Convocation honours student achievement

rawldonNearly 1,400 students were recognized throughout a series of Convocation ceremonies held in Kelowna on June 6 and 7.

One of those students was Rawldon Grant, a graduate of the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems, who earned an academic medal for achieving the highest graduating grade average of anyone in the baccalaureate program.

Rawldon is the first international student to earn the award. Originally from Antigua, Rawldon made the trip back to the College in early June with his mother to accept his degree and his award.

He was one of six recipients of academic achievement awards recognized at the Spring Convocation ceremonies.

The award winners were:

Governors General’s Silver Academic Medal and Bachelor of Business Administration Medal: Matthew Richard Jamil Badke
Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal: John David Partanen
President’s Award Diploma: Marc Robert Schroth
Academic Medal Associate of Science: James Jared Zurowski-Tiffin
Academic Medal Associate of Arts and President's Award Diploma: Megan Leelane Stager
Academic Medal in Bachelor of Computer Information Systems: Rawldon Grant

Two more convocation ceremonies will be held at the end of this month: Vernon on June 25 and Kelowna on June 26.

Before the end of the month, more than 2,100 students will have graduated from Okanagan College in 2014.

Geoffrey Couper goes Global

couperChef Geoffrey Couper was featured in a cooking segment on Global TV last weekend as part of the Saturday Chefs series.

Proudly wearing his Okanagan College chef coat, Geoffrey joined local author Jennifer Schell to talk about the abundance of great cuisine in the Okanagan while whipping up a spring salad of asparagus and alliums with goat feta and salsa verde, all while sipping on Sauvignon Blanc.

Follow this link to watch the segment with Geoffrey.

Kelowna campus construction update

crtThe Trades Complex project continues to be busy with numerous construction projects underway.
Building demolition began this week with the front of the Collision Repair shop being torn down to make way for the new Sheet Metal shop. Construction of the Plumbing shop between the Carpentry and Collision Repair buildings is underway with the foundation almost complete for the addition.

Concrete and soil excavation in front of the Trades building will start this week in preparation for the construction of the three-story tower and renovation of the woodworking area of the Carpentry shop. Two storage buildings are also being constructed outside the north east side of the Automotive shop.  
The KLO Road Transit project is also ramping up significant construction at the bus loop as well as changes to West Campus road.
Signage is in place to direct students, staff and visitors around the Trades and transit construction zones. Temporary bus stops have also been set up on KLO Road.

Staff, students and visitors are reminded they need to wear appropriate personal protection equipment when in the construction zone areas.

CanFlip comes to Okanagan College

Okanagan College is hosting CanFlip14, the third annual flipped classroom conference, on June 19-20 at the Kelowna campus.

The conference is run by educators, for educators, and offers small, interactive sessions and engaging keynote presentations from Chris Weir and Aaron Sams.

Registration is still open for the conference, follow this link to find out more.

Get your College hoodies

bookstoreOkanagan College Campus Stores have expanded their line of program-specific hooded sweatshirts. The stores began carrying Nursing hoodies in 2012 and added Engineering hoodies in 2013 with great success.

“Based on feedback from students, we’ve introduced Business hoodies to the line, which will be available in the fall at all stores,” says General Merchandise Buyer, Carla Macfarlane. 

“The hoodies serve to reinforce the Okanagan College brand and promote school spirit,” she says.

The shirts retail for $39.99. Contact Carla Macfarlane if you have suggestions for expanding the line at extension 4675.

Idle No More in Kelowna

saddlemanMore than 110 community members, Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan students and employees attended the Idle No More event at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on June 4. The event was sponsored by Okanagan College Aboriginal Access and Services department and the Okanagan College Faculty Association.

The focus of the event was to create awareness around the proposed changes to the First Nation Education Act, Bill C33, and the effects it will have on Aboriginal peoples.

Several people spoke at the event, including Okanagan College BBA student Tina Miller, Okanagan College Professor OCFA Human Rights and International Solidarity rep Norah Bowman, UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College Professor Bill Cohen. The highlight of the event was a talk by poet and Nlaka’pamux and Okanagan Nation Elder Dennis Saddlemen who shared his personal struggles about overcoming the abuse faced at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.


Yvonne Caldwell rides for charity

yvonneOn June 8, Library technician Yvonne Caldwell participated in the Bike ʾn Braai. She and her team from the Kelowna Cycling Club rode the 70 km route in a non-competitive bike ride around the Mission and South Kelowna area to raise funds for the Kelowna General Hospital.

Since its inception eight years ago, the Bike ’n Braai has contributed over $125,000 to the hospital for medical equipment and patient care.

The ride ended with a gourmet barbecue at a private lakefront property. Her next cycling adventure will see her riding in the RBC GranFondo taking place in Whistler in September.

Wanda Radies showcases The Power of Identity

Wanda Radies, Adult Special Education Instructor at the Salmon Arm Campus, presented her new book The Power of Identity; The Pride, and History of People with Intellectual Disabilities in a workshop at the provincial annual Disability Resource Network (DRN) Conference held at Vancouver Community College on May 27, 2014.

Wanda's book, along with the comprehensive instructor's manual, will be a valuable resource to Adult Special Education departments in colleges across B.C. as it provides the knowledge and language in which to address a variety of topics of interest to adults with diversabilities in college programs.

“This resource will provide ASE students with access to their own history," said Wanda.

Jim Barmby delivers paper at Brock

barmbyOn May 26, Regional Dean Jim Barmby delivered a paper at the annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education at Brock University. 

The paper was a summary of his dissertation on the relationship between provincial governments and post-secondary institutions, looking specifically at Alberta.

Covering more than 35 years of post-secondary policy development, the key finding was that bottom-up policy development was successful in Alberta, as well as B.C., because universities and government officials truly collaborated; examples of this include the 1962 MacDonald Report and Alberta’s 2003 Post-Secondary Learning Act.

What’s more, Barmby’s research revealed that policies developed in a top-down manner, those imposed by government officials upon the universities regardless of any consultation process, inevitably failed.

Jun. 17, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 6



Self service computer updates

IT Services has prepared two documents to assist employees who are in need of updating their computers. The first is a general Windows Update document that will guide staff through the process of updating any Okanagan College supplied laptop. 

The second specifically addresses updating the version of Internet Explorer to address the Heartbleed vulnerability. You will find these documents at this link, in Ask Us and on the IT Services home page.
Ideally, IT Services recommends running the full update process per the Windows update Guide. Anyone looking for the quick fix to patch Internet Explorer should use the second document (Internet Explorer repair guide.)
Should you not feel comfortable updating your computer on your own, please submit a Service Request or contact the Help Desk at local 4444 to schedule a time to have a technician assist you remotely or perform the update in the office.

Pension contribution rate to increase

The Municipal Pension Plan has advised that a contribution rate increase will be effective starting July 1, 2014.
This rate increase is the result of the latest actuarial valuation, an independent financial review of the Plan’s assets, liabilities, demographic trends and investment performance. The 2012 valuation report has determined the following:

-    the plan is currently 96.5 per cent funded
-    to address the shortfall in funds, the Municipal Pension Plan Board of Trustees must increase the total contribution rate by 1.48 per cent of salary.

Plan members and employers will share a contribution rate increase. Members’ rates will increase 0.7 per cent of salary and employer rates will increase by 0.78 per cent of salary. 

For more information, contact the Municipal Pension Plan 1-800-668-6335 toll-free in Canada and U.S. or

Vernon campus delivery schedule

Supply Management's regular Friday delivery truck run to the Vernon campus will be discontinued for the summer. The last run will be on Friday, June 20. It will resume on Friday, Aug. 8.

The Balance Sheet

This month’s Balance Sheet newsletter from PPC Canada focuses on fitness that can be easily accommodated within a busy lifestyle. The first article, Staying Fit While You Sit, offers some advice about small exercises you can do even if you’re at a desk most of the working day. The next article Folks With Spokes – Cycling to Work details both benefits and considerations to be made in incorporating a bicycle for your commute.
Employees are welcome to sign up for Optum PPC Canada’s next webinar on June 25 at 12 p.m. PST. Continuing the theme of the newsletter, this presentation will be touching upon “Fitting Fitness into Your Busy Day,” which focuses on strategies and tips to help balance fitness - along with everything else.
Sign up for the Webinar here.

IT Services Notice

IT Services will be updating FAST Finance and Web Requisition on Friday, June 20 starting at 3:30 p.m. These services will not be available during this time but will be operational after 8 p.m.

Ed Tech Update

There are two exciting developments in the Education Technology center. The first is a summer series of 30-minute web conferences that focus on how to maximize Moodle. Details are on the faculty development page on the Ed Tech website.  

The second exciting development is that nominations for the second annual Moodle Quality Awards are now open. Winners will be announced at Connections. The criteria for these awards are the OC Online Course Quality Standards. Both the nomination form and the criteria are on the Moodle section of the Ed Tech Website. For further information please contact Ross McKerlich.


CanFlip 2014

The third annual CanFlip 2014 conference is taking place Jun. 19 and 20 at Okanagan College. This conference brings together educators to discuss 21st century teaching and learning techniques, including, the Flipped Classroom concept. The conference offers an exciting roster of speakers in an environment where presenters and participants can interact and learn together. Visit for more details on speakers, conference fees and registration.

Links to Learning

On June 20, the 18th annual ACIC Links to Learning Golf Tournament takes place at the Talking Rock Golf Club, Quaaout Lodge Hotel and Resort, in Chase.

Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm Campus and the All Canadian Investment Corp are hosting the tournament. All proceeds from the event are going directly to local Okanagan College students in need. Shotgun start takes place at 1:30 p.m., $200 per person. To register, fill out the form. Contact Leslie Bogula at local 8259 for more information.

Scenic Canyon hike

On June 21, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Athletics and Recreation team is leading a hike through Kelowna’s Scenic Canyon. This moderate to challenging trek goes through a range of terrains, so sturdy boots are recommended. Pack a backpack with lunch and water. Sign up in the Athletics and Recreation and Student Life office, A 105, by Jun. 18. This event is free.

Connections 2014

Join your colleagues at Okanagan College's ninth Annual Employee Learning Conference, Connections 2014, at the Kelowna Campus, Aug. 19 and 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Click here for more details.


John Lent will receive the Distinguished Service Award at the Vernon Convocation ceremony on June 25. News of his upcoming award made the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in: College to honour Vernon writer.

A Public Affairs press release featuring one of Okanagan College’s Spring Convocation graduates was picked up by the Okanagan Sunday. Read more about John Partanen’s journey in the WET program in: Diploma puts man closer to dream job.

Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA for Kelowna-Mission, wrote about the importance of investing in the new Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College in his MLA Report in the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Post-secondary options available for British Columbians.

Okanagan College Culinary Arts alumnus Jeremy Luypen was featured in Okanagan Life Magazine. Jeremy is the Executive Chef at Predator Ridge’s Range Lounge & Grill. Read more in: Beyond the 19th green cuisine.

Winners of the 2014 Dragons’ Den Young Entrepreneur Competition were covered by the Kelowna Capital News. The competition is presented by Enactus Okanagan College and the Okanagan College School of Business. Read more about the winners and their business ventures in: Students exhibit business idea creativity.

Growing support for the Kelowna Trades Training complex made headlines in the Business Examiner and the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Key industry leaders supporting new Okanagan College Trades Training Complex and Industry leaders back OC trades complex.

The Vernon Morning Star published an article about the plans for the Greater Vernon Sports Facility at Okanagan College. Read more in: No further expenditures for sports facility.

Public Affairs’ Meredith Birchall-Spencer was mentioned in an article about Penticton’s Boonstock Music and Arts Festival. Meredith sits on the Boonstock Board. Find out more about the festival in: Boonstock making progress on plans.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.

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 July, 2, 2014.