College staff front and centre in CBC Radio's A Verse to Summer

jakeIn its eighth year running, CBC Radio's A Verse to Summer is back on the air - but with a twist. Host Marion Barschel has teamed up with Okanagan College's Jake Kennedy who is serving as co-producer, or as he likes to call it - poetry tsar. As always, CBC listeners are calling in offering up summer questions as inspiration for poets. What is different this year is the poetry tsar will be adding constraints to the poets.

First up was Okanagan College's Sean Johnston. Listener Kimberly from Quesnel called in with her summer question - What is the best thing to do on a hot summer day while stopped waiting for road construction? Jake added a constraint to Sean's task, asking that he include a line from poet Jorie Graham "Listening to the chatter each night of those who survived the day."

Follow this link to listen to the intro to A Verse to Summer as Jake, Marion and Kimberly assign Sean his poem.

Wondering how Sean responded? Follow this link to listen to his incredible answer to the summer question then tune in this Friday to hear the second instalment of A Verse to Summer.

College adopts refined Mission, Vision, Values

Okanagan College’s Board of Governors unanimously adopted a new Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles and set of Values for the institution at its June 29 meeting. The Board was presented with the new Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles and Values after a team of College staff, led by consultant Heather Stewart, spent months consulting partners, employees and students as well as holding forums to engender dialogue about Okanagan College and its role.

The Leadership Team will refine draft Key Directions in August and a process for internal community consultation will be developed early in the fall. Watch Inside Okanagan College for opportunities to get involved in shaping the Key Directions.


Okanagan College transforms lives and communities


We are one of Canada’s leading colleges.

We create outstanding educational experiences for our learners, both
students and employees.

We work and learn in a welcoming and caring culture.

We are a catalyst for change through collaboration with our learners and partners.

We serve, lead and anticipate the social, economic and environmental needs of communities.

Guiding Principles

We support our students to succeed.

We are a learning organization.

We are one college with four regions we value equally.

We embrace Aboriginal culture and heritage.



We assist learners to overcome barriers to education.


We are responsible for our actions, decisions, policies; and for reporting and communicating our outcomes.


We embrace and celebrate the richness of diversity and recognize the differing skills, experiences and perspectives of each person and community.


We foster a culture of creativity, encouraging experimentation, risk and new ideas.


We are consistently honest, open and sincere.


We demonstrate consideration for and appreciation of each other.

Penticton Museum to showcase Centre of Excellence

foundation2A retrospective of construction in Penticton at the Penticton and District Museum will include the city's latest major project, Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence. The exhibit is entitled Foundations: The History of Construction in Penticton and will display the history of construction in Penticton over the course of the past 100 years.

The College’s new Centre of Excellence is one of the most current projects included as an example of where Penticton is heading in future construction.

The exhibit will open on Wednesday, July 21 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Penticton Museum (785 Main Street). For more information contact Peter or visit:

Revelstoke Residential Construction students raise the roof

rev2The Revelstoke Residential construction program marked a milestone this month when the roof was lifted onto the project duplex. The students are partnering with the Revelstoke Community Housing Society to build the first affordable housing project in the city.

“This project is a win- win situation for everyone involved,” said Janet Lemieux, Program Administrator for Okanagan College. “The duplex is being built at the at the Bridge Creek Properties site on Oscar Street, and the Housing Society is hoping this is just the start of a strategy to address affordable housing.”

BC Hydro has been another great contributor to the project. The company provided funding to the Housing Society for building costs. BC Hydro also supported Okanagan College trades training through the Mica Units 5 and 6 Core Committee.

The Residential Construction program started on Feb 22 - students spent 10 weeks in the classroom learning worksafe practices, basic trades math, use of tools, and basic carpentry skills. The students then spend the next 14 weeks putting all the theory and basic skills to real life practice building the house.

“It is a great way for students to learn and experience what the demands of the working in the field are like,” said Bob Reed, the course instructor.

The program ends on August 20 and the students will have the opportunity to receive technical credit in both the Residential Construction Framing Technician Certificate and the Carpentry level 1 if they are successful.


In memory of Geoff Hayman

Flags at the Vernon campus were lowered last week in memory of Geoff Hayman, who died on July 14. Geoff had a long career and valued relationship with Okanagan College that lasted nearly 25 years.

Geoff joined the College in 1985 as a part-time Business Administration instructor in Vernon. Throughout his long career at the Vernon campus Geoff taught Adult Basic Education and became the department’s chairperson in 1989. He returned to full-time teaching in 1990 where he continued until his retirement last month.

Geoff is remembered by Regional Dean John Lent as an amazing teacher who was loved by staff and students alike.

"We all loved Geoff, and we just had that great retirement party for him and with him. He was so classy in his leaving us, and there was such a true warmth of recognition at that party for all the things Geoff did so quietly--in his teaching and in his contributions to our community here---that marked him as such a great teacher and colleague."

At the request of his family, there will be no memorial service.

Penticton faculty earn doctorates

Two Penticton faculty members recently achieved impressive educational Goals – earning doctorate degrees in their respective fields of study.

sheiThe Okanagan School of Business’s Shei Seaton recently completed her doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland. Her degree focused on sports event marketing and how non-professional sports events can measure their return on marketing investment.

gregGreg duManoir, a member of the Human Kinetics faculty, recently defended his PhD thesis entitled "The Effect of Age on the Relationship Amongst, Oxygen Uptake, Leg Blood Flow and Muscle Deoxygenation Kinetics During Moderate-Intensity Exercise." Greg pursued his degree through the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario.

Greg is looking forward to the new opportunities for teaching at the Centre of Excellence in the new HKIN facilities. He and his students will be providing fitness appraisals and exercise program design services to staff and faculty when the new building opens in the spring.

Okanagan College Foundation Board welcomes new Directors

At its May 13 Board Meeting the Okanagan College Foundation welcomed three new Directors to the Foundation Board. Denny Kaulback, Lorraine McGrath and Vern Neilsen each bring unique and valuable experience and insight to the Foundation Board.

Denny Kaulback
The construction industry has been Denny Kaulback's forte for the past 38 years. After graduating from Vernon Senior Secondary, Denny completed a carpentry pre-apprenticeship program at Kamloops Community College. With training in hand, Denny went to work on the Mica dam and housing projects in Kelowna.

In 1976, he moved to Revelstoke where his career in construction has been diverse and comprehensive. From supervision of the rigging crews during the construction of the Revelstoke dam to ownership of his own company specializing in sawmill construction and infrastructure, Denny has been totally involved in the growth and development of the City of Revelstoke.

In 1992 he moved into building small hotels, housing, and commercial buildings. In 2002, he joined Vic Van Isle Construction Ltd., where he served as construction project manager and general manager of Rona/Glacier Building Supplies. In that capacity, he became involved with Okanagan College’s Home for Learning program, where he demonstrated his full commitment to the advancement of high school students and adult learners in the construction trades.

As well as being a strong Okanagan College supporter, Denny is an active community volunteer. He has served 15 years on the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Board of Directors as Past President and current Vice President. His passion is the Revelstoke Theatre Company where he participates as Past President, is an active Board member, actor, director, set design worker, and supporter; he has done so for the past 18 years.

Lorraine McGrath
mcgrathLorraine McGrath brings a rare combination of strategic and operational talent to her roles as an accomplished Executive and Board Director. She has an impressive track record for exemplary leadership and consistent delivery of outstanding results. Accomplished, qualified and committed, Lorraine is an outstanding resource for progressive organizations with a desire to drive success.

Lorraine’s recent accomplishments as a leader include:

•    President of TSXV mid-market Pharmacy chain of Pharmacies, leading turnaround
•    Executive Vice President of Schedule I bank start-up
•    Financial Service Executive, building new region, achieving 300% of the five-year plan

Lorraine’s extensive financial services background includes commercial banking, wealth management and retail experience. Recently, Lorraine has been closely involved in the health industry as director of Interior Health Authority and Director and President of Paragon Pharmacies Limited (TSXV).

As her focus turns to corporate directorship and advisory roles, Lorraine brings experience, knowledge and capacity for strategic and stewardship contributions to corporations. Lorraine’s industry, operational, and senior level experience provide solid qualifications for most committees including audit and finance, Investment review and compensation.

As corporate director, Lorraine has a well-earned reputation for her diligent, insightful contributions. This includes her work as the Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of the Okanagan Innovation Fund, and two provincial government appointments as a Director of Interior Health Authority and Advisory/Director for UBC Okanagan. Prior to taking on the role of President, Lorraine served as a director for Paragon Pharmacies Limited (TSXV). She is currently completing the Institute of Corporate Director education.

Community leadership roles have been extensive including, the President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Okanagan Partnership, and a Director of the Economic Development Commission for the Central Okanagan. She also writes a popular business column and is a sought after keynote speaker. 

Many prominent awards speak to Lorraine’s accomplishments and community service:
•    Distinguished Alumni Award, Athabasca University (2008)
•    Honorary Fellowship from Okanagan College (2007)
•    Woman of the Year for City of Kelowna (2006)
•    Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement (2002)

Vern J. Nielsen
Vern Nielsen has been a senior executive and entrepreneur in packaged goods, real estate, high tech and numerous other industries. His experience spans roles at General Foods to being CEO of multiple successful ventures. He has done business in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia.

Moving to Kelowna from New York, where he was Executive Vice President of a segment leading packaged goods firm, he became very involved in the Okanagan technology community. His two most recent positions were as business coach and mentor to several Okanagan technology companies and as cofounder of a high tech software company in Kelowna. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Calgary and did Graduate Studies in Marketing at University of British Columbia.

Mr. Nielsen is a Director of several private companies including four local businesses and several not for profit organizations including Okanagan Partnership, Rotary Club of Kelowna, Okanagan Capital Fund, East Meets west Orphanage Foundation. He has won numerous awards for his involvement in both business and not for profit organizations including “Okanagan Science and Technology Community Leadership Award for 2009” and the Fred Macklin Memorial award “Man of the Year” for Kelowna 2009.

Mr. Nielsen has three adult children; Rowan is a TV Director, Greg is an Assistant Portfolio Manager with Ontario Teachers Pension Fund and Jennifer is a Senior Sales Manager at Intercontinental Hotels.

Financial Services News

Bobby Gidda has left Financial Services to work full-time at his family winery, Volcanic Hills in West Kelowna. The department welcomes back Kristine Ritchie, who filled in for Bobby when he was on leave earlier this year, as the new Accounts Payable Clerk.

Liberbocce wins 2010 OC Bocce Cup

bocce2Okanagan College’s summer Bocce tournament is over for the 2010 season. This year’s competition included 37 staff members from the Kelowna campus.

The final match saw Boccelism (IT Services’ Xavier Mendoza and Ali Hatami) square off against Liberbocce (Institutional Research’s Kevin Trotzuk and Lee Robinson) in an exciting two-game final, which drew spectators from across the campus.


Liberbocce was triumphant – winning the matches 11-6 and 11-10 – despite superb play and strategy (and perhaps a little trash-talk) from Boccelism. Thanks to the Regional Dean’s office for coordinating this fun event – stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for details about next year’s competition.
July 20, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 8


July 29 – Parks Alive! Kelowna will be hosting a jazz-themed concert in the courtyard of the Kelowna campus from 6 - 9 p.m. This fun family event will feature music by Hot Air Cool Tunes, Just In Time Trio and Devin Roth Trio. Admission is free and donations are welcome. Details about the Parks Alive! summer program can be found online at or

Aug 7 – Okanagan College will be represented at the Downtown Kelowna Association’s Mardi Gras event from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bernard Avenue will be closed for the day while street venders, merchants and children’s activities bring the streets alive. Come down for the day and say hello to fellow colleagues as they highlight what the college has to offer through demonstrations, displays and information.

Aug 25-26 - Don't miss Connections 2010
The two-day employee learning conference is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year and all College staff are invited to attend one of the two days to receive professional development, network with colleagues and provide feedback on issues affecting Okanagan College, its staff and students. For more information about Connections or to register, go online.

Volunteers need for Kelowna orientation

Staff at the Kelowna campus have been working hard to create a new and different orientation to welcome new students to the campus. For the first time in Kelowna, Okanagan College will host a campus-wide semester kick-off of on Sept. 7. In order to make this event great for new students, the orientation committee is calling for staff and faculty volunteers.

Volunteer shifts will be one or two hours long and are needed from 7:30 a.m. until noon. Help is needed to assist with serving coffee, meeting and greeting and coordinating parking.  Anyone interested in helping can contact Carolyn Hopkins at or local 4469.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Debbie Turner from the Library in Salmon Arm who won last week’s payday draw for $505. 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 or online.


The Kelowna Capital News published a multi-page feature on Penticton’s Centre of Excellence. Check out the photos and find out more about the Living Building in: Matching nature’s efficiency.  

The Centre of Excellence has helped bolster the outlook for Penticton’s construction starts in 2010. Read more in Building boom boosting hopes.

The Kelowna Daily Courier included a short article about an upcoming info night featuring Okanagan College’s new Advanced Certificate in Communication. Read more about the July 27 info session in: OC aims to advance communication skill.

The Penticton Herald and Kelowna Capital News picked up a Public Affairs press release featuring the 2010 recipient of the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship, Danielle Hofer. Read more about the Mount Boucherie grad and incoming business student in: Thorpe scholarship aids business admin student and Former MLA helps support student.

Nelson and Hudson Schier, winners of the Okanagan College’s Western Canadian RoboCup Junior competition, took home a first place in costume design at the World RoboCup competition held in Singapore. This is the second time they have attended the world competition. Read more in RoboBros clean up at competition.

The Penticton Herald featured an article about the Write on! Youth camp, which was held at the Penticton campus in early July. The campers attended a different workshop every day, learning about writing and publishing and meeting like-minded kids. Read more about the camp in the Penticton Herald article.

FortisBC and Andrew Sheret Ltd. got some ink last week after both companies contributed $50,000 to support Penticton’s Centre of Excellence. Read more about the donations and how they will support future trades students in the articles: Class act and FortisBC gives a boost to Centre of Excellence.

Bill Barisoff, MLA for Penticton, devoted his MLA Report to his recent tour of Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence site. The MLA was most impressed by the passion shown by everyone involved in the project. Read more in: College tour.

In a recent letter to the editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier a reader commented on the cost to taxpayers in order to support the Canadian Navy’s recruitment strategy in post-secondary. The letter was in response to an article about a current Okanagan College student who signed up for the Navy. Read the letter: Military too generous with student program.

Jason Herrington, a trades student at the Salmon Arm campus, received the Tomas Idzan Memorial Bursary - a financial award that was started to commemorate the life of Jason’s best friend who died in 2004. Read more in Memorial award goes to close friend.

In her School’s In column, Registrar Jane Muskens reflected on the barriers that exist for women re-entering the work force after time away. Read more in: Making it easier for women to re-enter the workforce.

Marc Arellano, Communications instructor, will have his documentary Strange Fruit screened at the Okanagan Film Festival on July 23 at Okanagan College in Kelowna. The documentary looks at the issues surrounding farming in Okanagan, including immigrant workers. Read more in an interview with one of the Mexican workers who was featured in the film in: Documentary looks at importing farm help.


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, Aug. 3, 2010.