Final call for donations for the Pay It Forward Challenge!

Okanagan College’s Alumni Association is challenging staff to Pay it Forward and join the seasonal giving drive. The drive ends next week so this weekend presents a great opportunity to go through household items, clothes and the pantry to find items to donate. 
Monday, Dec. 10 is the final day to donate at the Kelowna campus.  Donations will be accepted at the Pit between 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Hot chocolate, coffee and treats will be provided for those who bring in donations on the sort day.

Tuesday, Dec. 11 is the final day to donate at the Salmon Arm campus.  You may bring your donations to the Student Lounge between 9 – 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 19 is the final day to donate at the Penticton campus. You may bring your donations to the Library between 9 – 11 a.m.

To see the list of community organizations to which the donations will be directed in Kelowna as well as the list of requested items, click here.

College students receive $5,000 Irving K. Barber Scholarships

Suzanne Martin 
Four Okanagan College students have been selected as recipients of the 2007 Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Fund. Eighty-five recipients were selected this year across BC. The scholarships are granted to undergraduate students who have completed two years at a public community college, university college or institute in BC and transfer to another institution to complete their degree. In order to qualify for the award students must have a GPA of at least 3.5 or 87.5 per cent and must demonstrate service to their school or community. Dallas Hermanson (Salmon Arm), Suzanne Martin (Penticton), Christal Murphy (Vernon) and Anna Ripley (Kelowna) received the awards.   

Practical Nurses to graduate

Licensed Practical Nursing students will graduate from programs in Penticton and Kelowna this December during the College’s last convocation ceremonies of 2007. Visit the events section to find out where and when the ceremonies will take place.

Project volunteers sought

Staff volunteers are being sought to serve on a project team that will consider how best to communicate Okanagan College's commitment to being a Learning Organization to the internal community. The concept of a Learning Organization has been at the heart of our planning and development, but the Leadership Team wants to ensure that there is a broad and shared understanding of what that means in our day-to-day activities at all levels.

The project will be short-term (no more than three months), involve regular meetings (to be determined by the team itself), and will be expected to produce recommendations that the College can implement. Please submit your name to the President's Office for consideration as a member of the project – the goal of broad representation from campuses and units will be considered in the selection of volunteers. (And, if you want to learn more about the Learning Organization, the library has put together a solid bibliography and set of links to a wealth of material on the topic.)

Centre for Learning

In case you missed the visit by Premier Gordon Campbell on Nov. 16 in Kelowna, you can check out the province’s commitment to fund the new Centre for Learning in a professionally produced video put together by the Premier’s office.

United Way funds raised

The tally has been done and the results are in…Okanagan College has raised $7,213 to date for the United Way. The dollars come from a combination of fundraising events including the welcome back barbeque, Halloween barbeque and employee contributions. If you would like to donate to the United Way, please contact Kathy Butler.

Taste of India

indiaThe College’s Penticton campus held A Taste of India on Nov. 28 to raise funds for the Dire Strait Fund. Roughly $445 was raised and will be put towards this year’s Holiday Hampers. Local staff generously prepared all the Indian food and there was traditional dancing, music and videos. Adonna volunteer from the community offered free mendhi and even decorated Regional Dean Donna Lomas. Mohini Singh with CBC radio attended the event to share in the culture. Further donations to the Dire Strait Fund can be arranged through the library staff at the Penticton campus.

College staff contribute to BCHRMA fundraiser

On Dec. 4 the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association (BCHRMA) had its annual Christmas Social. Advisory Council members Cornelia Bujara (HR) and Jan O’Brien (IR) attended the event, which welcomed several Okanagan College alumni and students. Close to 100 people attended and as for the best part…the group raised over $1,000 for the Sunshine Dreams for Kids Foundation through a silent auction.


Okanagan College’s second annual RoboCup made a big splash in the media when more than 70 students converged on the Kelowna campus to take part in the robot games. Read about the event in the Kelowna Daily Courier: Student robots to compete at college, Students teach robots to work, play; the Kelowna Capital News: Students see the fun in science and technology or the Penticton Herald: 29 teams put robots to the test in RoboCup games. You can also check out a clip from CHBC TV that aired on Nov. 23.

Rick Thorpe, MLA for Okanagan-Westside published a column in the Westside edition of the Kelowna Capital News about the growth of Okanagan College over the past few years. Read more in: Popularity of Okanagan College shows funding is needed.

Students at the Kelowna campus held a tribute to remember the Montreal massacre and show their commitment to ending violence against women. Read about the event and comments from women’s studies professor Marlo Edwards in the Kelowna Daily Courier’s, Students mark grim anniversary.

Regular columnists Stan Chung and Jane Muskens contributed pieces in the Kelowna Daily Courier and Kelowna Capital News. Jane addressed an article by Maclean’s magazine that dealt with the link between education and salaries. Read more in Higher learning said to lead to higher pay cheques. Stan interviewed an alien in his Global Citizen column – find out how we are shaping up compared to other planets in Alien eyes on Earth.

The College’s Infusions restaurant made the news in Forever YOUNG when it was named one of Kelowna’s treasures. Read more in Dining Out…Kelowna’s best kept secret?

Students at the Penticton campus made the news when they signed a petition calling for universal child-care. Read the Penticton Herald article Ottawa urged to ease child-care crunch or read a letter to the editor in Kelowna’s Daily Courier, College could expand program for parents.

A site for a potential campus in Summerland has been reserved for the next two years while Okanagan College conducts a feasibility study for the site. Read the details in the Summerland Review’s Site reserved for campus.

Read about an alumnus Penticton apprentice who is participating in the development of an apprenticeship program for the City of Penticton in the Penticton Western’s, City program teaching tricks of the trade.

Stan Chung contributed a review of the local play Aladdin for the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read Stan’s take on the musical in Aladdin delivers laughs amid confusion.

In the wake of a visit from Premier Gordon Campbell, the Kelowna Capital News’ Adrian Nieoczym wrote an article about the need to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible to students. Read more about Adrian’s thoughts in Affordable education means investing in people.

Another article by Adrian appeared in the Vernon Morning Star. In it, Adrian addressed the issue of burgeoning student loans and the need for more grants for students. Read more in More grants needed for college students.


New Director of Finance 

Okanagan College is pleased to welcome Chi-Fui Chong to the position of Director of Finance beginning Monday, Dec. 17. Chi-Fui comes to the Okanagan from Calgary where he worked as Director of Finance for several organizations including Wood’s Homes, Chinese Christian Wing Kei Nursing Home Association and SAIT Polytechnic.

Chi-Fui was educated in England at the London School of Accountancy and Brighton University. He has extensive experience as an Audit Manager, is a Chartered Accountant and is fluent in English, Chinese Mandarin and three other Chinese dialects.

“Chi-Fui’s experience will be a great asset to our college,” says Bob Eby, Vice President of Finance and Administration. “On behalf of the College I would like to welcome him to Kelowna and I am looking forward to working with Chi-Fui in the days ahead.”

Mech Eng student to defend world title at longboard competition

mischo2Mischo Erban, a second-year Mechanical Engineering Technology student from the Kelowna campus is in Cape Town, South Africa this weekend to defend his international title as the number one ranked longboarder in the world. Reaching top speeds of over 100 km per hour, longboarding is a sport that combines qualities of skateboarding, downhill racing and luge. With just more than four years of experience and no coach, Mischo’s love of the sport keeps him motivated to stay ahead of the competition. To find out more about longboarding visit Mischo's website  or listen to Mischo on CBC Daybreak.

Shelagh Donnelly

shelaghAfter nearly 11 years with Okanagan College, Shelagh Donnelly is taking on a new position at Douglas College in the lower mainland. During her time at Okanagan College and OUC Shelagh has worked in Purchasing, Finance, Health and Social Development, Research and Internationalization, the President’s Office and most recently, Information Technology. Shelagh is excited about her new opportunity as executive assistant to the Board of Governors at Douglas but will miss the friends and colleagues she has worked with at Okanagan College. Shelagh’s last day will be Jan. 2, 2008 and IT will host a reception for her on Dec. 18 from 3-5 p.m. at Infusions. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Colleagues celebrate Vi Brett's career

She hasn't left yet, but that didn't stop Vi Brett's colleagues and friends from celebrating her career with Okanagan College at a retirement party. If you couldn't make it but are interested in virtually attending, watch this slideshow of the party.

December 7, 2007, Vol. 1 Issue 18


Giving the gift of life

allanThe Kelowna Blood Donor Clinic is in need of support this holiday season and will offer extended hours on Dec. 26 (11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) and Dec. 27 (12 – 6:45 p.m.). Regular hours are every Tue and Wed from 12 – 6:45 p.m. Okanagan College is a Partner for Life and has contributed more than 130 donations throughout the past year. To book an appointment please contact Tammie Watson at 448-4022 or call 1-888-2-DONATE.

New Inside Okanagan College publication dates

Due to the winter break, Inside Okanagan College’s next two publication dates will be Thursday, Dec. 20 and January 18, 2008. Contact Christine Ulmer if you have submissions, photos or events to contribute.

Truck runs

The Central Stores Department at the Kelowna Campus will be closed from 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 until 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008. The schedule for the last truck runs is:

To Salmon Arm and Vernon on Tuesday, Dec. 18
To Penticton on Thursday, Dec. 20
To Vernon on Friday, Dec. 21

The regular scheduled truck runs will resume on Thursday, Jan. 3 with a truck run to Penticton.

Decking the halls with all those posters!

Need to put up a poster? A guideline for posting notices and posters is now in place for the KLO Road campus. The guidelines detail when and where you can post information on campus and ensure that anything posted is well organized and properly maintained. If you do have a poster you want to deck the halls with, please check out the guidelines on how you can do that. In the meantime a bit of a project will take place over the next few weeks to clean up posters not in keeping with the guidelines.

Campus Stores Pre-Christmas Sale!!!

Campus Stores are featuring a holiday sale. Okanagan College pajama tops and bottoms are $20 each or buy the set for $38 (originally priced at $60). Many other great specials are available and some new items have arrived just in time for the holidays. This sale applies to all stores campus-wide - come to one of our locations and check it out!
Campus Stores located at the following centres: Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Salmon Arm.

Summer Games volunteers needed

summergamesThe BC Summer Games are coming to Kelowna in July and with them, close to 4,000 young athletes who will participate in 28 different sporting events. A group of Okanagan College staff including Dave Goodall, Dave Harris, Deb Matheson, Bob Willox and Christine Ulmer are volunteering their time to help make the event special for participating athletes. Volunteers are needed in fourteen different areas from registration and records to promotion, security and catering, to name a few.  If you are interested in lending a hand at this great event you can register online.

Okanagan College family awards

The Okanagan College family awards for the fall of 2007 have now been disbursed. In total, 27 students who are related to Okanagan College staff received awards this fall for a total amount of $5,590.

Continuing Studies winter features

The Central Okanagan CS brochure is highlighting three upcoming courses that may be of interest to staff.  Four new courses, Pen & ink drawing - making the first sketch, Life drawing, Getting started with your digital camera and Screenwriting for film and tv will be offered in January in Kelowna. To find out more about the courses visit the Public Affairs webpage and read the press releases.

Server overload

There is a current disk space shortage on the KLO_LIB server. The file storage space on both the USERS and USERS_2 volumes is becoming critically short. USERS_2 (aka. K: drive) should be completely full sometime during the month of January given current trends. USERS (aka. F: drive) is only slightly better off.
IT Services would like to encourage all staff and faculty to clean up their directories and archive or delete old/unused and duplicate files. If you require assistance, direction or information regarding disk storage and/or file clean up, please contact Sean Douglas in IT Services.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Lucy Kwasniewski from Physics in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $477.50. The Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery is open to all employees of Okanagan College. If you wish to sign up for the lottery, registration forms are available from: Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (P103, KLO Campus), Human Resources (Landmark V, Kelowna) or  online


Dec. 10 Jan O’Brien will share the student satisfaction survey results with staff in Salmon Arm. Contact the Regional Dean's office for the exact time and location.

Dec. 11 – An information session for anyone interested in finding out more about the Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship program will take place at the Kalamalka campus on Thursday at 6 p.m. in room D221. A new intake of the program will begin on Feb. 11, 2008. Contact Rob Kjarsgaard for more information.

Dec. 12 – Join Okanagan College staff at the Bob Willox Retirement Indoor Golf Tournament from 2-4 p.m. in the Kelowna cafeteria.

Dec. 13 – Celebrate the holiday season with staff in Kelowna at the Snowflake Cocktail Hour. This holiday social event will take place in the Kelowna cafeteria from 4-6:30 p.m. Entrance is $2 and a cash bar will be available.

Dec. 14 – IT Services in Kelowna will host an open house beginning at 2 p.m. in room L104 of the Kelowna campus. Bring your toonies and donate to the Food Bank in exchange for a gift. Good company, snacks and, of course, an assortment of video games will be available for your enjoyment.

Dec. 14 – Practical Nurses in Kelowna will celebrate convocation at 1:30 p.m. in the Kelowna campus lecture theatre.

Dec. 17 – Practical Nurses in Penticton will celebrate convocation at 1:30 p.m. in the Cleland Theatre.

Dec. 18 – A farewell reception for Shelagh Donnelly will take place on Tuesday from 3 – 5 p.m. at Infusions in Kelowna. Everyone is welcome to attend to wish Shelagh well in her new position.

Dec. 22 - Okanagan College closes for winter break.

Jan. 2 - Okanagan College re-opens for Winter semester.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o  Christine Ulmer.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on December 20, 2007.