Camp OC underway with significant growth in registrations

campocNearly 1,000 children and teens are registered to attend one of nine weeks of Camp OC that will take place at campuses in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Penticton – the largest enrolment since the summer kids’ camp began nine years ago.

At the Kelowna campus, 800 students are signed up for a variety of weeklong programs that range from CSI investigations to culinary arts to designing and building their own longboards. In Salmon Arm, nearly 100 students are expected to attend the Lego and science camps, while more than 60 students are expected to come to camp in Penticton.
The camps will continue to take place throughout the summer.

Registration is still open online for a number of the weeklong sessions and College employees receive a discount when they send their own kids to camp (10 per cent off.) Go online to: to view the schedule and sign up.

To read more about Camp OC, read the Public Affairs press release.

IT identifies key areas of focus, undergoes slight restructure

IT Services has been engaged in a busy and productive start to 2012. Over the course of the past six months and in the wake of a service review, a series of client consultations, and the retirement of two valued members of the department, the team is engaged in a number of focus areas including a slightly revised organization structure to ensure the department is positioned to respond to the increasing and changing needs of users.

Employees can visit COLLEGE MATTERS to find out more about the focus areas, a new governance committee and the restructure.

College hosts Canadian University Mathematics Conference

mathOkanagan College’s Kelowna campus hosted students for one day last Friday as part of the Canadian University Mathematics Conference (CUMC).

More than 120 undergraduate students from across the country met in the College’s Centre for Learning to discuss their passion for mathematics. The College event included two keynote addresses from Jennifer Hyndman of the University of Northern B.C. and Catherine Beauchemin of Ryerson University. Another 40 presentations and talks were given by the students themselves.
The College was also the location for the Women in Math and Science (WIMS) Dinner. This is the third year the CUMC has hosted the event and this year’s theme was Breaking Down Barriers: Challenges Facing Female Mathematicians.

The evening began with a round table discussion, held in the Centre for Dialogue, where panelists from both industry and academia were given the chance to share their experiences and discuss a range of topics.

Participants also had the opportunity to openly join the conversation with their own questions and comments. Following the discussion, dinner was served outside in the courtyard. The event shone a light on the various challenges facing women in mathematics and was an invaluable venue to discuss breaking down the barriers to their success.

“We hope to exemplify the roles that colleges play in the overall undergraduate educational experience,” said CUMC president Crystal Parras. “It is through this partnership with Okanagan College that we aim to bridge the gap between colleges and universities and provide more opportunities to make these transitions for undergraduate students.”
Joe Hobart, a Professor in the College’s Mathematics and Statistics department echoed these sentiments.

“It is incredibly exciting to have the CUMC visit Okanagan College,” he said. “The conference has given our students the opportunity to interact with other undergraduate mathematics students across Canada as well as expose them to some incredibly influential speakers from outside the Okanagan. The contributions made by the College (both financially and in time) illustrate Okanagan College's ongoing commitment to student excellence in mathematics.”
The College’s participation in this conference was sponsored and supported by the Science, Technology, and Health and Social Development portfolio, the Okanagan College Faculty Association (OCFA), the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) and the British Columbia Women in Technology (BCWIT).
Visit the CUMC website at for more information.

If you’ve missed College Matters…

winsladeCOLLEGE MATTERS, the College’s internal employee communication portal, has reported on a number of important and interesting stories ranging from employee achievements to horse rescues to the new accountability plan.

If you’ve missed College Matters, here are a few of the topics that have been covered:

- Russ Winslade has been named Acting Director of International Education
- The ESL department has moved from International Education to the Arts and Foundational Portfolio
- Payment options for students have been revised (credit cards no longer accepted for some payments)
Critteraid- A schedule of Moodle workshops
- 50/50 winners from the staff lottery
- A story about how Alf Leimert, Judy Colpitts, John Kenny and Residential Construction students came together to aid a group of wild horses
- And much more

To catch up on College Matters, log in to myOkanagan and click on the link to the archives for complete coverage.

John Lent Poetry Contest winner announced

Kalamalka Press is announcing the recipient of the first annual John Lent Poetry Prose Award. This year’s winning manuscript, How to Make a Collage, comes from Winnipeg-based poet Ariel Gordon.

A total of 36 manuscripts found their way into the competition. While the judges for this year’s award, Laisha Rosnau, Jake Kennedy and kevin mcpherson eckhoff, were exhilarated by the range of subjects and aesthetic risks undertaken by most of the entries, they agreed that the winning selection fearlessly wrestles the complexities of human relationships using emotionally dynamic lines and metaphors.

The judges would also like to note two strong honourable mentions: Documenting in the Brink by Kathleen Brown and Osteogenesis by Claire Caldwell, both of which demonstrate haunting/halting imagery and a profound attention to sound.

Arial Gordon receives a $100 honorarium, while her poems will be published as a fine press chapbook by Kalamalka Press in the coming academic year.

To read Ariel’s poem, go to


Mel Kotler to be remembered for commitment to community

kotlerThe Okanagan College community is grieving the loss of one of its most stalwart supporters, Mel Kotler.

Kotler died Sunday at the age of 70.

In addition to being well known as one of the most respected business leaders in the Okanagan, Kotler had close ties to Okanagan College.

In 2011 he became the College’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the School of Business. Later that year he was named as one of the 2011 Honorary Fellows, recognized for his outstanding community service.

In 2002 he was presented with a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal by Sindi Hawkins for his outstanding service to the community. He was also named Entrepreneur of the Year as well as Community Leader of the Year. In 2004 Kotler was awarded the Fred Macklin Memorial Award for his contribution to the wellbeing of the City of Kelowna.

The United Way recognized his leadership and service with a series of honours including the BC Vice-Chair’s Award of Distinction in 2004 and the Award of Distinction in 2008.
Recently, Mel and his wife Dina established the Scholar Fund in Retail Management through a donation to the Okanagan College Foundation. The fund is designed to enhance the College’s retail programs.

President Jim Hamilton described Kotler as an exceptional man.
“Mel took his role in the community seriously. He built an outstanding business, and then spent countless hours contributing to growing a strong community. His son and a daughter attended Okanagan College, so Mel truly was part of our family. He set a tremendous example of what can be accomplished and he will certainly be missed by many.”

Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of Business, praised Kotler for the time he spent with students as Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

“He spoke to classes, met with and mentored students, helped judge student presentations and was always available to just talk with students and convey his experience, knowledge and love of business,” McGillivray said. “Mel will be greatly missed by the staff, students and administrators of the Okanagan School of Business. They will miss his good nature, his friendliness and his willingness to share his vast experience in business and in life in general.”

Private funeral arrangements are being made, and a public Celebration of Life will be held sometime in the near future. Further information will be posted in COLLEGE MATTERS when details are known.

Kozak and Goodall retire

IT Services said farewell to two long-time employees who retired last month after contributing a combined 55 years of service to the institution.

shaunnaShaunna Kozak was with the department for 22 years. According to Dave Goodall, who hired Shaunna, there were about six people in the entire department at the time. Shaunna and husband, Gene, are enjoying their new leisure time by travelling and golfing.

And, Dave G, the original IT guy, retired after 33 years of service.
“Dave made a great leap of faith when he accepted our offer to come to OC as the first manager (and only employee) in Computer Services,” said John Watson, former Okanagan College Bursar.

daveg“The leap of faith was required because the College had no computers! Computing courses were taught using cardboard boxes marked ‘CPU,’ ‘tape drive,’ and ‘card reader.’ From where I sat, Dave was a perfect employee. He was methodical, knowledgeable and industrious. I have told many people that looking back over the years in post-secondary (John went on from OC to become President at BCIT and worked in higher education in the UAE) Dave is in my top five of people I hired and was number one at Okanagan College.”
There are now 35 people in IT Services and a sound IT infrastructure, largely due to Dave’s vision and commitment to the organization.

Hamilton and Koehle crowned 2012 Bocce champs

BocceIt was a battle to the finish - “a real nail-biter” - according to the official judge Lee Robinson, as the 2012 Bocce finals came to a close on Friday in Kelowna.

Competing for top honours were the Mojos (Dianne Carr and Cathy Schwarz – both from the Finance department) versus the West Wing’s Jim Hamilton and Steve Koehle.

In a best-of-three challenge, the West Wing prevailed, winning two of the last three games. The Mojos took the first game with a score of 11 to 10 but succumbed to the West Wing in games two and three losing 5 to 11 and then 9 to 11.

The highly coveted Bocce trophy was presented to the winning duo (who had help throughout the regular season from Joanna Campbell and Liz Plamondon.)
July 17, 2012 Vol. 7 Issue 7


Kelowna campus electrical power shutdown

A campus-wide electrical power shutdown will occur at the Kelowna campus on Saturday, July 21 between 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 22 between 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The electrical interruption is necessary to maintain and service the high voltage electrical distribution system.

Peter Csandl, Manager, Operations and Energy Systems, recommends staff not come to the Kelowna campus on that weekend as there will be limited electrical power supplied by electrical backup generators to some areas.

IT Services does not expect the shutdown to have any impact on services and will be on-site in the event of power disruption.

For more information, email Peter Csandl or call local 5625.

Register now for Connections 2012

From speed greetings to learning symposiums, there will be something for everyone at Connections, this year’s seventh annual Employee Learning Conference.

The conference takes place Tuesday, August 21 and again Wednesday, August 22 at the Kelowna campus. Registration and information can be found online, along with a workshop planner with a host of new workshops.

PPC Canada July newsletter now available

Okanagan College's Employee and Family Assistance provider, PPC Canada, has issued the July 2012 newsletter. As the hectic summer months are upon us, this edition offers valuable, time-tested insights into ways to simplify your life. Check out the Did You Know? section for tips for sun protection. 
Also, PPC’s free webinar series continues on Thursday, July 26 from 12 to 12:45 p.m.,  featuring “The EFAP Program: How You and Your Family Can Benefit."

Please click on the link provided in the body of the newsletter to register for the webinar.


Three Okanagan College graduates were photographed at Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre before attending the College’s Vernon Convocation ceremony. Check out the snapshots of Kristina Wandeler, Jodie Kozma and Joleen Bailleul from the Vernon Morning Star.

Public Affairs issued a series of press releases on the recipients of the inaugural Employee Excellence Awards. A number of media outlets picked up the local stories: College library clerk receives excellence award (Penticton Herald), Business professor wins highest employee honour (Kelowna Daily Courier), and SIFE Okanagan founder honoured with award (Kelowna Capital News).

News of Mel Kotler’s death was shared in many local newspapers. Read more about the Honorary Fellow and former Entrepreneur-in-Residence in: Kotler, Mel, Philanthropist loses battle with cancer, and Valley businessman, philanthropist dies.

A record number of students participating in Continuing Studies’ Camp OC were featured in the Kelowna Capital News. Check out the story and great photo of Katana Litster with her custom longboard in: From rockets to cooking to chemistry, Camp OC programs drawing growing numbers.

A press release announcing the College’s revamped Collision Repair Technician program was picked up by the Capital News, Daily Courier, Penticton Herald and online by Collision Repair Mag. Read more about the program in: Collision repair shops applaud new repair technician program, College program filling a need in the collision repair business, and Collision shops applaud new program gearing up at Okanagan College.

A former Okanagan College student was remembered in a series of articles following a fatal motorcycle crash in front of the College’s Kelowna campus. Read more about Ryan Cridland in: Cridland, Ryan Sean, ‘Skilful, brilliant’ man dies in crash, Crash course from cops, One dead, one hurt in bad accident, and Motorcyclist killed in crash on KLO.

Okanagan College student Adele Brick was featured in the Vernon Morning Star as part of a project that aims to educate boaters about the risks associated with the invasion of two alien mussel species in B.C. waters. Adele is studying Water Engineering Technology at the College. Read more about the project in: Program targets invaders.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In column focused on the B.C. government’s new international education strategy. Read Jane’s take on the strategy, what it means to B.C. and why Competition is tough to attract foreign students to Canada.

Okanagan College’s Spaghetti Bridge contest was featured in the Kelowna Capital News in a column written by John Leech, executive director of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. In his column, Leech explains why ASTTBC sponsors the event and offers insight into the importance of investing in youth and education. Read more in: Combine business with technology.

The North Shuswap Kicker included an article by Margaret Hardy, Downtown Community Campus Coordinator for the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. In the article, Hardy shares her views on the need for Agricultural programming at the College’s Salmon Arm campus.  Read more in: Fall Agricultural Programming Planned for the Fall. (Please note that despite the author's representations, there has not been a determination of the new programming and when it might be offered.)

Okanagan College hosted the awards ceremony for the 2012 Dragons’ Den edition of the Young Entrepreneur program earlier this month. Read more about the winners and their products in: Dragon’s [sic] Den style entrepreneur competition award handed out.

The Penticton Herald published a feature on the annual British Columbia Youth Writers Camp, which took place at the Penticton campus. Read more about the camp, which is co-sponsored by Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Yasmin John-Thorpe, in: ‘I don't think I could ever do anything else.’

 An article about changes to parking regulations in Kelowna appeared in the Kelowna Capital News. Among the changes are new fees to park on the street around the College’s campus. Read more in: Free street parking access curtailed.

The RV Lifestyles Seminar was featured in the June 2012 issue of Forever Young. Read more in: Highlights of the offerings at this year’s RV Lifestyles Seminar and We LOVE RVing.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer. To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter's publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, July 31.