First BSN prof a familiar face
at Okanagan College

Science, Technology & Health is pleased to announce and welcome its first new faculty member to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Department.  Geraldine Street has accepted the first full-time faculty position for the new program beginning this fall.  In addition to her faculty role, Geraldine will serve as the first Chair of the program. Geraldine holds a Nursing Diploma from the Royal Jubilee Hospital School of Nursing, a BSc in Nursing from UBC and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from UVIC.


UNDER CONSTRUCTION - by September, this will be Okanagan College's new nursing lab.

Some of you may already be familiar with Geraldine.  She worked as an instructor in the Practical Nursing program in 2008 and 2009.  Most recently, Geraldine has filled in part-time for the Practical Nursing and Human Service Work programs.

Geraldine has an extensive teaching background, having worked previously at Douglas College for both their diploma and degree programs before moving to the Okanagan. 

The selection committee continues the recruitment process to bring on board three more faculty positions in order to be fully staffed and ready to welcome our first cohort of 24 first year students in September.

Renovations to the second floor of the lab building are underway.  Upon completion, there will be a state-of-the-art health simulation lab, classroom, and faculty offices.  The Science, Technology and Health Dean’s Office and the lunch room are also receiving face lifts. The completion date is expected to be mid-August. 

Connections 2011 highlights the new Centre of Excellence

One of the stars at Connections this year - for those who haven't already had a chance to tour it - will be the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technology and Renewable Energy Conservation. VP Education Andrew Hay has done a remarkable job of hosting a video produced by Public Affairs to showcase the building. For a sneak preview of what you will see in the Centre of Excellence, view the short video.


And a reminder that registration is well underway for Connections 2011 - sessions are filling quickly, so register now to ensure you can attend your preferred sessions. The event runs Tues. August 23 and Wed. Aug 24 and bus transportation from your home campus is provided. Registration details including transportation times, learning session options, and the day's schedule can be found online

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please contact Kaya



Ceremonies mark more student success

More than 1,000 students will be honored at two Convocation ceremonies next week, one Tuesday in Vernon, and another Wednesday in Kelowna.

The Vernon ceremony, at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, honors Continuing Studies grads, as well as degree, diploma and certificate grads in a host of programs, including the Associate of Arts, Adult Special Education, PACE, Writing and Publishing, B.C. Adult Grad, the Associate of Science, Health Care Assistant, Human Service Work, Accounting Assistant, Admin Assistant, Office Assistant, Business Admin Diploma and BBA.

The Kelowna ceremony (6 p.m. in the Kelowna campus courtyard, weather permitting) will honor Continuing Studies Certificate graduates, as well as those from a host of other programs including: Accounting Assistant, Admin Assistant, Legal Admin Assistant, Adult Special Education, B.C. Adult grad, Certified Dental Assistant, Early Childhood Education (infant toddler), Health Care Assistant, Human Service Work, and Therapist Assistant.

If you'd like to help celebrate the student success, Michelle Lowry is always on the lookout for volunteers for these ceremonies.


OC students help get Kelowna Fire Museum off the ground

Just when Brian Moore thought the Kelowna Fire Museum would never be built, an idea came to him like a bolt of lightning.
“It was 3 a.m. and I was thinking about it wondering what to do, and then I realized – the electrical students at Okanagan College!”
Moore, who works full-time as a Kelowna firefighter, is the executive director of the Friends of the Fire Museum Society that took over the old Boyd’s Autobody building at the corner of Leon and Pandosy for the new society.
“The project has basically been stalled for the last year or so because we couldn’t find any electricians with permits who could do the commercial work.”
Stoked with excitement at the possibility, Moore dialled up Okanagan College to see if they could help. Jim Gamble, chair of the electrical trades department, told him it was just the kind of community partnership the college longs for.
“Whenever we can create partnerships like this, we grab it. The challenge for us was to make sure we had all the right approvals so we could go ahead,” Gamble says.
(Read the rest of the media release here. . . )


Here to Oak Lake, Manitoba,
on two wheels

 Congratulations to the OC Bike to Work Team.


This year 51 bikers rode 1,663 km - 208 km further than last year - or the equivalent of riding from Kelowna to Oak Lake, Manitoba. The City of Kelowna recorded 1,073 cyclists riding more than 16,000 km. At OC we had 10 first time bike commuters this year. All our members are recreational cyclists and our team goal is to continue riding to work at least once a week for the rest of the summer.

Bike Lockers are available through Facilities Management for $10 per month. Please consider riding with us during Bike to Work week next year. For further information contact Paul Stephenson 

20th Annual Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna a Record Setting Success!

2011 was a record setting year for our 20th annual Okanagan College Foundation / Western Financial Group Charity Golf Tournament and Silent Auction.  We welcomed 186 golfers on the two courses at the Okanagan Golf Club, and thanks to the wonderful support of our sponsors, golfers and volunteers, we raised just over $35,000 for scholarships and bursaries at Okanagan College.

Thanks to all of the departments that set up booths out on the course: Continuing Studies, Culinary Arts, International Education, OC Coyotes Hockey and the Okanagan School of Business.  And sincerest thanks to all the volunteers from the departments listed above, as well as: Nancy Ankerstein, Eve Avis, John Caspers, Arch Doody, Lynda Dreaper, Linda LeGallee, Angie March, Michele McCready, Netia Simpson, Michelle Sinclair, Tanya Tarlit, Laura Thurnheer, Lynda Wilson, and Scotiabank.

Congratulations to our winning teams – from the Quail: Mike Craig, Rob Hay, Jim McEachern and Peter Rochfort; and from the Bear: Jason Bennette, Ted Bennette, Greg Bonner and Bill Feist.  The full winner’s list has been posted on our website  and pictures from the event have been posted on the Okanagan College Foundation Facebook page .


Sharon shares a stage with Maude Barlow

sharon.jpgSharon Mansiere was part of a panel discussion that followed a keynote speech by Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow at the first event of this year’s 2011 Meadowlark Festival in Penticton.  Her topic was, “The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water”. Water, its conservation and sustainable use was the theme for the 2011 festival, which ran from May 19 to 23. The keynote address by Maude Barlow was followed by questions and answers from the local panel of experts which included:

  • Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB)
  • Stu Wells, Mayor for the Town of Osoyoos and Member of the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society
  • The Honourable Thomas E. Siddon, recipient of the Okanagan Water Leadership Award

Sharon represented Okanagan College and OSCA (the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance) which organizes the Meadowlark festival each year.

In addition to the Meadowlark festival, OSCA supports local research and ecological outreach into schools.

Degree Done!

Congratulations to IT's Terry Tuck who was among this spring's graduating class at UBC Okanagan, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, an enterprise that began back in the days of OUC!


Helping feet

About 60 people turned out to fuel Okanagan College's Easter Seals fundraising efforts during a 24-hour relay last weekend. The team raised more than $1,000 which raised $171,286 for the summer camp for kids.


June 21, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 6


50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Cheryl Brabandt from the Financial Awards, KLO Campus who has won the Friday June 17, 2011 payday draw for $542.50!

All Okanagan College employees are eligible to participate in the Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery. If you wish to sign up, registration forms are available from Dawn Douglas (Local 4774) in the Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (located in P103, KLO Campus), from Human Resources, or online.

PPC newsletter online

Okanagan College's employee and family assistance provider, PPC Canada, has a monthly electronic newsletter that employees may find valuablefor its tips and hints. This edition carries tips on Caring for Aging Parents and Summer Safety.

Steve's party

He already has the very-limited edition Steve Koehle action figure, so what else will he get to mark his looming retirement? The party to honor the Vice-President's 33-year career with Okanagan College will take place this Thursday beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Kelowna campus. A presentation will take place at 3:40 p.m. Refreshments and treats will be available. Steve's last day with the College will be July 7.

Bev's Party

Planning for Bev McNamara’s retirement is well in-hand - the party is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 26 and will be held at the Mission Creek Golf Club, with cocktails starting at 5:30 (a cash bar), and dinner following at 6 p.m. The department is hoping to organize everything well in advance, so is asking for everyone to pre-order for tickets ($36.50 a person- cash or cheque) by Aug. 15 to Marie Weale.

Janet's Party

Another familiar face is about to wrap up her career with Okanagan College - Business Professor Janet Mercer's retirement celebration is set for June 30 at 3 p.m. in the International Kitchen and Patio. (Business is asking you to RSVP to Lynn Kohout by June 24.)


Watch for details!

Two more pending retirements - Al Cohoe and Terry Lockhart - are going to be celebrated by the Trades department and others but at press time for Inside Okanagan College, details were sparse, other than news that the celebration will probably occur on June 29. Keep your eyes posted for posters with the accompany information. (For those who keep track of such things, Al has been trumpeting RVing at the College since 1987, while Terry's been on board since 1989.)



The College’s Press release on electrical, plumbing and business students helping the Kelowna Fire Museum earned play in the Kelowna Capital News  on June 21, as well as in the Daily Courier on June 19.

Long-time OC and OUC employee Al McCallum passed away this week – his obituary can be found on Castanet and in the Daily Courier as well.

The Young Entrepreneurs Dragons' Den competition garnered significant ink in the Westside Weekly of June 9  as well as the June 15 edition of the Kelowna Capital News.  It also caught the attention of Castanet's editors.

The advent of a new Continuing Studies certificate in Green Building Design earned notice in the June 11 edition of the Okanagan Saturday’s business section. The program will be offered in both Penticton and Vernon.

While Okanagan College continues to prepare an appeal of the recent Agricultural Land Commission decision rejecting a non-conforming use of ALR land at the Vernon campus for a sports complex, (see coverage from the Vernon Morning Star  and SUN-FM) the question of need is still of interest to letter writers in the Vernon Morning Star.

The Okanagan College Coyotes continue their quest for community support and more players. The Coyotes start their spring camp on June 30, with registration Wednesday, June 29 at 7 p.m. at the Capital News Centre – the first 40 skaters and six goalies to pay the $100 camp fee will attend four ice sessions. You can read more in the Daily Courier article of June 13.

Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning was one of the host sites for a stellar business networking event that brought together technology players from California’s Silicon Valley with players from the Silicon Vineyard. Metabridge ties together potential investors and partners from south of the border with promising start-up tech companies in the region. You can read about the initiative in the June 8 edition of the Daily Courier.

A fitting tribute to a long-time, dedicated employee of Okanagan College appeared in Forever Young’s June edition, entitled “Mr RV at your service.” If you haven’t guessed that it’s Al Cohoe, you haven’t been around the College long enough to know that the chair of the Motor Vehicle Trades department has a continent-wide reputation for his knowledge of and devotion to the RV industry. Al, with support from the RV industry, started the RV Lifestyles Seminar 14 years ago. It runs this weekend from June 24-27. Articles about the RV seminar supplemented the flattering coverage of Cohoe in the June edition. An article in the same issue about Ferne Northcott - one of the first attendees of the weekend seminar, who keeps returning - gives you an idea of how useful the sessions are for the RVing public.

Desirae Martin and Jenna Prowse were the two proud recipients of the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends scholarships for 2011: a moment caught on camera and noted in the June 20 edition of the Penticton Herald. As an FYI, the scholarship fund has benefited 25 students with scholarships amounting to $55,000 since it was created in 2007.

Registrar Jane Muskens turned her journalistic attentions toward first-generation students in her June 17 column in the Kelowna Capital News, noting the difference in completion rates for those whose parents and families have previous experience of post-secondary vs. those whose families don’t.

Alumna Kaylin England is off on a six-month adventure that will take her to Mozambique and Sooke, B.C. as part of Canada World Youth’s international education program. Kayline graduated this year with an honours BBA. Her story and fundraising efforts were profiled in the Vernon Morning Star.

The advantages of dual credit programming were brought home in an article about high school graduation at Kalamalka Secondary School, when a reporter profiled a Grade 12 grad who is going on to UBC Okanagan this fall, but already has an Okanagan College certificate as an education assistant to her credit.

Another alumna – Stephanie Leinemann – was part of a brief profile on Peller Estates wines, which is celebrating its 50th year of business. “Leinemann joined Peller Estates six years ago, and is credited for taking its wines to the next level,” wrote Michelle De Silva, “including the label's recent silver medal at the 2011 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Luxembourg with its 2009 Private Reserve Chardonnay. Leinemann trained as a winemaker at Okanagan College and Brock University, and completed a mentorship under Sandhill winemaker Howard Soon.”

Okanagan College earned a mention from MP Ron Cannan, who was describing the latest federal budget, and its acknowledgement of the important role that colleges and universities will play in advancing the nation’s innovation agenda.


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 5, which marks the 146th anniversary of the imposition of the first speed limit on steam- and petrol-driven vehicles in Britain: two miles per hour.