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Memorial Award helps fuel Okanagan College student’s education
Coders take note: $4,000 tuition award up for grabs
Generosity continues to flow for College’s Trades Complex
The 8th Annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest returns
Okanagan College deans educate on approaching digital revolution
College opens its doors to showcase high flying options at Career Fair
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Memorial Award helps fuel Okanagan College student’s education
Okanagan College Media Release

Chapman Memorial AwardLosing her husband and son to a tragic plane crash two years ago led Michaela Chapman to contemplate how she could honour their memory. Today, an Okanagan College student is completing his education with her help, thanks to a memorial award that Chapman established.

Pilot Brad Chapman and his eldest son, Florian, passed away in October 2015 when their Cessna 207 crashed on takeoff. In honour of her husband and son, Michaela Chapman established the Chapman Memorial Award which enables Okanagan College students in Vernon to reach their educational goals in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME-M) program.

“Okanagan College is virtually in our front yard and I thought it would be a good idea to support our region’s budding aviation professionals and help students carry forward in their education,” says Chapman. “Being married to a pilot and also knowing many pilots, I know how important it is for them to look after their airplanes and for the industry to have people with the know-how to take care of the machines.”

The award was recently given to Okanagan College's Deverick Clingwall, an AME-M student based out of Vernon. Clingwall is currently finishing the final 14 weeks of training at OC's partner college, Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek.

“I was honoured to receive this award and am so deeply thankful for the Chapman family,” says Clingwall. “Being able to meet Mrs. Chapman and talk to her was very personal, it was a new level that I’ve never experienced before, we really connected.”

Like Brad and Florian, Clingwall has a passion and extensive history in aviation. From age two-and-a-half, he knew he wanted to become a pilot and since then has achieved both his private and glider pilot licenses as well as float endorsements – all before age 17. Clingwall is now currently working on his commercial pilot’s license while completing the AME-M program.

“My career goal is to be a commercial pilot, which is why I chose to enrol in the College’s AME-M diploma because like any vehicle or machine, if you’re going to be operating it, you should know what makes it tick,” says Clingwall.

Clingwall recently represented the College and placed fourth in the Aircraft Maintenance Competition at Skills BC. He is active in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, volunteers with the bi-annual Salmon Arm airshow and is involved in the Vernon and Salmon Arm flying clubs.

“He’s one of the top students we’ve ever put through the AME-M diploma,” says Dale Martell, Chair of the program. “Deverick is extremely dedicated to aviation and well deserving of this award.”

Every year the Okanagan College Foundation distributes awards to students like Clingwall. The Foundation will present 44 awards totaling $38,150 to students at the College’s Vernon campus in the upcoming Student Awards Reception ceremony on Nov. 15, 2017.

 

Coders take note: $4,000 tuition award up for grabs
Okanagan College Media Release

An internationally-recognized software development company based out of Kelowna is so anxious to find coding talent that it is putting its own money on the line in hopes of attracting students to a new College program.

Acro Media is one of North America’s premier users of Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS) that is at the heart of seven million websites globally. Okanagan College and Acro Media have worked together to develop a new Drupal Web Developer certificate that will be offered weekday evenings beginning Jan. 8.

To help draw out talent for the program, Acro Media is hosting a coding contest that will award one lucky applicant a $4,000 tuition award toward the program.

There is a serious need for software developers in the Okanagan region and Shae Inglis, CEO of Acro Media in Kelowna, is one of the people who knows first-hand the need for Drupal developers. In fact, he is guaranteeing everyone who successfully completes the Okanagan College certificate a job interview upon graduation.

“We need great candidates for interesting and exciting CMS work in Kelowna and are looking forward to hiring graduates from this program,” says Inglis. “In fact, Acro Media is going beyond just supporting the OC program. We are also sponsoring a contest to provide a $4,000 tuition award to a talented student who submits the best code sample before Dec. 15 (for the January intake of the course) and/or April 6 (for the May intake).” Contest details are available at okanagan.bc.ca/drupal.

“The Drupal Web Developer certificate will give students the knowledge, practice and experience to find great jobs and careers in the Okanagan,” says Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College’s Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training. “This exciting Okanagan College and industry partnership has resulted in a program that will provide companies with highly qualified and work-ready graduates.”

Taught by industry experts, this 240-hour certificate will be offered at the Okanagan Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna Mondays through Thursdays from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Students applying for the Drupal Web Developer certificate are financial aid and student loan eligible.

For more information visit okanagan.bc.ca/drupal or call 1-888-638-0058 to learn more about qualifying for this certificate. You can also find out more by visiting Okanagan College’s Career Fair on Nov. 5 at the Kelowna campus – Acro Media and College representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

 

Generosity continues to flow for College’s Trades Complex
Okanagan College Media Release

Bartle & Gibson Donation Nov 2017A leading Western Canada company is giving a surge to trades students at Okanagan College.

Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd. is contributing $37,500 to the Bright Horizons - Building for Skills fundraising campaign for the new trades complex on the Kelowna campus.

The Canadian-owned plumbing, heating and electrical products distributor announced the gift at the grand opening of their new location in West Kelowna on Nov. 3. Bartle & Gibson President Robert Whitty was in town to present the cheque to Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

“Bartle & Gibson is proud to make an investment in the training and education of the industry’s future electricians and plumbers,” says Whitty.

The company’s contribution to the $35-million trades complex, which officially opened in Sept. 2016, is two-fold. A cash donation will support the tool room that serves the Electrician program’s three labs. The company has also pledged an in-kind donation to provide products, tools and equipment to electrical and plumbing and piping trades students.  

Launched in 2006, the College’s Electrician program is the most popular trades program in terms of enrolment, with approximately 700 full-time equivalent foundation and apprenticeship students per year, with training at all four campuses and through a partnership at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt.

“We are very grateful for this generous gift to our students, programs and facility,” explains Moores. “When a well-respected company like Bartle & Gibson makes the choice to invest in skills training, it instills confidence in our students knowing the industry supports their educational choices.”

Founded in 1944, Bartle & Gibson originally launched with stores in Vancouver and Victoria and has expanded to 30 branches. Their first Okanagan store opened in West Kelowna in 1997, followed by a Kelowna location in 2006. After more than 20 years in the region, their highly-anticipated new space combines the two branches into a single 35,000 square-foot building located at Hwy. 97 and Stevens Rd.

“Our customers, manufacturers and employees have helped us grow our footprint in the Okanagan,” adds Whitty. “Investing in the region is our way of thanking them and showing our commitment to the region today and well into the future through our partnership with the College.”  

 

The 8th Annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest returns
Okanagan College Media Release

To write, or not to write? That is the question Okanagan College students and Grade 11 and 12 secondary students across the valley will be asking themselves in anticipation of the 8th Annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest. Sean Johnston Nov 2017

Students will be spinning stories, telling tales and mastering metaphors in a timed short story writing contest on Nov. 18, presented by Okanagan College’s English department. Participants will be challenged to go out of their comfort zone to write and edit an original story in just three hours.

“The pressure of this contest is energizing and liberating for writers of all levels,” says Dr. Sean Johnston, contest organizer and English professor at the College. “It forces a writer to be free and uninhibited and quite often they produce surprising results that show them a way forward in their artistic development.”

Pitted against the clock, students will also be required to weave a mystery phrase into their story, revealed at the start of the contest. Participants in previous years were required to incorporate phrases such as “under the weather,” “downy mustache” and “soggy bread” into their story.

Writers will be competing for glory and prize money towards tuition. A judging panel, made up from the College’s English department, will review stories and select four regional winners. Each winner will receive a $250 tuition credit and an overall grand prize winner will take home an additional $250 tuition credit and have their story published in a limited fine-press edition by the Kalamalka Press.

“What we hope to see in the stories is something human and startling, something that makes us see a bit of our world in a new way,” says Johnston. “Each year it is astonishing to see the scope of creativity and talent in such a short amount of time.”

Registration is open until midnight on Friday, Nov. 17. The contest is free to enter and takes place from 1 – 4 p.m. at Okanagan College campuses in Salmon Arm, Penticton and Vernon. The Kelowna contest will be held at KSS. For more details, complete contest rules and registration, please visit okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting

 


Okanagan College deans educate on approaching digital revolution
Okanagan College Media Release

Two Okanagan College deans are combining their perspectives on preparing for the digital revolution at the upcoming Kelowna Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Bill Gillett Nov 2017Bill Gillett, the College’s new Dean of the Okanagan School of Business will present the keynote address to a chamber audience on Friday, Nov. 3, giving the community a glimpse of technologies to come and how to prepare for success.

“Change is afoot in the digital industry and all aspects of businesses, from human resources to operations, will be impacted,” says Gillett. “Students and businesses will need to prepare for a future where billions of people are connected with massive processing powers and have an even broader access to knowledge than they already do.”

Gillett will be joined by Phil Ashman, the College’s new Central Okanagan Regional Dean, who sees the disruptive shifts in today’s world akin to the industrial revolution.Phil Ashman Nov 2017

“More than 20,000 students attend the College each year and many graduates are hired by regional employers and local businesses,” says Ashman. “We are actively planning how we are going to meet the challenge of educating students with the skills and knowledge required in this increasingly digital age.”

The Preparing for Digital Revolution luncheon event quickly sold out and there is now a waiting list for tickets.

“We’re not surprised this event sold out so quickly, as many businesses in our organization are coming to grips with the reality of the emerging digital change,” says Dan Rogers, Executive Director of Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. “Okanagan College injects large numbers of qualified workers into the community and businesses are eager to hear how they’re going to address digitization.”

Those interested in attending can register to be added to the waitlist at kelownachamber.org.

 


College opens its doors to showcase high flying options at Career Fair
Okanagan College Media Release

A global shortage of commercial pilots, which made headlines in Kelowna earlier this month after local flights were cancelled, has created an even more urgent need for industry professionals to spread awareness of the opportunities that exist in aviation.

Southern Interior Flight Centre (SIFC) will be doing just that as one of more than 50 employers showcasing careers and educational pathways at Okanagan College’s Career Fair on Sunday, Nov. 5.OC Flight Simulator

Representatives from Southern Interior Flight Centre, Okanagan College's long term aviation training partner, will be at the College’s Kelowna campus all day on Sunday to spread their passion for aviation with would-be pilots.

“The need for commercial pilots has reached an unprecedented level—not just nationally, but globally,” says Marc Vanderaegen, Flight School Director. “We’ve been training pilots through the Okanagan College Commercial Aviation diploma program for more than 27 years and have certainly seen ebbs and flows but we have never witnessed a need as great as the demand that exists right now.”

Students who take the commercial aviation program, which is a partnership between SIFC and Okanagan College, earn a Transport Canada licence, making them highly sought-after around the world.

“There are far fewer barriers to becoming a commercial pilot these days,” says Vanderaegen. “A student who enters the program can reach a major airline as a junior first officer immediately after graduation, through various industry partnerships, a pathway which used to take closer to a decade in the previous labour market. There are also opportunities for students to access financial and employment awards which makes taking the training much more achievable.”

Vanderaegen encourages anyone who has an interest in pursuing a career in aviation to attend Career Fair on Sunday. The College’s campus facilities will be open, including the program’s flight simulator.

“Our staff will be at Career Fair and can answer questions, provide advice, and even help people make their first big landing in the flight simulator,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to find out whether or not the program is a fit.”