Pilot project aims to help students flourish
A new wellness project at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus is promoting positive mental health and providing students the tools and resources they need to thrive in their studies and personal lives.
Flourish is a series of free drop-in workshops open to all students and will touch on tips and strategies for managing stress, anxiety and depression. Guest speakers throughout the year will help open up the conversation about mental health and work to break down stigmas of mental illness and the challenges students encounter in daily life.
“As a counsellor, our goal is to create and maintain a positive climate for students to succeed, both academically and in their personal lives, and a major part of doing that is promoting positive mental health,” says Sarah Lefebure, OC Counsellor and co-creator of Flourish.
AME-S intake added in Kelowna this fall
Amid soaring demand for aircraft technicians locally and across Canada, Okanagan College is offering an additional intake of its Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) Structures program this fall.
Starting on Nov. 14, the program will see up to 12 students step into KF Aerospace’s shop space at the Kelowna International Airport. Graduating students will have the opportunity to be interviewed by KF Aerospace in July, a full month before they’ll complete the program.
“Our commitment to the College is to hire a minimum of half the graduating class, however the last three years straight we’ve hired every single graduating student,” says KF Aerospace Director of Human Resources Grant Stevens.
OC and KF Aerospace are hosting open houses on Sept. 20 and Oct. 18 to inform potential students about the program and about careers in the aviation industry.
Read the full story here.
Viticulture program uncorks opportunity for incoming students
Okanagan College’s new Viticulture Technician diploma program kicked off in wine country style earlier this month. On their very first day of class on Sept. 5 students had the chance to tour wineries on the Naramata Bench. They also seized the opportunity to leave their mark on a one-of-a-kind time capsule.
Grey Monk Estate Winery donated three bottles of sparkling wine to commemorate the launch of the program. One bottle was opened to mark the milestone of the first day. A second will be opened to celebrate the first cohort’s graduation in two years. The final bottle, signed by all 22 students, will be kept – unopened – for posterity.
“That bottle will stay in the cellar as a reminder of the first group and how we started,” says program Chair Dr. Gabriel Balint. “It’s like the first brick in the wall for the program.”
SoFun workshop returns
Returning for the second time, Okanagan College, the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence and Purppl, a social enterprise accelerator, are once again joining forces to host a popular workshop for social entrepreneurs on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
SoFun is a one-day fundamentals workshop held at OC’s Vernon campus for social entrepreneurs of all levels to learn the essential business tools needed to set social enterprise ideas and real-world solutions in motion. Attendees will receive a copy of the Business Model Canvas, have an opportunity to work on their own social enterprise ideas, explore available business resources, connect with other like-minded individuals and have access to learn with and from other social entrepreneurs.
Leading the workshop will be Okanagan College School of Business professors Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel, joined by Purppl founder Andrew Greer. Local social entrepreneur, Jaye Coward from the award-winning Farm Bound will also join the presentation team as the luncheon speaker.
Busy fall for Coyotes on the court and the field
Okanagan College’s new men’s and women’s basketball teams played their first-ever home openers on Friday, Sept. 9. The Coyotes took to the court against teams from Ambrose University in a packed gymnasium at Immaculata High School in Kelowna. The women’s team came up short 83-57 on opening night but bounced back with a decisive 92-87 win the next day, notching their first victory as a team. The men went 0-2 over their first weekend with an 85-77 decision on Friday and a 94-86 score Saturday afternoon.
The men’s team will face-off next against TRU for a scrimmage in Kamloops this Saturday, while the women’s team will go up against Douglas College for an away game on Sept. 27 and then play a double-header at home against Capilano University. Find full schedules at okanagancollegebasketball.ca.
Meanwhile the OC Coyotes baseball team celebrated the 10th anniversary of the program at the club’s annual Alumni weekend, Sept. 16-17. The current lineup played two friendly games against past team members to commemorate the occasion and in prep for a busy fall schedule. The team will face TRU on home turf again at Elks Stadium for back-to-back games on Friday starting at 4 p.m. They’ll remain at home for games against the Langley Blaze on Saturday and Sunday. Follow results and find the full schedule at okanagancollegebaseball.ca.
Wildfire expert Daniels at OC to share insights on causes, consequences
A nationally renowned ecologist is coming to Okanagan College next month to share her research into long-term forest fire patterns and the multitude of factors behind this year’s intense wildfire activity in B.C.
Dr. Lori Daniels, professor of Forest Ecology and director of the Tree-Ring Lab at UBC in Vancouver will speak in the lecture theatre at the Vernon campus on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.
“Wildfire is driven by climate, weather and fuels that vary among ecosystems and through time,” explains Daniels. “Combined, land-use change, fire exclusion and global warming have made many forests highly susceptible to intense fires that are difficult to control and spread to large sizes. Revolutionizing forest and fire management will improve ecosystem resilience to climate change, but we will not stop future fires from burning.”
Daniels’ talk will launch the 2017 Science in Society Speakers Series, which will see experts from a wide variety of fields speak at the College this fall. Follow this link for the full schedule and speaker bios.
Courses offer boomers new perspectives on retirement
Soon-to-be retirees looking to explore their options need look no further than two new OC Continuing Studies courses aimed at eliminating anxiety and smoothing the transition.
A six-week course entitled Launching Your Encore Career will offer soon-to-be retirees insights into how they can fulfill the dream of being their own boss, embarking on a second career or using their experience and knowledge to give back to the community.
For those searching for a quick introduction to common retirement pitfalls – and ways of sidestepping them – the College is also offering a four-hour workshop entitled Am I Ready to Retire? How to navigate a smooth transition from the workforce. This shorter offering is designed to help participants gauge their level of readiness to retire, explore their options and develop a plan to make the transition easier.
“Even when retirement is something we’ve looked forward to all our working lives, actually leaving the workforce is complicated,” says Kathy Fahey, a certified retirement coach and one of the instructors for the two new courses.
Launching Your Encore Career starts on Sept. 26 at the Kelowna campus. Am I Ready to Retire? workshop will be offered on Nov. 4 in Penticton and on Nov. 14-16 in Kelowna. Learn more on the Continuing Studies homepage.
New offering gives high schoolers a head start
High school students are getting a jump on their Education Assistant (EA) training thanks to a new collaboration between Okanagan College and School District No. 23.
“School District No. 23 approached us to form a dual-credit partnership and help bring forward the next generation of Education Assistants,” says Valerie Banks, Program Coordinator, Continuing Studies. “The demand for EAs is high within Kelowna’s school district, which requires all EAs to be certified.”
Students who have excelled in their high school studies can apply to be a dual-credit student in their Grade 12 year. The dual-credit program allows students to split their final academic year, spending the first half completing their Grade 12 studies and the second half working towards completion of the EA certificate. The four and a half-month, full-time program is offered at George Elliot Secondary School in Lake Country. School District 23 will also be working closely with the College to connect students with practicum placements and educate them on career opportunities and hiring processes within the district.
Read the full story here.
Phil Ashman becomes Regional Dean of the Central Okanagan
After conducting a national search, Okanagan College found its new Central Okanagan Regional Dean from within in Phil Ashman, a 15-year College veteran, who stepped into the role on Sept. 18.
“What interests me most about this new position is the opportunity to build on the successful partnerships Okanagan College has developed with so many valued community organizations in the Central Okanagan,” says Ashman. “I am excited to take on the new challenges and opportunities as a Regional Dean in further supporting our key directions and continued success as a world class educational institution.”
Ashman joined Okanagan College in 2002, first as a professor of Network and Telecommunications Engineering. He spent eight years in an instructional role before becoming department chair in 2010. Three years later he joined the College’s leadership team as Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health, a position he has held for the last four years.
Read the full story here.
Derek Cook Celebration of Life
A celebration of life in memory of long-time and well-respected business professor Derek Cook will be held on Friday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the atrium of the new Trades building at the Kelowna campus. All employees, as well as alumni and students are invited.
Cook passed away on August 10. During his 12-year career with the School of Business he taught at all levels of the accounting and finance streams. He is remembered for his dedication to his students and going over and above, including as a coach of the Queen’s competition Finance team.
In his memory, a legacy scholarship has been set up with the Okanagan College Foundation. The Derek Cook Memorial Fund aims to raise $20,000 in order to create an annual award for a business student. All donations are tax deductible. Visit the event webpage for more information and click here to make a contribution (select the Derek Cook Memorial Fund in the dropdown designation tab).
Mattila chasing academic and community goals
Rising hockey star 18-year-old Myles Mattila is combining his passions for competitive hockey and volunteerism with a solid business education at Okanagan College.
The right-winger for the Kelowna Chiefs is one of approximately 2,380 new students who began classes at one of Okanagan College’s four campuses this month. According to Mattila, the decision to come to OC was an easy one, owing to the flexibility offered by the College which will allow him to stay active as an athlete and volunteer.
“I can excel in hockey, but why not also with a degree in hand?” says Mattila. “With team practice mid-day I needed something that afforded me the scheduling flexibility to still play competitively. The business program at the College has a reputation for community involvement and enabling students to give back.”
Off the ice, Mattila is a vocal champion for youth mental health causes. He will represent Kelowna at the 4th International Conference on Youth Mental Health in Dublin, Ireland later this month.
Read on in the media release.
Thorpes’ generosity inspires Penticton students
Six students are looking forward not only to academic success but community impact during their time at the Penticton campus after receiving Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends scholarships.
Makeena Hartmann, Hailey Grunow and Mickella Di Lorenzo Biggs, recent graduates of Princess Margaret Secondary School in Penticton, along with Ericka Bidwell from Summerland Secondary, each received a $2,500 Scholarship for Secondary School Graduates. Matthew Ironside of Penticton and Timothy Bey of Princeton were awarded with a $1,000 Entrance Award for Trades and Technology.
“When I learned I received the scholarship I had tears of joy,” says Grunow, who is entering the Associate of Arts Degree program. “Having the financial burden off my shoulders means I don’t need to work as much, and allows me to pay forward the Thorpe’s generosity by spending more time giving back through volunteering.”
The Thorpes have a long history of championing education in the South Okanagan, and have supported students at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan for more than a decade. Since the inception of the scholarship program in 2006, $102,250 has been awarded to 49 students entering Okanagan College.
Read the full story here.
Beaulne and Minions aim to demystify community theatre
OC English professor Jeremy Beaulne and Educational Technology Coordinator Mike Minions will take to the stage in the Kelowna campus Lecture Theatre as part of a series of free community theatre workshops on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Minions will be welcoming potential actors with a workshop called How Rehearsals Work while Beaulne will sit on directing and playwriting panels and will also adjudicate a “play-in-a-day” competition. Teams can register on that Saturday and will have 24 hours to create and rehearse a short play, which they will perform on the Kelowna campus stage at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1. The winning team will receive tickets to an upcoming Theatre Kelowna production.
The event is hosted by the Red Dot Players, Shakespeare Kelowna and the Theatre Kelowna Society and is part of the nationwide Culture Days project. For more information and the complete schedule of workshops and panels, please visit the Theatre Kelowna Society’s Facebook page.
Dorothy Hamilton joins Continuing Studies
Continuing Studies welcomed a new team member recently with the arrival of Corporate Training Consultant Dorothy Hamilton.
A long time Kelowna resident, Hamilton comes to the College with a wealth of professional experience in marketing, sales and business management, honed during a 20+ year career in television with Global Edmonton and Global Okanagan.
She is also an accomplished speaker, having won a national speaking competition presented by the Government of Canada and hosted by Toastmasters International. Hamilton is also an Okanagan College alumna; she has participated in many classes at Okanagan College including two CS certificate programs.
If you would like to connect with Hamilton to speak about Okanagan College’s Corporate Training offerings, she can be reached by email, at ext. 4809 or in person in A120 at the Kelowna campus.
In memory of Gloria Chutskoff
Gloria Chutskoff, a former employee of Okanagan College in Kelowna, died on Sept. 8. Gloria joined Okanagan College in 2005 and worked as a Student Services Clerk in the Welcome Centre. She retired from the College in 2012.
A service in Gloria’s memory was held on Saturday, Sept. 17. Anyone who would like to send condolences to her family can do so online here.
2017-18 Innovation Fund recipients announced
Nine innovative projects stewarded by employees from every corner of the College’s region have received support from the OC Innovation Fund this year. Open to all employees, the fund is intended to enrich the learning and teaching process, augment the professional development and scholarly activity of employees and advance the College’s applied research agenda.
“Innovation – introducing, evaluating and embracing new ideas – is one of the College’s core values and serves as a foundation for so much of what we do,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, the College’s Vice President of Education. “This year’s recipients embody that spark of innovation that drives our college forward in many different areas.”
September 19, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 37
Attend an internationalization consultation session
As part of the College’s Toward 2020 Strategic Plan, the Internationalization Project Team was established. The group’s goal is to enhance global awareness in order to succeed in the increasingly integrated world.
Through earlier consultations, the team developed four belief statements centred around diversity, increased international activities, and opportunities at home and abroad to broaden global perspectives for students and employees.
Employees are invited to participate in a series of consultation sessions to learn more about the belief statements and to discuss ways to bring them to life. Each session will be one hour. A session took place on Sept. 18 in Kelowna and on Sept. 21 at the Penticton campus. Upcoming sessions include:
Visit the Internationalization webpage for more information.
Upcoming governance elections
The Board of Governors and the Education Council will be looking to fill eight positions this fall to help steer Okanagan College. Two faculty or vocational instructors will be sought in addition to six student representatives. Details and forms are available in the Elections tab in myOkanagan.
Education Council considers curriculum and educational policies relating to students, standards, planning and operations. The Board of Governors has the sole responsibility for the management, administration and control of the property, revenue, expenditures, business and affairs of the institution.
The election process schedule will be as follows:
Emergency procedures posted
Emergency procedures posters have been posted in every classroom at the Kelowna campus, in high visibility areas (often near the door or light switch). Posters include emergency contact numbers (250 862 5401 from any cell phone, or 6699 from any campus phone) and the steps to take if you need first aid, if you experience a fire, lethal threat, power outage, hazardous material exposure or gas leak, building flood, or if you need to evacuate the building. Instructors, please review the poster with your classes during the first few days of each semester so everyone is familiar with the proper procedures. It is also recommended that students and employees program the emergency number into their cell phones for quick access. Posters will be posted at other OC campuses in the near future.
Celebrate Science Literacy Week 2017
A reminder that Library Services is celebrating Science Literacy Week from Sept. 18 to 24. Discover the world of science with displays of science books, periodicals, databases, and DVDs at each of the four campus libraries. As part of the national Science Literacy Week, this event promotes public awareness of science and highlights resources available. Visit the library webpage or stop by your campus library for more information about displays and events at each campus.
New work order system to launch this fall
Facilities and Business Services is working on the implementation of a new work order system for facilities-related work requests, and testing it with a pilot group now with an expected changeover to occur in October. More information will follow as the project team gets closer to the launch date.
EFAP September newsletter is now online
OC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider LifeWorks has provided a number of resources related to adapting to change this month. Read the September newsletter here.
Flash Glucose Monitoring System available through Manulife
Employees currently covered under the College’s extended health care benefits may be interested to know that the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System – a new category of diabetes monitoring systems that just received Health Canada approval – will be included in Manulife drug plans that provide coverage for diabetic supplies. The FreeStyle Libre system consists of a small, easy to wear sensor worn on the upper arm and a portable reader. Login in to Manulife Plan Member site for more information.
9th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow