TD Bank Financial Group donates $125,000

tdfinalStudents in the Okanagan School of Business got a financial boost last night at the Kelowna awards ceremony when TD Bank Financial Group announced a donation of $125,000 to students in Business Administration degree, diploma and certificate programs. TD’s Shawna McCrea, who is also an Okanagan College BBA alumna, was at the Kelowna campus last night to deliver $1,000 bursary cheques to the first round of students. The Okanagan College Foundation will deliver $25,000 per year over the course of five years to students who earn the bursary.

Seventeen winners of the 2008 TD Bank Financial Group bursary are seen in the photo:
Back row from left to right: Meghan Amann, Lindi Plante, Melissa Vink, Diana Williamson (receiving on behalf of Ashley Beck), Jeff Dobson, Justin Scott, Jesse Herperger, Brandon Simunac. Second row: Margaret Hyatt, Tara Mitchell, Suzanna Morrison, Brenda Ouellette, Leanne Praticante, Shan-Huey Li. Front row: Michelle Plamondon, Shawna McCrea (Branch Manager for TD Canada Trust), Carrie Desjarlais.

For more information about the donation, read a Public Affairs press release.

Former Okanagan College president, Ron Jeffels, dies at age 87

ronfinalFlags at the Kelowna campus were lowered on Wednesday in memory of well-respected leader of Okanagan College who served as president from 1975-80. Jeffels died on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the age of 87.

Jeffels was the College’s fifth president. He is remembered fondly by many colleagues, including former registrar Trevor Braem, in a Public Affairs press release. Anyone wishing to share their memories of Ron Jeffels can visit: to include them or to pass condolences to Ron’s family.

Partners fund sustainable transportation plan for KLO

Okanagan College, the City of Kelowna, School District 23 and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia are funding development of a sustainable transportation plan focused on the KLO campus area. The plan will set out how the College plans to manage traffic, transportation, safety and parking demands and will result in short-, medium- and long-term recommendations that take into account ongoing site development and the strategic plan.

The study will start this month and should be wrapped up within six months, according to Facilities Management Director Steve Robinson Sr.  “As our campus has grown and as it gets busier, we need to examine transportation issues to see what needs improving and identify how we can do it. Clearly the City of Kelowna and School District 23 have roles to play because of the transit services that are integrated into our campus, KSS and the fact that we are a hub of activity in the Pandosy-Mission neighborhood.”

The volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic involved and issues of safety led ICBC to support the study.

OPUS International Consultants Ltd. have been hired to undertake the study, which will involve a review of current conditions, best practices at similar institutions and the development of solutions that take into account College growth, transportation demand management principles and the appropriate use of all transportation modes. The consultants will use surveys, meetings, web-based information and open houses as part of their process. Their survey will also involve consultation and interviews with transportation stakeholders, including students, said Robinson.

“The first two comprehensive student surveys we conducted made it clear that parking is an issue that students are concerned about,” noted Regional Dean Heather Schneider. “This is part of the solution to addressing that and other issues around transportation.”

Staff who would like to participate in the survey can follow this link. For further information, contact Robinson (ext. 4722) or Schneider (ext. 4789).

Summerland slide a pain for most, exciting for geomorphology students

summerlandThe instability created by ongoing construction in Summerland resulted in a closed Hwy. 97, a scramble to go live with video-conference classes, and some treacherous driving for many staff and students of Okanagan College. However, there were some who were excited by the challenge presented by the crisis – Okanagan College’s Geog/EESc 222 Geomorphology students. They visited the site of the Summerland slide last Friday and were shown around by none other than Okanagan College Civil Engineering Technology alumnus, Sean Holkestad. Sean is one of the engineering technologists currently working on the highway project. He took some time to show the geomorphology students around the site and explained the monitoring program that is in place.

Bahniwal and Aaserud to represent College at Queen's

The Okanagan College School of Business received great news yesterday when results came in from the preliminary round of the Queen’s Intercollegiate Business Competition, an elite competition for business schools in Canada.

The top six teams in each category have been selected and they will go on to compete at Queen’s in the final round of competition in January. Okanagan College’s accounting team of Sandeep Bahniwal and Magnus Aaserud will be among those finalists in January. The team was led by professors Derek Cook and Randy Newton. The Okanagan College team will compete against teams from St. Mary’s University, Memorial University, Simon Fraser University, the University of Manitoba and the University of Western Ontario. 

Word Ruckus

ruckusIn its inaugural offering, Word Ruckus in Kelowna drew more than 300 people to Habitat and raised over $1,000 for a creative writing award for students. Organizers Jake Kennedy and Kevin McPherson are taking a well-deserved break but are considering hosting another event (next year!) once they unwind from the chaos of Word Ruckus. The event included collaboration between Trades and Arts at Okanagan College as well as participation from public school students, high school students, Okanagan College and UBCO students, local artists, writers and literary enthusiasts. For more information about Word Ruckus, contact Jake or Kevin.

Kelowna Home for Learning thanks sponsors, partners for four great years in Kettle Valley

kelhomeStudents, sponsors and partners of the 2008 Kelowna Home for Learning gathered at the newly finished home in the Village of Kettle Valley to showcase the work of 11 residential construction students at a VIP reception yesterday.  Program Administrator Nancy Ankerstein gave special thanks to sponsors and partners who have been with the program since 2005, when it began operating out of the Village of Kettle Valley.  Two-time building partner Jim Lamb of Vintage Design Ltd. was also recognized for his tremendous contribution to the program. Five of the program's students stopped by the reception and were commended for their great work. The students couldn't stay long, as each of the young men have been hired to work on a project in Kettle Valley and had to get back to work.

In the photo are: Jamie York, student; Anton Sarac, student; Tyson McMullen, student; Justin Zubeck, student; Dan Elliott, student; Mayor Sharon Shepherd; Bill Wendt, Village of Kettle Valley; Jim Lamb, Vintage Design Ltd.; Ken Radelet, instructor; Yvonne Pinder, Okanagan College Board of Governors.


Employees honoured for years of service

Dozens of employees celebrated milestone years of service at Okanagan College in 2008. Those employees were honoured at an employee recognition ceremony last week. View this slide show to catch up on who celebrated anniversaries at Okanagan College. Recipients of note included  35-year veteran Pat Campbell and a 20-year veteran best known as President Jim Hamilton.

Kevin McPherson signs book deals

English professor Kevin McPherson signed two book deals and will see his first book published in December 2009. Inside Okanagan College asked Kevin to provide details of both books.

“The first will be called, The Words of the Book, and it’s experimental poetry based on the King James Version of the Holy Bible. I co-created it with a real jerk of a poet in Calgary named Jonathan Ball, and it’s been accepted for publication by a press in Toronto called BookThug. Expect to see it December 2009.

“The second book, titled rhapsodomancy, collects various visual poems from my creative MA thesis. It is set for a Spring 2010 release with Coach House Books, also in Toronto.”

Okanagan College welcomes Shelley Witzky

shelleyShelley Witzky has joined Okanagan College in the role of Aboriginal recruiter. Shelley is of Secwepemc (Shuswap) and German ancestry of the Adams Lake First Nation. She was raised on the Osoyoos First Nation with both Secwepemc and Okanagan cultural teachings. During her teens she traveled with a missionary group to Jamaica, Sweden and Maui doing minor construction and landscaping for outreach, while garnering valuable knowledge of diverse cultures and world views.

After graduating from a private school, she attended OUC, then transferred to the University of Victoria to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Anthropology. She continued her studies with the Institute of Indigenous Government in Vancouver, earning an associate in Indigenous Studies and Social and Economic Development. She has a background as diverse as her heritage in archaeology, archives, Aboriginal tourism, employment counseling and environmental volunteerism. Shelley is a strong believer in education empowering Aboriginal people. Shelley will be working as the Aboriginal recruiter and will be based out of Penticton but will also serve Kelowna.

Marc Arellano savours last week with hair

Communications professor Marc Arellano is just a few dollars away from shaving his head. Arellano and one of his students, Wesley Wright, committed to shaving their heads in the Pit of the Kelowna campus if they could raise $1,000 for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. At last count, Arellano and Wright have collected about $975. Faculty, staff and students have been very generous with their donations, and CMNS 390 would like to thank everyone for their support. A table will be set up in the pit area on Monday, Nov. 24 between 12-1:30 p.m. for any last minute donations. The haircuts will take place the following day, Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 12:30 p.m. in the pit.

Rick Gee completes book, goes green with distribution

rickOkanagan College’s Rick Gee has completed a textbook on Java programming, analysis, and design. Rather than going with a printed version, Rick is distributing it electronically. The book has received positive reviews from high schools, colleges and universities and is being adopted by at least one American high school and one Canadian college. Follow this link to check out Rick’s work. 

Kyleen Myrah earns Executive CMA Top Talent Award

kyleenOkanagan School of Business professor Kyleen Myrah recently received her Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. Shortly after completing her coursework, Myrah was informed that she was the 2008 recipient of the Executive CMA Top Talent Award. The ECMA Top Talent Award represents the highest total aggregate mark in year two of the executive program and recognizes academic success and demonstrated leadership throughout the program. 
In the words of Okanagan School of Business Dean Dr. Jayne Brooks, "Kyleen exemplifies motivation, enthusiasm and passion so it is no surprise that she has excelled in yet another monumental accomplishment. Her achievements are truly remarkable and add so much to the college and the department and especially the students. It's a pleasure to have such talent in the Okanagan School of Business."

Michelle Ward joins Library Services

michelleOkanagan College Library welcomes Michelle Ward, who has been the Kelowna Campus Librarian since late August. Michelle comes to Okanagan College with a broad range of international experience.
After starting out her career down-under, Michelle Ward worked as a reference librarian for over 20 years of in academic libraries. Michelle’s academic library experiences include reference service management positions with the multi-campus Central Queensland University Library (Australia), Temasek Polytechnic-Singapore and a two-year academic tour to Vaasa University of Applied Science (Finland).
Michelle is a member of the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) and Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA). During her time in Singapore Michelle acted as a Council member & website manager for the Library Association of Singapore. She is currently a director and president of the Kelowna Friends of the Library (Okanagan Regional Library)
Since her Canadian arrival in Kelowna in 2005, Michelle has worked at the Penticton and Kelowna campus libraries of Okanagan College. With interests in faculty liaison, information literacy, international student services and library promotion, Michelle is excited about the challenges of her new position as Kelowna Campus Librarian, especially as the College’s new Centre for Learning takes shape.

Celebrate the careers of Nygren and Gallant

Come and wish Richard Nygren and Bob Gallant from Civil Engineering a happy retirement. A celebration will be held on Thursday, December 11 at 3 p.m. in C246 (the staff room opposite C245 in the lab building) in Kelowna. Contact Michelle Lowry for more information.

Embleton, Germaine and Rutherford retire

retireFern Embleton, Keith Germaine, and Greg Rutherford of the Adult Academic and Career Preparation program are retiring. Plans are underway for a retirement bash to say goodbye to all of them in true AACP fashion! The celebration dinner will take place on Friday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kelowna Cafeteria. The event costs $20 and will include musical reflections about the trio. Anyone wishing to participate with their own memories of the retirees can contact Ruth Chambers prior to the event. Please RSVP to Ruth (ext. 4572) if you wish to attend.

Arellano's documentary makes next round

migrationsCommunications Professor Marc Arellano’s documentary film, Ke Na De En, has been selected to compete in the semi final round of the Radio Canada International competition, Migrations. The general public can now rate/vote for their favourite films. The films with the most and highest ratings go to the next round. Anyone wishing to vote for Marc’s film can follow this link to register (which enters you in a draw for an iPod) and vote or leave a comment.  


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

Don't forget to take the Inside Okanagan College survey and share your thoughts on how this publication can be even better.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Dec. 5, 2008.
November 21, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue16


Feeling lucky?

Staff can drop by IT Services in Kelowna to enter their annual Christmas draw. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds will be delivered to the Food Bank. Potential prizes include wine, smoked salmon and CDs, to name a few. The draw will be open until the winner is chosen on Dec. 19. Contact Terry Tuck for more information.

Key Amnesty

Facilities Management is recovering redundant access keys. Please review all of your keys, cull them and leave them with your department secretary. Facilities will arrange pickup of the keys.

Facilities Management does not keep track of any desk or filing cabinet keys. These are the responsibility of the individual departments.

We ask that you:

Turn in all campus keys you are not using (whether you know their original purpose or not).
Return all keys from employees no longer at the College.
Return any “Mystery Keys” which may have been lying in desks or cabinets, etc.
If a staff member would like Facilities to review their key collection to see if they have redundant or duplicate keys please call Arch Doody at 4256 or Lois Harrold at 4544.

United Way Basket Raffle winners

Congratulations to Phyllis Van Steinburg from Human Resources who won gift basket #1 – Valued at over $350, with donations by:
Apple Valley Promotions
Bella Clothing & Nail Boutique
Campus Store
Fezziwig’s Artisan Café
Kelowna Rockets Hockey Club
McCulloch Station Pub
Okanagan College Alumni Association
Okanagan College Foundation

Deb Davis from the Registrar’s Office won gift basket #2 - Valued at over $75, donated by Truffles Chocolate Café

Bonus prizes were won by:

Golfer's Prize Pack #1 - Winner – Carly Chute, Print Services (Value $30)
Golfer's Prize Pack #2 - Winner – Leslie Corbett, Mathematics (Value $30)
Golfer's Prize Pack #3 - Winner – Nancy Ankerstein, Trades (Value ($30)
Starbucks Prize Pack #1 - Winner – Angie March, Regional Dean's Office (Value $30)
Starbucks Prize Pack #2 - Winner – Karen Markle, Financial Services (Value $30)
Campus Store & Bella Clothing & Nail Boutique Prize Pack - Winner – Alda da Rosa, Student (Value $35)
Apple Valley Promotions & McCulloch Station Pub Prize Pack - Winner – Don Campbell - (Value $50)
Fezziweg’s & Alumni Association Prize Pack - Winner – Lynda Dreaper, Human Resources (Value $50)

Catch the Wave…And Use the On-Line Web Requisition

Goals of the Purchasing department

Supply Management Services’ approach is simple  -  add value, reduce duplication and develop delivery plans that service all regions in a timely and efficient manner. The department’s strengths are: continued collaboration, an ability to forecast, manage technology and react quickly to the changing requirements of Okanagan College.

The Okanagan College Purchasing Department’s goal is to achieve the highest standard of procurement while developing strong relationships with suppliers who provide a wide range of goods and services at the best possible value to the institution. This goal can best be met through an open consultative partnership between the Purchasing Department and staff. 

The goal is threefold:

- To support the academic, administrative, and operational activities of the College by locating competitive sources of the quality goods and services required by the College community.
- To negotiate favourable terms, conditions, and pricing and to arrange for delivery when and as required.
- To monitor supplier compliance with purchase order contracts and resolve discrepancies in a timely and efficient manner.

Check out the Purchasing website for more information or contact Purchasing if you have any questions or require Web Requisition assistance.

We would like your comments or concerns, and will gladly answer any questions you may have related to the areas for which the Purchasing Department is responsible.  Follow this link to a feedback form.

Psssstt!!!  Want to have faster printing turnaround and save money, too?

Print Services would like to encourage staff to submit print requests electronically. Just attach your document (preferably in .pdf format) to an e-mail and provide the details normally set out on the print request form – i.e. number of copies, single- or double-sided, delivery instructions, FOAPAL, etc.   Send the e-mail to  This will save time and money since there will be no need to fill out a Print Request Form as the print details are on the e-mail and a hard copy of the document will not be required.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Nancy Darling from Trades and Apprenticeship who won today's payday draw for $470. 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.


Nov. 21 – Join Okanagan College professor Alix Hawley at the Kelowna campus launch of her book of short fiction, The Old Familiar. Hawley will host an event tonight at Infusions in Kelowna at 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 24 – Kalamalka Campus Speaker Series - 12:30 p.m. Lecture Theatre: The Grand Canyon, Ethics of Biodiversity and Literature with:  Stephen Doyle, Geographer, Southwest Institute, Okanagan College, Tim Walters, English, Okanagan College, and Rod Watkins, Philosophy, Okanagan College.

Explore while you learn through the Southwest Studies Program. Hear stories and view slides of last year’s adventures with Okanagan College’s Southwest Institute as they explored extraordinary locations in Arizona including the Sonoran Desert, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Anasazi ruins, and one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Southwest Studies integrates the disciplines of American Literature, Physical Geography of the US Southwest, and Environmental Ethics into this field-based program.  

Nov. 24 – Okanagan College will host an Information Night in Vernon from 6-8 p.m. in the Vernon campus cafeteria. Contact Tawnya Cameron for details or to register.

Nov. 25 Charity Hair Chop
Communications professor Marc Arellano and communications student Wesley Wright will shave their heads in the Pit at the Kelowna Campus if their fundraising goals ($1,000) for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter are met. Check it out at 12:30 p.m. Contact Jennifer Tocher to make a cash donation.

Nov. 25 – Okanagan College will host an Information Night in Princeton at 6:30 p.m at the Princeton Skills Centre. Contact Jake Mason for details or to register.

Nov. 26Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Chamberlain will speak at the Kelowna campus about his experiences in Afghanistan. Chamberlain was the commanding officer of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT) from Jan. 2007-Feb 2008. The event is free and takes place in the lecture theatre from 3:30-4:20 p.m.

Nov. 26 – Find out everything you need to know about the College application process, financial aid and more at College Prep 101 for Parents at 6:30 p.m. in the Penticton Campus Lecture Theatre. Contact Jake Mason for details or to register.

Nov. 26 Shopocalypse
Visit the Pit in Kelowna from 11- 3 p.m. and find out more about how you can become a conscious consumer. In advance of Buy Nothing Day (Nov. 28,, join Sociology’s Social Dissent Class and the OK Activist Club to learn how to become an ethical consumer: where and how goods are made, how much we consume and how much waste we create in this consumption, ideas for ethical alternatives, and how small changes can make a difference
Beginning at 11 a.m. in the Pit and outside the Student Services Building: information, and ethical and local goods for sale care of Urban Harvest, Kelowna Farmers and Craft Marketeers, 10,000 Villages, Freecycle, and others. A swap of any good quality used goods will also take place.
Beginning at 1:30 it the Pit: Invasion of the Zombie Shoppers; The Consumer on Trial; Ethical consumer singalong with our very own Kelowna Raging Grannies; Let’s play Jeopardy; Take the Ethical Consumer Pledge

Nov. 27 – Okanagan College will host an Information Night in Salmon Arm  at 6:30 p.m at the Salmon Arm campus. Contact Leslie Bogula for details or to register.

Nov. 28 – Okanagan College’s Penticton Campus will host a faculty vs student dodge ball game. To get involved or for more information, contact Jake Mason.

Nov. 28Broken Silence Concert
Support students in Okanagan College’s Audio Engineering and Music Production program as they host Broken Silence, a concert featuring indie-rock band The Left, from Vancouver, and Kingdom Cloud from Kelowna. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre for the Arts

Dec. 17 – Celebrate the holiday season with staff from the Kelowna campus at the Snowflake Cocktail Party in the cafeteria. Entertainment will be provided by Lennox Smart, a soprano saxophonist who is also an international student. The event will take place from 4 – 6 p.m. and will offer appetizers and a cash bar. Staff are welcome to bring their significant others. Admission will be $5.


Okanagan College’s innovative IP refresher program, which has drawn students from the Caribbean to the Okanagan, was profiled in a feature article in the Globe and Mail. Read more in: Come to Jamaica, and feel all right.

Okanagan College English professor Alix Hawley got some ink for her new book of short fiction, The Old Familiar. Read more in: College professor shares short stories in new book and Young author, new mom’s first lesson – stuff happens.

News of the loss of one of Okanagan College’s institutional leaders, Ron Jeffels, appeared in two articles this week: Former college president dies and Ex-college president dead at 87.

The Summerland Home for Learning project was the subject of two different news stories last week. The success of the finished 2008 home was showcased in: A finished home, while the struggle to find a lot for the 2009 home appeared in: Delays jeopardize Habitat project.

A friendly competition to reduce waste on the campuses of UBCO and Okanagan College appeared in the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: UBCO and OC face off over trash.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow and alumna Lorraine McGrath was named CEO of Paragon Pharmacies in Kelowna. Read more about McGrath’s new appointment in: Paragon Pharmacies gets well-known CEO, Paragon president steps down and Straight from DeHart.

Okanagan College’s Writer-in-Residence at the Kalamalka campus, Gary Geddes, appeared in an article in Okanagan Life Magazine. Read more in: Q&A with Gary Geddes.

Marc Arellano’s commitment to shave his head if fundraising for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter meets a $1,000 target appeared in an article in the Kelowna Capital news. Read more in Teacher and student  to chop their locks.

Jane Muskens’ School’s in column ran: School year never stops at college or university and Higher learning gives students credit where credit is due.

Former Okanagan College Board of Governors member Janice Perrino was photographed in the Okanagan Sunday after being elected Mayor of Summerland. Read more about Perrino’s victory in: Perrino wins Summerland.

An all-candidates forum for the Kelowna City Council race took place at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. Read about student turnout and the issues that affect students in: Council candidates try to break youth voter apathy.

Western Canada RoboCup Junior is taking place at the Kelowna campus today. Read about the event in an article promoting the technology competition: Robots to battle it out at college.

A large photo and accompanying article featuring a $5,000 donation to the Okanagan College Foundation by American Express appeared in the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read about the wine festival partnership that raised money to support students in: American Express program pays off for OK College.