Norm Letnick looks toward Victoria

normOkanagan College Business Administration Professor Norm Letnick has made it official: he's campaigning to be the B.C. Liberal Party candidate in the next provincial election (May 12, 2009) for the riding of Kelowna-Lake
Country. Letnick, who is a member of the Kelowna City Council, made the announcement this afternoon, a day after incumbent MLA Al Horning announced he will be retiring. Horning suffered a stroke in June 2007. Norm's website is - you can also find a biography of Norm online.

Melissa Veregin earns prestigious financial award

melissaFirst year Okanagan School of Business student Melissa Veregin is one of only two students in B.C. and 25 in Canada to receive the Garfield Weston Merit Scholarship, an $8,000 financial award. Veregin was selected for the scholarship based on an impressive history of community service and academic achievement. She is one of two winners from British Columbia.

Melissa grew up in Nelson and attended L.V. Rogers Secondary where she was active in both the school and community. She served as graduation vice president, organized the school’s Terry Fox Run and Feed for Need drive. She campaigned, raised funds, and gave speeches on behalf of her school’s Adopt a Village—Celebrate Africa drive, raising more than $15,000 for a community in Sierra Leone. Melissa also spent a year in Belgium on a Rotary Youth Exchange. For more information read the Public Affairs press release.  

Gary Geddes assumes post as Writer-in Residence

geddesOne of Canada’s most renowned writers, Gary Geddes, will take up residency in The Mackie House as the 2008 Writer-in-Residence this September. Geddes will give a public reading of some of his work on Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Room D212 at the Kalamalka Campus of Okanagan College.

As Writer-In-Residence at The Mackie House, Geddes will join the esteemed company of the first six writers who began this tradition with Okanagan College and The Mackie House: Ron Ayling, Dennis Cooley, David Pitt-Brooke and Christine McPhee, Robert Kroetsch and Dawne McCance. Kalamalka Press has published each of these writers and their books can be ordered online by going to For more information about Geddes read the Public Affairs press release.

Free Media

free mediaOkanagan College students and staff from the department of Communications will host a weeklong media education awareness event, Free Media, from Tuesday, Sept. 30 until Saturday, Oct. 4. The event will live up to its name – offering a forum for mainstream and independent media professionals, including film makers, writers, web developers, artists, activists and publishers, to engage with the public on issues related to the media and how it contributes, or not, to a free and democratic society.

A collection of esteemed media and culture professionals will participate in Free Media including keynote speaker Hanson Hosein, filmmaker and University of Washington digital media professor. To find out more about Free Media  contact Sharon Josephson.

Orientation Day 2008

penorientAcross Okanagan College campuses Orientation Day 2008 was a great success. Each campus hosted fun activities for students and information was readily available for new and returning students. The Penticton campus kicked off Orientation Day with a pancake breakfast followed by a scavenger hunt quest for an iPod.  A BBQ lunch was served with mocktails and an ice cream truck was on site for desert. Thanks to all staff at each of the campuses for making Orientation Day a success for students.

Batter up

The fall season of Okanagan College baseball will begin on Sept. 26 at the Fall Classic at the Elks Stadium in Kelowna. Okanagan College’s coaches have been named (Geoff White, Scott Wallis and Jared Johnson) and the team will begin facing off against TRU, Kwantlen, Malaspina, Lethbridge and the U of Calgary in exhibition fall games. Contact Mike Craig for more information.

Missed Connections?

posterAt Connections 2008 participating staff worked together on a collaborative postering project as a way of sharing their aspirations and goals for the College. Small groups were asked to join creative forces to design a poster that reflected the College of their dreams or expressed any ideas about Okanagan College. The results were outstanding. Follow this link to view a slideshow of a selection of the posters.


Okanagan College English professor Kevin McPherson was featured in a half-page article in the Vernon Morning Star. Kevin was also photographed at his Typortraits exhibition, which is on display at Gallery Vertigo. Read more about Kevin’s work (including what a typortrait is) in: A portrait of the artist.

Last month’s visit by the Jamaican Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Honourable Pearnel Charles, is still creating media buzz. Okanagan College's Jamaican initiative earned coverage in the Globe and Mail's National edition: Labour shortage: Bring on the Jamaicans. Read further coverage from a variety of publications: Jamaican students a no-risk investment, Kelowna welcomes Jamaican politician, Program benefits Jamaican students, Worker shortage a long-term issue,, Canada opens door to Jamaican labor with College alliance, and a letter to the editor – Opposed to foreign worker program.  Okanagan College's Michael Patterson was interviewed live on CBC radio this month talking about the Jamaican initiative and International Education at Okanagan College. Listen to Michael's interview by following this link.

An article in the Okanagan Sunday shared news that Okanagan College received $159,733 from the province last week to fund Aboriginal education. Read more about the Okanagan environmental studies program and the new Aboriginal recruiter position , which is currently posted online and closes on Sept. 22, in: Aboriginal education gets boosts in funding.

In the South Okanagan, Okanagan College's own Ed Benoit was interviewed by SHAW-TV talking about the variety of programming offered by Continuing Studies in the South Okanagan. Watch the piece by following this link.

News that Okanagan College’s baseball team will compete in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) made it into the Kelowna Capital News. Hear from the coaches and find out more about the team and its schedule in: It’s time to play ball as Okanagan College fields a team.

Okanagan College’s most famous Sasquatch spokesperson, Caleb Campbell, received media coverage in the Penticton Western News as the word got out that the Ranger is not going to make it. Read about Caleb’s summer working for Kokanee Beer and his plans now that the campaign is over in: Kelowna beer drinker helps put Kokanee ranger to rest.

National Skills Canada winner and Okanagan College alumnus Tyler Selzler was featured with his girlfriend and fellow Okanagan College apprentice, Jennifer Kennedy, on the cover of Canada’s business magazine for automotive collision repair, Bodyshop Professional. Read about Tyler and Jennifer's competition and career success in: A winning pair.

International students from Okanagan College were photographed atop Knox Mountain on the first day of school. The students were participating in a tour of Kelowna, led by staff from International Education. Check it out in: Getting to know Kelowna.

The last edition of Inside Okanagan College featured news coverage of Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarship award winner and Okanagan College ECE student Cassie Desjardins. Cassie’s achievement continued to make headlines in the Vernon Morning Star and Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in: Future support for education and Student’s commitment to volunteering pays off with Future Shop scholarship.

A Public Affairs press release promoting Continuing Studies’ new gardening course was picked up by the Kelowna Daily Courier and Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: College offering gardening courses and Add some interest to your fall garden..

Okanagan College business professor Michael Orwick was featured in an article in the Vernon Morning Star as he is looking for participants to cooperate with a survey he is conducing on workplace habits. Read more in: Professor launches survey.

Okanagan College Volunteer Adult Literacy Program instructor Carol Abernathy was featured in an article in the Vernon Morning Star. Read more in: College promotes literacy.

Okanagan College Board of Governors member Jane Lister was featured in an article appearing in the Vernon Morning Star. Jane is organizing a major conference on human resources, Shifting Directions, that aims to engage employees. Read more in: Engaging workers key to success.

Education Council Chair Rick Gee was featured in J.P. Squire’s Kelowna Daily Courier column that promotes outdoor activity. Rick will lead a Central Okanagan Naturalist Club hike on the Okanagan Highlands Trail. Rick’s hike will take place on Sept. 20 – anyone interested in participating can read more in: How much can you cram into a kayak?

Stan Chung’s Global Citizen column for the Kelowna Daily Courier focused on some rules of engagement and strategies for teaching. Read more in: Terms of engagement for learners, teachers.

Jane Muskens’ weekly School’s In column covered the importance of college orientation and tips for students going back to school. Read Jane’s advice for students in: First-time college orientation should not be missed and Some more tips for students heading back to school


Hawley’s new arrival postpones book launch

theoAlix Hawley’s book of short fiction was scheduled to be launched today at an event at Infusions but a special delivery has delayed the launch. Alix’s son, Theo Samuel Hawley, arrived on Aug. 29, four weeks ahead of schedule, weighing in at six pounds. Watch Inside Okanagan College for more details about the new launch date of Alix’s book, The Old Familiar.

Ashley Stapleton joins Advancement and Alumni

Okanagan College alumna Ashley Stapleton has joined the Advancement and Alumni team as the new Campaign Assistant. Ashley is a graduate of Okanagan College’s Applied Business Technology program (2007) and comes to the College from the law firm FH&P. Ashley can be reached at local 4813 or in her office in Kelowna in P103.

Bidwell bids farewell

lennAfter 30 years of service to Okanagan College, staff from the College celebrated Len Bidwell's career in Print Services at a retirement party held on Thursday, Sept. 11. Len’s knowledge and expertise will be greatly missed. Best of luck to Len in his retirement.


Student nominations open for Education Council and Board of Governors

Okanagan College is calling for student nominations for positions on the College’s Education Council and Board of Governors. Nominations must be received by the Registrar in Kelowna no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24. The positions will commence in November, 2008. To find out more about the nomination and election process, click here.

Is this your year to be recognized?

This notice is for all staff who will be reaching benchmark years of service to Okanagan College (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35), and all those retiring in 2008. The Employee Recognition Ceremony will honour staff with a dinner and celebration on November 13, 2008 at the Kelowna Campus Cafeteria. Watch for your invitation in the mail and save the date on your calendar. For more information contact Liz Plamondon.

CS seeks Interior Decorating instructor

Continuing Studies is looking for a qualified Interior Decorating professional to instruct a course beginning next week. The class starts Sept. 15 and runs until May 14, on Monday and Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. The instructor must have a minimum of a diploma in Interior Decorating or Design and current professional experience. Please contact Helena Jordo-Zieske at local 4512 for more information.

Join the Okanagan College team for the Aids Walk

aidsOkanagan College will be represented by a group of staff who are looking for other walkers to join them to support the 12th annual Aids Walk on Sept. 21 at Waterfront Park in Kelowna. The walk raises awareness to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, to reduce the discrimination and stigmatization faced by those infected or affected, and to raise funds for client support and educational programming. Registration is at 12 noon with the walk beginning at 1 p.m. Awards and entertainment will take place from 2 -3 p.m. Anyone interested in participating can contact Heather Schneider, Regional Dean at 4789.

Kelowna campus seeks creek-cleaning volunteers

The Kelowna campus of Okanagan College is looking for volunteers to join in the Creek Clean-Up event on Sept. 26 at 3:30 p.m. Volunteers will assist in beautifying the creek near the campus (runs between KLO and Raymer Road). Anyone interested in lending a hand can contact Angie March at 4501 or meet on the bridge near the student residences and waste treatment plant at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. Volunteers will be supplied with an orientation by the City of Kelowna, garbage bag, trash pinchers and vests – bring clothes you can get dirty!

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Kathryn Bockhold from Biology in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $465. 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.

College Pension Plan holds retirement seminars

The College Pension Plan (CPP) is holding retirement seminars to educate members about their plan. A new, easy-to-use online registration system was implemented on Aug. 29, 2008 and is now available for use. The new registration system will provide convenient access to retirement seminars and other information. Employees can find out more online at: or follow this link to see the retirement seminar poster. 

Applications now accepted for Okanagan College Family Awards

Financial Aid & Awards is now accepting applications for the Okanagan College Family Awards. To view full award criteria and access the applications form, visit MyOkanagan, log in and follow the links to “OC Express – Forms” and click on “Foundation.” All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by Sept. 26. This round of applications is for programs starting between Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2008.

Campus Book Stores expand stock

toteIn the last edition of Inside Okanagan College, Campus Stores previewed a new environmentally friendly bag. The Book Stores are also now carrying a fantastic line of genuine leather bags from Canyon Outback. There are three styles, each branded with the Okanagan College shield. A logo’d wooden box is also available and perfect for gift giving. The bags are on a traveling road show, beginning in Vernon, and will be making their way to each Campus Store. For further information, please contact Carla Macfarlane.

Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory open house

Okanagan College’s Physics and Astronomy department will be on site to support the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at its open house on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event is family friendly, open to the public, and will offer a wide array of lectures, displays, and activities for all ages. For more information, please contact Richard Christie or visit:

Educational Technology Workshops

Register now for the next series of educational technology workshops running from Sept. 22 – 30. Topics include Classroom Technologies, WebCT, PowerPoint, and Cool Things you can do on a Mac. For more details, visit:

WebCT default passwords

To improve security in our online and blended courses we have restored the ability for WebCT users to change their default passwords. The WebCT login page includes information about setting up a password hint to enable an automated password reset.

Genealogical Society offers biennial seminar

The Kelowna and District Genealogical Society will hold its biennial seminar at the Kelowna Campus on Sept. 27, 2008. With 24 concurrent lectures and nine speakers, it is the largest genealogical seminar in BC and includes a marketplace with exhibitors and vendors, a guided downtown walking tour, lots of door prizes and plenty of opportunity to learn from the experts. Speakers include: Sherry Irvine, a recognized international genealogist; Dave Obee, Canadian specialist and owner of Interlink Books & Genealogical Services; Sylvie Tremblay, Quebec specialist, of Library & Archives Canada; Brenda Smith of Maple Ridge; Bob Ell of Comox; Ann ten Cate of Victoria and local specialists Tracy Satin, Sharon Weber, and Marina Garrison. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to download a registration form, go to the society's website.


Sept. 17 – The newly-formed Okanagan College Women’s Collective (OCWC) is holding their first meeting of the new school year on Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. in the Pit. OCWC is committed to supporting all women at Okanagan College: staff, faculty, and students. OCWC is also committed to assisting community women's resource centers by creating a safe space for women on campus. The group will be meeting to discuss the need to secure space on campus for a Resource Centre. Everyone of any gender who believes in equality for women and wants to get involved in a grassroots organization is invited to join. For more information email or join the Facebook group: OC Women’s Collective.

Sept. 21 – Join the Penticton campus of Okanagan College and the women of the IODE for a violet tea on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. in the Sunoka Cafeteria and courtyard. The traditional tea service will offer bite-size scones, sandwiches, sweets and of course, traditional English tea served out of silver teapots. The event will raise funds for the building fund for the Penticton campus of Okanagan College. Call 250-492-4305 for more information or to reserve a ticket ($10 each).

Sept. 23 – Okanagan College Fall Putting Classic. You thought it was the Kelowna Campus courtyard. In fact, it is the field of dreams for would-be golf pros who want to prove their putting prowess. On Sept. 23, the second annual Fall Putting Contest will take place with tee times starting at 7:30 a.m. and running every 10 minutes. Organizers insist that skill is not required and that beginners are welcome. Call Angie March if you want to register (ext. 4501).

Sept. 26 – 28 – Support Okanagan College’s newly created baseball team at the Fall Classic Tournament, held at Elks Stadium in Kelowna. Contact Mike Craig for information about the tournament schedule.


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 Sept. 26, 2008.