Minister of Forests visits Okanagan College

bigbellOn Tuesday, July 8 the honourable Pat Bell, Minister of Forests, visited the carpentry shop at the KLO campus to deliver a message about the value and environmental benefits of using wood products. Bell’s slogan, “Tackle Climate Change – Use Wood” was echoed by one of Okanagan College’s first year carpentry apprentices, Casey King.

Casey caught the eye of the Minister when she appeared at the press conference wearing a t-shirt with the message: Wood is Good. After delivering an address about the value of wood’s carbon-storing abilities and positive impact on climate change, Bell talked with Okanagan College students and watched demonstrations about the value of wood. Visit the media section to read more about Bell’s message to carpentry students.

Live or Die?

calebThird-year Okanagan College BBA student Caleb Campbell is on a mission this summer, and it’s not your typical “learn more about the business world” type of summer job. No, his mission is more specific than that. He wants to kill off the mustache-wearing ranger in the Kokanee beer commercials.

In fact, you might want to characterize Caleb as kind of a marketing hitman: he’s being paid by Kokanee to be the spokesperson for the Sasquatch (the other central, recurring character in Kokanee’s advertising) because - as Caleb recently told the media - the Sasquatch can’t speak for himself.

How’s he doing? Apparently, fairly well, despite only having been at work for about a week now. Coming from a position where voting to keep the ranger alive was ahead by 50,000 votes, the margin has now been narrowed to around 18,000, Caleb reports. Part of the reason could be that he’s taking the job seriously, staying in character through the many media interviews he’s undertaken.

“There are several reasons he must die,” says Caleb. “He’s pretty old, he’s doing an inadequate job of protecting the Kokanee. He’s outdated and incompetent.” Here’s what the official “” page says about the choice of Caleb as a spokesperson for Sasquatch:

“With an elaborate and funny video submission, Caleb clearly demonstrated that he has the passion and wherewithal to lead Sasquatch’s campaign. As a university student and stand-up comic, he has both the smarts and cleverness to help Sasquatch defeat the Ranger. He’ll be rallying support for Sasquatch as he travels across Western Canada over the next two months.”

If you want to view for yourself, and see the hype that a beer company can create around a character in a commercial, visit the page. Caleb is hoping you’ll take the time to vote the right way. You can also visit Caleb's  Facebook page .

Title change for Steve Koehle

stevePresident Jim Hamilton announced today that Steve Koehle’s position title has been changed from Vice President, Integrated Planning and Operations to Vice President, Students. This change reflects Okanagan College’s emerging central focus and will not result in changes to reporting relationships or duties.
Steve’s previous title addressed the need, before and immediately following the transition, for our planning process to be developed and refined.  These processes are now in place and planning responsibilities are more broadly dispersed. The new position title reflects the reality of the work for which Steve is responsible.

Juan Du Toit presents to the United Nations

 Juan Du Toit (left) presents
to the UN with colleagues.
An international study opportunity for one Okanagan School of Business student resulted in an opportunity to present his ideas to members of the United Nations. Juan Du Toit participated in a student exchange in the Netherlands, where he focused his studies on International Business Management. After completing his studies he found work at Business Tales, a corporate video production and media consulting firm.  During his work term Du Toit conducted research into Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), accompanying his director on a research mission to China.

After making connections in China, Du Toit was asked to prepare a presentation about a TVET website – given the working name of TVETipedia – a web portal that would function similarly to a Wiki, enabling the collaboration and sharing of knowledge on the topic of TVET for member states of UNESCO-UNEVOC. After a successful presentation TVETipedia is currently under development and Du Toit is furthering his knowledge of information communication technology.

Still time to register for Connections 2008

Staff still have time left to register for Connections 2008. The third-annual employee learning conference will take place in Kelowna on both Aug. 26 and 27. Staff  have their choice of which day they would like to attend and should check with their department to ensure everyone can attend. Follow this link to read about the available workshops and register for the conference.  


A visit to Okanagan College from Pat Bell, Minister of Forests, resulted in coverage in the Kelowna Capital News: New marketing campaign aims to revive forestry, the Kelowna Daily Courier: Wood has role in reducing climate change, and CBC Radio: Listen to president Jim Hamilton respond to questions from a CBC reporter.

Three Okanagan College students who received the Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship were featured in the Kelowna Capital News: Money goes where it’s needed, the Okanagan Saturday: OK College student rings up large Telus scholarship, and the Penticton Western News: Scholarship gives grads financial boost. Each of these stories was generated out of a press release issued by Public Affairs – read the release here.

Okanagan School of Business student Caleb Campbell caused a stir in the media when he was chosen to manage the campaign of Kokanee beer’s Sasquatch. Read about Caleb’s new pr role in the Kelowna Capital News: Kill the ranger says Kelowna man and the Kelowna Daily Courier: Student lands job as monster’s mouthpiece.

A Public Affairs press release about a new partnership between Okanagan College, the College of the Rockies and Selkirk College was picked up in the Penticton Herald: 3 colleges to integrate programs, services, the Vernon Morning Star: Colleges pooling forces and the Kelowna Capital News: Colleges to work together to offer education.

Okanagan College German professor Olga Osipova was featured in an article in the Kelowna Capital News promoting her July 15 CD release for Velvet & Lace. Read more about Olga’s love for music and language in: Musical talents rise to the surface for Russian linguist.

stanStan Chung’s Global Citizen column delved into Stan’s experience as a participant at the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Read more in: Field trip of a lifetime.

The Kelowna 2008 BC Summer Games will commence on Thursday, July 24 with the final lighting of the original BC Games torch. The torch was designed by an Okanagan College Fine Arts student and built by welding students in 1981. Read more about the 26-year lifespan of the torch in the Kelowna Capital News: Torch to go out one last time.

The death of Okanagan College’s Joanne Schick resulted in a feature article in the Penticton Herald. Read more about the contributions made by Joanne and the lasting impact of her life in: Fighter mourned.

The Home for Learning program received coverage in the Kelowna Daily Courier: College students to build day care as well as in the Penticton Herald: Getting a jump on careers.

Three finalists for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in B.C. Writing and Publishing have now been named. Read more about the finalists in the Vernon Morning Star: Ryga Award judges name finalists and the Summerland Review: Books short-listed for George Ryga Award.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Ross Gorman was photographed in the Kelowna Daily Courier after receiving a Paul Harris Fellowship for community philanthropy. Read more in: Gorman Bros receives Paul Harris Fellowship.

Jane Muskens shared tips on how students can help others and themselves by selling their used books as well as assisting parents on how they can play a positive role in their children’s post-secondary experience. Read Jane’s School’s In columns: Help yourself, help others; sell old text books and Parents can play part in child’s post-secondary education.

July 18, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 7


Kelowna campus power shutdown

A campus-wide electrical power shutdown will occur at the KLO campus on Saturday, July 19 between 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.  The shutdown is necessary to carry out maintenance and servicing of the high voltage electrical distribution system. As there will be limited electrical power supplied by electrical backup up generators to some areas staff are recommended to not come to the campus on this day.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact Peter Csandl, Manager, Operations and Energy Systems, local 5625.

Kelowna courtyard update

patio1A new phase of additions to the courtyard at the KLO campus are expected to get underway at the end of next week. Construction will begin on the new patio area between the breezeway and grassy area (formerly the reflecting pond). The work is scheduled to be complete prior to the beginning of the new semester and arrival of students in September.

The redesign will provide more social space for students and staff and provide another access point to the grassy area, which has seen lots of traffic by campus-users. In addition to providing more accessible space, the grass area has also had a considerable environmental impact. The removal of the reflecting pond will save almost a million gallons of water per year. The second phase of the patio area construction will include building an arbour to provide shade for patio users.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Leslie Bogula from Public Affairs in Salmon Arm who won today's payday draw for $442.50. 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 (Landmark V, Kelowna) or online


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


Coyle gives a damn

After two years of uninterrupted reign, Jim Hamilton has been overtaken in visits to the Penticton campus by Public Affairs’ Allan Coyle. The result of this feat is that Coyle is the 2007-08 recipient of the “I give a damn” trophy, which is presented to the administrator who makes that most visits to the South Okanagan campus. Jim won the award in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and lost this year’s title by an extremely narrow margin, with just slightly fewer visits than Allan. Finishing in second place for the 2007-08 year was Andrew Hay. 

A Verse to Summer

Two more Okanagan College staff poets read their original poetry on CBC Daybreak's A Verse to Summer this month. Recently retired Creative Writing professor  Mary-Ellen Holland wrote a poem called In Autumn, A day Away for a listener who suggested she write about the end of summer, onset of fall, and the opening of the hunting season.  Mary-Ellen's poem originally aired on Friday, July 11.

Salmon Arm English professor Kevin McPherson presented his original poetry this morning after receiving suggestions from two listeners who wanted to hear him muse about the summertime pastime of canning. Kevin came up with two poems, the first more traditional, Conserving Matters, and the second a little less so, All the errors. Listen to both poems by following this link.

IT Services staff update

nowakIT Services welcomes Kim Nowak, a recent Okanagan College Computer Information Systems diploma graduate.  Kim is a programmer who will be working at the Landmark office. 


Congratulations to Laura Spearman who was the successful candidate for the new Senior Programmer/Analyst position in Records and Support Services.

Admissions update

The admissions team has grown with the addition of Crystal Berry. Crystal will be a part of the team until the end of December, 2008. Michelle Sinclair is currently in an auxiliary position in IT Services until the end of December 2008.

Staff celebrate with Becky Breitsprecher


Staff at the Salmon Arm campus hosted a pre baby shower for Becky Breitsprecher, who is due to have a baby in mid-August. Becky’s last day was July 11 – she is now on a maternity leave.


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. 1, 2008