Penticton and Wine Country Chamber launch fundraising campaign

chamberThe Okanagan College Foundation’s fundraising campaign for the new Centre of Excellence in Penticton got a huge boost on Wednesday when the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce announced its support of the campaign to the tune of $30,000.

The announcement was made at an Okanagan College Foundation donor recognition event held at the Penticton Campus.

“This is a very important project for the community, and it will have a lasting impact for many of our members,” said Chamber President Jason Cox, who is also an Arts alumnus of OUC. “We see our support as a signal of the business community’s commitment to the future of higher education in the region.”

Jim Henderson, who is spearheading the $5-million fundraising campaign on behalf of the Okanagan College Foundation for the $28-million Centre, was elated with the donation.

“The Chamber is known for carefully choosing its targets for support. This is an endorsement of the project that should resonate through the entire South Okanagan and among the business and community leaders who will help us achieve our goals.”

To find out more about the Centre of Excellence or the fundraising campaign, visit: or read the entire Public Affairs press release.

Continuing Studies in Vernon graduates more than 100 students

csgradOkanagan College held a series of Commencement ceremonies in Vernon last week to celebrate the achievements of 103 graduates from a variety of certificate programs.

Among the graduates who attended the two ceremonies were students from: AutoCAD Skills, Basic Accounting, Simply Accounting, Education Assistant, Residential Building Drafting Technician, Home Inspection, Landscape Horticulture, Interior Decorating, Dental Office Reception, Medical Office Assistant, Nursing Unit Assistant, Palliative Care and Special Needs Worker.

Pen-Hi grads benefit from Thorpe & Friends Scholarship

thorpe5Two graduates of Pen-Hi Secondary have received the $2,500 Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship to attend Okanagan College this fall. Penticton grads Jayme Braithwaite and Kaley Wells earned the scholarship, which supports students from the former MLA’s riding and is based on a combination of financial need, academic standing, leadership potential and demonstration of contribution to their community.

Braithwaite is enrolled in Okanagan College’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program at the Penticton campus and plans on using her education to realize her goal of becoming an accountant.

Wells will attend Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus this fall where she’ll pursue an Associate of Arts degree. Fluent in both English and French, Wells plans on earning a Bachelor of Education degree and using her skills to teach abroad. For more information about Braithwaite, Wells or the scholarship, read the Public Affairs press release.

Architect selected for Centre of Excellence in Penticton

ceiCEI Architecture Planning Interiors, an architectural firm with extensive experience in green building design and technology, has been chosen to shape Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technology and Renewable Energy Conservation.

With offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria, CEI Architecture Planning Interiors has an extensive resume of diverse projects throughout British Columbia. Work by the company, or its principals, includes the UBC Faculty of Law Building, the Jack Bell Research Centre, the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, VANOC 2010 Headquarters, and the North Vancouver City Library.

“CEI’s experience in similar projects and the company’s grasp of the importance of what we want to achieve with this building led us to conclude that this is a partnership that will produce the best possible design. We know the outcome will be something exciting for Okanagan College and the South Okanagan,” explained Donna Lomas, regional dean for the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

CEI and Okanagan College will be holding a series of consultation sessions - known as charrettes - toward the end of this month in Penticton. The sessions will garner input from stakeholders on design elements and approaches for the Centre.

To find out more, read the full Public Affairs press release or for information about CEI, visit them online:

Register now for Connections 2009

connRegistration is now available online for this year's Connections 2009 conference, Sustainability - students, employees, campuses, communities.

Join colleagues on Wednesday, August 19 or Thursday, August 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. The morning will include a plenary welcome and update by Jim Hamilton, followed by a presentation from guest speaker Peter Gregg. Staff will also have the chance to meet Okanagan College’s Fellows of the Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching and attend learning symposia where colleagues will share their expertise in a variety of informative and engaging sessions.

Enjoy a great lunch while reconnecting with colleagues and meeting new ones, attend some of the afternoon learning sessions, and stay for some food, entertainment, and prizes at the end of day social gathering.

Registration is well under way...haven't registered yet? The conference planner and online registration form are available online. Contact Kaya Forest for more information.

College staff run to raise funds for local charity

A team of staff and students from Okanagan College raised more than $2,000 for the Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay. The 24 Hour Relay raises funds for the BC Lions Society's Easter Seal camping program. In Kelowna, the 24 Hour Relay is produced in conjunction with the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs. Half of the funds from the Okanagan Relay benefit the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs programs and services. All money raised in BC stays in BC. Special thanks to participants: Renee Huska, Allan Coyle, Mike Craig, Elvia Picco, Cathy Clark, Glendon Weibe, Gordon Shuster, Steve G. Robinson, Charlene Ferguson, Michelle Somerville, Alison Beaumont, Heather Schneider, Michelle Lowry, and Angie March.

CS Vernon to offer dual credit option for two popular certificate programs

Continuing Studies in Vernon and School District 22 have signed a dual credit agreement for two certificate programs: Nursing Unit Assistant and Education Assistant. Okanagan College will reserve two seats in the Nursing Unit Assistant program and three in the Education Assistant program for grade 12 students in school district 22. This development will allow secondary students who enrol in the program to gain College and BC Secondary School graduation credits. Okanagan College currently offers dual credit opportunities for secondary school students in a number of programs in trades and health. For more information about this new initiative, contact Joanne Thomsen


Okanagan College’s Director of Campus Planning and Facilities Management, Steve Robinson, gave’s Gary Moore a tour of the new Kelowna campus Centre for Learning this week. The building is on schedule to open to staff within the next few weeks and will be available for student use this fall. Check out part one of’s series by following this link.

The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce’s $30,000 contribution to the Okanagan College Foundation’s fundraising campaign for the new Centre of Excellence made the pages of the Penticton Herald. Read more in: Chamber makes college expansion its business.

In other news about the Centre of Excellence, a Public Affairs press release announcing a new website for the public to track the progress of the building was picked up in the Penticton Western: College website to involve community. The Western also ran a story about the fundraising campaign, which aims to raise $5-million: Okanagan College works toward $5 million fundraising goal.

Public Affairs’ press release announcing two recipients of the Thorpe & Friends Scholarship made it into the pages of the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: MLA’s generosity benefits students.

Okanagan College’s Vice President of Finance Bob Eby had reason to celebrate after his son Cormac won a gold at Skills Canada in the cabinet/joinery competition. Read more about Cormac’s experience at the competition in: Local talent takes gold.

Okanagan College recently hosted the CCFCC Chef Challenge Competition in its training kitchen. Read about the national event, which was organized in part by Chef Perry Bentley and drew the best of the culinary industry to the Okanagan in: Junior Chefs make culinary strides, Chefs savour the flavour during a visit to Vernon, Best food flavours found in local fields or check out winning chef Chris Thomson’s menu.

SIFE Okanagan’s Eco-Nomics awards were the focus of SNAP Okanagan. Check out photos from the event reported that students are having a difficult time finding summer jobs in the city and interviewed Associate Dean of Business Barry McGillivray. Read about Barry’s thoughts on the matter in: Students struggle to find summer jobs.

Okanagan College’s Convocation and Commencement ceremonies made headlines across the valley with: Four grad ceremonies in 24 hours to mark achievement, Vernon grads to celebrate tonight and School shows its class.

Okanagan College student Jessica Donaldson wrote a letter to the editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier urging the city to consider more affordable housing for women. Read about Jessica’s experience in: More affordable housing for women is crucial.

Another Okanagan College student was featured in the Summerland Review for her attempt at becoming B.C. Ambassador. Read about Alyson Kennedy’s goals and her experience as a Criminal and Social Justice diploma student in: Kennedy enters B.C. pageant.

Okanagan College’s Chay Bromley was photographed in the Summerland Review after earning an award for the top automotive student at Summerland Secondary. Chay is a dual-credit student who also received the Automotive Industry Association Achievement award at the 2009 Trades Commencement. Check it out: High school students receive awards.

Okanagan College’s Aboriginal student recruiter Loleen MacDonald was featured in an article in the Vernon Morning Star. Read about Loleen’s educational experience at Okanagan College and why she chose to come back to school in: Finding your way back to school.

Okanagan College Skills Canada-winning apprentices James Sawatzky and Andrew Goll were featured in the Kelowna Daily Courier after earning bronze medals at the national competition. Read more in: Auto apprentices shine at PEI competition.

Okanagan College alumna and former Young Alumni Award winner Corinne Inman was featured in the Penticton Herald in a spotlight article focused on her business, Morpheus Graphics & Printing Solutions Inc. Read more about the success of the business grad in: Morpheus offers one-stop shopping.

In his Global Citizen column, Stan Chung wrote about Joe and Mary and their efforts to redefine their lives by tapping into their core values. Read more in: The wind cries Mary.

In her School’s In column Jane Muskens wrote about the results of the Composite Learning Index and how Canada stacks up when it comes to support for post-secondary students. Read more in: Pillars of learning cover spectrum of social interaction and Canada measures up well in post-secondary support.

Okanagan College’s partnership with SHAW TV resulted in a profile piece on the dual credit Culinary Arts program offered through Mt. Boucherie. Follow this link to watch a clip.

Okanagan College student Mischo Erban was interviewed by CHBC news about his involvement in Vernon’s longboarding competition, which was recently held in the city. Check it out.
June 19, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 5


12th Annual RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar underway in Kelowna

The Kelowna campus is hosting the 12th Annual RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar from today until Sunday. The seminar offers workshops, information session and networking opportunities for RV enthusiasts. The event is held every year at Okanagan College and is organized by Al Cohoe, Chair of Motor Vehicle Trades. Anyone with questions about the event can contact Al or go online to:

Inside Okanagan College to publish on Tuesdays

Inside Okanagan College is moving to a new publication schedule, which will see the newsletter come out bi-weekly on Tuesdays, rather than Fridays. The change in publication dates will begin as of the next issue (Tuesday, July 7) and comes as a result of the survey conducted by Public Affairs.

The format of the newsletter will remain the same but submission dates will change slightly. Please submit articles, news bits and photos to editor Christine Ulmer by the Friday prior to Tuesday’s publication. Information can be sent to Anyone with questions or concerns can also call Christine at local 4412.

Room booking reminder

Staff are reminded that room booking is not available until after the first two weeks of the new school semester, as student scheduling is the College’s first priority. Please send in email requests after September 15 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 cannot be guaranteed. Please contact Charmaine Eby for more information.

Mandatory retirement FAQs now online

At the request of the Faculty Association, a Frequently Asked Questions document relating to the elimination of mandatory retirement for faculty members has been uploaded to MyOkanagan and is located in the Forms section under Benefits. Staff can find the most up-to-date information about the issue by following this link.

Kelowna Campus Carpool

In an effort to support sustainability in transportation and parking, Arch Doody conducted a survey of staff in Kelowna to determine the feasibility of creating a carpooling resource for those interested. Arch has compiled the information and worked out a simple plan to deliver carpooling options for Kelowna Campus faculty and staff, for any who may be interested.

Of the 190 responses to the Carpool Survey, the information shows that most faculty and staff at the Kelowna Campus live within a 15-minute commute, with the majority of respondents living within 10 minutes from the College.

Follow this link to view the full results of the survey and to find out the location of other staff who may be carpooling matches. If you are interested in carpooling please contact Arch. He will email those interested with a list of compatible carpoolers.

New voice mail system

IT Services will be replacing the voice mail system, which has been in service for over seven years, with a new system that will allow IT Services to provide enhanced services for staff in the near future. The new system will work the same as the old system, the commands will be the same and access will remain the same.

The impact of the upgrade will be relatively minor, however you will have to log into the new system using the voice mail button on your phone or by dialing 89; enter the default password of 123654 to log in, and set up your voice mailbox; the system will prompt you through this once you are logged in.

The old voice mail system will still be available during the changeover, and for a couple of weeks after the final change. To access the old system once you are on the new system dial 86* and your local number, and you will be asked for your password. You will not be able to transfer messages between the old and new systems nor will you be able to give messages from the new system to the old or vice versa.

The upgrades will be done on a per campus basis:
Salmon Arm - June 21, 2009
Vernon - June 29, 2009
Penticton - July 5, 2009
Kelowna - July 12, 2009

13th Annual Links to Learning Golf Tournament: Salmon Arm

The Okanagan College Foundation will host the 13th Annual Links to Learning Golf Tournament on Friday, June 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the Salmon Arm Golf Course. The registration desk opens at noon, followed by a shotgun start. Donations to the event support scholarships and bursaries for Okanagan College students.

The registration price for this year’s fundraiser is $150 per person, which includes green fees, cart, dinner, range balls, a keeper gift and entry into all on course games and competitions. Also available is a $1,000 Exclusive Sponsorship Package which includes two signs on the golf course and two registrations in the tournament (only five holes will be available) or a Premier Sponsorship package where you can purchase a sign for $250 or two for $400.

Golf festivities include golf prizes, a spectacular silent auction, and a draw for a fabulous houseboat vacation courtesy of Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations. Only 75 tickets will be sold for a chance to win this minimum $2,000 prize! Tickets are $25 each.

Follow this link to access the online registration form or contact Don Kolysher or Patty Bruce or call the Okanagan College Foundation office at 1-888-650-6968.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Ruth Chambers from AACP in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $475. 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.


Culinary apprentice the best of the best in international competition

dcolumboOkanagan College’s second-year Culinary Arts apprentice David Colombe was recently named the grand prize winner of the Florida Tomato Committee’s 20th Annual Best of the Best Recipe Contest for his creation, Fire Roasted Florida Tomato Gumbo soup.

Colombe, who lives in Vernon and works at the Armstrong Inn, qualified to attend the competition after first winning Okanagan College’s own competition, which was organized by chef Mike Barillaro.

Colombe’s recipe went up against five others, three from the U.S. and another two from Canada. Recipes are judged on the basis of taste, appearance, originality, use of fresh tomatoes and how easy they are to prepare.

Colombe’s recipe draws on flavour derived from fire-roasting the tomatoes to intensify their taste, and then is ramped up with cayenne pepper and andouille sausage and fresh rosemary.

Follow this link to David’s award-winning recipe for Fire Roasted Florida Tomato Gumbo or find out more about David by reading a Public Affairs press release.

College students apply to ride and win

 Bryce Hamilton
Bryce Hamilton of Kelowna and Tyler Williams of Chase will attend Okanagan College this fall and will get a little bit of help finding a way to commute after winning the College’s Apply to Ride contest.

Hamilton and Williams were among a number of students who applied to Okanagan College this spring during a promotion, which offered students a chance to win one of two hybrid commuter bikes.

Hamilton recently picked up his Cannondale four commuter bike from Fresh Air Experience. He is enrolled in the CIS diploma program in Kelowna. Williams lives in Chase and hasn’t yet picked up his bike; he is enrolled in the Association of Science degree program.


June 25
- Summer Convocation will take place at the Kelowna campus at 6:30 p.m. Graduates will receive credentials including diplomas and certificates from a variety of programs including Health, Business and adult graduation.

June 26 – The Links to Learning Golf Tournament will take place in Salmon Arm. Funds raised by this event will be put towards scholarships and bursaries for students at the Salmon Arm Campus of Okanagan College. Call the Okanagan College Foundation office for more information or to register: 1-888-650-6968.


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, July 7, 2009.