Huxtable seconded as Assistant Vice President Education

huxtableDr. Rob Huxtable will be taking on a new challenge for 2010. For a one-year term, the Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs has been seconded to the role of Assistant Vice President Education to help VP Andrew Hay with a variety of tasks and projects.

They include:

- reviewing and revising academic policies 

- aiding all portfolios to develop and revise curriculum and programming

- assisting in labour negotiations 

- mentoring new Deans

- assisting with development of Okanagan College’s applied innovation agenda.

Stan Chung, the Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs, will be acting Dean to replace Rob during this period. Rob’s responsibilities will also include assisting with a critical component of Okanagan College’s planning – the development of a new long term Education Plan during the winter semester.

BC Colleges launches new website

BC Colleges has launched a new website that is designed to provide a central access point for information about the province’s 11 community colleges, as well as facilitate communication between colleges and the general public.

 "With 11 colleges and close to 70 campuses throughout the province, BC’s community colleges play a vital role in the public post-secondary system in British Columbia," said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, who chairs the consortium of institutions. "Our new website will provide us with a voice where we can share stories about how BC’s colleges are contributing to the social and economic health of the province."

The new site will also include a monthly newsletter that will be sent to subscribers. Follow this link to read the first edition of What's New at BC Colleges or to subscribe to the mailing list.  

The new website also includes a media centre for journalists looking for information about the BC Colleges and college system. A host of information about program offerings and campus locations is also available at the comprehensive website.

College staff participate in threat assessment training

Nearly 100 Okanagan College staff from throughout the region converged in Kelowna last week for a two-day training session on Violence Threat Risk Assessment. The session was led by Kevin Cameron, an expert in the field who heads the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response. Cameron and VP Steve Koehle were interviewed by's John MacDonald.

Okanagan College student recognized by BC Hospitality Foundation

In late November, the BC Hospitality Foundation presented more than $20,000 in scholarships to 11 students across the province who are working hard in the field of hospitality. Among those receiving financial support was Okanagan College’s April Erikson.

April, a third-year business student majoring in hospitality and tourism, was awarded $2,000 by the Foundation. This is not the first time April’s hard work has been recognized. She was the recipient of the Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Scholarship, and a member of the winning 2009 tourism diploma team at the Tourism Industry Conference Case Competition. 

April is seen in the photo receiving her award flanked by BCHF Business Development manager Alan Sacks and Vice-President Geoffrey Howes along with BCHF Scholarship Chair Bing Smith. (As an FYI for those who follow such things, a prominent name in the B.C. wine industry, Harry McWatters, is a founding member of the Foundation Board.)

35 Practical Nurses celebrate Convocation

nursingCongratulations to 14 students in Penticton and 21 in Kelowna who graduated from the Practical Nursing program last week. Ceremonies were held in Penticton on Dec. 17 and Kelowna on Dec. 18. These were Okanagan College's last Convocation ceremonies for the 2009 year.

The next Convocation will be on January 9, 2010 in Kelowna and will celebrate the achievements of students from a variety of programs who completed their graduation requirements prior to Dec. 31, 2009. 

If you want to volunteer to help with the Jan. 9 ceremony, contact Karma Lacoff at ext. 4657.

Kelowna campus challenges staff to increase team fitness

Are you up for a team challenge? The Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is competition is an opportunity for you and a group of co-workers or students to participate in an eight-week physical activity challenge. Each team will earn points for all types of physical activity, on or off campus. The team that accumulates the most points at the end of the challenge is declared the champion.

Registration is now open for the event, contact Jenn Naiman or Lynn Johnson to sign up or pick up a form at the athletics and recreation office. The cost to participate is $10 for staff and $5 for students. Participants will receive a pedometer, an official team challenge shirt, a team awards party, prizes and the gift of fitness. The first 10 teams receive bonus points!

Don’t wait – the challenge begins Jan. 18, 2010.

Trio head to Queen's for Business Competition

A team of three women in the Okanagan School of Business are among the top business policy students in the country after successfully completing the preliminary round of the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC), earning themselves a spot in the finals in the distinguished Queens University national case competition.
The trio of Breanna Gaudet (fourth-year marketing), Leanne Schneberger (second-year human resources) and Candace Surette (fourth-year accounting) will compete against five other finalist teams from: Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary and Wilfrid Laurier University in the final round this January.

The 2010 competition will mark the first time Okanagan College has made the final round in the Business Policy category. According to the team’s coach, Professor Lee Cartier, the Business Policy event is considered to be the crown jewel of the ICBC competition. This is the third time in four years that teams have represented the College at the finals. Prior team were finalists in marketing and accounting – which Cartier sees as a sign of the Business School’s strength. Read the entire press release . . .


Experience Works in Revelstoke

revelstokeCongratulations to the participants who completed the Experience Works program in Revelstoke. Eight people began the program in early September and received three months of training. Training ranged from learning to send an email to administering first aid.

All of the participants worked very hard in the program and celebrated their achievements at a lunch Nov. 30. The program was made possible with funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.

Lomas to serve as VP of Chamber of Commerce

Donna Lomas is again serving on the Board of Directors for the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce - this coming year she'll serve as Vice-President.

Culinary Arts student launches first book

davidcolombeSecond-year Culinary Arts student David Colombe (remember the student who won the international recipe contest with the soup recipe earlier this year?) has just completed his first cookbook.

It's for sale and you can read all about the book in the press release.

December 22, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 18


Inside Okanagan College holiday schedule

Today’s edition is the final issue of Inside Okanagan College for 2009. The newsletter will return to its regular bi-weekly publication schedule on Jan. 19. Anyone with submissions can contact Christine Ulmer in Public Affairs.

New Year room booking reminder

Staff are reminded that they are unable to book any rooms until after the first two weeks back of the new school semester. Student scheduling is Okanagan College’s first priority.

Please send email requests for room bookings after January 15, 2010. Room bookings will be tight as all classrooms and computer labs will be prioritized for student classes first. Block booking of committee meetings and rooms required every week or every two weeks are not guaranteed.

Campus-to-Campus expands access for runners

In its eighth year running, the Campus-to-Campus Half Marathon and Bookworm Relay Race is offering a new route and a shorter run for anyone interested in participating in this fun event. In addition to the 21.2 km half marathon and relay race (up to five people can participate in the relay) the Campus-to-Campus will host a 10 km race for anyone wishing to run a shorter distance.

This year’s race will take place on Sunday, March 28 and will be an out-and-back race beginning at the Kelowna Campus. Runners participating in the half marathon will also receive a technical long sleeve running shirt and cash prizes will be offered for top female and male finishers in the half marathon. This year’s route will take runners from the Kelowna campus along the lake, through City Park, up Knox Mountain (don’t worry – not ALL the way up) and back along the water to Gyro beach, up Casorso Road and back to the campus. Parking will be free and early bird rates will be offered.

Registration will open in January, stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for more race information or go online to: 

Apply now for Okanagan College Family Award

On behalf of the Financial Aid & Awards Office and the Okanagan College Foundation, this is a reminder that applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award.

Full award criteria and the application form can be found in My Okanagan under "OC Express -  Forms" and "Foundation." 
All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by Jan. 22, 2010. This round of applications is for programs starting between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2010.

Please direct any questions that you may have about the Okanagan College Family Award to the Kelowna Campus Financial Aid & Awards Office at 250-862-5419.

Stay warm and safe this winter

Just a reminder to all staff using space heaters this time of year, be sure and shut them off before you leave for the evening.

 Arch Doody would also like to remind all staff using fire barrels in their office area, to resist adding any more wood to the fire for at least two hours before going home at night and to please dispose of the ashes in the morning in a metal container.

Kalamalka Speakers Series Winter 2010

The Kalamalka Speakers Series will kick off the first of the Winter 2010 weekly Lunch and Learn lecture series starting on Jan. 11, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka Campus Lecture Theatre. All lectures are free and open to everyone. For more information please contact the Kalamalka Campus Library at 2247. The Lunch and Learn series are now posted online. 

Upcoming lectures include:

Jan. 11 - 13,596 stories about travel, restaurants, football, grain elevators, elections, rednecks, church spires, puncture plants and interesting people with Ron Spence, Business, Okanagan College. 

Jan. 18 - Family Farms: Update on the meat inspection regulation and its impact in this area with Andrea Gunner, P Ag.

Jan. 25  - The Ghosts Around Us: Military Training in the Vernon Area with Howard Hisdal, History, Okanagan College.

Feb. 1  - Where there was not a creature to be found…now there are many: cleaning Fascieux Creek with Angelika March, KLO Campus Creek Clean-up Crew Leader, Okanagan College.   

Feb. 8 - Talking the Walk!  Pilgrimage along the El Camino with Wayne Emde and Jack Greenhalgh, Pilgrims at Large.

Manulife Financial offers enhanced claims and administration

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, Okanagan College’s group benefits provider, Manulife Financial, will be moving our benefits plan to their enhanced claims and administration systems. 
Manulife has sent an information package to your home address that includes your activation key (which will be required the first time you access the new web offerings).  If you have recently moved, please contact Manulife at 1-800-575-2200 and your HR Advisor to update your new address.   

To ensure the protection of your account, your benefits drug card will be sent under separate cover to your Okanagan College campus address through inter-office mail. With this in mind, please ensure you review and, if needed, update your current campus address via My entry in the OC People Directory which is accessible via MyOkanagan, OC Express – Administrative Functions.

In conjunction with the system upgrade, Manulife Financial will also change the plan contract (policy) number used to identify our group benefits plan. Effective Jan. 1, 2010 the new plan contract number for extended health and dental claims is 83713.  

Please ensure in 2010 that you provide this new contract number to your dentist and pharmacy.  You will need to maintain copies of your old claim statements for your records because you will no longer be able to view these old statements once our plan moves to the enhanced platform.  However, Manulife’s Customer Service team will be able to access your full claims history when necessary and can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-575-2200. For additional information, please contact your HR Advisor. 

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Dianne Dingman from the Kelowna campus who won last week's payday draw for $535. 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 or online.


Jan. 4 – Okanagan College reopens after the winter closure.

Jan. 9 – Okanagan College will celebrate the achievements of graduates at its Winter Convocation ceremony in Kelowna at 10 a.m. Students graduating will include those from any program, excluding Continuing Studies, who completed their requirements prior to Dec. 31, 2009. Contact Michelle Lowry for more information.

Jan. 16 - Word Ruckus (the second edition) takes place at the Black Box Theatre at 1375 Water Street in Kelowna, from 4 p.m. to . . . . With events such as Kindergarteners Versus Gertrude Stein, you know it's going to be exciting and interesting. The event is sponsored by Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan, CBC Radio One, and the Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Jan. 22
- SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) will host the 2010 Dress to Impress Fashion Show in Kelowna. Don’t miss the chance to see Okanagan College faculty and students strut their stuff on the runway.

The event will be held in the Centre for Learning from 6 - 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include a drink and appies.

Mar. 5 – 27th annual Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge Contest, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Mar. 28 – Campus-to-Campus Half Marathon, Relay and 10 km run.


The new President of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce recognizes that Okanagan College has a role to play in the economic development of the South Okanagan.

Revelstoke hosted an Anti-Racism Training session that earned media attention and plaudits from participants earlier this month.

Okanagan College's partnership with the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre was highlighted in an article that described new federal funding for ORIC in the Western News on Dec. 15.

Okanagan College students were highlighted in an article about seasonal support for seniors in the Vernon Morning Star.

Regional Dean John Lent has a new title that he can boast of: Poet Laureate for the Okanagan Valley. News of the honour (conferred by the Okanagan Institute) was spread across the continent via a press release. Locally it was covered in articles in  eVent and in the Courier.

In her weekly School’s In column, Interim Registrar Jane Muskens shares information about career opportunities and the new Work BC website as a resource for learning about post secondary requirements and examinations for jobs in BC.
News that President Jim Hamilton’s contracted was extended continues to make headlines. Read more in Business Thompson Okanagan.
Douglas MacLeod's appointment as Associate Dean in Science, Technologies and Health portfolio earned the attention of the Vernon Morning Star and and the Daily Courier.
Jim Hamilton's name came up again as a consequence of the Kal Press decision to name a series in honour of Hamilton's support of the press and the writing program. 

Okanagan University College’s 2002 Honorary Doctor, Daphne Odjig, currently has a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in  Ottawa. Read more in Portia Pregert’s eVent article.
In curling, one-time world champ Kelly Scott and her rink suffered a close loss to Calgary’s Cheryl Bernard. Read more the Canadian Press article, Scott rink staggering.
Retired Okanagan College sociology professor Johann Funk, now a dedicated Peacemaker Teams volunteer,  contributes 10 weeks a year to the organization. He recently returned from an assignment in Palestine. Read more in a special to the  Morning Star, A team approach in Palestine.
Students from the Kelowna and Vernon campuses worked hard during this holiday and exam period to help students in need. Read more in the Morning Star article, Student food bank draws support.
Times have changed, Continuing Education made some changes cutting classes and jobs back in 1985. Read more in Courier article, 25 yeas ago: Classes cut at college.
The Okanagan Chef’s Association awarded the college’s own Perry Bentley the Presidents award and Geoffrey Couper the Chef of the Year award. Work with the Culinary Arts program at the college was cited as main reason for both receiving the awards. Read more in the Courier article, Local chefs receive honours, and in briefs from the Capital News  and Okanagan Saturday articles.
Early Childhood Education grad wages don’t don't seem to match the work or respect for the service they provide  - a fact not lost on the reporter who looked at Early Childhood Education programs and jobs in the field. Read more in the Salmon Arm Observer article, Caught in a Conundrum.
A vigil in Salmon Arm honoured those who died in the massacre at the L’Ecole de Politechnique 20 years ago. The Salmon Arm Observer photographed the ceremony .
Norm Letnick’s rookie win as an MLA with two other Liberals in the region made  the Daily Courier's Top Stories of 2009 list.
A press release from Okanagan College spawned a story in the Daily Courier on Electronic Engineering students who can apply to join the Canadian Forces and have tuition paid and a job to go to.
Stephen Waldron is focused on a positive future, working in the restaurant industry with hopes of being a Culinary Arts student in 2010. Read the Courier's Be An Angel series story, Life lessons easier thanks to Club 180.
Filming a feature film was just something Trevor Trombley had to do. On his quest, he has learned a lot about the process and the challenges (including those presented by the location). Trombley was bitten by the film bug in 1999 while taking a fine arts course at Okanagan University College. Read more in  an eVent article, Kelowna producer filming his first full-length movie.
A look back at headlines from a  quarter-century ago led the Kelowna Daily Courier to dig out news of some of Okanagan College's first international students. The plan raised questions from College board members. 
In his Global Citizen column, Stan Chung recalls his father and the relationship between the man and the season.
Submissions are now being accepted for the 12th Annual Okanagan Short Fiction Contest. The contest is sponosred by the Central Okanagan Foundation, UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, and CBC Radio Oneand was the focus of an article in  off-centre magazine.
Randy Werger was recently recognized by the Kelowna Running Club for his contributions to the community as member of the year. Read about Randy and other’s recognized by the club in the Courier.

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, Jan. 19, 2010.