Okanagan College hosts ACCC National conference

Ideas Uncorked 2013 200wFinal preparations are now underway as Okanagan College prepares to welcome hundreds of delegates from post-secondary colleges and institutions across the country for the Ideas Uncorked conference, which starts May 31 in Penticton.

Presidents, administrators, deans, board members, faculty, support staff and others will be in Penticton through to June 3 to hear from a variety of experts on issues such as serving indigenous communities, fundraising, sustainability, leadership, and the leading edge of higher education.

Among the keynote speakers taking part are famed anthropologist Wade Davis, Shyamal Mjamdar, head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and Evan Solomon, CBC journalist and host of Power and Politics.

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges represents 130 publicly-funded colleges, institutes, university colleges, cégeps and polytechnics with over 1,000 campuses across Canada. Over 1.5 million full-time and part-time students are enrolled in ACCC member institutions.

Innovative community leaders named College’s Honorary Fellows

 Hon Philip
 Ernie Philip

Three community leaders whose reach has gone far beyond their own backyards will be receiving Okanagan College’s highest honour next month.

Ernie Philip, Alan Gatzke and Barry Lapointe will be recognized as Honorary Fellows of the College for their contributions and leadership in the areas of cultural awareness, the agricultural industry and in aviation entrepreneurship, respectively.

“I am proud to welcome Ernie, Alan and Barry as Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College,” said President Jim Hamilton. “When I think about the people who have made a difference in our communities, from Kelowna to Oyama and extending to the Shuswap, each of the 2013 recipients are shining examples of people who have been dedicated to improving their communities.”

Hon Gatzke
 Alan Gatzke

Philip, an elder of the Little Shuswap Indian Band, will be presented with his award at the College’s Spring Convocation ceremony June 8, held in the morning. An acclaimed international dance artist, Philip has won more than 130 awards for his performances in Powwows, and in 2006 received the Ambassador Award for Aboriginal Tourism of British Columbia.

Alan Gatzke is a third generation farmer and the proprietor of Gatzke Orchards in Oyama which through his vision has grown into a thriving example of agri-tourism. He will receive his award at the College’s afternoon Convocation ceremony on June 8.

 Hon Lapointe

Barry Lapointe

Lapointe will be recognized at the College’s Summer Convocation ceremony on June 27.

As the Co-founder, CEO and past President of Kelowna Flightcraft, Lapointe is one of the region’s best-known aviation entrepreneurs. Lapointe identified a need for a regional aircraft maintenance company more than 40 years ago, and today Flightcraft is the third largest airline company in the country.

To read the full media release, click here.

College delivering training for tech sector

Members of the technology sector have a unique opportunity for some top-level training delivered by Okanagan College Business and Computer Science professors this summer.

Computer Science professor Dr. Youry Khmelevsky and Okanagan School of Business professor Dr. Lynn Sparling put the series together, which is being made available tuition-free to qualified participants.

Two series of sessions are being held during June, and then in again in late August, with a variety of seminars on topics as diverse as international business, public speaking skills, and software engineering projects.

The free workshops are being conducted through the College’s TrainingBC program.

To read the full media release, click here.

Learn more about Sustainable Construction

SCMT correct logoOkanagan College is hosting two information sessions – one in Kelowna and one in Penticton – on its new Sustainable Construction Management Technology program.

The three-year diploma program is designed to address current and future industry needs when it comes to creating sustainable buildings.

The first session will take place at the Kelowna campus, Tuesday, May 28 from 6 – 7:30 p.m., and the second session will take place in Penticton Tuesday, June 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

To read more about the program, click here for the media release.

Underwater images donated to Okanagan College

TatjanaA new generation of biology students at the Salmon Arm campus are getting a closer look at some rare marine life, thanks to a unique donation.

Tatjana Schmidt-Derstroff, who now lives in Salmon Arm, spent the early 1970s diving and snorkeling in some of the world’s most spectacular locations, including the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

Eighteen framed photographs now line the walls of the biology lab, with some of the images showing creatures that are near extinction.

Biology professor Dr. Michael Mitsch (left in photo with Regional Dean Jim Barmby) said the donation had an immediate impact on his students.

“We put the photographs up over reading break, and when the students returned it stimulated an invigorating conversation, and lots of questions,” Mitsch said. “They clearly appreciated what this donation adds to the classroom experience.”

To read the full media release, click here

New website improvements

Changes have been made recently to Okanagan College’s website in response to feedback received since the revised website was launched in February.

The College’s post-implementation review committee examined all of the feedback received and made changes based on the key recommendations.

Visitors will now see a link to myOkanagan on the home page directly below the search bar on the upper right side. At the bottom of the page, the social media buttons are now larger, and there is now a Contact Us link on the bottom right.

The College received a tremendous number of responses to its website, including responses from students which were overwhelmingly positive.

Crowds turn out for Studio Woodworking show

studioHundreds turned out Friday to see the outstanding craftsmanship honed over seven months from eight students, including two former grads, from the College’s Studio Woodworking program.

“There were line-ups down the stairs at one point,” said Instructor Tim Diebert of the Knotty by Nature show, which was held in the Centre for Dialogue at the Kelowna campus.

Visitors made their way through the beautifully lit gallery to see pieces ranging from a coffee table with an intricate Lewis cub design and a curved wooden bureau, both created by Justin Inkson, who came to the program from Saskatchewan - to the tiniest of wooden rings, bracelets and bow ties crafted by Kevin Fukushima (see photo).

Also taking part were Ramona Baker, Paulette Tercier, Mitch Wannop, Taron Keim, plus former graduates Russell Bennett and Mark Kornell.

The full-time 35-week Studio Woodworking program runs every September.

Bike to Work gears up May 27

bike to workOkanagan College is getting on-board once again with Kelowna’s bi-annual Bike to Work Week (May 27 – May 31) with the hope of getting more employees and students out of their cars and onto their bikes.

“Our goal this year is to encourage at least one other working colleague to ride a bike to work at least one day next week,” said College organizer Paul Stephenson.

This year’s event will feature more breakfast stations plus chances to win a bike (one given away each day). To register, send an email with “Bike to Work Registrations – Yes” in the subject line to Paul Stephenson.


Learn practical tips on energy conservation

Rob St. OngeOkanagan College’s Energy Manager Rob St. Onge will be presenting his lecture Energy Matters at the Kelowna campus on May 27 as part of the Institute for Learning and Teaching’s Lunch and Learn Series.

The talk takes place from noon to 1 p.m. in Room E402 and will provide valuable information that can be used to conserve energy in the home and workplace. Topics include how to understand the home utility bill, the biggest energy users and the best strategies to reduce consumption.

Dizzy Spells wins bee

Spelling beeTwo Okanagan College teams placed in the top three spelling spots at this year’s Literacy NOW Adult Spelling Bee fundraiser, which took place May 7 at the Penticton Golf and Country Club.

During the three-round spelling bee members of the winning team Dizzy Spells (made up of Okanagan College literacy volunteers Karen Fort, Patrick Longworth, Lynda Pickrell and Ann Kostiuk) impressed “beekeeper” and Literacy NOW Outreach coordinator Joan Chambers with their ability to spell 13 out of 15 words correctly, including tricky words like Tsawwassen and idiosyncrasy.

The second Okanagan College team The Final Word, tied for second place with a total of 12 words spelled correctly.

The event raised more than $3,000 for the South Okanagan-Similkameen Literacy NOW program.

Four Okanagan College students (Steven Rennhack, Jorden Allen, Bluejay Kruger and Tamara Mudry) spoke at the event about how improving their literacy as adults had affected their lives.
“The event was a great example of a cross section of the community coming together to support literacy and the many students who are achieving their personal goals,” said Donna Lomas, South Okanagan Regional Dean.

Dr. dives into fundraiser for kids

Leora DahlPsychology professor Dr. Leora Dahl, who is preparing to swim the English Channel, is attempting to raise $6,000 towards the Y Strong Kids Program.

The Y Strong Kids Program is focused on ensuring people of all ages are healthier and more productive, and could result in such things as helping children learn to swim, helping teens with leadership skills, or helping a child participate in recreation or physical activity.

Dahl is a member of a five-person relay team that will be going to England on July 27 to attempt to swim the English Channel. Each member will swim for one hour at a time in rotation until they either reach the French coast or have to be pulled from the water.

Donations to Dahl’s Y Strong Kids campaign can be made online.

Employees enjoy moving experience

Move for Health 2013aFor the seventh year in a row, employees at the College’s Kelowna campus took part in the international Move for Health day, a World Health Organization initiative.

This year a total of 56 people spent their break enjoying the fresh air with a three-kilometre walk organized by the Athletics, Recreation and Student Life department.

The event launched the campus Express Activity Challenge, with events talking place every Monday and Wednesday until Monday, June 24. To sign up for the challenge, drop by the Athletics & Rec Office, A105. The challenge is open to all students and staff.

May 21, 2013 Vol. 8, Issue 4


2013-14 tuition fees now online 

The tuition fees for 2013-14 are now available online at Tuition fees have also been updated on each program page in the Calendar.

For questions please contact Inga Wheeler at 250-762-5445 ext. 4847.

Volunteers needed for June ceremonies

Anyone interested in ushering for the Trades Commencement ceremony 6 p.m. Friday, June 7 in Kelowna, or the morning or afternoon Convocations in Kelowna on Saturday, June 8, can email Michelle Lowry or contact her at ext. 4649.

ICBC’s Commuter Challenge takes place June 2-8

Okanagan College is taking part once more in this year’s ICBC Commuter Challenge, with participants able to sign up by campus. Last year 26 College employees took part, and “avoided” 375-kg of CO2, and 150-litres of fuel. The competition encourages people to use alternative means of getting to work – anything goes from walking to canoeing. For more details, and to register, visit the College’s Commuter Challenge page.

Privacy Policy online

Okanagan College has recently approved and posted a new policy covering the protection of personal information.

The Protection of Privacy Policy, number E.2.3 is available online and applies to board members, employees, students and service providers.
This policy outlines how the College complies with its privacy obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This policy applies to all records and personal information in the custody or under the control of the College. The policy applies to all employees who collect, access, use, disclose, maintain and dispose of personal information.

Kalamalka Press publishes KIdsWWwrite

The May issue of KIdsWWwrite, put out by Okanagan College’s Kalamalka Press, is now available online.

KIdsWWwrite editor Margriet Ruurs has compiled 61 poems and short stories by young writers from all over the world.

Pit Stop closed until September

The biweekly Pit Stop event, put on by the students of the Culinary Arts department and held at Infusions Restaurant at the Kelowna campus, has now closed for the season. It will resume again in September.

Walk to Fight Arthritis June 9

Okanagan College is fielding a group to take part in the Arthritis Society’s national Walk to Fight Arthritis.

People can choose from one and five-kilometre walks, with everyone meeting at Stewart Park around 9 a.m. Sunday, June 9. The College’s Athletic and Recreation department will be conducting the warm-up prior to the walk, which gets underway at 10 a.m.

To register, visit the walk website, click register, and join the OC corporate team. For more information, email Heather Carson. There is a minimum $5 donation to take part.

Truck service to Vernon

Departments and divisions should be aware that the Friday truck service to Vernon holds its last run on Friday, June 7. Service will resume on Friday, August 9.
Anyone with concerns can contact Brad Piontek in Supply Management Services.

Express Activity Challenge starts May 22

Join the Athletics & Rec dynamic trio at the Kelowna campus for an express 30-minute workout. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring a water bottle, and meet at 12:15 p.m. in the courtyard for a quick on-site workout, prepare to head for nearby parks and trails. The challenge runs from May 22 through to June 24, with draw prizes awarded. Sign up at the Athletics & Rec office in Room A105.


May 23 – The 22nd Annual Okanagan College Foundation / Western Financial Group Charity Golf Tournament takes place at the Bear and Quail courses of the Okanagan Golf Club in Kelowna. To register visit

May 25 - Okanagan College's Garage Sale takes place in the Automotive Shop at the Kelowna campus from 8 a.m. to noon.

May 27 – Learn how to reduce your energy costs at this month’s Lunch and Learn Series put on by the College’s Institute for Learning and Teaching. Okanagan College's Energy Manager outlines what people can do to save energy at home and at the workplace. Noon to 1 p.m. in Room E402 at the Kelowna campus.

May 28 – The Vernon donor luncheon is being held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Vernon campus.

May 28 – Learn more about the College’s newest program – Sustainable Construction Management Technology, at an information session taking place at the Kelowna campus from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

May 30 - Okanagan College’s Department of Political Science presents a live video-streamed event - The Munk Debate on Economic Inequality starting with the motion: Be it resolved, tax the rich (more). The debate features, among others, George Papandreou on the pro side, and Newt Gingrich on the con side. The live video-streaming takes place at  4 p.m. at the Kelowna campus, Room C240.

June 7 – The Okanagan College Trades Commencement takes place at the Kelowna campus, starting at 6 p.m. in the courtyard.

June 8 – Okanagan College celebrates Spring Convocation at the Kelowna campus, with two ceremonies taking place at 10:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m.


Okanagan College will bestow its highest honour on three local respected and innovative community leaders during a series of Convocation ceremonies in June, reported the Capital News. Read: Trio bestowed with OC’s highest honour.

A series of business seminars targeted to entrepreneurs in the technology sector is being offered tuition-free at Okanagan College. Read: Okanagan College professors to deliver top tech training, in the Capital News.

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, on leave from his position as an Okanagan College Business professor, celebrated his victory in the recent provincial election. Read: Victory for Team Okanagan, in the Capital News.

Prior to the election, the Capital News reported on the all-candidates forum that was organized by the Okanagan College Students' Union and held at the Kelowna campus prior to the election. Read: College students grill candidates on post-secondary education.

A writer to the Capital News questioned the jobs program after attending the all-candidates forum held at the College’s Kelowna campus. Read: Post-secondary support welcome but jobs also needed.

The Morning Star reported on Enactus Okanagan College’s fourth national crowning as the Help Hunger Disappear champions. Read: Enactus in national spotlight. The story also appeared in the Capital News.

Cheese topped Salmon Arm’s Launch-a-Preneur competition, created by the Okanagan College Enactus students. Read: Entrepreneurs strut out ideas, in the Salmon Arm Observer.

The Capital News picked up the story on 16 Enactus Okanagan College students taking part in the National Exposition in Toronto earlier this month. Read: Enactus business students up for challenge.

Okanagan College will welcome a new face to its leadership team on July 2 with the appointment of Russel Boris as Director of International Education. Read: Making the move from Medicine Hat, in the Capital News, and Okanagan College hires new director, in the Morning Star.

Golfers can turn their scorecards into meaningful support for Okanagan College students next month at the Okanagan College Foundation/Western Financial Group Annual Charity Golf Tournament. Read: Golf tourney aids trades programs, in the Capital News.

Okanagan College hosted one of the knottiest events in the region on May 17 at the Kelowna campus. Read: Students polish up for fine woodworking exhibition, in the Capital News.

The Salmon Arm Observer reported on the latest partnership involving the College’s Residential Construction Program. Read: Partnership builds while it educates.

The Osoyoos Times reported on the recent involvement of Okanagan College Residential Construction and Plumbing program students in the creation of a new owl clinic. Read: New owl rehabilitation clinic a big hoot.

An anonymous donation has helped put new equipment into the hands of students in both mechanical engineering technology and welding. Read: Generosity benefits OC, in the Morning Star, and Funds secure future for robotics and welding programs, in the Capital News.

Biology students at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College are getting a glimpse of the undersea worlds, thanks to an unusual donation. Read: Donated photos help with learning, in the Morning Star.

Some Okanagan College professors are helping local people who want to reach for the stars. Read: College to help listen in on galaxy, from the Daily Courier.

Registrar Jane Muskens examined the challenges young people face obtaining full-time work in her School’s In column. Read: Employers look for both education and experience, in the Capital News.

The Okanagan College Coyotes hope to leave behind a mediocre regular season with a productive run in the Canadian College Baseball Association playoffs. Read: Coyotes in Kamloops for CCBC playoffs, in the Capital News.

Costs are going up for archeological work being conducted at the site of Greater Vernon’s future sports complex. Read: Sports complex costs rise, in the Morning Star.

In its 25-years-old column, the Daily Courier wrote about the push to create degree-granting institutions in Kelowna, Prince George and Kamloops. Read: OK university sought.

The Okanagan College volunteer literacy tutors created some buzz at a recent spelling bee. See OC tutors top spelling bee, in the Penticton Herald. Meanwhile, in Vernon, the Okanagan College eggheads also took part in their community. Read: Spelling up some fun for literacy, in the Morning Star.


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 June 4, 2013.