Long Term Education Plan Development

How do we embed sustainability into our educational programming? How do we respond to changing demographics? Better integrate programs with each other? Address a growing innovation agenda for Canada’s colleges? These questions are just some of those posed and addressed in the most recent draft of the Long Term Education Plan.

The office of the VP Education will be holding Long Term Education Plan consultation sessions during the month of April in each region to provide an opportunity for employees to discuss the Long Term Education Plan as Okanagan College works toward the final version.

Those who are interested in taking part but are unable to attend the sessions, feedback and comments are welcome and can be offered by emailing Heather Stewart.

The Long Term Education Plan can be viewed online. Follow this link to view the schedule for consultation sessions.

Connections 2011 – last chance to submit learning session ideas

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for learning sessions you would like to see at Connections 2011, the College’s annual employee learning conference? Have a skill or knowledge you can share by leading a session?

Whether work related or of broader interest, the Connections committee is looking for ideas for sessions that will appeal to all employees of the College - from support staff, facilities, and IT services, to instructional staff and faculty.

What you would like to see in these sessions? Whether you are part time or full time, continuing or term contract, please send your ideas by April 15 to Jasmine McGee at ext. 4664 or Kaya Forest at ext. 3222.

Be sure to keep an eye on Inside Okanagan College for registration details in the coming weeks, and plan to join Connections at the Penticton campus on either Tuesday, August 23 or Wednesday, August 24.

Aboriginal students celebrate graduation

aboriginalgradOkanagan College held its second annual Aboriginal graduation ceremony and celebration on Saturday, April 9 in Kelowna. The event included performances from Pow Wow dancers Crystal Prince, Phoenix Wilson-Prince and Ryken Fulton. Aboriginal musician Kim Gouchie performed and Okanagan College student Alex Augier performed a traditional drum song.

Kacheena Naytowhow, Aboriginal BBA student, provided an inspiring keynote address that followed remarks from President Jim Hamilton.

Agenda will focus on next steps after ALC decision

Okanagan College and its partners are considering their options after
 receiving news that the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) will not approve an application to reclassify 10 acres of the Vernon campus for a non-conforming use to allow development of a multi-use sports facility.

The application for reclassification would have moved the College, Regional District of the North Okanagan and the District of Coldstream one step closer toward their goal of developing a $7.8-million multi-use sports facility that would have included an Olympic size rubberized track, artificial playing field and field house, all for use by a variety of community groups.

The partners applied to the commission earlier this year after several years of cooperative planning and significant support from potential user groups. 
The Regional District of the North Okanagan and Okanagan College entered into a lease agreement in December giving the Regional District the ability to affordably lease the land from the College in order to build and operate the facility. 

“Obviously we had hoped for a different outcome,” explained North Okanagan Regional Dean John Lent. “We have to respect the mandate and responsibilities of the ALC. At this point we will be consulting with all involved parties including the College’s Board of Governors.”

In its letter to Okanagan College, the ALC concluded the proposed 10 acre piece of land is suitable for agricultural use and that if moved out of the ALR the potential of the property for agricultural development would be negatively impacted.

TELUS campaign raises $50,000 for Centre of Excellence

telusOne year after committing to donate $100 to Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence for every new TELUS TV customer in the South Okanagan, TELUS announced a $50,000 contribution to the Okanagan College Foundation to help support the region’s most innovative and sustainable building development.  

TELUS General Manager Steve Jenkins along with 10 local TELUS employees spent last Wednesday morning at the College’s Penticton campus where the group enjoyed breakfast with students before announcing the donation.

“We came up with the idea for this campaign as a means of delivering on our commitment to give where we live,” explained Jenkins. “By contributing to the Centre of Excellence we are taking the opportunity to become a part of the legacy Okanagan College is creating through this innovative development.”

“It is incredible to witness the difference community-minded organizations such as TELUS can make when they take the time to consider the needs of the future generations,” explained Jim Henderson, President of the Okanagan College Foundation. 

Follow this link to read the complete press release or watch a clip from CHBC.

Partnership opens the door for opportunities in writing and publishing

Last week Okanagan College and partners College of the Rockies and Selkirk College announced a new agreement that will allow students from the Kootenay institutions to transfer directly into the second year of Okanagan College’s Diploma in Writing and Publishing. 

The initiative is part of the Southern Interior Writers’ Project—a joint undertaking, which creates new and improved services for learners through the smooth transferability of writing courses between post-secondary institutions.

As part of the agreement, Okanagan College will reserve a total of 10 seats for students coming from College of the Rockies and Selkirk. Students will be required to complete 30 credits, which include a combination of writing, English and business courses, prior to enrolling in the second year of the Writing and Publishing program at Okanagan College.

“This collaboration marks the beginning of the creation of a distinct community of students and teachers of writing and publishing in the Interior of British Columbia,” said Okanagan College’s Regional Dean of the North Okanagan, John Lent. “We have been working towards this kind of partnership among these three colleges for a few years now and are excited by the potential it will open up for sharing students, courses, writers, magazines and presses.”

Nominate the next Distinguished or Young Alumni

What do Chief Robert Louie, Launi Skinner and Mark Regier all have in common? They are among a rich collection of alumni who have been recognized by Okanagan College with distinguished or young alumni awards.

Nominations are now open, and easier than ever to complete, for the 2011 Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards.  

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni of Okanagan College and OUC for their contributions to their communities and demonstration of excellence in the areas of: leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts, and/or support for OUC or Okanagan College.

To qualify as distinguished or young alumni, nominees must have completed a certificate, diploma, degree, apprenticeship program or have completed a minimum of 30 academic credits at Okanagan College or OUC. 

The Young Alumni Award will recognize the outstanding contributions of an alumna or alumnus who is under the age of 35.  

The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 29, 2011. Nominations may be made by completing an online form available at:

TELUS and Alumni Association host mentorship events

mentorOkanagan College welcomed staff from TELUS Communications and Capri Insurance to the Kelowna campus in March to host the first events in the Alumni Mentorship Luncheon Series.  

The series brings industry representatives on campus to meet with students to share their career paths, discuss industry expectations, job opportunities and current realities. 

Each session includes an introductory speaker and is followed by a series of “speed dating” sessions that give students the chance to meet with industry professionals for 10 minutes at a time.  

Students were able to ask questions and hear first-hand about the career paths, salary and industry expectations from several different representatives. According to the survey response, 96 per cent of respondents felt that the event was beneficial or extremely beneficial.

The Alumni Mentorship Luncheon series was made possible, in part, due to the Innovation Fund, which provided funding for the staff support required to establish the program. For information about the series or to request an event for your program area, please contact Katerina Hay at local 4771.

Salmon Arm students taught how to chill out

stressStudents at the Salmon Arm campus had a lesson in stress reduction on April 5 during the Stress Less Fair.

“We really wanted students to head into their exams feeling calm. The fair was a way to show students how to do that with exercise, easy, healthy snacks and smart studying,” said Susan Cawsey, counsellor, educational advisor and disability services coordinator. 

The Stress Less Fair featured Zumba, yoga and meditation sessions in the Gathering Centre. Students also got their heart rates up by dodging balls and waterfalls with Xbox Kinect sports before cooling down with a free chair massage. 

The fair offered a feast of study snacks ranging from roasted soy nuts and skim milk to hummus on pitas, and all participants took home a handout on tips to reduce exam anxiety. Several lucky students won stress-busting prizes such as fitness passes and grocery store gift certificates.


Last Words

Matt Kavanagh's most recent piece in the Globe and Mail examines the last work by a literary giant: David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel The Pale King. After he died in 2008, Wallace's papers were placed in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas (Austin), where Matt has conducted archival research on Wallace and fellow novelist Don DeLillo.

Among his finds, Matt discovered correspondence between the two authors. He was probably most excited, though, by stumbling over a letter DeLillo wrote to a friend in the late 1970s extolling the virtues of Toronto Maple Leaf defenceman Borje Salming--as a rabidly persevering Leafs fan, Matt felt a bit of grace in seeing one of his favourite writers demonstrate impeccable good taste.

Matt plans to return to the Ransom Center soon to carry on with his research. Both his last trip and his upcoming one have been funded by Okanagan College through grants-in-aid. He's grateful for the support.

Masami Kostiuk receives Spirit of Kelowna award

japanOkanagan College’s International Student Services Assistant, Masami Kostiuk and the work of a group of international students at Okanagan College were recently recognized by Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd with the Spirit of Kelowna award for their efforts to raise money and awareness about the issues facing the people of Japan.

The group’s initiative, Hope for Japan, included the development of a t-shirt and volunteer campaign to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross. The team has undertaken fundraising initiatives and attended events in communities from Penticton to Salmon Arm. To date, the group has sold more than 1,800 shirts and raised $15,000 for the Canadian Red Cross.

Vice President Steve Koehle congratulated the group for their efforts, saying “You have shown great compassion and strong leadership during a very difficult time, and you have brought honour and recognition to our institution and students.”

Follow this link
to read the letter from Mayor Shepherd.

Ryga poet shortlisted for prestigious prize

suzanneWith its next issue about to hit the stands, Ryga is proud to congratulate one of its earliest contributors on being shortlisted for Canada’s most lucrative award given for a book of poetry.

Suzanne Buffam’s latest book, The Irrationalist, has been named to the Canadian short list for her the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Ryga: A Journal of Provocations, the literary journal published by the English Department at Okanagan College, published poems from Buffam's much-praised collection in its second issue (Winter 2010).

The Griffin announcement describes Buffam’s book as “a swift, durable, protean argument for the necessity of interior maps in a world that may be on the eve of extinction, but whose darkness is continually illuminated by a pyrotechnics of curiosity, candour, and wit.”

The seven finalists – three Canadian and four International – will be invited to read in Toronto at Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto on May 31. Follow this link to read more about the Griffin Poetry finalists and to find out more about Suzanne Buffam.

RV students receive industry honours

rvFour Okanagan College RV Service Technician students recently received a series of awards for achievement in their program. Associate Dean Randy Werger presented several of the awards, including the Earlybird/Snowbird RV Show Award to Jean Tetu (seen in the photo).

Other awards and recipients included: the Des Moore Award, presented to Mark Noakes; the RV Tech Award, presented to Trevor Gardner; and a second Earlybird/Snowbird RV Show award, presented to Ted Whitmore.

Business Admin students simulate to success

Take two teams of four Okanagan College Business Administration students, ask them to operate an imaginary airline in competition with students from four other B.C. colleges and the results will give lift to Okanagan College’s continued record of success at the B.C. Business Simulation Competition.

Okanagan College’s sophomore and senior teams won top prizes in their categories at the 22nd version of Simulation Competition, which was held at the College’s Kelowna campus in late March. Okanagan College’s senior team was comprised of Haley Ryan, Vanessa Wittel, Jonny Webber, and Robert McEwen. Amanda Blanchard, Meghan Hidber, Kyle Yakiwchuk and Lingjun Zhao were the members of the sophomore team.

Last year, at the Business Simulation Competition, the College team won 14 of 16 possible gold medals. This year, the teams won four of ten gold medals and two silver medals.  Beside the two top team medals, Okanagan College students won:

• Gold medal, Top Communications (senior team)
• Gold Medal, Top Financial Manager – Vanessa Wittel
• Silver Medal, Top HR Manager – Jonny Webber
• Silver Medal, Top CEO, Vanessa Wittel
• Bronze Medal, Top Marketing Manager – Haley Ryan

Follow this link to read the complete press release.

Fezzies raises $2,000 for Red Cross

fezziesStaff from both Kelowna locations of Fezziwig’s Artisan Bakery and Café joined Okanagan College students and staff from International Education in their Hope for Japan campaign.

For a period of 12 days, staff donated their tips as well as $.10 from every cup of coffee sold to the Hope for Japan cause. In less than two weeks the staff had collected $2,000, all of which was donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

Arellano hosts DVD launch for Strange Fruit

strangefruitCommunications professor Marc Arellano will launch the DVD of his award-winning documentary, Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in The Central Okanagan at an event at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on April 28 between 5 – 6 p.m. at Infusions. 

“I feel like my documentary has captured a vanishing way of life,” said Arellano. “So many trees have been cut down and so many orchards have gone up for sale since I started this project in 2008. The situation doesn’t seem to be getting better for local orchardists.”

In the effort to raise awareness about the importance of local food production and educate a new generation of concerned citizens, all proceeds from the sale of the DVDs will go to the Ecole Glenmore Elementary Garden project, which promotes sustainability issues and curriculum innovation.
Following the launch party, copies of the DVD will be available for a donation of $15 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna bookstore and Glenmore Elementary.
April 12, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 1


Website review set to start

A heads-up that later this month, a series of consultation meetings will be held  in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton to discuss improvements and refinements to Okanagan College’s public homepage and to the website.

The goal is to revisit the homepage’s look, feel and contents, as well as explore ways to improve site navigation, and means to make the most of new web and institutional developments, such the customer relationship management software being implemented in the Registrar’s office.

The process is being led by an ad hoc group that includes members of the web steering committee as well as other regional and instructional staff (some of whom have not yet been confirmed).

Full details on the committee’s membership and charter will be coming in the next edition of Inside Okanagan College, but if you’re one of those people who like lots of advance notice, here are the dates and times for the sessions:

Salmon Arm – noon, April 27, Rm. 141
Vernon - 3 p.m., April 27, Rm. D333
Penticton - noon, April 28, Rm. C13
Kelowna - noon, April 29, Rm. S103B

Spring fitness schedule now available

Campus Recreation has posted the new fitness schedule for the Kelowna campus. Follow this link to view the schedule of classes that includes yoga, bootcamp, super circuit and zumba. Contact Jenn Naiman for more information.

Studio Woodworking projects on display

Students from Okanagan College’s Studio Woodworking program will have their class projects on display at the Tutt Street Gallery in Kelowna on Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The exhibit, title ENGRAINED, is free to attend and includes refreshments. For more information, contact instructor Tim Diebert at ext. 4423.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Melissa Munn from the Sociology Department in Vernon, who won the April 8 payday draw for $575.50.

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


Apr. 15 - Dr. Andreas Warburton of McGill University will present a lecture about the first results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is the world’s largest scientific instrument that has been operating at the CERN laboratory near Geneva since March 30, 2010.

The presentation is organized by Okanagan College’s Physics and Astronomy Department and sponsored by the Canadian Association of Physicists. It starts at 7 p.m. in Rm. H115 of the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College and there is no cost for admission.

Apr. 21 – Join students and staff from the International Education department for Caribbean Night and International Potluck from 4 – 8 p.m. in the courtyard on the Kelowna campus. Everyone is invited and encouraged to wear black, green, yellow or red and bring a dish to serve approximately 10 people. International Education will provide traditional Jamaican food and a reggae band.

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

June 4 - Okanagan College will host two Convocation ceremonies: the morning Convocation begins at 10:30 and includes students from a variety of program (follow this link to see the programs graduating). An afternoon Convocation for Business students will take place at 1:30.

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

June 29 - Okanagan College will hold its final Convocation ceremony for the spring on June 29 at 6 p.m. Contact Michelle Lowry for information about all Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.


From paintings to paintball guns, the past two weeks have seen it all . . .

Event noted on April 3 that artist Sindi Hans Guomundsson’s works will be on display at Kalamalka’s version of Gallery Vertigo. . .

Okanagan Life Magazine devoted a full page to Gold Medal Plates in its March edition and cited our own Perry Bentley, who did some amazing work in organizing the College as a venue for two parts of the three-part event and who also served as a judge. Perry’s mischievous side came out in the development of the Black Box ingredients: he threw in licorice root as an must-use component for Canada’s best chefs to wrap their menu-building and cooking skills around.

Okanagan Life also threw several pages of coverage at the International Children’s Winter Games, held in Kelowna, including a photo of Central Okanagan Regional Dean Heather Schneider (Chair of the Games) standing beside the great environmentally-friendly flames developed by the Trades and Apprenticeship department.

Dreams of sports facility dashed” was the headline that dominated page three of the Vernon Morning Star on April 3 when the Agricultural Land Commission turned down the application for a non-conforming use of 10 acres of the Kal Campus land. (See also the Okanagan Saturday’s coverage), an editorial in the Morning Star and CHBC’s coverage of the decision.) But the coverage didn’t stop there. On April 6, the headline read “Politician makes pitch for sports facility” as Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster decided he was going to bat for the idea and the application. A column by writer Richard Rolke, of the Vernon Morning Star, probed further into some of the questions around the decision, and the Greater Vernon Services Commission contemplated the question of an appeal last week.

Coyotes were in action over the last couple of weekends, as evidenced by coverage in the Daily Courier on April 7, and the Capital News.

The Residential Construction Program was in the news again with word that Habitat for Humanity is the latest of partners to be working with the Okanagan College students and instructor. “We are very excited to be partnering with the College,” Brian Wrightson, chair of HFH’s building committee, told the Capital News on March 30.

It what would turn out to be a heartbreaking moment for the Eggheads (John Lent, Jim Hamilton, Chandra McCann, Ingrid Neumann, Jeanne Bockelheid, Carol Abernathy, Jodi Kokonis and Daniel deGroot) a tie-breaking word scramble took the team out of contention for the top spelling bee prize in the annual fundraiser for Junction Literacy and Youth Programs. Read more about how the scramble turned out to be too much for the Eggheads in: AT RANDOM: under a spell.

A group of four computer science students were mentioned in the Kelowna Capital News after they built a website for the Kelowna Tenpin Bowling Association. The students, Kevin Koehler, Daren Ling, Phil Pereboom and Alex Saunders, built the site as part of their course assignment.  Read more about the Pin Pals.

A photo of Keddi-Anne Sherbino crossing the finish line in the Okanagan College Half Marathon was prominent in coverage provided the race by the Capital News on March 30.

A plea for help to make local students’ education dreams come true was at the heart of a letter to the editor written by Janet Kluftinger, the president of the Central Okanagan Bursary and Scholarship Society, to the Daily Courier on March 31.

It was no April Fools’ joke when Kelowna RCMP received a phone call letting them know that someone on campus was holding what looked like a rifle but turned out to be a paintball gun. Police responded quickly, seized the gun (the owner faced no charges), but the RCMP used the occasion to remind people not to bring firearms or replicas of firearms to any public place. The Daily Courier, The Capital News  and CHBC all covered the story.

March 29 saw Okanagan College’s Board of Governors contemplate the question of tuition for the 2011-12 academic year. When the decision was taken, students didn’t get the full freeze they had asked for, but left complimenting the Board on the  decision it did make, which froze tuitions at Okanagan College where they exceed the provincial average (for similar programs) by more than 10 per cent. Coverage included the Daily Courier, the Capital News, the Vernon Morning Star and CHBC News.

Word that Okanagan College had partnered with Selkirk College and College of the Rockies to create transfer agreements for students interested in writing and publishing earned an article in Okanagan Sunday.

The Summerland Review made note of a special workshop coming on April 16-17 when B.C. musicians Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes get together for the 15th Annual Songwriters Workshop at the George Ryga Centre in Summerland. The workshop is preceded by a showcase concert on April 15.

One of Okanagan College’s instructors, Robyn Bourgeois, who also teaches at UBCO, led a discussion March 31 that focused on violence against Aboriginal Women. An advance on the talk was carried in the Daily Courier the same day.

On April 1, Okanagan College Registrar Jane Muskens focused the attention of readers of the Kelowna Capital News on the issue of labour mobility and its implications for education and opportunities. 

And Stan Chung, the former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs at Okanagan College, used his column space in the April 3 edition of the Okanagan Sunday to reminisce and reflect on growing up on the prairies.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE?
Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer. The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - also the 300th anniversary of the birth of David Hume, Scottish philosopher and historian who wrote A Treatise of Human Nature.