Salmon Arm expansion breaks ground

saCollege President Jim Hamilton and Board Chair Lance Kayfish were joined by Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes and the Honourable George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and MLA Shuswap, at a ground breaking event at the site of the College’s $1 million expansion of the trades training facility in Salmon Arm this morning.

Okanagan College Foundation president Steve Tuck, Board of Governors member Phillippe Bourbeau and former Regional Dean (and now Foundation Board member) Lynda Wilson were just a few of the familiar faces who joined dignitaries and students at the site of the expansion. Residential Construction student Ginette Therrien addressed the group expressing her thanks to the federal and provincial government for their support. Together, the governments provided nearly $1 million of funding through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. To find out more about the project read a joint federal-provincial press release.

Strategic plan review finds its Voice

On Friday, Feb. 12, many of the members of the strategic plan team met to map out the consultations, the calendar and the plan for completing the review by early April. With the project charter to guide them, they’ll be working with Heather Stewart, the consultant who helped with the Designing Our Future process five years ago, as well as Arnica Rowan, a Business Administration professor, and Ian MacRae, who will be assisting with research and preparation of an environmental scan.

The team chose a name for the planning process: Voice. It captures the opportunities to contribute, to express ideas and opinions, and to listen. Stay in touch with the process – a website will be launched later this week ( that will provide information about the process, about the dates for consultation and much more. (If you’d like to be informed when the site is launched, e-mail Michelle Lowry.)

The first strategic plan described our current Mission, Vision, Values and Key Directions for 2006-2011. These have guided the College’s education, operational and capital planning. Now, it is time to review our progress and to look at what we've done well, and what we'd like to do better. Do we want to change our Key Directions? Are our Values still valid for employees and students? Are our Mission and Vision right for the Okanagan College we envision for 2015?

Become a Student portal now live

becomeaOkanagan College’s homepage has changed slightly with the addition of the Become a Student portal. The homepage has been streamlined to make accessing information easier than ever for prospective students. Links to International, How to Apply and Future Students have been included in the new portal: Become a Student, which now lives at the top of the blue banner on the left of the homepage.

The project, undertaken by the Registrar’s Office, IT Services, and Public Affairs, provides a one-stop-shop approach for prospective students to find all the information they need about how to become an Okanagan College student. 

When students enter the portal, they identify their needs based on who they are as a student, such as high school, Aboriginal or transfer. They can then find information about services available to them, the application and registration process and much more.

The portal was designed to provide tailored information to students, based on their specific needs. 
Become a Student is a project that will be developed in phases – phase one is now live and includes information about admissions, registration and important contacts.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Inga Wheeler or fill out the survey found on the High School page.

Koyczan welcomes the world with poetry

shaneOne of the highlights of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was a moving poetry reading by Penticton’s Shane Koyczan.

Though he has won prestigious awards, published books and addressed all kinds of audiences, the slam poet and Okanagan College alumnus will likely never forget the experience of sharing his poetry with the world at the opening ceremonies. If you missed Shane’s poem We Are More, or if you just can’t get enough of the feeling of goose bumps, read it on or watch an earlier version of the poem on Youtube.

2010 Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Doug Manning

manningThe Okanagan School of Business will welcome Doug Manning as its 2010 Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Manning is the third of a string of local renowned business professionals to lend their time to students at Okanagan College. He takes the reins from Ed Hall who served in the position in 2009. Prior to Hall, Bill Redmond was the College’s inaugural Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Manning is the Executive Director of Special Projects for Envictus Corporation, a company whose mission is to help schools prepare more college- and career-ready students.
Manning is well known throughout the region as the co-founder and former CEO and President of Bridges Transitions. Before selling the internet-based career information system company in 2006, Manning was honoured for his leadership of Bridges with the Ernst & Young eBusiness Entrepreneur of the Year – BC (2001) and as Kelowna’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2000).

Prior to developing Bridges, Manning had a long career in School District 23 as a teacher, counsellor and administrator. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from the University of Victoria.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with students and faculty at Okanagan College,” said Manning. “I find entrepreneurship fascinating and invigorating and I love enabling other people to be enterprising in their lives.”

To read the full Public Affairs press release, follow this link.

Entrepreneurship in action

entrepreneursStudents in Dr. Kyleen Myrah’s Buad 293 class had an opportunity to learn from the successes and struggles of entrepreneurs when the class hosted an entrepreneurship panel discussion.

The panel included Prestige Collision owner Mark Regier, Cosmic Logic founder Andrew Roberts, President of Alchemy Developments Derek Fuhr and CFO of Aquassure Bath Products Shari McDowell (Regier, Roberts and Fuhr are all Okanagan College business alumni).

During the class, each of the entrepreneurs shared their stories with students – offering advice and honesty about the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. The session was videotaped by Mike Minions and can be viewed by following this link.

Year of the Tiger

intlOn Friday February 12, international students and members of the community entertained a packed theatre of spectators at Chinese New Year and International Night in Kelowna. Despite going head-to-head with the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games, the international celebration drew more than 300 people to Okanagan College.

This year’s performance saw a diverse group of students showcasing a taste of comedy, talent, food and culture. International Education is still getting feedback from satisfied patrons who are already looking forward to next year’s show. Gong Hei fat choi

E is for Entrepreneurship

SIFE Okanagan has launched E-Club - the place to be for student entrepreneurs. The group meets every second Friday in Kelowna to gain resources, mentorship, networking, support and professional development that will contribute to the long-term success of their business. Guest speakers are brought in regularly to share their experience, knowledge and wisdom. The E-Club also takes part in regular networking events around Kelowna. Students work together to support each other’s ideas, brainstorm solutions, and inspire creativity.

The E-Club meets from 5 – 7 p.m. in E202 (Centre for Learning Building). Staff are encouraged to share this information with students who may want to attend. The next meeting dates are:

Feb. 12
, Feb. 26
, Mar. 12
, Mar. 26, 
Apr. 9

. Contact Lisa for more information.

SIFE co-hosts debt seminars

More than 100 students at the Kalamalka campus attended two Financial Health Seminars that were hosted by SIFE, KCSA and OC Campus Health on Jan. 27 and 28. Financial Representatives from TD Bank and the College’s Financial Aid and Awards department presented information about student loans, credit cards, budgeting and scholarship opportunities.

Participating students appreciated that their concerns about finances were being addressed and that they were able to find information and resources to address their issues. With great feedback from the seminars from students like, “I feel much more confident about my financial future” more seminars will likely occur in the future. For more information, contact Megan at SIFE Okanagan.


Thorpes join Centre of Excellence campaign

thorpeYasmin and Rick Thorpe will help lead the $5 million fundraising campaign for the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation in Penticton. The former South Okanagan MLA and his wife will serve as Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs.

The Thorpes have a long history of support for Okanagan College and its students. In 2005 they established a $250,000 scholarship fund for students of Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan. To date, 28 student from the Okanagan have received a combined $70,000 in first-year scholarships.

“I’m thrilled,” says Okanagan College Foundation President Steve Tuck. “Yasmin and Rick are tremendous supporters of the College and post-secondary education in the Okanagan. They’ve helped make higher learning a reality for many students in our region through their scholarship program.”

For more information, read the entire Public Affairs press release.

Bobby Gidda weds

giddaAfter a four-month leave of absence, Bobby Gidda has returned to his post as Accounts Payable Clerk in Financial Services. During his leave, Bobby traveled to India where he married Harpreet Kaur on Dec. 27 in a traditional Sikh ceremony.

The newlywed has been busy working towards the grand opening of his family’s winery. Construction of Volcanic Hills Estate Winery has been underway at the corner of Boucherie Road and Douglas Road in Westbank for the past 10 months and is scheduled to open in March 2010. 

Warner provides input at Fresh Outlook Foundation event

On Jan. 29 Dr. Rosalind Warner, Political Science department, served as a panelist commentator for the Fresh Outlook Foundation’s screening of The Age of Stupid as part of the annual ReelChange Sustainability Film Fest held this year at UBC O.

More than 600 people attended the two-day public festival, which featured 11 films on a variety of sustainability topics, from garbage waste to renewable energy and educational reform. The Age of Stupid is a documentary/drama/animation hybrid, which asks the question: "Why didn't we stop climate change when we still had the chance?" To find out more, contact Rosalind.

Therapist Assistant students lend a hand


Okanagan College Therapist Assistant Diploma students Diane Courchesne and Jessica Ingram lead the pre-walk warm up exercises for this year’s Investor’s Group Walk for Memories on Jan. 31, to help raise funds and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. The 2010 Walk for Memories set records for both monies raised and participants. The 2011 Walk for Memories will be on January 30, 2011.

MacLeod keynote speaker at Student Voice

Douglas MacLeod, Associate Dean, Science, Technology and Health, presented a keynote address on Feb. 10 at Student Voice, a forum for student leaders from school districts in the region. Every fall the Okanagan Student Voice sends four students down to Vancouver for a Provincial Forum to discuss an important issue in secondary education today. The students then return to the Okanagan and host a similar forum for students in order to gather the Okanagan student voice on this issue.

This year’s topic was Technology and Communication in Education, and the event was held at the Schubert Centre in Vernon. MacLeod's address included some historical perspectives on technology in the classroom, current issues and thoughts for the future, and raised some thought provoking questions from high school students.


President Jim Hamilton is featured on the cover of this month’s edition of Okanagan Life Magazine. In the article, Hamilton comments on the past, present and future of Okanagan College. Read more in: Exceeding expectations, embracing change.

Okanagan College alumnus Shane Koyczan wowed the world with his poetry at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Games. Read more about Shane in: Penticton poet helps welcome the world.

Al Cohoe, Okanagan College’s Chair of Motor Vehicle Trades, recently shared tips for Olympic-bound RVers on Global TV’s morning news. Watch a clip of Al with Global's Steve Darling and Lynn Colliar.

Okanagan College’s Under One Roof partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Vernon has paid off once again, enabling a local family to move out of their rental home, into a place of their very own. Read more about the contribution of Residential Construction students in: Project opens the door for family.

Okanagan College students and companies looking to hire graduates networked at a recent event hosted by the Okanagan School of Business in Kelowna. Read more in: Job fair covers full and part-time work.

Okanagan College’s new Board of Governors Chair, Lance Kayfish, received note for his election to the position in the local media throughout the region. Read more in: College names new chair for board of governors and Kayfish heads OC Board.

Okanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is planning a trip to Ethiopia to help build a library, a rare find outside of the country’s capital. Read more in: OK College to help Ethiopia. 

The College serves the community by continuing to educate more students each semester. Read more in: College enrolment continues to climb, Student numbers remain on the rise for Okanagan College and College calling to more students and College calls to more students.

A dual credit partnership between Okanagan College and School District 23 produced a home in the summer of 2009. Read more about the partnership and the sale of the home built by students in: Sale finalized for home built by students.

The Okanagan College Crusaders received media coverage prior to their tough weekend match up against TRU. Read more in: Crusaders facing must-win weekend for playoff chances.

College alumna, Kelly Scott, had results at the Scotties tournament that were up and down. Read more in: Scott in action at Scotties, Scott squad falls to Jones at Scotties, Ontario grip slips; Scott does splits, Jones into final, Scott set to face Ontario foursome, and Scott settles for 4th at Scotties.

Scott was also recognized by her peers at the 2010 Tournament of Hearts. Every year the curlers vote for the person who best exemplifies the spirit of sport. This is Scott’s second time winning this award. Read more in: Scott recognized for her sportsmanship.

A new scholarship has been started that will benefit mature students taking the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship program in Kelowna. The new Jacobsen Pontiac Buick Lou Simonelli Achievement Award is named after a College alumnus who is also a former Jacobsen mechanic. Read more in: Donation to college honours retired mechanic.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Stan Chung, Global Citizen columnist and Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs, wrote about the simplicity and complexity of love. Read more in: Love is a decision.

Anne Kirkpatrick, Development Officer for the Okanagan College Foundation, was featured in the Women in Business section of the Okanagan Sunday this week. Anne is currently working on raising money for Penticton’s Centre of Excellence. Read more in: College officer got her first taste of the job as a United Way volunteer.

The great work of the Okanagan College Foundation was highlighted in a Forever Young article. Read more about the students who have been helped by the Foundation in: Giving 101.

In her weekly School’s In column, Jane Muskens, Interim Registrar, commented on Okanagan College’s ability to respond to disaster in light of recent events in Haiti. Read more about the College’s business continuity plan in: Okanagan College is prepared for a Haiti-like disaster.

Howard Soon, Sandhill winemaker, and Okanagan College Viticulture instructor, along with his award winning wine were featured in the Globe and Mail article: Master of the Okanagan. Soon has been part of the evolution of the wine industry in the Okanagan over the last 30 years and is now helping train the next generation of winemakers.
February 16, 2010 Vol. 3 Issue 21


Nominations now open for alumni awards

Nominations are now open for Okanagan College’s two alumni awards: the Distinguished Alumni Award and Young Alumni Award. The nomination criteria and nomination forms are available online - nominations will be accepted until March 12, 2010. For more information, contact Erin Kavanagh.

Office recycling: walk the walk

recyclingThe Good News – Okanagan College employees in Kelowna are recycling more, and throwing less in the garbage.

More Good News - now all recyclables go into one bin, which means less hassle for everyone. No more sorting, except for refundable drink containers.

The Challenge - getting our increased volume of recyclables picked up and out the door for processing. Help us out by Walking the Walk – please take your office recyclables to the bin in your hallway. Your important contribution enables us to keep our offices and hallways tidy, put less waste in the landfill, and support a more sustainable college community.

Tip: Pick a day of the week that works for you, walk your recyclables to the hallway, and make it a habit. Thanks so much for your on-going help. Your little recycling bin goes a long way.

Kelowna campus Food Services survey

Okanagan College is conducting a food services review for the Kelowna campus. Staff and student focus groups have been set up and there will be an open house for anyone to attend on Feb. 22 between 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in S103B (executive boardroom).

Staff participation and feedback is appreciated. Coffee and treats will be supplied. Anyone who can’t make it can also fill out the food services survey online.

Planning is now underway for Connections 2010 – Okanagan College’s annual employee learning conference (Aug. 25-26). Organizers are currently welcoming suggestions from staff to find out if there are specific learning sessions that should be included in this year’s event. For those who may not have attended Connections in the past, the day’s activities are meant to engage and inspire staff from all facets of the institution.

Do you have a skill or talent you would be willing to share with your colleagues? The organizing committee has gathered many ideas for sessions, but they still need your input. In the box or out of the box, related to your day-to-day work or completely apart from it, organizers are hoping to provide a broad array of sessions for staff to chose from but they need help coming up with ideas.

Feedback from last year’s event indicated that many would like to hear from a guest speaker in the morning session. Have an idea that you would like to hear presented? Do you know of a dynamic speaker (from within Okanagan College or our community) who can bring a perspective to our event that crosses all aspects of what we do?

Please contact Kaya Forest if you have session or speaker suggestions. Please stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College in the coming weeks for more details.

Kelowna campus to host World Community Film Fest

Fasten your seatbelts for a whirlwind trip to over 20 other countries! Okanagan College will co-host the eighth annual Travelling World Community Film Festival, featuring over 30 films from March 12 -14.

The lineup includes inspiring stories of people who are positively influencing the world, as well as films on challenging issues such as the impacts of oil and mineral exploration. Topics include the environment, music, arts and culture, food security and water issues, and social justice. Many of the documentaries have won prestigious international awards, with two films, Burma VJ and Garbage Dreams, short-listed for best documentary for the 2010 Academy Awards.

Admission to all films is free, but donations are accepted for the Kelowna’s Women’s Resource Center and the Ki-low-na Friendship Centre. Film descriptions and the schedule are online. For more information call: 250-868-0900 or email:

Ed Council: Call for nominations and notice of elections for faculty and support staff

Okanagan College is calling for nominations for faculty and staff positions on Education Council. Six faculty positions are available for the following program clusters: business, arts, science/technology, health and social development, trades, foundational. Two support staff positions are also available. Terms for these positions are from August 1, 2010 – July 31, 2012. Nominations are due Feb. 24, 2010 and must be received by the Registrar in Kelowna by 4 p.m. that day. For more information, follow this link.

Ed Council: Call for nominations for student by-election

Okanagan College is holding a by-election for one student representative from the Central Okanagan on Education Council. The term for this position is from April 1, 2010 – Oct. 31, 2010. Nominations are due to the Registrar at the Kelowna campus by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Follow this link for more information.

Electronic Leave Management Training

Okanagan College has implemented an on-line leave system called ELMS (Electronic Leave Management System) to replace the paper-based leave form. Effective Mar. 1, 2010 Human Resources will no longer be processing paper-based leaves and wants to ensure staff have adequate training on this new system.

Several mini hands-on training sessions have taken place at the Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm campuses. Staff who may have missed these sessions can refer to the on-line user guide found under OC Express – Administrative Functions, My leave balances (ELMS) or join the hands-on training sessions still to come:

Wednesday, Feb. 17 – 9 a.m. – Kelowna Campus – C344H

Thursday, Feb. 18 – 11 a.m. – Kelowna Campus – C344H

Friday, Feb. 19 – 1:30 p.m. – Kelowna Campus – C344H

For more information, email Liz Currie.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Lyle Howlett from Co-Op Education in Kelowna who won last week’s payday draw for $522.50 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 or online.


Feb. 22 - ILLT Lunch and Learn Series - “A global perspective on post-secondary education and why what you do counts” with Jane Muskens, Interim Registrar of Okanagan College. Find out how Canada compares to other countries when it comes to access and the quality of our post-secondary system. See why your job plays such an important role for Canadians today and in the future. Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30-1:20 p.m.  

Feb. 22 – Penticton Speaker Series - Our Chaotic Universe, Ken Tapping (DRAO). How stable is our Solar System? What makes the structure we are seeing in the observations of the cosmic microwave background - the fading breath of the beginning of the universe? Why are galaxies distributed in a 3-D network with large voids between? We are only now starting to appreciate the importance of the interplay of many slight forces in moulding nature, whether it is the flowing of a stream, the shapes of clouds, the unpredictability of the weather, the orbits of the planets or the shape of the universe. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 1- Kalamalka Speaker Series - “Kandahar: A Province of Afghanistan,” with Wynn Polnicky. The mission in Afghanistan is one that rightly attracts much attention within Canada, but little detailed examination. Canadian goals and the implementation of its strategy in Kandahar will be examined by a former military operational analyst based on his experience there in 2006/2007. This free event takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka Campus Lecture Theatre.

Mar. 8 – Penticton Speaker Series - The Living Building Challenge: Okanagan College’s Exciting Green Building. An innovative building designed to be informed by its climate and region, that generates all its own energy from renewable resources, recycles all of its water, uses local materials with minimum detriment to the environment, and to be used to teach the next generation of trades men and women in the latest sustainable thinking. Robert Parlane will be talking about the College's newest building currently under construction in Penticton. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 8 - ILLT Lunch and Learn Series  - "Social Media in Teaching and Learning" with Glen Coulthard, Business Okanagan College.  Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.  

Mar. 15 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - "Killing Kalamalka:  How nutrient loading is threatening the future of Kalamalka Lake, Vernon's main domestic water source" with Randy Schellenberg. Schellenberg is a local business owner and the spokesman for the Citizens' Coalition to Save Silver Star Provincial Park. Topics of discussion will include Vernon and Silver Star wastewater, biosolids composting, effluent irrigation, and the MacKay reservoir. Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Mar. 15 – Penticton Speaker Series - A Travelogue, Ron Spence, Okanagan School of Business. Two road trips, 13,596 miles and about 200 restaurant interviews, form the raw material for an entertaining, creative, sometimes shocking, well illustrated with both original drawings and photographs, and set Journal Pieces and ad-libbed anecdotes that bring his voyage to life. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 19 - ILLT Lunch and Learn Series - “Happiness through Character Building” with Ben Coleman, Psychology Okanagan College, in the Kelowna Theater 12 -12:50 p.m.

Mar 22 - Kalamalka Speaker Series - “Sucking on lemons!" with Ben Coleman, Psychology, Okanagan College. When life delivers lemons, why will some people pucker-up while others will smile? Your ability to prosper and remain happy in life, even when sucking lemons, will depend on whether or not you have established these “essential” psychological strengths in your daily life. This free event takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka Campus Lecture Theatre.

Mar. 22 – Penticton Speaker Series - Looking at the Milky Way and Seeing the Galaxy, Chris Purton (DRAO). The Milky Way is our galaxy seen from the inside.  Probing the depths of the Milky Way and building up a picture of what our Galaxy would look like from the outside is a process covering several centuries of research.  The process continues, with major additions to the picture incorporated quite recently. Chris will outline this history, and present the most recent ideas of what our Galaxy is actually like. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 29 - ILLT Lunch and Learn Series Tips and Techniques for Classroom Instruction (Film) with Rob Kjarsgaard, Coordinator of Okanagan College's ILLT.  Rob will lead a follow-up discussion of the film on teaching techniques and will present an update on the ILLT.  Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.  

Mar. 29 – Penticton Speaker Series - Parsing Nature, Don Gayton. Our social and individual bonds to nature are at the roots of the current environmental crisis. In this interactive discussion, we will dig down to explore these roots, their historical development, how they have changed over time, and how they need to change in the future. Session will be led by Don Gayton, ecologist and author of several books about nature. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

April 7 - ILLT Lunch and Learn Series - “Diversity” with James Coble, Aboriginal Access and Services Coordinator Okanagan College, in the Kelowna Theater 12 - 12:50 p.m.

April 12 – Penticton Speaker Series - Film “Revolutionary Road.” A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.


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, March 2, 2010