Nursing Lab Opening draws crowd


nursingclass.jpg A Cabinet Minister, two MLAs, Okanagan College’s Board Chair and President, the Vice-Provost from UBC Okanagan, department chairs and dozens of others – including 26 students – were on hand Friday for the official opening of the College’s nursing lab and facilities on the second floor of the Lab building at the Kelowna campus.


nursingkayla.jpgThe Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, (as well as MLA for Kelowna Mission) brought greetings from the Premier and Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto for the nursing class of 2015, who were assembled in the eight-bed lab for the occasion.


“This is a great initiative for us,” said Thomson. “This investment supports this very, very important partnership between Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan and allows us to build capacity here in the Okanagan and to serve the very critical needs of our health services and the sector here.”


A provincial press release outlined the scope of the investment, and subsequent media coverage picked up on the news.

Plaudits for Young Chef’s event

Call it opinion lubricated by great wines and fed by great culinary talent, but the crowd consensus at the second iteration of the Alexis de Portneuf’s Young Chefs Competition last Thursday was that the event was among (if not the best) event in the annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival calendar.


amstrongvictory.jpgThe event, hosted in Okanagan College’s Centre for Culinary Arts at the Kelowna Campus, and sponsored by the Quebec-based cheese-making firm Alexis de Portneuf, featured three teams of Okanagan College Culinary Arts apprentices, as well as teams from six of the Okanagan’s best restaurants.


The best apprenticeship team was an honour earned by Chef Instructor Jim Armstrong’s students from Infusions restaurant, while the People’s Choice award went to a team from RauDz Regional Table, led by an Okanagan College apprentice Evelyn Takoff.  The judges scored the efforts of Eric Mummery (from the Delta Grand Okanagan) highest for a first-place finish in the event.


The chefs had to use Alexis de Portneuf’s cheeses in a small-plate presentation of an appetizer, main or dessert dish that were paired with product from area wineries.


Discussions are already underway about how to expand the 150-person capacity for the sold-out event for next year.

Accolades for Alumni Honorees


alumni.jpgTwo nationally-known Okanagan College alumni were treated to a night of compliments and acknowledgement on Thursday as the Okanagan College Alumni Association held its annual fete for those who have gone on to do great things.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was given to the Hon. George Abbott, B.C.’s Minister of Education. He has forged a significant political career over the last 15 years, including roles as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Minister of Health, Minister of Sustainable Resource Management, Minister of Community, and Minister of Aboriginal and Women’s Services. Abbott began his studies at Okanagan College in 1971, and also served as a political science instructor beginning in 1989.

Slam poet Shane Koyczan was recognized with the Young Alumni award for his contributions on the international literary scene. He won the US Slam Poetry Championship and Canadian Spoken Word Olympics; he has been featured on BRAVO television, and NPR, BBC, CBC, and ABC (Australia) radio. His first published collection, Visiting Hours, was the only work of poetry selected by both the Guardian and the Globe and Mail for their Best Books of the Year lists. Koyczan has a new novel in verse, Stickboy, which focuses on issues of bullying.

 “When I tend to think of alumni awards they usually go to business students or other academics,” observed Koyczan. “I guess it is rare that an artist gets celebrated, so it is a kind of a nice change of pace.”

“I think it speaks to Okanagan College becoming world class,” said Abbott, as he was interviewed by a reporter after the ceremony. “We’re not only a leader in the province and in the nation, but some of the building and some of the building technology have taken us to the point of international prestige.”


Switchboard shift to help service

Oct. 24 will mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new service centre for students and the public. 

The Kelowna Campus switchboard is going to be transformed into a new service kiosk for students and the public. This new service centre will still provide campus information to most walk-in-traffic, but it will also provide students and others the opportunity to purchase a parking pass, fitness pass and make debit and credit card fee payments. The concept is to provide students with the opportunity to access some services quicker than having to stand in line at the Registrar’s Office.
The switchboard is moving to the Welcome Centre where Darlene Lajeunesse will remain in her current position as the main switchboard operator. The Welcome Centre has also opened up a new student service desk which will provide students with additional support. The desk was developed as a point of access where students can receive assistance on how to go into myOkanagan and find various online services and search the online calendar.
Hours of operation are also changing to align both the Registrar’s Office and Student Services to the College’s institutional hours.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 24, both offices will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from September to the end of April. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May to the end of August. The Registrar’s office plans to have extended hours at the end of August, the first two weeks of September and the first week of January.
The new service centre kiosk will be open year-round from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Don't Miss the Moodle Migration

moodleWork continues on the transition to a new course management system at Okanagan College, with the switch from Blackboard to Moodle. Faculty members can now find a new channel available to them when they log into myOkanagan: a Moodle Migration Channel. The tool contained within that channel allows instructors to review a list of their active Blackboard courses for fall 2011 (and before) and make decisions about whether they are ready for migration to Moodle, and when they want to have them migrated (if at all).


There are some of the Blackboard courses that won’t appear on the lists this fall:

  • distance courses (being handled by Tom Esson)
  • development course sections (being handled by Mike Minions)
  • Winter 2012 course sections ( will appear on the list in Feb., 2012)
  • courses that have a file size of 0mb (that indicates no content)

If you have questions, you can send an e-mail to




IT Services adds three new faces

IT Services has recently hired three new employees.

Moya Webb will be the Senior Programmer/Analyst - she has recently worked as a consultant in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Shawn Teskey will take on the role of Network Services Co-ordinator. He moved from Victoria, where he was most recently employed by the Vancoouver Island Health Authority and the University of Victoria.

Lee Robinson is a familiar face for those who have worked with Institutional Research in the past two years. Lee is taking on the role of Programmer/Analyst.

Sustainability in Education Series

(This week’s example of Sustainability in Education comes from Arnica Rowan in the School of Business.)
In a Management Principles class, there are lots of opportunities to teach students about the environmental and social impacts of business. One of the major units in the class is on controlling organizations, including reporting. I decided to include the basics on Triple Bottom Line reporting, which includes reporting for the 3Ps: people, planet and profit. Technically, the ethics unit is at the end of this class, but I continually wove in tools and ideas like the 3Ps in each chapter. In their major class project, I encouraged the students to judge the case companies not only by their financial success, but by their corporate, social and environmental performance. The more I challenged them, the better they got at looking at a company and its leaders’ performance with a critical eye. Hopefully those foundations of open eyes and ethics will influence the rest of their studies at OC.
(If you have your own 100-150 word Sustainability in Education story please send it to David Williams so that it can be featured in upcoming articles.)

Volunteers sought

Help “Clean the Creek”  at the Kelowna campus. Meet at the bridge between the Student Residences and the Water Treatment Centre on Oct. 19th @ 3:30.  Treats will be provided.  Wear sturdy shoes as area is slippery if it rains.  Gloves, plastic bags and pinchers are provided. Please call Angie at loc. 4501 if you would like to help out.  See you out there!

Career Fair Assistance appreciated

 Okanagan College will host the 2011 Career Fair on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.  Volunteers are needed at host tables to direct visitors and provide information.  Volunteers will receive a complimentary lunch and invitation to the post-fair reception as well as a thank-you gift.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Michelle Lowry.

Be A Santa Shuffler

While most College employees are probably not wanting to think about winter quite yet, the deadline for registration for the Santa Shuffle is fast approaching so Michelle Sinclair is looking for people to join the Okanagan College Team this year.  In 2009, the College registered one team of 10 people and in 2010 was able to register two full teams of 10.  Michelle is hoping for 3 full teams of 10 this year!
The event takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. and starts at the Mission Creek Greenway by the EECO Centre.  It is a 5km FUN run/walk and is by no means a race (although some people do choose to race it!)  Participants can run or walk at their own pace and it’s about having Fun! The cost is based on a full team of 10 people so would break down to $17.50 per person.  Team members can choose to raise pledges, which go to the Salvation Army to feed families at Christmas – every $100 raised will feed one family and there are some great prize incentives for those who do raise money.
So, if you’d like to participate in this fun event and come out to run or walk the 5km route, please email Michelle Sinclair  by Friday, Oct. 14.  (If you are unable to join us, please consider sponsoring someone who is running or walking.)

Red Dot Players to perform Blithe Spirit

Okanagan College's Red Dot Players have settled on Blithe Spirit as the focus for their dramatic efforts. If you're interested in auditioning, your opportunity comes:

  • Nov. 16, 4 - 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 17, 4-6 p.m.
  • Nov. 18, 11 a.m.- noon
  • Nov. 20, 2 - 4 p.m.

All auditions will be held in the Kelowna Lecture Theatre. To stay in touch with the developments around the play, visit the Red Dot Players' website.






Roll up that sleeve

It’s that time of year again – and Okanagan College is offering employees the opportunity to receive a flu vaccination.  The vaccine is offered as a service to Okanagan College employees only and participation is voluntary.  Any questions regarding the type of vaccination or the after effects should be discussed with your family physician.  Also see the attached Seasonal Flu Vaccine Info Sheet.
As in previous years, Okanagan College will pay 50 per cent of the total cost.  Please bring a CHEQUE with you, payable to Okanagan College or exact change only, for your portion of the vaccination ($10).  If you plan on attending the flu clinic at any of the following locations, also fill out the consent form (Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire & Consent form) ahead of time in order to move the clinic along smoothly (except for the signature and date) as those are completed when the nurse is present.
The clinics will be held as follows: 

  • KELOWNA Thursday, Oct. 20, 8 a.m.- 4p.m., The Pit, Student Services Building 
  • PENTICTON, Thursday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Rm A06A, Sunoka Bldng.
  • SALMON ARM, Thursday, Oct. 20, Noon to 1 p.m., Rm 153  
  • VERNON, Tues., Oct. 18, Noon to 2 p.m., Rm E105.              

If you have any questions, please contact Matt Robertson at local 4573.


Canada Savings Bonds available

Canada Savings Bonds are now available through the Payroll Savings Program. You can only purchase Canada Savings Bonds (CSB’s) during the month of October so please visit the website as soon as possible! For more information on how you can purchase CSB’s and the benefits of doing so, please click here. If you have any questions please contact Vicki Pannell at extension 4312 or Cathy Schwarz at 4234.


Survey says . . .

 The Library needs instructor and faculty help with a survey focused on citations.
Okanagan College Library’s Citation Expectations and Realities faculty and instructor survey is now live and was distributed via email on Oct. 3 to all faculty and instructors in Business, Science, Arts, Health, and Technologies departments. The overall purpose of this study is to foster citation support and instruction offered at Okanagan College Library by incorporating evidence-based decision making practices. A sample of students has also received invitations to participate in a similar survey.

The library is encouraging your voluntary participation in a short confidential survey that will help identify your expectations of students’ citation knowledge and abilities, your students’ current citation skills, current departmental citation practices, and faculty/instructor opinions related to citation instruction and support. This study builds upon the results of the Library’s Research Skills Survey, conducted in April, 2011. Your input will help the Library in its development and delivery of citation support and instruction.

If you have additional questions or comments about this study or the survey, please do not hesitate to contact the principal investigators:
Roën Janyk, Web Services Librarian, ext.4660
Leanna Jantzi, Business/Public Services Librarian,  ext. 4624

Trick or treat trip being planned

The children from Little Scholars daycare and preschool will tour the Kelowna campus again this year for Halloween on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011. Departments that would like a visit from little princesses, ghosts and goblins can email Spiderman’s mom.


50-50 Winner

Congratulations to Roger Blenkarn from the Plumbing Department at the Salmon Arm Campus, who has won the Friday October 7, 2011 payday draw for $585!
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 Tessa Derksen (Local 4774) in the Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (located in P103, KLO Campus), from Human Resources, or online .  




Brett Lawry tags up for Coyotes’ fundraiser

Okanagan College athletes and those who support them will have the opportunity to share breakfast with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Brett Lawrie, the dynamic third baseman from Langley, who exploded onto the Major League scene earlier this year. 

brettlawry.jpgLawrie will be the featured guest speaker at the second annual Okanagan College Coyotes Athletic fundraiser breakfast, on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 7 – 9 a.m. at the Coast Capri Hotel. 

At just 21 years of age, Lawrie’s path to the major leagues took him from Langley, through the minors with the Milwaukie Brewers, and then to the Blue Jays. Tickets for the event are $100 per person or $750 for a table of eight. cotnact the athletics office at ext. 4754 to reserve your tickets.

New opportunities for aviation careers

Students with an interest in aviation have a new opportunity to turn their passion into a profession. Okanagan College is offering an information session for anyone interested in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Structures (AME-S) program on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Kelowna Aerospace campus.
The first intake of the new program is scheduled to start Feb. 6, 2012 in Kelowna. The 37-week full-time program combines classroom training with hands-on training that takes students through the intricacies of inspections and repairs, with a heavy focus on fabrication.

First Annual Trunk Sale

Can’t hold your own garage sale, but want to sell, trade or give away some of your unwanted or pre-loved stuff?  Then you’ll want to take part in the first annual Trunk Sale at Okanagan College, Saturday Oct. 15. Organized by the Regional Waste Reduction Office, the event champions’ reuse and recycling, and is an opportunity to lessen the amount of unwanted and unused items ending up in our landfill.

(ALERT - If you want to participate, you need to register by the end of today, Oct. 11.)

If you want to come shopping, the sale runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Penticton Open House Oct. 29

The South Okanagan Similkameen region is hosting an open house at the Penticton campus on Oct. 29. details of the event will be posted on the campus web page and featured in the next edition of Inside Okanagan College.

Science World at Okanagan College

Okanagan College will host the 2011 Career Fair and Community Science Celebration on Sunday, November 6 from 10:30 am – 3 pm at the Kelowna campus.  Contact Michelle Lowry for more information.



News of record enrolments spawned significant media interest, from the article in the Vernon Morning Star, to the Kelowna Capital News.


Shane Koyczan was the focus of a front–page article in the Okanagan Sunday, when he talked about his time and instructors at the College. 


The donation by one foundation – the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan – to another (the Okanagan College Foundation), earned prominent coverage in the Penticton Herald, as news of the donation of $6,564 for fitness equipment at the College was announced. 


The news release announcing the winner of the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature earned ink in the Vernon Morning Star on Sept. 23, in the Summerland Review, as well as in the Penticton Herald.


Jane Muskens’ column, School’s In, shone a light on aircraft maintenance engineering programs on Oct. 7 in the Kelowna Capital News. In her column a week earlier, she focused on the importance of policy-makers, educators, administrators and politicians ensuring there is a connection between employers and those who are seeking jobs. 


The OC Coyotes baseball team match-up with the VIU Mariners was subject of a preview in the Kelowna Capital News on Sept. 30. The outcome was reported on the following Friday  – manager Bill Bayne said it was a good weekend, except for the opening game. The Coyotes hockey team, meanwhile, drew photo space in the Penticton Herald and the Kelowna Daily Courier on Oct. 5, when a shot on net against the Selkirk College Saints by Marc MacKenzie hit the post, rebounded and was  slammed into the net by James Neitsch. The Coyotes won 5-3. Their next game is Oct. 14 when they take on the Simon Fraser University Clan at 7:45 at Memorial Arean in Kelowna. (A preview of this year’s edition of the Coyotes, by the way, was provided in the Daily Courier’s sports section on Sept. 30.)


The news of Brett Lawrie coming to the Coyotes fundraising breakfast, was reported in the Daily Courier on Oct. 7.


SIFE earned more press coverage in late September, when a Daily Courier reporter focused in how an $800 investment from TELUS, United Way and Interior Savings, was turned into $3,500 to be used for microlending to entreprenurs in underdeveloped programs, through a project called Instill Life.


Jim Armstrong’s new role as Chef Instructor at Infusions restaurant earned a media hit in the Daily Courier on Sept. 30.


A beaming Sam Miller of Summerland was on one end of a cheque presented by the Summerland Rotary Club to help the young man with his studies in physics and computer science at the Penticton campus.


Transit woes at UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College– and planned solutions – were the subject of two articles in the Capital News  and Okanagan Saturday.


The Kalamalka Institute for Working Writer’s writer-in-residence, Brenda Schmidt, says she draws inspiration from her time at the Mackie House in Coldstream. In a Vernon Morning Star profile, she reflected on how she has come to appreciate what Mackie House is and how it serves the creative processes.


An Okanagan College alumna, Shelley Clarke, has announced her intention to run again as a trustee for the Okanagan Skaha School District.


Business Admin alumni and former Okanagan College employee Bobby Gidda and his wife Harpreet had ear-to-ear smiles in a front-page photo on the Okanagan Saturday as the family’s winery, Volcanic Hills, was named as Best New Winery of the Year in the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, and claimed three of nine prizes in the People’s Choice awards.


The Young Chefs competition and the Okanagan College Alumni Association awards evening drew Global Television to the scene on Oct. 4 for back-to-back coverage on its evening newscast.


Friday’s celebration of the opening of the new nursing lab in Kelowna also earned television coverage, with three MLAs in attendance.


Chef Jim Armstrong caught the attention of Shaw TV producers and ended up in a starring role.

A delegation of Korean architects and engineers toured the Centre of Excellence in Penticton (with Okanagan College Vice President Andrew Hay, and associate dean Douglas Macleod  as guides), and the TV cameras were rolling to talk to Canada Mortgage and Housing’s Doug Pollard about the importance of new building technologies and inspiring international interest.

Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer. To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, Oct. 25.