Okanagan College honoured for entrepreneurial activity at inaugural Colleges and Institutes Canada awards

CICA AwardAt an award ceremony held in Quebec City on Monday March 9, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and former Enactus Okanagan College President Drew Vincent were on hand representing the College’s School of Business to receive the inaugural Entrepreneurship in the Community award from Colleges and Institutes Canada.  

The award recognizes the College for its demonstrated impact and support of projects within the Okanagan region’s economy. The focus Okanagan College places on supporting entrepreneurship among our students was noted as a distinguishing factor for the award.

To read the full press release about the awards, and see a list of all winners, read the press release here

OC2020 Strategic Plan
face-to-face input sessions underway

Strategic plan photo 2The first round of the College’s OC2020 strategic planning face-to-face input sessions with employees and students is well underway. Kicking things off, in Penticton 159 participants (127 students, 32 employees) came to the table with big ideas, vision and thoughtful commentary. The conversation continued in Kelowna, where a total of 57 employees participated in meaningful brainstorming and dialogue.  

Strategic plan photo 1The success of the interactive sessions depends on participation. Please join one of the next sessions: at the Vernon campus (March 11), followed by a second round in Kelowna (March 17, 18, 19) and wrapping up at the Salmon Arm campus (March 25 and 26).
To date, the quality of participation and input at these sessions has been remarkable. Those at the sessions have provided feedback that is forward thinking and creative. Their views of the College for the next five to 10 years highlight areas where we can grow and develop in the near future. Significant discussion on our Mission, Vision, Values and Guiding Principles has also demonstrated a level of thoughtfulness and collaboration at the sessions that demonstrates how passionate people are about our College culture.  
You are encouraged to participate in an upcoming session. Please check the schedule on the OC 2020 website to find a session near you. An online feedback form will also be launched next week for those who are unable to attend a session in person. If you have a question or a comment about the Strategic Plan, please contact Kerry Rempel.

Trades Complex building update

Building and parking closures 

Construction is well underway for the new Trades Complex project at the Kelowna campus. In the coming months the project will be heading into its final and perhaps most intensive year of construction.

The next major phase of the $33 million project will commence on May 1, 2015 when the East Wing of the existing Trades complex will be closed for major renovation, demolition and construction. This closure will affect four classrooms, offices spaces, tool rooms, lockers and washrooms along the south side of the Trades building.  Please note that O’Tools restaurant will also be closed and that the circulation into the Trades area will also have to change.
As of May 1, the Trades area will only be accessible by using either the East or West gates that lead into the back compound area of Trades. To support this access and transition space, Lot 15 (the staff parking lot located between the Centre for Learning and Health building) will be fenced and closed from May 1 until August 31, 2015. Signage and other circulation information will be posted in April identifying the changes happening in May.
This week the Trades Complex project reached a major milestone with the Plumbing Shop now completed (located between the Collision Repair and Carpentry shops). At this time, the RV program is using this shop space in order to allow their shop to be renovated. It is also very exciting to see work beginning on the third floor of the tower. The Trades Complex project is scheduled for completion in spring 2016.  

College wins best bite at local foodie event

Devour photoOkanagan College’s Culinary Arts showcase took home this year’s People’s Choice award for Best Bite at the sold-out Devour Kelowna event on March 7.

The Centre for Learning at the College’s Kelowna campus was transformed into a food and drink mecca, where the region’s top chefs, winemakers and specialty food and drink purveyors competed for People’s and Judges’ Choice in Best Sip, Best Bite and Best Pairing categories.

The College served up two samples: one sweet, one savoury. The savoury hors d’oeuvre, a potato cup filled with burnt orange cream, duck confit, basil tempura onion and micro basil beat out dozens of other dishes for the People’s Choice prize. It was created by Chef Instructor Stuart Klassen. The College's second bite was a sweet chocolate cheesecake developed by Chef Instructor Perry Bentley. All the bite-size samples were assembled and served with the help of the College’s student chefs.

Coyotes sweep weekend

Baseball photoSunny skies and big wins were in order as the Okanagan College Coyotes beat the Eastern Washington University Eagles on the diamond at the home opener weekend March 7 and 8, outscoring them 37-3.

"We competed on the mound, in the field and at the plate. It was nice to see guys up and down the lineup contributing," said Coyotes Head Coach Geoff White.

The team played three games and in the weekend opener on Saturday, Marcus Drewry (3-1) picked up his third win of the season going six strong innings scattering only four hits. Game two on Saturday saw Joel Lamont pick up a win with five innings work while giving up three hits and striking out six. Sunday finished out the weekend with Brett Flemming picking up his first win of the season.  
The weekend wrapped up with a closing game that finished 5-1.  Austin Orsted worked four scoreless innings along with Wyatt Hummel and Brandon Becking throwing a shutout inning each.  

"It was nice to see some guys break out at the plate and our pitching staff did a great job from first pitch to last, it was a solid team effort all weekend," added White.

To read more about the games, score, and weekend recap standouts, click here.

Next up, the Coyotes welcome the Edmonton Prospects to Elks Stadium in Kelowna for a three-game set before the Canadian College Baseball Conference season begins.  

Catch the next home games:

  • Friday Mar. 13, 6 p.m.
  • Saturday Mar. 14, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday Mar. 15, noon

Collaborating friends earn top three spots in heavyweight Spaghetti Bridge contest

Spaghetti Bridge photoWith otherwise simple ingredients, nothing more than pasta and glue, 248 participating students from across the Okanagan created recipes for success in building their bridges at Okanagan College’s 32nd annual Spaghetti Bridge Contest held at the Kelowna campus on March 6.

Three friends from Lumby battled for the top spots in the heavyweight division: Grade 7 student Adrian Schartner from Lumby placed first with his bridge weighing 982.6 grams and supporting 275.6 kilograms before spectacularly collapsing in front of cheering friends, peers, teachers and parents. His bridge was the only one to break the 200-kilogram load threshold. Brendan Mattenley placed second with 196.68 kilograms of load, and in third was defending champion James Dessert with 171.83 kilograms.

Taking almost eight weeks of patience, imagination and hard work, the three friends collaborated on the engineering design concept that featured an impressive arch made of bucatini pasta and spaghetti spokes. Each then made individual modifications to their bridge to encourage a little friendly competition.

“We knew we wanted curved bridges, those always do well in the competition,” said 12-year-old Schartner, who is home-schooled. “For my bridge, I created a heavier arch by using four strands of barilla. While it’s a lighter pasta, having more of it made it stronger.”

For complete results and to read the press release follow this link.

Deadline approaching for new
W. Brett Wilson student award

Brett WilsonCollege instructors are encouraged to share information with their students about the inaugural W. Brett Wilson Prize award, recognizing commitment by a student in entrepreneurship and social consciousness. Until Tuesday Mar. 31, students enrolled in any degree, diploma or certificate program at any Okanagan College campuses can apply for the $750 award.

Brett Wilson is a recognized Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist. During his recent visit to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, the entrepreneurial spirit students demonstrated impressed him.

To apply, students can submit a one-page essay describing how they are committed to entrepreneurship and to building their community through socially responsible action. Submissions should demonstrate three components: an aspect of entrepreneurship, philanthropic contribution and explain how receiving this award will further their ability to continue to contribute to these efforts.

Applications can be submitted to The subject line should read W. Brett Wilson Prize, and the body of the email needs to include the student’s name, student ID number, and program of study.

BC Wine Information Society Award helps
viticulture student grow her education

BC Wine Information SocietyThe pursuit of a career in the wine industry got a little sweeter for Okanagan College student Kathleen McCaffrey when she received the 2015 BC Wine Information Society Award, valued at $1,500.  She is currently completing the Viticulture Certificate program at the College’s Penticton campus and the award recognizes her early achievements in the field.

“I am so excited and grateful for this award,” said McCaffrey, who completed a degree in Business at Okanagan College before enrolling in the Viticulture program. “It’s a huge boost and will help with tuition for the next course I’m taking, which is focused on wine sales.”
“The wine industry is a key driver of our region’s economy and so we feel it’s hugely important to support students in the valley,” explained Laura Kowalchuk, Manager BC Wine Information Centre, which is operated by the Society. “We are so excited to see what students like Kathleen will accomplish as they jump into this industry and put their energy and creativity into elevating the profile of B.C. wine even further.”

The bursary is one of two annual awards sponsored by the BC Wine Information Society, which also made a $300,000 donation to the College last year to assist with the creation of a new Wine Sensory Centre at the Penticton campus.

To read more about McCaffrey’s passion for the wine industry, including her travels to Italy and the award read the press release here.

College organizing upcoming 25th annual
high school math competition

Leave your calculators at home: a sharp pencil, an eraser, and a thinking cap is all Grade 8 to 12 students will need to participate in the annual British Columbia Secondary School Mathematics Contest (BCSSMC) for the Okanagan Region.

On April 1 hundreds of students in either the junior (Grade 8 to 10) or senior (Grade 11 and 12) categories will put their math skills to the test as they complete the 45-minute multiple-choice exam administered in each of the participating schools by its teachers. The top three to six finishers from each school will be invited to attend the final round taking place on May 1 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

“This year is particularly special, as we celebrate 25 years of fostering mathematic interest and talent in secondary school students in our communities,” said regional contest founder, provincial coordinator, and Okanagan College Mathematics professor Clint Lee. “We always see strong participation numbers, sometimes upwards of 800 students. To me, that speaks volumes about math being an important part of our kids’ education.”

The competition was inaugurated in 1990 by Okanagan College’s Mathematics department as a way to bolster interactions between secondary and post-secondary education institutions and to recognize math achievements locally. Today, the competition is co-sponsored by the College and UBCO.

For more information about the competition visit the website and read the press release here.

Rotary Club of Kelowna supports
College’s trades training in the region

Rotary ClubTradespeople do more than just build houses, they help build communities.

The Rotary Club of Kelowna has pledged $75,000 to the Bright Horizons, Building for Skills fundraising campaign supporting the $33-million renovation and expansion project currently underway at the College’s Kelowna Campus.
“Trades are a key thrust in our economy,” said Rotary Club President Dennis Campbell, “and so it seemed only natural for us to support the training of these young apprentices. When you think about it, you can’t step out your front door and go very far without coming into contact with something that a tradesperson has helped to build, wire, plumb, weld, and so on.”
“The new trades training complex will help us be proactive in addressing the skills gap projected for trades and technical training in B.C. over the next decade,” said Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “It is truly gratifying for the College to see people and organizations from all over our region stepping up to support the project.
“We appreciate the Rotary Club of Kelowna’s generous investment in our campus and our students’ futures.”
Read the full press release here. To learn more about the campaign, opportunities to give, and to get involved with the project follow this link.

Explore College education options at
upcoming information sessions

Making a choice of career and credential can be daunting for many people looking at their post-secondary path. Quality, cost, and location are all factors that enter the picture.
Here to help, Okanagan College will be hosting Arts and Science University Transfer Information Sessions at the Vernon campus on March 31 and the Kelowna campus on April 1, both at 6 p.m. A first session was held in Penticton on March 9.

At the sessions, instructors, staff, and current students will be on hand to share the Okanagan College experience and answer questions. Attendees can also learn information about university transfer credits, financial aid and awards, and discuss career options for those pursuing studies in both arts and science.
The sessions are open to all potential students, including those graduating from high school, their parents, and anyone considering further studies for additional training or a career change. For more details about these events, click here

Take it outside! Conference focused on outdoor play 

Outdoor Play ConferenceChild’s play is serious work for a group of 45 academics, professionals, and planners who gathered on March 6 at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus to consider the importance of developing outdoor play spaces and why they are essential for both children’s development and for building healthy, sustainable communities. The group included representatives from the Greater Vernon parks, City of Vernon, City of Kelowna, School District, childcare centres, and some non-profits organizations.
The Shifting Views – Why Children Need Outdoor Play Now! was a free one-day conference organized by Okanagan College’s Director of Learning and Teaching, Dr. Beverlie Dietze, a principal researcher in outdoor play, and Jane Lister, the College’s North Okanagan Regional Dean. The conference received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
“Recent research is really reinforcing how important outdoor play is to children’s development, especially at a time when so much of their activity is focused around electronic devices and digital interaction,” said Dietze. “Having the chance to connect to nature is about a lot more than just the experience of the outdoors. It impacts a whole range of behavior and early childhood development.”

The day featured respected speakers and experts from across Canada who discussed play environments, risk in outdoor play, and outdoor play designs. For a snapshot recap of the day search #OutdoorPlayBC2015 on Twitter.

The following day, a workshop on Outdoor Play was hosted. A total of 33 early childcare workers attended the session which focused on training.

Click here to listen to Dr. Dietze's interview on AM1150's Early Edition with Phil Johnson. For more information about all the speakers read the press release here.

New awards honour aviation pioneers
and help college students take flight 

AviationStudents enrolled in the Commercial Aviation diploma program at Okanagan College will soon get a lift from new awards that recognize the achievements of two distinguished B.C. aviators.
The Roy Clemens Memorial Award in Aviation and Margaret Fane Rutledge Award in Aviation, valued at $1,000 each, celebrate the contributions to Canada’s aviation history made by Clemens and Rutledge over the course of their careers in the air.

Clemens coordinated Air Search and Rescue in the region for 35 years, retiring from that volunteer position at the age of 87. He was a founding member of the Kelowna Flying Club and the Kelowna branch of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Rutledge was the first woman west of Toronto to earn a commercial pilot’s license. She overcame frequent discrimination in pursuit of her dream. She piloted several flights for Canadian Airlines, worked with Grant McConachie, and also founded the Flying Seven, an elite group of Canadian female pilots.

“We are proud to recognize the legacy of these two aviation forerunners,” said Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean, Okanagan College School of Business. “The College is very grateful to the Clemens and Rutledge families for their generous support.”
“We’ve trained over 400 pilots since the program began in 1990,” said Marc Vanderaegen, Flight School Director, Southern Interior Flight Centre, Okanagan College Commercial Aviation diploma program. “The demand for pilots is only going to increase, with retirements looming in the big airlines. This program gives students some great opportunities to connect with local employers and leaders in aviation from the moment they start training.”
Follow this link to read the full press release and click here for more about the Commercial Aviation diploma program.

WiNG program launches students’ careers
in natural gas

WiNG photoThis February 11 students, including two women, successfully completed the month-long inaugural Working in Natural Gas pilot program at the Vernon campus.  Students participated in 40 hours of industry awareness training, 28 hours of career awareness and planning, and up to 52 hours of industry-recognized safety certificates. 

Overall, feedback from the students about the program showed their level of enthusiasm and they gave it high marks. There was a real sense of accomplishment among the group when the course finished.

Putting success into action, one student has already found a job in the industry.  The program is offered by the College’s Continuing Studies department and was funded by the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund.

One-step, two-step, 10 million steps

More than 120 College community participants aimed to walk a little more from Jan. 23 to Feb. 19 as part of the Athletics, Recreation & Student Life Great Wall of China step challenge event.  Of these, 37 turned in their pedometers and more than 10.2 million steps were accounted for. The event, which culminated on Chinese New Year, symbolically challenged participants to walk enough steps that equated to similar distances on the Great Wall of China.  

“I have found it fascinating how something as simple as recording my steps has encouraged me to change my routine so I can achieve more,” shared IT Services’ Moya Webb.
Scott Anderson, a second year Mechanical Engineering Technology program student enthusiastically partook in the event. “This challenge was awesome! I found myself finding excuses to walk instead of drive somewhere. Plus I was able to follow my progress on Google Earth. I realized that even at 230,143 steps, my distance represented only a small part of the Great Wall. It really makes me appreciate the hundreds of years and thousands of kilometers that the Great Wall represents.”
Congratulations to top steppers:

  • 10,000 steps a day level winner:  Melissa Lang with a total 667,906 steps (most steps overall!)
  • 5,000 steps a day level winner: Alyssa Ganje with a total 279,346 steps
  • 3,000 steps a day level winner: Lixin Zhang with a total 132,921 steps

Kevin Fukushima joins Central Stores

Kevin FukushimaCentral Stores welcomes Kevin Fukushima, who started in his new role as supervisor of Central Stores on Feb. 17. Kevin replaces Warren Schimpf who recently retired.
Kevin brings a vast knowledge of retail and inventory management experience to the position. He recently earned his Service and Support in a Learner Centered Organization Certificate from Okanagan College. He saw this program as an opportunity to focus his multiple years of customer service experience and bring it to the College’s environment. He has a passion for woodworking in his free time, and in fact, he is also a graduate from Okanagan College’s Studio Woodworking program.
Kevin’s new office is in T-163 and he can be reached at extension 4408.

Kathleen Lausman retiring

After a decades-long rewarding career in government, capital planning, project management and leadership Kathleen Lausman, Okanagan College’s Director of Campus Planning and Facilities has announced she will retire on March 17, 2015.

Kathleen joined the College in 2013 right when the College was launching its $33-million Trades Complex campaign.  Previously she worked with the Government of Nunavut as the Deputy Minister of Community & Government Services, Alberta Infrastructure, and also CSIS where she served as the Deputy Chief of the Facility Management Branch.

This March we celebrate engineering technologists

March is Engineering Month, when we celebrate those in our communities that make things work, including water engineering technologists and Information Technology specialists.

Water treatment is a complex field that is rapidly evolving to constantly improve procedures and to protect the environment.  Engineering technologists monitor the various steps of water management and conduct preventative maintenance.

WET gradsNicole Moggey graduated from the College’s WET program 10 years ago. Since then she has worked with the City of Kelowna at the Wastewater Treatment Facility and manages the laboratory.

“Each day I get to come to work in an advanced facility that is cutting edge from a design, technology and science perspective,” noted Moggey. “Now, I see new graduates joining our team who are knowledgeable about the latest technologies and methods. That speaks volumes about the quality of education the program provides and how it evolves to keep pace with the innovation we see in the field.”

Helping treat up to 45 million litres a day of wastewater from Kelowna, a total of seven College WET graduates work at the Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility.  An additional four graduates work to ensure that the City Water Utility provides safe drinking water.

Nten Troy BergContinuing to highlight the importance of engineering technologists in our midst, Kelowna resident Troy Berg who graduated four years ago from Okanagan College’s Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEN) program and currently works as IT Manager for the law firm of Doak Shirreff shared his perspective about the importance of IT in the business world.

In a feature article, Troy spoke to how IT managers increasingly have the ear of senior management and have a seat at the table when it comes to making strategic decisions to advance a company’s objectives.

“As an IT professional, I see myself as an advocate for and translator of technology to business managers,” he said. “We can use our knowledge to offer creative and proactive solutions on ways to improve productivity, workflow, security, and profitability.”

As a rule, the easier the technology is for individuals to use, the more complex and bigger the team on the back-end to make it operate smoothly. It’s an unforgiving field of work with no margin of error: it either works or it doesn’t.

Read the feature articles about the College’s WET graduates here and the NTEN graduates here.

Remembering Steve Jackson (1975 – 2015)
the importance of organ donation

Steve JacksonOn February 19, Okanagan College lost one of its alumni who had left his mark through his perseverance, commitment, optimism and always present passion for technology. Steve Jackson, an NTEN program graduate, passed away following a lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis.

While Steve was studying at the College in 2006 his doctors told him he required a double lung transplant. The news was crushing, but his fiancée Crystal Hallock notes that if it wasn’t for the encouragement of the team of instructors at the College, including Phil Ashman, Ron Light and Nolan Fretz, who saw his natural talent in the field of networks and technology and motivated him to persevere, he may have given up. Steve met many friends in the program who also encouraged him to keep with his studies.

For Steve, receiving the double lung transplant in 2008 meant getting a second chance at life. He lived life to the fullest and didn’t take anything for granted. “He didn’t want his disease to limit him and not be able to work. He wanted a good education, and to be in the work field,” shared Hallock. “He loved computers, building them and was a total techie. He also had a passion for DJing.

“Stevie was an extraordinary person who was an inspiration to many and had a positive impact on everyone he met. I will never forget his infectious smile that warmed the room,” remembers Hallock.

In memory of Steve, Okanagan College encourages its community – faculty, staff, and students – to register to be an organ donor. BC Transplant reports that close to 500 British Columbians are currently on the wait list for an organ transplant, and that the need far outweighs the number of organs available for transplant. Unfortunately some organs that could be available for transplant are lost because the decision of the loved one is not known by their family.

“Definitely sign up, it’s very important: you’re giving life to more people. If you can help people, why not? It made a difference to Steve,” said Hallock.

For more information or to register to be an organ donor – a simple form identifying yes or no – visit the BC Transplant website.

Mar. 10, 2015, Vol. 9, Issue 23

Vote this week for
College Board of Governors

Elections are taking place this week until Friday March 13 for two positions with the College’s Board of Governors: one faculty and one support staff, each for three-year terms. Faculty, vocational instructors, and staff can vote today using the elections tab in myOkanagan. You can read bios for the following candidates online under the same elections tab:

  • Rene Dahms
  • Matt Kavanagh
  • Youry Khmelevsky
  • Laura Thurnheer

Support Staff:

  • CJ Mitchell
  • Alison Beaumont

Campus Store inventory on SALE

The Okanagan College store is clearing its inventory with great items on sale. From March 2 to 20 clothing, giftware and general interest books are 25 per cent off. The following items are excluded from the promotion: textbooks, stationary, confectionary, uniforms, and calculators.

ILT newsletter submissions

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT) is asking for submissions for the next issue of its newsletter, Enhancing the Practice of Learning and Teaching, on the theme of Self-Care and Happiness in the Workplace. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday April 7, 2015 and intended publication date is Monday April 20. 
Guidelines for the newsletter submissions may be found online on the ILT website

Employee health and wellness newsletter

The focus of this month's The Balance Sheet newsletter is finances. Articles look at strategies to help us learn to spend less and save more, and ways that finances can effect relationships and offers advice for navigating a joint financial situation.

On Mar. 25, from 12 to 1 p.m., financial expert Bill Cooke presents a webinar titled “Filing Taxes with Confidence”, offering practical tips to help guide you through filing your tax return. To register click here

Okanagan College's employee and family assistance provider, Optum PPC Canada, provides information on issues regarding your health and well being.


Join the OC2020 Strategic Plan conversation, attend a session

Helping to guide the College to 2020 and beyond, the Strategic Plan committee is hosting a series of consultation sessions. The face-to-face one-hour sessions are an opportunity to get involved and provide your feedback in the discussion of our future and our focus.

Please note your calendar for upcoming sessions:

  • Vernon campus: Mar. 11 (9 a.m. and 12 p.m.)
  • Kelowna campus: Mar. 17, 18 and 19
  • Salmon Arm campus: Mar. 25 and 26

For more information visit the OC2020 webpage or contact Kerry Rempel.

Hear from acclaimed authors
Eden Robinson & Zsuzsi Gartner

Eden RobinsonThis week Haisla/Heiltsuk author Eden Robinson will be hosting a series of free public events in Kelowna and Penticton where she will present and read excerpts from her novels and short stories, including her most recent novel, Blood Sports.

On Wednesday, March 11 join Robinson for a potluck lunch and a reading at the Kelowna campus to be held in the Pit from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Then, that evening she will also be reading at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society (442 Leon Ave., Kelowna) at 7 p.m.

Joining Robinson in Penticton on Thursday March 12 at 7 p.m., will be Zsuzsi Gartner, author of the acclaimed and bestselling story collection All the Anxious Girls on Earth and editor of Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow.  Her most recent collection, Better Living through Plastic Explosives, was a Globe & Mail “Best Book” and on the Vancouver Sun’s top ten Canadian titles of 2011, as well as a finalist for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.  Hear from these talented, funny and acclaimed writers as they read from their works and discuss their writing at the En’owkin Centre (Green Mountain Road).

Robinson’s first book, Traplines, a collection of short stories, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998.  Monkey Beach, her first novel, was shortlisted for both The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 2000 and it won the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. For more information about these events, please contact Sasha Johnston.

Upcoming ILT events

On Wednesday March 11 James Coble, Director of Student Services, will be leading an interactive workshop in Vernon looking at OC student demographics. All employees are invited to join.  As a learner centered institution we all serve students: whether we support, register, work behind the scenes or in front of the classroom. The snapshots we see each day in our interactions at work may lead us to believe that we know what the typical Okanagan College student is like. This fun workshop will either confirm or surprise you. Using Socrative, an interactive mobile polling app, participants will choose what they think is the correct statistic of common OC demographics. After instantaneous polling the truth will be revealed and discussed. The session starts at 11:30 a.m. and will be held in room D221 in Vernon. A Kelowna date will be announced soon.
On March 12 in Kelowna (room E212) and March 13 in Penticton (room PC120) join Rob St. Onge, Okanagan College’s Energy Manager for a discussion of sustainability at work and home. The interactive sessions will explore Okanagan College’s future sustainability plans, easy steps we can all take to contribute toward positive sustainability, and how to calculate our own personal carbon footprint.  The sessions take place from 12 to 1 p.m.
On Wednesday March 18, the ILT presents an online workshop using Collaborate that will focus on finding opportunities, making connections and strategies in applied research development. Building applied research capacity is about more than simply doing research: it requires a strategic approach, innovative thinking, the ability to build partnerships and to network. Learn about tools that will help to improve your applied research development with this session, from the comfort of your own computer.

To register for these ILT events (including instructions on how to access Collaborate) and more information, please visit the website.

How to cope with tough situations
and achieve your goals

A reminder that on Wednesday March 11, Dr. Justine Dowd from UBCO’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences will be visiting the College for an open guest presentation titled Self-compassion: how to get what you want in life by being kind to yourself.  Learn techniques and tips to better cope with difficult situations in order to ultimately focus on achieving your goals in life. The event will be held at the Kelowna campus in room S104 from 1 to 2 p.m. For more information, contact Angelika March.

Aboriginal leadership & education:
our shared Canadian journey

Gabrielle ScrimshawThe Institute for Learning and Teaching and Aboriginal Services are pleased to welcome Gabrielle Scrimshaw to the Kelowna and Vernon campuses on Thursday, March 26 for two inspiring talks.  Scrimshaw is widely recognized as an engaging young speaker. She is a member of the Hatchet Lake First Nation, co-founder of a national not-for-profit for Aboriginal professionals and was named the 2013 First Nations Youth Achiever by Indspire.  In these presentations she will focus on how Aboriginal people are growing in numbers, educational rates, and what it means for the Canadian economy. She will share stories from her personal journey while linking it to the broader Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal context.

The Kelowna event takes place from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the Center for Learning Atrium and will be live streamed to Salmon Arm and Penticton campuses, watch for address to be provided soon.

The Vernon event will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Science in Society looks at
binary stars with Dr. Geraldine Peters

Geraldine PetersOn Thursday March 26, hear from Dr. Geraldine Peters, a renowned Research Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Southern California, as she presents key advancements in her research on the dynamic and spectacular interaction between binary stars in a free public talk as part of the Science in Society Series. Her talk, entitled Close binary stars: what spacecraft observations have revealed about their interaction is sponsored by the American Astronomical Society as part of its Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship program. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre. For more information, visit the Science in Society website.

On your marks, get set, go:
Half Marathon coming up

There’s still time to register and get those few weeks of training in for the 2015 Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay Race. The race takes place on Sunday, March 29 in Kelowna. If you would like to volunteer on race day, please contact Michelle Lowry.

Creating a better world,
International Development Night event

The International Development program is hosting its first International Development Night on Wednesday April 8 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Pit area of the Student Services Building at the Kelowna campus.  Students, practitioners, teachers, volunteers, nonprofits, and anyone interested in learning more about the international development field will come together to celebrate the role of that Okanagan residents and organizations have in creating a better world, one step at a time, through international humanitarian actions, aid and development efforts worldwide.  The event includes light refreshments, activities, talks and music. For more information please email, follow this link or contact Rosalind Warner (local 4763) or Linda Elmose (250-859-4750)

Annual Charity Golf Tournament registration open

The 24th annual Okanagan College Foundation and Western Financial Group Charity golf tournament will be held Thursday May 21 at the Okanagan Golf Club.  The proceeds from the registration and silent auction assist Okanagan College students through scholarships, bursaries and program support. Last year more than $48,000 was raised. New this year, registration is available online. You can also use this form to register. For more information, to volunteer, or to have your department host an on-course booth, please contact Dawn Douglas.

Disability Resource Network of BC Conference

The early-bird registration rate is available until April 5 for registration to the two-day annual DRNBC Post-Secondary Education 2015 conference in Vancouver May 21 and 22. This year’s theme looks at honouring the cultural diversity within the disability community with a keynote address given by Jonathan Mooney, best known as the author of The Short Bus.  For more information and to register, follow this link.


The 32nd Annual Spaghetti Bridge competition earned significant media attention, beginning with front page coverage in the Okanagan Saturday that featured a photo of Adrian Schartner – the winner of the heavyweight competition. Pre-promotion of the event hit the Kelowna Daily Courier on the morning of March 6, citing organizer Michelle Lowry.The event was also featured on Castanet and in

The day before, the Kelowna Daily Courier had carried notice of the skills competition on March 6 – it followed through with a Page A4 article on the competition on March 8: Event gives students chance to try a trade, citing Dianne Holm. 

Rotary Club of Kelowna was the topic of a headline in the Kelowna Daily Courier on March 6, as the story of the club’s commitment of $75,000 to the Bright Horizons campaign was told, complete with a picture of Rotary’s Ross Gilley, Okanagan College’s Steve Moores and the Foundation’s Kathy Butler. The same news was featured in the Kelowna Capital News on March 4.

The February 25 edition of the Kelowna Capital News carried word of the $100,000 donation by the OCSU toward the campaign.

Still more Foundation news was featured in the Westside Weekly on Feb. 24 when the Christian family donation of $75,000 to the Trades Training complex was highlighted.

New aviation-centred awards were the topic of the Kelowna Daily Courier coverage on Page A5 on Feb. 26, outlining ties between distinguished B.C. aviators and opportunities for Okanagan College aviation students.

College-generated stories about water engineering technologists and network and telecommunications engineering technologists featured prominently in the Daily Courier’s special edition of engineering month. Ten different alumni were featured in photos to accompany the two articles.

The affable Alix Hawley earned more editorial space in the Vernon Morning Star with a story about her recently-released novel, All True Not a Lie In It on Feb. 20.

Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan College School of Business, was front and centre in the Kelowna Capital News’ feature on Women in Business in late February. Three female students from the business admin program were in a photograph accompanying the article, in which Banham talked about the community interest in – and support of – the school’s graduates.

Speaking of business, the Okanagan Business Students’ Association Fashion Show earned promotional space in the Feb. 27 edition of the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Dr. Beverlie Dietze and Jane Lister organized a conference in Vernon last Friday focused on Why Children Need Outdoor Play, and brought a capacity crowd together to talk and learn about some of the issues associated with the theme. A press release drew coverage in the Kelowna Daily Courier’s March 3 edition. InfoTel online news service carried the story on Feb. 26. and Castanet carried it the day previous.

A School District 23 information session on dual credit programs that involve OC was the subject of a brief article in the March 8 edition of the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Word that the OC Coyotes were starting the spring season made its way into the Kelowna Capital News on March 6.

Mount Boucherie Grade 12 student Kurtis Jong knows where’s he’s going to be next fall: in Okanagan College’s Business Administration program. He made those plans public in a March 2 article in the Kelowna Daily Courier as he wrote about the My Action Plan program at the school.

CBC’s Dragons' Den came to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on March 4.  The entrepreneurs showed and cajoled, and the Kelowna Capital News was there in its Feb. 25 edition hyping the opportunity to inventors and would-be business people.The paper also reported on the auditions in its March 6 edition, focused in on Donnie Ungaro, (coincidentally Okanagan College’s Young Alumni Award winner in 2014), as he pitched his ethical business model that involves food bikes.

And speaking of entrepreneurs . . . the Kelowna Capital News also carried an article about the Young Entrepreneur Program – Dragons' Den Edition in its Women in Business supplement in late February.

In Vernon, there’s news that the new running track being built on land leased from Okanagan College, is running more than 10 per cent over budget, a fact that didn’t escape the Vernon Morning star in its March 1 front page.

In Penticton, Seedy Saturday (hosted on Okanagan College’s campus in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence) was a success, thanks in part to the promotion carried by the Penticton Herald in its Feb. 27 edition.

Okanagan College’s Red Dot Players performed The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon this year, and eVent Magazine carried an OC press release and supplied photo in its March 3 edition. The Kelowna Capital News carried the story a little earlier (Feb. 25), and repeated it on Feb. 27.

The World Community Travelling Film Festival wends its way to OC’s Kelowna campus from March 12-15 and one of the features this year is The Paddler Movie, which explores the topic of water conservation from the perspective of Bob Purdy – the Kelowna Capital News carried a Kevin Parnell story on Feb. 27.

Yum... Devour – “a culinary showcase for social foodies” – was hosted in the Centre for Learning atrium on March 7 (see News section for important news about the performance of our College's culinary arts team). The Kelowna Daily Courier promoted the sold-out event on Feb. 27.

Enactus Okanagan College earned attention for its role in CANstruction Kelowna in the Kelowna Capital News on Feb. 25 – the group won for Best Use of Label which was also reported on Castanet. A second article on Castanet quoted Enactus'  Program Manager Tiffany Golden.

The federal Liberals’ quest for more female candidates for the next election is successful in the Okanagan, as Alistair Waters noted in the Kelowna Capital News Women in Business section in late February: three of the four candidates in the valley’s ridings are women, including Okanagan College Board of Governors member Connie Denesiuk.

Okanagan College was one of a number of partners who have contributed to a new display at the Revelstoke Musem and Archives – Land of Thundering Snow, which (in part) commemorates the 100th anniversary of an avalanche that killed 58 railway workers in 2010. The Revelstoke Times Review picked up on the opening of the display in its online edition published today.

The support of the BC Wine Information Society for Okanagan College student Kathleen McCaffrey was noted in the Okanagan Falls Daily News online edition. McCaffrey is taking the Viticulture Certificate and benefits from $1,500 support from the society.

New programs featuring the Penticton campus’s BC Wine Information Society Sensory Centre were the focal point of an article in Food and Wine Trails by writer (and OC Instructor) Jennifer Schell.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association South Okanagan branch sponsors a home show each year – among the projects it supports is a bursary for an Okanagan College trades students. That was noted in the Penticton Western News online edition, as was the College’s presence at the show in the form of a booth by Castanet.

Transit improvements were listed when Kelowna City Council considered transit fare increases this week. Among those improvements noted by  were the changes to the transit exchange for Okanagan College on KLO Road.

The website Topix carried a story on the Spaghetti Bridge contest . . . . The Capital News also carried the story in its online version, focusing in on four Okanagan College civil engineering technology students - Rick Schouten, Keanan Millar, Zack Ricketts and Gurleen Gang.

GlobalNews carried an extensive feature on the Skills Canada competition at Okanagan College on its evening broadcast on March 6. You can catch the video here. Castanet also carried video and a story on the Skills Competition.

Irrigation improvements at the Patchwork Community farm on Okanagan College’s Vernon campus were among those projects receiving funding from the Okanagan Water Basin Board this spring, a fact noted in the Lake Country Calendar’s online edition and the Vernon Morning Star.

Okanagan College residential construction students will have a big hand to play in Lake Country’s new food bank, a fact not lost on Castanet news, which carried a story on  progress on the project, as did Global Okanagan.

OC Academic Advisor Kim Strilchuk was among the experts on hand for a student voices forum held in Vernon on Feb. 18 – and the Vernon Morning Star was there to capture her comments.

First-year accounting student Syndey Hofer participated as part of Team B.C.’s curling squad at the Canada Winter Games held recently in Prince George. The team placed fifth, but Hofer’s excitement in participating was captured in an article in the Vernon Morning Star.

School District 23 is searching for the savings that will help it achieve a balanced budget this year as the province indicates it expects the districts to find “administrative savings” – one of the potential areas for savings identified by the school districts includes dual credit programming with Okanagan College, according to Castanet.


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The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Mar.24, 2015.