach participants how to scan photos, create original art, composite images and perform photo manipulations. Flash is the industry standard for creating vector graphics and interactive media used on websites, in animation, television, and movies. Students will learn about sound capabilities and how to design cross platform, low-bandwidth animations, as well as practice colour theory and frame composition over the two courses. Limited action scripting will be involved.

The Video Editing course will help participants capture better shots and make them shine in post production, whether you’re filming the next blockbuster movie or your own child’s birthday party. Students will learn about all the elements of moviemaking including lighting, frame composition, digital filters and audio effects, titles and credits, developing the story, and digital editing systems.

Bailey, who also owns Razor Art Productions, has been working in the animation field since 1977. His recent credits include two locally-shot films – the horror-flick Fido and a George Clooney production called Windchill. He has produced animation and special effects for Much Music, Sony Entertainment, Kellogg’s and various corporate clients. He also taught the Computer Animation program at Okanagan College’s Kalamalka Campus.

“This is such a fun industry to be involved in,” he says. “You’re surrounded by creativity all day long. It is very inspiring.”

For more information or to register for these or any other courses, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road, call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca.



College and Shuswap Hospital Foundation partner to support students and health care
Okanagan College Media Release - April 12, 2007

Health care, students and golf were the topics of discussion this morning at a press conference held at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College.

The Okanagan College Foundation and the Shuswap Hospital Foundation will be on the receiving end of funds raised by the College’s Links to Learning golf tournament this spring.

Both foundations will receive an equal share of funds raised for two important community initiatives – to help purchase new CT scan equipment for the hospital and enhance student facilities and provide bursaries for students at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College.  The fundraising drive began this morning and will continue until the day of the tournament, June 29.

“The Links to Learning golf tournament is an event that many people at our College and in our community look forward to every year,” says Lynda Wilson, Okanagan College Regional Dean. “We are proud to be working with the Shuswap Hospital Foundation and hope to raise enough funds to make a significant donation to the hospital for much-needed equipment while still supporting our local students by contributing to financial awards.”

Dividing the proceeds from the campaign between two exceptional causes will have a wide-reaching impact on the community of Salmon Arm, says Norman Embree, Board of Directors member of both the Okanagan College Foundation and the Interior Health Authority. “This is an exciting development and a great way to bring the community together to benefit students and the health care system in our region.”

The College made the decision to dedicate a portion of the funds raised by the campaign to the hospital’s CT scan fund raising efforts as Okanagan College enters into a phase of marked increase in health care programming, expanding existing programs and offering greater opportunities for students in the Shuswap.

At this morning’s press conference Okanagan College’s Dean of Science, Technology and Health, Phil Beckmann, announced the health care program expansion, which follows a $76.5 million budget approval decision made by the College’s Board of Governors on Mar. 27.

The 2007-08 operating budget passed by the Board will see an approximate 50 per cent increase in health care program capacity throughout the College’s four regions this year. The Board decision will impact one existing health care program offered in Salmon Arm and will bring two new programs to the region.

“Offering a wider ranger of programs in Salmon Arm and Vernon is great news for students, the health care sector and our local communities,” says Beckmann. “Expanding programs and creating greater access for students is just one of the things Okanagan College is doing to address the health care demands of our region.”

The Home Support Resident Care Attendant certificate program, which used to be offered every two years in Salmon Arm, will now operate yearly in both Salmon Arm and Vernon. The six-month program will begin every May in Salmon Arm and every November in Vernon. The capacity of the program was also increased to allow for 30 students per session rather than 20.

The Human Service Work diploma, a two–year program never before offered in Salmon Arm, will begin in September 2008. This popular program will be delivered in Vernon in September 2007 and alternate each year between Vernon and Salmon Arm with a capacity of 30 students per cohort.

The Licensed Practical Nursing certificate program will debut in Salmon Arm this September providing space for 16-20 students to be trained in the region. The 12-month program will be offered every year in either the North Okanagan or Shuswap regions, alternating between Vernon and Salmon Arm.


College recognized by OSTEC for community leadership
MEDIA RELEASE
 
Okanagan College has been recognized by the Okanagan Science and Technology Council for outstanding contributions and service to the science and technology community.
Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair Janet Shaw and President Jim Hamilton accepted the Science and Technology Community Leadership Award on behalf of the institution on March 29 at OSTEC’s Silicon Vineyard Innovation Awards Gala. The award, sponsored by Telus, is given to a leading individual or organization that has provided an outstanding contribution or service to the science and technology community, or community at large.  This can be an innovative project, process, business practice or an exceptional standard of performance in their overall approach to social and/or environmental responsibility.
Over the course of its relatively short history (it opened its doors officially on July 5, 2005), Okanagan College has done much to promote science and technology. An innovative, award-winning television and print advertising campaign to encourage student and employer interest in engineering technologies was among the accomplishments cited in the College’s nomination for the award. The College was also recognized for the work it has done to promote interest in science, math, physics and technology through events such as RoboCup, the Spaghetti Bridge Contest, the Math Contest, and through its support of community organizations such as OSTEC and the Okanagan Partnership.
“We’re very pleased to have been chosen,” Hamilton said in accepting the award, observing that he was gratified to be representing so many people who have had a hand in promoting science and technology in the region.  “There are probably hundreds of faculty members, staff, students and members of our Program Advisory Committees who have been engaged in activities that promote science and technology. Our Board of Governors helps make it possible, of course, and our communities give us the energy and support to inspire us.”
-    30 –
For more information contact Allan Coyle (250) 862-5413, acoyle@okanagan.bc.ca or Diana Groffen at (250) 712-3344. For a full list of winners, visit OSTEC's news release on the event

Therapist Assistant Conference offers Road to Recovery
Okanagan College Media Release

Brad Zdanivsky, a quadriplegic rock-climber, will deliver the keynote address at the eighth annual Therapist Assistant Conference in Kelowna as he shares the realization of his dream of climbing the Squamish Chief – a 1,700-foot vertical wall.

In July of 2005, Zdanivsky inspired disabled athletes around the world when he completed this climb. His team, Vertical Challenge, assisted in creating equipment for Zdanivsky and other quadriplegics to participate in outdoor adventure sports through research, education and public awareness.  He hopes to present an example of what perseverance, teamwork and technical innovation can accomplish when you set a goal and persevere in spite of physical limitations.

The conference will take place Friday, April 27 at the Kelowna Campus Lecture Theatre at Okanagan College.  Entitled Road to Recovery, the conference will feature speakers from B.C. including Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Valley Health Authorities, Interior Health as well as representatives from Alberta.

Other workshops include: RT in the Community: How can you help?, Mobility Strategies, The Toolbox, No Pressure, Lower Limb Exercise Class, Exercise & Motivation, Having Fun in Recovery, Recovery from Schizophrenia and Active Living is the Road to Recover.

The conference is open to rehabilitation assistants, therapist assistants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, recreational therapists, health care workers, students and educators.

For more information or to register, contact Okanagan College Continuing Studies at 862-5480 or 1-888-638-0058.  The registration deadline is April 12, 2007.



New series offers tips for personal wellbeing
Okanagan College Media Release

If spring has you feeling like it is time to renew and blossom on a personal level, you’ll be interested in a series of new courses offered by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies this April. 

Three courses designed to improve personal wellbeing for your body, mind and soul are being taught by Joey Campbell, an acclaimed human development consultant living in Lake Country. Stress and Time Management, Successfully Single, and Surviving Separation and Divorce begin the week of April 16 and run for eight weeks each. 

“Having a high level of stress is considered normal in today’s world,” says Campbell. “It’s even a type of status symbol – being busy and stressed has somehow become equated with success. But constant stress can have negative consequences for your physical and emotional health, so you need to develop skills to deal with it.”

Campbell’s Stress and Time Management course helps people identify the sources and symptoms of stress and provides them with the tools to manage it. It begins April 17, 6:30 – 9 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus. Cost is $198 + GST.

Surviving Separation and Divorce gives those people who have recently been in a long-term relationship an opportunity to heal and move on with their lives.

“Relationship breakdown can be totally devastating to both the dumper and the dumpee,” says Campbell. “This course provides a supportive environment to develop the skills needed to rebuild your life.” It begins April 16, 6:30 – 9 p.m. at the Kelowna Campus. Cost is $198 + GST.

Successfully Single is aimed at people who have been living single either by choice or by chance. This course is not recommended for those having experienced recent relationship breakdown.

“Many times, people are living in limbo, waiting to be part of a couple before they do things like buy a home, travel, or pursue an interest,” says Campbell. “This course helps them learn to live alone successfully; to focus on what their life has to offer right now and develop the confidence to take steps to a fulfilling future.” It begins April 18, 6:30-9 p.m. at the Kelowna Campus. Cost is $198 + GST.

Campbell has 28 years of experience in private practice as a Human Development Consultant, Therapist and Stress Specialist. She is also a certified Family and Divorce Mediator and has extensive experience as a Family Life Educator, Personal Development Facilitator, Seminar Presenter and College Instructor, and is the former owner of the Stress Relief Centre in Calgary. 

For more information or to register for these or any other courses, drop by the Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road or call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca.


Golden opportunity for College’s Certified Dental Assistant students

Okanagan College Media Release

An innovative fundraising campaign initiated by Okanagan College’s Certified Dental Assistant students has raised more than $16,000 toward the purchase of a new dental mannequin, cabinetry and a state-of-the-art digital radiography unit for one of the program’s training units.

The students, with the help of instructor Darcy Shaw, have set up a gold-reclamation program, collecting unwanted dental extractions containing precious metals from a variety of participating dental offices in the Okanagan as well as pieces of unwanted or unusable jewelry and precious metals at a number of locations throughout the College.

“Everyone who has gold removed from their mouth by a dentist has the option of keeping the extraction,” says Shaw. “Most people don’t know what to do with it so they choose to leave it behind at the dental office. We are hoping that if people know their donation can help students in need of new equipment, they will choose to keep their gold and will drop it off at one of the collection spots at the College.”

The students have set up a program with participating dentists and supply the dental offices with pre-labeled bags, which they pick up from the offices when they are full. Once they have collected enough material to be processed, they send the teeth with precious metals to a Vancouver refinery. The proceeds from the gold reclaimed from the donated extractions go directly to the purchase of much needed new equipment for the 24 students in the program.

"Everyone in the dental community has shown so much support for our program," says Brittany Davis, Certified Dental Assistant student. "We feel they believe in us -- they don't want us to fail land want us to have the tools to succeed in life."
 Dental3
Certified Dental Assistant students Danielle Urlacher (left) and Lisa Tetz showcase new equipment purchased as a result of their fundraising efforts

“We are appreciative and extremely aware of the generosity exhibited by the general public and dental industry for this fundraising campaign,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “This initiative is an excellent example of the kind of support Okanagan College receives as we continue to build strong partnerships in the communities we serve.” 

In addition to collecting the dental extractions, the students have set up a number of treasure chests at the College where people can donate any unwanted gold to the program. Items like mismatched earrings, unwanted or damaged jewelry are some examples of commonly donated pieces.

“Purchasing new dental equipment is extremely costly,” says Shaw. “We began this program to help raise the money for an important piece of equipment that will benefit the students’ education and training immensely. We have secured funding for half of the cost of a digital radiography unit and are hoping to cover the remaining cost through our fundraising so that our students can be certified on the new technology.”

The use of digital radiography is becoming more prevalent in the Okanagan as the unit exposes patients to much lower levels of radiation. The digital readout produces a computer-generated image of the tooth, which allows students to virtually take the tooth out of the socket, rotate it and show it to patients on a computer screen.

“Training our students to be fluent in digital radiography is critical to expanding their employment options,” says Shaw. “Fifty-five per cent of dental offices in the interior have now converted to digital radiography. We will be the first program in the interior to train students on this technology and will be able to prepare our students for direct entry into jobs throughout the province.”

The push is now on to collect enough precious metals by the end of Dental Health Month (April) to have the students reach their goal of funding half of the cost of the new dental unit by the time they graduate from the 10-month program in June.

Shaw and her students are asking for the public’s help in their fundraising campaign. Anyone with unwanted gold, silver, white gold or platinum is asked to drop off the donation in the treasure chest in the registration office at the KLO campus of Okanagan College. People with their own dental extractions can bring their donation in a sealed bag or envelope to the same location. Donations of gold of a certain value will qualify for an income tax receipt.

For more information about the College’s gold reclamation program please contact Darcy Shaw at (250) 762-5445 ext. 4221 or email dshaw@okanagan.bc.ca.




Okanagan School of Business wins top spot among colleges in investment competition
Okanagan College Media Release

If you really want to watch your investment portfolio take off, putting an Okanagan School of Business student in charge of your finances might not be a bad idea.

A team of 20 College business students recently participated in the B.C. Portfolio Management Challenge competition and quickly rose to the top, placing first among colleges.

The competition charges students with managing one million dollars worth of portfolio capital; giving them opportunities to apply trading strategies such as buying on margin and short selling. The students conduct thorough research in order to manage their portfolios and utilize investment instruments such as stocks, bonds and options. Results of the portfolio performances are based on real-time market data.

“Every day on our campuses we see our students making great strides in their education,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “When we see our students take that knowledge and apply it in competitions, internships or in the workplace we are extremely proud and know they will succeed in their careers and in life.”

A total of 15 post-secondary institutions participated in the competition, eight colleges and seven universities. The Okanagan School of Business team finished fourth overall, outperforming institutions such as UBC and SFU.

“Our students’ achievements are outstanding, even compared to professional money managers,” says Dr. Yunke He, CFA, professor in the Okanagan School of Business.

Eight College students outperformed the benchmark market index: Christopher Mundie, Meghan Henselwood, Curtis Shields, Jeffrey Avila, Bradley Burnett, Brett Hunter, Kevin Schmidt and Ryan Cavan.

“I really enjoyed the competition and am very happy to see the outcome,” says Mundie, who is ranked fifth among 287 participants.

The competition grew out of an annual rivalry stock game between UBC and SFU 16 years ago to become a yearly event among B.C. colleges and universities. 

The University of Victoria won the 2007 competition.




College invites the public to explore the origins of planets with Dr. Ray Jayawardhana
Okanagan College Media Release

Students at Okanagan College and members of the general public are fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to renowned astronomer Dr. Ray Jayawardhana when he presents a groundbreaking lecture this week as a part of the American Astronomical Society Harlow Shapley Lectures.

Dr. Jayawardhana will present his lecture, which is open to the public at no cost, this Wednesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in room H-115 of the KLO campus of Okanagan College. A similar lecture will be offered at the Vernon campus of the College the following day at 1 p.m.

Entitled, New Worlds in the Making: Origins of Planets and Brown Dwarfs, Dr. Jayawardhana’s lecture seeks to shed light on the presence of the more than 200 planets that exist around Sun-like stars, as well as hundreds of brown dwarfs, which are too small to light up as stars.

Intriguingly, some brown dwarfs may harbor planetary companions. Astronomers are deciphering the birth and early evolution of planets and brown dwarfs using remarkable new observations and sophisticated computer simulations.

Dr. Jayawardhana is an Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a Ph.D. from Harvard and is bringing his expertise and research background to Kelowna this Wednesday.

Prior to teaching at the University of Toronto, Dr. Jayawardhana spent two years as a Miller Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and two years as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. He uses some of the world’s largest telescopes to conduct research, including VLT, Subaru, Keck, Gemini and Magellan, to explore the origin and diversity of planetary systems.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Dr. Jayawardhana’s calibre addressing our students and the general public,” says Richard Christie, Astronomy professor at Okanagan College. “He is a celebrated astronomer whose research is on the cutting edge of astronomical advances.”

The Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship Program of the American Astronomical Society is a program of two-day visits by professional astronomers to college campuses throughout North America, especially institutions that do not offer an astronomical degree.


New VP Finance and Administration appointed at Okanagan College
Media Release

Robert Eby, an experienced educational administrator, has been named as Okanagan College’s new Vice President, Finance and Administration.

Eby has worked for the past 17 years for School District 22 (Vernon), the last 15 of which he has been Assistant Secretary-Treasurer.
 
“Bob was the best of a strong field of candidates for the job,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “He has distinguished himself with a number of notable achievements at the School District, has demonstrated leadership and built a strong reputation among his colleagues in the district and at the provincial level as well.”

“I look forward to working with him as we move into a very exciting period of our development.”

Eby replaces Ken Burt, who became Dalhousie University’s Vice President Finance at the beginning of 2007. Eby is a Chartered Accountant, with a B.A. from UBC. He’s a graduate of Vernon Senior Secondary School, a former treasurer of the United Way, and has been a minor soccer coach, a director of the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, treasurer of the Vernon Community Music School, treasurer of the Mackie Lake House Foundation, and is a serious amateur musician.

One of the roles he had – as a Board of Governors member and Finance Committee Chair at Okanagan University College – helped inspire him to seek the position of Vice-President.

“I had the opportunity to learn first-hand of the contribution the college makes to the communities and students in the Okanagan, and of the outstanding programs, faculty and staff that make up the institution,” he said. “I have to confess that since then I have harboured a desire to one day serve the college in a professional capacity.”

Eby begins his role at Okanagan College April 30.


Sponsors, partners and students applauded at Home for Learning launch in Summerland
Media Release

Call it an exciting project that blends the best in community support, partnership between School District 67 and Okanagan College, and a great opportunity for students.
Those were the messages delivered this morning at a groundbreaking ceremony in Summerland’s Rock Garden Estates, where a new Home For Learning project is underway.

The Hon. Rick Thorpe, British Columbia’s Minister of Small Business and Revenue and MLA for Okanagan-Westside, acknowledged the importance of innovative, partner-driven training programs that the project represents. It will see 17 Residential Construction students take 10 weeks of classroom training prior to working with Homescape Building and Design Inc. and TRAC Development to build a home from the foundation up. The students start on site next week.

“From Premier Gordon Campbell and our government we want to say congratulations to all of you,” Thorpe told about 30 students and sponsor and partner representatives at the event. “We are seeing a shift in how we approach education. To you young students, you have a wonderful opportunity in front of you; enjoy it, ask questions and have fun.”

Thorpe went on to salute the College and School District 67 for working together to keep in step with the training needs of young people.

Eric Gerrits, President of Homescape Building and Design Inc., the general contractor for the project, said he has been surprised and enthused by the extent of sponsor support.

“The sponsors are a huge element in the success of this program,” said Gerrits. “When we began this project we fully expected that some of our industry partners would be coming forward with a discount of some kind toward this project, and initially we had a lofty goal of platinum sponsors ($10,000 or more). In fact, with the support of the industry we had to sit down and come up with the diamond sponsor ($20,000 or more). I actually found myself asking insistently, ‘are you sure you mean free’? I have simply been shocked by the support.”

Diamond level sponsors of the project include:
All Weather Windows, Beaver Home Improvements and Plasti-Fab EPS Product Solutions.
Platinum sponsors include Summerland TIM-Br-Mart, SRM Concrete, Nufloors and Prospera Credit Union.
Silver sponsors ($3,000-6,999) are BC Plumbing - Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre, Built Green BC, Gescan Division of Sonepar Canada Inc.
Bronze sponsors ($1,000-2,999) include Summerland Excavation, Basalite Concrete Products, District of Summerland, Suncastle Designs Ltd., Fortis BC, Home Owner Protection Office, Tru Truss.
Other contributors (up to $1,000) include Canadian Home Builders’ Association of South Okanagan, Fab-Form Industries and ACE IT.

At the end of the project, the home will be sold, and the profits will go toward scholarships, bursaries and support for the program. The goal is to complete the house by the end of September.

The 2007 project in Summerland will be an R2000 home, built with a focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.
 
“Our mission statement says that ‘Okanagan College transforms lives and communities,’” noted Dr. Andrew Hay, Okanagan College’s Vice President of Education. “We educate, train and support our students to excel in the workplace, to succeed in further education and to become lifelong learners. There isn’t a project in my mind that we do that better exemplifies that.”
 
In addition to the 17 Residential Construction students, pre-apprenticeship plumbing students from the College will help work on the home.
 
“As a mature student living in Summerland I was pleased to see that Okanagan College was answering the call for trades people in British Columbia,” said Graham Boyd, pre-apprenticeship plumbing student. “We also have the privilege of participating in the Home for Learning project, which allows us to apply our theoretical knowledge and practical skills on an actual job site.”
 
This will be the ninth Home for Learning project for the College. Past projects include two homes in Kelowna, two homes and a not-for-profit assisted-living facility in Salmon Arm. Currently the College is building another home in Kelowna, as well as homes in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm.

The program, which has been recognized over the past year by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association with silver and gold Tommie awards as well as a Gold Georgie award, works closely with local partners and sponsors in the spirit of community development and partnership.


Okanagan College health care programs to grow dramatically
Media Release

Okanagan College will be offering significantly more health care programming as a consequence of the passage of its 2007-2008 operating budget.

The $76.5 million budget, passed Tuesday by the Board of Governors, will see an increase in health programs throughout the College region. More than 120 new full-time equivalent student spaces will be created in the College’s Home Support Resident Care Attendant program: 50 of those spaces will be in Kelowna, while 30 will be in Vernon, 30 in Penticton and 10 in Salmon Arm.

A new stream of the College’s Practical nursing program – that will accommodate 16 students - will be offered in Salmon Arm in the coming year as well. The Human Service Work diploma program will also be expanded in Vernon this year, adding space for an additional 30 full-time students.

"In all, health care programming accounts for more than 71 per cent of our anticipated program growth for the coming year," explains Okanagan College Board of Governors’ Chair Janet Shaw.

"Increased government funding will allow us to expand by an estimated 233 full-time student spaces in the months ahead," notes Bill Cooke, the Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee. "By adding 166 new spaces in health programming, we’re helping answer what we know to be a real issue for health care in this province."

"There is incredible employer demand for the graduates of these programs," explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "This budget means that we will increase our health care program capacity by about 50 per cent in a single year."

Okanagan College has experienced dramatic growth in programs over the past two years. For the 2006-07 academic year, the College projects that it will have educated and trained the equivalent of about 5,913 full-time students.

One of the largest areas of growth in the past two years has been in trades apprenticeship. In 2005-06, the College trained about 912 apprentices. In 2006-07, that number will climb to more than 1,500. The projection for 2007-08 is 2,100.

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For more information,

Allan Coyle (250) 862-5413
Okanagan College holds line on tuition fees for second year
MEDIA RELEASE

Okanagan College’s Board of Governors has decided not to increase tuition fees for provincially-supported programs in 2007-2008. This is the second year the institution will refrain from an increase.

Provincial policy would have allowed the College to raise tuition fees by an amount equivalent to the increase in the cost of living in 2006, about two per cent.

"We deliberately made the choice to not increase fees on the basis of a number of factors," explains Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair Janet Shaw. "The most important consideration, of course, is our goal to maintain affordable, quality education. Looking at the $76.5 million budget for 2007-2008, we determined that we could expand the programs we offer students without increasing our fees. We also looked at our tuition in comparison to other institutions."

Student consultations at all campuses were part of the budget development process.

A full-time student in university arts programs taking all lecture courses would pay $2,910 for a year’s tuition. If she were to take four lecture courses and one lab course, the annual tuition fee would be $3,018.

The average annual academic arts tuition fee across the province in 2006 was $3,133: that includes universities, institutes, and colleges.

Tuition for vocational and apprenticeship programs will remain at $92 per week. Students in the Business Administration program pay $132 per credit and students in Computer Information Systems pay $125 per credit.

 

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For more information,

Allan Coyle (250) 862-5413


Chilliwack, Henderson and Forbes: together!
Okanagan College Press Release

Chilliwack, Henderson, and Forbes perform
to celebrate Songwriters Workshops and Showcases

Three of the giants of the B.C. music industry will be performing together on Friday, April 20 in Penticton as part of a special celebration marking the 12th Annual Songwriters Workshops and Showcases.,

Chilliwack, Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes will be on stage together in a concert at the Pen-High Auditorium, hosted by the George Ryga Centre.

This event also celebrates a renewed partnership between The Ryga Centre and Okanagan College and, especially, a proposal to bring songwriting into the College’s Creative Writing offerings in its Arts and Foundational Programs. 

The proposal, still in the approval process, involves the introduction of two songwriting courses: the first in the fundamentals of songwriting; the second in design and production.  Both Henderson and Forbes have been involved in designing these courses, and both internationally acclaimed singers, writers and performers, have expressed interest in teaching these courses for Okanagan College.

Ken Smedley, Director of The Ryga Centre, and John Lent, former member of Okanagan College’s English Department, and now Regional Dean of the North Okanagan for Okanagan College, have been working for two years to fine-tune this new relationship.

“If we could introduce these as courses that fit in with our proposed two-year Diploma in Writing in Publishing, we would be opening up an area of contemporary writing and composing that would be new to this region,” says Lent, “and that would offer many regional songwriters and performers a unique access to songwriting and the business of being a songwriter. That combination of learning opportunities simply has not been available up to now.”

“It’s an exciting partnership,” Smedley says, “and it demonstrates Okanagan College’s commitment to these communities, and to the cultural history and heritage of these communities.”

Smedley has been bringing Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes into Okanagan College English and Creative Writing classes for the past decade. Writing students have been able to learn more about songwriting from two recognized international masters of the form, but this new venture into formal songwriting courses within the curriculum is a fresh stage in an old partnership. 

In order to celebrate both this history and this new, proposed venture, Smedley has brought all the players together for a gala reunion in Penticton on April 20th. 

Bill Henderson and The Collectors first collaborated with George Ryga in Summerland during the writing of Ryga’s play Grass and Wild Strawberries in the late 1960s, and that collaboration persisted for almost two decades until Ryga’s death.  To bring Chilliwack back together and to add the additional strength of Roy Forbes to the reunion will be a historical, one-time celebration.

“Okanagan College will turn out en masse for this event,” Lent predicts. “We have so many students who have already benefited over the years from our close association with The George Ryga House, and from direct exposure to Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes.  But few of these students, and likely few of our faculty, have ever had the opportunity to hear Henderson perform in Chilliwack with Roy Forbes as their special guest.”

This musical celebration in Penticton on April 20th is part of an Okanagan College initiative to increase the presence of creative and performing arts in its Arts and Foundational Programs.  “We are beginning to consult artists, musicians, writers, and performers from Salmon Arm through Vernon and Kelowna to Penticton,” Lent explains, “and we are setting in place a structure that will make this College the most vibrant fine arts presence in the valley.”

“The primary reason why I get so excited,” says Lent (who is a writer and performer in his own right), “is that though this College initiative will take a few years to settle into place, it is a grass-roots initiative and its strength will be that it has surfaced from the artists themselves, from the rich field of creative and performing art talent that we already have in this valley.”

Other participants in the creation of this College initiative are Mary Ellen Holland, of the English Department, Rob Huxtable, Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs, and Stan Chung, Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs. And, of course, there are partners like Smedley of The Ryga Centre.

“This Chilliwack concert in Penticton will launch this Okanagan College initiative,” Lent said, “and give it the start it needs.”

The Concert will be on Friday, April 20th, at 8 p.m. at the Pen-High Auditorium, Penticton.

Tickets can be purchased at The Dragon’s Den, Penticton (492-3011); The Summerland Bookstore, Summerland (494-9110); First Try Books, Kelowna (763-5364), and The BookNook, Vernon (558-0668).

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Contact:        John Lent, (250) 545 7291, jlent@okanagan.bc.ca
            Ken Smedley,      (250) 546 9886


College hosts employment fair
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

A collection of employment resources offered by the Okanagan College Alumni Association in partnership with local industry sponsors will be available to students and community members interested in finding out about employment and training opportunities in the Central Okanagan.

The Finding Your Future employment fair will be held at the KLO campus of Okanagan College on Mar. 22 from 3 – 8 p.m. This student-focused information session will give participants the opportunity to speak with employers as well as attend a variety of skills workshops including: Wow! them in your interview – getting to “you’re hired,” Clear, concise and creative: resumes to get you noticed, Self-employment: is it for you and many more.

“This employment fair provides an excellent opportunity for anyone considering a new career in the Okanagan,” says Jamie Morrow, Okanagan College Alumni Association President. “By bringing employment services and industry experts together with those seeking jobs we are able to offer a direct line of communication and networking for job seekers. This fair is focused on providing people with career options and valuable information to help them find the job they want.”

 A host of employers will be onsite with information booths set up to support job seekers. Community Futures Development Corporation, Interior Health Authority, Grant Thornton and Schlumberger (oil and gas industry) are just a few of the participating employers.

As space is limited, participants are encouraged to register online as soon as possible. Admission is free and donations to the Food Bank are welcome. For a complete list of participating employers and skills workshops visit: www.okanagan.bc/findingyourfuture. There are three ways to register for the free employment fair. Those interested can register at the KLO campus administration office; call 762-5445 ext. 4726 or sign up online.


Okanagan College Associate Dean Randy Werger earns national recognition
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

Randy Werger, the Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College, has been recognized by the national Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) for his exemplary work in promoting the association and furthering its educational goals.

Werger, who has worked at Okanagan College for 16 years, was recognized with an Award of Honour for a non-builder at the association’s national conference in Charlevoix, Quebec in late February. Werger wasn’t able to attend the ceremony – he was in Europe and Scotland working with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission on a mission to attract skilled immigrants to the Okanagan to help address labour shortages in the Okanagan.

A past-president of the CHBA of Kelowna, Werger has been instrumental in developing an award-winning program, the Home For Learning, that sees construction trades students build a home in conjunction with an area builder. The profits from the home sale go toward scholarships, bursaries and equipment for the students. So far, the two complete projects have raised about $200,000.

The project has earned a Gold and Silver Tommie Award from the CHBA of Kelowna and was recognized by the CHBA of British Columbia with a gold Georgie award as the best public-private partnership in the province.

A third Home for Learning project is underway in Kelowna in association with the Village of Kettle Valley and Vintage Design Ltd. A fourth project is in progress in Summerland in partnership with Homescape Building and Design Inc. and TRAC Developments. Similar projects are also underway in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm.

 randwerger.gif
 Randy Werger
Werger was nominated for the honour by the CHBA of Kelowna.

"Randy has been a staunch advocate of linking our industry with student training opportunities," says Shane Warawa, President of the CHBA of Kelowna. "He has been a tireless volunteer with CHBA and has been the backbone of our Training and Education Committee for the last two years. We’re pleased our national organization chose to honour him this year."

"We’re extremely proud of Randy," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "He embodies the College-community connection that we value and encourage as an institution. His first commitment is to the best possible training for students, realizing that is what benefits employers most, too."

"I’m flattered," says Werger, "and while I’m pleased to be recognized, I think the award also acknowledges all the terrific support from our partners and from the home building industry for what we are doing at the College."


Tuck honoured with B.C. Community Achievement Award
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

Steve Tuck, the President of the Okanagan College Foundation is one of 44 British Columbians who have been recognized by the Provincial Government as individuals whose efforts have made their communities better.

The announcement was made Monday by the Premier and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.

“Steve Tuck gets involved, shows leadership and inspires others in his community,” according to the government’s citation. “Steve has played a vital role in the creation of the Okanagan University College Foundation, serving as the founding president and overseeing the building of a $6.5-million endowment. As well, Steve is actively involved as a director and former president of the Sunshine Dreams for Kids, BC Interior Chapter, delivering dreams to sick children.”

This is the latest in a series of honours accorded Tuck. Last year, he was named Kelowna’s Man of the Year and in 2005 was given the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award.

“We know Steve is a great asset to the Foundation and to the Okanagan,” acknowledges Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.  “It is gratifying that others also see the value of his selfless efforts and his contributions to the community.”

“I’m extremely honoured,” says Tuck. “In fairness, however, I think that much of the credit is due to my colleagues in all the organizations that I work with and the great goals that those agencies have. I must also thank my wife, Terry – she’s a significant contributor to making my volunteer efforts possible and successful.”

Tuck was one of just three Okanagan residents recognized. The others are former Kelowna city councilor Ben Lee and Dr. Sharon McCoubrey, who has been instrumental in organizing and promoting Lake Country’s annual Art Walk.


Give your summer credit
Okanagan College Media Release - March 14, 2007

Okanagan College is offering a condensed series of courses for students wishing to earn academic credits over the summer.

Registration is now open for anyone interested in taking Summer Session programming at the College. The Kelowna campus is offering a range of courses in Arts, Science, Business and Adult Academic and Career Preparation.

The first session of classes begins May 14 and finishes on June 22. The second session runs from July 9 - Aug. 17. A full list of available courses and schedules is available online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/summer. Those wishing to register can do so by calling (250) 762-5445.

For students planning on attending the College from out of town, student residences are available on campus in Kelowna and can be arranged by calling (250) 862-5422. Parking is free for all students during the summer at the Kelowna campus and campus food services will be open during limited hours.

Interested students are encouraged to register early to accommodate scheduling needs. For more information about Summer Session, contact Nicole Wilks at (250) 762-5445 ext. 4532.


DRAO offers Astronomy for Kids at Okanagan College
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

A series of two lectures for children are being presented by research scientists and engineers from the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) in Penticton. Open to the public, these lectures are appropriate for any children who have an interest in learning more about the Universe, astronomy or cosmology.

The facilities at the DRAO are ideally situated to provide on-the-spot exposure to astronomy and engineering activities to future leaders in science. The children’s series, developed for those between the ages of 10 and 14, will satisfy even the most astute astronomer-in-training.

Each of the sessions will be held at the DRAO facility located on White Lake Road, south of Penticton. The cost of attending one of the sessions is $15 plus GST -- transportation to the DRAO facility is not included.

On Tuesday, March 20 between 10:15 a.m. and 2 p.m., Astronomy for Kids will provide a lecture about the birth, life and death of stars. The session will be followed by a site tour of the DRAO facility and a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. The afternoon portion will include a lecture about the history of the Earth from the beginning of life until the present. Hands-on technical demonstrations will illustrate the way in which the Earth moves through space.

Engineering for Astronomy for Kids will be held on Thursday, March 22 between 10:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. The morning will consist of a lecture about the design and construction of instruments astronomers use to collect information from space. Students will then take a tour of new engineering projects at DRAO, followed by a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. The afternoon will consist of a technical demonstration of signal processing instruments and an introduction to printed circuit board design process.

For more information about any of these courses or to register, contact:

Okanagan College

Continuing Studies

Penticton

(250) 492-4305
Okanagan College Alumni Association hosts job fair linking employers with job seekers
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

A collection of employment resources offered by the Okanagan College Alumni Association in partnership with local industry sponsors will be available to students and community members interested in finding out about employment and training opportunities in the North Okanagan.

The Finding Your Future employment fair will be held at the Kalamalka campus of Okanagan College on Mar. 13 from 3 – 8 p.m. This student-focused information session will give participants the opportunity to speak with employers as well as attend a variety of skills workshops including: Create a killer resume, Beyond the application – attitude is everything, Self-employment: is it for you and many more.

"This employment fair provides an excellent opportunity for anyone considering a new career in the North Okanagan," says Jamie Morrow, Okanagan College Alumni Association President. "By bringing employment services and industry experts together with those seeking jobs we are able to offer a direct line of communication and networking for job seekers. This fair is focused on providing people with career options and valuable information to help them find the job they want."

A host of employers will be onsite with information booths set up to support job seekers. Community Futures Development Corporation, Interior Health Authority and TD Canada Trust are just a few of the participating employers.

As space is limited, participants are encouraged to register online as soon as possible. Admission is free and donations to the Food Bank are welcome. For a complete list of participating employers and skills workshops visit: www.okanagan.bc/findingyourfuture <http://www.okanagan.bc/findingyourfuture> . There are three ways to register for the free employment fair. Those interested can register at the Kalamalka campus administration office; call 545-7291 or sign up online.


Taking the Fear out of Public Speaking
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

Given the choice, most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy at a funeral. Study after study has shown that the majority of people say they fear public speaking more than they fear death.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah, college professor with the Okanagan School of Business, addresses this fear head on and offers relief to those who wish to overcome it in a course entitled Taking the Fear Out of Public Speaking.

"This fear can be quite debilitating and prevents many people from reaching their career and personal goals," says Myrah. "But public speaking doesn’t have to be so traumatic if you understand the real factors behind that stress."

The three-hour session offers practical steps to help those afraid to speak in public and empowers them with the tools and confidence they need to address their fears and master effective public speaking, Myrah says.

The evening course is offered at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus on Tuesday, April 24, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $52 + GST.

Taking the Fear Out of Public Speaking is just one of 40 new courses offered in the 2007 spring and summer brochure by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies, explains Jo-Anne Yacheson, Manager for the Central Okanagan.

"We invite people of all ages to browse through the brochure to see how they can develop and expand their interests and reach their personal goals, whatever they may be," says Yacheson.

For more information or to register for this or any other course, drop by the Okanagan College Continuing Studies Kelowna office at 1000 KLO Road, call 862-5480 or email cscentral@okanagan.bc.ca
Okanagan College student to represent B.C. at international environmental conference
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

A commitment to delivering on green technology has put Salmon Arm’s Eric Vivian among 15 post-secondary students from across Canada to be selected as 2007 ECO Canada Student Award winners.

 viviangif
Eric Vivian 
The honour will result in a $1,000 award, national recognition for his efforts and the opportunity to address the more than 10,000 people who will attend the International Environmental Technology Trade Show and Conference of Americana in Montreal from Mar. 20-22.

Vivian, a second-year arts student enrolled at Okanagan College, has spent the better part of the past two months working diligently on an independent study project which focuses on developing sustainable housing development, building techniques and energy efficiency. With support and guidance from his geography professor, Stephanie Bunclark, Vivian was encouraged to apply for the ECO award and was recently selected as one of three students who will represent BC at the international event.

"Green building is something that is beginning to take off in Canada," says Vivian. "As a country we are taking some positive first steps. I am interested in taking green building to the next level. It is not enough to just incorporate energy efficient lights or windows or appliances, my focus is on integrating all kinds of innovative technology to build truly sustainable homes and eco-communities."

Vivian and 14 peers from across the country will attend the 7th annual Conference of Americana next week and have been charged with developing a poster to highlight their contribution to environmental technology. Each of the 15 award-winners will have their poster displayed throughout the duration of the conference.

"I have received a lot of support from everyone at Okanagan College, especially my professor Stephen Doyle and Dean Lynda Wilson," says Vivian. "I am not sure what to expect at the conference but I am really looking forward to meeting some of the world’s foremost environmental experts and learning about new and innovative technology."

While only partway through his education, Vivian is looking ahead to bigger and better challenges in the field of sustainable housing development. He and a partner are exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in the sustainable housing industry and are considering a business venture down the road.

"All of the work I have been doing has led me to think about creating my own business," says Vivian. "I would really like to take some of my ideas and put them into practice."

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Okanagan College Business Students champs at provincial competition
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

A landslide victory at the 20th annual BC Business Simulation Competition held at Malaspina University College over the past weekend saw eight members of the Okanagan School of Business’ competition teams take home 17 medals including the prestigious Top Team award.

The College sent two teams to Nanaimo to compete in the simulation, which requires teams to conceptualize, implement and manage a high tech sensor manufacturing company over the course of eight years in a computer-simulated industry.

"The success of our business teams is a credit to our students, faculty and program," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "I am extremely proud of our students’ ability to translate what they learn in the classroom to the business world – that kind of knowledge will serve them well into their careers."

 bizstudents.gif
 From left to right: Trevor McAleese, Zhen Zhou, Stephen Brown, Steven Hoffart, Barbara Nudd, Jeff Swainson, Yifan Sheng, Justin Molander and Jie Song
Jeff Swainson, Jie Song, Justin Molander and Yifan Sheng represented the College as Infinity Technologies in the degree category and Stephen Brown, Trevor McAleese, Zhen Zhou and Steven Hoffart competed as SunSpot Technologies in the diploma/degree portion.

Infinity Technologies was selected as the best team in the competition, an honour that has now been won five times by Okanagan College teams in the past eight years. The team also captured a gold medal as the Top Degree Team with team member Justin Molander earning a gold as the Top Marketing Manager.

SunSpot Technologies won a series of medals in team categories and finished third overall in the team category. The team also had a number of individual victories including gold medals for top CEO and Top Operations Manager as well as a silver medal for Top HR Manager and bronze medals for Top Marketing Manager and Top Research and Development Manager.

"It is exciting and very rewarding to watch as our students from the Okanagan School of Business continue their tradition of success in their many endeavors," says Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. "This year we have 18 students competing in regional, national and international competitions. I have the utmost confidence that they will represent our College extremely well and will draw on the thorough education and mentoring they have received to achieve their goals."

Both teams were coached and mentored by College professors Barbara Nudd and Norm Letnick.

"I was impressed with the quality and performance of our students," says Nudd. "They did extremely well in the simulation and their results were outstanding but it was their professionalism in all aspects of the competition that really struck me. They put in a tremendous amount of work and it certainly paid off."

Last weekend’s results have the College off to an impressive start in what will be a busy business simulation season. Later this week College Professor Lee Cartier will take a group of business students to the Royal Roads International Undergraduate Case Competition in Victoria. On April 11 Letnick will take a different group of students to the International Collegiate Business Competition in San Diego where the team will try to defend last year’s title of Top Team.


Showcase connects international students to the Okanagan
Media Release

International students attending Okanagan College’s Business Administration program will have an opportunity to go behind the scenes at two of the Okanagan’s most distinctive local businesses to gain a first-hand perspective of the diverse and vigorous economy of the region.

The Economic Development Commission (EDC) and Okanagan College have arranged for visiting students from Finland, Japan, France, Austria and the Netherlands to tour the local companies, Bylands Nursery and Mission Hill Winery, on Friday, Mar. 9, 2007. After the tours, participants will enjoy a reception at Mission Hill where the students will meet with EDC members and local government officials.

"For the past three years the Economic Development Commission has partnered with the business and international programs at the College to showcase the many opportunities that exist in the Central Okanagan," says Robert Fine, EDC Executive Director. "Often, students who are not from British Columbia are unaware of the many emerging industries and opportunities in the region. We hope these tours and discussions with our members will help to enlighten them, and encourage them to consider doing business with the region after they return to their home countries when their studies are complete."

"Understanding the global business economy is critical for students today," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "These types of events give our international students a first-hand look at how businesses are operated in Canada. They also offer an opportunity for community leaders to gain a more global perspective through discussions with students who have come here to study from around the world."

"This is a great event for our international students and it certainly enhances their educational experience," says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. "Mixing and mingling with local business people allows students to learn about the various Okanagan industries from the definitive source – the people who own and manage them. This opportunity for students goes well above and beyond the experience they gain inside the walls of a classroom."

Also invited to the event are Okanagan College students who have recently participated in one of the exchange programs offered through the Okanagan School of Business. Okanagan College has exchange agreements with a number of post-secondary institutions around the world that allow Okanagan College students to study abroad while partnering institutions’ students to come to Okanagan College to study.

Okanagan School of Business students have the opportunity to attend business schools in Australia (Swinburne University of Technology, University of Southern Queensland), Austria (Wiener Neugtadt), Finland (Jyvaskala Polytechnic), France (ESPEME, ISAIP/ESAIP Group of Angers), Germany (Berlin School of Economics), Japan (Ritsumeikan University), Mexico (Universidad Internatcional at Cuernavaca), and the Netherlands (Hogeschool Zeeland).

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For more information, contact Jennifer Gorman at 762-5445 ext. 4249 or Robert Fine at rfine@investkelowna.com.

 
Okanagan College Student Eric Vivian earns national ECO honour
Okanagan College Media Release

College student to represent BC at international environmental conference

A commitment to delivering on green technology has put Salmon Arm’s Eric Vivian among 15 post-secondary students from across Canada to be selected as 2007 ECO Canada Student Award winners.

The honour will result in a $1,000 award, national recognition for his efforts and the opportunity to address the more than 10,000 people who will attend the International Environmental Technology Trade Show and Conference of Americana in Montreal from Mar. 20-22.

Vivian, a second-year arts student enrolled at Okanagan College, has spent the better part of the past two months working diligently on an independent study project which focuses on developing sustainable housing development, building techniques and energy efficiency. With support and guidance from his geography professor, Stephanie Bunclark, Vivian was encouraged to apply for the ECO award and was recently selected as one of three students who will represent BC at the international event.

"Green building is something that is beginning to take off in Canada," says Vivian. "As a country we are taking some positive first steps. I am interested in taking green building to the next level. It is not enough to just incorporate energy efficient lights or windows or appliances, my focus is on integrating all kinds of innovative technology to build truly sustainable homes and eco-communities."

Vivian and 14 peers from across the country will attend the 7th annual Conference of Americana next week and have been charged with developing a poster to highlight their contribution to environmental technology. Each of the 15 award-winners will have their poster displayed throughout the duration of the conference.

"I have received a lot of support from everyone at Okanagan College, especially my professor Stephen Doyle and Dean Lynda Wilson," says Vivian. "I am not sure what to expect at the conference but I am really looking forward to meeting some of the world’s foremost environmental experts and learning about new and innovative technology."

While only partway through his education, Vivian is looking ahead to bigger and better challenges in the field of sustainable housing development. He and a partner are exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in the sustainable housing industry and are considering a business venture down the road.

"All of the work I have been doing has led me to think about creating my own business," says Vivian. "I would really like to take some of my ideas and put them into practice."

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For more information or a digital image of Vivian, contact:

Christine Ulmer, Public Affairs 862-5616

culmer@okanagan.bc.ca


Contest challenges math lovers
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE

Top mathematical minds in the Okanagan’s schools will have an opportunity to compete in a region-wide math contest when preliminary round contest papers are unveiled to students throughout the area this Wednesday.

Now celebrating its 17th year, the British Columbia Secondary School Mathematics Contest (BCSSMC) was created in 1990 to promote an interest in mathematics at the high school level. Today, 12 identical regional math competitions occur each spring through the BCSSMC.

The Okanagan contest will include students from 25 schools from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm and is sponsored by Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia – Okanagan.

The preliminary round takes place on Wednesday with close to 1,000 students from Grade 8 – 12 participating. The contest consists of two categories: juniors (Grade 8-10) and seniors (Grade 11-12). A standardized set of questions for each category, compiled by a province-wide committee of college and university mathematicians, will be administered to students at their school by participating teachers.

Sponsor teachers will grade the contest papers with the help of an answer key provided by the BCSSMC committee. The top three or four finishers from each school will be invited to attend the final round of the competition on Thursday, May 3 at the KLO campus of Okanagan College where they will compete for top honours, cash prizes, and, for the top senior, a scholarship to Okanagan College or UBC Okanagan.

"It is important to have local contests like this," says Clint Lee, BCSSMC provincial coordinator and Okanagan College mathematics professor. "They give students with an interest in mathematics an opportunity to get local recognition for their achievements."

For more information about the contest, visit: http://people.okanagan.bc.ca/clee/bcssmc   or contact contest organizer Clint Lee at clee@okanagan.bc.ca

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Near record at World Championship Spaghetti Bridge contest
MEDIA RELEASE

A near record-breaking performance put forth by students Bala’zs Botka and Sa’ndor Kurucz of Budapest Polytechnic saw them win first place on March 2, in the heavyweight competition at Okanagan College’s 24th annual Spaghetti Bridge competition, sponsored by SNC-Lavalin Inc.

The bridge, which was partially built in Hungary and flown in components which were assembled in Kelowna, weighed 984.4 grams and held 255.7 kilograms before collapsing. The Hungarians’ performance left them 2 kilograms shy of a new world record in the competition – the record currently stands at 257.33 kilograms and was set by one of their fellow students in 2005.

A technical error disqualified the second team from Hungary, paving the way for Clint Stibbard of KLO Middle School, to place second in the competition with a bridge that weighed 981.8 grams and held 12.15 kilograms. Stibbard received an award of $1,000 for his accomplishment while the winning team earned $1,500.

Elsewhere in the Secondary School teambuilding competition, first place was captured by KLO Middle School team members Brad Reinholz, Hayden Kannigan, Stefan Autio and Daniel Hawtree. In second place were, Evan Hagerty, Josh Norman and Chris Johnston from Gold River Secondary School. Third place went to Shuswap Middle School students Shane Danyluk, Tyler Bolduc, Kristina Laitinen and Patricia Matys.

Students from Okanagan College dominated the Post Secondary team competition placing first, second and third. Lorant Marton, Damian Kusiak, Kari Gronvold and Tyler Smith finished in first place while Jason Manning, Naomi Perreault, Tom Tribe and Brian Parke placed second. In third spot were Adam Elliot, Scott Stephen, Erik Haynshi and Caley Leimert.

In the individual Secondary School competition Brad Reinholz of KLO Middle School won first place. Hayden Kanigan, also of KLO Middle School took second place and Mike Mace, Tera Graves, Kaylee Burke and Travis Fischer placed third.

"We are proud to host this tremendous competition," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "It offers a great opportunity to introduce students to the principles of science and technology in the context of a really fun event."

More than 300 competitors took part in this year’s event, including an array of elementary students who showcased their creativity in the bridges they built for display.

This was the first year SNC-Lavalin Inc. sponsored the heavyweight division of the competition. Longtime Spaghetti Bridge supporter ASTTBC sponsored the individual and teambuilding competitions. Other sponsors of the event included: Monashee Manufacturing, Blair Sportswear, Multi-Power Products Ltd., Save On Foods, EBA, Northside Industries, Formashape, Stantec, Okanagan College Student Union, Okanagan College Faculty Association, Okanagan Precision Machine Ltd., West Manufacturing Ltd., Fender’s Autobody and Paint, and APEG (Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC).

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Call goes out for Okanagan College Distinguished Alumni
Okanagan College Media Release


The Okanagan College Alumni Association wants to recognize outstanding alumni who are making great strides in their careers and positively impacting their communities. Nominations for the 2007 Alumni Awards are being called and will be presented to deserving members of the Okanagan College and Okanagan University College alumni community in two different categories.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to an Okanagan College or OUC alumnus who has demonstrated excellence in leadership, public/community service, business or industry, the arts, the environment or support for the College.

The Young Alumni Award honours a member of the alumni less than 35 years of age who is making an outstanding contribution to his or her community or industry.

Nominations are being sought for both awards for any person who graduated from an OUC or Okanagan College certificate, diploma or degree program, and meets the award criteria. Nomination packages and guidelines are available online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni <http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni> . All nominations must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., March 30, 2007 to Katerina Hay at 1000 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC, or email khay@okanagan.bc.ca.

"We are proud of the impact that our alumni have locally, nationally and internationally," says Jamie Morrow, Alumni Association president. "Their accomplishments serve as an excellent example for all who follow and are a testimony to the educational foundation provided to them by Okanagan College."

Past Distinguished Alumni Award recipients include: Dr. Jayne Brooks, Business Administration Diploma, 1976, currently the Dean of the Okanagan School of Business; Alan Storey, Fine Arts Diploma, 1980, an internationally recognized sculptor; Jim Cookson, Business Administration Diploma, 1982, a successful business manager and entrepreneur on the international stage; and Chief Robert Louie, Business Administration Diploma, 1975, current Chief of the Westbank First Nation, recently appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Last year was the inaugural year for the Young Alumni Award -- it was presented to up-and-coming environmentalist and freshwater scientist, Michelle Boshard, BSc, 1997.

The award recipients will be selected by the Alumni Association Board of Directors and presented at a reception later this year.

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For more information: Katerina Hay 762-5445 ext. 4771

 
 


Okanagan College hosts Business After Hours in Salmon Arm
Okanagan College Media Release

College hosts Business after Business, connecting students with employers

Members of the Shuswap business community are invited to Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus to meet and mingle with students and faculty in the College’s business programs when the campus hosts Business after Business on Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2007.

Students and faculty from the Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration diploma and Applied Business Technology programs will host the event, which takes place between 5 and 7 p.m. in the student lounge at the Salmon Arm campus.

"This evening of networking and socializing provides an excellent opportunity for employers to meet potential employees and find out more about all of the exciting business programs the College offers," says Lynda Wilson, Regional Dean.

Refreshments will be served at the event. For more information contact Megan Mills at 832-2126. If you plan to attend please RSVP to mmills@okanagan.bc.ca <mailto:mmills@okanagan.bc.ca> .

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For more information, contact: Megan Mills, 832-2126


Okanagan College hosts Business After Hours in Salmon Arm
Okanagan College Media Release

College hosts Business after Business, connecting students with employers

Members of the Shuswap business community are invited to Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus to meet and mingle with students and faculty in the College’s business programs when the campus hosts Business after Business on Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2007.

Students and faculty from the Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration diploma and Applied Business Technology programs will host the event, which takes place between 5 and 7 p.m. in the student lounge at the Salmon Arm campus.

"This evening of networking and socializing provides an excellent opportunity for employers to meet potential employees and find out more about all of the exciting business programs the College offers," says Lynda Wilson, Regional Dean.

Refreshments will be served at the event. For more information contact Megan Mills at 832-2126. If you plan to attend please RSVP to mmills@okanagan.bc.ca <mailto:mmills@okanagan.bc.ca> .

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For more information, contact: Megan Mills, 832-2126


College offers additional home support resident care attendent program
Okanagan College Media Release

College offers additional Home Support Resident Care Attendant intake in response to health care concerns



Targeted funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education will allow Okanagan College to offer an extra intake of the Home Support Resident Care Attendant program in Penticton this spring in response to employer and student demand.

The government recently confirmed funding for the additional stream of the program, which prepares students for employment in a variety of continuing care facilities or home settings.

Students interested in finding out more about the program and potential career opportunities can attend an information session being held from 1 – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 1 in room C15 of the Sunoka building at the Penticton campus.

"This is an important program offering for the South Okanagan," says MLA Bill Barisoff, Penticton-Okanagan Valley. "Residential Care aides help keep our seniors independent and in their homes longer while providing better paying local jobs in our community."

The information session will feature local representatives from Interior Health – a major employer of HSRCA graduates. Program chair Cathy Shultz will outline the program content and discuss expectations and admissions procedures.

"This program has been extremely popular in the South Okanagan," says Shultz. "There is a strong demand for qualified health care workers, especially in the area of home support care. Graduates of this program can expect to go to work immediately upon completion of their studies."

The HSRCA program is a blend of theory and practice associated with personal care. Students will learn a variety of skills including: nutritional planning, purchasing and preparation of meals, household safety, client socialization and the principles of basic client care. Students enrolled in the program gain valuable practicum experience which helps prepare them to make a smooth transition into the workforce.

Graduates of the six-month provincially-recognized credential are eligible to transfer into many Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programs.

Applications are now being accepted for the next HSRCA program in Penticton, which begins April 16, 2007. For more information about the program or the information session, call 492-4305 or 1-866-510-8899. 

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For more information, contact:

Allan Coyle, Director Public Affairs

(250) 862-5413

 


Okanagan College RV students benefit from industry generosity
MEDIA RELEASE
 
 
MTD Promotions, a subsidiary of Fraserway RV, is extending support to Okanagan College students participating in the RV Service Technician program by donating $5,000 to an annual scholarship fund.
 
The $2,500 Snowbird RV Show Award will be distributed to one or more students who have completed the entry-level RV Service Technician program at Okanagan College.
 
MTD Promotions hosts two annual RV shows at the Abbotsford Tradex centre. The company began charging admission to the shows in 1999 and has since raised more than $390,000 – all of which has been donated to various charities.
 
Show Manager Lynn Thompson runs both the Earlybird spring show and the Snowbird fall show and saw a natural fit between the two events and students at Okanagan College.
 
“Anyone involved in the RV industry knows that certified RV technicians are in demand and hard to find,” says Thompson. “By funding this new scholarship our goal is to support students and put something back into our industry. It is going to be a great partnership and a perfect fit.”
 
The RV Service Technician program offered at Okanagan College is the only RV training program in the province and the only entry-level RV program in Canada. Graduates can expect to enter a hot job market with more than 150 current vacancies in B.C. and Alberta, explains Al Cohoe, Chair of Motor Vehicle Trades at Okanagan College.
 
“The RV Service Technician program is a specialized trade that many people aren’t even aware exists,” says Cohoe. “By offering this award we are hoping to increase the awareness of the possibilities in this growing trade and help students make the choice to enter this industry.”
 
“We are extremely pleased to garner this kind of industry support for our students and program,” says Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement at Okanagan College. “It is our hope that this scholarship will help students pursue their goals while providing the industry with graduates of the highest calibre.” 
 
Members of the RV Technician department will select the award recipient or recipients based on academic achievement.
 
 
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For more information: Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement (250) 762-5445 ext. 4775 or Lynn Thompson, MTD Promotions (604) 739-4678
 

 
 
 


Okanagan College celebrates women in trades
MEDIA RELEASE

In recognition of International Women’s Week, Okanagan College is hosting an evening of networking and professional development for women in the trades on Mar. 7 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Infusions cafeteria at the KLO campus.

The evening event will bring together women working in trades, female apprentices and students to socialize, share ideas and discuss issues and best practices relating to the trades.

A panel of three Red Seal ticketed guest speakers will address the group and share their experiences as women working in unconventional roles in the trades industry. Guests will hear from Mariam Pouviliae, Automotive Service Technician; Rishia McDowell, Carpentry Foreman and Lisa Huth, Welder.

Event organizer and Trades and Apprenticeship program manager Pat Dandeneau hopes the event will allow women in the trades to learn from each other’s experiences.

"This year we have had approximately 200 female apprentices come through the doors of Okanagan College," says Dandeneau. "By providing an opportunity for these women to connect with their colleagues and others in the field, I hope they will be able to share their experiences and find ways to work through some of the challenges they face."

Okanagan College building trades instructor Lindy Monahan is encouraging all women currently working or studying the trades as well as women interested in pursuing a career in trades to take advantage of this great opportunity to network and find out more about the experiences of women in the trades.

"I have worked in all kinds of trades throughout the past 25 years," says Monahan. "The timing has never been better for women interested in entering the trades. The gates are down right now and there are so many opportunities for women to become trained and find work that pays extremely well."

Refreshments will be provided by students in the Culinary Arts program; women interested in attending this event can contact Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College at: 862-5457.

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For more information: Pat Dandeneau, 762-5445 ext. 4606
Engineering Technology Students Dominate at Catapult Competition
OKANAGAN COLLEGE NEWS RELEASE

Two second-year Civil Engineering Technology students from Okanagan College are very proud of their success at a Western Canadian BC Wood WORKS!/Canadian Wood Council Engineering Competition this past weekend. Clint Monson and Caleb Pomeroy won the Vancouver event, sponsored by the Canadian Wood Council, against a host of competing teams from university engineering schools.

The competition involves designing a catapult, trebuchet, or crossbow made of wood that can throw concrete balls at targets in a field. The competing teams have to first file a report on their machine, then make an oral presentation to judges before the actual business of firing missiles takes place. Monson and Pomeroy were recognized for the best presentation at the event on Feb. 17.

 catapult.jpg
 Clint Monson & Caleb Pomeroy with the light and lethal trebuchet
When the duo arrived at the event, it didn't take much to notice that their trebuchet (designed and built by Monson) was the smallest and lightest of the machines on site but when the firing started, it became obvious that it packed a lot of punch and was lethal at long-range. The Kelowna duo scored 1,886 points. The second-place team (from UBC Vancouver,where they offer an engineering course focused on the competition) earned 1,560 points.

While the competition involved schools from Western Canada, (the University of Alberta was among those competing), the duo could brag about being the best in Canada. A competition in Eastern Canada drew 23 teams from different university engineering schools, using the same rules as the Western competition. The best score in that competition was 850.

"We’re really proud of Caleb and Clint," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "As engineering technologists who are about to graduate from our Civil Engineering program, they have demonstrated their own abilities and knowledge and I think it safe to say their performance says something about the quality of our programs and instructors, too. I know they put a lot of time into designing, refining, building and practice. It certainly paid off on the weekend."

The students say that a lot of support helped inspire them and make the project possible: Emil Anderson Construction, Dilworth Homes, and Pomeroy Valuation Group, as well as the Okanagan College Students Union, and Okanagan College itself contributed to the costs of construction and travel.

College Professor Tom Guenther, who worked with the students, says he anticipates that the success of this team will probably encourage students from the program to participate next year as well. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, says Guenther. For Monson, the project was a dream come true. I’ve wanted to build one since I was about 10, he explains, drawing his inspiration and interest from video games like Command and Conquer and Age of Empires where machines like the trebuchet were used by participants.


Hungarian engineering students to defend title in Okanagan College's 24th annual Spaghetti Bridge competition
MEDIA RELEASE
 
A group of European contenders for the 24th annual Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge competition are scheduled to arrive in Canada next week to defend their title as heavyweight champions for the fourth year in a row.
 
Students from the esteemed Budapest Polytechnic, one of Hungary’s oldest engineering schools, have won the local competition every year since 2004 and hold the record for the strongest spaghetti bridge in Okanagan College history. This year’s entries include more students from Hungary who will be looking to carry on their country’s history of success at the Canadian competition.
 
“This year is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever,” says event organizer Michelle Lowry. “We are anticipating a hard-fought competition after receiving an impressive number of entries including 31 international students and more than 150 local high school students. The international students who attend this competition really help to make it special. It is exciting to see what young minds are thinking and designing all around the world as they debut their bridges at Okanagan College.”
 
SNC-Lavalin Inc., builders of the new William R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna have signed on as premiere sponsors of the heavyweight category while ASTTBC (Applied Science Technologist and Technicians of B.C.) are sponsoring the teambuilding and student competitions.
 
“The Spaghetti Bridge contest is an ideal way to bring attention to engineering, science and technology careers,” says John Leech, Executive Director and Registrar of ASTTBC.  “ASTTBC has been involved with the contest for about 10 years and we are thrilled to be connected again in 2007, this year as the lead sponsor for the secondary and post-secondary competitions.”
 
The team of Milovacz Balazs and Vara Gyula Balazs from Budapest Polytechnic won first place in the heavyweight category last year with a bridge weighing 972.5 grams that could hold a weight of 226.96 kilograms. Vida Balazs, a student from Szecheayi Istvan University in Hungary won second place.
 
In the heavyweight competition, first place winners will receive $1,500; second place will earn $1,000, while third place will take $500.
 
The competition gets underway on March 2, 2007 at the KLO campus of Okanagan College.
 
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For more information: Michelle Lowry 862-5473 or mlowry@okanagan.bc.ca
Nominations open for Ryga Award
Okanagan College Media Release

THE FOURTH ANNUAL GEORGE RYGA AWARD SEEKS NEW WINNER

 georgeryga.jpg
 GEORGE RYGA
The George Ryga Centre, BC Bookworld, CBC Radio and Okanagan College are now accepting nominations for the fourth annual George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in British Columbian Writing.

This award will be granted to a BC resident who achieved a high level of social awareness in a book published anywhere in the world during 2006.

Last year’s winning book was won by Talonbooks’ In Plain Sight: Reflections On Life In Downtown Eastside Vancouver, edited by Leslie Robertson and Dara Culhane.

Two years ago the late Robert Hunter’s book, The Greenpeace to Amchitka: An Envronmental Odyssey (Arsenal Pulp Press) won the award. It was presented to Robert Hunter’s widow in a gala performance (and Greenpeace Crew reunion) hosted by CBC’s Paul Grant and featuring Jazz Legends P.J. Perry, Tommy Banks and Mike Lent in Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre on George Ryga’s birthday in July.

Vancouver writer, Maggie de Vries, won the first annual award for her book Missing Sarah (Penguin Canada) in 2003.
   
Okanagan College Creative Writing Instructors, Mary Ellen Holland, John Lent and Kerry Trevelyan, will produce a shortlist from publisher’s entries. The shortlist will be announced in May, 2007.  Excerpts from shortlisted titles will be aired on CBC Kelowna’s Daybreak Program in June, and the winning entry will be announced at a concert in Vernon in July. Winners receive a full-page advertisement in BC BookWorld and a commemorative sculpture by Reg Kienast.
   
Publishers interested in entering a writer’s work in this competition should see the attached information sheet regarding the entry process and criteria.

                --30—

Contact:        John Lent, Regional Dean
            Okanagan College
            7000 College Way
            Vernon, British Columbia
            V1B2N5

            Phone: (250) 542 1785 (Local 2206)
            E-mail: jlent@okanagan.bc.ca


Civil Engineering Technology students prepare for battle
Okanagan College Press Release

Last week, the activities taking place at the KLO campus of Okanagan College left some passersby wondering if they had traveled back in time. The sight of a medieval, Braveheart-like wooden catapult firing cement balls across the campus fields was enough of an anomaly to make the local RCMP stop to investigate.

In fact, it was the College’s Civil Engineering Technology students hard at work with their instructor practicing controlled launches for an upcoming engineering competition in Vancouver.  The 2007 Wood Catapult Challenge, sponsored by the Canadian Wood Council, takes place on Feb. 17, 2007 at UBC Vancouver.

The College is sending one team to participate in the post-secondary competition which requires students to design and build a lightweight wood catapult capable of accurately hitting targets 20, 30 and 45 meters away using a two-pound cement ball.

Team captain Clint Monson designed and built the catapult during the winter break from classes. After working out some initial flaws, Monson built a second prototype that he and teammate Caleb Pomeroy will unveil at the competition. Monson and Pomeroy are both in their final semester of the College’s Civil Engineering Technology program. 

“Our catapult is operating very accurately right now,” says Monson. “We are hitting two out of every three targets and hope to fine-tune that accuracy to be in contention to win in Vancouver.”

The technical requirements for the structures are strictly regulated by contest rules. The catapult prototype cannot have a mass of more than 70 kilograms and must be light enough to be carried by hand and easily assembled on-site if necessary. The structure must be made entirely of wood materials with the exception of glue, propylene or polyethylene rope, a metal winch and a variety of screws, nails, hooks and bolts to be used in connections.

Once in Vancouver, Monson and Pomeroy will go through a performance trial where they will have 30 minutes to hit as many targets as possible at a distance of 20, 30 and 45 meters. In order to win, a team must hit all three targets (each one-square-meter in size) and accumulate as many points as possible. Monson and Pomeroy will work together to operate the catapult during the competition.

Points are distributed as follows: 20 meter target – 20 points per hit, 30 meter target – 30 points per hit, 45 meter target – 50 points per hit. An independent distance trial will also be held with a prize given to the team that achieves the longest throw.

The duo will also be judged on a 15-minute presentation to judges in which they describe the prototype, their methodology, presentation skills and use of wood. The presentation follows a written report that each team submitted to competition judges on Feb. 2.
 
“Clint and Caleb have worked extremely hard on this project,” says Tom Guenther, Civil Engineering Technology instructor. “They have incorporated a lot of the specific knowledge they learned in the program and have devoted an incredible amount of their personal time in making this catapult work.”

In addition to being named the winner of the 2007 Wood Catapult Challenge, the first-place team will receive a cash prize of $1,500. Second place will receive $1,000 and $500 will go to the third-place team.



SNC-Lavalin Supporting Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge Contest
MEDIA RELEASE

SNC-Lavalin Inc., the Canadian engineering and construction company designing and building the new William R. Bennett Bridge across Okanagan Lake, has signed on as premier sponsor for the world-renowned Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge contest.

The annual event, which will take place March 2 in Kelowna, draws competitors from around the world and throughout the region. SNC-Lavalin is providing money for prizes in the heavyweight competition, as well as contest funding and student scholarships.

"As Canada's leading engineering and construction company and a major international recruiter of engineers and other professionals, we are pleased to support the next generation of engineers, scientists and builders," says Jim Burke, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SNC-Lavalin’s Transportation Division. "It’s crucial to encourage future generations of young engineers to pursue studies in our exciting field of work."

"We’re pleased to have SNC-Lavalin come aboard as the major sponsor of the 24th annual competition," says Kathy Butler, the College’s Director of Advancement. "It sends a very positive message to students about the involvement and support of industry. And there is a very real tie here to the company that is building the bridge that we have all waited for a long time."

The SNC-Lavalin Heavyweight Competition has a strict set of rules that govern everything from how much a bridge can weigh – a maximum of 1,000 grams – and the size of the span to the types of pasta that can be used. The noodles must be commercially available and lasagna is recommended for the bridge deck.

Last year two students from Budapest Polytechnic won the competition by constructing a bridge weighing 972.5 grams that held nearly 227 kilograms before breaking. The record is held by another student from the same institution whose bridge carried a weight of 257.33 kilograms before breaking in 2004.

First prize in the heavyweight competition is $1,500. Second prize is $1,000 and third prize is $500.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX: SNC) is one of the leading groups of engineering and construction companies in the world, a major player in the ownership of infrastructure, and in operations and maintenance services. The SNC-Lavalin companies have offices across Canada and in 30 other countries around the world and are currently working in some 100 countries. www.snclavalin.com <http://www.snclavalin.com/>

To view general information and rules for the Spaghetti Birdge contest, click here

For further information:

Media:

Gillian MacCormack Vice-President, Public Relations SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

514-393-8000, ext. 7354 gillian.maccormack@snclavalin.com 

 
Okanagan College sponsors Apprentice contest for budding entrepreneurs
Budding entrepreneurs to showcase skills in The Apprentice

More than 180 middle and secondary school students have signed on to become the Okanagan’s next big business success in the 2007 Young Entrepreneur Program -- Apprentice Edition.

While the program lacks the comb-over of The Donald, students will face many of the same challenges the TV show contestants encounter as they fight for the honour of being selected as the Okanagan’s Apprentice.

Okanagan College, School District 23 and the Economic Development Commission have partnered to offer the competition for a second year.

The Apprentice competition gets underway on Feb. 8 and 9 with the judging of the first of three business tasks. The 40 teams registered for the competition have been charged with developing a product or service that will promote healthy eating or physical exercise to teenagers.

In the first round of competition, teams will showcase their product or service and will be judged by volunteers from local businesses. Some teams will face elimination after the first round while the top teams will be asked to complete a second task, presenting their results to the judges on March 29 and 30. From there, finalists will complete a third related task and will compete for the title of The Apprentice on May 3.

The winning group from the secondary school category will win $2,500; the first-place team from the middle school category will win $1,000. Winners will be announced at the Young Entrepreneur Awards Luncheon at Okanagan College on May 16.

"We want to encourage students to foster an entrepreneurial spirit," says Marilyn Block, Partnership Facilitator for School District 23. "This contest encourages students to look outside of the mainstream when considering a career path to see the benefits of going into business for yourself."

No one understands those benefits better than the 2006 winners of the secondary school category. The trio of Alison Woodward, Brianne Tweddle and Debra Welch from Rutland Senior Secondary took their award-winning business plan and opened their own small business, Void Graphics. The graphic design company creates original clothing, posters, tattoos and logos filling orders from their full-service web site, www.voidgraphics.com .

"We began the Young Entrepreneur Program to give students a glimpse into the world of small business," says Robert Fine, Director of the Economic Development Commission. "Working with the Okanagan School of Business provides a great opportunity to match up young people with business students in the community and we are all excited to watch as the teams unveil their innovative ideas."

As title sponsor of the event, Okanagan College and the Okanagan School of Business will provide the teams with mentors from the College’s Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) program. The student-mentors will work with the teams to help them develop strong business policies and practices.

"Working with the Economic Development Commission and School District 23 is a win-win situation for everyone involved," says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. "Our joint commitment to developing the entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of our youth will serve our community well into the future."

The competition is judged by a collection of more than 60 volunteers from the business community. Additional judges are still needed for the 2007 competition. To volunteer to become a judge, contact Shannon Tartaglia at the Economic Development Commission at info@investkelowna.com .

 

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For more information, contact:

Jennifer Gorman, Okanagan School of Business

(250) 762-5445 ext. 4249



 
Okanagan College eco-tour explores Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park
Experience the ecology of Cathedral Provincial Park

An eco-tour of British Columbia’s Cathedral Lakes region on July 24 – 26, 2007 is open to anyone with an interest in exploring the geological diversity of this unique area.

The three-day, two-night excursion will take participants to one of the most stunning settings in the B.C. interior. Located in the province’s southwest mountain region, the Cathedral Lakes Lodge rests just north of the US border, west of Oroville. The Lodge is located on the shores of Quiniscoe Lake, 2000 meters above sea level.

The Eco-tour will take hikers on a series of day trips, including a hike on Cathedral Rim Trail. On a clear day, once on top of the rim, hikers enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the North Cascade Mountains, the Coast Range, the Thompson Plateau and the Kootenays. In addition to experiencing the mountain vistas, field trips will focus on plant, animal and bird identification as well as information about the overall ecology and geology of the area.

All hikes, field trips and slide presentations will be led by local naturalists who will share their knowledge and passion for the outdoors. Hikers will enjoy all of the amenities of the lodge including the use of the hot tub, canoes, rowboats and the dining room. Accommodation will be provided in the lodge facilities.

The Cathedral Lakes eco-tour costs $349 plus GST per person with all meals and lodging included. For more information or to register, contact Okanagan College Continuing Studies at (250) 492-4305.

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Okanagan College Students and Profs Dress for Success
MEDIA RELEASE

The Okanagan Business Students’ Association (OBSA) is presenting an evening of style at a fashion show fundraiser aimed at generating support for local business students.

Okanagan College business students and professors will model the latest in business attire in the fashion show, which takes place on Thursday, Feb. 8 in the lecture theatre at the KLO campus of the College. The evening event begins with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., followed by a two-hour show designed to showcase professional trends for spring 2007.

Divided into three segments, Saturday Morning in the Office, The Boardroom and Business After Hours, the runway fashion show will offer insight into how to dress professionally in any business setting, at any age.

A variety of local and national retailers will be represented at the event and local image consultant Tiffany Stone will provide guests with tips on making the most of your professional image.

"This event offers a great opportunity for students and members of the business community to have a lot of fun while supporting students at the same time," says Michyl Culos, OBSA marketing director. "There will be something for everyone at this event, from the socializing during cocktails to the runway portion to the great door prizes we have had donated."

The OBSA is a not-for-profit organization whose purposes are to raise money for student bursaries and enhance interaction between Business Administration students and the business community. Tickets to the show can be purchased at the door and are $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

The fashion show is the first of two community events put on by the OBSA. On March 8 the 28th annual OBSA Business Banquet will be held at the Grand Hotel in Kelowna. This year’s banquet will feature a keynote address by business journalist Dianne Buckner, host of the CBC programs Dragons’ Den and Venture.

For more information about the Dress for Success fashion show or the OBSA Business Banquet, please contact Michyl Culos at: michyl.culos_obsa@yahoo.ca <mailto:michyl.culos_obsa@yahoo.ca> .


Okanagan College project receives top award from CHBA BC
College project receives top award in province by CHBA BC

The Okanagan College Home for Learning project received a Georgie Award from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. in the category of Best Public-Private Partnership at an annual award ceremony held on Feb. 2, 2007 in Vancouver.

The College won gold for the Village of Kettle Valley home built by students in the Residential Construction program. In addition to winning the Georgie, the Home for Learning also won a gold Tommie Award in January in a different category, Outstanding Contribution to the Housing Industry.

"We began a partnership with Okanagan College and the Home for Learning program in 2005," says Carlos Bermudez, President of the Village of Kettle Valley. "Since then we have built two outstanding homes while training dozens of students. We are proud to be recognized for this great accomplishment and look forward to continued success in the Home for Learning program."

The College and partners, the Village of Kettle Valley and Delnor Custom Homes, received tremendous community support from more than 35 local sponsors throughout the building process. Upon the sale of the home in December, the net proceeds were combined with the proceeds from the sale of the 2005 Home for Learning and amounted to more than $200,000, which will be put toward student scholarships and new equipment for trades students.

"Del and I are proud to be a part of the Home for Learning project and are honoured to have been recognized for the project’s contribution to the community," says Nora Rodgers, Vice President of Delnor Custom Homes.

"The Home for Learning project is one of the best examples of the kind of impact Okanagan College students are creating in our communities," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "We are extremely proud of our students, the program, our partners and sponsors and are grateful for the support our students and College receive in our communities."

"We began the Home for Learning program to ensure our students received the most practical and applicable training possible," says Randy Werger, Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. "We have been able to go beyond our initial goal and have created a connection between our students and the industry which they will become a part of."

New intakes of the Home for Learning project began Feb. 5 in Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arm. The program will begin in Revelstoke on Feb. 19. For more information about the Home for Learning, visit: www.homeforlearning.ca  or call (250) 862-5457.


Budding entrepreneurs to showcase skills in The Apprentice
Okanagan College Press Release - Feb. 1, 2007

More than 180 middle and secondary school students have signed on to become the Okanagan’s next big business success in the 2007 Young Entrepreneur Program -- Apprentice Edition.

While the program lacks the comb-over of The Donald, students will face many of the same challenges the TV show contestants encounter as they fight for the honour of being selected as the Okanagan’s Apprentice.

Okanagan College, School District 23 and the Regional District of Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission have partnered to offer the competition for a second year.

The Apprentice competition gets underway on Feb. 8 and 9 with the judging of the first of three business tasks. The 40 teams registered for the competition have been charged with developing a product or service that will promote healthy eating or physical exercise to teenagers.

In the first round of competition, teams will showcase their product or service and will be judged by volunteers from local businesses. Some teams will face elimination after the first round while the top teams will be asked to complete a second task, presenting their results to the judges on March 29 and 30. From there, finalists will complete a third related task and will compete for the title of The Apprentice on May 3.

The winning group from the secondary school category will win $2,500; the first-place team from the middle school category will win $1,000. Winners will be announced at the Young Entrepreneur Awards Luncheon at Okanagan College on May 16.

“We want to encourage students to foster an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Marilyn Block, Partnership Facilitator for School District 23. “This contest encourages students to look outside of the mainstream when considering a career path to see the benefits of going into business for yourself.”

No one understands those benefits better than the 2006 winners of the secondary school category. The trio of Alison Woodward, Brianne Tweddle and Debra Welch from Rutland Senior Secondary took their award-winning business plan and opened their own small business, Void Graphics. The graphic design company creates original clothing, posters, tattoos and logos filling orders from their full-service web site, www.voidgraphics.com. 
                                              
“We began the Young Entrepreneur Program to give students a glimpse into the world of small business,” says Robert Fine, Director of the Economic Development Commission. “Working with the Okanagan School of Business provides a great opportunity to match up young people with business students in the community and we are all excited to watch as the teams unveil their innovative ideas.”

As title sponsor of the event, Okanagan College and the Okanagan School of Business will provide the teams with mentors from the College’s Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) program. The student-mentors will work with the teams to help them develop strong business policies and practices. 

“Working with the Economic Development Commission and School District 23 is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. “Our joint commitment to developing the entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of our youth will serve our community well into the future.”

The competition is judged by a collection of more than 60 volunteers from the business community. Additional judges are still needed for the 2007 competition. To volunteer to become a judge, contact Shannon Tartaglia at the Economic Development Commission at info@investkelowna.com.







Shaw chosen as Chair for Okanagan College Board of Governors
Janet Shaw has been chosen as Okanagan College’s new Chair of the Board of Governors

 JanetShaw.jpg
 Janet Shaw
Shaw, an Oliver resident, who is a former registered nurse and a community volunteer, was selected Tuesday at the Board’s regular meeting. She replaces Norm Embree as Chair, whose tenure on the Board ended in November. Shaw was the Vice-Chair of the Board. Jane Lister, a Vernon resident, is the new Vice-Chair. Lister is the General Manager of the Community Futures Development Corporation for the North Okanagan.

"We are at an important point in Okanagan College’s development," says Shaw, whose experience in post-secondary included membership in the Okanagan University College Board of Governors. "We anticipate significant capital investment in the College infrastructure in the years ahead, and I know that College staff are working diligently to help meet the needs and expectations of the many communities we serve."

janelister.jpg 
 Jane Lister
Shaw has been a resident of British Columbia for 28 years and is a former Mayor of Logan Lake. She has volunteered in numerous sports, recreation and school organizations.

Tuesday’s Board meeting was the first for two new Board members, Bill Cooke and Lance Kayfish. They replaced Embree, and another outgoing Board member, Revelstoke’s Thom Tischik.

"Both Thom and Norm served our institution and our region extremely well," says Shaw. "As members of the first Board of the new Okanagan College, they deserve our thanks for helping lead this institution to such a good start."

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Two new members for Okanagan College Board of Governors
Two new members are joining the Okanagan College Board of Governors.

The provincial government has appointed Lance Kayfish, a Kelowna resident, and Bill Cooke, of Magna Bay, to one-year terms with the College Board.

 BCooke.jpg
 Bill Cooke
"We’re very pleased to have Lance and Bill join the Board," says Janet Shaw, Acting Chair of the Board of Governors. "Both bring a great deal of experience and expertise to their new roles, and will complement the skill and knowledge inventory that our Board boasts."

Cooke has an extensive resume in the financial services arena: from 2000 until his retirement in 2006, he was President and CEO of MD Private Trust Company, which is a discretionary investment management and trust firm providing services to physicians in the Canadian Medical Association. He was a Vice-President of the Royal Bank Financial Group from 1985 to 1999, and before that worked for the Government of Saskatchewan in senior managerial roles.

lancekayfish.jpg 
 Lance Kayfish
Kayfish is a risk management expert employed by the City of Kelowna, with a background in post-secondary education management. He’s worked with the City
since 2003 as Risk Manager and before that worked with the University of Calgary as Manager of Safety Services.  Previous board experience includes a three-year term on the Alberta Student Finance Board (responsible for oversight of Alberta's student loan system, provincial scholarships and bursaries).  He has also served on the University of Calgary's Senate and General Faculties Council.

The two join six other government-appointed members on the Board of Governors, including Shaw (from Oliver), Allen Tozer (Kelowna), Paul Johnson (Kelowna), Janice Perrino (Summerland), Jane Lister (Vernon), and Brian Hughes (Penticton). Hughes was recently reappointed to a second one-year term on the Board. Elected members of the Board include Eve Nicole Brighouse-Warren (student representative), Michael Conlin (faculty representative), Angelika March (staff representative), and Mark Preston-Horin (student representative). The Chair of Okanagan College’s Education Council – Anne Cossentine – is an ex officio member of the Board, as is Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College.

The first meeting for Kayfish and Cooke (the Board’s next regular meeting) is Jan. 30 in Kelowna.

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Okanagan College offers courses in grape growing and oenology
January 25, 2007

Cultivate your knowledge of grape growing and wine making

Two courses designed for horticulture professionals, vineyard managers or people with an interest in improving their skills and service in the wine industry are being offered by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies in March.

Experienced instructor, Gary Strachan, will lead both courses sharing his expertise in both topics -- Cool Climate Viticulture and Wine Making.

The first in the series, Cool Climate Viticulture, is a five-day course intended to introduce the viticulture skills and knowledge required to manage or work in a cool coastal climate vineyard. Four days of classroom study will be followed by a vineyard tour. Topics covered in the course include grapevine phenology, growth cycles, propagation, pruning, trellising, soil fertility, irrigation systems and overall crop management. Cool Climate Viticulture is offered March 14 – 18, 2007 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.

The second course focuses on the annual cycle of wine making from the harvest and crush to the art of making high quality wines. Over the course of five days, students enrolled in Wine Making will learn to assess grape quality and recognize good winemaking practices. The role of the tasting room, wine shop and customer service will also be covered. Wine Making will take place at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on March 24, 25, 31 and April 1 and 2.

The cost of each course is $499 and pre-registration is required. Certificates will be offered upon the successful completion of optional course exams. For more information or to register for one or both courses, call Continuing Studies (250) 492-4305.

 

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College hosts conference to internationalize curriculum
Okanagan College Press Release - Jan. 26, 2007

Okanagan College is presenting a half-day conference in Kelowna featuring internationally renowned speaker Todd Odgers who will deliver a keynote address on the topic of internationalizing curriculum.

Odgers’ presentation will take place on Feb. 22, 2007 at the KLO campus of Okanagan College and will explain the concept of internationalizing curriculum while introducing a framework for a phased approach to preparing faculty and students to lead the way in internationalization.

Odgers, a faculty member of Malaspina University College with a dual appointment to the faculty of International Education and the faculty of Business, has written and presented papers to conferences across Canada and the United States, including the 2006 York University Annual International Conference on Internationalizing Canada’s Universities.

“For the past few years the idea of internationalizing curriculum has been circulating as a topic of conversation,” says Paul Stephenson, ESL Instructor at Okanagan College. “We have been discussing it for a long time but the presentation by Todd Odgers will provide options and strategies to actually put ideas into motion. Internationalizing the curriculum at Okanagan College will not only assist our many international students, it will also benefit our faculty and Canadian students who wish to gain an education that is valued in any nation or culture around the world.”

The conference will feature facilitator-led breakout sessions to discuss ideas from the keynote address and any issues that arise out of the presentation.  In addition to the session led by Odgers, Stephenson will present the results of the College’s Academic Success Survey conducted in December 2006.

The free conference to internationalize curriculum is open to the public and offers a great opportunity for educators, students and anyone interested in finding out more about this topic. The conference will be the cornerstone of an ongoing and important dialogue about internationalization throughout Okanagan College. Pre-registration is required and can be achieved online by visiting: www.okanagan.bc.ca/ICC. For further information contact Paul Stephenson at 762-5445 ext. 4647 or pstephenson@okanagan.bc.ca.


Buckner featured at OBSA banquet
Okanagan College Press Release - Jan. 22, 2007

Dianne Buckner, the host of CBC’s Dragons’ Den and the successful television series Venture, will bring her message about developing business leaders to the Okanagan in early March, as part of the 28th annual Okanagan Business Students’ Association Business Banquet.

 buckner2.jpg
 Dianne Buckner
The banquet will be held March 8 at the Grand Hotel, beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $65, and are available by calling 762-5445 ext. 4745

Buckner has hosted the nation’s most-watched business show for the past decade and has interviewed a host of business leaders and personalities, including Warren Buffet, and former Prime Minister Paul Martin. She was also the host of Dragon’s Den, a TV reality show where entrepreneurs face five Canadian business moguls to ask for investment in an idea.

Buckner is the latest feature speaker chosen by the Okanagan College business students who organize this conference. Last year, David Chilton (the author of the Wealthy Barber) addressed nearly 700 guests at the banquet.

“We’re very excited to have Dianne as our feature speaker at this year’s banquet,” says Angela Holmes, the chair of the OBSA committee that organizes the event. “Her role as host of Venture gives her tremendous insight into what makes business leaders and entrepreneurs tick, how they are developed, and Canada’s business climate.”

The Okanagan College students organize the banquet as a way to connect with the valley’s business and community leaders and as a means to introduce students to prospective employers and colleagues. “From what we know of such events, this is one of the largest of its type organized wholly by students, and certainly has a long and impressive history,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. There is significant community support for the event, including media sponsorship from both the Capital News and SILK-FM.

“I’m looking forward to this event, particularly because of the role students play,” says Buckner. “I’m hearing about the great reputation of the College’s business administration program and I’m seeing evidence of it in the organization of this banquet. I know the Okanagan is a hotbed for entrepreneurialism and my sense is that the Okanagan School of Business and its graduates have played a significant role in creating that climate.”

Dianne will focus her discussion around this year’s banquet theme “Students Today, leaders tomorrow… We don’t find leaders, we develop them.”   She will also be speaking on her personal trappings of success in the business world.

For more information on Dianne Buckner, please visit www.cbc.ca/venture.

For tickets or more information on the OBSA Business Banquet, please call 762 – 5445 ext. 4745, or email Angela Holmes at angela.holmes@hotmail.com . See you there!

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Okanagan College team breaks ground for future competitors
Media Release

 
As the first team to represent Okanagan College at the prestigious Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.), fourth-year business students Tamara Guild and Wade Stolz are using their newfound knowledge to help pave the way for future College teams.
 
 icbcteam2.jpg
 Coach and professor Rick Appleby (left), Tamara Guild and Wade Stolz preparing for the ICBC event.
“Considering it was the first time Okanagan College has participated in this national competition, we were able to learn a lot from the experience and I am confident that teams from our College will be contenders in future competitions,” says coach and professor Rick Appleby. “Tamara and Wade did an outstanding job as first-time competitors and were complimented on their analysis of the case by the judges, other coaches and by several students who watched their presentation.
 
“Now we know what the judges are looking for,” says Stolz. “They gave us some really nice compliments on our work and also some valuable feedback to help us in the future.”
 
Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton was among the first to congratulate the team upon their return from Kingston.
 
“We are extremely proud of Tamara and Wade for representing our College at this national competition,” says Hamilton. “Being selected as one of the top business marketing teams in Canada is really a testament to the talents of our students and the strength of our program.”
 
Six teams were entered into the marketing competition after having completed a preliminary competition round in November. The only college team invited to participate in the first round, Guild and Stolz ranked in the top six beating 20 universities to qualify for the finals.
 
“The competition was great and we were honoured to be selected to represent our College,” says Guild. “We didn’t win but we learned a lot and were able to take a lot away with us. Being in Kingston provided a great opportunity for Wade and I to network and we met a ton of interesting people.”
 
The duo traveled to Kingston on Jan. 11 to compete in the final round with some unexpected financial support from local businessperson Paul Johnson, Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with Raymond James Ltd. and member of Okanagan College’s Board of Governors. Johnson sponsored a portion of the team’s extraneous costs while in Ontario.
 
“I was happy to support the team representing the College because I understand the value of the program and the quality of students the Okanagan School of Business produces,” says Johnson. “I have hired graduates of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program and am convinced that it is the best post-secondary business education anywhere.”
 
The marketing case was won by the University of Calgary. Concordia placed second and Ryerson finished third.
 
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For more information contact:
Christine Ulmer, Public Affairs 862-5616
 
Bill Redmond takes on new role with Okanagan School of Business
OKANAGAN COLLEGE MEDIA RELEASE



Bill Redmond – well known throughout the Okanagan Valley as a businessman and community volunteer – is geared up to take on a new role at Okanagan College on Jan. 15.

Redmond has accepted the offer to become the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Okanagan School of Business.

"The emerging generations of young people are remarkable in so many ways," says Redmond. "They out-perform previous generations. They provide higher levels of service, are more efficient, embrace technology and create smarter business models and strategies. I am sure I am going to get more out of this experience than I give and am looking forward to interacting with the bright young business people of tomorrow."

Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College is also pleased with the appointment.

"We are honoured to have the opportunity to work someone with such a successful background and a record of community service and entrepreneurial accomplishments and sincerely welcome him to our College," says Hamilton.

Drawing on a history in business spanning more than four decades, Redmond is best known as the founder, President and CEO of HRI Supply. The company, which was founded in 1978, became the largest broad-line distributor of food and related products to the hotel, restaurant and institutional trade in the BC interior. In 2001 HRI Supply was purchased by Sysco Corporation and became the only company in the BC Interior to merge with a Fortune 500 company in 27 years.

"The potential benefits to students and professors from an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program are tremendous," says Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. "Our students will have the opportunity to share and learn from Bill’s accumulation of wisdom and experience. Having an advisor and mentor of Bill’s calibre available in a non-teaching role adds an exciting dimension to the student experience."

While holding the yearlong appointment of Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Redmond will be working out of an office at Okanagan College twice per month. During his time on campus he will guest-lecture in classes, consult with students one-on-one or in small groups and will work with professors to brainstorm and strategize about modern, relevant business practices.

Though Redmond has never formally taught, his life experiences have prepared him well for this exciting new role.

"I loved every minute of every day I was in business," says Redmond. "I became a manager at age 25 and have considered myself a teacher for most of my life. When you run a business and it reaches a certain size, you need to delegate responsibility and take on more of an inspirational role. I have been doing that for a long time and plan to continue that approach with the students at the College.

 

For more information:

Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of Business, Okanagan College 762-5445 ext. 4361

Bill Redmond, 869-9802

EDS: A digital image of Bill Redmond is available; please contact Christine Ulmer to obtain a copy: 862-5616 or culmer@okanagan.bc.ca
 
Population of Okanagan College Region is fastest growing in the province
Press Release - Jan. 10, 2007


Okanagan College’s region is the fastest growing in the province, according to the latest BC government statistics.
Of the 15 College regions that comprise the province, Okanagan College’s recorded the fastest growth between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006. The population served by the College increased by 9,425 to 386,084, a growth of approximately 2.5 per cent. The overall provincial population grew by approximately 1.24 per cent in the same time period. (The population estimates were released this week by BC Statistics.)
The Okanagan College region stretches from Revelstoke to Osoyoos and covers an area about six times the size of Prince Edward Island.
“The growth in population is not really a surprise,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We have all seen evidence of it in construction and traffic. At the College we’ve seen it reflected in student enrolment in many of our programs.”
Hamilton also noted that the College has seen remarkable growth in a key demographic group for post-secondary education: the 17 to 29 year olds.
“While our programs cater to all adults, and even to secondary students, we consider the 17 to 29 year old cohort to be very important to our business. It’s interesting to note that that particular age group grew by nearly 3.9 per cent or 2,457 people in the last year in our region.”
“That might give pause for thought to those who think that the post-retirement age group is the only growth area in the Okanagan and Shuswap.”
Will the population growth slow?
“Looking at some other recent work by BC Statistics, I don’t think it will slow soon,” says Hamilton. “Their work suggests that we are going to see an average employment growth in our region of about 2.7 per cent annually until 2009-10, with more than 26,000 new jobs created in our region by then. Combine the demographic and employment figures and you have a compelling case for continued post-secondary growth in our region.”
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For more information: Allan Coyle (250) 862-5413


TELUS honours employee with legacy of Okanagan College scholarship
jordy.jpg
Jordy Koenig

Media Release

January 9, 2007

TELUS is donating $25,000 in the form of a new scholarship bearing the name of valued employee Jordy Koenig, to help support students enrolled in the College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEn) program.

Koenig, a communications and networking technologist with 25 years of service at TELUS, took a personal interest in students in the College’s NTEn program in early 2003 and has since contributed countless hours of his time working with students over the past three years.

"We realize the importance of Jordy’s contribution to students at the College and wanted to recognize his efforts," says Steve Jenkins, TELUS General Manager for the Interior South. "The creation of the Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship acknowledges the value of Jordy’s commitment to strengthening the link between education and industry in the field of telecommunications. At the same time, by financially supporting students enrolled in the NTEn program, we are helping to ensure the existence of a solid pool of highly skilled potential employees for TELUS."

Driven by the belief that industry and training should be closely linked, Koenig spearheaded an initiative that brought NTEn students to the TELUS facility in Kelowna to gain a practical perspective on their future industry. The success of the partnership resulted in Jordy’s appointment to the College’s Program Advisory Council, a position he has held since 2004.

"I am deeply honoured that this scholarship bears my name," says Koenig. "The scope of possibilities that this scholarship may foster brings to me a wondrous lesson in humility. I had hoped my efforts with these students would help them along their way and assist them in their careers. I never dreamt of this outcome."

"This is an important partnership with industry that will raise the awareness of career opportunities and help remove barriers, including financial restraints, that might otherwise keep bright, motivated and gifted people from entering the Network Telecommunications field," says Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement of the Okanagan College Foundation.

The company will donate the $25,000 over five years. The annual Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship will be offered to three students who have completed their first year of full-time study in the NTEn program and are entering their second year. The scholarships will be performance-based and awarded at the following levels: Gold $2,500, Silver $1,500 and Bronze $1,000 respectively.

 

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For more information: Christine Ulmer, Public Affairs (250) 862-5616

 
 


College nursing grads step into hot job market
Okanagan College Press Release

Forty-five more Practical Nurses are ready to help respond to the needs of the health care sector after graduating last month from Okanagan College.

"We’re conscious of the skills shortage in health care and are committed as a College to helping answer the needs of our communities," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "Ceremonies like those held in december certainly wouldn’t be possible without the support and co-operation of the health care sector and our many partners."

Of the 45 nurses who graduated last month, 26 received their certificates in Kelowna while 19 were recognized at a ceremony held in Penticton.

Tanya Brown is just one of this week’s graduates who is taking advantage of the rising demand for certified health care workers; she will begin practicing in her new career after taking the weekend off to celebrate her achievement.

"I come from a family of nurses," says Brown. "My mother’s experience makes me realize that times have certainly changed. In years past, nurses had to call the switchboard daily to find out if they could get a shift. In today’s job market employers are tracking me down and calling to see if and when I can come to work."

Brown and 25 of her classmates began the Kelowna Practical Nursing program 12 months ago. After graduating, Brown went to work almost immendiately in her first position as a Licenced Practical Nurse at Crossroads Rehabilitation Centre. She credits the College’s program, the professionalism of her instructors and the small group of supportive classmates for her success in the program.

"The hands-on training I have received has prepared me extremely well for my career," says Brown. "My instructors have been incredible, teaching me real-life skills and making me aware of the fact that in this profession I am going to be continually learning and in an excellent position to help people. Today I fulfilled my goal of becoming a nurse and I realize that this profession is going to be even more rewarding than I had imagined."

For more information about Okanagan College’s Practical Nursing program call 762-5445 or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca
Endowment Fund grows with book's popularity
Okanagan College Media Release - Jan. 4, 2007


Local best-seller proceeds working to support students



A surge in book sales by local authors Dr. Murray Roed and Dr. John Greenough has brought the total amount of funds in the Kelowna Geology Committee Endowment to more than $50,000, which equates to more bursaries for Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan students interested in pursing studies in earth sciences.

The Kelowna Geology Committee established the endowment fund in 2000 and has since collected 100 per cent of the proceeds from sales of the local best-selling book, Okanagan Geology, British Columbia.

"Last year we were able to hand out more than $2,000 in bursaries for students from the accrued interest of the endowment fund," says Roed. "The book has been flying off the shelves and we expect this edition to do as well, if not better, than the first edition."

The Kelowna Geology Committee offers two annual awards of $1,250.

At UBC Okanagan the award is given to an outstanding student in the Earth and Environmental Sciences program and/or Freshwater Science program in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, based on recommendations from the department faculty.

The Okanagan College award is available to students enrolled full-time in a university transfer, degree or associate degree program at the College who wish to complete their degree in Earth Science or Freshwater Science. Recipients will also have work or volunteer experience related to the geological sciences, forestry or environmental sciences.

Roed and Greenough wrote the majority of the text with important contributions from several members of the Kelowna Geology Committee. The group solicited donations from the community to cover publishing costs of the book in order to be able to use the full proceeds of book sales to support local students. A $5,000 grant was also given by the Geological Foundation of Canada.

"The establishment and support of the Kelowna Geology Committee Endowment is an example of a true partnership between important members of our community and students," says Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement at Okanagan College.

 

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For more information contact:
Christine Ulmer, Okanagan College Public Affairs
862-5616 or 470-3633 (cell)



Okanagan College Business Students Qualify for Elite Competition

Media Release - December 19, 2006

College business team among Canada’s elite



If post-secondary business competitions were sporting events, Okanagan College’s School of Business would be headed for the Super Bowl.

Tamara Guild and Wade Stolz, both fourth-year students in the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration program, have been selected as one of six teams of finalists who will compete in the final round of competition at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) on Jan. 11-13, 2007 at Queen’s University.

"Being selected to the final round in a competition of this calibre is a credit to our students, professors, program and institution," says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. "This event is a who’s who of business competitions in Canada and affirms for us that we have some of the brightest undergraduate business minds in the country."

As the only college team entered in the competition, Guild and Stolz beat out 20 teams from institutions such as UBC, University of Alberta, University of Toronto, Carleton and McGill University to earn a spot in the top six.

This year marks the first time Okanagan College has been invited to compete at I.C.B.C., a further testament to the growing reputation of the Okanagan School of Business.

Guild and Stolz, who had never worked together or even taken a class together, credit their success in the competition to the practical education they have received in the College’s business program.

"Even though this was the first year the College has entered this competition we were totally prepared because we consistently work in small groups in our classes," says Guild. "Presentations and group-work are stressed and we get an incredible amount of one-on-one time with our professors which allows us to become engaged at a level that you can’t achieve if you are sitting in a lecture theatre with dozens of other students."

The I.C.B.C. competition includes seven events. The team of Guild and Stolz were coached by professor Rick Appleby and competed in the marketing case, surpassing most competitors to make it to the finals. The College entered a second team led by professor Lee Cartier. Jie Song, Akiko Sugawara and Joel Alleyn competed in the first-round of the business policy competition but did not advance to the finals.

Both teams were sent business cases in the mail on Oct. 2, 2006 and were given until Nov. 1, 2006 to submit a written analysis complete with solutions to the I.C.B.C. judging panel. Upon receipt, the submitted business case analyses and solutions were stripped of any institutional affiliation by the executive committee so as to ensure impartial judging by the panel made up of Queen’s professors.

The top six finalists in each of the seven categories have now been selected and will travel to Kingston in January to attend the final round, which will require the students to examine a different, more complex business case that will be judged by a new panel of leading business professionals.

Guild and Stolz will work with Appleby in the coming weeks to prepare for the final round and look forward to showcasing their abilities among the ranks of Canada’s elite business minds.

"We are looking forward to going up against the top name universities in Canada," says Stolz. "This is the first year we have been invited to this event and I know that we are going to surprise some people."

For more information about the competition visit: www.icbconline.ca . To find out more about the Okanagan School of Business visit: www.okanagan.bc.ca/business.
Slam Poet returns home

Shane Koyczan, an internationally acclaimed slam poet, will perform at Okanagan College this month as part of his Coming Home tour.

Koyczan, an Okanagan University College alumnus from the Creative Writing program, will perform at the Kelowna Campus on Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Okanagan College Student Union office in Room H125, Health Building.

The award-winning poet will also perform at the Penticton Campus Lecture Theatre on Wednesday, March 15. Tickets are free for students; $5 for faculty and members of the community and available at the Okanagan College Student Union office.

Koyczan is the winner of the Leonard Cohen Award for Best Song, the James Elroy Award for Best Voice and the W.B. Yeats Award for Best Poem, all while working in a video store to support his writing habit. He has performed with such notables as Maya Angelou, Quincy Troupe, Utah Phillips, sage francis and has opened for Ani Difranco, Spearhead and Saul Williams.

The events are sponsored by the Okanagan College Student Union, Local 53 Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). For more information, call (250) 762-5445 Ext. 4535.