2007 News

December 2007



 Graham Baker, Peter van Wissen,
Iain Cameron and Jim Hamilton
With a limited supply of certified technologists entering the healthcare field and a looming shortage of skilled professionals, students enrolled in Okanagan College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program will benefit from a new endowment fund and scholarship program set up by the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, B.C. Chapter (CHES).

A $10,000 endowment fund was recently created by the local chapter of CHES with the goal of supporting Okanagan College technology students who show an interest in entering the healthcare industry. The award will be known as the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, B.C. Chapter Scholarship and will be distributed annually beginning this May.

“Almost all industries are scrambling to find employees and the hospital industry is no different,” explains Peter van Wissen, Manager of Plant Services at Kelowna General Hospital. “By offering this new scholarship we are hoping to focus some attention on another source of employment for mechanical engineering technology students.”

Van Wissen and Graham Baker, who managed Plant Services at KGH prior to van Wissen, are two members the B.C. chapter of CHES who felt strongly that the healthcare field has a lot to offer to technologists. In order to make employment opportunities more widely known, the duo approached their local CHES board to fund the Okanagan College scholarship.

Upon receiving the news from the CHES board that funding for the scholarship had been approved Baker replied “This is great news and demonstrates the commitment of the Executive Board of CHES B.C. towards the education of the next generation of people coming into the Engineering Technologies field. That the Board approved my motion of the bursary in just two fiscal years is just wonderful for a small society such as ours.”

“We hope to stimulate students to get a good education and recognize the hospital industry as a potential place to work,” says van Wissen.

The scholarship will be awarded to one student who has completed the first year of full-time student in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program and will be returning to complete the program the following semester. The Mechanical Engineering Technology department will select the recipient based on overall performance and participation.

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Janet Ferguson presents the Bill Wilson Memorial Award to Krista Alyward, a student in the Home Support Resident Care Attendant Program . Janet established the $10,000 endowment fund because she strongly believes in educating more health care professionals and wants to reduce the financial barrier to education.

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Kathy Butler Best Seller


Left: Dr. Murray Roed presents a copy of Okanagan Geology to Kathy Butler for the College's Library.



A surge in book sales by local authors Dr. Murray Roed and Dr. John Greenhough has brought the total amount of funds in the Kelowna Geology Committee Endowment to more than $58,000, which equates to more bursaries for Okanagan College students.

The Kelowna Geology Committee established the endowment fund in 2000 and has since collected one hundred per cent of the proceeds from sales of the locally best-selling book, Okanagan Geology of British Columbia, to support Okanagan College students pursing studies in geology, earth or freshwater science.

"Last year we were able to hand out more than $2,000 in bursaries for students from the accrued interest of the endowment fund," says Roed. "The book has been flying off the shelves and we expect this edition to do as well, if not better, than the first edition."

Roed and Greenhough wrote the majority of the text with important contributions from several members of the Kelowna Geology Committee. The group solicited donations from the community to cover publishing costs of the book in order to be able to use the full proceeds of book sales to support local students.

"The establishment and support of the Kelowna Geology Committee Endowment is an example of a true partnership between important members of our community and students," says Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement at Okanagan College.


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October 2007




June 2007


Jordy Koenig TELUS

The annual Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship were recently presented to three students who have completed their first year of full-time study in the NTEn program and are entering their second year. The scholarships were recently presented by (left to right) Steve Jenkins, General Manager, TELUS Southern Interior Operations and Jordy Koenig of TELUS to

Bronze Level ($1,000) - Clinton Halston

Silver Level ($1,500) - Christiane Kendal


Gold Level ($2,500) - Joel English

Department Chair Ronald Light and Dean of Sciences, Technologies and Health, Phil Beckman also offered their congratulations.

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June 2007


Electrical AssocJune 20, 2007 - The establishment of two new annual financial awards for Okanagan College students is the result of a $25,000 donation by the British Columbia Electrical Association (BCEA).

Students pursuing Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship programs will be eligible for the new awards this fall through the Okanagan College Foundation.

The Executive Director of the BCEA, Barbette Cejalvo, was in Kelowna today to present a cheque for $25,000, which will be entrusted to the Okanagan College Foundation to set up the new endowment fund.

"As a non-profit trade association we are always looking for ways to give back to the industry," says Cejalvo. "I can think of no better way than by supporting students who are pursuing careers in the industry."

The provincial association, which is based in Burnaby, is pleased to be involved in the Kelowna area.

"Supporting Okanagan College students was an easy decision for us," explains Cejalvo. "We understand their trade division is really expanding and with the growth currently underway in Kelowna, it made good sense to bring these funds to this area. The demand for trades is booming here and we wanted to do our part to help as much as we can and provide some funding."

The two BC Electrical Association Awards will be valued at $600 each and will be granted to successful applicants who demonstrate good academic standing and who will be returning to the College the following year. The funds will be used to cover the cost of one year’s tuition for each of the programs.


"Receiving an endowment of this size is truly great for the Okanagan College Foundation, our students and our community," says Executive Director Kathy Butler. "Through the delivery of these new awards, more students will be able to complete their programs with job-ready skills and practical experience to help ease the burden of the trades shortage in Kelowna. We are extremely grateful for this tremendous show of support for our institution."

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March 2007Steve Tuck



Steve Tuck, the President of the Okanagan College Foundation is one of 44 British Columbians who have been recognized by the Provincial Government as individuals whose efforts have made their communities better.


The announcement was made Monday by the Premier and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.


“Steve Tuck gets involved, shows leadership and inspires others in his community,” according to the government’s citation. “Steve has played a vital role in the creation of the Okanagan University College Foundation, serving as the founding president and overseeing the building of a $6.5-million endowment. As well, Steve is actively involved as a director and former president of the Sunshine Dreams for Kids, BC Interior Chapter, delivering dreams to sick children.”


This is the latest in a series of honours accorded Tuck. Last year, he was named Kelowna’s Man of the Year and in 2005 was given the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award.


“We know Steve is a great asset to the Foundation and to the Okanagan,” acknowledges Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “It is gratifying that others also see the value of his selfless efforts and his contributions to the community.”


“I’m extremely honoured,” says Tuck. “In fairness, however, I think that much of the credit is due to my colleagues in all the organizations that I work with and the great goals that those agencies have. I must also thank my wife, Terry – she’s a significant contributor to making my volunteer efforts possible and successful.”


Tuck was one of just three Okanagan residents recognized. The others are former Kelowna city councilor Ben Lee and Dr. Sharon McCoubrey, who has been instrumental in organizing and promoting Lake Country’s annual Art Walk.

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January 2007

Jordy Koenig



TELUS is donating $25,000 in the form of a new scholarship bearing the name of valued employee Jordy Koenig, to help support students enrolled in the College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEn) program.

Koenig, a communications and networking technologist with 25 years of service at TELUS, took a personal interest in students in the College’s NTEn program in early 2003 and has since contributed countless hours of his time working with students over the past three years.

"We realize the importance of Jordy’s contribution to students at the College and wanted to recognize his efforts," says Steve Jenkins, TELUS General Manager for the Interior South. "The creation of the Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship acknowledges the value of Jordy’s commitment to strengthening the link between education and industry in the field of telecommunications. At the same time, by financially supporting students enrolled in the NTEn program, we are helping to ensure the existence of a solid pool of highly skilled potential employees for TELUS."

Driven by the belief that industry and training should be closely linked, Koenig spearheaded an initiative that brought NTEn students to the TELUS facility in Kelowna to gain a practical perspective on their future industry. The success of the partnership resulted in Jordy’s appointment to the College’s Program Advisory Council, a position he has held since 2004.

"I am deeply honoured that this scholarship bears my name," says Koenig. "The scope of possibilities that this scholarship may foster brings to me a wondrous lesson in humility. I had hoped my efforts with these students would help them along their way and assist them in their careers. I never dreamt of this outcome."

"This is an important partnership with industry that will raise the awareness of career opportunities and help remove barriers, including financial restraints, that might otherwise keep bright, motivated and gifted people from entering the Network Telecommunications field," says Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement of the Okanagan College Foundation.

The company will donate the $25,000 over five years. The annual Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship will be offered to three students who have completed their first year of full-time study in the NTEn program and are entering their second year. The scholarships will be performance-based and awarded at the following levels: Gold $2,500, Silver $1,500 and Bronze $1,000 respectively.

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