Changes in International Education

An interim director for International Education has been appointed. Jim Cookson is an experienced corporate executive with significant international experience. He will be taking over the role from Marlene Isaac and will serve in the position for six months while the College recruits a new Director of International Education through an open competition.

Cookson is a former senior executive with Nokia Group and served as VP of Strategy and Planning for the Americas, the President of Nokia Display Products, and the Human Resources Director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East for Nokia. His responsibilities as interim director will include development of a comprehensive business plan for the department.

During Cookson’s tenure, some of Vice-President Steve Koehle’s responsibilities will be transferred to Vice President Bob Eby, to allow Steve to focus more of his time on International Education and important partnerships such as the Caribbean initiative. Central Okanagan Regional Dean Heather Schneider will assume responsibility for the ESL program area for the six-month period.

Interior Savings bursary supports lifelong learners

interiorInterior Savings Credit Union announced $55,000 in funding to create new endowments to help students at three post-secondary institutions, including Okanagan College. The Lifelong Learner Bursary endowments have been granted to Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers University.

The funding was divided between the three institutions with Okanagan College receiving $15,000. The new bursary will be awarded annually at Okanagan College to a student with one or more dependents (children or other family members) who are entering or returning to post-secondary education after a pause in studies of one year or more, and who have demonstrated active community involvement. The Lifelong Learner bursary will be disbursed in the fall of 2009.

The Okanagan College Foundation has also contributed to the value of the Lifelong Learner Bursary, adding $15,000 to bring the total endowment to $30,000. This is the second bursary fund established by Interior Savings Credit Union with Okanagan College.

“We understand the challenges that many students face when deciding to pursue post-secondary education,” said Barry Meckler, President and CEO of Interior Savings Credit Union. “These bursaries have been established to support those who are dedicated to a life of learning through giving back to their community through volunteer efforts, supporting family members, and choosing higher education.”


Katie Bowyer leaves Public Affairs

katieKatie Bowyer, Public Affairs assistant, will serve her last day at Okanagan College on Monday, Dec. 22. Katie has been with Okanagan College since September and was instrumental in organizing Career Fair 2008 as well as contributing to the overall success of the Public Affairs department. Katie is moving to Penticton in the New Year and would like to thank everyone at the College for making her feel so welcome, with a special thank you to Michelle Lowry for all her help over the past four months. Anyone requiring assistance from Public Affairs can contact Karma Lacoff.

Fran Kelly returns to the Okanagan School of Business

Dr. Jayne Brooks and everyone in the Okanagan School of Business welcome back Fran Kelly in her role as business advisor at the Kelowna Campus. Fran returned to the position on Dec. 1, 2008.


Okanagan College alumni celebrated their education achievements in a series of articles last week. Three Okanagan College grads recently passed their Chartered Accounting exams. Read about the achievements of Scott King, Nathan Munro and Vickie Naumann in: Seven Kelowna residents ready to start accounting careers. An alumnus of the Okanagan School of Business was profiled in the Vernon Morning Star after earning a degree in business. Read more about Steven Gutknecht in: Gutknecht brothers earn degrees.

The Kelowna Daily Courier published a photo of Communications student Wesley Wright having his head shaved in a fundraising effort for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. Check it out in: Hair today, gone for Women’s Shelter.

A class of international students from Jamaica were featured in a Kelowna Capital News article about the demand for trained transit service workers. Read more about the students, their program and job opportunities in: Transit service eager to hire OC grads.

News of the success of the Okanagan School of Business’ Magnus Aaserud and Sandeep Bahniwal made it to the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier. The fourth year accounting students will compete at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition at Queen’s University next month. Read more in: Off to biz nationals.

Shortly after the third annual Western Canada RoboCup Junior challenge was held an article appeared in the Westside Weekly featuring second place winners from Peachland. Read about the elementary school children’s success in: Mr. Roboto helps students take second place in competition.

Okanagan University College alumna Sara McDougall was profiled by the Kelowna Daily Courier for her efforts to raise funds for people in Africa. Read more about Sara’s mission in: Africa calls to missionary.

Jamaica's High Commissioner to Canada, Evadne Coye, visited Okanagan College last week. Read more about the visit in: Jamaica's high commissioner pays visit to College.

The Kelowna Capital News published an article with comments from Jamaica's Minister of Labour and Social Security about Jamaican students at Okanagan College. Read more in: Students from Jamaica face new struggles.

Snap Okanagan published a section on Okanagan College’s 27th annual Career Fair. Check out the pictures in: No fears for new careers.

The Vernon Morning Star ran an article about the Youth Community Kitchen at the Junction Centre youth drop-in featuring Okanagan College culinary arts student David Colombe, who is the chef for the program. Read more in: Turning up the heat.

Check out Stan Chung’s Global Citizen column: Learning to let go or Jane Muskens’ School’s In column: Compounding degree requirements can be puzzling, and College has its techniques to recruit new students.


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 Friday, Jan. 16, 2009.

December 17, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue18


Dial 7 for an outside line

Effective immediately, faculty and staff in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Revelstoke can dial 7 to access an outside line to make a local or long distance phone call.

Effective February 1, 2009 you will no longer be able to dial 9 to access an outside line. This change is being made to reduce the number of accidental 911 calls. 911 will continue to work to contact emergency services.

If you have speed dial buttons on your phone that are programmed to dial 9 to access an outside line they will need to be reprogrammed to dial 7. You can make that change immediately. For assistance in reprogramming your phone, visit MyOkanagan to review the phone instruction manual.

Room booking reminder

Employees will be unable to book any rooms until after the first two weeks of the new school semester. Student scheduling is first priority. Please send in email requests after the 15th of the month for any bookings. Room bookings will be tight as all classrooms and computer labs will be prioritized for student classes first. Block booking of Committee meetings and rooms required every week or two weeks can not be guaranteed.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Val Banks from Continuing Studies in Vernon who won today's payday draw for $472.50. 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.

Sustainable transportation survey open to all employees

Okanagan College, the City of Kelowna, School District 23 and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia are funding development of a sustainable transportation plan focused on the KLO campus area. The plan will set out how the College plans to manage traffic, transportation, safety and parking demands and will result in short-, medium- and long-term recommendations that take into account ongoing site development and the strategic plan.

Staff who would like to participate in the survey can follow this link. For further information, contact Facilities Management Director Steve Robinson Sr. at ext. 4722.

Okanagan College Family Award applications now accepted

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award. Full award criteria and the application form can be found in "My Okanagan," under "OC Express - Forms" and "Foundation. “

All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by Jan. 23, 2009. This round of applications is for programs starting between Jan. 1, 2009 and April 30, 2009.

Please direct any questions that you may have about the Okanagan College Family Award to the Kelowna Campus Financial Aid & Awards Office at 250-862-5419.

IT collects for Food Bank

Though renovations to the Kelowna campus offices of IT Services are preventing the department from hosting their annual holiday party, staff are encouraged to drop by to enter in the annual Christmas draw for a great gift basket. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds will be delivered to the Food Bank. Potential prizes include wine, smoked salmon and CDs, to name a few. The draw will be open until the winner is chosen on Dec. 19. Contact Terry Tuck for more information.

Holiday Season closures for 2008-09

Okanagan College will be closed to the public during the holiday season from Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008 to Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009 and will re-open Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. Employees not scheduled to work are expected to take vacation or leave without pay as outlined below.
Wed, Dec. 24 – support staff floater - Admin, Faculty and Vocational employees report to work unless on approved leave
Thu, Dec. 25 and Fri, Dec. 26 – Christmas statutory holidays
Mon, Dec. 29 – employees book vacation days or leave without pay
Tue, Dec. 30 – employees book vacation days or leave without pay
Wed, Dec. 31– employees book vacation days or leave without pay
Thu, Jan. 1, 2009 – New Year’s Day - statutory holiday
Fri, Jan. 2, 2009 – Okanagan College is open for business – report to work unless on approved leave

Note:  If an employee is booking a vacation day for January 2, 2009 it must be taken from their 2009 vacation entitlement.

In accordance with Human Resources Procedure 8.3, on the last normal working day prior to Christmas Day, this year being Dec. 24, departments may close at 3 p.m. During the closure, the heating in the buildings will be set to low, therefore, if there are requirements for employees to work, Facilities Management should be notified.


Dec. 17 – Celebrate the holiday season with staff from the Kelowna campus at the Snowflake Cocktail Party in the cafeteria. Entertainment will be provided by Lennox Smart, a soprano saxophonist who is also an international student. The event will take place from 4 – 6 p.m. and will offer appetizers and a cash bar. Staff are welcome to bring their significant others. Admission will be $5.

Dec. 18 Practical Nursing Convocation will take place in the Penticton Lecture Theatre at 1:30 p.m. Contact Karma Lacoff for more information.

Dec. 19 Practical Nursing Convocation will take place in the Kelowna Lecture Theatre at 1:30 p.m. Contact Karma Lacoff for more information.

Dec. 19 – Everyone is invited to join the Trades and Apprenticeship staff for their annual Christmas Luncheon starting at 12:00 in the Carpentry Shop in Kelowna.

Dec. 25 – Jan. 1 – Okanagan College closed for winter break. The College will reopen on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009.

Jan. 10 – Students from a variety of programs will attend Okanagan College’s Winter Convocation ceremony at the Kelowna campus at 10 a.m. in the Lecture Theatre. Students can download the form from myokanagan or visit the registrar’s office. Contact Karma Lacoff for more information.

Jan. 24 – Join Rick and Yasmin Thorpe for an evening of fundraising for student scholarships at Okanagan College. The Rick Thorpe Celebration will recognize Rick’s many years of service and generosity and will take place at the Penticton Ramada Inn beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by calling 250-862-5630 ext. 6, by emailing Marcy Nelson or by visiting: All proceeds raised from the event will go toward the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends scholarship fund.