Scotiabank invests in Okanagan College
Okanagan College received a $100,000 donation from Scotiabank on Apr. 7 to establish the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence within the School of Business.
Half Marathon a resounding success
Under sunny skies, nearly 400 participants laced up their running shoes and participated in the 12th annual Okanagan College Half Marathon on Apr. 6.
“Today’s race couldn’t have been better,” said Race Director Christine Ulmer. “We had a great mix of elite and amateur runners, each of whom added a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to this event. I continue to be amazed by the wide range of participants in this race.”
In the end, just 12 seconds separated the winner and second place finisher for the half marathon distance.
Hamilton hosts largest-ever dinner for student ambassadors
Okanagan College celebrated student achievements and accomplishments at this year's President’s Dinner for Student Ambassadors, held at Infusions restaurant at the Kelowna campus on Mar. 26.
"It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the impact our students have outside of their regular classes. They represent our College incredibly well and bringing the group together reminds me of just how much our students and their instructors contribute to our College's well-deserved reputation."
The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Hons students presented their research projects on Mar. 28 to students, staff, members of the business community and the general public. Awards and a reception followed the presentations.
The BBA Hons designation is recognized by industry as the highest undergraduate degree someone can earn. Each student worked with a local organization to complete a research project addressing a particular business issue or opportunity that the organization is currently facing. The projects result in several recommendations made to help the organizations move forward.
“The presentations this year were exceptional and were very well received by the clients,” says Dr. Lynn Sparling, Business Professor.
There were five students in the program, four of whom presented during the event.
The student research topics were as follows:
Awards were given out after the presentations and Jordan Lacroix (pictured with Robert Fine, director of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission) received accolades for Highest Academic Standing, Best Honours Research Report and Best Presentation.
Campus-wide initiative for Indigenous students
The Aboriginal Access & Services Department has launched the Academy of Indigenous Scholars to start in September. This culturally relevant first year experience program is for first-year Aboriginal students enrolled in university-level courses.
“This program comes from a place of advantage, not disadvantage,” says Director of Student Services James Coble.
“We know these students can be successful and we’re here to facilitate their abilities, help them set goals for themselves and get the most out of their education.”
The program features access to services tailored specifically to the needs of each student, which could include study skills workshops, exam prep, tutoring, peer mentoring, counselling, access to community cultural events, and recreational activities. Acceptance is not based on grade point average, but on the student’s willingness to commit and follow their individual achievement plan. There is no cost to the program, which was funded by a grant from the Vancouver Foundation. Students who fulfil the program’s requirements will receive a $400 bursary at the end of the school year.
Students must apply to be part of the program, which is accepting 30 students – 15 in Kelowna and five from each campus in Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm.
For details visit the website.
Five startups vie for $5,000 prize
Venture Okanagan's Spring Investor Forum took place on Apr. 2. A packed house came to the Kelowna campus to watch five investors vie for the $5,000 grand prize and a chance to promote their businesses to the Venture Okanagan community.
Students finish strong at WCBC
Maintaining Okanagan College’s track record of performance excellence, two teams of business students reached the podium at the recent Western Canada Business Competition (WCBC).
“Understanding how each department’s decisions impacts the business strategy and all the other parts of the company was the most important takeaway for me,” she says.
Celebrating the history of people with intellectual disabilities
Adult Special Education instructor Wanda Radies has just completed a new project to teach people with intellectual disabilities about their history in B.C.
“I believe that an unintended consequence of community living and ‘inclusion’ is people with intellectual disabilities are somewhat isolated in the mainstream world,” says Radies of the impetus for the initiative.
“This book is about empowerment and teaches people with intellectual disabilities about their collective history in B.C. in a format they can understand.”
The project was made possible through support from the Innovation Fund and help from students, community members and Okanagan College employees. It will be available through the bookstore. In May, Wanda will be presenting at the Annual Disability Resource Network Conference in Vancouver.
Allison Ramchuk joins the Foundation
Allison Ramchuk started her new position on Apr. 1 as Development Officer, Advancement, for the Okanagan College Foundation. She has more than seven years of experience building strong relationships in community development and fundraising in the not-for-profit sector. Prior to fundraising, Allison worked in regional advertising as a sales executive and was involved in many community projects as a volunteer.
Mansiere presents at popular conservation festival
The Meadowlark Nature Festival is one of Canada’s premier outdoor nature celebrations offering 90-plus environmental tours and events led by prominent naturalists, educators, artists, experienced guides and scientists. The festival runs from May 15-19 throughout the South Okanagan region.
Both talks take place at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus lecture theatre and tickets are $10. All proceeds go to support the non-profit Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance, which puts on the festival each year. Visit the website for details.
Culinary Arts instructor retires
Kathryn Neilsen, a long-time Instructor in the Culinary Arts Department retired on Feb. 28.
Kathryn started in 1997 and was the first female instructor to join the Trades faculty of Okanagan University College.
A career chef with a solid background in the Vancouver culinary scene, Kathryn left her Executive Chef position in Vancouver to join the culinary instructional team of Bill Adams, Perry Bentley, Hans Hartmann, Ulirich Hunzicker, Otto Leinemann, Nik Maissen, and Bruno Stass.
Even in the 1990s, a woman executive chef was a rarity and Kathryn took her responsibility as a role model for women with career aspirations in the professional kitchen seriously.
She helped develop the talents of many local chefs including Brett Thompson from the Harvest Dining Room, Jeremy Luypen, the Executive Chef at Predator Ridge (who has since returned to the College as a guest instructor), and Ryan Donnalley, who was awarded B.C.’s Apprentice of the Year in 1999.
While Kathryn instructed in all areas of the culinary program at the College, she was passionate about working with apprentices while they finished their apprenticeship, and the development and instruction of the Red-Seal initiative for cooks from the Caribbean.
While cooking will still figure prominently in Kathryn’s retirement plans, she plans to spend more time enjoying her family.
April 8, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 1
Pension Plan beneficiary changes
The College and Municipal Pension Plans have made changes that may allow expanded options for who can be nominated as a beneficiary for pension purposes. Please see the following links for details:
Employee Transportation Survey
Facilities Management is surveying employees about their transportation and commuting habits to help develop a long-term transportation strategy for Okanagan College. To facilitate this, all employees are being asked to fill in a quick survey. Click here to participate. Deadline is Apr. 9.
The College will be closed in observance of the statutory holidays on Apr. 18 and Apr. 22.
Science in Society Speaker Series
Apr. 8: What's the Buzz in Bee Biology? Molecular biologist Dr. Leonard Foster will reveal what threats bees are currently facing, why they are so important to agriculture and how research can improve bee health. The event is free, and sponsored by Genome British Columbia. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Vernon Campus Lecture Theatre.
Practical Nursing Open House
Okanagan College in Penticton is holding an information session about its Practical Nursing program on Apr. 9 from 5-6:30 p.m. Applications for the program, which starts in January, are being accepted to July 31. The session takes place at Okanagan College's Penticton Campus, Sunoka Building, Room C6. Contact Jill Smith for details.
Technology in Education Speaker Series
Apr. 15: Language Learning and Teaching in the Model Classroom. Co-presented by the Institute for Learning and Teaching and Education Technology, this event focuses on technology and task-based learning. Task-based learning and teaching combined with technology-enhanced classroom environments have been shown to be an effective partnership for the process of language learning and language acquisition.
Institute for Learning and Teaching
Apr. 22: Lessons from a LOOC: Adventures in Applied Sustainability. Presented by the Institute for Learning and Teaching. Find out how the course was planned, what challenges the creators had, and the lessons they learned. This event takes place from noon to 1 p.m., in B129, Kelowna Campus.
Health and Wellness resources
Okanagan College’s Employee Family Assistance Provider, PPC Canada, has changed its name to Optum.
Okanagan College’s 2014-15 $92.8 million budget announcement received wide media coverage, see Tuition goes up on Global News, and Okanagan College Announces Fee Hikes on Kiss FM, College boosts tuition fees in the Vernon Morning Star, College approves $92.8 million budget and College Fees rising in the Penticton Herald, College approves $92.8 million budget in the Kelowna Capital News, Tuition hike meets opposition in the Penticton Western News, and Tuition hike included in College budget in the Kelowna Daily Courier.
The Science in Society speaker series welcomes bee biologist Dr. Leonard Foster at the Vernon campus lecture theatre, see UBC biologist saving the ecosystem one bee at a time.
Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.