ILT opens applications for new Learner Centred Instructor program

The Institute for Learning and Teaching is now accepting applications from faculty and instructors to register in the new Learner Centred Instructor (LCI) Certificate program. The LCI program is aimed at providing new instructors at Okanagan College with the opportunity to increase their teaching skills while developing a learner-centred philosophy of instruction.

The program is comprised of six courses involving 60 hours of online study (50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practical application) including two mandatory face-to-face sessions with one at the beginning of the first course.

Excellence in learning and teaching are key objectives of Okanagan College, as a result this program is tuition-free for Okanagan College staff. Registrants will be required to purchase two course textbooks and pay a small administration fee.

Program Admission Requirements

- Applicants must be instructors who are currently working in an educational institution, or individuals with an educational focus who have access to a teaching/training position.  

- Applicants must submit a short letter of introduction describing their educational background, their teaching/training role, and their instructional goals.

Application Process
Please print and fill out the application form found at this link as soon as possible as space is limited. 
Send your completed application form and your letter of introduction to Lana Hiscock in Continuing Studies at the Kelowna Campus. She can receive either hard copy or scanned and emailed applications. 

Fax: (250) 862-5434.

For more information on the program and the individual courses please go online

The first program begins Sept. 26, 2011 and ends Dec. 23, 2011. 

Abbott and Koyczan to be honoured by Alumni Association

abbottThe Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is bestowing its highest honour on two former Okanagan College students – one of whom has used his education and dedication to public service to help shape the political landscape of the province, the other has succeeded in creating and sharing his art with the world, bringing a nation together through spoken word.

Though their ascent to roles of national and international recognition has taken them on divergent paths, both George Abbott and Shane Koyczan will receive awards at a celebration of their distinguished careers and achievements in October.

The Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Education and MLA for the Shuswap, will receive the OCAA’s Distinguished Alumni award in recognition of his commitment to education and public service.

Famed slam-poet Shane Koyczan is being honoured with the association’s Young Alumni award, which recognizes the achievements of Okanagan College or Okanagan University College graduates under the age of 35.

koyczan“That both Minister Abbott and Shane Koyczan were students at Okanagan College and continued on to be so successful in their chosen career paths is a testament to the educational foundation that Okanagan College provided to them,” said Kara Kazimer, Okanagan College Alumni Association President.

Abbott and Koyczan will be honoured at cocktail reception event at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 in the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. Tickets are now available to the event at a cost of $55 per person.
Anyone interested in attending can contact Katerina Hay at (250) 862-5630.

Follow this link to read the complete press release.

Nominate the next Okanagan College Honorary Fellow

The Okanagan College Tributes Committee is inviting nominations for the Honorary Fellow Awards, which will be presented at the 2012 Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment. The College welcomes nominations that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society.

Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the province, the nation or on an international level. The award will not normally be given to a serving politician or current employee of the College.

Nominations can be made in confidence by email or mail, and should contain as much information as possible including:
1 – the nominee’s name, title, position (or former position), mailing address and phone number
2 – a personal profile of the nominee
3 – comments on the nominee’s connections with Okanagan College, or with the region if applicable
4 – a statement supporting the nomination (supporting documents may be included)
5 – the name, mailing address or campus address of the nominator, along with your Okanagan College phone number and department or portfolio name.

The nomination form for the Honorary Fellow award is available here.  

Nominations should be submitted by Oct. 17, 2011 to:

Joanna Campbell, Assistant to the President
Okanagan College
1000 KLO Road
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4X8
250-762-5445 ext. 4715

College hosts Third Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow

powwowOn Thursday, Sept. 22 Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus will welcome hundreds of participants to the third annual Youth Exhibition Powwow. The event is open to the public and all students and staff.

On display will be Aboriginal dancers, vendors, Indian ice cream and a new First Nations Trivia Table. Come down and test your knowledge of Aboriginal culture, history and practices. The events are underway all day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the outdoor courtyard. For more information, contact event organizer Marcy Trotter.

Librarians embrace innovation with national award

rossWith the school year now underway, Okanagan College librarians are once again at the forefront of innovation thanks to the Course Integrated Library Research Instruction (CILRI) - a new one-stop research shop that allows students to search through hundreds of thousands of academic journals, e-books and other on-line resources will be accessible with a single click.

“We’re the first in B.C. to adopt this service,” said Ross Tyner, director of library services. “Our students have been able to research our library on-line for more than 10 years. But they always had to know where to look. Rather than losing our users to Google, the library required a single place for users to begin their research that was easy to use and returned reliable, relevant results.”

The new tool, developed by EBSCO Publishing, is just the latest example of innovation for a department that is committed to helping students understand there is a whole lot more to research than what non-academic search engines offer.
 This comprehensive research technology arrives on the heels of national recognition for the library’s instructional program that embeds research skills campus-wide into the first-year English curriculum.

The Canadian Library Association was so impressed with the initiative that its Community and Technical College Libraries division granted Okanagan College its 2011 Innovation Achievement Award.
 “Because of CILRI, the library is now better placed to be a full partner in the teaching and learning role of Okanagan College,” said Gladys Watson, chair of the CTCL.

Follow this link to read more.

International students experience Aboriginal culture during Shuswap study tour

intaboA group of international students visiting the Salmon Arm campus from Kansai Gaidai in Japan had the opportunity to participate in a dynamic Aboriginal cultural experience during a trip to the Splatsin Band.

Hosted by John and Darrell Jones, and with support from Aboriginal recruiter Caroline Chartier and ESL instructor Tracy Riley, the Japanese students visited a historical site along the Shuswap river that had two newly built kekulis - constructed according to local traditions by First Nation youths and their leaders.

The Japanese students not only learned about traditional homes, but also about the locals crafts and baskets that were used in everyday life. They also joined community members from the Splatsin Band in a delicious traditional meal that included deer and moose soup, pit cooked salmon filled with berries and herbs, and corn and potatoes.

During dessert John shared a generations-old story about the 
medicine wheel and all the peoples of the earth. After the meal the Japanese students played an exciting  and fast-paced stick game with the highly competitive, but incredibly funny John and Darrell.

The cooperation between the Splatsin Band and Okanagan College staff created a meaningful cultural and educational experience for the visiting students.

Distinguished Service Award nominations now open

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Okanagan College Distinguished Service Award.

This award honours and recognizes former Okanagan College employees who have given outstanding service to Okanagan College, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Okanagan College, and who are active within and outside the Okanagan College community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.

Nominations from either a peer or supervisor are the chief source of candidates and all are given serious consideration.

Nominations should include:
    A personal profile of the nominee, including name, title, position, address, telephone number and email.
    A comment on their exceptional service to the institution, and the special connection the nominee has to Okanagan College and our region.
    A clear statement in support of the nomination including any supporting documents
    The name, signature, department or address and telephone number of the nominator(s).

Nomination forms can be downloaded here and should be submitted in confidence by Oct. 17, 2011 to:

Joanna Campbell, Assistant to the President
Okanagan College
1000 KLO Road,
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4X8
250-762-5445, ext. 4715.

Business EDEN course results in Test of Humanity

ethiopiaSeveral faculty and family, staff, and students from the Business Administration Department and the Practical Nursing Program (including David Northcott, Sheilagh Seaton, Lynn Sparling, Dana Susheski and Susie Duval) travelled to Ethiopia this spring to work with Canadian Humanitarian as part of the Entrepreneurship and Development in Emerging Nations (EDEN) course.

Following their unforgettable experience, the group is now launching the first annual Test of Humanity Mountain Bike Race in Summerland on Sept. 25, 2011 to help raise funds to support Canadian Humanitarian’s projects in Ethiopia as well as support the South Okanagan Food Bank.

Beginner to expert mountain bikers of all ages and abilities will be racing in the Test of Humanity endurance mountain bike race. The main event of the day is a four-hour endurance race for open and elite mountain bikers, but the day will also include races for beginners, juniors and kids. Fun and games for kids will be provided and there will be food and prizes supplied by many sponsors and charity volunteers.

All financial proceeds from the race will be used to support Canadian Humanitarian and its projects in Ethiopia and food donations, which are part of the registration fee, will be collected to support the South Okanagan Food Bank. To register, volunteer or to find out more about the Test of Humanity please visit the website at:

Home Hardware steps up to support students

bbqStudents at Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus are grilling up a big thank you to the local Home Hardware store after receiving a brand new barbeque, courtesy of Home Hardware.

Recruitment Coordinator Leslie Bogula approached the store in an attempt to secure a donation to support the Student Life Fund at the campus, which was earmarked to replace the 12-year-old run-down campus barbeque (former Dean Clyde Tucker donated the barbeque in the late 1990s). 
Rather than contribute to the fund, Home Hardware was even more generous – donating $1,200 of the cost of a$1,700 (MSRP) new barbeque for students.


Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Gary Hough

Funeral arrangements have been announced to celebrate the life of Gary Hough, the former Okanagan College Trades classroom assistant who died on Saturday at the age of 66 at Thunder Mountain in Kelowna.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. at Springfield Funeral Home – 2020 Springfield Road in Kelowna. Condolences may be sent to Gary’s family at

Gary joined Okanagan College in 1995 and quickly became a valued member of the Trades and Apprenticeship department. He spent 13 years working as a classroom assistant in several Okanagan College program tool rooms (Carpentry, Welding, RV Service, Automotive Service and Automotive Collision Repair) before retiring in 2008. During his 13 years Gary also taught part-time in the Mechanical Engineering Technology department. 

Gary continued working at Okanagan College even after his retirement and became an auxiliary employee in 2009. In all, Gary spent nearly 16 years of his career at Okanagan College, where he was well-liked for his good nature and sense of humour. Outside of work, Gary pursued his passion for dragster racing.

“Although Gary worked primarily in the Carpentry department he had an extremely positive impact on the entire portfolio,” said John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. 

“He had a quiet way about him,” said Associate Dean Randy Werger, “and a sense of humour that made him a pleasure to work alongside.”

Mackie House writer-in-residence arrives in Vernon

schmidtSaskatchewan writer Brenda Schmidt has arrived in Vernon for a two-week stay at Mackie House as writer-in-residence. A visual artist, as well as a writer, Brenda lives in Creighton, a small mining town on the Canadian Shield in Northern Saskatchewan.

The author of three poetry collections, A Haunting Sun, More Than Three Feet of Ice and Cantos From Wolverine Creek, her work has been published, performed, shown and broadcast across Canada. While living in the north, she has worked as a freelance reporter and photographer for small circulation newspapers, written a birding column and volunteered in a recycling centre. A naturalist, birdwatcher and active blogger, Brenda also specializes in the fine art of road trips.

Bill Robertson of the Star Phoenix calls Cantos From Wolverine Creek “...terse, fiercely unsentimental observations of life as many people live it.”

During her two-week stay at Mackie House, Brenda will be working on a manuscript that crosses the genres of poetry and creative non-fiction. The result will be published by Kalamalka Press in 2012.

Brenda Schmidt’s blog, Alone on Boreal Stage, is a thing of beauty. Check out her video poem Suckers at this link.

Karin Wilson to join Public Affairs

karinwThe Public Affairs Bureau will welcome Karin Wilson to the department on Monday, Sept. 19 when she begins her role as the new Marketing and Communications Specialist for Okanagan College. Karin brings a strong portfolio of experience to the Public Affairs team as a well-known and respected award-winning journalist and freelance writer.

Karin has a BA from SFU as well as a certificate in journalism from Vancouver Community College. She has extensive experience in newsrooms across the province – from CBC Radio to the Kelowna Capital News.

Over the past several years Karin has built a strong freelance business, working with clients such as the Vancouver Sun, Canadian Geographic and the Okanagan Institute.

In her new role Karin will be helping to develop the College’s internal employee communications portal as well as lending her talent to existing departmental undertakings such as social media development, external communications and even Inside Okanagan College.

Day’s video surpasses 10,000 hits on Youtube

Geography professor Terence Day is experiencing viral success with his video on topographic map profiles. The video, which was shot by Mike Minions and Karen Tessier, has now earned more than 10,000 hits on Youtube. The video was shot in one take with no script and no rehearsal - follow this link to check it out.

Werger completes 10th marathon

wergerOkanagan College’s Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, Randy Werger, recently completed his 10th marathon after running the Mount Robson marathon on Sunday, Sept. 11. The inaugural Mount Robson Marathon was held last weekend to commemorate the 100th birthday of BC Parks’ first provincial park, which was created on Vancouver Island in 1912.

The marathon was an out-and-back course that took runners on the famous Berg Lake Trail, which passes through several different environmental zones. Though organizers called it an out-and-back, it may well have been called an up-and-down, as the course had an elevation gain of 825m/2,700ft up to the turnaround point at the 21.1 km mark.

Not only did Randy complete the race (his first trail race), his time of 3:54 was enough to earn him a second place finish in his age group. Despite taking a tumble on the way down (notice the earthy hue on his shirt) Randy felt great throughout the course and has proudly added another marathon to his impressive running resume, which included the Boston Marathon this past April. His next stop - the Victoria Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Karen Tessier’s art featured at Okanagan College

karentThe Okanagan School of Business’s own Karen Tessier is being recognized for her talents outside of the institution. Karen, who works as a part-time portfolio assistant at the Kelowna campus, is also an accomplished professional artist. Her artwork is now being displayed on the first floor of the Centre for Learning building near the elevators.

Karen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UBC Okanagan as well as having completed course work at the Emily Carr Institute. People, landscapes, harmony, still life, and social issues are just a few examples of the wide range of ideas and concepts encompassed in her art.

In addition to her work in Business, Karen also teaches Beginner Acrylics and Studio Art through Continuing Studies. Check out her website to find out more.
September 13, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 12


IOC launches Sustainability in Education Series

Have you had students work on an interesting sustainability related project for you? Do you have a course that is centered around a sustainability issue? Maybe your whole department focuses on some particular aspect of sustainability principles.  

David Williams is seeking stories of how you have embedded sustainability principles in some area of Okanagan College’s educational programming. Your story does not need to have taken place in a classroom, but it does need to be related to education and learning at Okanagan College. Please send your 100-150 word stories to David Williams so that they can be featured in upcoming editions of Inside Okanagan in the new Sustainability in Education Series.

Penticton launches Speaker Series

The Penticton campus of Okanagan College is launching its 2011 Speaker Series with a presentation by History professor Dr. Shao-kang Chu on Sept. 19.

The series lineup features a number of interesting speakers, among them are some familiar names who also happen to teach at Okanagan College (see the events section for the first two presenters in the series).

The events will take place in the Penticton Lecture Theatre beginning at 7 p.m. on their scheduled dates. Everyone is welcome to attend and admission is by donation. Follow this link to view a pdf of the scheduled presentations. For more information, email or call 250-492-4305.

Canada Savings Bond deductions available soon

The Canada Savings Bond campaign will begin soon. If you’re interested in contributing to a Canada Savings Bond through payroll deduction or would like to make changes to your existing CSB, you will have the opportunity to do so in the near future.

Please stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for more specific information in the next publication.

CS series of brochures now available online

A new series of Fall 2011 Continuing Studies brochures are now available online. Visit to view the brochure for your region and find out which courses are available near you. Go online for the tuition waiver.

The Fall Classic is back

Calling all putters! The Kelowna campus is hosting the 5th annual Fall Classic putting tournament on Tuesday, September 20. This tournament is open to everyone...just find a partner, create an innovative name for your team and sign up with Angie March (local 4501). Tee times begin at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Each team should plan on spending 45 minutes to navigate the course.

Toastmaster group to form at Kelowna Campus

Okanagan College will host a new Toastmasters group at the Kelowna campus to help staff who are interested in acquiring new skills in public speaking or develop their existing skills.

Energy Manager Rob St. Onge will serve as the club president and the group will meet on Wednesdays between 12 – 1 p.m. on campus. Anyone interested in finding out more can attend a demonstration meeting at the end of the month – exact place and time will be shared in the next edition of Inside Okanagan College.

For more information about the Toastmasters organization, go online.
Please contact Rob St.Onge for more details 
Ext. 4876

Back to School Balance Sheet

Okanagan College’s employee and family assistance program provider PCC Canada has issued the September edition of its regular newsletter – this edition focuses on the topic of back to school.

This is also a reminder to employees that their children in post-secondary school are eligible for services as well. Transition to post-secondary can be an extremely stressful time for young adults. Students over the age of 16 can contact PPC Canada for assistance independently of their parents.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Michelle Tennisco an instructor in Continuing Studies who is the winner of the Sept. 9 payday draw for $575. 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) or from Human Resources.


A temporary power outage at the Vernon campus shut down classes for just over 24 hours after a main transformer at the campus failed. CHBC provided coverage of the story. Watch a clip here.

Just in time for the new school year Okanagan College students will be able to research thousands of journals, e-books and online resources with a single click. Okanagan College is the first in BC to adopt this new research technology. For years students have been able to do online library research, now it’s just gotten easier. Read more in: New technology launched at college.

Okanagan College and Toyota Technical College have had a partnership for 20 years that provides Japanese students the opportunity to learn automotive collision repair at the College. This summer the presidents from each institution planted a Japanese cherry tree to celebrate their 20 year friendship. The story was picked up by the Daily Courier, the Capital News and the Morning Star.

The Okanagan College Coyotes baseball team are heading into their fourth year and have added new Assistant Coach Lyall Foran to the coaching staff. He comes to the Coyotes after coaching the Medicine Hat Monarchs for the last three seasons. Read more in OC Coyotes add assistant coach and Coyotes gather large and talented roster.

In her School’s In column Registrar Jane Muskens wrote about the hurdles a student faces if they have to complete a criminal record check and outlines how the process will change next year. Read more in Mistakes made now could haunt you later. The following week Muskens wrote about the importance of applying to post-secondary early. Read more in Apply early for OC or UBCO.

Okanagan College is offering a government-funded program called the Employment Skills Access program for those who are unemployed. Read more in Skills seminar offered.

Fifty years ago Kelowna was chosen as the site for the new Okanagan Valley Vocational School.  Read more in New college for Kelowna.

Okanagan University College’s 2002 Honorary Doctor, Daphne Odjig, inspired a line of women’s clothing, Genesis. The Kelowna Art Gallery held a fundraising fashion show on Sept. 9 launching the line in western Canada. Read more in Daphne Odjig art-inspired fashion at KAG

Continuing Studies had a two-page spread in the Penticton Western News featuring wine student Andrea Peplinski. Read her interview and more about CS certificate programs in How to get a career in less than a year.


Sept. 18 – Summerhill Pyramid Winery will host the sixth Annual Organic Okanagan Festival on Sunday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Events take place at the winery and at Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning. Follow this link to find out more.

Sept. 19Penticton Speaker SeriesDr. Shao-kang ChuThe Challenge of the Chinese Language. 
What is the world’s most difficult language? The answer varies from person to person. For many non-Chinese, that dubious honour goes to the Chinese language. However, many Chinese find English extremely difficult. The fact is that all written and spoken languages have their culturally evolved characteristics, each of varying difficulty to persons of different backgrounds and cultures. Come spend some time with Dr. Shao-kang Chu, history professor at Okanagan College, while he discusses what sets Chinese apart from other languages and why learning it can be a challenge, even for the Chinese. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the Penticton Lecture theatre – admission is by donation. 

Sept. 22 – Okanagan College will host the third annual Youth Exhibition Powwow at the Kelowna campus from 10 – 2. For more information, contact Marcy Trotter.

Sept. 27 – Okanagan College’s Vernon campus will welcome Dr. Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, as this year’s first presenter in the Science in Society Speaker Series. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Please contact the Okanagan Science Centre or call (250) 545-3644 for advanced purchase of tickets or for more information.

Oct. 3 Penticton Speaker Series: Dr. Jarkko Jalava - Is Crime a Disease?
In the past two decades, neural imaging studies seem to show abnormalities in the brains of one group of offenders, called psychopaths. Because of this, some argue psychopaths should not be held criminally responsible for their crimes. Dr. Jarkko Jalava, Okanagan College criminology professor, examines whether science actually shows that psychopathy is a disease and that psychopaths have no free will. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the Penticton Lecture theatre – admission is by donation.

Oct. 6 – The Okanagan College Alumni Association will honour its 2011 Distinguished and Young Alumni Award winners, the Hon. George Abbott and Shane Koyczan, at a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. in the Centre for Learning in Kelowna. Contact Katerina Hay for tickets ($55) or 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, Sept. 27. Historians of the American Revolution may recognize this day as Samuel Adams birthday (1722). Adams is credited with helping to plan the Boston Tea Party, an anti-taxation raid on British ships that took place on Dec. 16, 1773.