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Sketch a career in animation with new Okanagan College diploma
Greyeyes and Klick receive OC Alumni Association’s highest honours
Wine Talks returns with an expert panel on wine marketing
Workshop to provide a guiding compass for social enterprises
Enactus Okanagan College takes nationals by storm
Camp OC offers summer fun and learning for youth throughout the region
HOST program furthers hospitality, tourism skills
Okanagan College is RIPE for applied research
Computer Science research may help cities bounce back quicker from disaster
Enactus OC’s Soup’s On warms Vernon and Kelowna
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Sketch a career in animation with new Okanagan College diploma

Steff Farrar May 2017Aspiring animators will be able to bring their passion for drawing to life this fall with animation industry veteran Steff Farrar at the helm of a new two-year diploma at Okanagan College. 

“It’s exciting to be able to offer a program suited to an industry that has a lot of buzz right here in the Okanagan,” says Farrar, who recently moved to Kelowna in order to chair the Animation diploma program. She brings with her 25 years’ industry and training experience.

The College will be hosting a series of open house information sessions in its new animation lab in the Okanagan Centre for Innovation every Saturday in June to meet with prospective students and those interested in a career in animation. Farrar will be on site to answer questions and encourages potential applicants to bring their portfolios along. 

“Candidates might think their body of work has to be polished, coloured and poster ready, but to be honest, I’d rather see something loose and rough that shows good form,” she says. “That will tell me more about their skills and readiness to join and thrive in the program.”

With the animation entertainment industry experiencing exponential growth in the valley, graduates of the program will help to meet the local industry demands.

“All eyes are on Kelowna,” says Chris Derochie, Kelowna Supervising Animation Director at Bardel Entertainment. He explains that the lower Canadian dollar has helped the trend of big productions looking north. With the Vancouver sector exceeding capacity and the high cost of living there, it is creating opportunities within many studios in the Okanagan.

“We don’t necessarily want to have to search abroad for our talent, we need it to be close at hand,” says Derochie. “By hiring locally we can get the individuals into the studios quicker, and in turn those employees want to stay in the region where they have established family and life roots.”

Bardel’s Kelowna office started with four employees in 2013, today they have 82 employees and a target of getting to 120 by the end of 2017. It is this type of growth that has spurred the development of the College’s program.

Yeti Farm Creative echoes the same sentiments. 

“The industry is saturated with work and there are simply not enough qualified and skilled animators, designers, storyboard artists, FX artists, to fulfill current industry demands,” says Ashley Ramsay, Partner and CEO at Yeti Farm Creative. “The industry shows no signs of slowing down and Okanagan College graduates will be fortunate to have their pick of local opportunities should they wish to stay in Kelowna upon graduation.” 

Farrar is working in concert with local studios to ensure that an engaging curriculum responds to the changing needs of the industry, providing critical skills students need to fast track into being job-ready. The program focuses on drawing, design, and the principles and techniques of traditional and digital character animation in 2D, digital 2D and 3D animation. Skills will be developed in: visualization, animation software (Toon Boom Harmony), storyboarding, life drawing, and character design among others.

Students will learn in state-of-the-art classrooms at the Okanagan Centre for Innovation. A hub for creative digital arts and the tech sector, the Centre is newly opened in downtown Kelowna, placing students at the epicenter of top Okanagan animation studios including Bardel Entertainment, Disney Interactive and Yeti Farm Creative.

To assist with program costs, Okanagan College is providing $6,000 of financial support per program year to each enrolled domestic student ($12,000 total).

The free open house sessions will be held each Saturday in June (3, 10, 17 and 24) at the Okanagan Centre for Innovation (460 Doyle Avenue, Kelowna). The hour-long sessions will be offered twice each day: 10 a.m. and noon.

To find out more about the program visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/animation.

 

Greyeyes and Klick receive OC Alumni Association’s highest honours
Okanagan College Media Release

In recognition of outstanding contributions to the College and its surrounding communities, two Okanagan College alumni have earned the top honours awarded by the Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA).

Penticton’s Grace Greyeyes is the recipient of this year’s OCAA Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes excellence in the areas of leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts and/or support for Okanagan College. Ben Klick of West Kelowna will receive the 2017 OCAA Young Alumni Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions of alumni under the age of 35.

Grace Greyeyes May 2017Greyeyes has been a passionate advocate for education all of her adult life, first in her nursing career which spanned more than 35 years in Canada and the U.S. and later as a volunteer, advisor, Elder, and Aboriginal knowledge keeper in the South Okanagan. She has been a member of the Aboriginal Education Advisory committee for School District #67 in Penticton for more than a decade and recently began developing curriculum for SD#53 (Okanagan Similkameen).

For the last five years she has also volunteered with the Penticton Indian Band’s Grandma program, which provides support to local elementary, middle and high school students. She also recently founded the Penticton Indian Band’s Snpinktn Elders Society.

Her passion for education has been recognized locally and at the national level. In 2016, she was honoured with the Okanagan Nation Transition and Emergency Housing Award for her commitment to education in the community. This September she will be participating in the National Gathering of Elders hosted in Edmonton.

Greyeyes’ connection to Okanagan College dates back to the institution’s earliest years. She completed her Practical Nursing training at the College (then B.C. Vocational School) in 1968. She returned in the early 1990s to continue to her education, pursuing Arts courses at the Penticton campus. Since 2015 she has served as Elder in Residence at the College’s Penticton campus.

“I’m humbled and grateful to be recognized by the OCAA,” says Greyeyes. “Education has always been very important to me. I really do believe that education transforms lives, and so I continue to encourage our young people to think about their education, set goals and reach for them.”

At only 21 years of age, Ben Klick has already made his mark in the country music scene in Canada and the U.S. andBen Klick May 2017 continues to amass fans and accolades, along with the attention and respect of his fellow artists in the industry.

Klick enrolled in the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at Okanagan College in 2014. He set out to learn as much as he could about the music industry, from the technical aspects of the recording studio to the finer points of marketing and entrepreneurship that go into launching a successful career as an artist. After graduating in September 2015, he released his debut EP Today and went on to play nearly 60 dates across North America the following year.

Despite a hectic recording and touring schedule, and an ever-expanding list of awards to his name – including 2015 Global Country Star Search Winner, 2016 Canada’s Walk of Fame Top 7 Emerging Artist, British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) Award (2016 – Best Website), and 2017 First Round JUNO Award Nominee – Klick maintains close ties with the College and his community.

In January he headlined the “North of Nashville” concert at the College’s Kelowna campus. The show was produced by students from the very program from which he graduated. The net proceeds of the concert – $1,500 – went back to students in the program through bursaries. On March 23, he once again dazzled a hometown crowd when he took to the stage at the Kelowna Community Theatre to open for country music legend Tanya Tucker. Klick is currently working with producers in Nashville on new singles, the first of which will be released on June 12.

“Okanagan College is near and dear to my heart, so this award is very special to me,” says Klick. “Given all the incredible young OC alumni out there in the world doing great things, I feel supremely honoured and humbled to be recognized.”

“Grace and Ben share a remarkable dedication to the College and to community involvement,” says Kara Kazimer, President of the Board, Okanagan College Alumni Association. “On behalf of my fellow OCAA board members, I congratulate both of this year’s award recipients on their accomplishments. Those accomplishments – and the example they have set – will no doubt inspire our future alumni to consider the impact they too can have.”

Greyeyes and Klick’s achievements will be celebrated at the OCAA awards ceremony and reception on Sept. 19 at the College’s Kelowna campus. For more information about the awards and previous recipients, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni.  

 

Wine Talks returns with an expert panel on wine marketing
Okanagan College Media Release

Together with Liquidity Winery, Okanagan College is presenting
Wine Talks, An International Perspective on Wine Marketing, for the second time. Five international experts will come together at the Penticton campus on June 26.

“We are so pleased to build on our connections with the B.C. wine industry, and to continue working with Liquidity Winery,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We look forward to hosting another Wine Talks with an excellent panel that brings a variety of knowledge to the table.”

Leading the discussion will be Mark Davidson, Global Education Manager for Wine Australia. Davidson has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality sector and is a former Sommelier of the Year at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. He is an instructor with the International Sommelier Guild and is currently studying the theory section to become a Master of Wine.

Joining him is founder of WineDrops, Karen Graham. WineDrops offers commentary on policy and business issues in the Canadian wine and liquor industry, along with analytical and strategic advisory work through KMG Strategy Consulting. Prior to working in the wine industry, Graham held several senior level policy positions with the Business Council of BC and the United States Consulate in Vancouver.

Rob McMillan, Executive Vice-President of the Wine Division of Silicon Valley Bank, joins the panel once again, having presented at the first Wine Talks in November. In his role, McMillan supports the growth of California’s wine industry with his client base and by sharing views on factors impacting the fine wine business.

Vancouver-based lawyers Mark Hicken of Vintage Law Group and Shea Coulson, who practises commercial, regulatory, and constitutional litigation, will provide updates and insight on the direct-to-consumer market and interprovincial trade barriers. Hicken is the founder and co-chair of Vancouver’s annual Wine and Liquor Law Conference.

“The College plays a significant role in educating members of the B.C. wine industry, from the vineyard to the tasting room,” says Ian MacDonald, owner of Liquidity Winery. “We are delighted to work with them to bring world-class industry experts to the Okanagan and provide professional development events for our growing wine region.”

Wine Talks will be held on Monday, June 26 at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College (room PC 113, 583 Duncan Avenue West), from 6 to 9 p.m., including a coffee and wine break. Early bird tickets are $35 until June 19, when the price increases to $45. Tickets can be purchased online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/winetalks.

 

Workshop to provide a guiding compass for social enterprises
Okanagan College Media Release

SoFun Workshop Hosts May 2017An upcoming workshop will equip those seeking real-world solutions to challenges in our communities with the essential business tools needed to set their social enterprise ideas in motion. 

On Thursday, May 25 the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence at Okanagan College and Purppl, a community enterprise accelerator, will join forces to lead the SoFun workshop, teaching social enterprise fundamentals. The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College in room E103.

“Communities are struggling under the weight of chronic, persistent challenges like social justice, food and water security, accessible transportation, and economic empowerment,” says Andrew Greer, founder of Purppl. “The organizations tasked with solving these issues are struggling with unpredictable funding models.

“Using a social enterprise model can add predictable, sustainable, entrepreneurial revenue into these organizations which can be used to implement long-term solutions to community challenges. The SoFun workshop uses global entrepreneurial best practices and tools to help social entrepreneurs.”

Participants will examine the case study of Mission Possible (an organization which helps those affected by homelessness find meaningful work) through the global-standard Business Model Canvas tool. The model applies lean thinking, which aims to shorten the process from startup to implementation, therefore increasing efficiency and impact of the business idea. Participants will also be able to apply key learnings to their own business ideas and work on them while making the most of access to experts and resources in the room.

Increasing the sustainability of non-profit organizations has been one of the key directions of the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence since it was established in 2014. Social enterprise is a tool that organizations can use to achieve a level of sustainability.

“Our research shows that lack of access, or simply not knowing where to find the information, is a big gap in the non-profit sector within the Okanagan,” explains Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Okanagan College School of Business professor and faculty researcher at the Centre. “This workshop is one way to put information in the hands of those ready to help make the changes that will benefit our community.”

Attendees will each receive a copy of the Business Model Canvas, will have an opportunity to work on their own social enterprise ideas, explore available business resources, connect with other like-minded individuals, and have access to learn with and from other social entrepreneurs. The workshop is suited for: leaders of non-profits, individuals working in existing organizations (non-profit and for profit) with social enterprise initiatives, entrepreneurs looking to solve a social problem in their community, government employees looking to implement impact initiatives, and students.

Myrah and Greer will be joined by OC business professor Kerry Rempel to lead the workshop. Giulio Piccioli, founder of One Big Table, will also present about his experience of building a social enterprise focused on access to local food and the lean startup approach he has applied.

Tickets are $45 (at www.socialfundamentals.eventbrite.ca) and include lunch, coffee, and tea.

 

Enactus Okanagan College takes nationals by storm
Okanagan College Media Release

Enactus Nationals 2017 Fin LitFive students from Okanagan College’s School of Business have proven a small group of people can transform a community and were recognized for their empowering work with youth through the CANSave program at the 2017 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver last week, where they won top honours and were part of a larger group from the College who amassed an impressive number of awards and accolades.

Okanagan College sent four teams to compete at the national event after placing first in three categories during the regional competition. By the time the national exposition was over, of the 60+ universities and colleges at the event, Okanagan College was the only institution to win first and second-place National Challenge titles.

OC was also awarded a trophy for the nation’s Top Campus Administration. Business student Cody Troutman was one of only 12 in the country to earn a $2,500 John Dobson founder’s bursary for his work in the area of leadership. And OC alumnus Drew Vincent was recognized with a national award as the Top Alumni Over 30. Vincent is currently the Team Leader at OYP Collective in Kelowna.

“I am extremely proud, but not surprised, by the results of Enactus Okanagan College at the national exposition,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “I have had the pleasure of watching our students present and their knowledge, poise and confidence is truly remarkable. Even more remarkable though, is the impact of the work they are doing in our communities. They are living and breathing examples of how the College transforms lives and communities. I commend the team members and faculty on their performance and I know they will continue to do great things.”

Enactus Nationals 2017 YE

The most exciting moment of the competition came when Enactus OC won the Capital One Financial Education Challenge based on an impressive presentation that showcased the work they have done with the CANSave program. The project, which teaches financial literacy skills to elementary students, began in Kelowna last year and has since spread to 80 communities across the country. With support from Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, the program has now impacted more than 6,000 students across Canada. Team members included Julia Lalach, Cody Troutman, Bliss Ducharme and Rochelle Diaz. The team is coached by faculty mentor Devin Rubadeau.

Enactus Okanagan College finished second in the nation in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment challenge after presentingon the impact of CANSave and how it impacts youth to take control of their financial education. The Vernon-based team was made up of Mitchell Pepper, Christianne Edblad, and Anthony Peterson, who are all from Vernon and Gabby Edblad (Kelowna). The team was coached by professor Andrew Klingel. 

“This national competition was truly special, both for the achievements of our team, and also for the incredible support we continue to receive,” says Dr. Kyleen Myrah, faculty advisor with Enactus OC. “Having our entire institution truly behind us, in addition to the many community stakeholders and alumni who share their time and expertise with us, truly shows what a deep impact our Enactus team has accomplished.”

The College’s national team advanced through the first round into the semis but was stopped in its tracks by a dynamic team from Memorial University, who would go on to win the national event for the second year in a row. 

 

Camp OC offers summer fun and learning for youth throughout the region

 

From Revelstoke to the South Okanagan, youth will have an even better selection of summer camp opportunities to choose from this year with Okanagan College’s Camp OC returning for another year. camp oc 2017 web

Camp OC, coordinated by the College’s Continuing Studies department, offers week-long educational day camps full of interactive experiences, fun and adventure for youth.

Back for its 13th year in Kelowna, camps will once again be offered for students in Grades 2-12. Parents can select from a range of camps including Minecraft programming, wood and metal fabrication camps, fashion and cooking camps, and go kart and flight academy camps, among others.

New in Kelowna, camp organizers are offering optional after camp care for students who will be entering Grades 2-6 this fall. With camps running 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, parents will now have the option of enrolling their child in week-long after camp care in which qualified staff will engage them in activities until 5 p.m. The cost ranges from $24-30 for the week.

Camps are available at the Penticton campus for students in Grades 4-9. Parents and their children can choose from a range of camps including junior passion for fashion, video game workshop, and mad scientist camps to name a few.

Returning for its second year in Revelstoke, Camp OC is open to students in Grades 2-9. Parents and their kids can select from offerings including Chef Academy and Teen Cuisine camps for the aspiring cooks, to French language Mad Scientist camps. New for this year in Revelstoke is a Mini Up-Cycle camp designed for students in Grades 2-4.

New this year for Vernon and area residents is an expanded age range. Camps are offered for students in Grade 3 right up to and including Grade 12. Parents can select from a range of offerings including Minecraft programming, wood and metal fabrication camps, fashion and spa camps and cooking camps, among others.

And the camps aren’t all just fun and games. For the high school set, they are designed to provide a taste of life as a College student – and to open students’ eyes to careers that are in high demand, like computer programming.

This year students in Grades 9-12 can tap into a special two-week camp offering the fundamentals of coding at the Vernon campus.

Last year more than 1,500 students took part in more than 100 different camps as part of Camp OC across the College’s campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Revelstoke. The program has seen incredible growth since it launched in the summer of 2004, then with only 70 kids enrolled in about 10 camps.

More information about Camp OC is available at www.campoc.ca

 

HOST program furthers hospitality, tourism skills
Okanagan College Media Release

As the busy summer tourism season approaches, the first students to complete the HOST certificate at Okanagan College are now wrapping up their practical work in hospitality, a booming sector in the Okanagan and across the province.

The Hospitality Service Training certificate (HOST) includes courses on customer service excellence, professional front desk training, and food and beverage operations, with comprehensive, occupation-specific instruction leading to entry-level employment in hospitality and tourism.

Jessica Soroka is one of the first students through the program. She is currently the Assistant Manager of Housekeeping at Predator Ridge. Her employer suggested she take the program to gain more insight and knowledge of industry trends.Jessica Soroka May 2017

“Food and beverage service is new to me, so I learned a lot of new information,” says Soroka. “It was also pretty cool to find out about environmental trends and hear stories and ideas from around the world from our instructor.”

Soroka says she would recommend the HOST certificate to anyone in hospitality, from newcomers looking to break into the industry, to those like herself who enter into the program with a wealth of previous experience.

“The program and the booklet are so packed with information, it was intense but a great experience,” says Soroka.

According to a BC Labour Market Report, tourism is a leading employer in the province, with more than 101,000 new job openings expected by 2020. With the Okanagan continuing to receive national and international recognition as a vibrant and diverse destination, job prospects are predicted to hold strong.

“These students took away some great insights that are difficult, if not impossible, to get from on-the-job training, where there can be disruptions inherent to the operational nature of a business such as a hotel,” says instructor Tania Rutt. “Being off-site in a classroom setting offers time to focus and encourages creative, out-of-the-box thinking.”

The Okanagan is an ideal location for the training, notes Rutt, given its four-season, multi-faceted tourism and hospitality sector, which creates opportunities for everyone from high school students seeking first jobs, to university students working part-time to fund their education, to retirees who enjoy working in hospitality, to tourism professionals in the midst of career development.

“Unlike many other centres, the Okanagan boasts such a wide array of hospitality and tourism employers – hotels, wineries, resorts, ski hills, golf courses and other attractions, says Rutt.”

Students in this intake were all currently employed in the sector, hailing from Vernon’s Sparkling Hill Resort and Predator Ridge Resort, and Kelowna’s Manteo Resort.

Both the Penticton and Kelowna campuses will be offering the HOST program this fall. Prior to admission, students must have both their Serving It Right and FOODSAFE certificates. HOST includes theory, demonstrations, and practical-skills training in various areas of the hospitality industry, with an emphasis on customer service and working together as a team.

Learn more at www.okanagan.bc.ca/host

 

Okanagan College is RIPE for applied research

Okanagan College Media Release

Curiosity, entrepreneurship, and creativity will be hot topics at RIPE, the Research and Innovation Partnerships Expo being held at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College on May 9. RIPE celebrates applied research and will bring together researchers and businesses to explore working together to solve real-world problems.

“Applied research greatly enriches the learning and teaching environment at Okanagan College and opens up doors to collaboration with our communities that advances economic and social development in the region and beyond,” says Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President, Education. “The College’s growing applied research portfolio unites employees, students and our industry and community partners to explore subjects from the economic impact of wine tourism, to creating better outdoor play spaces, to building ‘plug-and-play’ homes.”

RIPE is the first major showcase of applied research projects going on at the College. It will include presentations, workshops, and demonstrations, as well as a call for research partners led by Mark Holland of New Monaco. The day begins with keynote speaker David Chalk. 

dave chalk newsA self-proclaimed epic entrepreneur, Chalk is recognized as a leader in technology, cyber security, and business consulting. He hosted Canada’s longest running technology show, Dave Chalk’s Computer Show, and aims to bridge the gap between technology and practicality.

“Technicians 

can get mired in the details, while innovation drives entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs feed a passion, and the post-secondary sector drives innovation as the forefront of ideas and research,” says Chalk, whose talk is titled Innovation is Nothing New.

“A quality education means I would rather be looking at my future than examining my past. Applied research can be that future,” continues Chalk.

Applied research at Okanagan College can involve any employee, not just instructors, and students play a key role as partners in projects, gaining valuable real-life experience that can lead to future employment.

When a business or organization approaches the College with a possible project, it is evaluated based on whether or not it answers a practical research question, if the College has the right experience for the project, and if it embraces curiosity.

“We can all be engaged in applied research,” says Hay, “and our goal with RIPE is to create greater opportunities to connect across the college with our communities.”

RIPE gets underway at 8:45 a.m. and runs until 2:15 p.m. It is free to attend, however guests are asked to register in advance. Full details can be found at
www.okanagan.bc.ca/appliedresearch.

Computer Science research may help cities bounce back quicker from disaster
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College Computer Science faculty and students have partnered with a renowned 3D modeling expert on an international research project aimed at simplifying the way buildings are assessed and repaired after natural disasters.

Dr. Sugihara CIS May 2017Dr. Kenichi Sugihara is a professor of Information Science at Gifu Keizai University in Japan who specializes in Computer Graphics (CG) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His current research finds him blending both disciplines by exploring how cutting-edge algorithms can automatically generate 3D urban models.

Enter Dr. Youry Khmelevsky, Chair of the Computer Science program at Okanagan College, who is helping Sugihara refine his working model of a program specifically tailored to evaluate roof damage in buildings using 3D simulations.

“Current 3D building models for construction take a lot of time to produce,” says Sugihara. “New technology and programming techniques are simplifying the process, making it much more efficient.”

Sugihara and Khmelevsky’s project is focused on applying 3D modeling to areas beyond the traditional applications of planning and construction – such as translating satellite images into models which civil engineers can then use to assess damage and re-build after natural disasters like floods or wildfires.

“This project may help city planners and insurance companies assess damage quicker,” explains Khmelevsky.

The six-month project was recently awarded a $25,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Engage grant. Esri Canada, a Canadian distributor of GIS software, is providing in-kind support to match the grant and is also working with the College to explore new ways of teaching GIS – a field in need of skilled workers in the province – both in the classroom and in the field.Cocar and Wallace CIS students May 2017

“Esri Canada is excited to be working with Dr. Khmelevsky and Dr. Sugihara on an innovative approach to roof geometry modelling that holds promise for multiple application uses in 3D building models,” says Dr. Brent Hall, Director of Education and Research at Esri Canada. “We’re also particularly pleased to be able to support GIS use in instruction and research at Okanagan College.”

Two Okanagan College students will play key roles in completing the 3D modeling project over the next six months.

Second-year Bachelor of Computer Information Systems (BCIS) students Matt Cocar and Marty Wallace came on board in March and had a chance to meet with Sugihara when he visited the College and spoke in Kelowna about his research.

“It was incredible to have the opportunity to spend a few days with Dr. Sugihara,” says Cocar. “He showed us some brilliant, complicated algorithms that we’re now working with and learning more about as we go.”

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” says Wallace. “This research has definitely opened my eyes to a new path in computer science.”

Cocar and Wallace are already hard at work on the project. Both students started part-time in March. Cocar will continue part-time, while Wallace will ramp up to full-time over the summer.

Attendees of RIPE (Research Innovation and Partnerships Expo) happening at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on May 9 will have a chance to chat with Khmelevsky and other OC employees and students championing applied research projects. The event includes talks and networking opportunities focused around education-industry partnerships in the Okanagan. More information about RIPE is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/ripe.

 

 


Enactus OC’s Soup’s On warms Vernon and Kelowna
Okanagan College Media Release

 

After two years of serving up soup for a good cause in Salmon Arm, Enactus Okanagan College students found the recipe for success in expanding their Soup's On fundraising initiative to Kelowna and Vernon this year, raising more than $5,200 in support of local social service providers.  

Soup's On Vernon April 2017The inaugural Soup’s On Vernon took place at Okanagan Spirits' Vernon location on Thursday, April 27. More than 100 people turned out to sample some of the finest soups and spirits in the region at the sold out event. Basket Case Picnics produced a Thai soup that garnered the most votes, narrowly edging out second-place finisher Kal's Naan Stop and third-place finisher Kal Sports Bar. More than $4,000 was raised, with proceeds benefiting the Upper Room Mission and Enactus Okanagan College students.

“We could not have achieved this success without incredible support from community members and local business owners,” said event organizer Mitch Pepper, VP of Enactus Okanagan College at the Vernon Campus. “A special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Prospera Credit Union, and to Okanagan Spirits for providing the beautiful venue and drinks.”

“Soup’s On was a blast,” said Kelsey Galt, owner of Basket Case Picnics. “The Enactus team blew us away with such a well put together event. It was a pleasure to be there supporting the fundraising effort and it was an honour to be awarded first place. We can't wait for next year.”

Two days later the soup was back on, this time in the Centre for Learning at the College’s Kelowna campus, whereSoup's On Kelowna April 2017 attendees had a chance to sample and vote for their favourite bowl from 14 of the city’s top chefs at the inaugural Soup’s On Kelowna event. The winning soup was a Thai Pumpkin Curry by Chef April Roy of Train Station Pub. More than $1,200 was raised in support of the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank and Enactus Okanagan College students.

Nobody was more pleased with the response to both events than Alexandra Jacques, a second-year business student who spearheaded the Kelowna and Vernon expansion after being a driving force behind Soup’s On in Salmon Arm for the past two years.

“I am blown away with all the positive feedback we have been receiving from people who attended and businesses who supported the events,” said Jacques. “We are deeply grateful to them and also would not have been able to pull this off without the help of other Enactus OC students and faculty advisors.”

Based on the strong community support for the events, Jacques said Enactus Okanagan College hopes to be able to run the events annually in Kelowna and Vernon, in addition to Salmon Arm.

“These events are a lot of work to organize, on top of a busy course load, but it's something I am very passionate about and thrilled to be a part of. I'm already planning for the second annual Soup's On in Kelowna!”

Jacques’ optimism about the future of Soup’s On is echoed by Dr. Kyleen Myrah, a professor with the Okanagan College School of Business and mentor with Enactus OC.

“We are so proud of our students for realizing their vision and bringing Soup’s On to two more communities this year,” said Myrah. “Thanks to their hard work and dedication, I expect Soup’s On will continue to grow and develop as a wonderful way to engage the community, showcase local culinary talents and benefit worthy causes.”

 

College names Manuel, Shepherd and Terbasket as 2017 Honorary Fellows
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Okanagan College is bestowing its highest honour on three notable Okanagan residents, each of whom has made unique and meaningful contributions to the region through historical preservation, volunteerism and mentorship.

Randy Manuel, Sharon Shepherd and Edna Terbasket will be named Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College during Convocation ceremonies in Kelowna this June.

Randy Manuel HF 2017Manuel, an artist, writer, historian and public servant whose career spans more than five decades, will be recognized by the College for his vision and multi-faceted efforts in documenting, celebrating, and preserving the history and ecology of the region.

Born in Naramata and raised in Penticton, Manuel trained at the Kootenay School of the Arts (Selkirk College) as a Commercial Artist. He began volunteering with the Okanagan Historical Society at age 17 and has supported the organization for more than 50 years, including serving as its president from 2013-15. He served as president of the Okanagan-Similkameen Parks Society in the late 1970s and established the Kettle Valley Steam Railway Society and the S.S. Sicamous Restoration Society in 1988.

Manuel was the Curator of the Penticton Museum from 1986 to 2005, during which time he helped to draw wider public attention to the history of the region. He served as a Penticton City Councillor from 2005-08, and then as a director and president of the Okanagan School of Arts, guiding in the restoration of the school’s historic Shatford Cultural Centre, which was extensively renovated in 2010 and reopened in 2011. Manuel has published more than 500 historical articles and has lectured at the Penticton campus as part of the OC Speakers Series.

“Education has always been an important part of my life and work so this is a huge honour,” says Manuel. “I’ve dedicated myself to preserving the history of the region and to sharing that history with others because I am a firm believer that if we don’t know where we’ve been, we’ll keep making the same mistakes.”

Sharon Shepherd has been actively engaged in improving quality of life in the City of Kelowna for nearly 40 years, as aSharon Shepherd HF 2017 volunteer, educator, mentor, business owner, long-time councillor and two-term mayor. She has championed numerous causes for youth, families, women, the environment and health, including CATCH (Community Action Toward Children’s Health), Soles4Souls, Arion Therapeutic Farm, and East meets West. She also served as an Honorary Chair of the Red Cross fundraising campaign and was a member of the KGH Foundation’s Be a Lifesaver campaign.

Shepherd holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from UBC and has been a business owner and manager of a medical practice since the late 1970s. She served as a Kelowna City Councillor from 1996-2005 and as Mayor from 2005-2011. In the last few years she has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Kotler United Way Humanitarian Award and the Anita Tozer Memorial Award. Despite her hectic schedule, family has always remained extremely important for Shepherd, a mother of two and grandmother of two.

Shepherd’s connection to the College dates back to her early years on Council. Since the early 2000s she has volunteered with the Okanagan College School of Business and Enactus OC as a mentor and judge for student competitions, and has also been an advocate for the Women in Trades Training (WITT) program. She has also instructed a course on pharmacology to nursing students at the College.

“I am deeply moved by this honour,” said Shepherd. “The College opens doors to education for so many people, not just in Kelowna but throughout the Okanagan. I consider it a privilege to be an advocate for OC and to be a part of the College community.”

Edna Terbasket HF 2017Edna Terbasket has been a passionate proponent for education for people of all ages and backgrounds in the Okanagan for more than 30 years.

A member of the Okanagan Indian Band and renowned Indigenous educator, she serves as Executive Director of the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society in Kelowna, an organization which provides support for the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of all peoples, through the development of community based services. The society provides support for families with children aged five and under who may be at risk for developmental delays. Skemxist Pre-School culturally-based preschool helps equip children with skills they will require for Kindergarten. Family and elder counselling, and poverty and family legal services are also provided. The Society also operates i spa-us ki-low-na Heart of Kelowna, an 86-unit affordable housing project in the heart of downtown Kelowna.

Terbasket was a driving force behind the creation of the College’s Aboriginal Career Fair that began in 1995 and continues to this day. She has also served on the Okanagan College Board of Governors (1999-2001) and in 2013 was named by the College as one of the 50 people who made a difference in the development of the institution. In 2012 Terbasket received the Education Advocate of the Year Award from the Association of BC Deans of Education.

She credits her mother, who overcame tremendous adversity in a lifelong pursuit of continuing her education, as one of her greatest role models.

“I draw great inspiration from her journey in education,” explains Terbasket. “My mother is 84 now and taught the Okanagan language until she was 82. When I see our youth struggle, I try to guide them to education, to find something they are passionate about and want to pursue. I’m honoured to be recognized for being an advocate for education in our community.”

Sharon Shepherd will address graduates at the morning ceremony on Saturday, June 3 in Kelowna. Randy Manuel will speak during the afternoon ceremony a few hours later. Edna Terbasket will deliver her address in an evening ceremony on June 29.

 


High school students invited to Experience OC
Okanagan College Media Release

High school students from around the South Okanagan will experience a brief taste of what it’s like to attend college through Experience OC in Penticton next week.

Students in Grades 10 and 11 from the Okanagan-Skaha, Okanagan-Similkameen and Nicola-Similkameen districts have been invited to the College’s Penticton campus to be a student for a day on Tuesday, May 2. Students will have the chance to attend classes led by College instructors and explore the many post-secondary education options offered at Okanagan College.

“This is a great way to inspire our high school students to think about the next steps in their education,” says Barb Sheppard, Trustee for School District 67. “It’s a fun introduction to post-secondary life, and hopefully will be the first step on a solid path to a future career for these youth.”

Hour-long classes will be offered in arts, business, continuing studies, engineering, health and social development, science, and trades, and include topics such as The Science of Sound Capture for those interested in music production; Pasta Demolition, for budding engineers who want to design, build, and destroy pasta towers; and Do You Ever Wonder Who Keeps that Airplane in the Sky? for anyone intrigued by aircraft maintenance.

“I hope some of these students are thinking about getting their hands dirty,” says Sean Jarvis, Chair of the College’s Welding program. “We’ll be there to talk about well-paying careers in trades and show off some hands-on skills.”

Experience OC events are open to high school students and take place annually at the College’s campuses in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm.

Registration information is available online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/experienceoc until Thursday, April 27 at 4 p.m. 

 

CANsave encourages local elementary students to give back
Okanagan College Media Release

Students in Grades 1-3 from Shannon Lake Elementary learned an important lesson in giving last week when they donated more than $2,000 to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation as part of their participation in Enactus Okanagan College’s CANsave program. CANsave April 2017

Five classes from Shannon Lake took part in CANsave, which is a financial literacy program developed by Okanagan College students to teach primary students the importance of saving for themselves, saving for their future and saving to help others in need. 

The Enactus team partnered with Valley First, a Division of First West Credit Union, to help further the students’ understanding of how saving can help others. Valley First’s sponsorship of the CANsave program allowed the students to have a larger impact on the charity of their choice, in this case the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. In addition to the $2,000 the students were able to give thanks to Valley First’s support, they also contributed more than $225 of their own money to support the foundation.

“Valley First is very proud to partner with Enactus Okanagan College to deliver financial literacy programming to over 100 classrooms and 2,500 students in the Okanagan in this school year,” says Marion Henselwood, branch manager at Valley First’s Vintage Hills branch. “It’s a testament to the high demand for financial literacy programs and the important role financial education plays in setting our youth up for success.”

In total, $30,000 will be donated to local charities through the CANsave program, with over half of that money already given to a wide range of local initiatives.

“We are so grateful to the students who chose to support the hospital through their CANsave fundraising,” says Chandel Christie, Annual Programs Officer at the KGH Foundation. “The students speak so maturely about money after participating in this program and it’s so inspiring to see how excited they are to donate the funds to help sick kids get better.”

CANsave has grown since its inception a year ago, and is now being used by teachers in every single province and territory in Canada, impacting almost 100 distinct communities. In the Okanagan, more than 2,500 students have completed CANsave this year, while that number exceeds 6,200 students nationally.

“The growth of CANsave has been an inspiring experience to be a part of,” says Cody Troutman, Enactus Okanagan College founding member of CANsave. “Our community partnerships have helped us grow the program beyond our expectations for the first year.”

 


Applied research RIPE with opportunity in the Okanagan
Okanagan College Media Release

Luke and Noah April 2017 RIPEA visionary Okanagan developer, a 17-year-old carpentry student and an electrical trades instructor/emerging researcher are sharing in the excitement of an applied research project’s outcomes at Okanagan College. Their project is one of many cutting-edge College-industry partnerships that will be spotlighted at an applied research Expo at OC next month.

RIPE (Research, Innovation and Partnerships Expo) is happening on May 9 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. The free event is an opportunity for employers, researchers and students alike to learn about how applied research is growing new partnerships and enriching the educational experience for students at the College.

David Chalk, a cyber security and innovation expert, will be giving a keynote speech that day titled “Innovation is Nothing New.” More information about the event is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/RIPEregister. In addition to Chalk, attendees will have a chance to speak with trailblazers like Andrew Gaucher, Lukas Skulmoski and Noah Dorsey.

Gaucher, president of GGroup and Catalyst Land Development and current president of the Okanagan’s chapter of the Urban Development Institute, approached the College about a year ago with an idea for a research project that would focus on a plug-and-play infrastructure system to make live, safe, connections between components of a housing system. Gaucher’s goal is to develop a system of modules that can be assembled - and disassembled – as a family’s housing needs grow, shrink or change. One of the challenges was to find ways to build safe utility connections between pre-wired modules that wouldn’t involve having to alter electrical panels, bringing in electricians or tearing walls or structures apart.

“To bring this idea of modularity to reality we need to think about making it easy for families to add another module to their home or take it away as things change,” says Gaucher. “Safe, reliable, dependable and easy connections are vital. And while you’d think there were already-developed systems that meet that criteria, I wasn’t able to come up with any. The idea is to move away from hardwiring all connections to the grid.”

Enter Lukas Skulmoski, an Okanagan College trades instructor and licensed electrician who discovered his research talents while completing his Master’s degree, and is now honing them while working on his Doctorate. With support from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), through its community engagement grants, Skulmoski and Gaucher began research and scale prototype development.

Their initial work opened the door to student involvement. Noah Dorsey, a Grade 12 student at George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country who is taking the carpentry pre-apprenticeship program at the College for dual credit, brought his skills to the table next.

“I was amazed that this opportunity to engage in applied research opened up for me,” says Dorsey. “Our carpentry instructor explained there was an opportunity to engage in this, and I volunteered.”

Dorsey built scale-size mock-ups to house the components so Gaucher and others can explore how the technology could be applied to real-world construction.

And Dorsey wasn’t the only trades student involved in the applied research project. Before Dorsey came onboard another student – Nicole Thompson - was also involved. She is an apprentice electrician who also has two Bachelor’s degrees. She helped Skulmoski research whether there were existing plug-in systems that might make the grade. They looked at modular housing systems from around the world, looked to the cruise-ship industry where cabins are put together in modules, but to no avail. The systems weren’t appropriate, would not meet Canadian Code requirements, or would require electrical professionals to connect.

Skulmoski’s research eventually led him full circle to a system used in Canadian heavy industry that meets the parameters for Gaucher’s ideas: safe, simple, usable by a homeowner, Code compliant, able to be connected and disconnected while the system is live, and weather resistant. It is a system used in some industrial systems, shorepower connections for large vessels and emergency equipment.

The team’s innovation solution has important features that prevent an arc flash that could prove fatal in instances where voltage and amperage are high enough. Now, with the electrical problems addressed, Gaucher is figuring out other construction and development issues.

“I really appreciate and value the support of the College, Luke, and Noah, and the federal government,” says Gaucher. “The opportunity to innovate and create or refine different approaches to housing needs is clearly here and it’s tremendous to have this kind of resource at our fingertips in the Okanagan.”

 

Okanagan chefs ready to get their Soup’s On for a good cause
Okanagan College Media Release

Some of the valley’s top chefs will be putting their best ladle forward this month at the inaugural Soup’s On events – public soup tastings held in Kelowna and Vernon and presented by Enactus Okanagan College.

Soup’s On has run successfully for the past two years in Salmon Arm, which prompted OC students to serve up the initiative in other communities.

“What started out as a simple idea at an Enactus meeting really came to life and was embraced by the community in Salmon Arm,” explains Soup’s On project coordinator and Enactus Okanagan College member Alexandra Jacques. “I am so honoured and thrilled to have two more communities in the Okanagan jump on board.”Enactus OC Soup's On April 2017

The first event is taking place at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 at Okanagan Spirits’ Vernon location, presented by Prospera Credit Union. Tickets are $25 each and available at participating restaurants Eatology, Kaals Naan Stop, Kal Sports Bar, Intermezzo, and Sir Winston's Pub. Proceeds will benefit the Upper Room Mission and Okanagan College students.

The Kelowna event is happening two days later on April 29 at 5 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College. Attendees will have a chance to sample culinary creations by The Curious Cafe, Basil and Mint, FSH, La Cucina, Westcoast Grill, Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bonfire Restaurant, Bouchon's Bistro, Sturgeon Hall, Little Hobo Soup and Sandwich, Train Station Pub, Whiskey-Jacks Pub, Central Public House, Xchange Kelowna and Bliss Bakery and Bistro. Hot and cold beverages will also be served at the event, provided by Pulp Fiction Coffee house and Big Surf Brewery.

Tickets for the Kelowna event are $20 and available online. Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/soupson for more information. Proceeds from the Kelowna event will benefit the Central Okanagan Food Bank and will also aid Okanagan College students.

Foodies take note: attendees will once again be invited to sharpen their pencils and don their judge’s hat. Like previous Soup’s On events in Salmon Arm, both the Kelowna and Vernon events will follow a people’s choice format.

“Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to score each soup and vote for their favourite,” explains Jacques. “At the end of the night, the chef whose soup earned the most votes will take home the Soup’s On trophy.”

Enactus Okanagan College is a student run non-profit organization. Through events like Soup’s On, Enactus OC students raise funds to support their entrepreneurial and philanthropic programs in the community. Examples include Silver Surfers, a program that helps seniors boost their comfort level with technology in order to stay connected with loved ones, and CanSave, a program that provides basic financial literacy to elementary school students.

 

OC students notch 13 podium finishes at Skills Canada BC competition
Okanagan College Media Release

Five Okanagan College students have punched their tickets to Winnipeg, MB to compete in the Skills Canada National Competition next month, after gold medal-winning performances at the provincial competition in Abbotsford last week. The five gold medalists were joined on the podium by eight more OC students who earned four silver and four bronze medals, in categories spanning a host of trades and technology disciplines, from Aerospace Technology to Refrigeration.

OC was the best in the province in the areas of Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Service, Carpentry, Culinary Arts and IT. Brendan Battersby, a second-year student in the College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) program won gold in IT – Network Systems Administration. Kurt Breton, a level 4 apprentice earned gold in Automotive Service, while Lukas Pfob, also a level 4 apprentice, took the top spot in Carpentry. Siobhan Detkavich, a dual-credit Culinary Arts student at Okanagan College and Southern Okanagan Secondary School, came away with Gold in the Culinary Arts (Secondary) category.

Skills BC Provincials 2017Andreas Roth, a level 3 apprentice, won gold in Automotive Collision Repair – a category swept by OC. Roth was joined on the podium by Caleb Loewen who brought home the silver medal and Marcel Kaemmerzell, who earned bronze.

“As a first time competitor, I did everything I could to prepare ahead of time, but it was definitely a new and unique experience for me,” says Roth. “I’m really excited for nationals. I am going to practice hard and try my best for another good result in Winnipeg.”

Roth and his fellow Collision Repair competitors were evaluated on their skills across a variety of tasks, including welding, plastic and metal repair, and damage analysis over the 6.5-hour competition.

Collision Repair instructor Danny Marques said while preparation plays a big role in students’ success, it is their ability to perform under pressure that is the determining factor on competition day

“We couldn’t be prouder of these three students – and all the students who represented OC and themselves so well at the competition,” says Marques. “As coaches, we obviously try to mentor the students as much as we can, but ultimately they are the ones competing and it’s their ability and motivation that sets them apart.”

Overall, Okanagan College students captured a dozen medals at the competition, which was held on Wednesday, April 5 at The Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford. Other institutions that took part included Vancouver Island University, BCIT, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Camosun College, Northern Lights College, University of the Fraser Valley, Riverside College, Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Community College.

Okanagan College students placed as follows:
Gold
Brendan Battersby – IT – Network Systems Administration
Kurt Breton – Automotive Service
Lukas Pfob – Carpentry
Andreas Roth – Automotive Collision Repair 

Silver
Jason Clair – Electrical
Caleb Loewen – Automotive Collision Repair 
Tijana Nelson – Cabinetmaking
Brandon West – Heavy Mechanical

Bronze
Marcel Kaemmerzell – Automotive Collision Repair
Patryk Norek – Automotive Service
Bryce Mackay – Aerospace Technology
Rob Cordonier – Refrigeration

Gold medalists earn a berth to the National Skills Canada competition on May 31-June 3 in Winnipeg. The national competition attracts more than 500 competitors who compete in 40 contest areas. The program was launched in 1994, and is the only national multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.

 

Bickley claims back-to-back OC Half Marathon titles
Okanagan College Media Release

OC Half 2017 Bickley2Kelowna’s Brad Bickley returned to Okanagan College’s annual half marathon on Sunday and claimed his second title in as many years. Bickley placed first in the 15
th annual event with a finishing time of 1:13. Patrick Schryburt finished second at 1:17 and Jeff Vogt’s time of 1:19 was good enough for third.

In the female half marathon, three Kelowna runners took the top spots. Tracy Dayman was first (1:33), Heather Greig was second (1:40) and Carolyn Hawes finished third (1:43).OC Half 2017 Dayman2

In the 10 KM event Kelowna women dominated with the winning time posted by Jane Jones (44:56), followed by Rachel Garrett (46:40) and Laura Staniewski (47:15).

OC Half 2017 Mitchell2The men’s 10 KM was won by Michael Mitchell (36:32), followed by Quinn Middleton (37:53) and Michael Denman (39:42).

The half marathon relay event was won by team “Backadders” of Vernon. The five runners covered the 21.1 KM distance in a time of (1:40). Team members included: John Glennon, Brent Helland, Jeff Trca, Steve Broderick, and Brent McWillis.  

“Today’s race was what we’ve come to expect at the OC Half Marathon,” said Christine Ulmer, Race Director. “We had a competitive group of runners vying for the top spots and we also had an impressive group of recreational runners who enjoyed the course and all of the fun associated with running. We had a great group of volunteers and the food from Okanagan College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts at the finish line was a highlight for most of the people I talked to.”

The Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay is an annual not-for-profit event that raises funds to support student bursaries. Event sponsors include: Canadian Springs Water, the Kelowna Capital News, Save On Foods, Okanagan College Culinary and Pastry Arts, Starbucks, and the Orchard City Amateur Radio Club.

Aid stations were generously operated by enthusiastic volunteers from: Orange Theory Fitness, Spinco, Okanagan College Trades and Apprenticeship, and The Woman’s Place.

Complete race results will be available online: www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon.

 

Renowned photojournalist Juste to speak at Okanagan College

Internationally-acclaimed photojournalist Carl Juste has spent three decades bringing into focus the struggles of Haitians in the U.S. and abroad. Next week he’ll speak about his life behind the lens in a free lecture at Okanagan College.

carl juste web photo

After fleeing his homeland under threat of persecution, Haitian-born Juste and his politically active family settled in Miami’s Haitian community in 1965. He won a scholarship to the University of Miami, and although he initially intended to become an engineer, the call of his inner voice as a photographer was one that could not be silenced.

“I must fight with every breath to breathe life into my art, to bear witness not only through the camera, but through my eye,” says Juste. “It is that pursuit which keeps photojournalism alive.”

Event Details:

Who: Photojournalist Carl Juste
When: 6 p.m., Thursday, April 6, 2017
Where: Lecture Theatre, Okanagan College, 1000 K. L. O. Rd, Kelowna, BC
What: Free lecture, photo op

Juste has pursued photojournalism all his adult life, and since 1991 has served his community through his work at the Miami Herald. His long-term projects include “Lost in America,” a comprehensive piece on the INS, the United States’ Immigration and Naturalization Service (now known as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), which oversees entry into the U.S. and citizenship processes for foreign born persons. 

His project “Haiti: A Nation in Turmoil,” is an ongoing professional and personal project documenting the struggles of Haitians in the U.S. and around the world. 

In his lecture at Okanagan College entitled “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night: Requiem for a Life in Photojournalism,” Juste will share stories from his life in the field. He will also explore how photojournalism continues to cast a light on the struggles of those experiencing racial, social, political and economic oppression while photojournalists like himself face the same struggles.

“So many have chosen to treat it as if it’s a dying art, but photojournalism lives and flourishes in places where it is most needed,” explains Juste.

“Carl Juste’s passion for his activism and his art is unparalleled,” says Jillian Garrett, a professor of Communication at Okanagan College. “He brings ideals and ideas that will inspire the listener – from the importance of community, to the ability to engage critically and thoughtfully with the world around us, to the desire to greet each day with passion and a sense of purpose.”

“Given the amount of discord and turmoil that exists in the world, voices like Carl’s that speak for truth and social justice are more important than ever.”

Juste has received numerous awards for his work from Pictures of the Year, Society for News Design, Best of Photojournalism and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

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SFU professor sounds alarm on danger of toxins to children’s brain development

 

Can the pesticides on your lawn and flame-resistant baby clothing cause ADHD and autism in children?

According to environmental-health expert Dr. Bruce Lanphear, even exceedingly low-level exposures to toxic chemicals can contribute to premature births, intellectual disabilities and behavioural problems.  

Lanphear will reveal key aspects of the research supporting the link between widespread exposures to toxic chemicals and childhood disorders in a public talk at Okanagan College.  

lanphear web

The presentation will take place in the lecture theatre of the College’s Vernon campus on Thursday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. Lanphear’s talk, entitled “Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxic Chemicals on the Developing Brain,” is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series. 

Lanphear will explain how harmful chemicals, such as lead, tobacco, pesticides and flame retardants, impact brain development and will share insight into preventable brain-based disorders in the early development of children. 

He will also discuss the pandemic of consumption - the largely preventable, worldwide epidemic of chronic disease and disability in society due to widespread exposures to industrial pollutants, toxic chemicals and excess consumption. 

“The impact of toxic chemicals is usually subtle for an individual child, but it can be substantial at the population level,” asserts Lanphear. “Too little has been done to protect children from these ubiquitous, but insidious, toxins.”

Lanphear, MD, MPH, is a clinician scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, BC Children’s Hospital and professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. His primary goal is to help quantify and ultimately prevent disease and disability due to exposures to environmental contaminants and pollutants. 

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.

Presented jointly by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre, the Science in Society Speaker Series is sponsored by the Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre, Starbucks Coffee, Save on Foods, and the Vernon Morning Star.

 

College program brings training within reach for Princeton students
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Aging populations and retirements among baby boomer health care workers could spell a shortage of Health Care Assistants (HCAs) in many B.C. communities over the next decade. A special one-time intake of Okanagan College’s HCA program completed in Princeton recently and is already opening doors to health care careers for students in that community.HCA students Princeton March 2017

Natasha Smith has dreamt of a career in health care for more than fifteen years. On March 16, she became one of eight students to complete the program in Princeton.

A mother of three school-aged children, Smith says the hour-plus commute to the Okanagan College’s Penticton campus where the program is also offered, is not feasible for her. So when she learned the College would be offering an intake of its HCA program right in her hometown, she jumped at the chance.

“Being able to attend classes and secure practicum placements in Princeton made all the difference,” says Smith. “It brought the training within reach for me, and at a time when there is such a need for HCAs.”

The intake in Princeton came about as a result of extensive input from the community and support from the Ministry of Advanced Education.

“There are shortages of trained health care workers in small rural communities,” explains Angela Godler, Chair of the Health Care Assistant program at Okanagan College. “Being able to offer the HCA training within those communities is of immense benefit to students, employers and ultimately those receiving care.”

The College’s HCA program 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.

Striking the right blend of classroom learning and practical experience is critical, says Yvonne Moritz, Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College.

“Given the diversity of care situations HCAs face in their day-to-day work, there needs to be an extensive amount of hands-on experience in real-life environments,” says Moritz. “We deeply appreciate the way the Ministry of Advanced Education, Interior Health and the community of Princeton have supported this intake and helped us enrich the learning experience for students.”

The class completed practicum placements with Ridgewood Lodge, Orchard Haven and Princeton Community Services.

“I loved every aspect of the program, but especially the practical element,” adds Smith. “It boosted my confidence and confirmed for me that this is what I want to do. I can’t wait to get out into the industry and start working now.”

Princeton isn’t the only centre feeling the pinch when it comes to HCAs. 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 replenishment over the next five to 10 years.

Students are already reaping the benefits.

According to recent B.C. Student Outcomes data, 97 per cent of graduates from the College’s program are in the labour force, making an average hourly wage of $19. 

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

 


OC Culinary Arts alumnus cooks his way to a spot at Atelier
Okanagan College Media Release

Carson Bibby March 2017Carson Bibby was only 16-years-old when he first had the opportunity to cook alongside some of Canada’s finest chefs at the Canadian Culinary Championships’ Gold Medal Plates finale. A year later and another Gold Medal Plates experience under his belt, the young OC Culinary Arts alumnus’ skills have earned him a job at one of Canada’s most acclaimed restaurants.

Bibby is now a chef de partie at Atelier, an upmarket Ottawa eatery known for its hypermodern style and 12-course tasting menu prepared using the latest techniques in molecular gastronomy. Working under the watchful eye of award-winning Executive Chef Marc Lepine, Bibby is among the top culinary hands crafting an adventurous dining experience that is rarely the same from one night to another.

Bibby served as a sous-chef to Lepine two years running at Gold Medal Plates (Lepine won in 2016), a one-of-a-kind learning experience afforded to OC culinary arts students. This past February, at the conclusion of the event, Lepine made the young chef an offer he couldn’t refuse – a spot in the kitchen at Atelier.

“I was floored by the offer,” says Bibby, who moved to the Okanagan at age nine. “The opportunity to observe and support Chef Lepine at Gold Medal Plates was incredible. I was flattered and honoured that he wanted me to come and work with him.”

Now living Ottawa, Bibby has been working at Atelier for a few weeks. Between moving across Canada and starting work in one of the country’s most unique kitchens, he acknowledges it’s been a whirlwind month.

“I still have a lot to learn,” says Bibby. “It’s a very different kitchen than any I’ve experienced. Every technique, every dish is next-level.”

Bibby credits the dual-credit Culinary Arts program at Okanagan College with helping him build the technical skills he needed to get noticed. The 40-week program is one of more than a dozen offered at the College in partnership with local school districts. The programs are designed to give high school students a chance to get a head start on a career by earning post-secondary credentials while still competing high school.

“OC gave me a really solid foundation of skills and techniques that I knew I would need if I was going to get to a higher level,” says Bibby. “The instructors have a lot of experience and give you a window into what you can expect in the industry.”

The young chef-in-training acknowledges two other important role models in the culinary world.

“Both my father and grandfather reached the level of Gold Seal Chefs,” explains Bibby. “They definitely inspired me to pursue culinary school and pursue this as a career.”

“We couldn’t be prouder of Carson,” says Chef Bernard Casavant, Culinary Manager at Okanagan College. “Our Culinary Arts alumni can be found in top kitchens all over the world and he is an example of one who has managed to open the door to an opportunity, and seize it, through hard work and dedication.”

And while Bibby plans to continue his formal culinary training in the future, those plans are on simmer for a moment. For now, he’s enjoying the challenge of his new position.

“We’re always trying new things, so I get to learn something different every day,” says Bibby. “It’s been a wonderful and unique learning experience so far.”

More information about Okanagan College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts programs can be found at www.okanagan.bc.ca/fwt

 

Anosh Irani reads at Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus

irani webInternationally-renowned author Anosh Irani will visit Okanagan College on Friday to read from his latest work, which has already garnered numerous award nominations.

Irani will speak in the Student Lounge at the Salmon Arm campus from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, March 24. He will read from his new novel, The Parcel, which was recently a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award.

Event Details:
Who: Anosh Irani, author and playwright
When: 7 – 9 p.m., Friday, March 24
Where: Student Lounge, Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus, 2552 10th Ave NE, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 2S4
What: Book reading, photo op, interview opportunity 

Irani has published three critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His Talismans, a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; and Dahanu Road, which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize.

His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. His work has been translated into 11 languages. His new novel, The Parcel, is published by Knopf. It was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award.

Irani lives in Vancouver and is currently on a tour of the interior. His stop at Okanagan College is part of the College’s Shuswap BookFest initiative. Learn more on the Facebook page.

For more information, please call 250-832-2126 or email bookfest@okanagan.bc.ca.

Lumby team crowned 2017 Spaghetti Bridge champions
Okanagan College Media Release

SB 2017 Dessert RiddickThe 34
th annual Spaghetti Bridge competition came to a dramatic close today after a duo from Charles Bloom Secondary in Lumby tested their bridge to the point of fail, smashing the competition with a pasta structure that withstood 255.06 kg of load before shattering.

The first-place winning team of Justin Dessert and Hanya Riddick took home the top cash prize of $1,500. The second place bridge was built by James Dessert, also of Lumby, and it held 207.29 kg of load and earned him a cash prize of $1,000.SB 2017 James Dessert

A team of students from UBC Okanagan finished third in the contest, which was postponed after technical difficulties prevented the judges from testing the heavyweight bridges at the initial competition on March 3. Ephraim Nowak and Raphael Nowak built a bridge that failed under 120.58 kg of load.

SB 2017 Nowak“We were extremely pleased to recognize today’s competitors and be able to declare winners in the 2017 competition,” said event organizer Michelle Lowry. “We really appreciate the students’ patience while we worked to resolve our testing issues and are aware of just how much work goes into building these great bridges.”

In order to qualify for the competition, the bridges could not weigh more than 1 kg prior to testing.

Fourth place was not awarded, as the other bridge tested did not meet the minimum threshold of 10 kg of load.

Prize money for the event is generously provided by the event’s sponsors: the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), PCL Construction, Okanagan College Students’ Union, OP Machine Ltd., WSP Group.

 

Business students shine at WCBC
Okanagan College Media Release

WCB Junior Team March 2017Two individual students and a team from Okanagan College were recognized at the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC) hosted at the College’s Kelowna campus last weekend.

WCBC is a comprehensive undergraduate business competition in which student teams are tasked with running a simulated business scenario – exploring everything from marketing to HR – over the course of a hypothetical eight-year timeframe. First-, second- and third-year business students compete at the junior level, while fourth-year students compete as seniors.

At the junior level, the host team from Okanagan College finished second to Capilano University, while College of New Caledonia came third. Capilano was also victorious at the senior level, besting teams from (second-place) Medicine Hat College and (third-place) McMaster University.

“Our team is so proud of the way we worked together and supported one another in the decision making process throughout the competition,” says Loni Johnson, a member of the College’s Junior team and a second-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree student at the Kelowna campus.

“We prepared for more than six weeks,” explains Johnson. “So there has been a huge amount of collaboration and growing together as a team. We also received incredible support from our coaches throughout all that time, which helped us feel ready when the competition began.”

The junior team from OC comprised of Lathan McKinney, Loni Johnson, Mindy Strugnell and Charles Sherman was coached by Okanagan College School of Business professors Scott Overland and Dan Allen.

“It is a privilege to witness Okanagan College students competing in, and professors and employees organizing, such a professional and well-run business competition,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the College’s School of Business. “In addition to competing at a high level, the teams from Okanagan College were gracious hosts and showcased their skills as they applied their education for which our College and School of Business are renowned. All of the feedback we received confirmed it was a rewarding experience for participants.”

It proved to be a memorable weekend indeed for Johnson and her teammate and fellow first-time competitor Mindy Strugnell. In recognition for their contributions, which helped propel the College’s team to a second place showing, Johnson and Strugnell were presented with the VP Operations Award and the VP HR Award, respectively.

“We couldn’t believe it when the awards were announced,” said Johnson. “As first-time competitors, I think we were both a little shocked. I definitely came away inspired to compete again.”

WCBC has been running for almost three decades. The College has hosted for the past six years. 2017 sponsors included Shaw, Interior Savings and CIBC.

According to Dr. Lynn Sparling, one of organizers for WCBC, support from the business community once again played an important role in the event’s success.

“In addition to the wonderful financial support needed to put on an event of this scale, the local business community really stepped up again in lending their time and expertise to students,” says Sparling, who teaches with the Okanagan College School of Business.

“We had 11 judges from the community who volunteered for three days. That feedback from industry professionals really elevates the competition and enriches the learning experience for students.”

For more information about WCBC, go to www.okanagan.bc.ca/wcbc

 

OC Campus Relay paves way for alumnus’ running career
Okanagan College Media Release

 

For Jeff Vogt, the starting line for two big passions in life – becoming an electrician and taking up running – began at Okanagan College.Jeff Vogt OC Half

Vogt, an alumni of the Electrical program, became an avid runner after first trying the Okanagan College half marathon relay in 2009. He has returned to the race each year to be a part of the feel-good event that raises scholarship funds to support student bursaries.

For Vogt, the relay race was the catalyst for his journey to become a runner.

When friends asked him join their relay team for the race, which was only a week away, he thought they were joking. With encouragement from his team and a few practice runs that week, he agreed.

“My first reaction was that I can’t run in this race. I don’t run,” recalls Vogt. “I was so inexperienced, but I completed my relay leg. The race showed me that my fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be and watching the half marathon finishers that day I saw what I could achieve.”

Inspired to make a change, Vogt immediately started running every other day to improve his fitness levels.

He quickly advanced to the longer distances the race offers – completing both the 10 K race as well as the half marathon distance. He joined the Kelowna Running Club, where he learned proper training techniques to increase performance and reduce injury. In 2014 he placed third overall in the half marathon distance and came back in 2015 to take a silver medal.

After completing two marathons in 2016, Vogt is looking forward to returning to campus for the half marathon in 2017.

“Everyone has to start somewhere and the relay was my gateway to running, which has become a way of life for me. It’s a really accessible distance for people of different fitness levels and fun to be part of a team effort.”

This year’s race takes place Sunday, April 9 at the Kelowna campus and runners can choose from three different distances: Half Marathon (21.1 K), 10 K and Relay Race (21.1 K, divided by up to five runners.) 

“I love to see runners like Jeff come back year after year,” says Race Director Christine Ulmer. “I was there the first year when he crossed the finish line and have watched him improve to become a contender in all of the distances. He is running fast but more importantly, he is having a great time and encouraging others to get involved – and that’s what this race is all about.”

Following their finish, runners join in the post-race festivities in the Centre for Learning. This year’s highlights include the awards ceremony, a candy bar and delicious creations made by the College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts students. Prize money will be presented to the top three runners in the male and female divisions of the Half Marathon.

To register, find out more about the course or to view entry fee deadlines, visit: www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon