High schoolers discover the trades at OC
Hundreds of students from School District 23 visited Okanagan College to try their hand at the trades today.
Students had a chance to experience a day in the life of an OC trades student, stepping into shops, labs, and classrooms for hands-on demonstrations in a wide array of programs, from automotive to welding.
Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Steve Moores welcomed students and offered up some advice on choosing a path and being successful in post-secondary.
“This is a great opportunity for you to find a program and a career for the rest of your life,” said Moores. “The one thing you will hear from our instructors and chairs is that you need to work hard. Be on time. Be committed to what you want to be. If you do that, you'll have a career for the rest of your life."
View a video of Moores’ welcome address here.
College hosts 11th annual Western Canada RoboCup Junior
The Western Canada RoboCup Junior Games took place on Dec. 7 at Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning in Kelowna.
Teams from throughout B.C. and as far as Ontario participated in the one-day competition.
RoboCup Junior is an internationally accredited educational competition which includes teams of students ranging from Grade five to Grade 12 working together to develop solutions to one of three challenges – soccer, rescue or dance – using robots.
In soccer, two autonomous mobile robots track a special light-emitting ball in an enclosed field and attempt to score goals. In rescue, robots follow a course, negotiate uneven terrain and identify victims within re-created disaster scenarios. In dance, robots are pre-programmed to perform choreography alongside students.
The top three winners from each category qualified to compete in the World RoboCup held in Nagoya, Japan in the summer of 2017.
Watch the robots in action in this segment from Kelowna Now.
Innovation pilot enhances apprenticeship experience at OC
Okanagan College will be the recipient of more than $218,000 from the Province for an innovation pilot program designed to reduce apprentices’ time away from work from 10 weeks to five weeks.
“We are extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to develop this innovative pilot," says Steve Moores, the College's Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. "We believe this hybrid model, with collaboration of and evaluation by industry partners, will provide flexibility of delivery without compromising learning outcomes and industry standards.”
Read the full story here.
College going for gold in multiple Tommie Award categories
Finalists were announced at the Tommie Awards Silver Finalists Gala on Dec. 1 and Okanagan College has been named a finalist in two categories – and as a partner in two other nominated projects.
The College was named a finalist for Best Environmental Initiative in Construction (Residential or Commercial) and Excellence in Innovative Architecture/Design and Construction for the LEED-Platinum targeted renovation and expansion of the Trades Complex in Kelowna.
In the Best Environmental Initiative in Construction category, the Trades Complex will go up against another innovative project in which Okanagan College students and instructors have played a major role. Okanagan College is a partner in the Wilden Living Lab project, which was named as a finalist in the category. The project was also listed as a finalist in three other categories: Excellence in Public or Private Partnership, the FortisBC Award for Building Energy Efficiency, and Excellence in Show Home $500,000 & Under.
More information about the Wilden Living Lab project is available here.
The College’s Construction Craft Worker Aboriginal Bridging program also supported another nominated project, the Habitat for Humanity – Peachland Habitat Duplexes. Twelve students from the program worked on painting, trim, landscaping, and insulation for one of the homes in September.
The 2017 Tommie Awards are presented by the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Okanagan chapter. The overall winners will be announced at the Tommie Awards Gold Gala on Jan. 28.
myOkanagan Portal replacement Update
Over the last several months the project team has been working diligently on the new myOkanagan Portal. We have successfully completed several milestones which include:
As initially disclosed the new platform provides enhanced services and meets all current requirements with the exclusion of groups and student email. With assistance from the steering committee, the project team has implemented a temporary solution for student email of maintaining the status quo. There will be no change to student email at this time. The goal is to implement MS Office 365 and utilize the email feature for students.
College business students to battle the best at Queen’s University
Eight students from Okanagan College’s School of Business will be spending their winter break preparing to compete in the final round of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious case competition, Queen’s University’s Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.).
For 21-year-old Adrianna Knuth, being selected to compete on the Human Resources team along with Madison Blancher was a huge honour and after being named one of the top six teams in the preliminary round, the duo aren’t planning on just showing up at Queen’s for the competition: they are heading to Kingston to win.
After a challenging preliminary round, Okanagan College teams made the finals in four categories. Knuth and Blancher will compete in Human Resources and will be coached by professor Roger Wheeler. The College will send an Accounting team made up of Kyla Wiseman and Kirstin Pitzoff, coached by Adrian Fontenla, as well as a team in the category of Management Information Systems made up of Anthony Peterson and Jared Hubner, coached by professor Glen Coulthard.
The fourth team to compete will be named shortly and will present in the debate category. I.C.B.C. does not offer a preliminary competition in debate but ranks the top performing schools in the other seven categories and selects finalists based on the cumulative placing of all the competing teams.In order to advance to the final round, Okanagan College teams competed against 32 post-secondary institutions from around the world.
The finals will take place in Kingston from Jan. 19-21 and will include competitors from the University of Toronto, University of Vermont, Queen’s, McGill, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, to name a few.
Read the full story here.
Nursing students’ caring contributions yield warmth for the winter
First- and second-year students from the College's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN) filled the halls with boxes of donated warm clothing that made their way to local non-profits as part of the College's Alumni Association Pay it Forward campaign.
The annual giving drive, started by a former College student and run by the College’s Alumni Association, is a three-week campaign held on the Kelowna campus for donations of blankets, clothing or unused toiletries to go to three local non-profits – Inn from the Cold, the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and Kelowna Gospel Mission.
Over the month of November, the group of 10 student representatives on the BSN's Global Health committee spread the Pay it Forward message to their peers and encouraged them to participate.
“We knew there would be a positive response from our classmates because we had run successful projects before, including a food drive,” says Christie Kneller, a BSN student and a representative on the volunteer committee. “But we didn’t expect this much!”
This year, volunteers were able to pack and deliver six truckloads full of donations to the non-profit organizations. The contributions from the BSN students accounted for 15 per cent of this year’s overall donations, which collectively come from the generosity of the College’s students, employees, alumni, and external community members who have heard about the drive.
Read the full story here.
Salmon Arm students cruise into calm at Stress-Less Fair
On Nov. 24, students at the Salmon Arm campus were invited to spend some time unwinding before exams at the OCSU’s Stress-Less Fair.
Holiday spirit hits Penticton campus
More than 250 students experienced the holiday spirit as the Penticton campus hosted its annual student lunch on Nov. 29.
Attendees enjoyed a free holiday lunch with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce served by College employees and Regional Advisory Committee members. Santa joined the campus for the afternoon for photos with students and to spread holiday cheer.
Okanagan College student overcomes creative block to win Three-hour Short Story Contest
Second-year Associate of Arts student Pip Dryden was chosen as the overall winner of the College’s Three-hour Short Story Contest for her story “This Time,” a fitting title for the 180 minute competition.
For Dryden, entering the contest was a way to overcome her creative block and be motivated in a fun environment.
The seventh annual contest took place on Nov. 5 and with 22 participants across all four College campuses. Student writers were up against the clock with only three hours to create and edit an original short story while incorporating a secret phrase revealed at the competition’s start.
Four regional authors (one per campus) were named the winners of the 2016 contest:
The regional winners were awarded a $250 tuition credit and the overall winner, Dryden, received an additional $250 tuition credit and will have her story published in limited fine-press edition by Kalamalka Press.
The free contest takes place every fall and is open to Okanagan College students and high school students in Grades 11 and 12.
College and high school come together to promote mental wellness
On Dec. 1, second-year students from the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program partnered with Kelowna Secondary School (KSS) students to organize a mental wellness fair at KSS.
Each group of BSN students was paired with 1-2 KSS students to promote self-esteem, practice mindfulness and to motivate students to seek support when needed – all core concepts of the BSN Mental Wellness Practice course. The nursing students used activities such as yoga and a modified game of twister to demonstrate to Grade 10-12 students how mindfulness builds resiliency to help cope with life’s stresses. The high-school students also enjoyed a visit from St. John’s Ambulance’s therapy dogs, a blindfolded trust exercise through a balloon maze and an oversized colouring mural known as the mandala of self-esteem.
Kristine Gick joins Salmon Arm campus for permanent role
The Registrar’s Office welcomed Kristine Gick to the team in the position of Recruitment and Events Assistant in Salmon Arm.
Kristine moved to the Okanagan from New Brunswick and holds a degree in communications from the University of Calgary. She has an extensive background in sales and marketing and already has experience in the recruiting and events role on the Salmon Arm campus. Kristine has been working in the position on a temporary basis since Sept. 2016 and will be building upon her previous success in her permanent role.
“I love the values that Okanagan College espouses – the emphasis on the student experience as well as the collegiality amongst staff and faculty,” says Gick. “I believe that when I tell a student that this is the best place to achieve their educational goals that that is absolutely true.”
Team OC participates in Kelowna’s Santa Shuffle
OC employees jogged their way into the holiday spirit at the Salvation Army's annual Santa Shuffle 5K run on Saturday, Dec. 3 which involved over 400 participants.
Dec. 13, 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 19
Continuing Studies gives the gift of learning
Snuggle up by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa and the latest and greatest offerings from Continuing Studies – the Winter/Spring 2017 brochures are now available and feature fantastic new courses and popular classics back by demand.
Maybe you want to learn how to be a better communicator? Check out the Effective Communications course being offered in Vernon. Do you have the latest iPhone but you aren’t sure how to properly edit the pictures you take? Why not sign up for the Advanced iPhone Photography and Editing course? Or maybe one of your friends or family is looking for a new career? There are numerous new Certificate courses being offered both online and on campus this year.
2016 Employee Expense Claim Reminder
OC employees are reminded to please submit their Mileage logs and Meal expense claims to the Finance Department as soon as possible. Financial Services is currently preparing for the 2016 T4’s - Statement of Remuneration Paid and needs to account for any Taxable Benefits that may result from these claims.
All Expense Claims, for travel to Dec. 31, 2016, must be received in the Finance Department no later than Dec. 15, 2016 for processing of the Taxable Benefits in the 2016 calendar year.
2017-18 Holiday Season Closure and Summer Hours
The dates for the 2017-18 holiday season closure and summer hours have been announced. Okanagan College will be closed to the public during the holiday season beginning Dec. 22, 2017 at 3 p.m. and will re-open on Jan. 2, 2018.
For departments opting to participate, summer hours (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.) will be in effect from April 24 - Sept. 1, 2017.
The notice can be found here.
Carleton University PhD in Management coming to OC
Carleton University SPROTT School of Business is currently working with Okanagan College to offer their Ph.D. in Management program at the Kelowna campus beginning in May 2017. For further information click here or contact Beverlie Dietze. The application deadline is Jan. 25, 2017.
Salmon Arm Town Hall discussion rescheduled
The Town Hall discussion of Internationalization at Okanagan College initially planned for Dec. 8 has been rescheduled. The Town Hall discussion will now take place Jan. 11, 2017 from 1-2:30 p.m. in room SA 143 at the Salmon Arm campus.
The College’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan lists implementation of “an internationalization plan so that students better understand the world around them” as a means of achieving the Key Direction of “Supporting Learner Readiness and Success.”
Ring in the New Year with the best strategies for simplifying your financial life
Dec. 14 – The topic for the December issue of the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) newsletter is budgeting for the New Year. Read tips on money management here.
One writer: two nights – Harold Johnson
Jan. 9 – Author Harold Johnson will discuss his new Governor General award-nominated book Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours), and his role as crown prosecutor in Northern Saskatchewan.
Jan. 10 – Johnson will read from his new book, as well as his fiction, and will discuss his writing life. This event is co-sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and Okanagan College.
Talks take place in the Penticton campus lecture theatre (PL107) at 7 p.m. both evenings.
Johnson's new book, Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours), was recently nominated for a Governor General award. A Crown Prosecutor in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, Johnson worked as a miner and logger across northern and western Canada, before quitting the mines to pursue a Bachelor's degree in law from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Law degree from Harvard University. He lives with his wife Joan at the northern end of Montreal Lake, where they continue the traditions of trapping and commercial fishing common to Johnson's Cree background. He is also the author of Corvus, a novel, and other fiction.
The Vernon Morning Star shone the light on gift-giving options provided through programs at the College, with articles on hand-made dolls from a partnership between Enactus and social enterprise Cuddle and Kind and the Continuing Studies Winter and Spring course offerings.
News of the four OC business students moving on to the B.C. Tourism Industry Conference competition in February was shared by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.Associate of Arts degree student Pip Dryden’s story of prevailing against writer’s block to win the College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest was picked up by Infonews.ca, Castanet, and the Capital News.
The eight Okanagan College students who are heading off to Queen’s University to compete in the prestigious Inter-Collegiate Business Competition made headlines on Infonews.ca, the Capital News and Kelowna Now.
The Silver Surfers program developed by Enactus students continues to make waves, as reported by Global News.
The Province’s recent announcement launching the innovation pilot program for the College’s level 1 electrician program was picked up by several media outlets including Kelowna Now, Infonews.ca, Castanet, Daily Courier, World News (WN) Network, and Electrical Business Magazine.
Candlelit vigils held at the Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses in remembrance of the 14 women killed at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989 and the missing and murdered women along B.C.’s Highway of Tears were featured in Kiss FM News and in a video by the Salmon Arm Observer.
Jared Rowan, a second-year apprentice in the College’s plumbing program, and his coworkers walked the Times Colonist through a typical morning at their construction site.
Okanagan College's Vernon campus will soon be home to a new trades training facility thanks to a combined $6.21 million investment by the federal and provincial governments and OC, an announcement covered by the Business Examiner.
News of KPMG accountant David Bond’s presentation of a $1,000 bursary to Okanagan College second-year accounting student Sarah Nieberle was celebrated in the Daily Courier Top 40 Over 40 column.
The Okanagan Wine Festival Society announced its 2017 board of directors, which includes the College’s Jonathan Rouse, Director of Food, Wine and Tourism, as reported by Infonews.ca.
Retired OC English professor Les Ellenor explained the history behind the tradition of hanging stockings at Christmas to the Revelstoke Review.
The Salmon Arm campus Women in Trades Training program was featured in the Salmon Arm Observer for its mentorship program, which introduces female students from Salmon Arm Secondary to trades training.
Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Tory Braun.