Campaign profiles Alumni - and shows that Okanagan College Works

Proud alumni and pleased employers are at the heart of a new campaign that was launched this week by Okanagan College and the Alumni Association. The campaign - Okanagan College Works - highlights the successes and contributions of Okanagan College’s alumni, students, employees and employer partners.

Events were held in Salmon Arm, Kelowna and Penticton to launch the campaign where President Jim Hamilton, alumni and staff unveiled a series of TV commercials and print ads, that will reinforce the message of the campaign. View two sample commercials by following these links (TELUS) and (MacKay) - you will need quicktime to view these commercials (free download). Read a press release and visit the website:

Campus to Campus

marathonA record number of runners took to the pavement when Okanagan College hosted the sixth annual Campus to Campus Half Marathon and Bookworm Relay Race on Sunday, March 30. Finishing the race in first place was Kelowna’s Rory Switzer with a time of 1:17:16. The top female of the day was Yulia Yastrebova who finished in 1:25:43. In the relay category a team from UBC Okanagan took top spot with a combined time of 1:26:19. Randy Werger was Okanagan College’s top finisher, coming in seventh place with a time of 1:25:28. You can see the complete results here.

Marlene and Michael take on Ottawa

isaacMarlene Isaac, director of International Education and Michael Patterson, associate director International Marketing and Promotions joined Robert Fine, executive director of the EDC, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get an up close look at Parliament during a visit to Ottawa to meet with the Canadian International Development Agency and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Marlene and Michael were in Canada’s capital to discuss the Caribbean scholarship program, funding for a Jamaican upgrading program and the College’s Caribbean initiatives. Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan and his wife Cindy treated Marlene, Michael and Robert to a personal tour of parliament that included the opportunity to sit in the Speaker’s Chairs.

Adopt a Trail event a success

Staff and students from the Penticton campus took part in a very successful second-annual Adopt-a-Trail event. The group of volunteers was diverse and included members of the Penticton Junior Vees hockey team, who all came out to help clean up the creek.

Home for Learning groundbreaking

joeKelowna’s fourth Home for Learning project was officially launched last week at a groundbreaking event at the site of the 5,000 square-foot home in Kettle Valley. Students, instructors, partners and College staff were on hand to make the first dig with golden shovels. The 11 students in the Residential Construction program are now working on the site in the Village of Kettle Valley under the leadership of Jim Lamb, Vintage Design.

Creative Writing students host exhibit

Okanagan College’s Kelowna Creative Writing class (English 126) will host an exhibit from 8 – 10 p.m. on April 15 at the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna. The event will feature Creative Writing students reading their work, showing videos, playing audio and peddling their book ($10). Contact Jake Kennedy or Matt Kavanagh for more information.  

Civil Engineering students compete for accuracy and distance with trebuchets

catapultCivil Engineering students in Marc Arellano’s Comm. 143 class in Kelowna had the chance to put their communications and engineering skills to the test when they were asked to design a trebuchet, analyze the technical aspects of the device, discuss the issues regarding small group communications and then present their results in a culminating report.

"I was really surprised with the energy and passion that the students put into their trebuchets," said Arellano. "Some of the groups even got outside sponsors to cover construction costs."

Watch as the Centre for Learning is built

There's a 24-hour-a-day webcam in place that will help you keep track of the progress on the Centre for Learning work site . Staff and students can log on to view up-to-the-minute progress of the construction. Follow this link or select the Central Okanagan region from the homepage and follow the building our future link to the Centre for Learning button and view the webcam.


A $6.94-million donation to support Southern Interior students made the pages of the Penticton Western News and Kelowna Capital News. Read more about how the funding will affect Okanagan College students in: Students share in awards funding and College trades programs receive new infusion of funding.

April’s edition of Forever Young profiled Okanagan College student Toni Gallicano as one of the many students who benefit from the support of the Okanagan College Foundation. Read about Toni’s story in Recipients and donors share in the joy.

The Campus to Campus Half Marathon and Bookworm Relay Race received coverage in the Kelowna Capital News, Kelowna Daily Courier and Penticton Herald. Read about the event in: Kelowna runner holds on to early lead in half marathon, Switzer not too cool for school marathon and Macdonald cracks top 5.

In other athletics news, UBC Okanagan selected a new name for its athletics program. Read coverage in the Okanagan Saturday: Lakers no more: meet the Heat.

The Penticton campus’s Adopt-a-Trail event was covered in the Penticton Western News and Penticton Herald: Volunteers give creek a spring cleaning and University women, college lead way for trail cleanup.

Aaron Cunsolo, a second-year engineering student in Marc Arellano’s communications course was photographed with a trebuchet he built for the class as part of a communications project. Check it out in: Fire at will.

The Kelowna and Summerland Home for Learning projects held groundbreaking events and received coverage in the Kelowna Daily Courier, Okanagan Saturday, Penticton Western News and Summerland Review. Read the corresponding articles: Student builders busy, Building partnerships for the students, College builds on trade skills and Students begin work on house.

School District 23’s superintendent Mike Roberts wrote an article for the Kelowna Daily Courier in which he made the case for the importance of dual credit program for secondary school students. Read more in: Making the programs fit the students.

The new culinary arts program offered in partnership between Mount Boucherie Secondary School and Okanagan College received profile in the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in: Culinary arts dual credit program a tasty choice.

A career fair hosted by the Penticton Rotary Club received coverage in the Penticton Herald with comments from Okanagan College Board of Governors member Brian Hughes. Read about the event in: Exploring careers through an interactive career expo.

A group of four Okanagan College business students recently won a top award from Burton Snowboards for a video they shot and edited chronicling their experience poaching two ski resorts in Utah. Poaching is the terminology used by snowboarders who ride on hills that only allow skiers. Read about the group in an article published by the Oliver Chronicle: Students break boundaries, earn bucks by snowboarding where they aren’t wanted – or follow this link to listen to Sid Ruhland who appeared on CBC radio this morning. (This file is 8 MB and may take a few minutes to download).

A letter to the editor from Okanagan College’s Wilma van der Veen appeared in the Kelowna Capital News. Wilma highlighted the success of Okanagan College’s World Water Day (March 19 in Kelowna). Read more in: Okanagan College held its own events on Water Day.

Christine Ulmer published a full-page piece in the Kelowna Capital News about the upcoming Kelowna 2008 BC Summer Games. Read about the games and how Kelowna is setting the stage for an exceptional event for youth this July. Read more in: Personal Best – Kelowna’s campaign to host a preeminent BC Summer Games, and how you can contribute.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In columns tackled issues in post-secondary. Read more in: Challenging ordeal for students and Getting credit for work you’ve already done.

In Stan Chung’s Global Citizen column Stan shared his thoughts on bettering the Olympic Games. Read more in: Top 10 changes to fix Olympic Games.



In Memoriam: Israel Dandjo

A funeral service for Israel Dandjo was held this morning in Vernon. Israel taught Economics at Okanagan College's Kalamalka campus for the past 24 years and was a much-beloved professor and colleague. 

Elvia Picco joins Okanagan College

elviaOkanagan College welcomes Elvia Picco to the department of Advancement at Okanagan College in the role of major gifts officer for the College's Capital Fundraising campaign. Elvia has experience working in Calgary for 10 years in the Public Affairs department of a major oil and gas company, where she managed the community investment portfolio. During that time, she also developed many partnership initiatives with non-profits, organizations and educational institutions across Canada. Elvia also lived in Banff and worked as Director of Development at The Banff Centre. Prior to joining Okanagan College Elvia worked on event management projects and provided communications consulting in Kelowna.


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 April 25, 2008.

April 11, 2008, Vol. 1 Issue 26


Salmon Arm celebrates book launch for two faculty

A wine and cheese reception to celebrate book launches for Salmon Arm’s Dr. Xiaoping Li and Dr. Chris Clarkson will take place on April 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Salmon Arm cafeteria.
Dr. Xiaoping Li’s Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism examines Asian Canadian political and cultural activism in the late twentieth century, drawing on historical sources and personal testimonies to discuss the processes and politics of community building, identity making, racial equity, and social justice.

Dr. Chris Clarkson’s Domestic Reforms: Political Visions and Family Regulation in British Columbia, 1862-1940 asks why male legislators in late nineteenth and early twentieth century British Columbia granted married women new rights over property, altered wives’ and children’s inheritance rights, and increased married men’s support obligations; the study also examines public responses to the legislation, and investigates why policy reforms frequently produced unintended consequences. 

Bike to Work Week

The Kelowna campus is encouraging staff to participate in Bike to Work Week from May 5-9. Okanagan College’s Paul Stephenson will keep track of miles logged by staff. To qualify, you need to ride to work at least once during that week. Paul will tally the total team distance as the College competes against other organizations. There is a free breakfast for participants from 6:45-8:45 a.m. on May 5 at City Park and May 8 at Gyro Beach.  If you would like to participate, please email your name, sex and distance between home and work (one way) to Paul.

Support children in BC on Jeans Day

Help support the BC Children's Hospital by wearing your jeans to work on April 24. This fun and easy event will benefit BC Children’s Hospital. If you would like to wear your jeans to work on April 24 and support Jeans Day then purchase a button for $5 or a collectible lapel pin for $20 by contacting Michelle Lowry by April 16. BC Children’s Hospital is the province’s only tertiary child healthcare facility dedicated to providing the best pediatric clinical care, research and education for children and families in BC.  The care provided is tailored to the unique needs of our children.

CS can tune up your Office skills

A free Office 2007 seminar is being offered to all staff by Continuing Studies in Kelowna. The training will take place on May 14 from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. in room A142 at the Kelowna campus. Call Continuing Studies (862-5480) to register. Seats are limited so please register early.  

Travel expense update

Canada Revenue Agency requires that travel allowances paid to an employee that are not for reimbursement of specific expenses and are within the region of employment, be claimed as taxable income. As a result, beginning January 1, 2008 all meals that are/were not accompanied by a receipt (per-diem amounts), for travel within the Okanagan, will be paid through payroll and will be included in Box 40 and Box 14 of the employee’s T4 as taxable income. Meal reimbursements and allowances for professional development or out of the region (Vancouver, US etc) are non-taxable. If you have any questions please refer to CRA's website or contact Vicki Pannell in Payroll.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Lorrie Forde from Continuing Studies in Penticton who won today's payday draw for $447.50 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.

BC Games Torch

torchA torchlighting ceremony to mark 100 days until the official opening of the BC Summer Games will take place on Monday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna. The event will be hosted by Global BC’s Jay Janower and will feature a music performance by 13-year-old award-winning singer/songwriter Jackson Cook. The event will see 10 of the top athletes from the 2008 BC Winter Games carry the flame to the torch. The BC Games torch was designed by Okanagan College’s Freya Fullner and built by the College’s Welding class of 1981. Everyone is welcome to attend the event. To volunteer for the Games visit


April 13 – Join Okanagan College staff for a hike up Knox Mountain in Kelowna from 1 - 4 p.m. Contact Alicia King for more information.

April 14 – Celebrate the spirit of competition as the province’s largest multi-sport competition for youth kicks off in Kelowna with a torchlighting ceremony for the Kelowna 2008 BC Summer Games. The event takes place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts at 7 p.m.

April 15 – Okanagan College’s Kelowna Creative Writing class (English 126) will host an exhibit from 8 – 10 p.m. at the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna. The event will feature Creative Writing students reading their work, showing videos, playing audio and peddling their book ($10). Contact Jake Kennedy or Matt Kavanagh for more information.  

April 15 – Celebrate the achievements of two Salmon Arm faculty members who have both recently published books. A launch party for Dr. Xiaoping Li’s Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism and Dr. Chris Clarkson’s Domestic Reforms: Political Visions and Family Regulation in British Columbia, 1862-1940. The wine and cheese event takes place at 4:30 p.m. in the Salmon Arm cafeteria.

April 16 – 26 – The Kelowna campus lecture theatre is the venue for the Theatre Kelowna Society’s production of Opening Night, a play written by one of Canada’s most prolific and popular playwrights, Norm Foster. The play runs Wed - Sat beginning at 8 p.m. and includes a Sunday matinee on April 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets to the April 16 performance can be purchased for $10 through Angie March. Ticket price includes champagne and canapés.

April 18 & 19 – Gallery Vertigo in Vernon will be the site of a handmade book exhibit at 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday. The College’s own Jason Dewinetz (also an award-winning book designer) will present on the subject of the challenges and pleasures of micro-press publishing as well as discussing the aesthetics and construction of handmade books. An assortment of micro-, small- and fine-press handmade books from publishers across BC will be on display. 

April 24 – Ever wondered what hidden talents lurk beneath the surface of Vernon’s Regional Dean? Join colleagues for an evening with John Lent on Thursday, from 4-6:30 p.m. at Suds ‘n Slides. The free event takes place at the Minstrel Café (4638 Lakeshore Road) in Kelowna.

May 22 - Mark your calendar...the 2008 Annual Charity Okanagan College Foundation/Whillis Harding Agencies Golf Tournament and Silent Auction will held on Thursday, May 22 at the Okanagan Golf Club (Quail Course). Spaces are limited and filling up quickly! To register or for more information, email Renee Huska or Dawn Douglas, or call 862-5630.

May 25 – The Penticton Philosopher’s Café will feature an evening with John Ralston Saul: Musings about Canada’s Global Future. Join the award-winning essayist and novelist as he examines the future of Canada’s global military and economic role. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Penticton High Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College or the Tumbleweed Gallery (adults $10, students $7, at the door $15).

There's another event on Monday, a chance to dine with John Ralston Saul at the Front Street Bar and Bistro. It's a limited-audience event, though, and tickets are a little more: $200. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Okanagan College Foundation.

June 20 – Okanagan College’s men’s golf tournament will take place at Kelowna Springs with tee times starting at 3:44 p.m. The tourney is a nine-hole challenge – email Jim Gamble to register.

June 25 – The women’s tourney will take place at Michaelbrook in Kelowna beginning at 5 p.m. (shotgun start). Thirty-five dollars will get you nine holes, dinner and prizes. Register with Angie March.


IR Factlets

In last year's Student Satisfaction Survey, over 86 per cent of respondents answered they feel they will achieve their educational goals. The 30- to 34-year-old group was the most confident group with 100 per cent agreeing they will achieve their goals. Personal attention from staff and faculty was cited as the most important motivation to come to Okanagan College. See the report on myokanagan.  This year's satisfaction survey is now live until the end of the month. Contact Jan O'Brien if you have any questions.

Library question of the month

What library service(s) do you value most?

Comments were varied, and included the following:
•    I like the ability to send articles to yourself. It really helps when you have to work and go to school
•    I enjoy the staff a lot - they are great
•    I have not got enough money for a computer so I really like the ability to borrow laptops, but I wish they were free for longer
•    I love having access to many different periodicals!
•    I value the librarians the most in the library as they are always willing to help anyone at anytime

Log in to to read the comments in detail.