Steven Robinson appointed Director, International Education

robinsonwebOkanagan College will welcome Steven Robinson, an experienced post-secondary professional, to the position of Director, International Education in June.

Robinson will join the College’s administration after more than 24 years at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, where he most recently held the position of Director, International Education and Training.

Robinson will replace Jim Cookson, who has filled the position on a temporary basis for the past five months.

“Steve will bring a diverse range of valuable experience to Okanagan College as Director of International Education,” said Steve Koehle, Vice President, Students. “He is a skilled communicator with great vision and a wealth of experience to draw upon. We expect his transition into the role to be smooth; thanks, in no small part, to the great foundation that has been created by Jim Cookson and the efforts of the staff in International.”

Robinson holds diplomas in Resort and Hotel Operations and Public Relations. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Wilfred Laurier, a Master of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University and is currently completing a Doctor of Education with a specialization in Community College Leadership from Walden University in Baltimore, Maryland.

To find out more about Robinson’s experience, read the Public Affairs press release.

Meet Marlaina, Okanagan College’s online recruiter

marlainaOkanagan College is now offering potential students an opportunity to tour classrooms, trades shops and labs, meet professors and check out the support services available to them without ever leaving the comfort of their own computer.

Last week the College, in partnership with HuStream Technologies, launched its first-ever interactive video recruitment tool hosted by first-year Aboriginal student Marlaina Alton.

The interactive video allows users to explore Okanagan College and its programs in a “choose your own adventure” format. Along the way users can contact Marlaina via text or FaceBook, go directly to department websites or have questions answered about the application process. Okanagan College is currently the only post-secondary institution in the country to utilize this technology. To find out more, read the Public Affairs press release.

Regier brothers named Young Alumni Award winners

regierThe Okanagan College Alumni Association will recognize brothers Todd and Mark Regier with the 2009 Young Alumni Award at a dinner reception this fall. The Regiers own and operate Prestige Collision in Kelowna, a full-service Automotive Collision Repair shop.

Both are alumni – Todd completed Automotive Collision Repair in 2001 and Automotive Painting and Refinishing in 2003. Mark graduated from the Okanagan School of Business in 2004 with a diploma in Business Administration. The Regiers launched Prestige Collision in 2003 and have since built a thriving business, where they employ nine Okanagan College alumni. To find out more about the Regiers, read the Public Affairs press release.

SIFE students make Dragon’s Den experience fun for young entrepreneurs

Students in Okanagan College’s SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Okanagan partnered with middle and secondary students from School Districts 22 and 23 as mentors in the Young Entrepreneur Dragon’s Den competition. The competition fosters an interest in entrepreneurialism among youth, charging students with developing their own business product or service.

dragon2This year’s competition challenged students to come up with a product or service to create their own summer job. Winning teams included a logo design company, a longboard company and a tourism-focused rickshaw company, among others. The Dragon’s Den competition is a joint initiative between Okanagan College, the Economic Development Commission and School Districts 22 & 23.

Kelowna campus hosts Business After Hours

chamberOkanagan College’s Kelowna campus hosted the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event on Thursday, May 21. The green space in the courtyard was a perfect venue that offered visitors the chance to view the progress made on the Centre for Learning.

Culinary Arts students and instructors provided an incredible spread of both savory and sweet bite-size appetizers and pastries. The event was co-sponsored by the Okanagan School of Business and Trades and Apprenticeship.


Connections registration is coming! Stayed tuned in to Inside Okanagan College for upcoming information about online registration. Remember - Connections is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug 19 and Thursday, Aug. 20 this year, so please join your colleagues for an inspirational, educational, and all around great time. For any additional information, please contact Kaya.


College Creek Clean-up Crew wins Mayor's Environmental Achievement Award

The City of Kelowna's Mayor's Environmental Achievement Awards recognize community members and groups making a positive difference in Kelowna.  This year, the Okanagan College KLO campus Creek Clean-up Crew, led by Angie March, has won the Most Environmentally Dedicated Group award for their fantastic contributions to the Adopt-a-Stream Program.

muskratThe College staff and students often go out on their lunch hour to clean up the Fascieux Creek site throughout the year. Okanagan College has been had an Adopt-a-Stream group since July 2007. In that time they have removed over 100 bags of garbage and 40 bags of noxious weeds, and contributed nearly 130 volunteer hours. Because of their efforts, a muskrat, turtles and large fish are now commonly seen in the creek.
Join the creek cleaning crew from the KLO campus on Tuesday, May 26 at 3 p.m. The group will meet at the bridge behind the student residences. Gloves, bags and pinchers are supplied. Contact Angie for more information.

Okanagan College nominated for Environmental Award

Okanagan College was recently recognized by Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd for its nomination for the Mayor’s Environmental Achievement Award. The College was nominated by Waste Management Canada in the category of Most Environmentally Innovative Business Initiative. Okanagan College did not win the award but will be recognized as a nominee by the City of Kelowna.

Do you have ideas for a Sustainable Transportation Plan?

Okanagan College is conducting a Sustainable Transportation Plan and is interested in hearing from staff about the following issues:

Do you want to catch the bus to the College but find it isn’t feasible?
Do you have trouble finding a parking space at the College?
Do you find your journey to the College takes longer and longer due to traffic congestion?

Please come to the Kelowna Open House information session on Tuesday, June 2 in the Pit. Drop by anytime between 2 – 6 p.m. to share your experiences on transportation to and around the College, and provide your feedback on some of the potential recommendations.

For further information about the Sustainable Transportation Plan, please contact Arch Doody, Manager for Security and Parking Services on 250-868-5445, extension 4256.

Staff in Kelowna answer Bike to Work Week Challenge

bike3Congratulations to the Okanagan Wheelers Bike to Work Team, who put the pedal to the metal last week for the Bike to Work Week Challenge. More than 40 riders took part to pedal 1,267 kilometres (approximately the distance from Kelowna to Saskatoon).

Thanks to everyone who was involved in the efforts. Check out the notices section of Inside Okanagan College to find out how you can get involved in the Commuter Challenge (May 31 – June 6).


College alumnus uses skills to better his community

jaceDuring his time as an Okanagan College trades student, 22-year-old Jace Albrecht made a big impact in his chosen field of carpentry. While he was an Okanagan College apprentice, Jace won gold at the provincial BC Skills Canada competition and gold at national Skills Canada in carpentry. At the national competition Jace also earned the Best of Region Award, scoring higher in his division than any other BC competitor in their respective area. Jace finished his fourth year at Okanagan College with top honours, scoring 94 per cent on the inter-provincial exam – tying the highest ever scored by an Okanagan College student.

Communications professor Marc Arellano ran into Jace last week while photographing a project undertaken by students at Glenmore Elementary. As part of his personal commitment to use his skills to better his community, Jace volunteered to help the kids in the Glenmore Garden Club install a number of wood features such as benches, tables and a tool shed.

Though Jace has a busy work schedule as a journeyman carpenter, his volunteer work speaks volumes about his community focus. He is just one of the growing network of Okanagan College alumni who take the time to give back.

Kathy McLean to retire

kathy2After 17 years of service to Okanagan College, Kathy McLean will retire from Facilities Management. Kathy has been a valued member of the Facilities team and will be greatly missed. Her last day of work will be Friday, June 5.

Beginning June 8, please contact the following staff for assistance with:
Internal room bookings, please email all requests to Lois Harrold.
Proximity cards or security codes, please email all requests to Arch Doody.
Sign issues (not in the Centre for Learning), please email all requests to Linda Crosbie .

For any other questions, please email Charmaine Eby.

Trades and Apprenticeship instructors in spotlight

A number of Okanagan College’s Trades instructors took park in the mechanical trades spotlight event in Enderby. The event took place on May 7 at A.L. Fortune Secondary and drew a significant number of secondary students who are interested in finding out more about careers in the Trades. Follow this link to view a photo gallery from the event.

Business professor, students honoured at BC HRMA conference

bchrma2Okanagan School of Business professor, Cathy Fitzgerald represented Okanagan College extremely well at the BC HRMA conference. Cathy was nominated and became a finalist for the Award of Excellence in the category of HR Professional of the Year.

Though she did not win the award, Cathy made her mark on the organization as the only professor to reach the finals for the prestigious award. On the evening of the awards Cathy gave a video presentation where she demonstrated her passion for Human Resources and her commitment to teaching future HR leaders through her work at Okanagan College.

In addition to Cathy’s evening of recognition, two students in the Okanagan School of Business received awards.
Jennifer McKenzie, HR major, was selected to attend the BC HRMA Annual Conference to be held in Victoria. All of her expenses including the cost of the conference, hotel for three days and travel to/from Victoria were covered. Jason Bosscher, HR major, won a cash scholarship for $500.

Ellen Pedersen Rides to Conquer Cancer   

Outside of the biology lab, Ellen Pedersen will be putting herself to the test in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Cancer Society. Ellen, Chair of the Biology department, will be riding her bike from Vancouver to Seattle as part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer team. She has a goal of raising $2,500 for Cancer and will make the international journey over the course of two days. Anyone interested in supporting Ellen can email her at: 
May 22, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 3


Okanagan College daycare now accepting applications

The YMCA/YWCA is currently accepting applications for the Okanagan College daycare, which will open this September. College staff and students are encouraged to follow this link to find out more information about the daycare and how to apply.

Join Okanagan College for the Commuter Challenge

From May 31 to June 6 2009, thousands of commuters from across the country will participate in the Commuter Challenge by registering their workplaces and logging the hours they walk, cycle, inline skate, skateboard, carpool, telecommute or take public transit to work. Okanagan College is registered as a participating workplace so anyone interested in taking part can follow this link to sign up. 

The Challenge supports workplaces as they encourage their employees to leave their cars at home to benefit their personal health, the health of their communities and the health of the environment. Individual Canadians can participate in addition to workplaces. Contact Karma Lacoff with questions.

College Fleet Vehicles Going Green

As part of Okanagan College’s global environmental initiative, the College has chosen the Toyota Prius Hybrid to replace its current gas-only passenger vehicles. The first Toyota Prius arrived in October 2008, and the second Toyota Prius arrived in April 2009. Both vehicles are at the Kelowna campus and available to faculty and staff.

priusThe Toyota Prius is an ultra low carbon emissions hybrid car, which uses gas/electric technology, making it one of the most environmentally friendly cars on the market.

Environmentally, the Toyota Prius will emit 58 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the Chevrolet Cavalier. Hybrids are also about 40 per cent more fuel-efficient, which will translate into hundreds of dollars in fuel savings over the lifecycle of each vehicle.

CO2 Emissions:
Toyota Prius              104 grams/kilometre
Chevrolet Cavalier      180 grams/kilometre

The move to hybrid fleet vehicles reflects the commitment of Okanagan College and Supply Management to reducing its carbon footprint, including the reduction of CO2 emissions.

CS seeks Computer Instructor

Continuing Studies is looking for an instructor to teach a variety of computer programs on a contract basis. Please contact Jill Panton at 762-5445 x4589 for more information.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Heather Ross from Early Childhood Education in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $485. 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.

Life & Death Matters 2009 Hospice Palliative Care Seminar Series

Okanagan College’s Home Support/Resident Care Attendant department will host a lecture by Kath Murray on June 2 at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre of the Kelowna campus. The lecture is free and is open to anyone interested in palliative/hospice care. Follow this link for further information or contact Jayne Stefansson at ext. 4785.


May 23 – Join Communications professor Marc Arellano at his photo exhibit at the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna beginning at 7:30 p.m. Marc will be on-site to answer questions about his exhibit and some of the subjects from his exhibit will also be around to mingle and discuss their experiences in Kelowna as migrant workers. Contact Marc for more information.

May 26 – Staff at the Kelowna campus are cleaning up the creek on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Anyone interested in joining in can meet with the group at the bridge between the waste treatment plant and the student residences. Gloves, bags and pinchers are supplied. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring a hat if it is sunny out. Contact Angie March for more information.
June 3 - Michaelbrook Golf Club will be the place for the Okanagan College Kelowna Women’s Golf Tournament. Interested golfers can put together a team of four and contact Angie March to register. This year's format is slightly different - you can sign up as a single, twosome or foursome. Friends and relatives are welcome to join. The registration fee of $35 includes golf and dinner and prizes. Registration forms are now available in the Regional Dean's office in Kelowna.

June 5 – The 2009 Trades Commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Anyone with questions about Convocation or Commencement can contact Karma Lacoff.

June 6 – A series of ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 6 at the Kelowna campus: 9 a.m. Continuing Studies Commencement, 11 a.m. Spring Convocation (Health programs, Associate degrees, Technology Diplomas, BCIS), 2:30 p.m. Business Convocation (BBA and BUAD). Follow this link for more information about ceremonies.

June 10 – Vernon will host a Commencement ceremony for Continuing Studies students at 7 p.m.

June 11 – A second Continuing Studies Commencement will take place at 7 p.m. at the Kalamalka campus.


The Okanagan School of Business’ SIFE Okanagan were profiled heavily in the Kelowna Capital News after reporter Kathy Michaels traveled to the national SIFE competition with the team. Read a series of articles: SIFE students rank top five, OC’s biz kids knock out competition, Rising to the Challenge.

Public Affairs announced Young Alumni Award winners Todd and Mark Regier through a press release last week. Both the Salmon Arm Observer and Castanet picked the release up. Check them out in: College recognizes local brothers and Regier brothers honoured by College.

A press release about Distinguished Alumni Award winner Launi Skinner, President and COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? was printed in the Okanagan Sunday. Read more in: College honours 1-800-GOT-JUNK? President.

First-year Aboriginal student Marlaina Alton received considerable news coverage last week: she was photographed on the cover of the Okanagan Saturday attending the Aboriginal Career Fair: Future bright for Aboriginals and was the focus of two articles about Okanagan College’s new Aboriginal recruitment video. Check out a segment from SHAW TV or read more in: College unveils new recruitment tool and Aboriginal students embark on adventure.

The success of Norm Letnick, Okanagan School of Business professor, in his run for MLA Kelowna-Lake Country made the pages of several local papers. Read more in: Letnick declared in Lake Country, No time wasted for MLA, Students go Green in 2 local ridings and Majority support Liberal.

Okanagan College hosted a young chefs’ competition of the Chaine de Rotisseurs, earning media coverage from CHBC and the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Young chefs face off in culinary test and Savoring victory.

The Penticton Western News published an article about Okanagan College's fundraising campaign to generate support for the new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Technology at Penticton's Okanagan College campus. Read more in: College seeks support for expansion.

The Kelowna Capital News also ran an article promoting the upcoming Canadian Culinary Federation’s national convention, part of which will be held at Okanagan College from May 31 – June 1. Read more in: Local chefs showcased.

The Kelowna Capital News printed a story about Okanagan College student Becky Baker and her placement at Beadiful Arts in Kelowna. Read more about Becky’s experience in her job and in the adult special education program at Okanagan College in: Unique students find their niche.

Marc Arellano’s photo exhibit generated interest by the Kelowna Daily Courier and CBC Daybreak’s Marion Barschel, who interviewed Marc live in studio. Read more about Marc’s exhibit in: Up close and personal or listen to the interview.

Immaculata High School student Richard Mack was featured in the Kelowna Daily Courier when he won the BC Secondary School Mathematics Contest for the third year in a row. The contest was held at Okanagan College and organized by Clint Lee. Read more in: Wins all add up for math prodigy.

Okanagan College’s Dental Assistant program was mentioned in an article in the Vernon Morning Star. Read about Tara Kimura and the help she received from Okanagan College in: Support needed for dental clinic.

Okanagan College student writers from the Kalamalka campus earned some ink when they published the second issue of their literary journal Other:_______. Read more in: Students launch second issue of literary journal with event.

Former Okanagan College business professor David Arsenault is the new Penticton economic development officer. Read more in: Arsenault takes Penticton position.

Okanagan College Baseball coverage included: OC earns berth for upcoming playoffs, Rookie OC baseballers earn trip to playoffs, OC baseball team qualifies for CCBC championship, OC still in despite losses, OC goes down swinging at CCBC tournament and OC wraps 1st season in college league.

Stan Chung enlightened Kelowna Daily Courier readers with the important lessons that can be learned from American Idol. Check out Stan’s top five and find out why American Idol isn’t about talent in: Top 5 things you can learn from American Idol.

Jane Muskens took on the topic of new changes to the student loan program in her Kelowna Capital News School’s In column. Read more in: Student loan program changes step in right direction.

Christine Ulmer filled in for Jane’s School’s In column this week with her thoughts on College competition teams and how they can help provide an education that lasts beyond school. Read more about Okanagan College student Michael Blonde and how he benefitted from his experience with SIFE Okanagan in: Students maximize their potential outside class.


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 Friday, June 5, 2009.