Celebrate 50 years of transforming lives and communities

50logoOn Sept. 27, 1963, the doors opened to the new BC Vocational School, which marked the beginning of a 50-year span of excellence in educating and training students. Along the way there have been many changes—amalgamations, building construction, and growth—but what has remained constant is the College’s commitment to students and the economic and social development of our communities.

On Sept. 27, 2013, we’re inviting all employees, students and friends to come celebrate this illustrious 50-year history at the Kelowna campus from 3-7 p.m.
Current employees are encouraged to attend this fun-filled shindig and play games, win prizes and enjoy some excellent food. To ensure as many employees as possible get to partake in the festivities—and honour our ongoing commitment to sustainability—the College will be covering the cost of bus transportation to the event (not individual mileage). Contact Michelle Lowry to secure your spot to and from your respective campus.

For more information on the event, visit

Your input will help inform employee recruitment website 

With the goal of creating a new personnel recruitment website that will serve seven of B.C.’s Colleges and which will highlight the positive attributes of working at those institutions, the human resources departments of the Colleges have undertaken a new project and are looking for employee input.

College employees will be receiving an email in the next day that outlines how to participate in the survey. For more information on the project, click here.

Terry Fox run

Walk, run or bike with Team Okanagan College for the Terry Fox Run. Meet at Mission Sports Field on Sun. Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. Lots of activities for participants and families to follow the run, dogs also welcome. Contact Angie March at 250-762-5445, ext. 4501 for more information.

A gathering of Nations

Pow Wow 2013The fifth Annual Youth Exhibition Pow Wow takes place in the courtyard of the College’s Kelowna campus on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This year’s MC is Elder Richard Jackson Jr. and the event features the drumming artistry of Iron Mountain and Little Hawk. Students from schools throughout the Okanagan Nation and from around the province will also be taking part in the dance performances.
Tempt your palate with Indian Ice cream samples (a meringue like dessert), and enjoy some bannock (a quick bread specialty of Aboriginal cooks) from the Kekuli Café.
In addition, students from WMST 295: Women in Social Justice will be offering a bit of their time to support the events. The class will be helping serve an Elder’s Lunch being put on by the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, as well as distribute information about the significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (whose goal is to create awareness of what took place at residential schools and honour and support those affected) for Truth and Reconciliation Week (Sept. 16-22).

For more details, visit the Okanagan College website


Employee documentary screening

Marc ArellanoCommunications Professor and documentary filmmaker Marc Arellano will be screening his newest film Spinning Green at the Food, Wine and Film Festival on Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Mary Irwin Theatre in the Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave., Kelowna.

The film follows the work of dynamic social activist Curtis Stone, a local pioneer in small plot intensive farming. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Food, Wine and Film Festival website.

Debut novel for English Professor

Alix HawleyCongratulations to Alix Hawley, Professor in the English Department. Her debut novel, All True Not a Lie in It, will be published as Knopf/Random House Canada's New Face of Fiction pick for 2015 (it will be out early that year). The work is a fictional first-person account of Daniel Boone’s captivity by the Shawnee. While her first novel, this is her second book. Her last was The Old Familiar, a short-story collection, in 2008.

New public affairs team member

Meredith Birchall imageThe public affairs department added a new team member in August. Meredith Birchall-Spencer has taken on the role of Marketing and Communications Specialist left vacant by Karin Wilson. Meredith moved to the Okanagan from Toronto this past summer and has worked in the field of communications and journalism for more than 15 years. 

Karin is now Campaign Communications and Marketing Specialist for Advancement & Alumni.

Meredith will be handling College Matters as well as working on other communications projects. If you have submissions for College Matters, please send them to Meredith or call ext. 4942.


Sept., 10, 2013 Vol. 8 Issue 12


Extended IT Service hours

To further assist employees with technology issues, IT Services is extending Help Desk hours. From Sept. 9 to Dec. 6, an IT technician will be available from Monday to Thursday, 4:30-7:15 p.m., by dialing ext. 4444.


ILT Lunch and Learn Series:

Old Meets New: Mindfulness in the Wired Classroom
With Carl Doige, Chair of Chemistry
Thurs. Sept. 26, 2013 12-1pm
Vernon Campus, D348

Are we losing our minds? The current generation of college students has grown up with and come to expect almost instant access to multiple forms of data and stimuli. This wired age has brought tremendous potential for learning, but has also amplified the distractions that compete for our students’ attention. Meaningful learning requires sustained self-regulated attention and humans are not wired for effective multitasking. As a result, many educators have turned to ancient contemplative practices and are now advocating mindfulness training for both instructors and students.

In this talk, we will explore the rationale for mindfulness training in an education setting and some of the approaches by which this training can be implemented. While the focus is the classroom setting, the discussion will have implications for our wired lives in general.


On Sept. 6, The Daily Courier profiled students past and present to showcase what a profound impact Okanagan College has on the lives of students and to promote the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations on Sept. 27. See 50 Years of higher education.

Tannis Nelson reported on the updates of the sports facility at the Vernon campus in the Morning Star on Aug. 25. See Progress continues on sports complex.

Jane Muskens, Okanagan College’s Registrar wrote about last-minute registrations and what programs are still available in the Kelowna Capital News on Sept. 5. Avoid last minute rush to enrol in Okanagan College classes.

Popular television weatherman, broadcaster, and former Okanagan College Honorary Fellow, retired after 40 years with CHBC and Global Okanagan. See Final Forecast.

On Aug. 29, the Capital News ran a notice about the Trunk Sale taking place at Okanagan College on Sept. 28. See Unclutter your life at trunk sale.


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 Sept. 24, 2013