Connections 2008

The event formerly known as Next Steps has a new name: Connections 2008.

For the past two Augusts, Okanagan College has hosted an institutional
get-together and professional development opportunity at the Kelowna campus
for staff, called Next Steps. You can mark August 26 and 27 on your calendar and plan on attending one of those two days, but don't call it Next Steps as you block off the dates.

Drawing on feedback from participants and looking at what has made the event such a success, the Leadership Team has decided to rechristen the event Connections 2008, recognizing that one of the features that people like most about the event are the connections that it allows: connections with other staff; connections with news about the College from the past year; connections with the plans for the future; and - importantly - connecting with opportunities for learning and professional development.

A detailed program for the event, along with your opportunity to register for Connections 2008, will be sent to you later in the spring. So, as organizers work on materials, workshops and the myriad details that go into an event of this magnitude, keep an eye on your calendar and try to keep the date clear! (To maximize the opportunities for staff to attend, the Leadership Team is asking that to the greatest extent possible, competing activities not be scheduled that would conflict with those days).

College and SD 23 - partners in education

mouOkanagan College signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with School District 23 on Tuesday, Feb. 5 that commits both partners to promote collaborative programming, expand access and opportunities for students and provide a foundation for further partnership. Several Okanagan College programs are open to School District 23 students including the Home Support/Resident Care Attendant program, which currently has seven dual credit students enrolled. Read the Public Affairs press release or visit the media section for more information.

The virtual classroom experience

Okanagan College will be testing a 30-seat virtual classroom and meeting space using Elluminate webconferencing for the month of March. Anyone interested in giving it a try can contact Ed Tech Coordinator Mike Minions.

Visiting professor returns to Shanghai with fond memories

wuxuOkanagan College staff and students recently said goodbye to Dr. Xu Wu, a visiting professor from the English Department of Shanghai University. Dr. Wu arrived in Kelowna the middle of October and has returned home to Shanghai.  Dr. Wu was very impressed with the quality of education and the student-centred approach adopted by Okanagan College. Dr. Wu plans to incorporate some of the College’s methods in her teaching at Shanghai University. As a gesture of her appreciation, Dr. Wu prepared an authentic Chinese dinner for the International staff and the ESL instructors.

Arkle to headline OBSA Business Banquet

nickNick Arkle, Okanagan College’s 2007 Distinguished Alumni award-winner and Chief Forester at Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd., will headline the Okanagan Business Students’ Association 29th business banquet on March 13. The banquet will be held at the Grand Okanagan beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are now available - visit for more information. Read the Public Affairs press release for more information.

Inside Okanagan College launches new section

As a result of greater staff participation and contribution to Inside Okanagan College, today's edition will include a new section entitled Ourspace. Two new features that will be recurring in Ourspace are monthly submissions by the Library and Institutional Research’s Factlets. Ourspace is meant to be a place for colleagues to submit and share information about what is happening within our college - information that doesn't fall into the categories of News, Events, People or Notices. If you have an idea for a submission, email Christine Ulmer.

Business students ACE fundraising event

aceACE Okanagan (Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship) recently hosted a networking and fundraising evening event at the hotel El Dorado in Kelowna. Students involved in the ACE program, as well as faculty, advisors and business leaders from the community attended the event where ACE projects were unveiled.

A keynote speech delivered by Dave Krysco, co-founder of Club Penguin, was the highlight of the evening for many of the Okanagan School of Business students as he discussed their company culture, core
values and social responsibility initiatives.

The ACE students are currently preparing for regional competition at the
end of February in Calgary and national competition at the beginning of
May in Toronto. For more information about ACE contact the President,
Andrew Malashewsky  or Faculty Advisor, Dr. Kyleen Myrah .

International celebrates Chinese New Year

spicyOkanagan College’s International department hosted a multicultural celebration of the Chinese New Year on Thursday, Feb. 7. The evening event featured performances by the Seven Seas Lion Dancers, Yamabiko Taiko, and student singers, pianists and guitarists. More than 20 international students participated including students from Okanagan College Kelowna, Vernon and UBC Okanagan. A traditional Chinese fashion show also took place as well as a buffet-style dinner.


The College’s partnership with School District 23 resulted in coverage in the Kelowna Daily Courier: School District teams up with college on care-aide program and the Kelowna Capital News: Partnership sends high school kids to college.

An article in the Salmon Arm Observer profiled the partnership between School District 83 and Okanagan College: Trades programs offered.

The Minister of Health’s announcement of funding for research into Aboriginal programming and an Aboriginal gathering place made the news in the Salmon Arm Observer: Supporting aboriginal education.

Jim Reed, President of the BC College Presidents' Association was interviewed on CBC radio talking about the challenges facing BC colleges. Follow this link to hear the interview in its entirety.

The Okanagan School of Business was featured in the Okanagan Saturday for the success of the College’s business competition teams during 2007. Check out Okanagan School of Business: Business Teams have a Banner Year, “Top Team” BC Business Simulation Competition and Top 6 Finalist – Queens.

A press release about the upcoming Alumni Awards issued by Public Affairs was picked up in the Salmon Arm Observer: College sponsoring awards. and the Penticton Western News: College seeks nominations.

Stan Chung’s global citizen column took on a somber note as Stan wrote about his last visit with his father. Before you follow this link, prepare yourself for tears: Seeing father for the last time.

The Penticton campus of Okanagan College was featured in an article by the Penticton Herald announcing the campus’s commitment to the second annual Adopt-a-Trail cleanup campaign. Read more in: Creek cleanup set for March 29.

A story about the efforts of one of the South Okanagan Community Literacy program’s volunteers ran in the Oliver Chronicle. Read about Phoebe Lumsden’s journal and how it will help other volunteer tutors in the South Okanagan: Literacy volunteer’s journal to benefit South Okanagan.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah was featured in a piece by the Business Thompson Okanagan. Myrah’s work in the field of entrepreneurship was highlighted as laying the groundwork for a possible specialization for the School of Business. Read more in the BTO

The Home for Learning project in Summerland wrapped up on Feb. 1 with a VIP reception. The event received media coverage in the Summerland Review Home project completion celebrated.

The general contractor for the project, Homescape Building & Design, also received media coverage in the Okanagan Sunday based on the company’s success at the Tommie awards: Seven’s a charm for Homescape Building & Design. The Business Thompson Okanagan also ran a story about the contractor: Valley firms earn multiple gold Tommies.

The Kelowna Home for Learning general contractor Jim Lamb of Vintage Design Ltd. was also featured in the Okanagan Sunday for his contribution to the award-winning program.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In column offered information about career testing: Research required to assess your career options.


Robert Ruf takes on new role

Congratulations to Robert Ruf who became a father on Feb. 2, 2008 after his son Jeremy Charles was born. 

The faces of campus health and wellness

The Jan. 18 edition of Inside Okanagan College profiled the expansion of the Campus Health and Wellness program to include nursing staff at each campus. What the article didn’t include was photos of the nurses who are now available as a resource to students.

nurse3  nurse2   nurse1
Pene Berthelsen
Penticton ext. 3263
 Barb Lohnes
ext. 2269 (Vernon)
ext. 8230 (Salmon Arm)
 Jean Bryans
Kelowna ext. 4279

College employees recognized for service

Each year Okanagan College recognizes milestones in employee service to the College at a dinner reception. Staff who meet the milestones (10, 15, 20, 25 years) are brought together in recognition of their achievements. This year’s group of employees who attended the event include:

10 Years:  Barbara Bailey, Blair Baldwin, Dianne Biggar, Olga Bordas, Joanna Campbell, Ruth Chambers, Shelagh Donnelly, Gerry Dyck, Richard English, John Gibbon, Lana Hiscock, Jill Holmes, Susan Kane, Zsuzsanna Kiss, Gord Lacey, Lynda Lays, Alfred Leimert, Max Lowther, Donna McGrath, Beverly McNamara, Cameron McRobb, Hans Nevrkla, Gina Nixon, Eric Paakspuu, Sharon Reems, Gerald Schellenberg, Gayle Thomas

15 Years: Heather Banham, Cindy Battersby, James Bieber, Douglas Birtwistle, Chris
Castanier, Kerry Davie, Gregory Fjetland, Donna-Leigh Goodman, Rick Goulden, Brian Gregory, Norbert Heinzelmann, Frances Jasiura, Glen Jones, Kyoko Jones, Diane Kelly, Leslie Kiehlbauch, Pamela Krieg, Kathleen McLean, Mark McLean, Diana Nordin, Gail Notenboom, Ellen Pedersen, Debra Peterson, Bradley Piontek, Judith Rourke, Howard Soon, Lynn Sparling, Terrence Stewart, Dona Sturmanis, Ross Tyner, Charlene

20 Years: Richard Appleby, Janet Baron, Alan Cohoe, Nancy Cooper, Alan Duckworth,
Douglas Dyck, Judy Finley, David Harris, Shaunna Kozak, Linda McKinlay, Nancy Noble-Hearle, Donald O'Brien, Sharon Oliver, Wanda Radies, Lianne Rozniak, Richard Shea, Jennifer Sigalet, Maureen Stephens, Dianne Tanner, Janice Ulrich

25 Years: Laura Neame, Harry Van Asseldonk, Grant Willis

30 Years: Carol Avedon-Savage, Lena Fletcher, Benita Worley

Retirees: Milvi Berg, Alida Boyd, Trevor Braem, Alex Dingwall, Nicholas Gammer, Hazel Hiebert, James Herron, Allan Hill, Mary Ellen Holland, Rose Marie Jupp, Colin Lacey, Judith Libbrecht, Elizabeth Lycar, Christine McMillan, Ronald Mohr, David Pannell, Sherry Price, Dale Urquhart, Lynn Van Montfoort, Shirley Yusep, Robert Willox, Henry Mainemer

To view photos of those employees who were in attendance at the recognition ceremony, follow this link to a photo gallery.

College professors present research at American Geophysical Union

geophysicalDr. Leif Burge (Geography and Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Dr. Norman Corbett (Math) presented a poster at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting in San Francisco in Dec. 2007. The conference was attended by 15,000 delegates with expertise in such varying fields as climate change, oceanography, seismology, planetary science, and hydrology. The presentation described research into the structure of riverbeds. Specifically, Dr. Corbett and Dr. Burge have been applying techniques used for signal processing (Fourier and wavelet analysis) to river profiles for the first time. Entitled “the structure of step-pool mountain streams through wavelet analysis,” the research was supported through the Okanagan College grants-in-aid and professional development funds.  In addition, they’ve started the Okanagan College Data Analysis Group (OCDAG) to involve students in scientific research.  Ryan Morgan and Zoe Masters, both second year science students, collected data from Mission Creek last summer to investigate the creek’s stability. The Mission Creek research will continue this summer. 

Judy Libbrecht Retirement Celebration!

Join staff and friends to celebrate Judy Libbrecht’s 21 years of service to Okanagan College at a lunch on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 11:45 a.m. at Infusions in Kelowna. Judy has worked for the college for 21 years in the Office Administration program – now it is time for Judy to enjoy life on the green! 

College staff continue to LERN

valCongratulations go out to Val Banks and Nancy Ankerstein on their recent (and successful) completion of the Certified Program Planner course through LERN. Val is the latest of a growing number ofnancy Continuing Studies staff who have achieved their LERN designation. Nancy is the first person in Trades and Apprenticeship to become certified. Congratulations to both!

Marian Fazan 1936-2008

Marian Fazan, a longtime employee of Okanagan College, passed away on Feb. 2, 2008. Marian joined Okanagan College in 1970 where she worked as a program administrator with Continuing Studies in Salmon Arm. Marian retired in 1996. In respect of Marian’s wishes, no formal service was held – donations to the SPCA may be made in lieu of flowers.

Diana Nordin retires to warmer climates

Come and celebrate Diana Nordin’s retirement at an afternoon reception at Infusions in Kelowna on Wednesday, March 5. The event begins at 3 p.m. – appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be open. Diana’s colleagues and friends wish her well in her retirement and as she starts a new chapter in Bermuda.

Welcome to Kim Snyder

Okanagan College welcomes Kim Snyder to the position of Scheduling Clerk within the Office of the Registrar. Kim will be working on the timetabling and final exam scheduling and can be reached at local 4625 in Kelowna.
February 15, 2008, Vol. 1 Issue 22


College flags lowered

Flags have been lowered at Okanagan College campuses in recognition of the campus shooting at Northern Illinois University.

IT updates

Okanagan College computer systems are being upgraded between February 15-19.

Banner, myOkanagan, wireless, the Service Request System and all other integrated systems will be unavailable from today at 4.30 p.m. until 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. WebCT, Outlook, Novell, printing and VPN access will not be affected. For more information contact the IT Services Help Desk at 4444 or check the Current System Status on the IT and Employee home page.

Shut down your computer

IT Services wants to remind you to shut down your computer at the end of the day to help conserve energy. Leaving your computer on when you call it a day may save you a few minutes in the morning if you don’t have to log back in,  but the costs are enormous. A single computer, left on nights and weekends, can cost $95 a year in wasted energy. Power down when you leave for the day or for an extended lunch break.

Resist the urge to hit print

Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 2007, almost 900,000 pages were printed by faculty and staff. There are lots of ways to cut down on paper use at your own desk. Do you really need a hard copy of that email? Could you forward it online instead? Have you spell-checked your document before you print it? Most websites now feature Printer Friendly Format option buttons to avoid wasting a lot of paper and ink on extra detail from the web page. Think before you press Print. Make sure you and your colleagues are as conscientious at work as you are at home. For more tips visit:

50/50 winners announced

Congratulations to Nancy Darling from Trades and Apprenticeship who won today's payday draw for $440 and to Kathy Hamilton from Arts and Foundational programs who won $435 for the previous payday draw. 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.

Change to retroactive reimbursement under the Fair PharmaCare Plan

In a recent newsletter, BC PharmaCare has advised that, effective Jan. 1, 2008, PharmaCare will no longer reimburse prescription or medical supply costs paid before the date a family registers for the Fair PharmaCare program.  To find out about all of the changes and what will stay the same, follow this link. Please contact Phyllis Van Steinburg, HR Advisor, Benefits by telephone at (250) 762-5445, extension 4547 if you have any questions.

Revelstoke’s new mailing address

Okanagan College’s mailing address has changed at the Revelstoke Centre. The centre is no longer at Bag 4500. The new address is:
Box 3118
V0E 2S0

Campus Stores pre-inventory clearance sale!

Campus Stores is featuring a clearance sale from Feb. 25 – March 7 at all four campuses. Save 20% off regular priced clothing and 50% off all clearance priced items. Drop by your local store to check out the deals or contact Carla Macfarlane for more information.

Upcoming  Convocation dates - please mark your calendar

Dates for Okanagan College’s Convocation and Commencement ceremonies have now been set and are as follows:
June 6 - 6:30 p.m.  - Trades Commencement (Reading Dean J.Haller)

June 7 - 10 a.m. – Spring Convocation (morning) Arts, Science, Technologies, Commercial Aviation, ECE, BCIS, CIS, Criminal and Social Justice (Reading deans: R. Huxtable, P. Beckmann,  J.Brooks)

June 7 - 2 p.m. -  Spring Convocation (afternoon) Business diploma and degree (Reading Dean: J.Brooks)

June 26 - 6:30 p.m.  – Summer Convocation ECE cert, CDA, HSW, Therapist, HS/RCA, ABT, Legal, ABE grad diploma, ASE  (Reading Deans: R. Huxtable, P. Beckmann, J.Brooks)

Faculty interested in attending the convocations listed above and those who would like to be part of the procession, must contact Stephanie Paul. Please specify which ceremony you wish to attend, and if you require regalia. When ordering regalia, please provide you credential and school attended i.e. MA (SFU), and your height. If you have your own regalia please inform Stephanie. The deadline to order regalia for convocation is March 28, 2008.

Kelowna Occupational Health and Safety Committee

The OH&S is a joint committee comprised of representatives from staff at Okanagan College whose functions include: promoting health & safety, accident investigations, health and safety inspections, ensuring conditions and activities in the workplace are in accordance with WCB regulations and examining recommendations from employees regarding safety issues.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding safe working practices please contact Okanagan College Safety Coordinator, Catherine Williams or one of the committee members:
Marni Esson Co-chair, Sandra Kenefick Co-chair, Arch Doody, Rosa Watkins, Jasmine McGee, Erin Radomske and Drew Petrie

Vacation Entitlements for 2008 and 2007 carryovers

Human Resources has now updated the 2008 vacation entitlements and 2007 carryovers for all Okanagan College staff. The links for “my staff leave summary” and “my leave balance” in myOkanagan have now been turned back on. You are now able to see your vacation entitlements and any carryovers from 2007.  These can be found under the OC Express - Administrative Functions section. You will find your leave balance under “My leave balances” and your staff under “My staff leave summary.”  

Any vacation requests received by HR as of Feb 8, 2008 have already been entered in the system. Please do not hesitate to contact Phyllis van Steinburg at 762-5445, extension 4547, if you have any questions.

Okanagan College Tuition Bursary - 2007/2008

Today is the deadline for applications for the Okanagan College Tuition Bursary. Faculty are asked to remind students about the availability of this financial award. The number of eligible applicants will determine our ability to assist as many students as possible, to the extent of funding available (up to $500 for winter 2008). To apply, visit the  web to download an application form. Completed applications must be submitted to the regional campus administration office or the Student Services Welcome Centre at the Kelowna campus today.


Applicants must:
a) be in the 2nd year of a diploma, associate degree or university transfer program, or 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of a degree program
b) be registered in a minimum course load of 60% (40% course load for students with a permanent disability)
c) be in good standing as per the Okanagan College Student Conduct Policy, not on academic probation and not have outstanding fees
d) demonstrate financial need
e) be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants

Project: Save-A-Life

Local Rotary Clubs have partnered with Health professionals to offer Project: Save-A-Life, free CPR training to anyone over the age of 10. The training will take place at Kelowna Senior Secondary on Saturday, Feb. 16. Four sessions will be offered, each one-hour in length. Pre-register by calling 762-9023 for sessions that begin at 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m.


Feb. 16 – Free CPR training will be offered by Project: Save-A-Life. Four sessions will take place on Saturday beginning at 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Call 762-9023 to pre-register. This training is open to anyone over the age of 10.

Feb. 18 - Experience Okangan College is happening Monday at the KLO campus . This event offers a chance for Grade 11 students to come to the College and take sessions put on by our faculty.  There will be about 500 students on campus that day. Other campuses will host similar events in May. For more information contact Christy Cave.

Feb. 18 & 19 – More than 450 Grade nine and 10 students involved in the Junior Achievement of British Columbia program will spend the day at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College learning about the economics of staying in school.

Feb. 19 - Ecology of the Salmon Arm Bay presentation - the Salmon Arm Bay is considered by many experts to be the most important wetland in the interior of B.C.  This visual presentation will demonstrate the importance of marshland on both a local and global level; with slides of the flora and fauna of the bay area. Presented by the Shuswap Naturalists’ president Ed McDonald. This event takes place at 12 p.m. in the Salmon Arm student union lounge.

Feb. 20 & 21 - Educational Technology Workshops in Kelowna next Wednesday and Thursday - visit the web for details and registration.

Feb. 21 - Talk About Nunavut presentation - this visual and audio presentation will enlighten the audience on the many exotic images, sounds and facts of Nunavut and its inhabitants.  It will include over 100 slides of images gathered while living in the eastern arctic, especially Baffin Island.  As well, there will be personal anecdotes of the difficulties and pleasures of living in the remote territory and audio samples of pisiks (songs), throat songs and legends.  Presented by Leah Shaw – CBC Radio producer/reporter, Freelance Writer, Photographer, and Lecturer. This event takes place in the Salmon Arm Student Union lounge at 12 p.m.

Feb. 21 - Okanagan College will host seven booths at a Career Fair at the Grand Okanagan. Representing the College will be: Commercial Aviation, the Okanagan School of Business, Trades and Apprenticeship, Continuing Studies, Arts and Foundational programs, Science, Technology and Health. This event is open to the public and runs from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Feb. 22 - OK Activist Club Friday Night at the Movies will show Unrepentant:  Kevin Annett and Canada's Genocide at 6 p.m. Stay after the movie to hear from Kevin Annett at 7:30 p.m. This event will take place in the lecture theatre at KLO.

Feb. 25 – Join Johann Funk, retired Okanagan College professor of sociology, as he presents Verse from an unholy land, a discussion based on his two years of volunteer work with Christian Peacemaker Teams in a violence reduction program in the West Bank. Johann will offer glimpses into the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in verse and photos from his work in the city of Hebron and the rural village of At-Tuwani.  This event begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka lecture theatre.

Feb. 26B.C.’s Important Bird Areas Program (I.B.A.) - this powerpoint presentation will explain the Important Bird Areas in B.C., for example the Douglas Late Plateau which was designated an I.B.A. area in 1995.  The Shuswap Naturalists hope to have the Salmon Arm Bay given the same designation, preserving this important wetland area. Presented by the Shuswap Naturalists, Ed Dahl vice-president. Takes place in the Salmon Arm student union lounge at 12 p.m.

Feb. 28 Suds ‘n Slides is offering an afternoon event featuring Arch Doody. Arch will present a unique blend of maritime folk music and humour from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Minstrel Café in Kelowna (4638 Lakeshore Road). This event will also be Diana Nordin’s last Suds ‘n Slides before she retires so come out and say farewell. For more information contact Nancy Darling.

March 5Reaching New Heights: Travel to Machu Picchu and Kilimanjaro - enjoy dialogue and pictures of two breathtaking treks in Peru and Tanzania.
Presented by Karen Sansom, math instructor in the AACP department at Okanagan College, avid hiker and traveler. This presentation will take place in the Kalamalka lecture theatre at 12:30 p.m.

March 7 – Okanagan College will host the 25th annual Spaghetti Bridge contest at the KLO campus. The all-day event gets underway at 9:30 a.m. and will feature student participants, international competitors and a return appearance by Bob Williams, former heavyweight titleholder. To find out more about the event contact  Michelle Lowry.

March 10 Relationship and Dating Violence: Awareness and Prevention. - this presentation will address the prevalence of violence and abuse in casual and intimate relationships in college and university students in Canada, the impact of abuse on a woman, and steps both women and men can take to increase personal safety. The event takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka lecture theatre.


Library Question of the Month

The question for the month for January was “How would you improve the library website?”  We had good student response and lots of great comments. Click on this link for student responses, and answers.

One result of December's Question of the Month is that the library responded to student needs by establishing a “Quik Print” station in the Kelowna Library. This means that students quickly print something off, rather than wait for a free workstation. The library also put into circulation, five additional library laptops, bringing the Kelowna total up to 25. These are usually all signed out by ten each morning.

February's Question of the Month is: What is your experience
using e-books and how do you think they would help with your study and
research at the College? (Definition: An electronic version of a book
that can be read on a computer or other device).

IR Factlets

To kickoff Institutional Research’s inaugural submission, we have included three factlets taken from Fall 2007 Demographics data:
•    Penticton has the oldest campus with the average age of students 27.9 years and 55 per cent of students under the age of 25. Kelowna has the youngest campus with an average age 24.6 and 69 per cent of students under 25.
•    Business (degree and diploma) is the largest program by headcount with 1,283 followed closely by Arts (university transfer and diploma) at 1,152.
•    Kelowna has more males than females - females are 48 per cent of the student body. The highest proportion of females is in Penticton: 67 per cent.

See the IR web site for more IR Factlets or check the next edition of Inside Okanagan College.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o  Christine Ulmer.

Watch for a special edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE issued on February 22, 2008.