College strengthens partnership with En’owkin Centre

enowkinLearners across the region will benefit from a new agreement signed by Okanagan College and the En’owkin Centre this morning in Penticton.

The organizations signed a Memorandum of Affiliation (MOA) that will serve to formalize their partnership and joint efforts to provide access to education and training opportunities for learners.

The College and En’owkin Centre have been engaged in collaborative work since the College’s creation in 2005. The MOA agreement will serve to enhance the institutions’ working relationship, creating a Joint Affiliation Committee, which will research, advise and develop new courses, programs and resources for learners.

As a result of the new agreement, students will benefit from reciprocal laddering opportunities between the two organizations. Furthermore, Okanagan College will have greater access to the En’owkin Centre’s expertise in Okanagan Indigenous knowledge and learning systems. The En’owkin Centre will also have access to the College’s expertise in learning, teaching and research.

The terms of the agreement will go into effect immediately; both organizations are currently working together to research and develop new programming for the South Okanagan in the area of Applied Conservation. Follow this link to read more about the partnership.

Centre of Excellence campaign marks milestone

coe2A $150,000 donation from the BC Wine Information Society pushed the $5 million Centre of Excellence fundraising campaign over the $1.4 million mark. The Society announced its gift at a special celebration held in Penticton on March 31. 
BC Wine Information Society Board President, Keith Bevington, said the Society’s donation reflects the importance it places on the College and in particular, what the Centre of Excellence will bring to the area.

Established in 1996, the Society operates the VQA Wine Shop, the first VQA store in BC, located in the Penticton & Wine Country Visitors Information Centre and returns the profits to the community for wine education and awareness. It also promotes BC wines and wine tourism in the Okanagan. In 2006, the Society established two College awards; it presented its Bursary Award to Penticton student Nick Thompson during the event.

The Society’s donation to the Centre of Excellence campaign will help create more opportunities for more students through expanded and new programs. The additional space provided through the Centre opens the door for more than 500 new students to study and train in the South Okanagan. Follow this link to find out more about the Centre of Excellence and its fundraising campaign. 

Civil Tech students - wooden warriors on the field

civilWhen it comes to medieval mechanisms that can fling things accurately at targets, Okanagan College students are proving themselves modern masters.

On March 27, a team of five Civil Engineering Technology students from the College won the top team award in the performance category at the Wood WORKS! BC/Canadian Wood Council’s annual Wood Design Competition held at UBC Vancouver. Team members were Tyler Weise, Patrick D’amour, Scott Juniper, Corey Konkin and Chris Pieper. 

In the performance category, the team beat out 10 other teams including four teams from UBC Vancouver, two teams from BCIT, one from Camosun College, one from North Island College, and a team of Mechanical Engineering Technology students from Okanagan College.
This was the third time in the past four years that an Okanagan College team has won on the field of battle using a uniquely designed, hand-built trebuchet. The team also brought home a new award for team spirit.

“We were the only team that had a cheer,” said Pieper, in his first year of the two-year Civil Engineering Technology program. The cheer reflected the team’s name: Lignum Lightning. “I was surfing the Internet and discovered the Latin word for wood is lignum,” explained Pieper.

Follow this link to read the complete press release, including results of the team’s firing accuracy.


The Okanagan Mainline Transitions Partnership, a partnership between seven school districts and Okanagan College, will host a forum for secondary and post-secondary professionals at the Kelowna campus on April 29 and 30. Transitions for the 21st Century will feature presentations and workshop sessions on the topics of dual credit education and other transition programs that support students from Secondary School into further education and training.

The event will also feature a government panel with Ministry of Education and Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development representation. Anyone interested in participating can contact Diana Thomson (ext. 4849), Regional Student Transition Coordinator, for further information or go online to: to register.


Dianne Crisp leaving at end of April

crispDianne Crisp, appointed last year to the position of Dean of Science, Technology and Health, has announced she’ll be leaving Okanagan College at the end of the month.

“Personal circumstances are dictating the decision, which was very tough to make,” said Crisp, who is moving back to the Lower Mainland where her family lives. “I’ve really enjoyed the College, the people I’ve worked with, and I felt that we were accomplishing some great things. I’m sorry I won’t be around as some of those investments of time and energy bear fruit but I leave with a respect for the College greater than the appreciation of its accomplishments that drew me here.”

“We’re sorry to see Dianne depart, but we understand her reasons,” said Vice President Education Andrew Hay.

The search for a replacement will commence soon. In the interim, Central Okanagan Regional Dean Heather Schneider will step in as interim Dean, Science, Technology and Health.

“In addition to her experience here as a regional dean, Heather has significant experience as a program Dean when she was at College of the Rockies,” said Hay.

Banham named Dean Okanagan School of Business

heatherbOkanagan College’s new Dean of Business Administration and Commercial Aviation won’t have trouble finding her way around when she settles into her new role on June 1.

Dr. Heather Banham, the College’s current Associate Dean of Business, has been named Dean of the portfolio where she has been a professor and administrator for 18 years. She also served as Acting Dean in 2006-07.

Heather will replace Dr. Jayne Brooks, who has served as a Dean since 2000. After spending the next year on deferred salary leave, Jayne will return to work at Okanagan College.

Follow this link
to read more about Heather’s background and experience in the Public Affairs press release.

Jane Muskens to continue as Registrar

janemA nation-wide search for a new Registrar at Okanagan College has led the institution to one of its own employees.

Jane Muskens has been appointed Registrar of the College after more than seven months service as interim Registrar. Jane is a 17-year veteran of Okanagan College and Okanagan University College. Prior to accepting her new role she worked in Public Affairs as the manager of recruitment, promotion and events.

“Jane’s educational background and her energy and enthusiastic commitment to improving the student experience impressed the committee,” explained Steve Koehle, the College’s Vice President of Students. “She distinguished herself among a group of candidates from throughout Canada’s post-secondary sector.”

Follow this link to read the Public Affairs press release.

Christy Cave to recruit for UNBC

Recruiting and Events Assistant Christy Cave has taken a new position with the University of Northern British Columbia as a recruitment officer in Prince George. Christy has worked for Public Affairs in her role in the Central Okanagan since 2006. Her last day with Okanagan College will be Thursday, April 22.

Arellano’s Strange Fruit to be screened

sfruitPublic support for Marc Arellano’s documentary Strange Fruit has resulted in two additional screenings of the film. Strange Fruit will be shown at the Kalamalka campus theatre on Friday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation and proceeds will be split between the Okanagan Film Festival Society and the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan.

In Kelowna, a new partnership between Ecole Glenmore Elementary, Marc, SIFE and Okanagan College staff will bring an evening of film and music to The Habitat in Kelowna on May 7 at 6 p.m. Locally Grown is an event that will raise funds in support of Ecole Glenmore Elementary’s Grow Up Greener school garden project. It's the first of its kind in the Kelowna school district and is used by teachers and students for a project-based approach to the curriculum and for understanding the value of local food production and building a strong community.

During the event Strange Fruit will be screened and music will be performed by local talent from Ecole Glenmore Elementary, and Okanagan College-Tom Esson and his band Blue City as well as John Lent and Arch Doody with The Rowdymen.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the film will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at: and can be purchased at Leo's Video, Perc's Place (Cooper and Glenmore locations) or Ecole Glenmore Elementary. 

Watch a trailer of Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in The Central Okanagan

Civil Engineering students Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

wallThe Civil Engineering Technology students are at it again building concrete block walls around the KLO Campus. As part of their course work, the students have the opportunity to obtain a level 1 certification in retaining walls. Okanagan College students have been involved in this kind of hands-on learning since 2002 and various concrete block walls have been built around the Kelowna campus.

Late last month the students constructed an extension of a wall between the A building and the Cafeteria using materials that had been set aside by Graham Kershaw during the dismantling of a planter during Centre for Learning construction.

Reusing the blocks saved more than $2,000 and kept them out of the landfill.

This year’s planter was a win-win for Okanagan College and the environment. It was also a great effort and shows how two departments, Facilities Management and Civil Engineering Technology, can work together as a team to benefit students and staff.

CBC Radio host to present in Vernon 

macdBob McDonald, award-winning science journalist and host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, is coming to Vernon as the fourth and final presenter in this year’s Science in Society Speaker Series, hosted by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre. 

McDonald will explore the evolution of scientific ideas in a presentation entitled: Everything you know is…wrong! Great leaps in scientific thought. 
The presentation will take place on Monday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre.

McDonald will present an historical look at science through the eyes of those who changed our view of the Universe as well as our place in it. What can the evolution of scientific ideas tell us about our current understanding of science and the world around us? Tickets are available at


Okanagan College hosted the Junior Chef’s Competition of B.C. and one of its own graduates, Kelowna’s Brian Wawryk, won the event. Watch a CHBC clip from the competition, including commentary from Chef Geoffrey Couper.

The fundraising campaign for the Centre for Excellence reached a milestone after receiving a $150,000 donation from the B.C. Wine Information Society. Read more in: College toasts donation for campus expansion and Good Deeds: Centre of Excellence gets boost.

Okanagan College young alumni award winners and owners of Prestige Collision, Mark and Todd Regier, recently won the local Family Enterprise of the Year award. Read more in: Special award for Prestige Collision.

Okanagan College supported volunteers participating in the Day of Caring by fuelling them with coffee and muffins before they started their projects around Kelowna. Read more in: Volunteers give back to community.

SIFE Okanagan’s Kevin Slater was featured in an article profiling his contribution to Glenmore Elementary School’s Grow up Greener project. Read more about the project and the good work being done by SIFE Okanagan in: Elementary and college students team up.

A team of Civil Engineering Technology students from Okanagan College won top honours at the Wood WORKS! BC/Canadian Wood Council’s annual Wood Design Competition held at UBC Vancouver. Read more about the team and their award-winning trebuchet in: College team wins catapult contest, College’s wooden warriors triumph, and College team double winner at fling fest.

The Centre of Excellence’s Honorary Campaign Co-Chair Yasmin John-Thorpe was the recipient of the 2010 British Columbia Community Achievement Award. Read more in: Author wins award for achievement.

A decision by the Board of Governors on tuition fees for the 2010-11 year resulted in considerable media coverage. Check out the coverage in: Almost half students spared hike in tuition, Okanagan College board tailors tuition increase for 2010-11, College tailors tuition increase, and Students welcome tuition freeze.

The College continues to grow and so does its operating budget, enabling greater capacity but with some departmental cost reductions. Read more about the new budget as approved by the Board in: College approves $88M budget and College avoids cuts to students despite drop in gov’t funding.

Okanagan School of Business students won 14 out of a possible 16 gold medals at the B.C Business Simulation Competition. Read the article for more details about the students’ successes.

MLA Norm Letnick, currently on leave from the Okanagan School of Business, shared his views on preventative health care in a Kelowna Daily Courier article. Read more in: A little incentive could change health-care future.

Jane Muskens was appointed the new Registrar of Okanagan College on April 6, 2010. Read more in: Search for registrar leads back to OC and Okanagan College has new registrar.

In her April 4 column, Registrar Jane Muskens compared recent statistics about Aboriginal student transition rates and the impact of history on current enrolment levels. Read more in: Aboriginal college enrolment starts in community. This week Jane wrote about the opportunities that exist for students who love music to get a well-rounded education through Okanagan College’s Audio Engineering program.

The Campus-to-Campus half marathon results hit the pages of the local paper with a focus on the winner - Vernon’s Aaron Heidt. 

The Okanagan College Coyotes baseball season is in full swing with early games against Kwantlan Polytechnic University and Vancouver Island University teams. Read more about the games and an unexpected opponent – the weather – in: OC Coyotes open with pair of wins, OC Coyotes drop 3 games in Nanaimo, OC Coyotes beat their opposition, not weather, and OC Coyotes play home openers.   

Jamie Kidston spoke about the geological history of the Okanagan Valley and beyond at the Capsule College Spring Series. Proceeds from the series go to scholarships for two Okanagan College students. Read more in: Capsule College offers a lesson in Okanagan geology.

Stan Chung, acting Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, recounted his first experience of love in his Global Citizen column. Read the column: 3 x 1973: Williams Lake Boy.
April 13, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 1


Registration for Connections 2010, which will be held on Aug 25 and 26 at the Kelowna campus, will begin at the end of April. Watch upcoming editions of Inside Okanagan College for information and opportunities to register. This summer’s event is shaping up to be interesting with the recent addition of Dr. Chris Schneider, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UBC, as the morning plenary speaker.

Schneider studies social media – how it impacts our lives and how it alters our interactions with those around us. We live in an increasingly social planet – how do we deal with and embrace change? And how do these changes affect an academic institution, its functions and interactions? Find out by attending Connections 2010. 

Aboriginal Education summit to be held at NWCC

Northwest Community College is hosting a gathering on Aboriginal Education in early May that may interest some Okanagan College staff. It's being called The Face of Transformation, a summer gathering to decolonize post-secondary education. 

The gathering will take place May 5 – 8 with a pre-gathering workshop aimed at assisting non-Aboriginal teaching faculty to better understand Aboriginal learners and their needs from May 3-4. If you’re interested, speak to your Dean or supervisor about the opportunity.

Interior Fitness Conference

Continuing Studies will host the fourth annual Interior Fitness Conference in Kelowna on Friday, April 30 – Saturday, May 1. The conference is geared toward BCRPA certified fitness instructors, however some of the sport, fitness and well being sessions will be of interest to the general public.

Some of these sessions include:
Backs, Backs, Backs; Whole Foods; 
True Colors; 
Running...Facts & Fiction; Strength Training: Hard to “Resist” for Older Exercisers.

Please go online for the full brochure. Tuition waiver forms are also available online -  contact Helena for more information at extension 4512.

What’s new in International Education

International Education has published its April newsletter – follow this link to find out more about upcoming events, including information about graduation. 

Bocce competition returns to Kelowna campus  

The Kelowna campus is hosting its annual Bocce competition and registration is now open. All you need to do in order to participate is choose a partner, pick a team name and sign up with Angie March. Teams will play one game per week for six weeks. Stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for more information and updates.

Singin, swingin and all that jazz

Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus will host a benefit performance featuring the local group M.A.S.K. on May 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. Singin, Swingin and all that Jazz features songs and dancing from well-known Broadway productions. M.A.S.K. is donating funds from their performance to support the International Children’s Winter Games, which are coming to Kelowna in January 2011.

The evening will also include a wine and cheese reception in the Pit area. A second performance will take place on the 29th at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Tickets are $35 and are available by contacting Angie March. 

Rediscover the Kelowna Campus Library

Get an up-close-and-personal view of the renovated Kelowna Campus Library during an open house celebration on Thursday, April 15. Library staff will be offering tours hourly between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to showcase the Library’s renovation, reconstruction and new learning and study spaces.

Tours will begin at the main Library entrance on the second floor of the Centre for Learning. 

After more than two years of construction, the Library has emerged a bright and expanded facility with: new service desks, extra student computers, well-spaced collections, and vastly increased and diverse learning places from a reading lounge to quiet individual seating to group study rooms.

The Learning Centre has also been relocated to the Library in order to promote student success. 

For more information about the Kelowna Library celebration, contact Michelle Ward at ext. 4749.

College to host E-waste recycling event

1-800-GOT-JUNK, in partnership with Organizing Help, will host their annual E-Waste Recycling event in honour of Earth Day at the Kelowna campus on Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Bring your unwanted electronic waste to this free E-Waste Recycling event and help make a positive environmental impact on future generations. 

Items accepted:
TV’s (limit of 48 inches)
Computer monitors (CRT and LCD)
Computer towers, laptops, and netbooks
Tablet computers
Keyboards, mice, cables, etc.

Confidential documents for on-site shredding will also be accepted. Limit of three file boxes per customer. For more information contact Yoree Grozenok, 1-800-GOT-JUNK Okanagan, at (250) 258-5865.

Diversity Health Fair seeks volunteers

Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus will host a Diversity Health Fair on Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Centre for Learning. The Fair is in need of volunteers in the following areas: greeters, exhibitor support, volunteer room supervisor, snack center and the children’s activity center.

Please contact Doreen at Kelowna Community Resources if you would like to be a part of this exciting event 250-763-8008, ext. 29. 

Textbook orders are now open

Spring has sprung and it’s time for the Campus Stores’ annual request for summer and fall text orders. The March 15 deadline for ordering texts for summer courses has passed but Campus Stores will still accept orders that are received in the near future. The deadline to order materials for fall courses is May 15 but Campus Stores is currently accepting orders.

Campus Stores will host book buybacks in Kelowna on Monday, April 19, Wednesday, April 21, and Monday April 26. Book buybacks will take place Thursday, April 22 in Vernon and Friday, April 23 in Penticton. Please forward any summer or fall requests to Gord. As always your Campus Stores thank you for your support and look forward to working with you in 2010.

Kelowna campus residences available during summer months

skahaFor the month of May Okanagan College is opening its Kelowna Residence doors to all College staff who wish to tour the building to find out what Skaha Place has to offer.

The residences are available to non-students during the summer semester for both short term and long-term stays.
Morning and afternoon tours are available during May on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Morning tours are anytime between 9:30 and 11 a.m. Afternoon tours are any time between 2 and 4 p.m. Contact Kathy Zucchi for more information.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Nolan Clark from Continuing Studies in Salmon Arm who won last week’s payday draw for $545. 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 or online.


April 23 – Marc Arellano’s documentary Strange Fruit will be screened at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. with a panel discussion to follow. Admission is by donation with proceeds split between the Okanagan Film Festival Society and the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan.

May 7 – The Habitat in Kelowna will host Locally Grown, an evening film and music event featuring Okanagan College’s Marc Arellano, John Lent, Arch Doody and The Rowdymen and Tom Esson with his band Blue City. The event will feature a screening of Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in the Central Okanagan.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the film will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at: and can be purchased at Leo's Video, Perc's Place (Cooper and Glenmore locations) or Ecole Glenmore Elementary. All proceeds are in support of the Grown up Greener school project. 

May 17 – The Science in Society Speaker Series will wrap up with a presentation from CBC Radio host Bob McDonald. McDonald will present his lecture: Everything you know is…wrong! Great leaps in scientific thought at 7:30 p.m. in Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are available through or contact Carl Doige for more information. 

May 28 - The Kelowna lecture theatre will host a performance by M.A.S.K. beginning at 6:30 p.m. Contact Angie March for more information.


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 27, 2010.