Pay It Forward campaign underway

pay it forwardThere’s a chance to help people who are homeless and the working poor in a big way this year, with the annual Pay It Forward campaign.

Launched by Okanagan College alumna Sarah Comba after she spent time giving to the homeless, the annual campaign contributes much-needed clothing to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and Inn from the Cold – Kelowna.

This year the Pay It Forward campaign runs from Nov. 19 – Nov. 30 at the Kelowna campus, with a particular focus on encouraging more people (especially Comba’s fellow alumni, current students and members of the public) to participate.

Those interested in taking part in this year’s Pay It Forward campaign are being asked to contribute softly used or new winter coats, new hats, toques and gloves, unwrapped toys, new supplies for babies, and new toiletries.

Donations can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in front of the Athletics and Recreation office inside the Student Services building, or in the International Education office in the Centre for Learning building.

Kelowna campus celebrates its multicultural connections

multi 2012Students and staff at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus wrapped up International Education Week with a multicultural feast for the senses.

From delectable ethnic dishes turned out by the Culinary Arts team, to world music, and colourful national costumes, the Atrium of the Centre for Learning turned into a little United Nations on Friday.

Aboriginal Elder Ranger Robins conducted the opening prayer, which was then followed by a few Japanese songs sung by Aska Nakumura from Osaka.

Other events through the day included demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy, henna work by artist Alisha Khan, plus a display of Aboriginal artifacts put together by Greg Schmid.

The day wrapped up with Indonesian, Saudi Arabian, and Jamaican students speaking about their cultures and their experiences living far away from home.

Awards aplenty at Okanagan College

kelowna awardsA sense of pride floated through Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus Nov. 15 when 144 students picked up a total of 184 scholarships and bursaries worth $159,000.

The event was the latest in a string of awards nights held throughout the fall that have honoured students at the Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton campuses. Salmon Arm students were awarded last June.

So far this year 281 Okanagan College students have been recognized with a total of 360 awards worth $324,420.

Canadian engineers swoon over Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence

pattisonThe Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation has scored another award, this time from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC) and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine.

The environmentally inspired building at the Penticton campus picked up the Tree for Life Award at the recent Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards gala held in Ottawa.

The awards have been held for the last 44 years, and are the highest recognition for the Canadian consulting engineering industry.

The Tree for Life Award, which went to the AME Consulting Group Ltd., is given for outstanding environmental stewardship. In this case, that involved providing full mechanical consulting services and virtual environment modelling on the project. Sustainability objectives included meeting the LEED Platinum target and the Living Building Challenge.

Student wins provincial photo contest

ipadAn Okanagan College student became the first to win a new photo contest put on by the B.C. Council for International Education.

Aska Nakamura, who is a 20-year-old student from Japan studying Anthropology and Political Science at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, received an iPad 3 for her collection of photographs Four Seasons for All, featuring student life at the College, and around the Okanagan.

“It felt amazing to get this,” she said. "I am so excited that my photos will be seen by many people, and will be a motivation for other international students in B.C., and people who want to study in B.C. in the future.”

Leonard Zurkowski, who works with, which provides health insurance to international students, presented Nakamura with the prize at the Kelowna campus on the final day of International Education Week.

Dozens of students apply to Penticton campus

pentictonThe Penticton campus held a busy information night Nov. 14 with many students, some with parents in tow, arriving to learn about the College and its various programs.

The campus received a total of 45 new applications for various programs, indicating a good turn out.


Record number of College retirees recognized at annual event

employees picThe annual Employee Recognition event held Wednesday, Nov. 14 featured more retirees than any previous year at Okanagan College.

Dave Goodall, who worked in IT Services, was among 30 of the 2012 retirees.

A total of 101 employees were recognized for years of service, and of those 13 had reached 25 years. The largest number of employees – 24 – had reached 20 years of service.

It was also the first year that the College didn’t have employees who had served more than 25 years. In previous years, some employees have served as much as 35 years before retiring.

Okanagan College employees are recognized once they reach 10 years of service, and every five years thereafter.

Penticton welcomes Recruiting and Events Coordinator Jill Smith 

Jill SmithThe Okanagan College recruitment team and Penticton campus are pleased to welcome Jill Smith as their Recruiting and Events Coordinator for South Okanagan Similkameen.

Smith is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Public Relations, Co-operative Education Program at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax with a broad range of communications experience from Shell Canada in Alberta, the Renfrew County District School Board in Ontario to Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Nova Scotia.

While working towards her degree she also worked for Mount Saint Vincent University and Dalhousie University, and will be able to use her experience from these institutions to help with the transition to her new position.

Since moving to Penticton from Halifax this past September, Smith has been exploring the area and enjoying volunteering on the committee for Dining in the Dark at CNIB – Kelowna Chapter and is looking forward to skiing on a real mountain for the first time this winter.
Smith can be reached by email or phone 250-492-4305 ext. 3205.


Nov. 20, 2012 Vol. 7 Issue 16


New copyright policy in effect

Okanagan College has instituted a new Fair Dealing Policy for the use of copyright-protected works that are allowed without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties.

The Policy is based on policy recommendations by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and reflects two recent and significant developments in Canadian copyright law: a July Supreme Court of Canada decision which clarified and broadened the definition of fair dealing in education, and the enactment in November of the Copyright Modernization Act, which adds education as a new purpose in the fair dealing provision and which also adds other new educational exceptions.

It is important to bear in mind that copying beyond the limits in the Policy may not be fair dealing and may require permission from and/or payment to the copyright holder.

Faculty retirement – reminder of notice deadline

Faculty members are reminded that a faculty member who wishes to retire must give at least six months’ notice in writing by Dec. 31 of the fiscal year prior to the planned retirement. 

Retirement notices are to be submitted by the due date to the faculty members’ designated supervisors with a copy to Human Resources.
Members of the College Pension Plan expecting to retire in 2013 will also have the opportunity to attend retirement seminars. Planning is now underway and more information will be made available.

For information regarding the pension plan, or benefits upon retirement, please contact Charlene Cornett in Human Resources at local 4603 or by email.

Jingle bells ringing at Campus Stores Nov. 22

SantaStart your seasonal shopping early with the Campus Store Customer Appreciation Sale on at the Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Penticton campuses, Thursday, Nov. 22.

This year the Stores are offering a great selection of general interest books starting at a loonie.


Nov. 19 – 30  - The 7th Annual Pay It Forward giving campaign takes place at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. Students, employees, alumni and peope from the community can drop off donations of new clothing to the College to assist those using services through Inn from the Cold and Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. Drop off 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the International Education office or A105. For more information, contact Jenn Naiman, local 4754.

Nov. 21 – Dr. Paul Stephenson talks about his research into the origins of BC Rail with his talk The Sin of Political Necessity at the Institute for Learning and Teaching Lunch and Learn session from noon to 1 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus.

Nov. 22 – The Okanagan Business Students’ Association is hosting Movember Music Night at the Kelowna campus from 5 – 9 p.m. The evening features numerous bands and inspirational words from Bren Wilson with the Okanagan Prostate Resource Centre Society. For more information, contact

Nov. 22 – REEL Change Film Festival Movie Night features On the Line, on the Enbridge Pipeline at the Kelowna campus at 7 p.m.

Nov. 24 – The Third Annual 3-Hour Writing Contest takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at all four campuses of Okanagan College. Deadline for registration is noon, Friday, Nov. 23. Visit for more details.

Nov. 26 – Retired business professor Ron Spence talks about his studies in surviving mom and pop restaurants across North America at 7 p.m. at the Penticton campus.

Nov. 30 – The 7th annual Western Canada RoboCup Junior Games takes place at the Kelowna campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with students from Grades 4 -11 participating.

Dec. 3 – Tinhorn Creek winemaker Sandra Oldfield speaks to the case for small wineries and sustainability at the Penticton campus at 7 p.m. in room PL107.


Dr. Heather Banham’s photo appeared in Maxine DeHart’s column in the Capital News regarding her recent appointment to the board of the Certified General Accountants of B.C. Read: Heather Banham. She was also mentioned in the Courier for receiving the CGA-BC’s Ambassador of Distinction Award. Read: Just awards.
A total of 63 scholarships and bursaries were handed out to 41 students at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, reported the Morning Star. Read: Okanagan College hands out awards.

Vernon area resident Garry Haas raises concerns in a letter to the editor of the Morning Star regarding the referendum on a new sports facility at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus. Read: Referendum bid sparks questions.

A team of Okanagan College students proved they have a head for business after coming in third place in the Certified Management Accountants-BC Case Competition. Read: Accounting students top the Interior in case management competition, from the Capital News.

Manufacturing experts from Elkhart, Indiana – known as the RV capital of the world – spent three days at Okanagan College training technicians from all over the province. Read: RV’s top techs share tips at OC, from the Morning Star.

The next round of Venture Okanagan’s Investors Forum, organized by Okanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program, featured a $5,000 first prize. Read: Investors compete for $5,000 at forum.

Okanagan College business students are hoping to draw a crowd with music to help raise awareness of prostate cancer. Read: Students launch Movember Music Night.

Students from Okanagan College’s Practical Nursing program delivered flu facts to the public. Read: Nursing students offer latest flu facts, from the Okanagan Saturday.

An article that appeared in the Courier’s 25 Years Ago section revealed a new trend taking place at Okanagan College – more mature students, and more women. Read: Surprising college stats.

The BC Jobs Starts Here job fair took place at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College. Read: Job fair today at college.

ASTTBC executive director John Leech mentioned Okanagan College in an article on the expansion of technology careers in B.C. Read: Science technology career opportunities booming in B.C., in the Capital News.

Okanagan College Human Kinetics professor Greg duManoir emceed a panel discussion on scientific expedition to Everest. Read: Expedition comes to Penticton, in the Penticton Herald.

The Contenders return to the Shuswap as part of their annual appearance in support of George Ryga Week, which was initially launched in conjunction with Okanagan College. Read: Contenders re-unite.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce hosted its speed networking event at Okanagan College. Read: Making high-speed business connections from the Courier.

Karin Wilson, who works in Okanagan College’s Public Affairs department, spoke on peace in her role as a reverend. Read: Centre for Spiritual Living launching speaker series.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer.

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The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.