Local non-profit proposes amphitheatre
for Vernon campus
A proposed outdoor amphitheatre accommodating up to 5,500 people at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus could see large artistic and cultural events such as symphony orchestras and dance companies perform at a venue offering incredible views. Led by the non-profit Okanagan Summer Festival Society the proposed project was announced at a Greater Vernon Advisory Council meeting on Dec. 10.
With research in hand that speaks to the feasibility of the project, the Society has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the College’s Board of Governors that authorizes the Society to continue work on developing the idea. The expectation is that the Society would be wholly responsible for building and operating the facility on the College’s property in Coldstream under a long-term lease. In addition to the cultural events, the venue would be a space that would suit some of the College’s purposes.
The amphitheatre would take advantage of campus topography; notably a coulee that has not figured into long-term development plans for the institution. The next steps will be consultations within the broader community and stakeholder groups.
Visit www.kalbowl.ca for more information or login to College Matters.
Students’ presentation earns Enactus $1,000
Three Enactus Okanagan College students were voted into a third place finish by the community at the Okanagan Changemakers second ChangeUP Pitch event for the social enterprise initiatives the group undertakes throughout the year. Business students Aaron Corriolan, Lexi Keen, and Cooper Simson walked away with a $1,000 prize that will be put towards key Enactus projects and operating costs, such as for InnSpire soap sales.
This is the first time in its 10-year history that Enactus students were able to pitch to a live audience in their own community which was a terrific opportunity for those within the region to hear about the important work Enactus does. The Dec. 3 event took place in Kelowna with hundreds of guests in attendance. Helping the group succeed was the morale-boosting and voting support from a number of Business faculty and many familiar alumni faces in the audience.
The students were in good company at the competition with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Clubhouse Childcare, Metro Moving, Shoe Bank Canada, and Soil Mate also presenting.
As the students said in their pitch: “When you invest in Enactus, you invest in the Changemakers of tomorrow.”
The Joyce Foundation gift creates trades bursaries
A $250,000 donation from The Joyce Foundation will open doors to education for scores of current and future students at Okanagan College. The generous gift will be used to create entrance bursaries and augment existing financial aid for students in the College’s Trades and Apprenticeship programs.
As one of the largest donations ever received by Okanagan College for bursaries and student support, the funds will help create at least $50,000 in entrance bursaries for students demonstrating financial need (10 awards valued at $5,000 each). Additional entrance bursaries and funding for literacy and numeracy tutoring for trades students will be made available throughout 2016 and 2017.
Students are encouraged to apply starting in January through the Financial Aid & Awards website.
“We are very excited to see young people use these entrance awards as a catalyst for change in their lives,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation. “And for our existing students in need of support, the impact will be just as profound – for some, it can mean the difference between staying in school or not.”
The Joyce Foundation provides access to education for children and youth with significant financial need or who are facing other socio-economic barriers to success. Showing gratitude to The Joyce Foundation Trades students, instructors, and College employees gathered to offer words of thanks in this video.
Read the press release here for more details.
New Winter/Spring Continuing Studies brochure
The new Continuing Studies brochure is now available – view the brochure online here. Why not grab your favourite caffeinated beverage and take a moment to browse what’s inside?
Find out more about Continuing Studies offerings here.
Feel free to share the link to the online brochure with your friends and family. You might just spark a New Year’s resolution to launch a new career, grow a business or explore a new passion project this January.
College students’ Stash Bash raises funds for
BC Cancer Foundation
Okanagan College’s Business Students’ Association (OBSA) got behind the moustache cause this November to host the fourth annual Stash Bash. The group, in collaboration with Family Photos Kelowna, raised $2,250 in support of the BC Cancer Foundation in Kelowna benefiting prostate cancer research and treatment in our community.
More than 150 stash supporters attended this year’s student-led fundraising event, which was held on Nov. 14 at the Habitat Bar, and featured a performance from the local band Wild Son.
“You never beat cancer, but it’s comforting to know that there is research being done,” said Roger Hulstein, OBSA President. “For myself, and the OBSA team, it felt great to know we can contribute to helping improve treatment for patients. If everyone does a little bit, it helps.”
He adds that hosting a concert benefit for attendees to enjoy an evening of music is a fun way to get people to donate, rather than just asking for the funds.
Read the press release to learn more about the successful event.
Annual robot competition held at College
The 10th annual Western Canada RoboCup Junior competition held at the Kelowna campus on Dec. 11 saw 45 teams from 13 elementary and high schools compete in the all-day robotics event hosted by the College’s Electronic Engineering Technology department.
Inspiring Grade 5 to 12 students in the fields of computer programming and engineering skills, students built homemade robots that were able to play soccer, rescue a pop-can victim, and dance to the beat.
Online Middle School SD23 swept first place finishes in the rescue challenge primary and secondary divisions. In the soccer challenge, Kelowna’s St. Joseph Elementary took home the three podium finishes in the primary division, while Lovbot Education won in the secondary category. Dancing their way into first place with their robots in the dance challenge was Lake Country’s Davidson Road Elementary. The top teams in each event qualify to compete in the World RoboCup in Germany this summer.
Student-crafted cabinets installed at Vernon fire hall
Custom cabinets made by students and instructors in Okanagan College’s entry-level carpentry/joinery class earlier this year have now been installed in Vernon’s Predator Ridge fire hall.
Julia Braun was one of the 12 foundation program students who took a leading role in the hands-on curriculum project. “It gave us a real life perspective and understanding of what it will be like doing this kind of work out in the real world,” she said. “It’s really cool to be involved in a community project because you feel more invested in your work and it increases the value of a project.”
For the Fire Department, Vernon Fire Chief Keith Green noted that the beautiful new cabinets are great for the members and help make the new fire hall that much more functional.
New Carpentry tool crib made possible
with donor's support
The College’s carpentry shop got a boost with the support of one of Canada’s largest national independent unions, the CLAC. Giving the College $30,000, the gift helped with the upgrades to the carpentry shop, which include the addition of the new tool crib, along with a new paint spray booth and a new dust extraction system.
Students in the Carpentry and RV Service Tech programs will use the tools. They will get to learn and practice their trade in a newly renovated shop that is far more modern and efficient. The location of the new tool crib makes it more accessible to students from their outside work spaces.
Read the press release to learn more about the donation and the ongoing Trades Complex construction.
Catherine Siermacheski joins Student Services
Catherine Siermacheski will be stepping into her new role at Okanagan College as Executive Assistant to Student Services Director James Coble starting on Jan. 4, 2016. Catherine will be replacing Jasmine McGee who is going on maternity leave starting in January.
Catherine was previously with Aboriginal Access and Services, where she helped plan this year’s PowWow. She has an Interdisciplinary PhD from UBC Okanagan and a MA in First Nations Studies from the University of Northern BC. Starting in January she can be reached at local 4943.
Chef’s ice sculpture adds “frosty” element to campus
Returning from an ice-carving bootcamp in Cleveland, Ohio, Culinary Arts instructor Chef Mike Barillaro showed off his refined skills with a beautiful stag ice sculpture on display outside Infusions Restaurant. The below freezing temperatures helped ensure the carving withstood the test of time for a few days and added a festive element as the campus gears up for the holiday season.
An ice-sculptor hobbyist for more than 30 years, Barillaro first learned ice carving when he was an apprentice and witnessed ice sculptures gracing ornate hotel buffets. The bootcamp he attended allowed him to fine-tune his technique and included learning to use templates for greater detail in the carvings and fusing ice pieces together. While in Ohio he carved a seven-foot tall antelope and an intricate octopus.
Hoping to pass along his passion for the chilly and creative artwork, he invited his students to witness the carving of the Kelowna sculpture that took two hours of careful chainsaw and die grinder handiwork.
Celebrating Michael Douglas’ retirement
After a long-time career with Okanagan College, Human Service Work instructor Michael Douglas has announced he will be retiring. In celebration of his career achievements and contributions, all employees are invited to an evening reception on Jan. 16, 2016, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Mission Hall (4409 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna). Live band Feet First will perform, pub-style food will be served, and a cash bar for charity will be available.
Tickets to the event are $20 and need to be purchased by Jan. 2. View this poster for more information.
OC team does the Santa Shuffle
Eight brave souls didn’t let a little wind and rain discourage them from being part of Team OC in the Santa Shuffle on Dec. 5. This was the sixth year for the group of College participants and a record year for the event with 350 registered runners. The Santa Shuffle is an annual event in Kelowna organized by the Salvation Army consisting of a 5km walk or run, as well as a 1k Elf walk. All donations go to feed local families at Christmas.
The runners included Margaret Johnson, Michele McCready, Michelle Walker, Markus Heinrichs, Drew Petrie, Tammy Richardson, Mark Scorah and Michelle Lowry. Anyone interested in lacing up and joining next year can contact Michelle Walker.
Professors’ published book demystifies
the born criminal
The culmination of five years of research and putting pen to paper, Okanagan College’s Criminology Professor Dr. Jarkko Jalava and Psychology Professor Dr. Stephanie Griffiths have co-authored alongside SFU professor Michael Maraun the analytical and research based book “The Myth of the Born Criminal.”
The book is considered one of the first comprehensive critiques of the idea that psychopathy, as it relates to criminals such as serial killers, is a biologically based condition. Rather, the authors theorize and present compelling evidence that the attribution of a brain disorder to psychopathic criminals is a way to provide comfort to a society desperately trying to understand the mystery of such evil criminals.
Since the publication of the book, Jalava and Griffiths have also published two articles on psychopathy and moral/criminal responsibility. Jalava also presented a talk of the same title on Dec. 7 as part of the Penticton Speakers Series.
Employees bring Christmas joy to a student in need
A second-year Okanagan College student in Kelowna, who is a single mother, is able to provide a Christmas to her three young daughters this year thanks to a little help from Santa’s helpers in the Advancement & Alumni, Ancillary Business Services, and Facilities Management departments. The group of employees supported the family who was identified by Financial Aid & Awards as being in need.
The challenge of being a student with a family to support on your own is stressful enough during the semester, but it is made even more so during the holidays. Making things even more difficult, the student’s car, and everything in it including the car seats, was stolen last month. The elves in the P-Building were so happy to be able to provide some extra support to make this student and her children’s Christmas a little brighter.
Exploring housing and Kelowna’s aging population
Heather Brown, Okanagan College Admissions Assistant, recently had a peer-reviewed article published by the Journal of Rural and Community Development. The article, "Aging-in-Place in a Mid-size Canadian City: A Case Study of the Housing Experiences of Seniors in Kelowna’s Housing Market” focuses on the main housing barriers seniors face, their coping strategies, and the benefits of aging-in-place.