2011 Honorary Fellows named

landeckerOn the day it honours and celebrates the accomplishments of the graduating class of 2011, Okanagan College will also recognize the contributions, careers and service of three community-minded leaders that include a world renowned researcher, Canada’s highest-ranking female RCMP member, and an entrepreneur whose fabric stores dominate the Canadian textile industry.

bussonOkanagan College will bestow the title of Honorary Fellow on Dr. Tom Landecker, Principal Research Officer at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), Beverley Busson, former Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Mel Kotler, founding owner of Mel Kotler Consultants Ltd. and working partner of the Fabricland Company, Western Canada.

kotlerLandecker and Busson will address students attending the morning Convocation ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on June 4 in Kelowna.

Kotler will attend the afternoon ceremony which will be held at 1:30 p.m. and include graduates of Business programs.

Follow this link to find out more about each of the 2011 recipients and their distinguished careers and service to their communities.

SIFE Okanagan repeats national Let’s Can Hunger challenge

sifeAfter just one day at the national Students in Free Enterprise competition, Okanagan College’s SIFE Okanagan has walked away with one of the biggest awards of the competition. For the second year in a row SIFE Okanagan has won the Campbell’s Soup Let’s Can Hunger challenge, after meeting their goal of donating more than 80,000 pounds of food to local Food Banks.

Another member of the SIFE Okanagan community was honoured for his important role and dedication to the organization. Sheldon Gardiner was awarded the Business Advisory Board member of the year for his efforts in mentoring and supporting SIFE Okanagan.

SIFE Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship teams presented in the opening round today. Interested in following their performance at nationals? Click to view the SIFE Okanagan blog, which will be updated throughout the competition.

Murray's memoir receives national coverage

bookWith momentum building toward the Okanagan launch of her first book, Okanagan College English Professor Melanie Murray received national media coverage when the National Post ran a full page excerpt from her new memoir, FOR YOUR TOMORROW: The Way of an Unlikely Soldier (Random House Canada).

Melanie will host a series of Okanagan launches for the book throughout the Okanagan:

Kelowna - May 14, 1-3 p.m. Mosaic Books
Penticton - May 26, 7 p.m. Hooked on Books
Vernon - May 28, 1-3 p.m. Bookland
Salmon Arm - June 4, 1-3 p.m. Bookingham Palace

Sewell’s legacy honoured through new bursary award

sewellA new award that will support Summerland students pursuing post-secondary training in trades or business has been established in honour of Art Sewell, one of Summerland’s most dedicated community members and strongest advocates for youth and education.
On Tuesday, May 3 the Summerland Rotary Club, Summerland Penny Lane and members of the Sewell family announced they will each contribute $25,000 to establish a $75,000 bursary fund to support local students.
Sewell was a founding member of Summerland Penny Lane and served as its Chairman for eight years. As an active Rotarian for 35 years, he believed in the importance of providing access to education and training, as well as business leaders’ responsibility to provide opportunities for skill development in youth to help them reach their full potential.
The Summerland Rotary, Art Sewell, Summerland Penny Lane Bursary will provide an annual award of $2,500 to a student entering full-time studies in a Trades Foundation program or Business Administration program at Okanagan College. The recipient will be a resident of Summerland or will have attended high school in Summerland. Selection of the award recipient will be based on financial need.
Follow this link to read the complete press release.

Local Negotiations

Negotiations with the OCFA continue. Most recently the OCFA has tabled a comprehensive package of proposals. The College is currently reviewing this package to determine how it wishes to respond when it next meets with the OCFA on May 24 and 25. 

Negotiations with the Vocational Instructors will resume on May 27 and continue on June 8, 9 and 10.

Dates for the resumption of local negotiations with the Support Staff are in the process of being identified.

Sectoral Tables
Faculty Common Table Negotiations are on hold pending the conclusion of local negotiations by participating bargaining agents and employers.

The Support Staff Compensation Template Table was scheduled to meet on April 19 and 20. On April 19 the employers opened by responding to an outstanding question from the unions on the scope of the discussions at this table.  Specifically, the employers confirmed that job security should remain at local tables for discussion. The employers were advised subsequently that the union’s required time to consult with their locals and proposed holding off setting further bargaining dates until the fall. The parties left the CTT with the understanding that local Support Staff negotiations would resume or commence where they had not begun.

Other Activity within the Sector
Vancouver Island University – FPSE members have returned to work. Special Mediator, Mark Brown, appointed by the Minister of Labour continues to work on resolving two outstanding collective bargaining issues. An agreement reached with the BCGEU (Vocational Instructors) at this location has now been ratified by all parties.

Selkirk College – A tentative local agreement was reached on April 4. This agreement will not be ratified until conclusion of Faculty Common Table discussions.

Langara College – The Langara Faculty Association terminated its recent job action. All student marks were submitted by April 27 at noon. Bargaining is ongoing.

Vancouver Community College – Has reached a tentative local agreement with its FPSE group. A strike vote had been taken by the FPSE members at this location. However the parties were able to resolve their negotiations within mandate without resort to job action.

Other Relevant Settlements
Thompson Rivers University has reached a two-year agreement with the Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association on April 26 under the government’s 2010 mandate. This agreement covers approximately 500 full-time employees including faculty-instructors, counselors, librarians and instructional support employees. Members of the Association are expected to vote on the agreement in the coming weeks.

Bike to Work Week starts May 30

biketoworkThe 2011 Okanagan College Bike to Work Team is looking for new recruits. This year Bike to Work Week is May 30 to June 3, which means the weather will be warmer than last year’s challenge. The majority of Okanagan College’s team members are recreational cyclists.

Last year the team posted a combined total of 1455km. To be a team member you only have to ride to work one day during the designated week. Please consider being part of the team this year. For more information or to sign up please contact Paul Stephenson.


Banner Bob retires

bobBob Amann will retire from IT Services after a 17-year career with Okanagan College. Known as “Banner Bob” to many who remember the early days of Banner implementation, Bob has been a Senior Programmer and Analyst in IT Services since 1994.

Colleagues and friends who would like the opportunity to wish Bob well in his retirement can attend a farewell party in Infusions on Thursday, May 26 at 3 p.m. Bob’s last day at work will be May 30.

Nishi to represent College at National Skills Canada

Okanagan College’s Jeff Nishi recently won a gold medal in the IT Network Administration category at the provincial Skills BC competition, held in Abbotsford last month.

Jeff’s top finish provides him with the opportunity to represent the province and Okanagan College at the national Skills Canada competition in Quebec City in early June.


Rev. Albert Baldeo, Okanagan College Honorary Fellow recipient in 2006, passed away on Easter Monday. The community’s grief was reflected in the media coverage of his death including: Tributes pour in for the late Rev. Albert Baldeo (included is his last column with the Capital News), Tearful goodbye and Farewell friend Albert, and Sweet goodnight, Albert.

Paul O’Neill, Electronic Engineering graduate, and Henry Murphy, technologies program lab technician, are both being honored as the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. director, John Leech, travels around the province both honoring technologists and educating communities on opportunities in the sector for grads of the College’s technologies programs. Read more in Top technologists honoured, Opportunity knocks, and Wave of tech careers flood market.

Business alumnus Michael Blonde is working with the Central Okanagan Development Commission as an organizer of the Metabridge initiative, a technology summit taking place June 1 and 2 in Kelowna. Read more in Companies prepare for June tech summit.

In memory of Art Sewell, the Summerland Rotary Club, Summerland Penny Lane and the Sewell family, have started a bursary to assist trades and business students at the College. Read more about the namesake’s beliefs in education and the award in Bursary in honour of Sewell

The Green Business Awards, organized by SIFE Okanagan, were handed out in late April. Read about Sysco and the other big winners in Employees key to Sysco’s green.

Residential Construction students in Penticton have started working on a cabin to be delivered to the Agur Lake Camp later this summer. Read the details in Agur Lake Camp cabin set for use in summer 2012.

Kara Jobb, a student in the inaugural Studio Woodworking program, was featured in an article promoting her class’s exhibition at the Tutt Street Gallery. Read more in Exhibit celebrates woodwork artistry.

The B.C. Youth Write Camp, which is hosted at Okanagan College, received a donation from the Investors Group which will help publish a camp anthology. For more details see Boost for Write Camp.

The OC Coyotes baseball team was recently successful in Lethbridge with three wins and one loss.  They went on to lose four games in Kamloops. Read more in OC Coyotes pound out the runs on the road, OC Coyotes swept again by host TRU WolfPack and OC Coyotes lose all four.

The Board of Governors approved the College’s $92.9 million budget.  The College will offer the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program this year but trades training may see some reductions. Read more in College says it can afford modest expansion and College budget $92.9 million.

Okanagan College will confer Honorary Fellows on Dr. Tom Landecker, Beverley Busson and Mel Kotler at Convocation on June 4. Read more in College names Honorary Fellows and College to confer Honorary Fellows.

Two teams of Summerland Middle School students are part of the Windward Software Young Entrepreneurs Dragons Den Competition, a partnership between SIFE Okanagan, School District 67 and Penticton Economic Development Services. The winning team will receive $500. Read more in Students present business proposals.

Randy Werger, Associate Dean of Trades, was one of a few local runners who completed the Boston Marathon. He finished the race in 3:24:33. Read more in Locals soak up Boston Marathon experience.

Registrar Jane Muskens continued her column from the previous week on the Student Transition Project fast facts on post-secondary education in her School’s In column. Read about it in Program aimed at helping more aboriginal students graduate. Last week Muskens wrote about opportunities in technology programs in Technology programs offer increasing job opportunities

Award Magazine (a nation-wide source of news and information about sustainable architecture, construction and interior design) wrote a piece about the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation. The facility will meet LEED Platinum and expects to achieve net-zero energy consumption.

Forever Young wrote a story about Civil Engineering student Chris Pieper going to school while raising two daughters on his own and the challenges he faces including financial barriers. The Okanagan College Foundation has helped Chris pay for his education through scholarships and bursaries. Read more in Donor Dollars change lives.

Tolko Industries has donated products to help build the next Habitat for Humanity home in West Kelowna that Okanagan College carpentry students will build as part of their spring curriculum. Read abut it in Tolko offers support for house project.

Okanagan students recently competed in the BC Secondary School Mathematics Contest sponsored by Okanagan College and UBCO. Read more in Teen mathletes do battle.

Fifty years ago a junior college was being considered in the Okanagan. Read more in Junior college pondered.
May 10, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 3


Convocation and Commencement – call for volunteers

Public Affairs is putting out a call for volunteers to help with the upcoming three Convocation and Commencement ceremonies in Kelowna on June 3, 4 and 29 and one in Vernon on June 28. Volunteers are needed to support the ceremonies as ushers, to hand out gowns to students, and for the reception. If you are interested in helping out please contact Michelle Lowry at ext. 4649.

Easter Seals 24HR Relay

Have the time of your life and help send kids to Easter Seals Camp in Winfield and the Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs Camp ArrowFlight this summer. Register yourself or your department as part of the Okanagan College 24 hour relay team by contacting Mike Craig or Jenn Naiman. Last year’s team had a great time and had almost 100 Okanagan College participants.

The event takes place June 11-12 at the Kelowna Apple Bowl. For more information, visit: 

Looking for a great professional development idea?

Continuing Studies offers a variety of workshops, from supervisory skills to MS Office 2010 to event planning, and can even customize workshops specifically for your department.  For more ideas, follow this link to view the CS Pro-D brochure. 
For more information on these courses, please contact Jill Panton in Kelowna at 4589 or Linda Kirbyson in Penticton at 3402.

Explore welding virtually at trade info session

For those who’ve tried it, Okanagan College’s new virtual welding machine is proof that virtual reality can be as valuable a teaching tool as the real thing.

“You put the helmet on, pick up the torch and you feel like you’re welding,” explained Dean Nutter, chair of the College’s Welding Department. “There is feedback that comes to you through the welder, through sound, and it’s easier to analyze your weld and technique than with real metal.”

Okanagan College will demo the virtual reality arc welding simulator at an information night on May 19 at 7 p.m. in Kelowna. This open session will provide insight into welding training and career opportunities. The next intake of welding begins at the end of May.

If you know someone who might be interested in finding out more about the program, experiencing the VRTEX360 or learning about career opportunities can attend a free info session at the College on May 19, at 7 p.m. in the welding shop at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus. 
For more info or to register for the information night, contact Dean Nutter at 762-5445, ext. 4433 or Dianne Holm at 762-5445, ext. 4439.

BCGEU forum on seniors’ care

The BC Government and Services Employees’ Union (BCGEU) is hosting a public forum regarding the state of seniors’ care in the Okanagan. 

The event will include a 30-minute screening of the new documentary, "The Remaining Light" followed by a question and answer period. A variety of speakers will also address some of the critical issues facing BC seniors, including poverty, loneliness, depression and access to health services.  

This event will be held at:

Lecture Theatre, 
Kelowna Campus
Tuesday, May 17, 
5 – 7 p.m.

Light snacks and refreshments served from 4:30 – 5 p.m.

This event is for anyone who is concerned about seniors in B.C. and helping to build a better future for them. If you plan to attend, please rsvp to Greg Fjetland.

We are good to grow

The Kelowna campus will open the new community garden, Good to Grow, tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. The Garden is located on the Kelowna campus directly to the east of the facilities building on the north side of campus. The Garden’s beds have been rented out to staff, students and departments for the next year with all rental proceeds going to the Food Bank.

Included among the renters are the Culinary Arts program, Little Scholars Child Care Centre and International Education. The Permaculture Society of Kelowna has agreed to help the College coordinate the garden and will use their rental plots as part of the programming they offer through Continuing Studies. Using completely organic practices, the garden will be a great place to visit and watch the flowers grow. To that end the garden will be open for visits during the day. Drop by on the 11th for the opening, refreshments will be served.

Campus Stores fall book orders

It’s that time of year again when staff at the Campus Stores start gearing up for the fall semester. In order to start the process, faculty can begin submitting fall semester book orders on or before May 15 - course packs are due June 15. The earlier Campus Stores receive your text information the sooner they can start acquiring used books to make life a little easier on students. Please forward your orders to the attention of Gord.

The Campus Store thanks you for your continued support and looks forward to your replies.

Talk Talk Talk

Okanagan College has again been invited by the Society for Learning in Retirement to host a series of College lectures in their fall program. Lectures are usually during the day and are scheduled for 2-3 hours each. This unique organization provides on-going continuing education to seniors in the Central Okanagan and truly represents the value of lifelong learning.

To find out more about SLR go to their website If you are an instructor, staff or student and you would like the opportunity to give a lecture in your area of expertise, please contact the Regional Dean Central Okanagan’s office at ext. 4501 for more details.    

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Kathleen Zucchi from the Residences in Kelowna, who won the May 6 payday draw for $560.

All Okanagan College employees are eligible to participate in the Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery. If you wish to sign up, registration forms are available from Dawn Douglas (Local 4774) in the Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (located in P103, KLO Campus), from Human Resources.


May 17 - The Okanagan College Board of Governors will hold its monthly meeting in Kelowna.

June 3 - Trades Commencement will take place at the Kelowna campus beginning at 6 p.m.

June 4 - Okanagan College will host two Convocation ceremonies: the morning Convocation begins at 10:30 and includes students from a variety of programs. An afternoon Convocation for Business students will take place at 1:30.

June 28 - Okanagan College's Board of Governors will gather in Vernon for its regular meeting. 

June 28 - Vernon will hold a Convocation and Commencement ceremony for graduates from a variety of programs beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre.

June 29 - Okanagan College will hold its final Convocation ceremony for the spring on June 29 at 6 p.m. Contact Michelle Lowry for information or to volunteer for any of the Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.


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 Tuesday, May 24 - the date of Robert Allen Zimmerman's (aka Bob Dylan) 70th birthday.