College assists community during West Kelowna fires

fireThe sudden onset of a series of major forest fires this weekend created a need for emergency services and community outreach in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and the South Okanagan. Okanagan College has offered refuge for evacuees at its Kelowna campus, providing 44 beds for those displaced by the fire.

The College's Kelowna and Penticton campuses have also opened up their libraries' internet stations for those affected by the fire who are in need of finding information or contacting friends, family and emergency support.

Hours of the Kelowna Library are:
Mon - Thu 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Hours of the Penticton Library are:
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Home for Learning programs open projects to community

saarmStudents and partners in the 2009 Salmon Arm and Revelstoke Home for Learning projects celebrated the completion of their programs this month with two open house events. Sponsors, partners, supporters and the media were invited to view the finished projects.

In Salmon Arm students partnered with the Adams Lake Indian Band to build a home for Elwin Gaze, his wife and three children. Under the leadership of instructor Matt McLenehan, students built the home to the lock-up stage and students in the plumbing program also worked on the home.

revThe Revelstoke project was a joint partnership between Okanagan College, Vic Van Isle, Jake-Jay Holdings and SD 19. Instructor Bob Reed guided the students through the program, which resulted in a beautiful two-storey home that is now for sale in the Arrow Heights subdivision. The next intake of Residential Construction programs will begin in February, 2010.

Connections 2009

Sustainability – students, employees, campuses, communities

Registration is still available online for Okanagan College's annual learning conference. Join colleagues on Wednesday, Aug. 19 or Thursday, Aug. 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.

The morning will include a plenary welcome and update from President Jim Hamilton, followed by a presentation from guest speaker Peter Gregg on Sustaining the Human Spirit – The Culture of Tenacious Optimism in a World under Threat. You will also have the chance to meet Okanagan College’s Fellows of the Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching.

Enjoy a delicious lunch, then chose from over a dozen afternoon learning symposia – from Excellerating your Excel and Green Campus and Green Classrooms, to Working with International and Aboriginal students to Combating Racism, and Alternative Grading Practices and Being Happier at Work. Come early to enjoy coffee with friends and colleagues and stay a little while in the afternoon for a social with food, entertainment, and prizes.

Everyone is welcome to attend. This event is a great way to kick off the year! Please contact Kaya Forest if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Kelowna staff say goodbye to Landmark, hello to Centre for Learning

pastaffStaff from Human Resources, Information Technology and Public Affairs will rejoin colleagues and students at the Kelowna campus next week after spending more than three years at Kelowna’s Landmark building. Each of these departments will be located on the fifth floor of the Centre for Learning as of Monday, July 27. Several departments have already moved into the new building, including International Education, Finance, and Applied Business Technology, to name a few.


In memory: Cain Aguiar

cainFlags at the Kelowna campus were lowered last week in memory of alumnus Cain Aguiar, 25, who died on Tuesday, July 14 in Melbourne, Australia. Cain graduated from Okanagan College’s Bachelor of Business Administration program in 2006. Prior to earning his BBA degree he completed the Commercial Aviation Diploma program.

He will be remembered fondly by many at Okanagan College, including Associate Dean of Business Barry McGillivray.

“I knew Cain well, both as one of my students and as someone who often dropped in to talk about school, career and life,” said Barry. “Cain was a bright, industrious, curious, polite, wonderful young man. In short he was everything a professor might want in a student. As a grad he had so much to offer to the community. For Cain to be taken in such a senseless way at the start of his working life before he could begin to realize his great potential is a terrible tragedy. My heartfelt condolences go to his mom and dad and to his family and friends who I know will miss him greatly. We will miss him too.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made but in the interim, Cain’s family has set up a Facebook page where hundreds of people have left messages for Cain and his family.

Lynda Wilson retires

lyndaOkanagan College’s Regional Dean of the Shuswap-Revelstoke will retire this month after providing nearly 10 years of leadership to the region. Though Lynda will no longer be on staff, she plans on spending a great deal of time at Okanagan College where she will volunteer her time as a literacy tutor. Lynda  shared her thoughts on retirement with Inside Okanagan College.
A love affair to remember! That sums up my experience as the Dean in the Shuswap-Revelstoke Region over the past nine and a half years. Working with dedicated colleagues throughout Okanagan College has provided me with many rewarding and treasured moments. Your pact to offer the highest quality of education and exceptional student services to learners intent on achieving their dreams continues to inspire me and many others. I feel privileged to have worked for an organization with such high ideals! Hopefully, my affair will continue - as a volunteer with Okanagan College.  My sincere thanks to all who have enriched my life in many untold ways with your vision, your knowledge, your assistance, and especially, your laughter.

Jim Barmby will assume the role of Regional Dean after Lynda retires. He will begin on Aug. 4. To find out more about Jim, read the Public Affairs press release announcing his appointment.

Brenda Ridgeley ties the knot amid smoke, flames and bombers

brendaCongratulations to the Okanagan School of Business’ Brenda Ridgeley, who was married on Saturday, July 18 in West Kelowna. From accounts of some of those who were there (Jayne Brooks, Barry McGillivray, Shelley Johnson and Kyleen Myrah), the wedding was lovely, albeit a little hot -- that was until the forest fires really started raging. Unfortunately, Brenda was evacuated while she was getting ready for the wedding but managed to look stunning in her green dress, reported Kyleen.

The ceremony was made all the more memorable thanks to the participation of a water bomber, which flew right over the wedding. Jayne didn’t make it to the reception due to the road closure but Kyleen got through and said it was great but a little dark due to the power outage. Brenda, her new husband, and about 24 wedding guests spent the night on the floor in the reception hall with blankets, candles and good company. Although her wedding will be very memorable, hopefully Brenda’s honeymoon will be a little less eventful.


Aug 19 – 20 – Connections 2009: Join colleagues on Wednesday, Aug. 19 or Thursday, Aug. 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Registration is now available online for this year's conference, Sustainability - students, employees, campuses, communities.


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. 4, 2009.
July 21, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 7


HR to offer recruitment software (POST) training

Human Resources invites all employees involved in the recruitment process to one of the following information/training sessions on our Post On-line System & Tracking (POST) system:

•    July 30:  9 - 11 a.m., 1 – 3 p.m. or 4 – 6 p.m.
•    Aug. 18:  9 – 11 a.m., 1 – 3 p.m. or 4 – 6 p.m.
•    Aug. 27:  9 – 11 a.m., 1 – 3 p.m. or 4 – 6 p.m.

Learn how to create/change position descriptions, create/submit postings to fill, manage applicants and communicate with others involved in the recruitment process. Please email Liz Currie  or call (250) 762-5445 ext.4547 to register.

College staff receive special pricing for Kelowna Music & Arts Festival

artsOkanagan College staff are invited to enjoy the Kelowna Music & Arts Festival on July 25 - 26 at a special rate of $25 for single day passes or $45 for weekend passes. This is a 20 per cent saving over the regular ticket price available to the general public.
Performing Canadian acts include: Colin Linden and Stephen Fearing from Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, Zappacosta, folk artist Harry Manx, hilarious comedians like Roman Danylo and The Arrogant Worms, chainsaw juggler Aaron Gregg, Vancouver’s funk pop group Hey Ocean and of course, multi Juno Award winner Colin James headlining Saturday, July 25. 
The event will also feature some of the best professional Okanagan talent like The Cruzeros, Kinship, Sherman Doucette, and Ryan Donn.
Follow this link to find out more: and click on “2009 Performers.” You can also download the festival schedule to plan your weekend of entertainment! To order tickets, call Renata at 868-3326 or Lindsay at 868-3409 at the Festivals Kelowna office.

August long weekend closure

Okanagan College will close on Monday, Aug. 3 in observance of the B.C. Day statutory civic holiday. The College will re-open on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Social Entrepreneurship student aids United Way with survey

One of Okanagan College's business students is assisting the Central Okanagan United Way with a short online survey. The Community Impact Survey will allow the public to share their thoughts and opinions while also showing interest in the community. Those who complete the online survey will be entered into a draw for a $250 prize from a local business. Limited to one entry per person. Survey closes on August 14, 2009. Follow this link to fill out the United Way Community Impact Survey.

Campus Stores back to school deals

shirtsDoes your department want to look like an impressive, cohesive unit this fall? For a limited time only, the Kelowna Campus Store has a variety of sample shirts for staff to see, feel, and try on. There are several fabrics and styles to choose from and they can be logo’d specifically for your department. But don’t wait too long - these samples won’t be here forever. The deadline for September clothing orders is Aug 4. Please allow three-to-four weeks for delivery.

To add delight to your summer, the Kelowna Campus Store has a rainbow of silk scarves and hair bands to spice up any wardrobe! Come see for yourself before they disappear!

Volunteers needed for orientation 2009

With orientation just a month away, the Kelowna campus is in need of volunteers to help make the experience great for new and returning students. Orientation organizers are seeking volunteers for Sept. 1 & 2 to help greet students in high traffic areas and to provide information to students at centrally-located information tables. Shifts are flexible and can be arranged from a half-hour to two hours, depending on volunteer availability. Anyone interested in helping out can contact Christy Cave or Arianne.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Jennifer Sigalet from the Vernon Campus who has won last week's payday draw for $ 467.50. 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.


The Kelowna Daily Courier picked up on a Public Affairs press release that announced the upcoming opening of the Kelowna campus Child Care Centre. Read more in: Students build 3,000 sq. ft. daycare at Okanagan College.

Okanagan College trades alumnus Tyler Lockerby made big headlines in the news when he and his friend Mathew Jackson came upon the scene of a motor vehicle accident just outside of Revelstoke. Watch a clip from Shaw TV and CHBC about how Tyler and Mathew rescued an elderly couple and their two children from the chilly waters of a lake.

Residential Construction students in Penticton made the page of the Penticton Herald after they completed their portion of the Habitat for Humanity project in the South Okanagan. Check it out in: Mission accomplished.

Okanagan College honorary fellow Dick Cannings was featured on tv discussing the proposal for a national park in the South Okanagan grasslands. Hear from the naturalist and longtime resident of the South Okanagan in a clip from CHBC.

The Salmon Arm Home for Learning project was featured in the Salmon Arm Observer. Read more in: Learning the practical skills.

Okanagan College's Trades BC tv segments included features on the women in trades training initiative and the dual credit culinary arts program at Mt. Boucherie Secondary.

Okanagan College RV Service Technician alumnus Mirel Eremia was profiled in the Kelowna Daily Courier’s Focus on Entrepreneurs column. Read about Mirel’s Onsite RV Repair company in: RV repair service comes to you.

The Okanagan Saturday ran a brief and a photo of the two winners of the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends scholarship. Read more about Kaley Wells and Jayme Braithwaite in: Pen Hi grads get help with college tuition.

The Kelowna Daily Courier printed an article about TTTE student Joel Dyck, winner of the 2009 Garfield Weston Upper Year Scholarship: Student’s commute a little easier. The Vernon Morning Star also published: College student rewarded for giving back.

Okanagan College alumna Stephanie Leinemann, winemaker at Peller Estates, was photographed in the Okanagan Saturday showing off her award-winning pinot noir. Read more in: Taste a winner.

Okanagan School of Business alumnus Andrew Roberts was featured in eVent magazine talking about his video game company Cosmic Logic. Find out more about Andrew’s enterprise and the value of his education from Okanagan College in: Video game revolt.

Okanagan College hosted a young writer’s camp in Penticton and received media coverage when Lt.-Gov. Steven Point attended the event. Read more in: Young writers camp a wrap, Writers’ camp was right on, More praise for Youth Write Camp, Ready for writing, and Point inspires young writers. Check out tv coverage from Shaw TV.

The Oliver Chronicle featured an interview and photo of Okanagan College alumna Jessica Stelkia in its Smile of the Week section. Read more about the Arts student in: SunFun coordinator flashes megawatt smile.

Okanagan College Baseball pitcher Nick Peruzzo was profiled by the Kelowna Capital News’ Kevin Parnell. Read more about how Nick is perfecting his game this summer in preparation of a second season with Okanagan College in: Peruzzo sticks around to pitch for Jays.

Okanagan College’s Jason Dewinetz’s discussion at the Okanagan Institute Express series on July 16 made the pages of the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Magic of books discussed.

The Vernon Morning Star published an article about the growth and success of Okanagan College throughout the Valley. Read more in: College creates bright futures.

Stan Chung, Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, wrote his Global Citizen column about his top 23 picks of all things Asian in Kelowna. Find out Stan’s favorite sushi restaurant, best Korean-born minister and other nuggets of Asian info in: Tourist’s guide to an Asian-inspired Kelowna.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In column covered three different topics including: Adults in their 20s finding their way back to school, Well educated citizens more powerful than any army and Additional schooling enabler for career advancement.