Summer Convocation in Vernon and Kelowna

ShawFinal preparations are underway for the upcoming Summer Convocation ceremonies taking place at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday, June 27, and at the Kelowna campus, Thursday, June 28.

The ceremonies will recognize the achievements of graduands from Continuing Studies programs, as well as confer certificates, diplomas, and degrees in a variety of fields from Human Service Work to Nursing Unit Assistant, Culinary Arts to Carpentry.

Janet Shaw, who has served the community of the South Okanagan for many decades, will also be recognized as an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College.

Shaw has maintained a long-time commitment to education, having served both in the K-12 system and post-secondary first, as an eight-year member of the OUC Board including a position as Vice Chair, after which she served as Chair for Okanagan College’s Board of Governors from 2006-09. Shaw is currently president of the Desert Valley Hospice Society.

Viticulture program receives fortification

Viticulture programThe Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is providing more support for Okanagan College students, this time for the College’s Viticulture Certificate program.
In collaboration with TricorBraun WinePak, the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is providing an annual $1,000 award to a student enrolled full-time in the program at the Penticton campus.
Eric von Krosigk, chair of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, said the award illustrates its full-spectrum support for the industry here in the Okanagan – from the vine to the wine.
“There is an old adage that we cannot make great wine unless we grow great grapes,” said von Krosigk, who is also the winemaker and viticulturist at Summerhill Pyramid Winery. “With this type of bursary, we underscore the importance of viticulture to our wine industry.”
With this contribution, there are now five annual $1,000 awards provided by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society to Okanagan College students who are enrolled in various programs necessary to a thriving wine and food region; from the Culinary Arts to Business programs with specialties in Marketing, Events and Hospitality.

To read the full media release, click here.

Budding entrepreneurs slay business dragon

Okanagan College’s School of Business hosted a record number of middle school and secondary school teams from throughout the Central Okanagan School District at its Dragons’ Den Edition of the Young Entrepreneur Program on May 31.

The event, held at the Kelowna campus, attracted 76 teams. Each team was made up of one to five students.

The competition required students to create their product or service, then develop a marketing and promotion plan, and finally present a financial plan (including costing and pricing) to the judges.

Numerous awards were handed out, including a $500 Innovation Award to a winning secondary school, sponsored by SIFE Okanagan Business Advisory Board member Sheldon Gardiner.

The event was co-sponsored by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission. To learn more about the winners, read the COEDC's media release.

BUAD students win class competition

BAUD students 
From left to right:  Michelle Rabourn, Jason Wiens, Professor Lorraine McGrath, Meng An Chao, Mohammed Shakir.
Business students competed in Business Simulation to complete BUAD 272 with an exemplary performance.  Four teams endured this fast paced and engaging capstone course with lightening speed and intensity for Summer Session I. 
Team Maple Quantum led by CEO Meng An Chao with vice president Jason Wiens and colleagues Michelle Rabourn and Mohammed Shakir topped the day with a course record performance.  Meng attributed the team’s success to knowing the industry extremely well, along with their customers, and maintaining a commitment to their internal strategy and management.  


Okanagan College Foundation Tourney raises $42,000+

Foundation Golf Tourney 2012 
Golfers and sponsors enjoy the day at the 21st Annual Golf Tournament on May 24 2012. Gord Stefansson (Okanagan College), Rob Hay (RK Painting & Remodelling), Chad Dux (Scotiabank) and Mikal Birtwistle (Pepsi). Hole-in-One prize - Ford F150 - in the background.
A total of 163 golfers, along with 34 sponsors, helped to raise more than $42,000 at the 21st Annual Okanagan College Foundation / Western Financial Group Charity Golf Tournament.

The money raised through the tournament will go towards scholarships and bursaries, which help to break down one of the biggest barriers students face when they try to complete their education – the financial demands of tuition, housing and books.

Organizers gave thanks to the numerous volunteers, including many people from the College: Nancy Ankerstein, Gail Smith, John Caspers, Continuing Studies, Matt Robertson, Cassie Wardrop, Marcy Nelson, Katie Spencer-Lim, Heather Hollingworth, International Education, Anne Kirkpatrick , Brenda Belding, Linda LeGallee, Curtis Grainger, Dave Pettman, Josh Fleming, OC Athletics, Culinary Arts, Okanagan College School of Business, Scotiabank, Michelle Plamondon, MLA Norm Letnick, Adrienne Renaud, and Okanagan College Alumni Association.

Leading by degrees

Allan Hickey3Allan Hickey, from IT Services, celebrated the completion of his Master’s degree in Leadership at his graduation ceremony held recently at Royal Roads University.

Hickey started the two-year program in January 2010. The program consisted of blended learning involving two three-week residency periods on campus, with the remainder of the course material completed online. Throughout his studies, Hickey continued to work full-time.

The program concluded with a major research project conducted at Okanagan College – Planning Institutional IT Strategy Collaboratively at Okanagan College.

Head of International moving east

Steve G. RobinsonSteven G. Robinson, Director of International Education, is departing Okanagan College to head east.

Steve’s resignation is effective at the end of June. He is exploring career options and opportunities in Eastern Canada.

Steve started with Okanagan College in 2009, arriving from Georgian College in Barrie, Ont., where he served for more than 24 years.

Golfing mavens

OC golfTwenty-eight ladies turned out for the OC Ladies Golf Tournament, held June 1. The winning foursome was Pat Dandeneau, Erin Kavanagh, Nancy Ankerstein, Kathy Zucci. 

Prizes, which included tickets to Bryan Adams, wine, watches, jewellery, movie passes and gift certificates. Brenda Foster organized the donations, receiving support from Power 104, as well as the Kelowna campus Bookstore, Athletic and Recreation office, Executive office, plus Fezziwigs and De Beans coffee.

Leora Dahl takes on the Channel

dahlSix members of the OMSC Lake Monsters relay team, including Psychology Professor Leora Dahl, will be swimming the English Channel this summer.

In preparation, earlier this month they had to complete a two-hour qualifying swim in 15 C degrees water without the aid of a wetsuit, covering 7.5 kilometres. Swimming the Channel constitutes a 35-kilometre crossing.

June 19, 2012 Vol. 7 Issue 5


Showcase taking place for new website

Work on the redevelopment of Okanagan College’s website continues and an opportunity to see elements of the proposed redesign and provide feedback are close at hand.
Sessions to showcase the work that has been done and the design proposals are scheduled for:
• June 28  - Penticton 9:30 - 11 a.m. Room PC122
                   - Kelowna 1 - 2:30 p.m. Room H115
• July 3  - Salmon Arm 10:30 a.m. to noon. Room 130
               - Vernon 2 - 3:30 p.m. Room D343

The work on the website has been conducted by Public Affairs and Information Technology with input and direction from the Web Steering Committee and an ad hoc committee.

Consultation sessions in 2011 with staff and students helped formulate direction and look of the proposals.

Canada Day observance

All campuses at Okanagan College will be closed Monday, July 2 in honour of Canada Day. Regular classes and programs resume on Tuesday.

Accelerate Okanagan

Accelerate Okanagan is welcoming Okanagan College faculty and students to stop by their offices Thursday, June 21 and bring their questions to their free Drop-in Advisory Services.

Between 2 – 5 p.m., students can share their business ideas and receive on-the-spot advice on how to proceed from the Centre’s Entrepreneurs in Residence.

To reserve your spot with an Entrepreneur in Residence please contact Gillian at 250.870.9028 ext. 2101.

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. Registration and information can be found online, along with a workshop planner with a host of new workshops.

Municipal Pension Plan AGM

Find out how this pension plan works, and what trustees are doing to safeguard the plan for all participants.

The AGM takes place October 11 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre, in Victoria. It will also be accessible online via webcast at A recorded version will be made available following the AGM.

Heart pumping information

Make sure you know the signs of a stroke, before it happens to you or a loved one. The latest issue of the PPC newsletter The Balance Sheet features a checklist and other details on the subtle signs of this serious condition.

Good foods, bad foods

It might look healthy on the outside, but is it really? Check your nutrition knowledge with this quick quiz, along with a feature story on staying safe on vacation, in the latest issue of Wellness InFocus, provided by Mercer HR Consulting.

Recreation and Fitness update

Get ready to form a ruck. CORE (Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts) has an adult touch rugby league running Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., July 9-August 13. To sign up, or for more info visit the Athletics & Rec office A105.

The Fitness Facility at the Kelowna campus will be closed at 6 p.m. Friday, June 29 in honour of the Canada Day long weekend. The facility re-opens 7 a.m. Tuesday, July 3.


June 19 – The Recreation Vehicle Service Technician program hosts an information night at both the Kelowna and Vernon campuses at 6:30 p.m. For more information, email Jon Itterman.

June 21 – Okanagan College’s Penticton campus hosts a special donor appreciation event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation, Room PC 113.

June 22 – The 16th annual ACIC Links to Learning Golf Tournament takes place at the Talking Rock Golf Course, on the north shore of Little Shuswap Lake. Funds raised go to support scholarship and bursary funds for Okanagan College. To register contact Patty Bruce.

June 22-25 – The 15th annual RV Owners LIfestyle Seminar takes place at the Kelowna campus featuring numerous seminar presentations everything from electrical tips to how to travel writing.

June 27 – The College’s Vernon campus holds its annual Convocation Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.
June 28 – The College’s Kelowna campus conducts its Summer Convocation at 6 p.m. for graduates from various Continuing Studies and Certificate programs.


The Courier wrote about the province’s efforts to encourage B.C. students to study abroad, including comments from Okanagan College vice-president Charlotte Kushner. Read: College, university students going international.

Two graduates from Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts program have opened up a new bakery in Osoyoos. Read: Young couple who met in college food program thrilled, from the Osoyoos Times.

Okanagan Colleges 2012 Honorary Fellow Lane Merrifield encouraged graduates to find their muse. Read: Club Penguin founder inspires 2012 graduating class, from the Capital News.

Okanagan Saturday put two and two together for a story about 2012 Honorary Fellow Yasmin John-Thorpe and her husband Rick Thorpe receiving recognition from two separate institutions. Read: Couple receives separate recognition awards.

School District 23 trustee Chris Gorman says far too many students graduate from local post-secondary schools, but then leave the region. Read his column from the Courier: Okanagan must curb brain drain.

The Morning Star took time in an editorial to urge Okanagan College grads to persevere and become strong citizens. Read: Now is the real test for grads.

Two Grade 8 students took second place in the middle school competition of the 2012 Dragons’ Den Edition of the Young Entrepreneur Program, co-sponsored by the Okanagan School of Business. Read: Hot idea wins cool prizes for Glenrosa students, from Westside Weekly.

Okanagan College SIFE students showed their support for hospice with one big cheque of $1,185. Read: Student Support.

The Morning Star wrote about the two Vernon students who picked up awards at the recent ACE (Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship) National Exposition. Read: Vernon SIFE students show savvy.

News that the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is supporting yet another Okanagan College program, this time for viticulture attracted wide attention. Read: Wine industry partners with college (Capital News), Wine Festivals Society to support viticulture students (Summerland Review), Wine festivals support students (Westside Weekly).

The Okanagan College Coyotes are howling with joy after picking up Landon Kroeker. Read:OC Coyotes add winning goalie, from the Courier.

In her Capital News column, Registrar Jane Muskens wrote that the lack of people skilled in trades isn’t just a B.C. issue. Read: Coping with shortages in skilled labour is a global issue. In a follow-up piece, she wrote about the efforts being made to encourage women to make-up that shortfall. Read: Plenty of opportunities to learn a skilled trade.

A lecture on elder abuse organized by the local home help agency Care 4 You took place at the Kelowna campus Theatre. Read: Officials discuss elder abuse tonight.

Okanagan College Professor Kevin McPherson’s recent book signing was featured in the Morning Star. Read: It’s ‘easy peasy’ for this word man.

The Summerland Review wrote about a 24-year-old student enrolled in the Women in Trades Training initiative. Read: Skilled trades not just a man’s world.

The Courier and the Capital News and picked up a media release about jobs on the rise for the RV Service Technician program. See: Demand for RV Technicians increasing, and read: RV industry looking for a few good technicians.

Armstrong celebrated the ground breaking of the new Lydia Boss Centre, operated by the Kindale Developmental Association, with support from students enrolled in the College’s Residential Construction Trades program Read: Kindale recognizes visionary.

Three members of a Sorrento family, including 19-year-old Alli Anne Janzen who attended Okanagan College in Salmon Arm, died in a head-on collision in Saskatchewan. Read: 3 from B.C. killed in head-on crash.

Okanagan College alumni Michael Blondé, executive director of the annual tech conference Metabridge, was featured in a Capital News article about growing interest in this event, held at the Kelowna campus. Read: Drawing investors to the Okanagan.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Green Business Awards, sponsored by SIFE Okanagan, honoured general manager Jason Samford of Cintas with this year’s award. Read: Cintas wins Kelowna Green Business Award, from the Business Examiner, and Green business awarded, from Okanagan Saturday.

Today’s graduates will help B.C. recover from the retiring baby boomers, wrote the Courier in its editorial. Read: Riding the silver tsunami.

Two unions representing post-secondary employees have launched a B.C. Supreme Court challenge to a government bill they call undemocratic. Read: B.C. bill challenged.


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 3, 2012.