Buckle up for new flight simulator at Okanagan College

Flight Simulator RibbonCommercial Aviation students will get to train on a cutting-edge flight simulator at Okanagan College’s aviation facility at the Kelowna airport beginning next fall thanks to a $125,000 donation from Carson Air to purchase and install a Redbird FMX flight simulator. ROV Consulting, a structural engineering firm, also donated $25,000 to make the simulator a reality.

The donation was announced on Sept. 19 during a ribbon-cutting celebration marking the 25th anniversary of the College’s Commercial Aviation program partnership with Carson Air at the Southern Interior Flight Centre (SIFC). Visitors and guests also had the opportunity to tour Carson Air’s brand new hangar at the Kelowna International Airport. Rhea Mackay pilot

To date, the Commercial Aviation program has graduated more than 312 commercial pilots, including alumna and WestJet Captain Rhea MacKay. Read about her success here.

For more information, read the press release here.

Orientation 2015: welcoming students at our campuses

Despite the rain, spirits were not dampened at this year’s Kick Off to Orientation 2015 activities at the College’s four campuses.

Orientation PentictonIn Penticton students began their day with breakfast parfaits and spent the morning meeting new people, playing games, and winning great prizes. A lunch provided by the campus cafeteria was served to students by College employees, including President Jim Hamilton.

In Kelowna, more than 1,300 students donning leis were acquainted with the College community. The afternoon Luau included information booths hosted by various College departments and local companies. Highlights included the dunk tank, bounce house, the annual beaver toss and an Amazing-Race activity which had students completing challenges all over campus. The culinary arts department treated students to a Hawaiian themed free lunch, to everyone’s delight.Orientation 2

Just over 100 new and returning students attended Kick Off at the Salmon Arm campus. Students mixed and mingled to get to know one another through a series of learning seminars and ice-breaker games.

At the Vernon campus, students went on a scavenger hunt. Some locations on the hunt had mini-game stations while others had skill testing questions. The day ended with a great lunch, provided by the campus’s new caterers, Basket Case Picnics, with lots of music, games and tons of prizes.

Degree path in law enforcement now available
close to home

Justice InstituteOkanagan College and the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) are opening the doors for students to complete JIBC’s Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies degree program at the College’s Penticton campus.

Beginning in Sept. 2016, Okanagan College graduates of the Criminal and Social Justice (CSJ) diploma will be able to complete this degree in Penticton. The JIBC guarantees 24 seats to CSJ students who meet the academic requirements. Additional seats will be available to other students who meet the admission requirements and who have ambition for a career in law enforcement.

“This option means that students have an opportunity to complete a degree in their home region. Many students will be able to save on transportation and housing costs,” says Donna Lomas, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for the South Okanagan Similkameen.

The degree will initially be conferred by JIBC but the two institutions have agreed to work toward a co-conferred degree.

For more information on the newly announced degree program, read the press release here.

New welding shop sparks to life

Welding ShopWelding students in Kelowna are starting their training this year in a bright new shop with state-of-the-art workspaces. Enhancements to the shop include gases pumped directly to the workspaces, which saves students time switching out cylinders; and a high-tech extraction system which improves ventilation and will result in better overall energy efficiency.

In addition to the new space and equipment, support from donors has helped the College create new bursaries to help students spark their training. In total, more than $250,000 has been committed in support for the welding shop renovation and to student and program support. The new welding shop is part of the College’s $33-million renovation and expansion of its Trades facilities in Kelowna.

View the video of Shaw Go!Okanagan touring the new space. The Kelowna Capital News also featured the welding shop in a Sept. 4 article.

Take the Commuter Challenge

Commuter ChallengeThere’s still time to register for the Campus Commuter Challenge, which runs until Sept. 30.

By joining the Okanagan College Commuter Challenge team, you will collectively be competing against other post-secondary institutions across Canada and have the chance to win great prizes, including a GoPro camera.

The challenge is open to all staff and students who travel to any one of the College’s campuses by any means other than a single occupant vehicle.

More details are available at

Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service nominations

EmbreeNominations are now being accepted for the Okanagan College Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service awards.

The Honorary Fellow award is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment.

The Distinguished Service award recognizes a former Okanagan College employee who has given outstanding service to the College, who shares and supports the College’s mission, vision and values, and is active within and outside the College community. This award is not given as a matter of routine.

Full criteria, nomination forms, and a list of previous honorees can be found online. Deadline for nominations is Oct. 16.

Groundbreaking gastroenterology program
launches at OC

Addressing a national need among practicing nurses for focussed gastroenterological care training, Okanagan College has announced a new and unique 302-hour online Gastroenterology Nursing Certificate program. The first intake will be in October this year. Until now, practicing nurses who wanted to prepare for the Certificate in Gastroenterology Nursing exam had to engage in self-study.

The program, which includes a practicum, was designed in conjunction with input from Interior Health administrators and nursing staff and the support of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.

Denise Dunton, Interior Health’s Surgical Services Clinical Leader in Acute Care Services noted that since the B.C. Cancer Agency launched a colon screening program in 2013, the number of colonoscopy procedures at Interior Health has increased substantially. The program is focused on providing practicing nurses with the knowledge and practical skills for entry into endoscopy-room nursing.

For more information on the program visit, and read the press release here.

2016-17 Viewbook ready

Viewbook cover

Inspiring prospective students to step into their future at OC, Public Affairs has published the latest edition of the Viewbook. The 44-page promotional brochure features current students and alumni and highlights the high-calibre programs offered at the College.

A digital version is available at To request print copies, contact Michelle Lowry.

Campaign gifts boost trades shops

Two gifts made to the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign will help ensure trade students at OC learn in state-of-the art classrooms with the latest equipment.

Fender's DonationFender’s Automotive Center in West Kelowna has pledged $50,000 to support upgrades underway in the College’s Collision Repair shop. Owner Norm Cross’s connection to the College dates back more than three decades; he earned his Red Seal from the Collision Repair program in 1983. He went on to open Fender’s in 1999, and in 2014 was awarded West Kelowna’s Best Big Business award. Read the press release here.

Kettle ValleySupporting the rejuvenation of the College’s carpentry and joinery shop, the Village of Kettle Valley has made a $62,412 donation to the campaign. The contribution demonstrates the continued support received from the Village of Kettle Valley. In 2005 the developer provided two lots for “Home for Learning” projects for Residential Construction program students to get hands-on experience while building high-end homes in the community. In turn, profits from the sale of the homes were donated to the College to establish an annual award fund that has provided almost $30,000 in tuition credits to 49 recipients. To read more about the donation, follow this link.

Collaborative sustainable home building research project underway

Wilden SustainabilityOkanagan College has teamed up with a local developer, a homebuilder, and UBC Okanagan to research how sustainable building technologies can be used to reduce the energy used in new homes in the Interior.

The Wilden Living Lab initiative will see two homes built in Kelowna’s Wilden subdivision. One home will be built to current building code standards. The other will incorporate additional sustainable building technologies.

Local builder AuthenTech Homes will identify the additional technologies and undertake construction in cooperation with Okanagan College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology program. Researchers from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering will then monitor and compare the energy use of both homes over the next three years and report their findings.

This is another valuable opportunity for Okanagan College students to train in becoming the homebuilders of tomorrow. Since 2004, OC students have lent their skills to nearly 50 building projects in the Okanagan.

Follow this link to read the press release.


Mia Salmon joins Okanagan College in Vernon

Mia SalmonMia Salmon has joined the Okanagan College community as the new Administrative Services Clerk with the Regional Dean’s Office at the Vernon Campus. She replaces Christy Gelz who has transitioned into a position with the Continuing Studies department. Mia recently immigrated to Canada from the U.K., and brings a bubbly personality to the team. Mia can be reached at local 2200.

Devin Rubadeau going the nautical mile to South Korea

A sailing coach with the Central Okanagan Sailing Association (COSA) in his spare time, Business Professor Devin Rubadeau will be heading to Mungyeong, South Korea to coach the Canadian Forces Sailing Team at the 6th Military World Games from Oct. 3 to 8.  He has been the head coach of the Canadian Forces sailing team for 12 years, setting sails at three World Games and nine World Championships within those years.
DevinCanada will be sending more than 200 athletes and coaches to South Korea in a variety of sports to compete, all of whom train on their own time, outside of their regular military duties. Canada is unique in this way, as many other countries train athletes within the military though athletes do not necessarily serve military responsibilities outside of the sport.

The Canadian team will be competing in the two-person Laser 2000 category. Rubadeau is hopeful this year’s Canadian team will finish near the top of the fleet with accomplished skipper and Canadian Naval Captain, Michael Evans at the helm. The Military World Games help evaluate athletes in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

Dr. Alix Hawley longlisted for Giller Prize

Continuing to earn literary accolades for her debut novel All True Not a Lie in It, Okanagan College English Professor Dr. Alix Hawley has earned a nod from the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize: she is one of 12 Canadian authors longlisted for the award.

The award highlights the best in Canadian fiction each year. The shortlist will be announced on Oct. 5, followed by the award being presented on Nov. 10. Read the press release here. 

Recounting the adventures of American pioneer Daniel Boone, who attempted to settle Kentucky and was captured by the Shawnee, Hawley’s novel launched earlier this year to much praise. She received the honourable First Novel Award in the spring.

Eleanor Wachtel and Elizabeth Hay to headline Shuswap Bookfest

Authors Shuswap bookfestTwo internationally renowned writers, Eleanor Wachtel, host of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, and Elizabeth Hay, winner of the Giller Prize for her novel Late Nights on Air, will present at Okanagan College’s inaugural Shuswap Bookfest in Salmon Arm. The literary festival is a community event that will bring book lovers and writers together to develop public dialogue and discussion.

Wachtel’s talk titled The Lives of Writers, will be moderated by OC English Professor Dr. Tim Walters on Thursday Oct. 1.

The following day, Oct. 2, Hay will be introducing her new book His Whole Life and will be interviewed by OC English Professor Dr. Alix Hawley.

Both presentations take place at the Salmar Classic Theatre and begin at 7 p.m.

For ticket purchase information, and details about the Shuswap Bookfest, read the press release here.

Dr. Jackson Katz presents in Kelowna

Mask you Live InRenowned American educator, author, filmmaker, and cultural theorist, Dr. Jackson Katz is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in the field of gender violence prevention and critical media literacy. On Wednesday, Sept. 30 employees, students and the public are invited to attend the premiere of his film “The Mask You Live In” at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus lecture theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (film starts at 7 p.m.) and tickets are $5 for students, $7 for adults.

In a follow-up event, on Wednesday, Oct. 7 Katz will present his talk tilted “Gender on the Agenda” which will explore the socialization of girls and boys in a culture of violence. The talk will take place at the Kelowna campus lecture theatre from 7 to 9 p.m. Advance tickets for the talk are $15 for students, $20 for everyone else and $25 at the door.

The events are proudly presented by the Okanagan College Faculty Association and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Kelowna.

Bloom and Martyr takes 2015 John Lent Poetry-Prose Award

Helen HajnoczkyMontreal-based writer Helen Hajnoczky earned the fourth annual John Lent Poetry-Prose Award from Kalamalka Press for her chapbook, Bloom and Martyr. Out of 40 manuscripts, the judges (Laisha Rosnau, Kevin Mcpherson Eckhoff, and Jake Kennedy) selected the work which stood out for its ability to strike imagery and invent sounds for the readers.

Additional to receiving an honorarium, Hajnoczky will have her manuscript printed as a letterpress chapbook designed by English Professor and award-winning bookmaker, Jason Dewinetz, and made by students in Okanagan College’s Writing and Publishing Diploma program in the spring of 2016.

For additional information, read the press release online.

Sept. 22, 2015, Vol. 10, Issue 13

Capital Master Plan survey 

The Capital Master Planning committee invites you to think of the possibilities and envision the future of Okanagan College’s campuses by participating in a short online survey. The survey is available until Sept. 29.
This is an opportunity for you to provide valuable input on campus work environments and the future of how we deliver post-secondary education.

Governance opportunities

Six student representatives are needed to sit on Education Council (four positions, one student from each region) and the Board of Governors (two positions, students from different programs) for a one-year term. This is a great opportunity for motivated students to boost their resumes, learn about non-profit governance and make a significant contribution to the College.

Education Council considers curriculum and educational policies relating to students, standards, planning and operations. 

The Board of Governors has the sole responsibility for the management, administration and control of the property, revenue, expenditures, business and affairs of the institution.

Nominations are open until Sept. 27. Elections will take place from Oct. 10 to 18 online in myOkanagan.

At the same time as the student election, a by-election for the Education Council Faculty Representative (Central Okanagan regional seat) is also needed.

For more information, to submit a nomination, and to vote, visit the Elections tab in myOkanagan.

Flags lowered

Honouring the Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day, flags will be lowered on Sunday Sept. 27 at all Okanagan College campuses. The Provincial Government’s protocol is for all provincial government buildings and public institutions to lower flags on specific dates. Flags will also be lowered on Nov. 11 for Remembrance Day and on Dec. 6 for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Get informed and vote 

On Oct. 19 Canadians will vote in the General Federal Election to give voice to the future of our country’s leadership. Collaboratively, several Okanagan College departments and the Okanagan College Students' Union are preparing resources, organizing events, and providing information to encourage everyone to vote and to learn more about the electoral process.

Library Services has prepared an online resource webpage at with information about how to vote, a list of candidates, issues for consideration, and campaign trends. Leading up to the election, campus Libraries will also have election information displays with books, articles, and other resources available.

In addition, the OCSU will host an all-candidates meet and greet on Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium of the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus. Contact us for more information.

Support Enactus with farm fresh produce

Enactus Okanagan College in Kelowna and Penticton are once again participating in the Farm Bag fundraising initiative. Farm Bag supports local farmers by selling pre-purchased bags of fruits and vegetables over the winter months, while simultaneously sharing portions of sales with Enactus as a fundraiser that will help support its community projects during the year.

Sign up online, and select either the Kelowna Enactus or the Penticton Enactus group. Bags are $30 and the program runs for five months.

The first Kelowna pick-up day will be on Friday Oct. 2 from 12 to 3 p.m. (in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning). The first Penticton pick-up day has passed, but you can still register for the upcoming months.

Updates to online recruitment system

On Nov. 2 Human Resources will launch POST 7.0 an enhanced version of Okanagan College’s online recruitment system.

Improvements include a module to help the College collect and review employment application materials online, while providing feedback to applicants about the status of their job search. Also, a Position Management module will enable hiring managers to maintain current and accurate job descriptions online to help facilitate the creation of job posting and hiring proposals.

Training materials and documentation will also be made available online. In October, Human Resources will contact those who are system users to arrange training. More information is available in this document.

Health and wellness resources

Okanagan College’s employee and family assistance provider, Optum PPC Canada, provides information on issues regarding your health and wellbeing.

The September edition of The Balance Sheet newsletter focuses on men’s health issues, including exploring unique struggles men can have with depression and prostate cancer risks. 

Register here for the Wednesday Sept. 30 webinar titled "Men’s Health" which will provide practical advice to help men lead healthier lives.


Celebrate Science Literacy Week

Discover the world of science with an array of scientific books, magazines and DVDs, which will be on display at Okanagan College Library Services at each of the four campuses from Sept. 21 to 27. Part of the national Science Literary Week, the event promotes public awareness of science and highlight resources available. Visit the Library News webpage for more information about activities and what is available at each campus Library.

Learn to create stellar Prezi presentations

Sept. 24 - Go beyond PowerPoint and learn how to create outstanding visual presentations using Prezi, a free online tool. This Roundabout workshop is facilitated by Teresa Kisilevich and will take place from 12 – 1:30 p.m. in room L203 at the Kelowna campus.  Register here. The ongoing Roundabout learning series is presented by IT Services and Learning & Teaching.

Youth Exhibition PowWow

Sept. 24 – The College’s seventh annual Youth Exhibition PowWow will be held in the courtyard of the Kelowna campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each year the event draws a crowd of students, employees, and the general public to witness and participate in Aboriginal culture and dance. This year is particularly significant as it will include a ceremonial signing of the Indigenous Education Protocol.

A 50/50 draw and a special draw for an autographed Jordin Tootoo hockey stick will benefit an Aboriginal student scholarship.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Pit of the Student Services building.

TiltShift update: format changes

Sept. 25 - With lower registration numbers than anticipated, the format of the TiltShift Education Technology Conference has been changed to a one-afternoon free speaker series featuring the two keynote addresses.

Employees and the public are invited to attend the event from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus. Norm Vaughan from Mount Royal University will be speaking on blended learning in a post-secondary environment and Nikos Theodosakis will be speaking on student engagement through digital media. For more information, visit the website.

Trunk Sale returns to OC

Sept. 26 – The Regional Waste Reduction Office will host its Trunk Sale event at the Kelowna campus, from 8 a.m. to noon. Similar to a large garage sale, and aiming to promote reuse and recycling, individual vendors will sell their goods from the back of their vehicles. The deadline to register as a vendor is Wednesday Sept. 23 and can be done by contacting the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250. The sale will be held in parking lot #17, next to the Skaha Place student residence buildings.

Drone safety, free info session 

Sept. 29 – Hear from a panel of experts and discover the Canadian regulations, safe operation guidelines, and risk management of flying drones at a free information session hosted by Okanagan College and the Kelowna and District Flying Club. The session will be held in the lecture theatre at the Kelowna campus from 7 to 9 p.m.  Pre-registration is required.    

Science in Society Speaker Series returns 

Oct. 13 – Shedding light on B.C.’s changing landscape and climate, Royal BC Museum Botany and Earth History curator Dr. Richard Hebda will draw upon his research with plant fossils to present What can we do to adapt to a changing planet? The event will take place in the lecture theatre of the Vernon campus at 7:30 p.m. This talk is the first of the 2015-16 season for the Science in Society Speaker Series. Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644, and visit the website for details.


At an open house event at Carson Air’s new hangar in Kelowna, which also celebrated 25 years of the College’s Commercial Aviation diploma program in partnership with the Southern Interior Flight Centre, the company announced in conjunction with ROV Consulting its support of training future pilots with the purchase of a new flight simulator for the College. The announcement made front page news in the Okanagan Sunday newspaper on Sept. 20, and was captured by, Castanet and the Kelowna Daily Courier online.

Earlier in the week, Global Okanagan as well as the Kelowna Daily Courier shared in print and online details of the upcoming event, highlighting the success of OC alumna and WestJet Captain Rhea MacKay.

Also earning front-page ink, was news of College English Professor Dr. Alix Hawley being among 12 authors on the longlist for the Scotiabank Giller prize for her debut novel All True Not a Lie in it as published by the Kelowna Daily Courier Local author listed for Canada’s top book prize. InfoTel News also shared the exciting news.

Headlines were generated when the College and the Justice Institute of BC announced that students would be able to complete a Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies degree at the College’s Penticton campus. Global Okanagan captured the announcement. The Penticton Herald’s article Okanagan College, JIBC open degree path was published on Sept. 22, the Okanagan Sunday reported on the news on Sept. 20, the Kelowna Daily Courier ran a story online and the Penticton Western News also featured the news on Sept. 16.

New programs at OC continued to catch the eye of editorial desks, with the announcement of the new Gastroenterology Nursing Certificate program. Articles appeared in the Sept. 13 Vernon Morning Star print and online editions as well as the Sept. 14 Kelowna Daily Courier, including online

The Vernon Morning Star’s Sept. 4 print edition ran an article about the joint Okanagan College and Accelerate Okanagan Mobile Coding program being offered to students starting in October.

Wilden’s support of the Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign was well noted in the Kelowna Daily Courier which ran photos of the cheque presentation and an article in the Sept. 9 print edition.

The support to the Campaign by Fender’s Automotive Centre was also noticed with articles appearing in the Sept. 18 Kelowna Capital News print edition, the Sept. 16 Kelowna Daily Courier, and in Collision Repair Magazine.

The Village of Kettle Valley’s commitment of support to the campaign was captured by

When media toured the newly renovated state-of-the-art welding shop in Kelowna, the Kelowna Capital News detailed the shop's features in a Sept. 9 feature article.

Welder and OC alumnus William Cripps, discusses how Project Literacy helped him get the pre-requisites needed to pursue the Welding program at OC in a profile piece in the Okanagan Saturday.

Doug van Vianen, who taught computer courses at OUC and also served on the College Advisory Board, is profiled by the Summerland Review about his teaching career.

An article in the Vernon Morning Star questions whether the lighting at the new Greater Vernon Athletics Park is sufficient for the darker winter evenings. The official opening of the track will take place on Saturday Sept. 26.

The Kelowna Daily Courier featured in print and online Okanagan College Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni recipient Sareena Sharma Nickoli and Young Alumni Award recipient John Perrott in advance of the Oct. 15 reception to be held in Kelowna.

Alumnus Rene Bourgault, who passed away recently in a rafting accident, is commemorated and honoured as one of the Kelowna Daily Courier’s Top 40 Under 40 profiles for his success as a businessman and for his community contributions.

Okanagan Life Magazine featured Chef Kaila Klassen, an OC alumna, about her newest venture: gourmet picnic baskets at Evolve Cellars.

Another alumnus in the news: Donnie Ungaro’s commitment to Growing Chefs, teaching kids about growing and cooking healthy foods, was noted in an Okanagan Family Magazine article.

In an online article, the Vernon Morning Star shared details of the upcoming Shuswap Bookfest with presentations by CBC host Eleanor Wachtel, and Giller Prize winning author Elizabeth Hay.

Both the Kelowna Daily Courier and the Vernon Morning Star reported that Montreal-based writer Helen Hajnoczky was named the John Lent Poetry-Prose Award recipient by Kalamalka Press.

The Kelowna Daily Courier shared with its readers the details of the free events hosted at Okanagan College’s Kelowna and Vernon campuses with renowned Canadian editor Douglas Gibson. The Vernon Morning Star did the same with an article published online. 

As part of  robust election coverage, the Kelowna Capital News featured College English Professor Norah Bowman and NDP candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country in a Sept. 18 print edition and online profile.

The Penticton Herald recapped the views expressed during the first South Okanagan West Kootenay candidates forum leading up to the Federal Election, including by Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Richard Cannings (NDP) and College Board of Governors member Connie Denesiuk (Liberal). The Penticton Herald also reported on Sept. 17 that both candidates would support the creation of a national park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.


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

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 Oct. 6, 2015.