Jace Albrecht named top carpenter at Skills Canada Competition

jaceOkanagan College's Jace Albrecht, a 20-year-old carpentry apprentice, won the top prize for carpentry at the Skills Canada Competition held on June 9-10 in Saskatoon. Of the 12 competitors, Albrecht was one of four who finished the project. Albrecht qualified for the competition after winning the BC Skills Competition held in Abbotsford in April. Competitors were given 13 hours to build a children’s playhouse from blueprints to completion. Albrecht was finished in 11 hours and seven minutes. Read more about his experience in the Public Affairs press release or read about his accomplishment in the media section.

Jim Hamilton to take on acting role as President of the B.C. Trades Training Consortium

Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton has been appointed Acting President
of the B.C.'s Trades Training Consortium, which represents the public
post-secondary educational institutions that offer trades training in the
province. Hamilton was chosen this week at a meeting of the institutions in
Vancouver. The Trades Training Consortium will work to co-ordinate the
activities of the colleges, institutes, universities and university colleges
offering trades training and serve as a focal point for discussions with the
provincial agency overseeing trades training, the Industry Training
Authority. "We have good working relations with the government, with the ITA
and with our colleague institutions," says Hamilton. "I trust that we will
be able to use those relations to help move forward the trades training
agenda in British Columbia, for the benefit of students, institutions and

Pauline Terbasket appointed to Board of Governors

Pauline E. Terbasket, Executive Director of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and member of the Okanagan Nation and Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB), was recently appointed to serve on the Okanagan College Board of Governors by the province of British Columbia. Terbasket brings more than 25 years of experience working for a variety of First Nations organizations and government. In addition to her professional endeavors, Terbasket volunteers with a number of local and regional organizations and societies including the BC Native Women's Society, UBC Okanagan and the Ki-low-Na Friendship Society, which she was President of for four years. She will attend her first Board meeting on June 26, 2007. Read the Public Affairs press release.

Home for Learning on fast-track to success

internationalThe ongoing success of the third Home for Learning project in Kelowna was celebrated on Tuesday at the two-story home in Kettle Valley built by Residential Construction students. Partners in the project Vintage Design Ltd. and the Village of Kettle Valley joined students, staff and dignitaries as the last piece of roofing was nailed on the home. Work on the site began just two short months ago and the project is well ahead of schedule. Visit the photo gallery to view images of the day's events.

Jamaican Minister to arrive in Kelowna this week

jamaicajimJamaica's Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, will arrive in Kelowna on June 24 for five days of meetings, consultations and partnership-building with Okanagan College, Kelowna's Economic Development Commission and local employers. The Jamaica initiative, which was announced a few weeks ago, will see Jamaican students enroll in the College's business programs and will also result in skilled labourers coming to the Central Okanagan to help fill vacancies in the construction industry.

B.C. Electrical Association commits $25,000 to Okanagan College Foundation

25000A $25,000 donation to the Okanagan College Foundation will result in two new financial awards for students enrolled in Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship and Electronic Engineering Technology programs thanks to a show of support from the British Columbia Electrical Association. The awards will be offered annually to one student in each of the programs and will go toward the cost of tuition - approximately $600. To find out more about the new awards read the Public Affairs press release.

College exceeds fundraising targets in 24-hour relay

intlThe results are in and Okanagan College raised $3,388.81 for the charities supported by the 24-hour relay outperforming the $3,000 target they set earlier this year. Team captains Heather Schneider and Allan Coyle led an enthusiastic group of volunteer-runners in more than 305 laps - just missing the top title for most laps run.  Special thanks go out to an energetic group of runners from international who took on the tough job of running through the night. Congratulations to everyone who participated in this great community event.

Okanagan College women golf for fun, prizes

The inaugural Okanagan College women's golf tournament took place on Wednesday at Michaelbrook Ranch golf course. Great weather, excellent company and a wrap-up dinner added to the fun of completing nine holes of golf. Congratulations to Martina Halskov, Beryle Amaron, Teri Swift and Sandra Friesen who were the top team in the competition. To view photos of the golf tournament, visit the photo gallery.

Estheticians demonstrate their skills

estheticianThe Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College recently hosted an Esthetics Excellence competition in which students of the Esthetician certificate program competed for the top prize of a three-month paid position with a Spa in the Salmon Arm or Sicamous area. Congratulations to Deanna Connelly who won the coveted prize. Visit the media section below to listen to audio coverage of the event.

College provides ESL training to meet the needs of a Kelowna company

pspOkanagan College's ESL Department and Continuing Studies in Kelowna have been working together to deliver training to employees from Pacific Safety Products (PSP) who will shut down part of their plant as of today. Many employees of PSP speak English as a second language and will be facing the task of re-entering the job force. Kate Gilchrist, chair of the ESL Department, was approached by PSP to provide ESL training.  Verna Simpson of Continuing Studies and Kate partnered to design training to assist students to develop English language skills to prepare them to move into new jobs.  Instructor Crystal Nykilchuk (left) and a classroom assistant have been working with 28 students, immigrants from 15 different countries, to upgrade their language skills.

Commuter Challenge

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Commuter Challenge 2007 that ran from June 3 – 9. Participants enjoyed an exciting week of biking, walking, car-pooling and taking transit. During the challenge, Okanagan College commuted for a grand total of 2,316 kilometres. This is part of the amazing Canada wide Commuter Challenge number of almost 2,800,000 kilometres. Congratulations to everyone who chose different modes of transportation and to help keep our air clean.


Jace Albrecht's success at the Canada Skills Compeition earned media coverage throughout the Okanagan. Read an article written by the Kelowna Capital News (Carpentry Student wins nationals), the Kelowna Daily Courier (Skill turns carpenter into winner) and Castanet (Local carpenter wins).

The College's RV Service Technician program received national coverage when an article, RV Technicians in big demand, was published in both the Montreal Gazette and the Vancouver Province.

Pauline Terbasket's appointment to the Okanagan College Board of Governors was covered in the Penticton Western, College adds new governor and Kelowna Capital News, Pauline Terbasket appointed to Board of Governors.

A $25,000 donation by the B.C. Electrical Assocaition to the Okanagan College Foundation made headlines in today's Kelowna Daily Courier, Electricians donate to College Foundation.

A new partnership between School District 23 and Okanagan College was profiled on Castanet, New SD23 programs. Find out more about the possibility of Secondary School students receiving dual credit for Okanagan College programs in demand such as the Home Support and Resident Care Attendant program.

The Kelowna Home for Learning launch received coverage in the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read about the program, students and partners in Live-in learning experience.

A feature video produced by profiled Okanagan College's spring convocation.

The Salmon Arm Esthetician Excellence Competition made the air waves in Salmon Arm. Listen to a clip from the day's events.

An innovative partnership between Okanagan College's Continuing Studies, ESL department and Pacific Safety Products earned media attention in the Kelowna Daily Courier, English lessons keep workers around.

The previous edition of Inside Okanagan College announced North Okanagan Regional Dean John Lent's writer-in-residence experience at Red Deer College. Read a feature article written by the Red Deer Advocate, The writer next door.

Madeleine, a new Central Okanagan women's magazine, was launched this month and includes an article about Okanagan College alumna Andria Tse. Read The changing face of Trades to find out about Tse's experience and the growing number of women entering the trades.

The success of the Student Connections program was highlighted in the Kelowna Capital News, Business owners, seniors learn helpful technology skills and the Kelowna Daily Courier, OC program surpasses first-year targets.


Advanced Culinary Arts graduate to captain national culinary team

Shannon Roussel, a graduate of the Culinary Arts Department's first class of Advanced Culinary Arts diploma has been chosen as team captain representing Canada in the Canada/Nordic culinary challenge. The first competition was held in June in Toronto, the next will be in Norway in July. President of the Okanagan Chefs association and BCRFA hall of fame member Chef Rod Butters says, “Shannon represented our branch and our country with incredible professionalism, I am very proud of her." Shannon would like to thank everyone at the College who helped her through the diploma and mentored her for this new role.

Former Culinary Arts instructor honoured with lifetime achievement

Retired Culinary Arts Instructor Bruno Stass has been awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC). This award was granted in recognition of the many years Bruno has spent in the industry, the time and effort he put into instructing pastry arts at Okanagan College and for the role he continues to play as an active member of the CCFCC.

Two members of Okanagan College retire

Hazel Hiebert

After six years with the Advancement office, Hazel Hiebert will be retiring on Friday, June 29.  Please join Hazel's colleagues and friends for refreshments as we wish her well in her retirement. The reception will be held on June 29 in the Advancement and Foundation office (P103) from 10-11 a.m.

Dave Pannell 

Dave Pannell will retire this month after spending 14 years at Okanagan College. Dave began working as a purchaser at the Kelowna Campus Store in 1993 and will serve his last day on June 27.
June 22, 2007, Vol. 1 Issue 6


Register next week for Next Steps!

The registration form for the second annual employee learning conference, Next Steps, will be available early next week. Watch for an email from President Jim Hamilton with the registration form. Two sessions of Next Steps will be offered, the first on August 23 and the second on the 24th. Register early and have your pick of the available workshops. Everyone who registers before June 29 will be eligible to win the early bird draw for a Hotel Eldorado getaway package.

Join the Institute for Instructional Leadership

Okanagan College is looking for volunteers to help create its Institute for Instructional Leadership. The College is interested in hearing from those of you who would like to help develop the charter and mandate of the Institute, or take part in development of the first course offerings. Follow this link to find out more about the Institute and how you can become a part of it. Anyone interested is asked to submit a brief bio to Shelagh Donnelly on or before Monday, June 25, 2007.

EDCO approves new Business and Trades Certificate

For a number of years there has been interest in developing a program to combine trades training with business education. Okanagan College's Education Council recently approved a new certificate which will do just that. The one-year Business and Trade Certificate program provides students with the opportunity to develop technical trades skill along with applied business skills and knowledge. This program is designed to broaden employment opportunities including self-employment. The Business and Trade Certificate will normally take 38-44 weeks to complete depending on the trades certification students choose. For more information contact the Trades department.

Dismantle of Ponderosa building marks the end of an era and new beginning for Penticton campus

The Ponderosa building has been dismantled in keeping with the College's master plan initiative. The Ponderosa has long been a landmark of Okanagan College. It was first assembled in 1989 and was erected at the Kelowna campus under the name the Elm building. After serving many students in Kelowna the building was relocated to Penticton in 2002, where it was renamed the Ponderosa and remained until last week. Shelter Industries, the original manufacturer of the building, bought it from the College, dismantled it and will retrofit it in Vancouver for resale.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Brad Piontek from Business Services who won today's payday draw for $425. 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) or Human Resources (Landmark V, Kelowna) or online.

Administrators AGM to take place next week

The Annual General Meeting for Okanagan College Administrators will be held on Tuesday, June 26 starting with lunch at noon at the Mekong Restaurant. There will be an agenda and reports, along with the minutes from last years AGM to follow. If you are an Administrator and plan on attending, please confirm your attendance with Janet Garland

Has your e-mail made the transition?

Over the next six weeks Okanagan College will be retiring the old e-mail addresses. They will continue to work normally for the next three weeks. You should use that period to let anyone who might still be using your old e-mail address know that they should change to your new address. On Tuesday, July 3 the e-mail set up will be changed so that any e-mail sent to an address will be responded to with an error message that’s says “ addresses have been retired - try” On Monday, July 23 the e-mail addresses will be fully retired. For more information, contact Dave Goodall.


INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE is now on its sixth publication. The internal e-newsletter is automatically emailed to all staff, faculty and employees of the College every two weeks. If you do not want to receive INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE on a bi-weekly basis, please email Michelle Lowry to be taken off the mailing list.

Have you missed an issue of Inside Okanagan College? Visit the Public Affairs homepage to view the first six editions.


For a complete list of events please visit the Public Affairs calendar.

June 22-25 The 10th Annual RV Owner's Lifestyle Seminar is taking place at the Kelowna campus. A record number of participants have registered for the three-day seminar resulting in more than 185 people and more than 100 RVs. Instructors for the seminars include Okanagan College staff as well as experts from as far away as Texas, California and Ontario. A range of activities from barbeques to live music performances will take place over the course of the event. For more information or to register for next year, contact Al Cohoe.

June 24-29
- The Jamaican Minister of Labour will visit Okanagan College to discuss plans to bring Jamaican students to the College and skilled labourers to the region. For more information view the article in the News section.

June 27 - A presentation of "Lives of Tribals - From Darkness to Light" will take place in the Okanagan College Lecture Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The evening of presentations will focus on the work of Dr. Prakash Amte and Dr. Manda Amte, as well as the efforts of media personality Mohini Singh, Murli Pendharkar, and the Kelowna-area Rotary Clubs to aid people and institutions in India. The Amtes provide medical care to more than 40,000 tribal people in India annually, and provide education for hundreds of children. Singh has become involved with a group supporting the Nava-Jeevan orphanage in Kolkata (Calcutta), and will discuss her experience there. The work of the Kelowna-area Rotary Clubs and the efforts of Pendharker, a long-time Rotarian and well-known member of the Okanagan’s Indian community, will also be profiled. There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome, with proceeds to be shared between the Amte’s charitable endeavours and the Nava-Jeevan orphanage.

June 27 - The Penticton campus will host a Wine and Cheese reception for Okanagan College donors, put on by the Okanagan College Foundation. The event will take place on campus at 5 p.m. For more information please contact Marcy Nelson.

June 28 - A Convocation ceremony for all Okanagan College Vocational and Foundation students will be held at the Kelowna campus at 7 p.m. Honorary Fellow Ross Gorman will be recognized at the evening ceremony. For more information contact Stephanie Paul.

June 29 - The 11th Annual Okanagan College Foundation Links to Learning Golf Tournament will take place at the Salmon Arm Golf Club.  Once again there will be a HOUSEBOAT VACATION raffle!  To secure tickets to the event or for more information please contact Patty Bruce

June 29 - Please join volunteers from the Kelowna campus and "Adopt a Stream" on Friday, June 29 from 3 - 5 p.m. behind the Student Residences on the footbridge alongside Fascieux Creek.  Participants will be cleaning up the creek with help from the City's Watershed Coordinator. Garbage bags will be supplied but some may wish to bring rubber boots and gloves. See you at the creek!


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 July 6, 2007.