College celebrates 10 years of the half marathon

penrunnersMore than 500 runners took part in Okanagan College’s 10th annual Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay Race on Sunday, April 1 in Kelowna.

The Penticton campus was well represented, entering three teams in the relay race event. The three teams were: “The Road Scholars” (Ed Benoit, Valerie Tuhkala, Stephanie Griffiths, Jeremy Beaulne, and Ricardino Matias), “Going South” (John Mott, Lara Payne, Don Ludington, and Ryan Ransom), and “Wait For Me” (Linnaea McDermid, Linda Kirbyson, Marcy Trotter, Danielle Robinson and Jill Headland).

Another group of Okanagan College relay runners entered into the relay race – “Old enough to know better” (Joanna Campbell, Charlotte Kushner, Jane Lister, Heather Schneider and Angie March) and set a lofty goal of not finishing last (which they proudly achieved!)

robinsonThe College community was out in full force to support the race. Several employees took part in individual races, including Board of Governors Chair Lance Kayfish, Michelle Sinclair, Ashley Stapleton, Steve Robinson, John Kenny, Jill Watson, Mark Scorah, Todd Sanderson, Nicole Davis, Carolyn Hawes and Stacy Armstrong, among others.

A great number of Okanagan College employees volunteered on the course as marshals to support the runners. Special thanks to: Jim Hamilton, Joanna Campbell, Heather Schneider, John Caspers, Liz Plamondon, Heather Banham, Andrew Hay, Donna Olson, Stacy Laitinen, Ross Tyner, Jayne Brooks, and Bob Amann for their service to the College and the race.

Go online for official race results.

New TESOL program offered for English language learners

A great partnership is bringing learning opportunities to Okanagan College. Continuing Studies and the International Education department have developed a new program that will be launched this summer.

The TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) Preparation program is designed especially for English language learners who are considering teaching English in their home countries. The course offers training in TESOL and the opportunity to receive three Cambridge certificates for the Cambridge TKT (for Modules 1, 2, and 3).

In addition, the program prepares participants to challenge TESL 151, the first course in the Okanagan College TESL Certificate offered through Continuing Studies. The TESOL International TKT Preparation Program will be offered this summer from June 25 to July 20.

If you would like to learn more about the TESOL and TESL training offered by Okanagan College, please register for the Lunch and Learn Info Session on Tuesday, April 17 (12:30-1p.m.) in A125 at the Kelowna campus, CRN 90689 at

NOTE: Bring a brown bag lunch to A125 next to the Continuing Studies office in Kelowna.

For more information, contact Verna Simpson in Continuing Studies at local 4551.

AME S program taking flight

fossenOkanagan College’s first intake of Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Structures (AME S) program is partway through the 37-week program, among them is Bruce Fossen, a 46-year-old cattle rancher from Rock Creek. Bruce is one of 16 students taking part in the program. He says a passion for aviation and the convenience of training in the Okanagan led him to the program.

“I grew up with airplanes, both my father and brother are pilots, and I’ve always had a strong interest in the mechanical side of things,” said Fossen. “I love the idea of taking a flat piece of metal and turning it into something as elegant as an airplane.”

The addition of the AME S program positions Okanagan College as the region’s largest provider of aviation training. Programs in Commercial Aviation and AME Mechanics (AME M) are also available at the College.

Developed in partnership with industry input from Kelowna Flightcraft and with significant support from BCIT, the 37-week AME S program positions graduates for immediate entry into the field of aviation.

“We took a great deal of care in ensuring the curriculum and training for this program were in-keeping with the current industry standards and had a significant amount of help from our partners at Flightcraft and BCIT,” said John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College. “The result is a top-notch program that is in demand.”

Follow this link to read the complete Public Affairs press release, which was picked up by a variety of media outlets last week.

Senior business students prove to be unbeatable

srteamOkanagan College’s senior team not only took top honours in its division of the Western Canadian International Business Competition, its members corralled three gold medals and one bronze for individual performances.

The competition, held at the end of March at Okanagan College, attracted 11 teams from eight institutions to compete in two divisions – sophomore and seniors. Honors in the sophomore division for overall team performance went to Langara College (gold medal), Camosun College (silver) and Lethbridge College (bronze).

Honours in the senior division were awarded to Okanagan College (gold), Ontario’s St. Lawrence College (silver) and University of the Fraser Valley (bronze).

Team affiliations to institutions weren’t revealed to judges during the competition, but when the dust settled, Okanagan College’s Senior Team (comprised of Trevor Martens, Javid Wu, Jeremy Durrer, Trevor Martens, and Jameson Zhao and coached by Professors Michael Orwick and Alan Rice) cleaned up in the personal and team performances.

Martens captured gold as CEO, Wu earned top honours as Chief Marketing Officer, and Zhao scooped gold as Chief Financial Officer. Jeremy Durrer earned bronze as Chief Human Resources Offficer. The team also earned a gold medal for communications. Individually and collectively, the OC Senior team earned six medals.

On the sophomore side, Okanagan College’s team (Danae Garcia, Meanie Roelofs, Jason Boyd, and Jason Murata, coached by Professors Orwick and Rodger Wheeler)  earned one team medal – silver for communications – and four personal performance medals: a gold as Chief Operating Officer for Boyd, a Silver for Murata as Chief Financial Officer, a Bronze for Garcia as Chief Marketing Officer, and a bronze for Roelofs for Chief Human Resources Officer.

Follow this link to read the complete Public Affairs press release.


OC Eggheads take first place in Junction Spelling Bee

beesVernon’s OC Eggheads have brought Okanagan College to orthographic glory in the fifth annual Junction Literacy Centre Spelling Bee.

After three years of finding the top spot just out of reach, the College’s team spelled all 18 out of 18 words correctly – including such tricky terms as connoisseur, cacciatore and isochronous– and then successfully unscrambled a tiebreaker word to take first place!

Congratulations to all of the spell-tastic team members: Carol Abernathy, Jeanne Boekelheide, Daniel DeGroot, Mag Evans, Tanya Golanowski, Jodi Kokonis, Chandra McCann, and Ingrid Neumann.

Dahl tops Masters Swim Championship

dahlOkanagan College Psychology professor Leora Dahl won the 200m butterfly event at this year’s Provincial Masters Swimming Championships that took place March 30-April 1 in Victoria.

Leora beat out her competition in the eight-lap event with a time of three minutes and 27 seconds – a time that was 40 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Leora will now be moving on to compete at the National Masters Swimming Championships the May long weekend in Kelowna at H20 in an attempt to qualify for the World Masters Championships. 

The National Championships are in desperate need of volunteers, the event runs the risk of being cancelled if enough volunteers are not found within the next few weeks.  

Anyone interested in volunteering a few hours on one of the days (Friday, May 18 - Monday, May 21) to help Leora achieve her goal of competing at Nationals and Worlds can go online to sign up.

Volunteers will be given free t-shirts, food throughout the day, and will be entered for draw-prizes each day.  

Lorraine Engelsmeier memorial to be held on April 11

The Okanagan College flag was lowered last week at the Kelowna campus in memory of Lorraine Engelsmeier, a former employee who worked at the College and OUC from 1978 until 2005 before going to work at UBC Okanagan. She retired from UBC Okanagan in March 2010.

Her last position at OUC was as scheduling assistant in the Registrar's Office.

"Lorraine was the most positive person," recalls Registrar Jane Muskens. "She was incredibly good at her job, and she always had a smile. She was a tremendous person to work with."

A Celebration of Lorraine's Life will be held on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Kelowna Elks Lodge #52 at 205-2040 Springfield Road, Kelowna.

In lieu of flowers, friends who so wish may make memorial donations to the Central Okanagan Hospice Association in memory of Lorraine.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting, clicking on stories and typing in Lorraine Engelsmeier.  
April 10, 2012 Vol. 6 Issue 1


2012 Convocation

Be a part of Convocation and Commencement and support Okanagan College grads. Faculty and instructors are needed to lead graduands at each ceremony. If you plan to take part please let Michelle Lowry know which ceremony you wish to attend.

If you require regalia please send Michelle your height and highest credential awarded (i.e. 5’11” MSc., Alberta). For a list of programs for each ceremony visit the Convocation website.  

Volunteers are also needed to hand out gowns to grads, be ushers and organize the reception. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Michelle.

Blissful Intuition now on exhibit at Kalamalka Vertigo

April 1 - June 1

The opening of the exhibit Blissful Intuition took place on April 5 at Kalamalka Vertigo with cacao shots and intuitive painting on a community canvas.

“Art has always been a way for me to express emotion and desire,” said Satsyama Lasby, the artist behind Blissful Intuition. “I started to see patterns, creation and procreative images, kundalini spirals, energy, movement, serpents, body parts, and Indian iconography. The changes in the works over the past three years have been influenced by where I have been living (India, Costa Rica or Canada) and have also changed through my level of awareness. Meditation, combined with creativity has become one of the most important things in my life. The series is a bright, colourful representation of the journey I am still on. It is the internal joy that only meditation brings.” 

Costco to search for student employees on April 18

Representatives from Costco will be at the Kelowna campus on April 18 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. searching for recent graduates or current students who might be interested in employment opportunities. The hiring team will be located in the atrium of the Centre for Learning.

Pasta dinner to support Coyotes athletic teams

Okanagan College’s Athletics and Recreation team is hosting a pasta dinner fundraiser for the Okanagan College Coyote baseball and hockey teams on Thursday, April 19 from 6-9 p.m. in Infusions Restaurant.

The dinner fundraiser offers an opportunity to meet the teams and show support for the College’s athletics teams. The pasta dinner will be prepared by Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts students.

April showers bring May fitness challenge

Okanagan College’s Athletics and Recreation department is gearing up for a fun-filled activity challenge just in time for spring. The challenge begins in May and runs through June and includes 40 fitness classes for a $10 donation to the Walk to Fight Arthritis Team. 

Classes include: Monday, Wednesday and Friday Body Power with Lynn, Jenn and Heather from 1 – 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday Yoga with Mike Christy from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Courtyard (weather permitting) or the Theatre.

Sign up to take part in the Athletics & Rec office in Kelowna (A105).

Innovation Fund deadline approaching

Applications to the 2013 Innovation Fund are due April 16, 2012. The Innovation Fund is open to any Okanagan College employee and applications must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor in the next week. Innovation Fund projects must be completed before March 31, 2013.

Anyone interested in submitting an application can log in to myOkanagan and find more information under the Employee Tab through the OC Express Forms where the Innovation Fund Application Form and the Innovation Fund announcement and criteria are listed.

Annual Fascieux Creek cleanup kicks off on April 25

creekOkanagan College is assembling a team of students and staff to help clean Fascieux Creek at the Kelowna campus. The cleanup will take place on Wednesday, April 25 from 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in taking part can meet the team beside the bridge between the Skaha residence and the water treatment centre. Contact Angie March for more information.


April 10 – Former Regional Dean John Lent will launch his new book The Path to Ardroe in Kelowna at a free event at Okanagan Spirits on Bernard Avenue at 7:30 p.m.

April 12 – The Registrar’s Office team in Kelowna is hosting a reception from noon until 4 p.m. to showcase their office and workspace renovations. Drop by for a tour and light refreshments.

April 13John Lent’s new book will make its Vernon debut at The Bean Scene at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

May 2 – Okanagan College will host the first annual Employee Excellence Awards in Kelowna. Finalists for the eight awards will be announced along with the winners of each category. The event will take place in the atrium of the Centre for Learning from 3 - 5 p.m. 

May 26 – Help usher Chris Burns and Randy Dewar into retirement by celebrating their long careers in Automotive Collision Repair with a proper sendoff at Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Course. Tee times begin at 11:30 a.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Follow this link for complete information about the event or contact Jeff Francis.


A 46-year-old cattle rancher steered his way into the inaugural class of Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Structures (AME-S) program, and a feature article in the Daily Courier. Read: College program spreads its wings.

The College is in the final approval process to offer a new Collision Repair Technician Certificate program, reported Kelowna media. Read College revs up repair program, and Okanagan College revs up its collision repair program.

College Registrar Jane Muskens put Quebec student tuition fee protests into global perspective in her regular Capital News column. Read: Tuition fee options vary but education desire is the same. Muskens also commented on the challenges educated European women face in entering the job market. Read: Problems in Europe are leading more young people to Canada.

English professor Alix Hawley’s runner-up position in the coveted CBC Literary Prize for short story drew articles in both the Capital News and the Vernon Morning Star. Read: OC prof lands on awards podium, and Okanagan College professor lands on CBC awards podium.

Okanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise received a $2,500 grant from the Business Development Bank of Canada. Read: Young entrepreneur competition from the Courier.

Okanagan College’s senior business team took top honours in its division plus three gold medals and one bronze at the Western Canadian International Business Competition. Read: OC senior business students dominate competition in the Capital News.

The Okanagan College Coyotes bounced back from a poor initial outing in a series of weekend games in the Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference. Read: Solid opening for Coyotes, OC Coyotes win three straight in homestand, and Coyotes take over 1st. Plus see: Early season swings in Okanagan Saturday.

However, the Coyotes' encouraging season start was tempered by four straight losses. Read: Coyotes swept in Kamloops and OC Coyotes stumble after an impressive start to the season.

The Daily Courier captured the top three finishers in the Okanagan College Half Marathon, plus a participant from Bermuda competing in the 60-plus division. See: Campus to Campus Half Marathon, and read: Kelowna’s Reiter wins the OC Half.

Matt and Mike Horsley of Mechanic Vernon erect banners featuring OC students along Highway 97 near the Vernon campus. See: A Banner Day, from the Morning Star.

Antiquarian and contemporary handcrafted books were unveiled at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. Read: Okanagan College antique and fine press book exhibit from the Lake Country Calendar.


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

To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, April 24, 2012