Okanagan College students win bronze medals 

BC skills1Students from Okanagan College stood out among the crowd competing in the national Skills Canada Competition, with two students taking home bronze medals.


Alexander Travis and Zander Erasmus both received medals in their separate events. The two were gold medalists in the provincial competition that led to the national event, held in Edmonton, Alberta.


Travis, 18, is a first year student in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering M program, and Erasmus, 20, graduates this year from the Electronic Engineering Technology program.


Each competition takes more than 16 hours to complete.


Erasmus said he used the opportunity to not only impress the judges, but network with potential future employers.


“I had a long chat with the president of Fluke over lunch and was able to talk with employees from many companies around Canada about their work and employment,” he said.


“That’s one of the real benefits of this event is that it gives students a chance to meet their peers and find mentors in the industry,” said Erasmus’ coach and Okanagan College instructor Kevin Bradshaw.


Each year the event draws hundreds of top students from across the country to test their skills against one another in both trades and technologies.


Skills Canada was launched in 1994, and is the only national multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.

Culinary students hungry to use donation 

AssetFactorybStudents in the Culinary Arts department were stirred by a hefty donation of equipment recently from DSL Inc., a premier food service equipment provider in Western Canada.


The company donated about $100,000 worth of equipment to the students at the Kelowna campus, including two combi-ovens that have turned out some exceptional pork roasts.


“It turned out beautifully, a bit like pulled pork,” said Culinary Arts Instructor Mike Barillaro. “I’ll probably be creating a few new recipes so the students can have more experience with this type of oven.”

Other equipment that rolled into the program’s kitchen:

- Two Henny Penny open fryers with computron 8000 controls

- Taylor clamshell flat top grill

- Taylor batch ice cream freezer

Students will spend about two years with the equipment, and the plan is for DSL to replace the pieces with new technology once available.

“What we want to do is open students’ eyes to what is available out there,” said Ed Tkaczyk, B.C. sales manager for DSL.

Randy Werger, Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, said the College is grateful DSL thought of Okanagan students when it initiated the program.

“Employers expect our students to be up-to-date when it comes to their training, but providing the latest equipment is another matter, given the high expense,” Werger said. “Programs like this make it possible.”

For more information, read the media release.

Deadline May 31 for new financial awards at Vernon campus

Secondary school students graduating from both the Vernon and the North Okanagan Shuswap school districts are now eligible for seven new awards.


The awards, each valued at $750, are being made available to students who choose to continue their education this September at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College.

“The new awards cover a wide variety of programs,” said Regional Dean Jane Lister. “We worked with members of our Regional Advisory Committee to identify community needs and have allocated awards to specialty Arts programs, Continuing Studies certificates and an entrance award for Aboriginal students. 

“We are encouraging all students who are considering attending Okanagan College in September to visit our financial aid website for complete award criteria. The deadline for applying is May 31.”

Four of the $750 awards are dedicated to Continuing Studies programs – two for students entering the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) certificate and two for students in the Esthetician certificate program.

Two other awards are available in Environmental Studies and Writing and Publishing. An additional entrance award is also being made available to an Aboriginal Student who is Non-Status or Metis.

For more information, including the criteria, read the full press release.

Marketing students take $1,000 top prize


 Rick Appleby Market#52B6E1
Chaunda Daigneault takes part in winning presentation.
Three Okanagan College School of Business students have received the Michael Antecol Award for Excellence in Marketing Research, along with a $1,000 prize from the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.


Chaunda Daigneault, Sarah Helbig, and Marina Marzinger conducted research over a three-month period for the Kelowna-based Find It EZ Software Corp., as part of their Applied Marketing Research course with Professor Rick Appleby.


“Their diligence and perseverance to do background research and then contact and get responses from inner IT departments within companies showed a researcher’s real desire to satisfy a client’s needs for information in order to make sound decisions,” Appleby said.


The MRIA judges described the team’s paper as a model paper saying it “combined the business acumen with traditional marketing research method.”


Ken Gnazdowsky, CEO and co-founder of Find It EZ, said the recommendations and results of the survey led to three consecutive quarters of sales growth.


“This is exactly the type of post-secondary and local high-tech incubation support programs that are needed to give entrepreneurs the guidance and expert resources required to launch the next great business right here in the Silicon Vineyard,” Gnazdowsky said.


New Associate Director for Continuing Studies 

Jennifer Gorman will be joining the Continuing Studies team as the new Associate Director June 4.


Gorman has an MBA in Executive Management for Educational Administrators from Royal Roads University. Between 2003 and 2007 she worked for Okanagan College on special projects in the President’s Office, and conducted public relations work for the Faculty of Business.

Prior to taking on this new position, Gorman held numerous leadership positions within the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and the Ministry of Finance, including the Director of Strategic Initiatives, and the Director of Regulatory Reform. She also managed the Ministry's Small Business roundtable.

Arthur Green to teach a sustainability course at Rio+20

Arthur Green, professor of geography at Okanagan College, will be among a team of experts conducting an official sustainable development learning course at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil next month.

Drawing from his doctoral research on post-conflict natural resource management, Green will facilitate a course with the Environmental Law Institute.


“Natural resources are often negatively implicated in violent conflicts. We believe that we can turn the table and positively implicate them in peacebuilding. Our course is on sustainable natural resource management in support of peacebuilding,” Green said.

“My participation in this event is part of my collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute in an international project that has resulted in a six volume series of case studies being published this year.”


Course details are on the UN website. More information on Green’s presentation will be made available in College Matters later this week.

New staff member joins Human Resources

New to the College is Charlene Cornett, who has joined the Human Resources team as a Pension and Benefits Coordinator, working on pension administration, retirement planning and disability claims management.


Cornett has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary 1987 complemented by courses through the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) program and the Canadian Payroll Association. 


Other changes are taking place in the Human Resources department. More information will be made available in the College Matters' It’s All About Us blog later this week.

Geography students thrilled to be ‘board’

geo game2Sixteen groups of students undertook a unique human geography assignment this semester – creating board games.


The students, all taking Human Geography: Resources, Development and Society, created the games based on their creative application of course content regarding human-environment relations and sustainable development theory and practice.

It turns out that games are one of the best ways for people to learn about their world because they can be fun, teach concepts and principles through application, and be used to both question and construct representations of our world.

Work experience elevates PACE student 

Terry G,Sport Chek2012Steve Jackson and the crew at Sport Chek in Penticton are amazing people with super big hearts.


As part of the Okanagan College Adult Special Education PACE program, students are required to fulfill a final work experience. Jackson, the manager at the Penticton Sport Check store, didn’t hesitate when asked to provide an opportunity for a student this term.


Terry Gustavson is now completing the two-year PACE program at the Penticton campus three mornings a week and works two afternoons a week in Steve’s store.


Several weeks ago on his birthday, the crew presented Gustavson with a complete set of cross country skis and a season pass to Nickel Plate when they learned that he likes to cross country ski.


“Terry is a great worker and we love having him in the store. We are glad to help him out,” Jackson said.


Sport Chek has also provided an opportunity for another student to complete her final work experience in their store

History Professor puts on the camo

 Hisdale in Boise-1
History professor Howard Hisdal spent his vacation with some American cousins (in grey) as part of a mixed American and Canadian team of military photographers.
Howard Hisdal, a history professor at Okanagan College, recently spent 10 days of his vacation on Exercise Cougar Salvo held in southern Idaho.


Hisdal, who is also a Captain in the B.C. Dragoons in the army reserves, worked as the assistant public affairs officer for 39 Canadian Brigade Group on a live fire exercise in Boise, Idaho where he got to supervise a mixed American and Canadian team of military photographers.

Penticton volunteers buzz through literacy competition

Literacy copyWhen it comes to spelling, volunteer tutors at the Penticton campus are the best – literally.


The Okanagan College Volunteer Literacy Tutors team, called The Magic Spellers, pulled a win out of its hat at the South Okanagan-Similkameen Literacy Now Spelling Bee on May 8.


The team, made up of Ann Kostiuk, Cathy Annand, Cornelia King, Karen Fort, and Jan Higgins, competed against teams from Interior Health, Ministry of Child and Family Development, school trustees, city councilors, and Okanagan College staff, with money raised for literacy programs in the community.

Former student cycling for Alzheimer’s

April Erickson1Former student April Erickson, who graduated with an honours degree in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, will be spending her summer raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease.


Erickson, along with her boyfriend, will be hitting the road in mid-June to cycle across Canada. The fundraising effort is being held in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.


Erickson’s grandmother was diagnosed in 2008 and has since moved to an assisted living facility.


“My grandmother still remembers the sound of my voice, however it’s heart breaking when she does not recognize others in our family that she has not spent as much time with. It really is a paralyzing feeling knowing that there is nothing we can do to get those memories back.”


Anyone interested in following the trek or donating to Making Memories for Lost Memories, can visit Erickson’s blogsite where she’ll be posting updates over the four-month trek.

Photography instructor wins national award 

Kemp winning photoContinuing Studies photography instructor Bruce Kemp has received a national travel photography award from the Travel Media Association of Canada.


Kemp was recognized in the People Category for his digital image that depicts two historic re-enactors portraying the baker and his apprentice at the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.


"I knew I had a terrific picture from the first time I saw it through my viewfinder. The sidelight coming through a window was pure Vermeer," Kemp said, referring to the 17th century Dutch masters.


Bruce's photograph was one of more than three hundred pictures entered in the travel photograph competition. This marks the third time Kemp has received the award. He also won in 2003 and 2006.

May 22, 2012 Vol. 6 Issue 3


Golf Tournament to raise bursary funds 

golf visualThe 16th annual ACIC Links to Learning Golf Tournament takes place Friday, June 22.


The event, which raises scholarship and bursary funds for Okanagan College, is being held at Talking Rock Golf Course, on the north shore of Little Shuswap Lake.


To register for the event, contact Patty Bruce. To take part, submit either a registration form or sponsorship form.

Chris Burns and Randy Dewar retirement tourney 

Spaces are filling up for the golf tournament being held this Saturday, May 26 to honour Chris Burns and Randy Dewar, who are both retiring from the Collision Repair department.


The start time has been bumped to 2 p.m. The dinner takes place at 6 p.m., followed by a trip down memory lane.


For those wishing to attend, please let organizer and department chair Jeff Francis know today by sending in your RSVP registration form.

Athletic update 

The Commuter Challenge runs during National Environment Week – Sunday, June 3 to Saturday, June 9.

Give your car a day off! Ride your bike, start a carpool, take public transit, or use your feet.

To register, visit Commuter Challenge, or the recreation office at the Kelowna campus at A105. 

There are also just a few more days to join the OC Coaches team in the Walk to Fight Arthritis – Sunday June 10. For more information contact Jenn Naiman.


May 23 – ILT Lunch and Learn session at the Lecture Theatre, Kelowna campus featuring Kelowna Museum curator Michelle Harvey on the research opportunities available when it comes to heritage and culture in the Okanagan.

May 24 – 21st Annual Okanagan College Foundation / Western Financial Group Charity Golf Tournament takes place at the Okanagan Golf Club in Kelowna at 3200 Via Centrale.

May 26 – Okanagan College Garage Sale takes place in the automotive shop of the Kelowna campus from 8 a.m. to noon. Computers, office furniture, office supplies, filing cabinets and a whole lot more will be up for sale. The event is being held in conjunction with the Regional District’s Waste Management Office’s Trunk Sale.

June 1 - Trades Commencement ceremony takes place at the Kelowna campus at 6 p.m.

June 2 - Okanagan College conducts its Spring Convocation ceremonies, with ceremonies taking place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.


News of a high-tech donation to Okanagan College’s Certified Dental Assistant program ended up in Okanagan Life. Read: High-tech dummy aids Okanagan College students.


Penticton city councillor Helena Konanz offered up accolades to Okanagan College as a “powerful training institute for traditional and emerging trends” in her column College town of the future, in the Penticton Herald.


The Penticton Western News wrote about Okanagan College’s new Honorary Fellows Janet Shaw and Yasmin John-Thorpe. Read College honours longtime supporters.


Media throughout the region recognized Okanagan College Distinguished Service Award recipient Catherine Williams in various articles. Read: Okanagan College distinguished service award bestowed on long-time employee, Former safety officer honoured by college, and Okanagan College distinguished service award bestowed on long-time employee, Catherine Williams.


Okanagan College’s role in this year’s Green Business Awards was mentioned as part of the article in the Daily Courier. Read: Green Award winners a sign of the times.


Okanagan College student Lauren Strang, a promiment member of the SIFE Okanagan team, picked up a national award for her project management skills at the national SIFE competition held recently. Read: Ok College student promotes entrepreneurship, from the Daily Courier.

SIFE Okanagan’s three-time win of the Let’s Can Hunger Challenge resulted in a story in the Capital News. Read: OC students win hunger challenge competition again.


Culinary Arts graduate Jon Garratt’s appointment as young chef ambassador of the World Association of Chefs Societies was mentioned in Business Thompson Okanagan. Read: Young chef ambassador.


Also in culinary news, the hefty donation of equipment to the Culinary Arts kitchen drew headlines in both the Daily Courier and the Capital News. Read: College students cooking up a storm with new equipment and Students cook up a storm with new equipment.


The location of a new sports track for Vernon was up for question early this month, and then later was confirmed as the Okanagan College site. Read: Pitch made to public to fund track facility,District off track, and Second complex location refuted.


Registrar Jane Muskens focused her Capital News column on the impact consumer demand has on skills and jobs. Read: Innovation and technology require developing new job skills almost daily. The column also appeared in the Lake Country Calendar.


The Okanagan College Coyotes took part in the season-ending tournament at Thompson Rivers University. Read: OC in Kamloops for CCBC championship.


The regional district’s Trunk Sale is taking place at Okanagan College. Read: Time to register for trunk sale.


Retired Okanagan College instructor Al Cohoe takes to the road again for this year’s RV Lifestyle Seminar. Read: Mr. RV at your service, in Forever Young.


Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus played host to the B.C. Nature Association. Read: B.C. naturalists in town this week.


Former Okanagan College Regional Dean Frank Paul was honoured in a special memorial obituary that appeared in the Morning Star. Read: Frank Paul.


Members of the Okanagan SIFE program in Penticton raised funds from the back of their car. Read: What a boot, from the Penticton Western News.


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 Tuesday, June 5, 2012.