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A team of three women in the Okanagan School of
Business are among the top business policy students in the country after
successfully completing the preliminary round of the Inter-Collegiate Business
Competition (ICBC), earning themselves a spot in the finals in the
distinguished Queens University national case competition.
The trio of Breanna Gaudet
(fourth-year marketing), Leanne Schneberger
(second-year human resources) and Candace Surette (fourth-year accounting) will compete against five
other finalist teams from: Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University,
University of British Columbia, University of Calgary and Wilfrid Laurier
University in the final round this January.
The 2010 competition will mark the first time
Okanagan College has made the final round in the Business Policy category.
According to the team’s coach, Professor Lee Cartier, the Business Policy event is considered to be the
crown jewel of the ICBC competition. This is the third time in four years that
teams have represented the College at the finals. Prior team were finalists in
marketing and accounting – which Cartier sees as a sign of the Business
“It would be easy for us if we just focused on one
specific category and were able to make the finals year after year,” explained
Cartier. “Sending teams to compete in a variety of business areas demonstrates
our students’ abilities and the strength and breadth of our program and
Though they hadn’t worked together previously, the
students were chosen to compete based on their complimentary skill sets and
in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of marketing, human
resources and accounting.
In the preliminary round of the business policy
competition, Gaudet, Schneberger and Surette were presented with Canada Post’s
business case and charged with analyzing it to uncover policy weaknesses and
“We are not talking about surface problems,”
explained Surette. “These are big picture issues that require a lot of
analysis. We were confident in our practice and we recognized that following
specific analysis processes would lead us to the problem. Once we got to that
point, it was a matter of coming up with effective and innovative solutions.”
The students will spend the coming weeks practicing for the final round, where
they will be presented with a brand new business policy case, with only five
hours to analyze before presenting to some of the nation’s top CEOs and
business policy leaders.
To say they are feeling confident might be an
“We are feeling really good about the finals,” said
Gaudet, who transferred to Okanagan College from Ontario this year. “The
teaching and learning that goes on in the Okanagan School of Business is of a
different caliber than I have ever seen. Our work is high level and extremely
in-depth and the hands-on aspects of our program have prepared us well for this
Schneberger, the team’s human resources specialist,
couldn’t agree more.
“Our combined expertise and diverse backgrounds put
us in a great position to excel at the competition,” said Schneberger.
“Everyone at Okanagan College has been so supportive of us and we are fortunate
to have Lee Cartier as our coach and providing such strong mentorship for our
In order to make the finals the team beat a number of
universities such as University of Toronto, Queen’s University, University of
Western Ontario, McGill University and Simon Fraser University, among others.
Okanagan College Media Release
It takes insight, courage and innovation to move
literature from where it is today into something that can spark the imagination
of a new generation of writers and readers. This fall, the award-winning
Kalamalka Press took yet another step in its evolving commitment to supporting
Canadian writers with the launch of a new book series inspired and supported by
one of its directors.
Hamilton Series debuted with the release of a new novel by Rod Schumacher -
Baptism By Mud. The series’ title acknowledges the long-standing support the
Press has received from Jim Hamilton – since his days as an English instructor
and now as president of Okanagan College.
“We want to
recognize the contributions that Jim has made to the publishing culture in the
Okanagan Valley, especially through his lengthy involvement in the operations
of Kalamalka Press, and his ongoing support of those operations,” said John
Lent, Regional Dean and Kalamalka Press co-founder.
creation of the series came as a surprise to Hamilton. While he and his wife
Liz provided funding to support the Press, he never imagined it would inspire a
series in his name.
firmly committed to the good work of the working writers program for many years
now” said Hamilton. “I am honoured that they would name a series after me.”
Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation, says the
creation of this new series illustrates the value of program donations and
demonstrates how they can be used in a variety of ways.
one way you can support something you are very passionate about, and Jim
Hamilton has certainly been passionate about Kalamalka Press,” said Butler.
to publish a unique book once a year from an author who is doing something new
in writing,” explained Lent, who said Schumacher’s book sets the perfect tone.
“It’s an experimental novel that explores the landscape of wilderness as it
also explores the wilderness of consciousness.”
first dipped his ink in the writing well as a mature student at Okanagan
College’s Salmon Arm centre. His work has since been short-listed for the book
awards in Alberta where he is chair of the English department at Red Deer
Press’ winning books have been short-listed and nominated for numerous regional
and national awards, including the Pat Lowther Award. The press has also been
instrumental in launching the significant careers of Karen Connelly, Nancy
Holmes, Sue Wheeler and Dona Sturmanis.
Okanagan College will add an
experienced and seasoned professional to its leadership team in January when it
welcomes Douglas MacLeod to the position of Associate Dean, Science, Technology
Douglas MacLeod As Executive Director of the
Okanagan Science and Technology Council (OSTEC) since 2008, MacLeod brings a
strong portfolio of demonstrated knowledge and expertise in teaching, research
and management. During his time with OSTEC MacLeod has built partnerships
between industry, government and academic institutions to help Okanagan
companies research, develop and commercialize new products and services.
Prior to taking the reins at
OSTEC he was the Executive Director of the Canadian Design Research Network, a
consortium of academic institutions and industrial partners dedicated to
promoting innovation in design, research and policy.
MacLeod has bachelor’s
degrees in Architecture and Science from the University of Toronto, a master’s
in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary and is a PhD candidate
in the Computational Media Design program in Environmental Design at the
University of Calgary.
A registered architect
(California), he is a recognized expert in the areas of eLearning, sustainable design
and in advanced technologies such as computer-aided design, social media,
online knowledge management and virtual environments. His doctoral research is
focused on the
social construction of cyberspace.
He has extensive
post-secondary experience having taught graduate and undergraduate students at
the University of Toronto, the Banff Centre, the University of California - Los
Angeles, the University of California – San Diego and the University of
“Douglas is a rare and
valuable find for Okanagan College,” said Dr. Dianne Crisp, Dean of Science,
Technology and Health. “He brings a unique combination of experience, education
and leadership to the College and is highly regarded by the community and those
who have had the opportunity to work with him.”
MacLeod has become familiar
with the College’s dynamic organizational structure, having worked closely with
Okanagan College on a number of projects during his tenure at OSTEC.
“I am looking forward to the
challenge of working in a portfolio as diverse as Science, Technology and
Health,” said MacLeod. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work at
Okanagan College. It is an innovative and strong organization whose leadership
and direction I respect. I plan on working hard to support the Dean and help
develop opportunities for students and Okanagan College.”
MacLeod’s first day with the
College will be Jan. 4, 2010. He will replace Michael Douglas, a longtime
instructor and Chair of Human Service Work, who filled the position on an interim
Dr. Dianne Crisp, John Leech, Aaron Edis and Dr. Andrew Hay Completing his Electronic
Engineering Technology diploma at Okanagan College is going to be a little bit
easier for second-year student Aaron Edis, courtesy of some welcome financial
Edis was the happy recipient
of a $1,000 Canada Technology Bursary scholarship last week, sponsored by TD
Meloche Monnex and presented by John Leech, AScT the Executive Director of the
Applied Science Technicians and Technologists of British Columbia (ASTTBC).
While his 91.6 per cent
average in the first year suggests that getting through the second year of the two-year
diploma program won’t be a struggle academically, Edis admits that it can be a
struggle financially, even though his wife works full-time to support his
“This will definitely help,”
said the 23-year-old who decided to build on a short career as an electrician
by pursuing a credential in Electronic Engineering Technology. “The money will
be very useful, but it’s also very encouraging to see support from ASTTBC and
from companies like TD Monnex Meloche. It’s a strong message that people see
the value in our education and want to encourage us.”
It’s an education and an
area that Edis thinks warrants promotion. “I recognized that there is a need
for technologists and technicians and that the demand is only going to grow in
the years ahead. That’s one of the reasons I decided to pursue the diploma.”
“There is already a
significant issue meeting the skills gap in this area,” said Leech. “And as the
effects of our demographic situation hit home and the economy accelerates, it
is only going to get worse.”
“It’s companies like TD
Meloche Monnex, which has been a steadfast contributor to the ASTTBC’s
Foundation for Education and Advancement in Technology, who will help us
encourage more interest in technical and technological careers,” said Leech.
The cheque for the
scholarship was presented to Edis at a gathering of senior officials of
Okanagan College, the Okanagan Science and Technology Council and the City of
Later that day, Edis joined
more than 150 other students attending a Kelowna campus event, who received 98
awards, worth $141,627. He received three other awards: the Electronic
Engineering Technology department award, a BC Hydro Scholarship, and the Walter
Gray Endowment Fund Award in Electronic Engineering.
The Okanagan College
Foundation expects that by the end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2010) it will
have distributed approximately $1 million to students this year.
Laurie Grant, BMO Financial Group, 604-665-7596, firstname.lastname@example.org
Allan Coyle, Okanagan College, 250-862-5413 email@example.com
contributes $100,000 to fund education in the South Okanagan
After breaking ground at the site of Okanagan
College’s $28 Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and
Renewable Energy Conservation, construction leader PCL has announced a $100,000
financial commitment in support of programming expansion and educational
opportunities that will be developed as a result of the new building.
PCL was selected by the College as the contractor
for the project, which broke ground Friday in Penticton. The building, which is
on schedule to be complete in early 2011, will utilize green technology and
innovative construction practices.
“It was a natural fit for PCL to support the Centre
of Excellence in Penticton,” said Sean Brock, District Manager for PCL. “Our
company is known for excellence in leadership and we are focused on growing our
commitment to sustainability by building green. We see an incredible return on
investment in being so closely involved in this great community project and
know that our added support will contribute to the long term growth and
wellbeing of the region.”
Federal and Provincial government support through
the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) will fund $23 million of the
building. The remainder of the project cost will be generated through a
community fundraising campaign.
“We have known for several years that PCL is a
strong partner of Okanagan College,” said Kathy Butler, Executive Director of
the Okanagan College Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for their continued
support and feel fortunate to have them on board to build our Centre of
Excellence. Now, as major contributors to our fundraising campaign, the role
PCL is playing in this community is even more vital and speaks to the organization’s
commitment and values.”
Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies
and Renewable Energy Conservation
The new $28 million Centre commenced construction
in July 2009 and is due for completion in 2011. The
Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable
Energy Conservation aims to be recognized by both
potential students and the construction industry as the foremost teaching
centre for green and sustainable construction and for research, development and
commercialization of new approaches and methods of building construction and
alternative energy production.
About the PCL family of companies
The PCL family of companies is a
group of independent construction companies which carry out diverse operations
in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets. Together,
these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $6 billion,
making them the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the
largest in the United States. Offices are strategically located in 27 major
North American centers to support work across Canada, the continental United
States, Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Caribbean.
For more information
Gary McEwan, PCL
Special Projects Manager
Kathy Butler, Okanagan
250-762-5445 ext. 4775
Reigning Western Canada RoboCup Junior champions
Nelson and Hudson Schier will return to Okanagan College on Friday, Nov. 20 to
compete in the fourth annual robotics competition.
After winning the robot dance competition in 2008, Nelson
and Hudson qualified to represent Canada at the World RoboCup 2009 in Graz,
Austria, where they were awarded Best
Presentation for their performance at the international event.
The brothers will travel from Vernon to join student competitors from across the region, all of
whom have a keen interest in science and technology. The students, who come
from a variety of schools throughout the region, will test their
problem-solving and team building skills in a variety of robotic challenges
including soccer, rescue and dance.
Hosted by Okanagan College,
the Western Canada RoboCup Junior is an internationally accredited educational
competition which includes teams of students ranging from Grade one to Grade 12
working in teams to develop solutions to one of three specific challenges
(soccer, rescue and dance) using robots.
This year will mark the
fourth annual Western Canada RoboCup Games – a record number of students have
signed up for the event, which will draw more than 100 elementary, middle, and
secondary students from schools such as Kelowna Secondary, Naramata Elementary,
A.L. Fortune Secondary and Peachland Elementary, to name a few.
The events get underway at 9
a.m. in the College’s Pit area with the soccer and rescue challenges. In
soccer, teams comprised of two autonomous mobile robots track a special
light-emitting ball in an enclosed field and attempt to score goals. In search and rescue, robots follow a
course, negotiate hallways of a two-storey building filled with debris and identify
victims within re-created disaster scenarios.
The dance competition begins
at 12:30 p.m. in the College’s lecture theatre. Teams competing in dance
perform with their robots in choreographed routines set to music and will be
judged in a range of areas including robot programming, design, costume, use of
stage and entertainment value.
Technology instructor Nadir Ould-Khessal has been involved with the
International RoboCup Federation for the past 13 years both as a team leader
and participant. He designed teams while teaching at Temasek Polytechnic in
Singapore and later at VAASA University of Applied Science in Finland. His
involvement stems from a belief that the games are an excellent way to promote
learning in a challenging and creative environment.
“RoboCup is a project that
integrates many technologies at the same time,” said Ould-Khessal. “Students have to develop skill in
construction, programming and most importantly, problem-solving. We stress
education over competition. That is why the three challenges remain the same
from year to year – so students can build on their previous success.”
Top performing students in
Friday’s Western Canada competition will qualify to represent Canada in the World
RoboCup Games in Singapore next June.
For more information about
Western Canada RoboCup Junior, visit: www.okanagan.bc.ca/robocup.
To find out more about RoboCup International, visit: www.robocup.org.
The Vernon campus of
Okanagan College will host a Science in Society Speaker Series that will probe
some of the most complex questions about the Universe and leave listeners with
a deeper understanding of the mystery of dark energy.
Dr. Chris Pritchet, an
astrophysicist from the University of Victoria, will present: Supernovae and the mystery of dark energy
on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Vernon campus lecture theatre. He will
dark energy - a mysterious energy of the Universe
that causes its expansion to accelerate. The nature of this dark energy is
completely unknown, and represents perhaps the greatest challenge to face
physics and astronomy in the past century.
Pritchet and his co-workers have
probed the geometry of the Universe, and detected the signature of dark energy
with unprecedented precision. In this talk, Pritchet will focus on the
telescopes that make this project possible and how observations of distant
exploding stars reveal a mysterious new substance that fills space.
The Science in
Society Speaker Series is sponsored by Okanagan College’s department of Science,
Technology and Health and the Okanagan Science Centre. This presentation is
co-sponsored by the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) as part of CASCA’s
Galileo Lecture Series for the International Year of Astronomy (2009).
Admission is $5
in advance or $7 at the door. Please
contact the Okanagan Science Centre or call
250-545-3644 for advanced purchase of tickets or more information.
A retired automotive mechanic had all the tools he needed to get the job done, and now the company he worked for is passing his legacy onto others with a anew Okanagan College achievement award.
Pontiac Buick has donated $30,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation to create the Jacobsen Pontiac Buick Lou Simonelli
Achievement Award Fund.
College has always been a good source of potential technicians,” said Ron
Jacobsen, pointing to the fund’s namesake – Lou Simonelli who worked 35 years
with the dealership before retiring in August.
fund will provide an annual $1,000 award to deserving mature students enrolled
in the Automotive Service Technician (AST) apprenticeship program at the
enrolled in the College’s automotive program back in 1976 when he made the move
to learn as much as he could about his passion – cars.
will change your life,” said Simonelli, who recently toured the shop on campus.
He said the technical education he received - combined with ongoing training -
gave him a fulfilling career that carried him through an industry that has
become increasingly complex and innovative.
is a very generous award,” said Okanagan College Foundation president Steve
Tuck. “Sometimes mature students don’t have the same level of support when
coming back to school as high school students have. And mature students often have
greater needs because they may have acquired families or debt and are not
eligible for the same support that high school students get when they
said mature students often make ideal employees.
we can help in any manner, it’s all part of the solution.”
The Jacobsen Pontiac
Buick Lou Simonelli Achievement Award Fund is the largest award for
the automotive program. Capital from the fund will be invested as a permanent
endowment and the income earned from the fund will be used to provide the
eligible for the award will be enrolled in first, second or third year of the
Automotive Service Technician (AST) apprenticeship program. They’ll be selected
by their instructors based on overall academic performance and participation.
A new scholarship program being introduced by Okanagan College will reward area high school students who have helped their communities.
The Okanagan College Community Spirit Awards are $1,000 tuition scholarships for Okanagan College programs. Forty of the scholarships will be distributed to high school graduates annually who have a record of service to their school or their community or both. They must also have a grade average of at least 65 per cent on their Grade 11 and 12 courses to qualify.
“We really want to encourage those students who share the College’s goal of being supportive to the communities we serve,” explained Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “A $1,000 scholarship will let recipients know that their efforts are valued.
“We see a lot of evidence of a well-developed sense of social responsibility among our students and want to encourage that.”
The awards will be distributed throughout the Okanagan College region – six going to Shuswap Revelstoke area students, eight to North Okanagan students, 18 to Central Okanagan students, and another eight to South Okanagan students.
The deadline to apply for the Okanagan College Community Spirit Award is March 5, 2010. Application forms will be made available on the Financial Aid and Awards website in late January 2010 at www.okanagan.bc.ca/financialaid.
“We appreciate the fact that the Federal and Provincial governments recognize the importance of developing education and training capacity, and that they are willing to invest in Okanagan College as part of their stimulus programs,” says Janet Shaw, Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. “We know that in this instance there was tremendous support for the project from community groups, businesses, Councils, the Regional District and from MLA George Abbott and MP Colin Mayes. We think this broad support reinforced the business case we made for the expansion.”
Work on the project will start as soon as possible, says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Certainly we’ll see activity within 90 days of getting the money and expect the project will be complete inside a year.”
For Okanagan College’s new Regional Dean of the Shuswap Revelstoke Region, Jim Barmby, news of the expansion was an interesting start to his tenure at the institution. “Three days into the job and I hear there’s a million-dollar expansion. I think it’s great news for the campus and the region, but I have to credit the work my predecessor, Lynda Wilson, did to make this happen. The expansion and the trades training facility will be part of her legacy.”
The Salmon Arm expansion is part of the second round of announcements under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which was unveiled in March this year. The Federal Government committed $2 billion to infrastructure enhancement at Canada’s post-secondary institutions. In the first round, the federal government allocated $202 million to 29 projects in B.C. The Provincial government allocated $231 million. This week, the two governments added another 11 projects and $64 million to the initiative, including the Salmon Arm project.
In the first round, Okanagan College received $22.6 million ($9.1 million from the province, $13.5 million from the federal government) toward a $28 million project in Penticton: the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation.
Several other groups and individuals have already contributed to fundraising efforts associated with the Salmon Arm trades building, including funds to equip the facility and for student support.