College launches Sustainability Committee

greenAt a time when major changes in how we think, work and live are urgently needed, a group of Okanagan College staff and students have committed to making a difference. 
Only a couple of months after gathering for the first time, Okanagan College’s Sustainability Committee has created an aggressive agenda for positive change. The project is called 3 Steps Forward - and it will guide the Okanagan College community towards a greater emphasis on college wide sustainability.

In the next three months, the team will do research, conduct surveys and hold open houses to gather green ideas from the College community. By the end of March, the team will identify and recommend immediate, short-term steps the College can take, which will support ecological integrity, social responsibility and economic prosperity.

By April's end, the team will also propose an organizational structure to support development of a long-term sustainability plan for the College.
3 Steps Forward is supported by passionate members from all areas of the organization and lead by Arnica Rowan from the Okanagan School of Business. Inside Okanagan College is devoting a new section of the newsletter to keeping staff informed of the work of the committee and opportunities to get involved. Stay tuned in to the newsletter to find out how you can contribute to Okanagan College’s path to sustainability.

SIFE event raises funds for program, draws large crowd

 Launi Skinner
Okanagan College’s SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Okanagan hosted a business gala fundraising event featuring Okanagan College alumna Launi Skinner, former President of Starbucks USA and current COO and President of 1-800-GOT-JUNK. The sold-out event included a presentation from Skinner about Sustainable Entrepreneurship principles from an international perspective.

The focus of the evening was to educate individuals on what SIFE Okanagan represents as well as what community projects the organization is currently involved with.

Funds raised at the event will support SIFE Okanagan, its projects and upcoming participation in regional and national business competitions. For more information about SIFE Okanagan chapter please contact  Michael Blondé  250-681-6329.

Late breaking news from the Okanagan School of Business...

Congratulations are in order for Okanagan School of Business students and staff involved in the British Columbia Tourism Industry Case Competition. Inside Okanagan College just received word that the team won the event. The award-winning team consisted of Clint Steer (first year), April Erickson (second year), Katrina Gillett (second year) and Jillian Konduc (first year). The team was coached by Blair Baldwin and Laura Thurnheer with support from Michael Conlin, Alan Rice and Kyleen Myrah. Watch for more details about the team's big win in the next edition of Inside Okanagan College.


Phyllis Van Steinburg to retire after 32 years

phyllisFriends and colleagues of Human Resources’ Phyllis Van Steinburg are invited to drop by Duffers Restaurant & Lounge to enjoy cake, conversation and a celebration of Phyllis’ 32-year career with Okanagan College on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 4 p.m. - 1959 KLO Road in Kelowna. RSVPs, photos and personal memories of Phyllis can be sent to Lynn Dreaper.

Jacobs earns nomination for INRI

Congratulations to Dr. J. Timothy Jacobs from Arts and Foundational programs, who was recently nominated for the Journey Prize for his short story “INRI,” which appears in the current issue of the literary review Dandelion (University of Calgary Press; 34.1).  The Journey Prize is a $10,000 award sponsored by the publishers McClelland and Stewart that goes to the best short story of the year published in a Canadian literary review by an emerging Canadian writer. Tim’s story is part of a collection of short fiction entitled “A Condition of Loss,” which is not yet published.

Follow this link to find out more about the Journey Prize.

To check out more of Tim’s work, visit Rain Taxi Review of Books, where his essay that reassesses the literary work of the American writer, David Foster Wallace (suicide, September 12, 2008), appears in the online edition (part two) of the prestigious book review magazine. 

Whibley and Esson certified in HDI

ricktomCongratulations to Rick Whibley and Tom Esson, who work on the Help Desk in IT Services, for their recent successful completion (with very high grades) of the Help Desk Institute Support Centre certificate.  HDI programs and training conform to existing international quality models. Rick and Tom’s completion of the certificate demonstrates their commitment to excellence, efficiency and service quality.

Dewinetz to present on his craft in Kelowna

Okanagan College English professor Jason Dewinetz is presenting a public talk at the Okanagan  Regional Library's Mission Branch (Capital News Centre, Gordon Drive, Kelowna) next Tuesday, Feb. 17 (6:30 – 8 p.m.), about his passion for traditional  handmade book publishing and typesetting. Jason will talk about small press publishing, the history and development of type, and tell some of his great type-hunting stories! To find out more about Jason, or his publishing house (Greenboathouse Press) in Vernon, send him an email.

Carpentry students honoured by CHBA

carpentryCongratulations are in order for two of Okanagan College’s fourth-year carpentry students who were recently honoured by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association for their skills and expertise. Garth Turner from Kal Klasen’s class and Aaron Van Peteghan from Tim Dorn’s class received the top awards for excellence.

Kelowna campus challenges others to get festive

vlunchStaff from Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus recently held a Valentine’s Day potluck lunch to celebrate the special occasion. After planning decorations, the menu and inviting all staff, the potluckers had so much fun, they are challenging other campuses to hold similar events…and with occasions like Easter just around the corner Angie March is “hopping” everyone gets in the spirit! Challenge on!

Penticton Campus Hosts A Taste of Burma

burma On Monday, Feb. 2, the Penticton Campus Life committee organized  A Taste of Burma event that raised $610 for a Burmese refugee camp children’s school. The event included food, music and a visual presentation on Burma (Myanmar) by Okanagan College students Ka Nyaw and Thaw Simon. Ka Nyaw and Thaw spent 16 years in the Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border and shared some of their experiences with the Penticton campus staff and students.
In the photo Regional Dean Donna Lomas presents the donation to Ka Nyaw, Thaw Simon and Campus Life committee member Laurie Minuk

Business students gear up for adventure

rev1Snowshoeing through the cedars and soaking up hot spring minerals are all a part of the curriculum in Arnica Rowan's Adventure and EcoTourism Class (BUAD 392).  "This class is an experiential introduction to the adventure and ecotourism industries," said Rowan. The class' first field trip to Revelstoke included interviews and facility tours with heli-skiing operators and a kayaking company, snowshoeing, an interpretive talk with a guide from Parks Canada, ferry-rides, hiking and soaking in Halcyon hot springs.

rev2"The point of the field trips is for students to see these businesses in action, and learn about industry challenges and rewards, directly from the source," explained Rowan. "I plan the first field trip - but the summer-activity trip in March is totally planned by the students. They apply their in-class learning to all components of packaging and trip planning, from risk assessment to logistics."

Needless to say, the course is very popular and had a long waiting list this year. To see a video of the first Adventure and Eco-Tourism field trip, check out Youtube.

Loleen MacDonald joins Public Affairs

loleenLoleen MacDonald joined Okanagan College’s Public Affairs department in December as the Aboriginal Recruiting and Events coordinator for the North Okanagan and Shuswap-Revelstoke regions. Loleen was raised in Hazelton, BC, where she graduated from high school and then worked in Prince George for a number of years before moving to Vancouver to study criminology through the Native Education Centre and Douglas College. Loleen received her certificate in Applied Business Technology in June 2004 from Okanagan University College and recently completed her Bachelor of Business Administration in December 2008 through Okanagan College.

Loleen’s history is varied and includes volunteer and work experience as a commercial fishing deckhand, work for the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, Community Health Associates of BC, Tolko Industries Ltd., Kelowna’s 2008 BC Summer Games, and the numerous extracurricular activities in which her daughter participates.


Jim Reed, President of the BC College Presidents, was featured on CBC Radio discussing the import role Colleges play in the economy and communities in BC. Listen to the full audio by following this link.

An article appearing in the Vernon Morning Star Grits throw Tories support featured comments from President Jim Hamilton about the opportunities that exist for colleges as a result of the new federal budget. A similar article appeared in the Kelowna Capital News: Okanagan College hopeful with budget.

Shaw TV in Kelowna paid a visit to the Culinary Arts department for a segment on how to woo your special someone with a Valentine's dinner.  Check out chef Steve Marston in this Shaw TV clip.

Okanagan College was featured in an article in the Kelowna Daily Courier after the Economic Development Commission’s Robert Fine pointed to the institution as an example of economic growth in the region. Read more in: Kelowna’s hangover fleeting.

An article profiling the generosity of the Okanagan College Foundation despite an economic downturn appeared in the Penticton Western News. Read more about the funds disbursed by the Foundation in: College offers ray of light during economic darkness.

A call for nominations for Okanagan College’s  Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards appeared in the Penticton Western News: College issues call for alumni.
A unique project in Vernon will see a dynamic group of partners build a six-plex residence for the community as part of the Under One Roof project. Okanagan College  Residential Construction students will be responsible for the framing of the six-plex. Read more in: Community effort builds housing project.

The Globe and Mail issued a special report naming Canada’s top college programs. Okanagan College was featured in: Oenology and Viticulture, Criminal and Social Justice, Geographical Information Systems and Water Quality and Environmental Engineering Technology. Read more in: A select guide to Canada’s top college programs.

Okanagan College’s B.R. Whalen was featured in an article in the Revelstoke Times Review as part of the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces program, which held a Partnership Development Meeting on Feb. 3 at Okanagan College. Read more about the initiative in: Program seeks to build inclusive workplaces and community

A group of Okanagan College sociology students were mentioned in an article about the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna (incidentally, English professor Jake Kennedy is on the Alternator Board). Read more in: Expression…is the name of the game.

Okanagan University College alumna Jessica Bernhardt was featured in a congratulatory article after graduation from the University of Victoria with distinction. Read more about Jessica’s educations pursuits in: Bernhardt earns degree.

The Kelowna campus of Okanagan College hosted a world religious conference on Sunday, Feb. 8. Read more in: Life after death.

Global Citizen columnist Stan Chung wrote his bi-weekly article about other people’s perceptions. Want to discover what Stan's wife thinks of him? read more in:  in: Let me count the ways.

Manager of Student Recruitment and Events,  Jane Muskens wrote her weekly School’s In columns about the pressures of going to school and the confusion surrounding gaining a post-secondary education. Read more in: Many reasons for high school graduates to stay away and Misconceptions about ability to get a post-secondary education.
February 13, 2009 Vol. 2 Issue 21


Ed Tech offers six new workshops

Join Ed Tech Coordinator Mike Minions for a series of workshops including:
- An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching
- Anti-technology: avoiding ‘solutions in search of a problem’
- Using online tools to support classroom learning
- Death by Powerpoint
- Migrating your WebCT course to Blackboard 8
- Experiments in teaching and learning.

Details and registration are available online

Get ready for Summer Session

It is never too early to think about summer…the CS Summer Session website,, now sports the 2009 Summer Session academic timetable, information about exciting Summer Session study tours, Summer Session 2009 Important date schedule, and more. Continuing Studies would like to spread the awareness about the availability of this information among staff and students. Contact Marie Scarborough for more information.   

College to host workshop with Adaptive Technology BC

Okanagan College is hosting a workshop to introduce staff and students to some of the resources available for students with disabilities through Assistive Technology BC. The free drop-in event will take place on Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Kelowna campus boardroom (S 103 B). The following resources will be available:

1.    About AT-BC –  What we do, Programs and Eligibility, How to apply,  Website:
2.    Digital Recording Technology for recording lectures, discussions, conferences and dictated notes.
3.    Text-to-Speech software for converting electronic text to audio. 
4.    Software to support reading, writing, and study skills. This software may be provided for people with multiple difficulties. 
5.    Organizational Software. This software may be provided to people who have difficulties in the areas of planning and organization.
6.    Speech-to-text (Voice Recognition) Software. This software may be provided to people who speak well but have difficulty expressing their thoughts through handwriting or typing.
7.    Alternate input devices – ergonomic keyboards, mice, and trackballs. This equipment may be provided to people who have difficulty using a standard keyboard, mouse or track pad.
8.    Software for people with Vision impairments: Examples: ZoomText, Kurzweil 1000. 

Shake the dust off your clubs

The 2009 Okanagan College Foundation/ Whillis Harding Agencies Annual Charity Golf Tournament  will be held Thursday May 21 at the Okanagan Golf Club (Bear Course). This fun Texas scramble event has a shotgun start and raises money for Okanagan College students. Tee off begins at 1 p.m. and the event includes a dinner, silent auction and awards banquet.

Entry fees are $195 per golfer (before Thursday, April 9) and $215 per golfer after April 9. The entry fee includes golf, a box lunch, a keeper gift, power cart rental, on-course contests, prizes and more. Registration for the event is now live online. For more information about the tournament or to volunteer on tournament day, please contact Dawn Douglas.

Alumni Award nominations now open

Nominations are now open for Okanagan College’s two alumni awards: the Distinguished Alumni and Young Alumni Awards. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an Okanagan College or OUC alumnus who has demonstrated excellence in leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts, and/ or support for Okanagan College or OUC. The Young Alumni Award recognizes an Okanagan College or OUC alumnus, 35 years of age or younger, who is making a successful start to his or her career and who is making outstanding contributions in the areas indicated above.

The Alumni Association defines an alumni member as any person who has received a certificate, apprenticeship, diploma, or degree from Okanagan College or OUC, or who has completed 30 or more credits of a program at either institution.

If you know of an alumnus that you would like to nominate for either award, please submit the 2009 nomination package found via the link at:

The deadline for nominations is February 28, 2009.

If you have any questions, please contact Marlis in the Alumni office, at extension 4771.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Margo Kendal from Human Resources who won today's payday draw for $477.50. 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.

CS offers free Office 2007 training

Continuing Studies is offering free Office 2007 training to staff on select days. 

Penticton:  Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 (CRN 80922)
Kelowna:  Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 (CRN 80921)
Vernon:  Tuesday, March 17, 2009 (CRN 80923)

This training will fill up quickly so please register EARLY to ensure you get a seat in class.

To register on line visit: (Select TERM:  Winter 2009; enter appropriate CRN and select SEARCH) To register by phone:  Contact Continuing Studies in Kelowna 250-862-5480 (or local 5480).


Feb. 19
- Dr. Ryan Ransom, professor at Okanagan College and visiting research scientist at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) will be speaking on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in B-112 at the Kelowna KLO campus of Okanagan College. His talk will be about Dark Energy. This talk will begin with General Relativity, discuss the expansion of the Universe, and move onto modern Cosmology including Dark Matter and Dark Energy. This is a free talk and all are welcome to come.

Feb. 23Kalamalka Speaker Series: Words that kill: the rhetoric of war in Gaza with Johann Funk. Foucault suggests that human group behaviour is legitimized through public discourse. Both Hamas and Israel employ discourses to demonize the other to justify firing rockets and launching a full-scale assault. These are discourses that kill in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. A casualty of the conflict is a consideration of non-violent alternatives to war. Johann Funk is a retired Sociology professor. This lecture will take place on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. There is no admission cost and parking is free during the lecture.

Feb. 25 - The Science and Society Speaker Series will welcome Dr. Dennis Danielson on Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kalamalka Campus Lecture Theater of Okanagan College. Danielson, professor and head of English at the University of British Columbia, will present a thought-provoking lecture, From Copernicus to E.T. (and why it matters). Danielson is an intellectual historian with interests in the Renaissance and in the history, literature, and cultural meaning of science. His anthology—The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking—was named to’s “Editor’s Choice” top 10 science books for the year 2000. Please contact the Okanagan Science Centre or call 250-545-3644 for more information. Admission is by donation.

Feb. 26 - Okanagan College Penticton is hosting an Aboriginal Day on February 26 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. This is a community event that will include traditional foods as well as entertainment from Okanagan Nation Bands. All are welcome! Contact Jake Mason for more information.

Feb. 27Writing/Talking/Dubbing: A celebration of Black History will be held on Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Pit. Readings will be presented as well as slam poetry and discussions with Olive Senior and Kevan Cameron. Olive is one of Canada’s most internationally recognized and acclaimed authors and is a winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her fiction collection Summer Lightning and a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for her poetry collection Over the Roofs of the World. Her published works include four books of poetry, three collections of short stories and several award-winning non-fiction works on Caribbean culture.

Kevan (Scruffmouth) Cameron is a writer, a poet, and a creator. He is Grand Champion of the 2008 Vancouver Poetry Slam. His work deals with the Black experience throughout history and connecting the dots of the past, present, and future. Scruffmouth is a hip-hop riot and has a diverse style of spoken word art ranging from dub poetry, rapartistry to slam poetry. Contact Quentin Hughson for more information.

Mar.  2Kalamalka Speaker Series: How are lasers used in making the car you drive?  with Dr.  Vivian Merchant. The automotive industry is one of the largest users of Lasers, the Light Fantastic. Learn the latest in manufacturing technology, how lasers are used for cutting, welding, drilling, and labeling in the manufacture of vehicles. This lecture will take place on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. There is no admission cost and parking is free during the lecture.

Mar. 10 – Okanagan College presents an evening with Dr. Vandana Shiva at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (Mary Irwin Theatre). Dr. Shiva is a celebrated physicist, environmental activist and author. Her presentation will begin at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Ann Marie McKinnon .

Mar. 12 – 15 – Okanagan College will host the World Community Film Festival from March 12 -15 at the Kelowna campus. This free event is BC’s largest documentary film festival. For a complete schedule of movies go online: The event is free and donations will be accepted for the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre. Contact Quentin Hughson 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 Friday, Feb. 27, 2009.