Showcase of faculty work

Ted BishopOkanagan College is showcasing the written and research work of some of its faculty – 28 professors doing 27 presentations – in the Scholarly and Creative Expo taking place from Nov. 3 to 7 at all four College campuses.

The expo also includes an appearance on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus by renowned author Ted Bishop, who will be presenting about the subject of his forthcoming book, The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder and Our Relationship With The Written Word.

“The concept is to shed some light on the tremendous creative work and research of some of our faculty and staff,” explains Ross Tyner, the Director of Library Services who has helped shepherd the weeklong showcase.

“Some of the people presenting will be familiar to a good portion of the public through their books or work in the community,” says Tyner. “Others will be known to people who are familiar with their field, in areas such as mathematics, business research, earth and environmental science, and computer science.”

Most of the sessions are organized around the lunch-hour to allow public attendance. Presentations are free. For a full schedule, visit

3-Hour Short Story Contest

On Nov. 1, wordsmiths will gather at all four College campuses to participate in the annual 3-Hour Short Story Contest.

Last year, more than 70 students took part, including Okanagan College student Mary Bevan from Kelowna, who won with her story "The Use in Usefulness."

Participants will not only be challenged with a time constraint – all stories must be written in a designated location within a three-hour time period – but they’ll also have to find a way to incorporate a “secret phrase” that won’t be revealed until the moment the contest begins.

The short story competition is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. The contest takes place from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1, at the College’s Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton campuses. Writers will work on College computers, and will not be able to access any material written in advance or anything online.

The contest is free to enter and the deadline for registration is 12 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31.

Visit to sign up.

Volunteer at Career Fair

Career Fair 2014 logoPublic Affairs needs volunteers to act as hosts and ambassadors during Career Fair at the Kelowna campus from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2.

Okanagan College’s Career Fair has been helping connect the community to insights about careers and education for more than three decades. You’ll be helping students and job seekers investigate their educational options, research potential career paths, and discover available job opportunities. All volunteers receive a gift and lunch.

If you are interested in volunteering or know of a potential exhibitor, please contact Michelle Lowry.

Carpool month

October is carpool month and the challenge is to carpool just once. More than half of our individual carbon footprint is caused by commuting. By choosing to carpool, you can cut that number in half. Find staff ride-matches through the carpool program in myOkanagan. Participants can win prizes. More details are available at

Congratulations to the participants of the Campus Commuter Challenge – a well-earned second place finish in Canada.

Make a difference in the community

United Way campaign imageDid you know that many Okanagan College students rely on United Way funded organizations, including South Okanagan Women in Need Society, Kelowna Community Resources Society, Literacy Now, Penticton & District Community Resources Society, Peachland Wellness Centre, and Pathways Abilities Society?

To help fund the services the United Way provides, employees are encouraged to support the United Way campaign and make an automatic donation from each pay. You can contribute as little as $2 or upwards of $50 each pay period, and even select the charity of your choice.

Click here to learn where your donation goes or here to fill in a pledge form. If you have questions, contact Angie March, ext. 4501.

Food services survey

Okanagan College is soliciting input about food services on the Kelowna campus. Fill in the five-minute survey to have your say on how to improve food services on campus. The survey is open to both staff and students and can be completed online anytime until Oct. 31 at 5 p.m.

Fill out the food services survey now.

Campus Stores spooktacular sale

Campus SaleFrom Oct. 27 to 31, shoppers will receive 20 per cent off select giftware and clothing items at all four Campus Stores: Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm.

Become a better leader

Okanagan College Continuing Studies offers a Leadership Skills certificate program comprised of three courses designed to help individuals develop their workplace leadership skills, build high-performance teams, and excel at performance management. Students can choose to take just one course, or complete all three to receive the certificate.
The program starts Oct. 23 in Vernon and Nov. 13 in Penticton. It will be offered in Kelowna in January 2015.

If you would like to take part in the program, check with your supervisor. You may be able to access PD funds. The application form can be found under myOkanagan/OC Express Forms/Professional Development.

Contact Sharon Reems in Penticton, Cindy Meissner in Vernon, and Jill Panton in Kelowna for more information.

Advanced GIS program launches in Kelowna 

The Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program, which has been held in Salmon Arm for 20 years, will also be offered at the Kelowna campus starting January 2015.
The recently updated, full-time, five-month program introduces students to the essentials of using GIS to create maps and edit and manage GIS data. This Continuing Studies offering has historically enjoyed strong enrolments, including several intakes held in collaboration with the First Nations Technology Council.
The program’s format is unique in B.C., providing students comprehensive training in an accelerated format. Most other programs are either in short workshop format or two-year diplomas.
The GIS certificate will also be running in Salmon Arm from March to July 2015. Visit for more information.


Get a rare look at the Great Bear Rainforest

Ian McAllisterAward-winning photographer and conservationist Ian McAllister kicks off Vernon's Science in Society Speaker Series on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, entitled The Great Bear Wild: Why Should We Care About its Protection?

Stretching 21 million acres from Vancouver Island to Southeast Alaska, the area is the largest coastal temperate rainforest on earth and home to a number of wildlife species including the Kermode—a unique species of black bear, of which one in 10 cubs have a white coat.

During the presentation, McAllister will showcase images from his most recent book The Great Bear Wild, which is the product of 25 years of research, exploration, and campaigning for the spectacular area he calls home.

Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644 or visit

In memory of Deb Davis

Deb Davis, Executive Assistant to the Registrar, passed away on Oct. 14.
Davis spent more than 16 years as an employee of Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. Her career at the College included auxiliary positions in Student Services, Financial Awards and in Arts. Her first full-time position was in Financial Services.
She joined the Registrar’s Office in 2005 in Admissions and became Executive Assistant to the Registrar in 2006.   
Registrar Jane Muskens worked closely with Deb for the past five years.
“The Registrar’s Office lost one of our best student advocates,” said Muskens.

“So many times I would see Deb running around the office with a student name and number to make sure the student who called her received the service they needed in either admissions or registration. This is what we will remember most about her and why we will miss her so much.”
Canadian Blood Services in Kelowna is booking appointments for Okanagan College students and employees on Oct. 23, 27, 28, and 30, to donate blood in memory of Deb, who frequently required blood products during her illness. If you wish to donate on another day, quote BEPO 097264 to have it earmarked for this blood drive. Call 1-888-2-Donate to make an appointment.

Celine Burton’s environmental art

Celine BurtonSelected artwork by Celine Burton, a first-year Environmental Studies Diploma student, is currently on display in the Kelowna campus library. Burton characterizes her work as environmental art.

“To me, it’s art that brings about an awareness of the planet and the environmental issues we face in the hopes to get people thinking about Mother Earth,” she says.

Inspired by Burton’s creations, Earth and Environmental Science professor Kathleen Jagger is hoping to create an Environmental Art Competition for high school and College students in the spring as a way of gaining interest in sustainable practices/development.

Burton’s artwork will be on display in Kelowna until Friday, Oct. 24.

In memory of Ross Gorman

gormanOkanagan College Honorary Fellow Ross Gorman died on Friday, Oct. 17 at the age of 93.

Gorman founded Gorman Bros. Lumber, which was West Kelowna’s largest private sector employer and one of the most philanthropically focused companies in the Okanagan.

“Ross Gorman understood the transformative power of education,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director of Okanagan College Foundation. “I am saddened at losing him as a friend, a donor and as a great community leader and builder,” says Butler.

Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. supported the Centre of Excellence in Penticton and since 2007 has contributed to a bursary for nursing students in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Kelowna.

A funeral service will be held at Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Jim Wood joins History department

Jim WoodThe History department welcomes Dr. Jim Wood who is teaching in Vernon and Salmon Arm while Dr. Chris Clarkson is on study leave.

Born and raised in Muskoka, Ont., Wood’s interest in history began in the pioneer museum that was run by his parents. He completed a Master's degree in history at the University of New Brunswick and his PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has taught history at Trent University, the Royal Military College of Canada, and UBC Okanagan.

More recently, he served as Assistant Director of the University of Victoria’s Veterans’ Oral History Program from 2009-2012, and taught in the Department of History at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2013.

Superintendent of Student Transitions presents in Kelowna

On Oct. 29, Jan Unwin, B.C.'s new Superintendent of Graduation and Student Transitions will be making a presentation about education transformation at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Unwin was appointed by the provincial government in early 2014 to focus on developing partnerships between post-secondary institutions, school districts, employers and government, and to support the implementation of the province's 10-year Skills Training Plan for Youth.

A big part of her mandate is to seek out opportunities to increase the number of graduates moving from secondary school to work, post-secondary, trades and technical programs, and expand dual credit programs that allow secondary school students to earn credits toward post-secondary credentials.

Unwin’s presentation takes place from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in the Kelowna campus Lecture Theatre and all Okanagan College employees are invited to attend. This event will be webcast at

Oct. 21, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 15

Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Awards

The nomination deadline for the Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Awards is Oct. 24. These prestigious awards are the highest accolades bestowed by the College and are given to recipients at the 2015 convocation ceremonies.

Full criteria and links to the nomination forms can be found on the following PDF.

Infusions restaurant

Don't overlook Infusions on the Kelowna campus as a dining option for lunch Tuesday to Friday and dinner Tuesday to Thursday. A reasonably priced, locally focused menu of quality appetizers, mains and desserts is prepared by the College's Culinary Arts students, with supervision by some of the valley's most talented chefs. Call 250-862-5455 for reservations, stop by to view the menu and make sure to recommend the restaurant to friends.

Visit the website for details.

Employee health and wellness

Okanagan College's employee and family assistance program provider, Optum PPC Canada, provides a wealth of information each month about an important issue regarding your health and well-being.

The articles in this month's Balance Sheet newsletter focus on rules for communicating in relationships and parental strategies to support disorganized kids.

Optum PPC Canada is also hosting a webinar about Managing Personal Relationships on Oct. 29 at 12 p.m.

Sign up for the webinar.

Canada Savings Bond signup

Investing in a Canada Savings Bond is an easy way to create a rainy day savings account and Okanagan College employees can do so by having deposits automatically deducted from each pay. The money will start earning interest the day the funds are received by The Bank of Canada.

To set up a new Canada Savings Bond through Payroll deduction, visit the website from now until Oct. 31. The first payroll deduction will take place on Dec. 12. Okanagan College's organization ID is 12924. Existing payroll plan owners can also make changes to their accounts during this time.

If you have any questions about the Canada Savings Bond Payroll savings program, visit, or contact Cathy Schwarz at ext. 4234.


Flu vaccination clinics at all campuses

Okanagan College is offering employees the voluntary opportunity to receive a flu vaccination for only $10. Refer to your family physician or the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Info Sheet for questions regarding the type of vaccination or the after-effects. 
 As in previous years, the College is paying 50 per cent of the $20 cost. Please bring a cheque payable to Okanagan College or $10 in exact change to receive the vaccination.

The Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire and Consent form must be completed ahead of time but do not fill in the signature and date – as those are completed when the nurse is present.
The clinics will be held as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 23

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Atrium, Centre for Learning


Thursday, Oct. 23

12 to 1 p.m.

Room 136


Thursday, Oct. 23

12 to 2 p.m.

Room E105

Wednesday, Oct. 29
9 to 11 a.m.
Room Sunoka PE A1E

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Klotz at 250-762-5445, ext. 5682.

Cupcakes and Muffins fundraiser

The Registrar’s Office and Student Services will be holding its annual Cupcakes and Muffins fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 23 in Kelowna from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Student Services building. This year, the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Canadian Liver Foundation in honour of Deb Davis. Be sure to go early armed with toonies and loonies to get the best choices.

Clean the creek

Join fellow employees on Oct. 24 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. to help clean up Fascieux creek, a habitat for wildlife and fish that borders the College's Kelowna campus. Gloves, garbage bags and treats will be provided. Contact Angie March at ext. 4501 to participate.

Applied Research

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT) is hosting an online workshop on Applied Research on Oct. 27 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Dr. Audrey J. Penner, Vice-President, Academic and Student Success at Northern College, will discuss ways institutions can build capacity in applied research and find the key people, issues and projects that are critical to building a sustainable applied research agenda.

This free, online workshop has room for 50 attendees and will be conducted through Collaborate software. Email Carla Whitten to register and receive more instructions on how to join the workshop.

Canada and the First World War 1914-1918

The ILT’s Lunch and Learn series presents Canada and the First World War 1914-1918 by professor Howard Hisdal at all four campuses this month.

In light of the recent centennial of Canada’s involvement in the Great War, Hisdal, chair of the History department and a 25-year veteran with the Canadian Armed Forces, will be covering Canada’s critical role on the battlefields of France and Belgium, how women got to vote in the 1917 federal election, and the long-term effects of this war on Canada. The presentations take place on all campuses from 12 to 1 p.m. on the following dates:

Friday, Oct. 24: Vernon campus – Room A204
Monday, Oct. 27: Salmon Arm campus – Room SA153
Monday, Nov. 3: Penticton campus – Room PC119  
Friday, Nov. 7: Kelowna campus – Room E103


English professor, Sean Johnston, who is currently on study leave, appeared at the UBCO Visiting Authors Series, see Authors Speak in the Kelowna Capital News.

Okanagan College Culinary instructor Reinhard Foerderer and some of his students were featured for winning the best apprentice team prize at the Young Chefs competition, which was held at the College’s Kelowna campus, see Burger, fries and a shake in The Okanagan Saturday.

A group of Salmon Arm city officials and Okanagan College representatives met with delegates from the provincial government to discuss the expansion of the Salmon Arm campus, see Efforts focus on College, TCH, and College enrolment key to new plan in the Salmon Arm Observer.

Christopher Derickson, Susan Johal, and Joe Maciel joined Okanagan College’s Board of Governors for one-year terms, see Three area residents join College’s Board of Governors in the Business Examiner.

The College’s baseball team has been busy fielding runs and rounding bases, see Coyotes close out fall season at home in the Kelowna Capital News, and Busy weekend ahead for Coyotes in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Young Alumni Award winner Ryan Donn recently participated in a grape stomp as part of the Grow Local Fall Fair, see A stomping good time at Laurel in the Kelowna Daily Courier. Donn also announced his candidacy for Kelowna City Council, see Council candidate and slate duo seek funding support in the Kelowna Capital News.

Norm Embree, past Board Chair and one of Okanagan College’s 50 People Who Made a Difference, is retiring from Interior Health’s Board, see Embree stepping down as IH board chair in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Alumna and competitive curler Kelly Scott has a new foursome to hit the rink with, see Two-time Canadian champ back in the hack in the Kelowna Capital News.

The family of Carpentry instructor Gerry Leverrier suffered another setback concerning his granddaughter Megan’s illness and treatment at the Hospital for Sick Kids, see Megan faces recurrence in the Salmon Arm Observer.

Residential Construction students from the College’s program in Armstrong built two garden sheds and auctioned them off to help the  Leverrier family, see Building for Charity in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Ross Gorman passed away on Friday, Oct. 17, see Ross never left Gorman mill in the Kelowna Daily Courier, Ross Gorman: Industry pioneer, family man in the Kelowna Daily Courier, and Founder of W. Kelowna lumber mill dies at 93 and Industry pioneer, family man in the Penticton Herald.

Former premier of B.C. and Okanagan University College Honorary Doctorate Mike Harcourt spoke at the Kelowna Rotary Centre about his spinal cord injury, see Harcourt sharing stories of living with disability in the Kelowna Daily Courier, and Former B.C. premier links up with ‘diversity chain’ in the Kelowna Capital News.

Honorary Fellow Dick Cannings will represent the NDP in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding in the next Federal election, see Cannings secures nomination for NDP in the Penticton Herald.

Kelowna geologist, philanthropist and Okanagan University College Honorary Doctorate Charles Fipke donated more than $9 million to Alzheimer’s research, see Charles Fipke donation will go long way to help Alzheimer’s research.

The Kelowna campus collected tires for the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s cleanup initiative to reduce mosquito populations and combat the West Nile virus, see Worn tires retired responsibility in The Okanagan Sunday.

Okanagan College School of Business Dean Dr. Heather Banham was given the Certified General Accountants Association’s highest honour – the fellowship designation, see Banham recognized for her work in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Honorary Fellow and Okanagan College Foundation Board Vice President At Large Raghwa Gopal is promoting a new program to help tech startups, see Accelerating hi tech in the Okanagan in the Small Business Week supplement in the Penticton Herald.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.

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 Nov. 4, 2014.