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Nursing students’ caring contributions yield warmth for the winter
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Pay it Forward 2016Boxes of donated warm clothing that have been jamming the halls where Okanagan College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program lives are on their way to making a difference for Kelowna’s disadvantaged.

The first- and second-year students who sit on the BSN’s Global Health committee – a civically-minded, student-led initiative for social equity – were looking to launch a holiday coat drive for those in need when they found the perfect campaign already on campus.

The BSN students joined up with the Pay it Forward campaign, an annual giving drive started by a former College student and run by the College’s Alumni Association. Each year several holiday-wrapped donation boxes are placed around 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 past month, the group of 10 student representatives on the Global Health committee have been spreading the Pay it Forward message to their peers and encouraging them to participate.

For them, community advocacy is an important part of the nursing program and there was appeal in the broad spectrum of people in the Okanagan that are reached by the campaign.

“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!”

In 2007, Sarah Comba, an Okanagan College business student, began Pay it Forward after an experience she had volunteering at the Gospel Mission.

“I offered an elderly client two pairs of socks, but they insisted on only taking one pair and giving the other pair to someone else in need,” she explains. “The spirit of selflessness ­– that one small action could make a big difference for someone else – is what ignited the Pay it Forward campaign.”

Following graduation, Comba has continued to partner with the College’s Alumni Association to run the campaign, which is now in its 11th year. She returns to campus each year to help coordinate the event and even takes a day off from her job to hand-sort the donations alongside volunteers from the community and the College. This year the volunteers included a student from the BSN program. 

The 2016 campaign wrapped up at noon on Dec. 2. Volunteers packed and delivered 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.

The department was impressed with the spirit and the momentum of the campaign, says Monique Powell, BSN program chair.

“We weren’t surprised they took the initiative, because volunteering and advocating for the community are embedded in their program,” she explains. “The students really take a lot of pride and responsibility in participating in all aspects of their volunteering. For them to lead this effort among their peers, to manage it and to go out and do it – above and beyond their intensive school workload – is incredible.”

The BSN students donate their time to many campus initiatives, including Canadian Blood Services drives and they formed the largest volunteer group at the College’s Half Marathon last year. They plan to kick-off a drive next term to put together and give out care packages to those in need. 

 


College business students to battle the best at Queen’s University
Okanagan College Media Release

 

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.).Adrianna Knuth Dec 2016

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.

“I’m feeling very confident about the competition and I’m so excited to represent Okanagan College,” says Knuth. “I think that we will come out on top because the professors here give us a lot of applied knowledge so as a student body we are really well prepared for real life application, which positions us very well in case competitions.”

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.

“Queen’s I.C.B.C. competition is known to be the pre-eminent business case event in Canada and has growing recognition internationally,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “Once again our students are representing our institution extremely well and affirming that they are among the best in the country, if not 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.

At the finals, students will be given five hours to review a complex business case within their designated field and prepare a 15-minute presentation for the judging panel, which is comprised of Queen’s professors and senior management professionals from Canada’s largest corporations. No electronic resources are allowed, however, teams can use all the textbooks they had the foresight to bring with them.

Knuth and Blancher plan on spending the better part of their winter break and the early weeks of their January semester preparing for the finals. With a full course load, the extra hours might prove to be challenging for some students but Knuth has a history of taking on challenges and coming out on top.

She is currently in the final year of the Bachelor of Business Administration Honours program. She is scheduled to graduate in June with her honours degree with a major in human resources, a minor in communications, as well as a diploma in management—and she will have completed all of this in just three years.

After Knuth graduates she plans on working in human resources and then eventually running her own company. CEO is a title she sees in her future and given her work ethic and drive, her ambitions of becoming part of an executive team don’t seem far from her reach.

For now, Knuth has her sights set on a first-place finish at I.C.B.C. and would be honoured to bring home the title to Okanagan College. 

 


Okanagan College student overcomes creative block to win Three-hour Short Story Contest
Okanagan College Media Release

The title “This Time” is an appropriate name for a winning story, considering Okanagan College’s Three-hour Short Story Contest is all about time ­– 180 minutes precisely.

Presented by the English department, the seventh annual contest took place on Saturday, Nov. 5 across all four College campuses. 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. This year’s phrase was “under the weather.”

Four regional authors (one per campus) were named the winners of the 2016 contest:

Pip Dryden Dec 2016“This Time” by Pip Dryden (OC – Kelowna)

“Splat” by Daniel Greene (OC – Penticton)

“About Otters” by Adam Lauze (OC – Salmon Arm)

“Dinner Dive” by Mirka Yargeau (OC – Vernon)

The regional winners were awarded a $250 tuition credit and one overall winner received an additional $250 tuition credit and will have their story published in limited fine-press edition by Kalamalka Press.

For Pip Dryden, a second-year Associate of Arts student at the Kelowna Campus, entering the contest was a way to overcome her creative block and be motivated in a fun environment.

“The only thing I had in my brain when I started writing was the first line of the story,” says Dryden. “I tried to not be too formulaic and the story just sort of built itself around that.”

Not only did Dryden find her inspiration to start writing again, her story “This Time” was chosen as the overall winner out of 22 stories submitted across the four campuses.

“Pip’s story stood out to the judges because of her character development and consistent use of metaphor,” explains Dr. Shona Harrison, Okanagan College English professor and a contest judge. “We look for a strong story structure and relatable, believable characters that drive the plot and captivate the reader.”

Harrison and fellow Okanagan College English professors Kerry Gilbert, Hannah Ball, Jeremy Lanaway, Frances Greenslade and Jeremy Beaulne organized the event and judged the anonymous entries.

“All of the stories were varied in topic and tone, but they all demonstrated playfulness, creativity, deftness of expression and an immediacy inspired by writing a complete, self-sustained narrative in real-time," adds Lanaway.  

For Daniel Greene, an Associate of Arts student and the 2015 overall winner, participating in the contest and having his story published was fulfilling on multiple levels.

“The biggest benefit was the recognition and affirmation of my skills as a writer. That was the first writing contest I had ever won and it has encouraged me to continue writing.”

Greene entered again this year and won the regional award for Penticton.

The free contest takes place every fall and is open to Okanagan College students and high school students in Grades 11 and 12.

Winning stories can be read online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting

 

OC business students’ plan yields a trip to Victoria

Okanagan College Media Release

Four Okanagan College business students will be representing the interior at a B.C. Tourism Industry Conference competition in February, thanks to a victory at a regional competition this week in Kamloops that involved developing a full business plan for a luxury biking tour company.OC business students tourism

Adrian Lemiski, Nicolas Gallant, Brooks Hewko and Merissa Hucul spent about 60 hours, with help from coaches Laura Thurnheer and Blair Baldwin (both professors in the Okanagan College School of Business), developing the plan for Pioneer Adventure. The fictitious company serves the Columbia and Western Rail Trail from Castlegar to Midway and the Kettle Valley Rail trail from Midway to Osoyoos.

One of the objectives of the plan was to promote rural economic development.

The students’ plan was submitted to four private-sector judges last Monday and they met with the judges privately on Thursday.

Afterward they had to present their plan to an audience of about 150 people, who were able to vote on their phones as part of the competition. The voting counted for 10 per cent of the students’ mark, while the presentation counted for another 30 per cent. Sixty per cent of the mark was based on the business plan itself.

“There is an incredible amount of work involved in preparing for this case competition,” explains Baldwin. “It’s almost as much work as a full semester’s course, but it provides the students a chance to test their knowledge and ideas against the expertise of private sector experts.”

“Stressful? A little,” admits Lemiski, “but definitely a great learning experience. The whole team really coalesced and we came up with a solid plan. And now we need to continue our prep for the provincial competition.”

The Tourism Industry Case competition is sponsored by Go2HR, an industry organization that promotes tourism careers, helps with labour market information and analysis and provides training and certification.

The four OC students will travel to Victoria in February to compete against regional winners from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, the Kootenays and from Northern B.C.

 

BSN bridging program recognized by CASN
Okanagan College Media Release

Kirby Wildeman isn’t sure yet if she will work in one of the region’s growing, dynamic hospitals, nurse elsewhere in Canada, or care for patients on the other side of the globe. But new national recognition for one of Okanagan College’s nursing programs has her feeling good about her decision to stay in the Okanagan for her training.Kirby Wildeman Nov 2016

“I feel like I am in a great place to start my career,” says Wildeman, who is completing her first year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree bridging program at Okanagan College. “Between the College and UBC, there are so many opportunities for hands-on training in local hospitals. As a student, you feel very dialed into the industry from the beginning.”

The bridging program is a conduit that allows students to complete the first two years of the four-year BSN degree at the College before transitioning to UBC Okanagan to complete the final two years. Graduates earn a BSN degree from UBC.

“You get to start off in the College setting with small class sizes and lots of one-on-one instruction, which makes for a smooth transition out of high school. And then there is the excitement of knowing you are stepping into another really well-respected nursing school,” explains Wildeman.

Wildeman began her studies at the College in fall of last year. Next September, she will make the move to UBC to finish off her degree. She will do so with the knowledge that both programs were recently accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN), a national independent body which conducts rigorous evaluation of nursing schools across the country.

“Having an independent review of our program is valuable,” explains Yvonne Moritz, Dean Science, Technology and Health for Okanagan College. “It is a tremendous learning opportunity. It gives us the chance to see how we compare to national standards, and to better understand our strengths and opportunities for improvement.

“And as a relatively new program, we are with pleased the accreditation, and by the positive feedback that we received from CASN. That feedback, will guide the continuous improvement of the program.”

The Okanagan College BSN program years 1 and 2 is also approved by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC), the body that oversees regulation of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and licensed graduate nurses in B.C.

The accreditation by CASN is another feather in the cap for the program, explains Moritz, and one that will hopefully continue to strengthen the reputation of the OC-UBCO collaborative partnership in the minds of students and prospective students.

“It gives our students confidence and affirms for them that we meet not only provincial but national benchmarks, the highest standards,” says Moritz.

Since the bridging program launched in 2011, 95 students have completed Years 1 and 2 at the College.

“It feels good knowing the program is accredited, especially from an employability standpoint, looking ahead to the future,” notes Wildeman.

She and her classmates have reason to be optimistic about their job prospects. According to B.C. government statistics, the province will need 25,000 nurses by 2022.

And while she may not have a final destination in mind for that future, the Kelowna student (who hails from Abbotsford) is excited about the flexibility offered by her chosen field.

“I would love to work locally, but the possibilities are endless in nursing. It’s a great feeling to know that my education can take me anywhere.”

 

Provincial funding brings daycare partnership to College’s Penticton campus
Okanagan College Media Release

Penticton Daycare Announcement Nov 2016Penticton will soon have a new $1.2-million daycare facility, thanks to a $500,000 child care major capital grant from the B.C. government and support from Okanagan College and some of its students.

Ground was broken at the Penticton campus today for the daycare facility by Penticton MLA Dan Ashton (representing Minister of Child and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux), Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, Penticton and District Community Resources Society (PDCRS) Executive Director Tanya Behardien and Okanagan College Regional Dean Donna Lomas.

When the daycare is complete in mid-2017, it will be operated by PDCRS.

“This is great news for the local families,” says Ashton. “Adding 64 new child care spaces for Penticton-area families who need them demonstrates our government’s commitment to building stronger, healthier communities throughout the province.”

“There is definitely a need for this capacity,” explains Behardien, whose organization operates eight child care programs in the region, including three centres in Penticton. The PDCRS has more than 40 years of experience in early childhood programming and is celebrating its 50th anniversary as an organization this year.

“The new child care centre will benefit the community, but is also a major benefit to our students and staff,” explains Hamilton. “The survey that was part of the business case for the daycare clearly identified the need for this. We also know that even when our campus is less busy in the summer months, there will be demand for the daycare because of the increase in activity in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

The daycare will be located at the northern end of the campus, with access from Timmins Street.

Lomas, who is retiring in the next month, sees the daycare as a legacy project that fits into the College’s well-deserved reputation for partnerships, service to students and the community. It will also continue the College’s growing reputation for leadership in sustainable building.

The 372-square-metre (4,000 sq. ft.) daycare facility is being constructed to Passive House Design with the goal of being built to net-zero energy and LEED Platinum standards.

“This will be another example of how sustainable building technologies can be incorporated into comfortable learning and care space,” says Lomas.

In 2016, the campus’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence was recognized as the greenest building in Canada’s university and college environment. The design of the daycare has been aided by students from the College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology program, and students from the College’s Residential Construction program will help with the construction of the facility, which starts in February 2017.

 

Scholarship for Selkirk College student makes move to Okanagan College easier
Okanagan College Media Release

Sawyer Thor-Larsen was having a stressful week, unsure of the finances that would allow her to transfer colleges, when she received one of those emails that completely changed her day and put a new spin on her school year.Sawyer Thor-Larsen Nov 2016

Thor-Larsen learned she was one of about 100 recipients of a $5,000 Transfer Scholarship from the Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society. She didn’t realize at the time that the honour would prove to be much more than a just financial reward.

The Society offers transfer scholarships to students who have completed one year or more at a public post-secondary institution in BC and are transferring to another degree-granting institution to complete their studies. Thor-Larsen completed a Business Administration Diploma and a year of general studies at Selkirk College before transferring to Okanagan College’s School of Business in September.

The $5,000 awards are granted on the basis of academic merit and involvement in their school or community. In addition to her good grades, Thor-Larsen was also actively involved in her community and volunteered for the Castlegar Minor Soccer Association, Relay for Life and Selkirk College.

“With the scholarship I don’t have to take out a student loan; it took off a lot of the financial burden,” says Thor-Larsen. The scholarship funds also allowed her the financial freedom to take a research assistant position for Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism over the summer.

“It was really nice to be able to do something I enjoyed and not have to worry about money for school,” explains Thor-Larsen. The position challenged her to step beyond her comfort zone and talk to business owners in the community, a skill she has already been applying in her classes at the College. “I’m more comfortable actively participating in class discussions and less nervous in presentations.”

Thor-Larsen completed her non-business electives before transferring to Okanagan College, allowing her the freedom to explore a greater range of courses than were available to her in Castlegar. Okanagan College’s Human Resources Management courses have piqued her interest and she is now considering declaring it as her degree specialization and pursuing workforce experience in the industry.

The Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society was developed in 2004 to help students obtain degrees while studying closer to home longer and at less cost. The Society’s namesake, Irving K. Barber, was a prominent entrepreneur in B.C.’s forestry industry. Known as an advocate of public education, Barber credited his own successes to a second chance he was given to pursue education and receive a post-secondary degree.

The Society continues to champion that legacy and has awarded over $13 million in awards and scholarships to thousands of B.C. students since 2006. In addition to transfer scholarships, international scholarships and aboriginal awards are given annually.

Thor-Larsen first heard about the scholarship opportunity from her older sister, Samantha, who was also a recipient of an Irving K. Barber Transfer Scholarship. Their mother encouraged Sawyer to apply after her sister’s positive experience. Samantha graduated from Okanagan College’s School of Business in Jan. 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, specializing in marketing.

“Okanagan College students have often received transfer scholarships and moved on to other degree-granting post secondary institutions,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, who is also a Director of the Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society. “That is still the case, but it is great when we see students like Samantha and Sawyer come to us from other B.C. institutions to complete their education. I know that is what Ike Barber was hoping to support when he set up this scholarship.”

Thor-Larsen has been enjoying the switch to Okanagan College and the perks of living in a larger city centre haven’t compromised a sense of community at school. “I like that the teachers actually care about what you are doing. My favourite thing is they know you by name.”

Thor-Larsen will graduate in Dec. 2017 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and plans to go on to law school.

She admits that the scholarship application can be intimidating, but encourages other eligible students to apply.

“Definitely do it,” she says. “It looks like a lot of work, but it is worth it.”

The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society also awarded transfer scholarships to Okanagan College students Duncan Gordon MacGregor, Teresa Oyer, Kelsi Layne Taron, Adia Van Buren, and Alisha Wozny. These six students transferred to complete their degrees at the University of British Columbia.

For more information on Irving K. Barber scholarship and 2016 recipients visit www.ikbbc.ca

The next deadline for scholarship applicants is early 2017.

 

FortisBC donation fuels new lab, teaching tools at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Fortis support OC1 Nov 2016Support from FortisBC is powering up a cutting-edge new space at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, helping the College deliver training for a number of B.C.’s most in-demand trades.

A $50,000 donation from FortisBC assisted in the construction and outfitting of a new natural gas lab, located in the plumbing shop of the renovated and expanded Kelowna Trades Complex that officially opened last month. An additional $25,000 gift from the company will also help the College enhance the delivery of curriculum for construction carpenters and technologists in the Sustainable Construction Management Technology program.

“FortisBC sees giving back as an important part of our efforts to create a sustainable future for British Columbians,” explains Barry Smithson, Director Operations, FortisBC. “This partnership is a great fit for FortisBC, as Okanagan College trains students that could one day become our employees.”

The new lab will be utilized by students across the piping trades, and will allow the College to deliver all four levels of its new Steamfitter/Pipefitter apprenticeship program. Demand is mounting for Steamfitter/Pipefitters in B.C. (more than 1,100 openings are projected over the next eight years), and the arrival of LNG projects could spell even greater need. The first class of students recently completed Level 1 and the first offering of Level 2 began on Oct. 3.

“We are deeply grateful to FortisBC for this generous support,” says Steve Moores, the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “This donation is already having a direct impact on students. The new lab provides us with a state-of-the-art space to deliver the latest training.”Fortis support OC3 Nov 2016

Over the past five years alone, Okanagan College has trained more than 1,200 Foundation and Apprenticeship students in the Plumbing/Pipefitting and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic programs.

As part of the $50,000 donation, FortisBC contributed equipment for the lab – including state-of-the-art gas meters – and stepped in to assist local company Kal West Mechanical with the installation. The installation provided a chance for hands-on learning for Okanagan College students.

Tammy Rudrum is one of those students. A recent graduate of the Sheet Metal Foundation program and the Women in Trades Training program, Rudrum and about a dozen of her classmates helped put in furnaces which will serve as training tools in the new lab.

“I definitely learned some great practical skills that you can’t get from a book,” says Rudrum. “Hands-on experience is better. Everyone's furnace units are different, so it was interesting to see how things can be adapted.”

On top of the $50,000 for the new lab, FortisBC’s additional donation of $25,000 will soon generate further hands-on training opportunities for students.

Among other teaching tools, the funds will allow the College to purchase two calibrated blower doors to be used for training and testing. The doors demonstrate to students how different wall assemblies and construction techniques can reduce energy consumption by preventing air leakage. The resources will benefit students in the Carpentry and Sustainable Construction Management Technology programs.

“It is very positive for our students to see a major employer like FortisBC investing in their education,” explains Moores. “It shows them the industry need is real. It validates their choice to learn here and to pursue a career in the trades.”

Okanagan College’s new Trades Complex opened its doors to students in April and was officially opened by Premier Christy Clark and Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson on Sept. 22.

The three-year renovation and expansion project began with a $28-million investment from the province and has also seen strong support from donors in the community. The Okanagan College Foundation kicked off the Bright Horizons campaign in October 2014 with the goal of raising $5 million for capital construction and $2 million for student and program support to complete the project.

More information about the new Trades Complex and opportunities to support the campaign can be found at www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.

 

Craft beer revolution on tap at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

Martin Lewis Bad Tattoo Nov 2016Martin Lewis knows that exploring craft beers at a festival or brewery can be an intimidating experience, and he has the tools to help beer lovers, from novice to veteran, navigate those hoppy waters.

Lewis, co-owner of Penticton's Bad Tattoo Brewing, will be leading Beer Appreciation – an evening of craft beer tastings and beer education offered by Okanagan College. Delivering basic beer knowledge, the course is designed to help students make the best of any beer tasting experience – in particular, at festivals.

The tastings will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the B.C. Wine Information Society Sensory Centre, a state-of-the-art classroom-style laboratory at the College’s Penticton campus. The facility was created for the sensory discovery and evaluation of wine and food and opened in 2014. This will be the second beer course offered in the Centre by Okanagan College and the first craft beer appreciation course.

“The lab is a great venue for people to come in and learn something about the food and beverage culture that is going on in the Okanagan,” says Lewis. “It’s a phenomenal facility in an easy, central location.”

Lewis, a Red Seal chef, will pair the beer tastings with festival-inspired culinary creations he prepares in the Centre’s kitchen. Participants will explore diverse styles of beers and gain an understanding of their palate range and preferences. The course will also delve into new and emerging beer trends, such as barrel-aged beers, beers with innovative ingredients and ancient beer styles coming back into popularity.

Known for its wine education programming, the College recognized the growing interest in craft brewing in the region and the popularity of local events, such as Fest of Ale.

“Our programming reflects what the community expresses an interest in,” says Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Development. “Our Viticulture and Wine Program was a response to the region’s thriving wine industry, and now our Beer Appreciation course acknowledges the growing enthusiasm for beer literacy in the Okanagan. And given the number of beer and wine experts on hand in the valley, it was very important to us to engage top caliber instruction for these programs.”

The industry has seen significant growth across the Pacific Northwest in the last decade. Many local restaurants and private liquor stores have jumped on the trend, offering more diverse beer selections from smaller, independent breweries.

According to Ken Beattie, Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild, the industry is undergoing unprecedented growth.

“In 2013, there were less than 50 craft breweries in the province. We now have over 125 breweries in 60 different communities that employ over 4500 people directly.”

The Okanagan now boasts 15 craft breweries, including four in Penticton. Lewis believes the industry is just gaining momentum and we can expect to see more breweries pop up in the region.

“The craft beer culture offers a tremendous amount of choice and flavours,” he says. “There is a tremendous energy in the industry and a camaraderie between brewers and the customers."

Lewis believes the course will yield for students a much more robust experience at future festivals or tastings.

“It’s easy to go to a beer festival and just stick your glass out,” he says. “After taking the course, students will be able to ask informed questions, relate concepts and understand how brewing applications affect flavour.”

Registration for Beer Appreciation is now open. Cost is $96 plus GST. Seating is limited. To register, call 250-492-4305 or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/registerbeer. Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/cs for more information.

 

Valley First steps in with $50,000 donation to help teach financial literacy in elementary schools
Okanagan College Media Release

 

CANsave, a financial literacy program designed in 2015 by college students for primary school students has caught the attention of teachers throughout British Columbia, and Valley First is stepping up to lend its support.CANSave Nov 2016

A supporter of CANsave since its pilot program launched in 2015, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, initially pledged $25,000 to the program for the 2016 school year. However, upon seeing the immediate success and the overwhelming teacher demand for the program, the local credit union has doubled its support to $50,000 to help Enactus Okanagan College students expand the program to more BC schools.

In addition to this financial support, Valley First will be lending its expertise in the field, and staff will be volunteering as guest instructors in some of the local classrooms. Aimed at teaching primary school students critical lessons about debt and the importance of saving money, and giving to charity, CANsave offers students the opportunity to experience financial responsibility firsthand.

“This is an incredible commitment,” says Abbey Jones, a fourth-year Okanagan College Business Administration student, who is also one of the leaders of the CANsave program. “Valley First has been with us every step of the way since we launched our pilot program last year. Their latest donation will allow us to take CANsave out to all the teachers and schools who have expressed an interest in the program. This is a phenomenal opportunity for us to expand the program and enable more kids to learn about financial literacy.”

“We’ve all heard about the importance of teaching kids at a young age about money in order to set them up for financial success in the future,” explains Susan Ewanick, president of Valley First. “Our team at Valley First fully believes in the benefits of starting young and it’s been so rewarding to see the tremendous outcomes CANsave has achieved in one short year. The rapid pace at which BC teachers are adopting the program has been nothing short of amazing. We’re very proud to partner with the volunteers of Enactus and have the opportunity to help young people develop their financial savvy.”

The positive evaluation of the program is echoed by Kelsey Dawson, one of the teachers who experienced CANsave in her Grade 3 classroom last year. “It had a real impact on the students,” says Dawson. “It’s learning that will stick with them through their lives and it’s provided a good base in understanding personal and household finances. It also gave them a sense of what it means to think about others in the community.”

With help from Valley First and from the Central Okanagan Foundation, the Enactus OC students established a website over the summer that introduced the CANsave program to approximately 40 Central Okanagan teachers just before school recommenced this fall.

The response from the teachers was overwhelming. “Within three days, we were already exceeding the 40 classes we had planned. Somewhere between 10 and 15 of them are from outside the College region, extending into the Kootenays and Northern B.C.,” explains Devin Rubadeau, an OC Business Administration professor who has served as a mentor to the Enactus OC students involved in the project. “Now we are projecting that CANsave will be in 100 or more Central Okanagan classes this year.”

There’s no better time for the Valley First commitment, notes Rubadeau – November is officially financial literacy month.

CANsave was introduced into classrooms in School District 23, in 2015, and was created in response to changes in the BC Ministry of Education Curriculum that came into effect September 2016. The program includes lessons on topics young adults wished they had learned early on, including the advantages of having a savings account, critical lessons about debt, and the importance of saving money for themselves and for those in need. Teaching fundamental financial lessons through the use of a simulated economy, CANsave allows primary school students the opportunity to experience first-hand financial responsibility.

During the curriculum development period for Grade 3 students, the Enactus team worked closely with teachers and community partners to ensure learning objectives could successfully be met in the classroom. In the spring of 2016, two Grade 1 teachers modified the curriculum to suit younger grades and ran the program twice in their classrooms with great success. The end results are the CANsave Early Primary and CANsave Late Primary programs. For more information about CANsave, visit http://cansaveoc.ca/

 


Mother and daughter team up to teach OC program focused on Aboriginal support
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Experience, knowledge, passion and family will be the fuel that drives a new Aboriginal Community Support Worker program being offered by Okanagan College.

Holly and Tina Marie Nov 2016Tina-Marie Christian and her daughter Holly Dalgleish, both of the Syilx Nation (Okanagan) and members of the Splatsin First Nation (Enderby) will be collaborating to teach a new certificate program being offered at Okanagan College this fall.

The Aboriginal Community Support Worker Certificate (ACSW) is a full-time program that will be taught at the College’s Salmon Arm Campus beginning in late November this year. This program will see students immerse themselves in a five-month course that includes 375 hours of course work and a 70-hour practicum component that focuses on indigenous help.

With a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and a Bachelor’s degree in adult education, Christian brings a strong blend of experiences in community and personal development from her more than 35 years working in education, staff development, health and wellness within Aboriginal organizations. Dalgleish, who holds a Master’s in Clinical Social Work and has worked as a Child Protection Social Worker as well as youth counsellor and Family Support Worker, also has strong ties to the Aboriginal community in the Okanagan.

The women have been instrumental in bringing this new certificate program to fruition. They have been active members of the program’s curriculum development team, ensuring that the focus is targeted and has pervasive Indigenous content.

“The courses in this program will provide students with a holistic approach to Aboriginal community support, helping to prepare them for entry-level positions in a variety of fields,” explains Dalgleish. “It is designed to become part of the pathway to further studies such as the Human Service Work diploma, or a degree in Social Work while providing a foundation for community service work.”

“We are excited to be a part of this College initiative that will help to strengthen our Indigenous communities. Programs such as the ACSW program empower individuals to create a new future and an opportunity to contribute to the needs of their community,” notes Christian. “The certificate is ideal for students who have a strong compassion for helping individuals and families and will give them the core training required by community support workers.”

Students will finish the program with a practicum at a local community-based organization that works with Aboriginal individuals and families.

Students interested in finding out more about this program (which is eligible for student loans) are encouraged to contact: www.okanagan.bc.ca/acsw

 


Chefs and Grandmothers come together to support African AIDS caregivers
Okanagan College Media Release

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Okanagan residents have an opportunity to explore some great cuisine prepared by Junior Chefs of Okanagan College and to support African children orphaned by AIDS.

Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa and the Okanagan Chefs Association are hosting the second annual evening of Discover Africa’s Culture and Cuisine in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus.

“This is a tremendous chance to taste the unique African inspired dishes prepared by the Culinary Arts students under the mentorship of distinguished Chefs of the Chef’s Association,” explains Doug Fraser of Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa.

The volunteer, non-profit organization of grandmothers and “grandothers” supports African grandmothers, in communities affected by the AIDS pandemic, as they care for the vulnerable children in their care. The group’s goal is to increase awareness and raise funds to help nurture and raise a healthy self-sufficient next generation.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign provide targeted and accountable support for African grandmothers and orphans through healthcare, education initiatives and self-sufficiency programs such as microcredit grants and human rights support.

Last year this event showcasing African food and culture was a huge success, says Fraser.

“The Junior Chefs creations delighted our guests. People have been asking when the tickets are available for this year’s event.”

They’re $75, available now in limited numbers, and can be purchased by visiting bit.ly/GFAtickets.

“This (Discover Africa’s Culture and Cuisine) gives our students a real opportunity to explore a different food culture and stretch their culinary imaginations,” explains Okanagan College Chef instructor Reinhard Foerderer. “It also gives them the satisfaction of putting their talents to work for a worthy community initiative.”

Part of the proceeds for the evening go to the Okanagan Chefs Association to provide further educational opportunities for the community’s junior chefs.

Fraser notes that a host of area businesses and organizations have thrown their support behind the event, including the Jane Hoffman Group of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty, Alison Oxtoby of Entrust Law, Baptist Housing, Brenda Fischer of Edward Jones, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Gorman Bros., Kelowna Mercedes-Benz, Vineyard Developments and Voyager RV.

Those in attendance on Nov. 19 will be entertained by the Nankama African Drum and Dance Group and will be able to participate in silent and live auctions.

Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa supports the Stephen Lewis Foundation and since the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign began in June 2006, grandmother groups across Canada have grown to 250 involving 10,000 Grandmothers and more than $25 million has been raised.

As many as 15 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. Grandmothers bury their own adult children and step in to care for the orphaned children and other children who have no other resource.

If you would like to help, donations can be made to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

 

College Health Care Assistant program accredited by CACHWR
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Tuesday, Oct. 18, marked Health Care Assistant Day in B.C. – a day for acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the province’s frontline care providers. It was a day that held special meaning for Stephanie Shuttleworth, a Kelowna resident who is poised to graduate from the College’s Health Care Assistant (HCA) certificate program early next year.

HCA Students Oct 2016 - Britt Rider, Stephanie ShuttlesworthFor Shuttleworth, walking across the stage will mean the chance to finally step into a career in health care she has dreamed about for years.

“I volunteered in hospitals a lot when I was younger, so this is a career I’ve always wanted,” explains Shuttleworth. “A number of my friends completed the program and got jobs right away, so I felt confident it was the right choice for my future.”

In addition to the strong job prospects, students like Shuttleworth have another reason to feel good about their choice to invest in an education in health care at Okanagan College. The HCA program recently received the highest accreditation possible by the province.   

Earlier this year, the College’s HCA program received a full five-year recognition status from the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry (CACHWR), the provincial body that oversees registration of HCAs in B.C.  

“The program already has a great reputation and so it feels good as a student knowing that we have this feather in our cap when we’re approaching employers,” notes Shuttleworth.

While registration with CACHWR is not mandatory for HCAs working in the private sector, registration is required for any HCA wishing to work in a public health care setting in B.C. It also gives graduates a competitive edge, says Angela Godler, Chair of the HCA program at the College.

“The registry itself is fairly new and this is the first time they have conducted a full examination of our program,” explains Godler. “We are very proud, although not entirely surprised, to receive the highest level of accreditation, given our close adherence to provincially-approved curriculum, our experienced instructors and our close consultation with industry. We are constantly speaking with local employers to stay attuned to their needs, and to trends in the field.”

And with an aging population and many current HCAs approaching retirement age, it is a field in need of replenishment. The B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, released in 2014, listed Health Care Assistants as one of the top priority health professions in need of new workers over the next decade.HCA Olivia Glockner and Cathy Farrow Oct 2016

“When choosing a program, it is very important to complete a recognized HCA program so that you can be registered to work as an HCA in B.C.,” says Godler. “This accreditation will make the registration process smooth for our graduates, so they can start working as soon as possible—great news for them given the demand for HCAs right now.”

The HCA program at Okanagan College is 25 weeks in length and includes a combination of theory classes and an eight-week clinical practicum, covering areas of complex care, home support/assisted living and dementia care, and acute care.

The program seems to be working for Okanagan College students.

According to recent B.C. Student Outcomes data, 92 per cent of graduates reported the program was very useful in getting a job, while 97 per cent were in the labour force making an average hourly wage of $19. 

Last year, one of the College’s HCA graduates was honoured by W. Brett Wilson, well-known Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist and “Dragon Emeritus” from the CBC show Dragons' Den, for a project that saw her delivering art and music therapy to residents in complex care situations. Penticton’s Catherine Links was awarded the inaugural W. Brett Wilson Prize, a scholarship launched in Wilson’s name for Okanagan College students after the philanthropist gave a talk at College’s Kelowna campus in January 2015.

More information about the HCA program at Okanagan College is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/hca

 


35 years of launching careers at Okanagan College
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Andre Leroux Oct 2016Andre Leroux has always been fascinated with taking things apart and putting them back together. His job is one of the most detail oriented imaginable. It is among the most in-demand occupations in the trades and technical world today. It’s also one of the many careers people can learn about when they visit one of the region’s longest-running career fairs next month.  

“I get to work on some of the world’s most incredible aircraft, doing everything from routine checks to big conversions that would have blown my mind as a kid. It’s amazing.”

A few short years ago Penticton-born Leroux was honing his skills in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) Structures program at Okanagan College. Through the window of the College’s AME-S lab at the Kelowna airport, Leroux had a view to a hangar filled with multi-million-dollar aircraft he hoped to work on one day. That day came sooner than he ever expected.

The hangar through the window belongs to KF Aerospace, Kelowna’s largest private-sector employer. Leroux interviewed with the company shortly before graduation. Days later, certificate in hand, he joined KF Aerospace’s team of skilled AME-S technicians.

“I learned the theory and the hands-on skills of the trade, and then I stepped right into it and I’ve kept learning ever since. It’s a fast-paced job and there’s always a new skill to pick up along the way.”

Leroux has wasted no time putting his skills to work.

In August he participated in a Top Gun-style AME skills challenge in downtown Kelowna. Competitors completed three skill testing events from metal bending to riveting, all while racing against each other and the clock. Leroux placed third overall, outperforming technicians who boasted many more years in the industry.

His story is a testament to how quickly a new career can hit the stratosphere when passion, education and opportunity collide.

Globally, Boeing predicts an industry demand for 609,000 aircraft maintenance technicians over the next 20 years, making it the most in-demand occupation in the aviation industry. And locally the demand remains steady. In the last four years, KF Aerospace has hired more than 30 of Okanagan College’s AME-S graduates (including the entire 2014 class), representing more than a quarter of the company’s AME-S technician labour force.

Those interested in learning more about the AME-S program at Okanagan College can view a video here and attend an info night on Nov. 9, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at 5650 Aerospace Drive at the Kelowna Airport. Participants can meet instructors and tour KF Aerospace.

KF Aerospace is just one of more than 35 exhibitors who will be at the 35th annual Career Fair hosted by Okanagan College on Sunday, Nov. 6., connecting with the community, and in many cases, looking to add to their workforce.

Career Fair also provides would-be students a closer look at Okanagan College and its programs – from aviation to welding, business to nursing, and everything in between. Tours of the newly renovated and expanded Trades Complex – one of the most sustainable buildings of its kind anywhere in the world – will be offered throughout the event which runs from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.

Anyone interested in finding out about career opportunities or learning more about the education and training needed to achieve lift off in a new career should visit the campus.

New for 2016: the Freshman 15 is a special information session that will cover the top 15 points that parents and students should know before starting post-secondary. The free session begins at 1 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre (S building) and will include time for questions and answers afterward.

Anyone interested in applying for a program at Okanagan College can start the process while at Career Fair and will have the application fee waived. The College will also draw for a $500 tuition waiver for those who enter at the event.

Find out more online: www.okanagan.bc.ca/careerfair.

 

Odlum Brown Limited’s donation puts a crest on Silver Surfers’ wave
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Okanagan College students who are helping the area’s senior citizens come to grips with computer technology are getting a helping hand from Odlum Brown Limited.Silver Surfers Oct 2016

The Kelowna branch of the investment firm has given Enactus Okanagan College $3,500 to allow the student organization to take their pilot program to the next level. 

“When I heard about the College students volunteering their time to work with the senior citizens to answer questions and allay fears about technology, I thought it was a marvelous program to support,” explains Doug Chambers, Kelowna Branch Manager for Odlum Brown Limited. “The students are well-organized, dedicated and since they started to pilot this program last year, the demand for their help has grown.”

College students Sam Jamieson, Rebecca Alfred, Daniel Alfred, and Meaghan Barnard created Silver Surfers in response to the growing isolation experienced by seniors. Using step-by-step booklets created by the students, seniors are now learning how to use iPads to connect with loved ones through e-mail, Facebook, and Skype. 

Professor and Faculty Advisor, Devin Rubadeau, sees these kinds of partnerships between local businesses and the Enactus team as a critical component of community development. 

“The students have created a wonderful program that positively impacts the lives of seniors and families,” he said. “With Odlum Brown’s assistance, the Enactus team can focus on delivering Silver Surfers to more seniors, and expanding their reach to the campuses of Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm.”

“Odlum Brown’s support is really appreciated,” says Barnard, co-creator of Silver Surfers. “Not just for the iPads it allowed us to purchase, but for the vote of confidence it represents. All of our volunteers know from their experience how rewarding this program is, but when organizations such as Odlum Brown step forward with their support, it imbues all of us with confidence that we are doing something that is valued.

“Right now we’re working with senior citizens in Lakeshore Place and in November, we will start at Sandalwood Retirement Resort,” she says.

Judging by past experience, the student volunteers are going to be welcomed when they step through the doors.

“I really enjoyed working with the students,” says Agnes Shewring, one of the seniors who benefitted from the Silver Surfers’ explanations and demonstrations of iPad technology this past month. “Their knowledge and passing on that knowledge to me and to others is just incredible. I can now talk to my grandkids over video, something I never thought I’d be able to accomplish in my life!”

 


OC business team brings home Social EnterPrize
Okanagan College Media Release

Mission Possible_1 Oct 2016A team consisting of two Okanagan College professors and one student researcher are among only five teams across the country to be awarded prestigious research grants from the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel of the Okanagan College School of Business, along with Cassandra McColman, a third-year business student, recently received a Trico Social EnterPrize award for case study research.

The biennial awards go to Canadian organizations demonstrating best practices, impact and innovation in social enterprise.

“In short, a social enterprise is an organization endeavouring to solve a social problem through a business approach,” explains Rempel, who has consulted for social enterprises and non-profit clients in B.C. and Alberta. She designed an innovative Non-profit Management course at Okanagan College, which pairs students with local non-profit staff and volunteers in the classroom.

The Okanagan College researchers partnered with Mission Possible, a Vancouver-based non-profit that helps people challenged by homeless and poverty find meaningful work. The hope is that the detailed case study of Mission Possible’s social enterprise model will aid other organizations looking to do the same.

“We are thrilled to be working with Mission Possible and really grateful for the support from the Trico Charitable Foundation,” says Myrah. “For Kerry and I, our teaching and passion lie in social enterprise, so the fit could not be better. It provides us with a real-world example to share with students.”Mission Possible_2 Oct 2016

The social entrepreneurship course Myrah teaches has led to over 200 community based student projects since 2007 and incorporates real cases, such as this one, into the curriculum.

“There aren’t a lot of role models out there for organizations looking to enact change,” notes Rempel. “This research is exciting in that hopefully it will provide a road map for others.”

Another benefit of the research lies in its capacity to inspire students, as Rempel explains.

“It has been one of the most uplifting experiences because it has re-affirmed that what we teach in the classroom is real. Hopefully what we learn will inspire students and show other organizations in Canada and around the world that social enterprises can be sustainable and effective in driving change.”

The case will be published and shared extensively by the Trico Charitable Foundation in the coming months.

For Myrah, the award marks the second time being recognized by the Foundation. In 2014, her case study was among four Social EnterPrize studies supported by the Foundation. Myrah was lead researcher on a project with local business consultant Elvia Picco; the pair wrote about the YWCA Metro Vancouver Social Enterprise Hotel. That case study can be found online here.

Both Myrah and Rempel are quick to point out the importance of having a student perspective on the Mission Possible project. That perspective comes from Cassandra McColman, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree student and research assistant in the social enterprise arena. McColman recently joined Myrah and Rempel in touring Mission Possible’s Vancouver office.

“Having the opportunity to bring our research to life while visiting Mission Possible's staff and clients allowed me to experience firsthand how impactful this organization is in their community,” says McColman. “Working with them and getting to be a part of that impact has been incredibly rewarding.”

More information about the Trico Charitable Foundation’s Social EnterPrize can be found at tricofoundation.ca/social-enterprize/.

 


New program helps support workers better serve Aboriginal people and communities
Okanagan College Media Release

A new program developed by Okanagan College in collaboration with local First Nations communities and regional Aboriginal organizations will prepare learners to step into community support work assisting Aboriginal individuals and families.

The Aboriginal Community Support Worker Certificate program launches on November 28 at the College’s Salmon Arm campus. It will include a practicum with a local community/human service work employer.

“This program is the product of extensive consultation with bands throughout the Interior of B.C. as well as a number of community entities that serve Aboriginal peoples in the region,” explains Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College’s Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training. “We learned there was a need for training that enables community support workers to gain a deeper knowledge of the specific challenges facing Aboriginal individuals and families.”

The College worked closely with members of the Aboriginal community to develop the curriculum and to ensure it was built on a strong foundation of traditional Aboriginal knowledge and culture. Jennifer Leason is one of the scholars who is helping guide the process and make the program a reality.

The Aboriginal Community Support Worker Certificate says it all in its name,” notes Leason, a highly regarded Anishina-kwe scholar and PhD candidate who teaches Women’s Studies at Okanagan College. “The program is about transformative learning and providing culturally safe, relevant and meaningful support when working with Indigenous peoples, families and communities.”

Leason is no stranger when it comes to advancing Indigenous knowledge in the post-secondary sector. She also recently piloted a new course at the College on Canadian Indigenous Women's Perspectives, Indigenous Feminism, Oppression and Resistance. Her research focuses on Indigenous women’s maternal and reproductive health in Canada.

The course includes workshops featuring local Aboriginal knowledge and culture, Elders and other guest speakers from local bands. It is designed for students of all backgrounds (Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal heritage) who are interested in working with the Aboriginal community, notes Leason.

“The approach to designing and delivering the program has been based on collaborative relationships, respectful dialogue and meaningful engagement,” she says. “The course engages students in a process of decolonization and encourages them to work together towards reconciliation. It is truly an innovative and exciting program."

The College is currently looking for organizations in the health and human service work field who are interested in accepting students for practicum placements.

More information about the Aboriginal Community Support Worker Certificate program is available atwww.okanagan.bc.ca/acsw

 

Nutech supports new Trades Complex
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Nutech at OC Oct 2016A local fire protection and safety services company is showing its support for the recently opened Trades Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, and the company’s gift carries an important message to students about health and safety.

Nutech Safety has pledged $30,000 toward the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons, Building for Skills fundraising campaign. The support will help outfit the first aid room in the new building.

“As a company we feel strongly about supporting students,” says Bob Dieno, President of Nutech Safety. “We want to ensure the next wave of tradespeople knows business is behind them. And given our company’s focus, we obviously want them to know that safety while they are in school, and when they step out into the workforce, is very important.”

With offices in Kelowna and Kamloops, Nutech is one of the region’s key suppliers of fire protection, first aid and safety gear. The company also works with organizations of all size to create fire safety plans and other training resources.

The College’s new Trades Complex was officially opened on Sept. 22 by Premier Christy Clark, B.C. Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. The new complex blends 10,000 sq. metres (over 100,000 sq. feet) of renovated facilities and new construction, including an all-new three-storey tower along KLO Road.

“Safety is critical in the trades,” says Steve Moores, the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “Having a local industry leader like Nutech step up and support our campus serves as a reminder to students about the importance of safety measures on every jobsite, and while they are training. We deeply appreciate Nutech’s support.”

More than two years in construction, the Kelowna Trades Complex is one of the College’s most ambitious capital projects to date. It was launched by a $28-million investment from the province and has been bolstered by community support. The Okanagan College Foundation kicked off the Bright Horizons campaign in October 2014 with the goal of raising $5 million for capital construction and $2 million for student and program support to complete the project.

More information about the new Trades Complex and opportunities to support the campaign can be found atwww.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.  

 


Ready to write? 3-Hour short story contest returns
Okanagan College Media Release

A challenge has been issued to local writers: go big on creativity while short on time.

Okanagan College’s English department is once again inviting up-and-coming writers to step out of their comfort zones and into the frenzied creative world of the popular 3-Hour Short Story Contest, returning Saturday, Nov. 5 at all four campuses.

The contest is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. As in previous years, writers will not only be tested by a time constraint, they’ll also have to find a way to incorporate a “secret phrase” that won’t be revealed until the moment the contest begins.

“It’s an atmosphere unlike any other I’ve encountered as a writer,” says last year’s overall winner Daniel Greene, an Arts student at the College’s Penticton campus. “It challenged me, focused me and spurred me to take an idea for a story I had been turning over in my head and bring it to life.”Daniel Greene Oct 2016

Greene’s winning story “Watercolours,” available online here, illustrates a moment of connection between grandmother and grandson. Despite the tight timeframe in which he had to craft the story, Greene was able to delve deeply, and explore in remarkable clarity, themes of love, loss and memory. He says the process helped him hone his craft.

“It definitely gave me confidence in myself and my abilities as a writer. I went from sharing stories with a few peers in class to having my work read by professors and other writers across the region. The feedback and affirmation I took away from that was helpful. It was the first time I thought to myself ‘Hey, I can do this. I can write.’ ”

Greene will graduate with an Associate of Arts Degree in December and plans to continue on to university to complete his Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology. He is currently at work on a number of short stories for publication and future competitions.

The 3-Hour Short Story Contest takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the College’s Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton campuses. Writers will work on College computers and will not be able to access any pre-written materials or outside sources – print or online.

Four prizes of a $250 tuition credit will be awarded, one for each campus winner. From the four campus winners, a grand prize winner will be chosen to receive an additional $250 tuition credit. The grand prize winner will also have their story published in a limited fine-print edition by the Kalamalka Press.

This contest is free but can only accommodate a limited number of entrants, so interested writers are encouraged to register online early. Deadline for entry is 12 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4.

Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting to sign up and to view works by previous years’ winners. 

 


Tops in tomatoes – OC students hit trifecta in Florida recipe contest
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Annie Low Oct 2016Okanagan College’s culinary students are making a significant splash in the world of Florida tomatoes.

At least that’s the take of the judges involved in the annual Top Tomato Recipe contest sponsored by the Florida Tomato Council.

Would-be chefs at OC captured first, second and third place honours in the 27th annual edition of the contest.

Annie Low, an international student from Britain studying Advanced Culinary Management at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, earned first place with her recipe for a Tomato Chili Jam recipe that incorporates fresh tomatoes, roasted peppers and fresh and dried chilies.

Second place went to student Morris Hsu, who developed a recipe for tomato iced tea. Hsu slow roasted tomatoes before they were strained and then infused them with mint, fennel leaves and ginger.

Third place belonged to Elizabeth Devereaux, who stacked a panko-crusted eggplant slice with tomato jam, mozzarella, a tomato slice, tomato mayonnaise and a fresh basil leaf.

“I was surprised to learn that I had won,” says Low. “I was even more surprised to learn that Okanagan College students had earned second and third place too.”

Low is interested in moving to Canada after she completes her studies.

The OC students were encouraged to enter the contest by their instructor, Chef Mike Barillaro.

“I’m impressed with the results, but not entirely surprised,” says Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “We have a top-notch group of chef instructors and passionate students who appreciate fresh ingredients – and love developing recipes that reflect different ways of thinking about them.”

This isn’t the first time that Okanagan College has reached across the continent to impress the tomato aficionados of Florida. In 2009, another Okanagan College culinary student, David Colombe (who originally hailed from Chicago) captured top spot in the contest. Colombe went on to write a couple of cookbooks, served as executive chef at a number of well-known area restaurants and, of late, hangs his hat in Sorrento where he is associated with Left Fields Farm and is a strong proponent of the farm-to-table movement.

According to the Florida Tomato Council’s press release on the contest, judges award prizes based on flavour, originality, use of fresh Florida tomatoes and ease of preparation.

“The contest was designed to help educate students about proper handling of fresh field-grown tomatoes, which are a staple in the foodservice industry,” says the release. “It also allows culinary instructors to reinforce recipe development and writing skills.”

According to the Council, the Florida tomato industry produces virtually all the fresh-market, field-grown tomatoes in the U.S. from October through June each year - currently amounting to nearly 900 million pounds - and accounts for about 50 per cent of all U.S.-grown fresh tomatoes.

 

Here’s Low’s award-winning recipe for the Florida Tomato Chili Jam:

3 pounds of fully-ripened fresh Florida tomatoes cored and chopped
2 red peppers, cooked in oven until blistered and starting to turn black, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 small red chili, seeded and chopped fine

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly.
  2. Bring to a boil for two minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture has a jam-like consistency, about 2.5 hours. (a half-recipe cooks in 1.5 hours)
  3. Serve with a soft cheese and crackers.

YIELD: Approximately 3 pints*

* Remainder can be stored in glass container.

 


Wine experts come to B.C. to offer an international perspective on wine marketing
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Discover An International Perspective on Winemaking with keynote speakers Karen MacNeil and Rob McMillan at the inaugural Wine Talks event at Okanagan College on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Presented by Liquidity Wines and Okanagan College, this special evening brings two of the world’s most renowned wine industry experts to B.C. to share their insight and international experience of wine marketing.Karen MacNeil Oct 2016

“We’re thrilled to welcome two huge players in the wine world to the Okanagan,” says Ian MacDonald, owner of Liquidity Wines. “We hope that initiatives such as this help to boost B.C. as a wine region on the world stage and bring the area the international recognition that it deserves.”

Author of best selling book The Wine Bible, Karen MacNeil has won every major wine award, including the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year (James Beard Foundation) and the Global Wine Communicator of the Year (International Wine and Spirits Association). TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine,” and she is renowned for her engaging wine presentations. Her firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies such as Lexus, Disney, General Electric and Singapore Airlines. She also created and chairs the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been dubbed the Harvard of wine education.

Rob McMillan is the founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division based in California. Growing it from start-up phase in 1992, his division is now regarded as the leading provider of financial services to the fine wine business on the West Coast. His banking career has spanned 30 years and 20 of those have been with Silicon Valley Bank in various roles, including a term on the managing committee. Today, Rob focuses on sharing his views on the macro factors impacting the fine wine business. He has also published reports of varied and emerging trends in the wine industry, including the Annual State of the Wine Industry Report, which is cited in international wine press.

“We are looking forward to hosting Karen MacNeil and Rob McMillan at our Penticton campus, which is in the heart of Okanagan wine country,” explained Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “Events like this offer the community a great opportunity to connect and share knowledge, which is really at the heart of what colleges do. It’s exciting to partner with Liquidity Wines to bring some of the industry’s most respected leaders in viticulture to the Okanagan.”

Join both speakers for An International Perspective on Wine Marketing at Wine Talks on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Okanagan College Penticton Campus (Room PC 113, 583 Duncan Avenue West, Penticton, B.C.). Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online.

 


Entomologist crime sleuth unveils the clues
Okanagan College Media Release

Gail Anderson Oct 2016What has six legs and solves crimes? One of the country’s leading forensic entomologists will reveal the secret when she visits the Okanagan this fall to share her experiences cracking real-life whodunnit cases with the help of insects.

Dr. Gail Anderson, SFU professor and forerunner in the field of forensic entomology (the application and study of insect biology to criminal matters), will uncover all the clues in a public talk at Okanagan College.

The presentation will take place in the lecture theatre of the College’s Vernon campus on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Anderson’s talk, entitled Murder and Maggots: The Use of Forensic Entomology in Criminal Investigations, is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series

Anderson will explain how insects can be used to estimate elapsed time since death and other factors about a crime scene, such as position and presence of wounds, and whether a body has been moved or disturbed. She will also discuss the role of entomology in animal abuse and neglect cases.

In this presentation, Anderson will use real-world case histories to illustrate the underlying science. Warning: some of the images may be disturbing; this talk is not recommended for anyone under the age of 15 without parental permission.

Anderson is a Professor in the School of Criminology and the Co-Director of the Centre for Forensic Research at Simon Fraser University. She is a forensic entomology consultant to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and municipal police across Canada as well as the SPCA and Wildlife Enforcement. She has been analyzing forensic entomology cases since 1988, and has testified as an expert witness in court many times. Recently, her research was used to help convict Robert Pickton for the murder of dozens of Vancouver women.

Anderson’s work has been featured in numerous television programs. She was a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Science and Technology, and the SFU Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award. She was listed in TIME magazine as one of the top five global innovators in the world, this century, in the field of Criminal Justice in 2001 (the only Canadian listed) and as one of the Leaders for the 21st Century by TIME Magazine in 1999. She was awarded the Derome Award—the most prestigious award the Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS) bestows—in 2001 for “outstanding contributions to the field of forensic science.” She was listed as one of the 100 most Influential Women in British Columbia by the Vancouver Sun in 2010, received a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence in 2014, and in 2015 was listed as one of the six most influential scientists in BC by the Vancouver Sun.

Admission to the lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. To subscribe or obtain more information visit okanagansisss.wordpress.com.

The talk is presented by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre. The Science in Society Speaker Series is sponsored by the Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre, Starbucks Coffee, Save on Foods, and the Vernon Morning Star.

 

College sees four per cent growth over last fall

Okanagan College is again seeing fall student enrolment grow.

The total number of students enrolled in programs at Okanagan College’s four major campuses has climbed by almost four per cent compared to last year. A total of 8,329 students were registered in programs and courses on the College’s stable enrolment date (Sept. 16, the last date students could register and change classes).
Last fall the College had 8,005 students enrolled.

“The indications are that we are experiencing another strong year,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We can likely expect that this will be the 12th consecutive year that we exceed government’s total enrolment targets. More importantly the strong demand for our programming indicates we are providing relevant and valuable education for our communities, and that’s what is most important to us.”

In 2015-16, Okanagan College achieved 109 per cent of those government targets.
Salmon Arm, Vernon and Kelowna each recorded headcount growth over last year:
-          Salmon Arm grew by 23 per cent to 638 students from 525.
-          Vernon grew 6.8 per cent to 1,070 students, from 1,001.
-          Kelowna grew 3.5 per cent to 5,237 from 5,059.

While Penticton recorded a small decrease in headcount (913 from 966), the number of course registrations at that campus actually grew by four per cent, to 2,777 from 2,672. Overall course registrations at the College were up 5.7 per cent.

The number of international students attending Okanagan College also grew significantly: 683 international students were registered this fall compared to 534 registered at the same time last year.

Fall enrolment data doesn’t tell the whole story for Okanagan College. Various courses start at different times of the year, and a full enrolment report isn’t developed until after the fiscal year-end in March.

Carpentry students get new study space thanks to award-winning renovator
Okanagan College Media Release

Turner Family Sept2016A local renovation expert and long-time Okanagan College volunteer is showing his support for the newly upgraded facilities at B.C.’s second largest trades training institution.

Gord Turner, founder of Gord Turner Renovations Ltd., has donated $15,000 to support the outfitting of a new study space in the Carpentry shop. The space will come online for students this fall.

“I think it’s important to give back,” says Turner. “I’ve been fortunate in this business. With the way the industry is going, I feel it’s incumbent on us to support future tradespeople.”

“Our company has supported a number of apprentices during their training over the years. The industry is constantly changing. If you want to be successful in the long run you have to keep learning and changing with it.”

Turner says the decision to help create the new study space was an easy one given his long connection to the College. He has been a member of the Carpentry program’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for nearly a decade and took a refresher course in carpentry at the Kelowna campus in the early 2000s.

Gord Turner Renovations also boasts two other Okanagan College alumni on staff: Turner’s children. His son Cody earned his Red Seal as carpenter in 2005, while his younger son Kyle graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Technology program in 2008.

“I was brought up in this trade by my dad,” explains Cody Turner. “I was the first apprentice from our company to train at the College, so it’s nice to see our company able to support the place where our family and a number of our employees have trained.”

“It’s wonderful to see the College keep growing,” notes Kyle Turner. “Having access to trades training in Kelowna is a great for our business.”

The company has grown from an army of one – Turner – in 1991, to a team of 13 employees today. Along the way, Turner and company have racked up Gold and Silver Tommie Awards, including “Renovator of the Year” in 2010. Gord Turner Renovations has also been voted “Best Residential Renovator of the Central Okanagan” by the readers of Okanagan Life Magazine multiple years, including the latest issue in December 2015.

Sept. 28 marks the company’s 25th anniversary, and its founder is quick to point out that while building technologies, materials and styles may have changed over the decades, one aspect of his business has remained constant.

“We help people renovate their houses, design through build, and we do it really well. That’s it. And that takes good people.”

Which, as Turner points out, harkens back to the need for a deep pool of well-trained trades people in the region.

“The new trades complex will help the College continue to stay in step with the needs of industry,” says Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “From top to bottom, from shops to classrooms, it is a totally modern, cutting-edge learning environment.”

“We appreciate the way local employers like Gord Turner Renovations have embraced the project and have chosen to invest in the future of trades training at the College.”

The College recently completed a 10,000 sq. metre renovation and expansion of trades facilities at the Kelowna campus. The new three-storey LEED Platinum-targeted building opened to students in April and is slated for an official public grand opening this month. The new and renovated facilities will allow the College to train 2,700 students per year.

The Okanagan College Foundation launched its $7-million Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign in October 2014 to raise an additional $5 million for capital construction and $2 million in program and student support to top up the province’s $28-million investment.

To learn more about Okanagan College’s new trades facilities and opportunities to support students, please visitwww.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign

 

Off the Rails, The U.S. Presidential Election
Okanagan College Media Release

 

With the first U.S. presidential debate now in the rear-view mirror, many Canadians are left wondering what effect the outcome of the upcoming election will have on Canada.

Dr. Rosalind Warner, Chair of Okanagan College’s Political Science department, will provide context and clarity to what all of this political discourse and the upcoming election results will mean to Canada and the world at large.

Warner will present “Off the Rails: The U.S. Presidential Election” on Oct. 24 in the lecture theatre of Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. Warner will be one of eight presenters who will lead the College’s Penticton Speaker Series, which takes place on Monday evenings between 7-8:30 p.m. from now until Dec. 5.

Warner, who holds a doctoral degree in International Relations and Canadian Politics from York University, won’t be forecasting the outcome of the election, but will provide insight into how a republican or democratic president-elect will impact Canada.

“The main question people ask me with regard to this presidential election is why it has taken this tone,” explains Warner. “People are wondering, is this politics as usual for the United States or is something different going on? And the short answer is that some of these issues are new and others are not.”

Warner explains that regardless of the outcome, there are a number of important issues on the table that will have a serious impact on Canada, chief among them is the U.S. policy on trade.

“One of the things that is interesting about this race is that both candidates share similar views on trade and that should be a worry for Canadians,” said Warner. “Every day Canada and the United States trade more than $2 billion in goods and services – that is extremely significant. With both candidates committing to curtailing open trade, Canada will be impacted.”

Warner will also take a closer look at the role of social media in the lead-up to the election. She will shed light on topics such as the role of the media as a watchdog and the importance of fact-checking.

“The world is concerned about the outcome of November’s election, and Canada is one of the countries that will be most impacted,” said Warner. “My goal is to provide understanding and context from a Canadian perspective and we will take a look at how we got here.”

Warner’s lecture, and all others in the Penticton Speaker Series, is hosted by Okanagan College with admission by donation. All donations support the Dire Straits Fund, an emergency bursary for Okanagan College students.

To view the complete line up of speakers in the series, visit: ocspeakersseries.weebly.com.