Okanagan College signs up on Earth Day

OCCC - 200Okanagan College has taken another step in its commitment to sustainability with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP).

The signing took place on Earth Day, April 22.

With this, the College joins numerous other organizations in the region taking part in the OCCP, which is designed to ensure collaboration and communication between all levels of government land trusts, and outreach organizations when it comes to Okanagan Basin. Groups involved include the Central Okanagan Naturalists Club, Grasslands Conservation Council, Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Land Conservancy of B.C.

President Jim Hamilton signed the agreement alongside OCCP program coordinator Carolina Restrepo-Tamayo. Also on hand were Geography Professor Gil Green, who helped drive support from the College, and Margaret Bakelaar, Environmental/Land use Planner with the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

Trades and Technology students win at BC Skills

Ten Okanagan College students returned home from the BC Skills competition held in Abbotsford last week with gold, silver and bronze medals.

The students were competing in the annual provincial event. Two 21-year-old students – Brandon Scott in the Collision Repair category and Nathanael Bergmann in the Electronics category – won gold and are now moving on to the Skills Canada National Competition, which will be held June 5 – 8 in Vancouver.

Other winners were:

Matt Bray – Network & Telecommunications Engineering
Maxime Messier – Welding Level B
Nick Spottock – Automotive Service Technician
Nathan Vallance – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer M-License
James Webber – Electronic Engineering Technology

Corey Cooper – Automotive Service Technician
Nicholas Langis – Aircraft Maintenance Engineer M-License
Steven Perry – Electronic Engineering Technology

New program constructs 21st Century management skills

SCMT programOkanagan College is offering a new program designed to enhance management skills in the construction industry – particularly for those with an eye to sustainability practices.

Starting this fall, the three-year Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma program will be offered at the Penticton campus within the walls of the world-class Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation.

The program will feature a one-of-a-kind curriculum designed to prepare graduates with the skills, vision and perspective to deliver large-scale construction infrastructure for the emerging green building industry.

An information session will be taking place at the Penticton campus at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 30. Anyone who cannot attend in person, will be able to view an online webcast at

To read the full media release, click here.

Enactus teams polishing up for Nationals

Enactus logo webThree Enactus Okanagan College teams will be touring the campuses to put the final polish on their presentations before heading to the 2013 National Competition in Toronto May 6.

The Entrepreneurship, Eco-Living Green and National teams will be making presentations in Penticton April 23, Vernon on April 28, and Kelowna May 2. To register for the Penticton and Vernon events, email Michelle Johnson. For the Kelowna event, RSVP by April 30 to The Kelowna event includes a catered networking reception in the Centre for Learning Atrium.

New OC4 event to spin through Okanagan

OC4 logoOrganizers will soon be spinning through the region as part of the preparations for a singular bike event designed to unite all four Okanagan College campuses.

OC4 Cyclosportif takes place from June 21 – 23 with an open ride that starts at the Salmon Arm campus and wraps up at the Penticton campus, with stops at the Vernon and Kelowna campuses along the way.

Organizer and Geography Professor Markus Heinrichs said the idea came to him and fellow professor and rider Levi Gahman when the two challenged each other to ride from one campus to the next.

Registration is $100 the first day, and $25 for each additional day. For more information, and to register visit To read the full media release, click here.

Students building skills in Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm ground breakingA ground-breaking event for a new Residential Construction project in Salmon Arm is building not only job skills, but community support.

Twelve students – including four women and five secondary school students enrolled in the dual credit program – are helping to build a custom 2,300 square-foot single-family home as the latest Home for Learning project.

The project is a joint effort between Okanagan College and School District 83, building contractor Heyde Werks Homes, developer Rob McKibbon, and Shuswap Rotary Club.

Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton said providing students with marketable skills helps everyone.

"We know the workforce needs people who have both educational and practical experience with the trades,” Hamilton said. “Educating this next generation will help provide the students with meaningful work at a time when an increasing number of seasoned trades people will be retiring.”

To read the full media release, click here.

ILT Lecture pumps up electric vehicles

Electronic Engineering Technology instructor David Williams will be looking under the virtual hood of electric vehicles Thursday, April 25 as part of the Institute for Learning and Teaching’s Lunch and Learn Series.

The Benefits, Costs and Future of Electric Vehicles takes place from noon until 1 p.m. in Room E308 in the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus.

Williams says just about every vehicle manufacturer now offers some type of electric vehicle, but the real question remains: will the vehicle survive or fizzle?

For more information, visit the ILT website. Videos of previous ILT Lunch and Learn talks are available online. To view a comprehensive list of teaching and learning resources, click here.

Retaining the future

retaining wallOkanagan College professor Ken Langedyk and his class of 24 students put their practical skills to work by building a 20-meter wall in 90 minutes at the Kelowna campus.

The annual feat, now in its 11th year, is a project of the Civil Engineering Technology department. Four teams work on their own sections, and then work together on the overall wall. The course consisted of theory in the morning, followed by a written test, a brief lunch and then they hit the bricks.

The program receives support from both Basalite, which provides the blocks, and Facilities Management.


Long-time Director of Student Services retires

Russ WinsladeRuss Winslade, Director of Student Services and Acting Director of International Education, is retiring after being with the College for 28 years.
Winslade came to Okanagan College in 1985 from Fanshawe College in Ontario where he was working in the relatively new field of co-op education. Okanagan College had just received a grant to get a similar program here underway, and Winslade jumped at the opportunity, taking on the brand new position of Director of Cooperative Education and Placement Services.

A retirement party to honour Winslade is taking place Thursday, April 25 from 3 - 5 p.m. at Infusions Restaurant at the Kelowna campus.

Public Affairs Director Allan Coyle will assume Acting Director responsibilities for the Student Services department over the next six months. For more information about interim arrangements for the Students Services department, go into myOkanagan and view the article in College Matters.

Mark your calendar for Excellence May 1

excellenceOkanagan College will be celebrating Wednesday, May 1 when the Employee Excellence Awards take place at the Kelowna campus.

A total of 29 finalists have been named. The finalists are as follows: Teaching Excellence: Chantale Hutchinson, Sheilagh Seaton, Laura Thurnheer; Service Excellence – Group:
Nathan Bartlett and Kevin Trotzuk; Service Excellence – Individual: Allan Hickey, Laurie Minuk, Liz Plamondon; Strong Start: Charlene Cornett, Laura Eagen, Ema Pecheanu; Key Directions: Laurence Donovan, Rosalind Warner, and the team of Graham Kershaw, Jane Lister and Ann Marie McKinnon; Leadership: Randy Maradyn, Marilyn Raymond, Karen Sansom; Scholarly Activity: Lee Cartier, Ryan Ransom, Terry Scarborough; Innovation: Tracy Riley, plus two team nominations - Maurice Blanleil and Andrew Kiesewetter, and Brad Piontek and Tracy Riley; Career Achievement: Rick Gee, Margo Kendal, Janice Ulrich.

Employee milestones will also be acknowledged at the event. To submit a milestone achievement by the April 26 deadline, click here.

College hands out inaugural Kate Gilchrist Memorial Award

gilchristHungarian immigrant Iozsef (Sam) Kimpian has become the first English as a Second Language student to receive the Kate Gilchrist Memorial Award.

ESL instructor Brian Rhodes presented Kimpian with a $1,000 cheque in recognition of his academic achievement and determination to succeed.

On hand to see the presentation were instructors and students from the ESL department, along with representatives from Okanagan College Foundation, and Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs, Craig McLuckie.

The award was established last year in honour of Gilchrist, who was a tireless advocate for ESL having worked as an instructor at the College since 1994 through to her death in 2012.

Student fundraiser a smashing success

chloe girlAn impromptu fundraiser has helped keep an Okanagan College student on the road to success, and provide support for a three-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of cancer.

James Teichrib, who has nearly completed his Collision Repair Technician program, recently learned his girlfriend’s daughter Chloe was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer – Rhabdomyosarcoma. Treatment now requires frequent – and costly - visits to Vancouver.

chloe fundraiser

Seeing the rising financial pressure, Teichrib’s friend and fellow student Jason Robicheau organized a raffle with help from the Central Okanagan Regional Dean’s office, and in less than a week - with employees and fellow students donating - Teichrib received a cheque for $2,360.

The money will be used to help him remain in school and support the costs of Chloe’s treatment. Teichrib also received support from an Okanagan College Foundation emergency bursary.

Winners of the baskets were: Paint Prep student Ash Byblow, Collision Repair student Mike Weatherill, and Okanagan College employees Michele McCready (Science, Technology and Health) and Margaret Johnson (Bachelor Science, Nursing). In the photo are (from left) Angie March (Central Okanagan Regional Dean's Office), along with Mike Weatherill, Ash Byblow, James Teichrib, and Jason Robicheau.

April 23, 2013 Vol. 8 Issue 2


Creek clean-up Wednesday

Every year Okanagan College’s sustainability group takes on cleaning up Fascieux Creek, a portion of which runs by the Student Residence.

Anyone interested in taking part this year, can meet at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the blue bridge at the back of the campus, halfway behind the Student Residence and the Water Treatment Facility.

Gloves and safety vests will be provided, along with garbage pinchers and garbage bags. Work is expected to finish by 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Angie March at ext. 4501.

Connections 2013

The annual opportunity for Okanagan College employees to learn more, and connect more, takes place this year at the Vernon campus on Tuesday, Aug. 20 and Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Employees can choose from either day, with the sessions taking place from 9 a.m. through to 4:30 p.m.

This marks the 8th annual employee learning conference. To see the program, and register, visit the Connections 2013 website. For more information, contact Michelle Lowry.

Summer Hours starting April 29

Departments at Okanagan College have the option, starting Monday, April 29, to switch over operational hours for the summer season.

This year summer hours - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be in effect from Monday, April 29 through to Friday, Aug. 30.

Kelowna fitness centre hours change

The Fitness Facility at the Kelowna campus switches to summer hours effective May 1 through to Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The facility will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Campus cool

Protect your head and keep cool this summer with one of the funky fedoras available at the Kelowna Campus Store.

The store also has a good selection of colourful and versatile scarves – great for this in-between season. Fedoras are $12.99 each, and the scarves $7.99.

Tips on workplace emergencies

The latest issue of PPC’s The Balance Sheet features tips on how to respond to workplace emergencies. Those interested might also want to take part in the upcoming webinar Critical Incident Response: Are Your People Prepared, noon Wednesday, April 24.

Move for Health on May 16

Grab your walking (or running) shoes and take part in a three-km walk plus free lunch as part of Move for Health Day at the Kelowna campus. Meet at 11:30 a.m. at the KLO Courtyard. To take part, sign up at the Athletics and Recreation office, Room A105, by May 9.

Stay healthy, stay safe

The North American Occupational Safety and Health Week kicks off on May 6. It’s a good time to remind ourselves and each other of the efforts taken to remain safe at the workplace. The initiative dates back to a 1997 agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico, dedicating the first week in May each year to focus on occupational health and safety.
NOASH 2013 events are taking place across the country, and around the province, including some in the Okanagan region. More information is available on the NOASH 2013 website.
To find out more about the College’s initiatives, visit the Occupational Health and Safety Programs website, or contact a member of the Health and Safety committee at each of the campuses.

Volunteers needed for Garage Sale

The call is out for volunteers to help with the Okanagan College Garage Sale, on Saturday, May 25 in the Automotive Shop at the Kelowna campus.

Volunteers are needed for the afternoon of Friday, May 24, starting at noon, and on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to noon (two hours shifts). To volunteer, contact Angie March at ext. 4501.

Family Award application deadline May 17

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees.

To apply, review the full award criteria and the application form.

All applications must be date-stamped at the Student Services Administration office in Kelowna, or at the Campus Administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm, by May 17, 2013. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between May 1 and August 31, 2013.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419.


April 23 – Enactus Okanagan College teams selected to compete in the Nationals hold their send-off presentations at the Penticton campus Lecture Theatre from 5:45 – 8:35 p.m. Email RSVP to Michelle Johnson.

April 25 – Electronic Engineering Technology Professor David Williams presents on the electric car as part of the ILT Lunch and Learn Series from noon to 1 p.m. in Room E308 at the Kelowna campus.

April 29 - Enactus Okanagan College teams selected to compete in the Nationals hold their send-off presentations at the Vernon campus Lecture Theatre from 5:45 – 8:35 p.m. Email RSVP to Michelle Johnson.

April 30 – Okanagan College Students’ Union hosts a Candidates Forum at the Kelowna campus from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Atrium at the Centre for Learning.

April 30 – Learn more about the new Sustainable Construction Management Technology program being offered this fall in Penticton. The information session starts at 4 p .m. in Room PC 204, or view the webinar at

May 1 – Okanagan College Employee Excellence Awards take place at 3 p.m. at the Kelowna Campus in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning.

May 2 - Enactus Okanagan College teams selected to compete in the Nationals hold their send-off presentations at the Kelowna campus, Room H115 from 5:30 – 8:35 p.m. RSVP by April 30 to


North Okanagan Regional Dean Jane Lister appeared on CBC Radio’s Daybreak program to talk about the Demonstration Garden. Click here for the interview.

The College’s newest diploma program – Sustainable Construction Management Technology – has been launched, with the first intake taking place this fall at the Penticton campus. Read: Construction industry welcomes new diploma program, in the Capital News.

The latest winner of the Venture Okanagan top prize was mentioned in Okanagan Saturday. Read: PottyMouth curbs the foul language.

A pilot project has opened the door to the third year of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the Penticton campus. Read: College offers pilot project, in the Penticton Herald.

Students from Enactus Okanagan College are empowering women in Penticton to gain financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills. Read: Enactus students to empower women in Business Thompson Okanagan.

Award-winning ideas were presented at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College at the seventh annual Dragons’ Den luncheon. Read: Young Dragon ideas take flight, from the Morning Star.

A media release on the upcoming OC4 Cyclosportif event was picked up by media throughout the region. Read: Ride to connect college campuses (Okanagan Sunday), Cycling event to connect four campuses (Salmon Arm Observer), College cyclists gear up for campus to campus ride (Morning Star), and New Okanagan College cycling event connects all four campuses (Capital News).

Letter writers responded to the recent yes vote on the track and field facility in Vernon. Read: Community engagement lacking, and Facility vote raises questions, both from the Morning Star. Other articles in the paper leading up to and following the vote were: Referendum details revealed, Public requires open process (editorial), Sports facility faces fast track, and Vision is required (column from Richard Rolke).

The Okanagan College Coyotes baseball team had a double-header in Nanaimo. Read: Rest helps OC defeat VIU, in the Capital News, and Coyotes find their legs, in the Courier.

English professor and typography expert Jason Dewinetz received a second place award from the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. Read: Historic text reprint lands prof award, from the Capital News, and Vernon prof wins print award, in the Morning Star.

Author and law professor Joel Bakan is the most recent recipient of the George Ryga Award. Read: George Ryga Award presented, from the Penticton Herald, and Ryga’s legacy lives on despite closure of his former home, from the Morning Star.

Okanagan College’s Half Marathon received wide coverage. Read: Champions, from the Daily Courier supplement, Aabye schools College half marathon field, from the Morning Star, and Merritt’s Aabye wins second OC Half, from the Capital News.

Residents rid themselves of electronic waste at the recent 1-800-Got-Junk? event held at Okanagan College. Read: Retired e-toys kept out of dump, in Okanagan Sunday, and Trash your junk at fundraiser, from the Courier.

Okanagan College student Kyle Fitzpatrick is studying science full-time, plus using his passion to work on the Harvey Insect Collection at the Lake Country Museum. Read: Intern helps collection take flight, in the Morning Star.

Students looking to get a head start on the fall semester might want to look at summer classes. Read: Summer students tearing up the academic track, in the Capital News, OC offers summer school courses, in the Courier, and Students hit the books in the Morning Star.

Public Affairs Director Allan Coyle wrote about the need for young people to add their voice in the upcoming election in the regular School’s In column in the Capital News. Read: Important to get young people to vote.

The pilot program to bring POOCHES on campus attracted notice in the media. Read: Therapy Dogs helping students beat exam stress, in the Herald, and Pooches help exam-weary students, in the Capital News.

Okanagan College’s new website design continues to receive media coverage. Read: OC’s new website, in Business Thompson Okanagan.

An item in the Courier’s 50 Year’s Ago column examined the initial furor over the College site in Kelowna. Read: College choice under fire.

Salmon Arm’s Downtown Community Campus Committee has told the school board that it cannot purchase the former J.L. Jackson site, which the group had hoped could be used for an expanded Okanagan College campus. Read: Committee can’t proceed with Jackson site purchase.

Okanagan College took part in the inaugural Westbank First Nation Career Fair. Read: Unique career fair offers options.


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, May 7, 2013.