Play Ball!  College, society join forces to field team

baseballRepresentatives from Okanagan College and the Kelowna Baseball Society will put signatures to an agreement this coming week that will see an Okanagan College baseball team participating in the fall 2008 exhibition season of the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) and playing in the regular spring season next year.

The agreement was reached after the Society approached the College to form a team to provide opportunities for baseball players in the Southern Interior to compete in a senior league. The CCBC is made up of teams from Thompson Rivers University, the University of Calgary, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver Island University and the Prairie Baseball Academy (which draws from both the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College).
Under the terms of the agreement, the society and the team players will be responsible for covering the costs of fielding the team, including coaching, transportation and equipment.
The organizations have agreed to a one-year pilot of the arrangement, and players and coaches will be expected to adhere to a code of conduct and comply to eligibility rules established by the CCBC and the College.
"We have been working with the College since spring to make this opportunity possible," said Bill Bayne, a spokesperson for the Society. "A number of people in the Central Okanagan who are very interested and involved in baseball saw an opportunity to partner with the highly regarded Okanagan College to develop a team to play in the CCBC.”
The College was very quick to respond and very thorough in working through the agreement, Bayne said.

College receives funding for two Aboriginal recruiters

One-time funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education will mean Okanagan College will have two full-time employees this fall to help with Aboriginal student recruitment, promotion and transition to post-secondary.
Funding was announced in late July and ads for the positions will posted in the near future. One of the positions will work from Penticton, serving the South Okanagan-Similkameen and the Central Okanagan, while the other will be situated in either Vernon or Salmon Arm and will serve the North Okanagan and the Shuswap Revelstoke region.
The funding was the consequence of an application prepared by James Coble, Okanagan College's Aboriginal Services Co-ordinator.
"The ultimate goal of the program is to increase aboriginal student enrolment at Okanagan College," explains Coble. "A corollary of the program will be enhanced communication and relations between the Aboriginal Community and Okanagan College."
The positions will work in conjunction with Coble, Public Affairs, and with the Regional Deans.


Marc Arellano's film to debut in Montreal

Communications prof Marc Arellano has had his films hit YouTube, his podcast has been profiled on iTunes, and now, a short film he's made about his family is going to be screened at the World Film Festival later this month.
An eight-minute production, Kanadean, is Arellano's exploration of identity and how it plays out for a man from Bolivia (Marc's father) and a woman from Quebec (Mom).
Arellano's film will be screened as part of the Migrations portion of the film festival. If the judges shortlist it, Kanadean will be put on-line as part of the web-based "people's choice" competition, Arellano explains. The public vote component of competition should begin in early October.
Marc blended digital video interviews with his parents with material taken from old home movies to create the story that charts the family from his parents' honeymoon in the Laurentians to now. He explains that while the film focuses on his family, it addresses the larger issue of integrating into an environment.
While Marc waits to find out what the judges at the competition think, he continues work on a feature-length documentary about Mexican labour in the Okanagan agricultural industry. That, he says, should be wrapped in six to eight months.
An article on Marc's movie exploits found its way into the Aug. 13 edition of the Capital News, where Marc found a way to promote the new media course he's teaching this fall.

High profile alumna takes on new role

launiskinnerIn the "Okanagan College Works Here" corner, we have the tale of Launi Skinner, a Business Admin Diploma grad and former Summerland resident who is just about to start a new job. The new gig? President and Chief Operating Officer with a company called 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
What makes the position, the alumna and the news more interesting than it might appear at first blush is that Launi has already distinguished herself in another career: at Starbucks, where she ended up as President of U.S. operations and head of global store design. The first woman to hold the position, she left it in March of this year after 14 years with the company, but not before Forbes magazine had listed her as one of the four women to watch on the list of Top 50 Most Powerful Women in 2007. (BTW, according to Fortune, the U.S. operations account for 79 per cent of Starbuck's annual $7.8 billion in revenues.)
1-800-GOT-JUNK? is no slouch on the global Richter scale, either. It bills itself as the world's largest junk-removal operation and has franchises in Canada, the U.S. and and Australia  (313 of them, at last count). The firm is consistently recognized as one of the best employers in the country and Launi cited the corporate culture as one of the reasons she chose to join the firm. She starts her new job Monday.
Lorrie Ford brought Launi's story to our attention - in an interview with Business Edge Magazine, Launi referenced her BuAd diploma from Okanagan College. 


Volunteers sought for orientation

The quest for help continues - at least in Kelowna, where the folks putting orientation events together for the first week of classes are hoping to attract a few more volunteers to provide all new and returning students with information and a warm welcome.  Shifts range from a half-hour to two hours and all volunteers are eligible for a prize draw at the end of orientation week.  Please contact Christy Cave for more information (phone  4469) or e-mail

Not too late to register!

Connections 2008 will take place at the Kelowna campus on Aug. 26-27. If you have yet to register for one of the days of the employee learning conference follow this link to make your workshop selections.

Interested in Olympians?

The Royal Bank has connected with Okanagan College to see if any instructors would like to have some of the Olympians that the bank has been supporting participate in activities or classes at the institution. Instructors can book the athletes to do motivational-type speeches for the period Sept. 2-4. Contact Angie March (4501) if you're interested.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Lucy Kwasniewski from the Physics and Astronomy department in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $435. 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.
Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff was at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College last night, hosting a town hall meeting that drew 40 people. The "wanna-have-an-election?" rhetoric is heating up and Ignatieff says he'd rather fish than cut bait. The story in today's Daily Courier . . .

Former Salmon Arm staffers were all over the CBC on Thursday morning . Don Sawyer, appeared first, representing a group called the Committee for a Strong and Sustainable Salmon Arm, and then wordsmith and former English prof Les Ellenor turned up a few minutes later to talk about the origins of some words of interest to residents of the Okanagan and Shuswap.

Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs Stan Chung put his creative writing skills to work in a piece of fiction he wrote for the Okanagan SUnday on Aug. 3, called Starlight Drive-In.

Jane Muskens' vacation included a little break from her regular column in the Kelowna Capital News, and Allan Coyle filled in with a column exploring quality assurance in post-secondary education. Christine Ulmer followed up with a column talking to students about the importance of making connections and getting experience to accompany their education.

Sundaes were the focus of an article and a photo on Page A7 of the Aug. 13 edition of the Capital News when Christy Cave and Alicia King were caught making the treats for staff and students as part of the Student Life initiative.

Additions to the course offerings in Business Administration were the focus of an article that appearance on Page 5 of the August Business Thompson Okanagan magazine, with Dr. Jayne Brooks cited.

Summerland's Home for Learning project continues to garner media attention, with students and the contractor eager to talk about the quality of the experience and education. A half-page article in Business Thompson Okanagan brought the messages altogether . . .

Marc Arellano's expertise in communications drew a reporter to ask him to comment on a consultant's report into the shutdown of the Chalk River reactor last year and the ensuing international medical crisis. See the Kelowna Capital News article of Aug. 1.

News of the Alumni Association's choice for Distinguished Alumni and Young Alumni award spread far and fast after the Public Affairs press release was distributed. Steve MacNaull's column in Okanagan Saturday led with the news and it was also carried on Page A3 of the same edition of the paper. Maxine DeHart noted Don Turri's selection in her column on Aug. 6

When Leilah Nadir was announced as the winner of the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in B.C. Writing and Publishing, the press picked up on the news (Event Magazine, Aug. 6). And when the author was honoured at an event that included CBC personality Todd Butler, the Vernon Morning Star was on hand to photograph and report the event.

Going green has been on everyone's agenda of late, and the Kelowna Capital News chose to do an in-depth article on the subject as part of its regular Sunday close-up series. Figuring prominently in the story was Okanagan College's new Centre for Learning and the decision to build the structure to LEEDS Gold standards.

She might have other things on her mind right now, but for Neetu Garcha - the newly chosen Miss Penticton - her educational plans are clear: she'll be attending Okanagan College in January to study marketing.

Word of the agreement between Okanagan COllege, Selkirk College and College of the Rockies continues to reverberate in the local media with the Oliver Chronicle picking up the story in its Aug. 6 edition.


Aug. 26 & 27 - Connections: a chance to connect with colleagues. Register, Now.

Sept. 2 - Free Hot Dog lunch
for all staff and students from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the completed-by-then patio area at the Kelowna campus.

Sept. 10 - Employer's Expo (aka Student Job Fair) being held at the Kelowna campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Contact Angie, ext. 4501)

Sept. 11 - Community Services Expo - at the Kelowna campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for businesses and Okanagan College departments who have services or discounts to offer students. Contact Angie for more information (ext. 4501)

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). (For those who keep track of such things, last year's winners were Pat Dandeneau and Tracy Harrison.)


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 Aug. 29, 2008 - two days after Connections is finished, and when it will definitely be too late to register!