SIFE Okanagan wins silver at national competition

sifeThe Okanagan School of Business added to the list of growing 2008 competition achievements when a group of four SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Okanagan students won second place at the National SIFE competition in Toronto. The team of Jayme Cosar, Mike Blonde, Stewart LaPage and Matt Cosar beat 29 teams in the TD SIFE Entrepreneurship Competition, all of whom had to qualify to attend the competition.

The College sent three teams to compete at the national event – only one other team in Canada qualified to participate in all three events. The Financial Literacy team, Andrew Malashewsky, Jason Sanders, Krystle Sivorot and Gavin Fretwell, finished in fourth place out of 35 teams. The team of Justin Sharma, Brittany Sjoblom, Travis Rotenburger, Rachel Leier and Mark Willms competed in the National SIFE competition and made it to the semi-finals, finishing in the top 15 in the country.

Congratulations to the entire SIFE Okanagan team and to faculty advisors Kyleen Myrah and Garth Maguire. Read the Public Affairs press release for more details.

Young Entrepreneur Dragon's Den competition wraps

 Trent Kitsch
The Young Entrepreneur program held its final award presentation luncheon this week and celebrated the achievements of young entrepreneurs from School District 23 in Kelowna and for the first time, School District 22 in Vernon. A group of Okanagan College business students mentored the Secondary School participants, who were charged with developing a product or service for teens. In Kelowna, the groups had an additional challenge – their product or service had to be environmentally friendly. A number of Okanagan College business faculty also devoted their time to the competition.

In Kelowna, the awards luncheon featured guest speaker Trent Kitsch, the KSS grad and entrepreneur who developed Saxx – the underwear for men that promises to be “contact free.” Watch a video produced by OKBC.TV that chronicles all three stages of the 2008 Young Entrepreneur program.

Pilot program brings more skilled workers to Okanagan College

Okanagan College will be implementing a new pilot project, in association with industry partners, that will see 120 Jamaican automotive collision trades people, cooks and chefs come to the College’s Kelowna campus to receive the training and work experience that will allow them to challenge Red Seal Interprovincial exams. The first group of Jamaican workers will begin eight weeks of classes in June (20 in automotive collision repair and 20 in culinary arts).  After completing the training, the students will work for 16 weeks of practical training before returning to the College for a final eight weeks of training to prepare them for the Interprovincial exams that will qualify them as certified trades people in Canada. To find out more about the program read a Public Affairs press release.

Connections 2008

connectionsMark your calendar for Connections 2008, Okanagan College's third annual employee learning conference, on August 26 and 27. Watch for an email from President Jim Hamilton inviting you to register in the next couple of weeks. Check out the workshop schedule so you can start thinking about which workshops you'd like to participate in. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Lowry or Marian Gruber.

Economic impact study reinforces College plays a major role

A national study of the economic impact of Canadian colleges has confirmed that colleges are engines of economic growth. The study sited a sample of 61 colleges, institutes and polytechnics from across nine provinces (that included Okanagan College) and found that taxpayers receive a 15.9 per cent return on every taxpayer dollar that is allocated to funding colleges. Other significant outcomes such as an enlarged economy due to the presence and operations of Colleges and a reduced reliance on social services including reduced welfare costs and lower levels of unemployment were evident in college-educated citizens. Visit the ACCC website to find out more about  the study that was conducted for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges by EMSI.

College tees off to raise funds for students

 Norm Embree

On Thursday, May 22 the Okanagan College Foundation co-sponsored the 17th Okanagan College Foundation/Whillis Harding Agencies Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Okanagan Golf Club.  The annual golf tournament raises funds for student scholarships and bursaries at Okanagan College.

William R. Bennett Bridge to open on Sunday

 Troy Prevost
History will be made this weekend when the new William R. Bennett Bridge opens on Sunday, May 25. Okanagan College became directly involved in the project when the welding department was asked to construct a time capsule to mark the event. A number of Okanagan College trades apprentices and journeypersons have also worked on the bridge. Carpentry graduate Troy Prevost was a superintendent on the project. He oversaw the construction of the floating pontoons and worked on the scheduling for the majority of the construction project. Troy was featured in an Okanagan College WORKS ad that can be seen in this weekend’s special editions of the Kelowna Capital News and Kelowna Daily Courier.  

Salmon Arm project raises first wall

sarmOkanagan College’s Residential Construction program celebrated a milestone last week when they raised the first wall on the 2008 Salmon Arm Home for Learning project. Students, instructors, partners, sponsors and community members attended the event to show their support for the program and to recognize the great work that has been done so far.


News of Okanagan College’s pilot project to bring skilled Jamaican workers to Okanagan College for additional training was picked up by Capital News reporter Adrian Nieoczym. Read more about the partnership in: OC strengthens Jamaican ties.

A study released by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges about the economic impact of colleges received media coverage by the Kelowna Daily Courier: College a big boost to local economy: report and the Kelowna Capital News: Study cites huge impact of college graduates. President Jim Hamilton was quoted commenting on the results on Kelowna’s Silk FM – hear more about the study by following this link.

Okanagan School of Business student Justin Sharma was profiled in the Vernon Morning Star. Sharma attends the College’s Vernon campus and shared his experience as a student at the campus as well as the experience he gained while on exchange in Austria. Read more about one of the College’s ambassadors in: Around the world and back again.

The Okanagan Saturday covered the success of the Okanagan College business students who won the award for top report at the Strategy Competition in San Diego. Read more in: OC cleans up in strategic plan contest.

Public Affairs issued a press release about the efforts of the Summerland Home for Learning project. The 11 residential construction students are working well ahead of schedule. Read the press release or coverage in the Penticton Herald: Students ahead of schedule on Home for Learning.

A Public Affairs press release announcing a new residential construction program that will build the College’s new daycare was picked up in the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in: To build a daycare.

Okanagan College alumni were recognized in an article by the Kelowna Daily Courier after graduating as chartered accountants earlier this month. Read more about where business graduates Kirsten Benzie, Roxanne Chisan and Anjanette Blue are working in: More CAs in Valley.

The Okanagan School of Business students who poached a ski hill in Utah were interviewed by SHAW-TV. Watch a clip about their adventure or read coverage from the Business Thompson Okanagan: Okanagan College students start film firm.

A Public Affairs press release about financial award opportunities for students in the technologies, trades and CIS made the pages of the Penticton Herald: More help paying for college and the Okanagan Saturday: More money for trades training. The funding is available thanks to a donation from the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT).

2008 Honorary Fellow Dick Cannings was featured in a piece by the Penticton Western News. Read about the Meadowlark Festival and Cannings' involvement in:Back to nature.

Stan Chung, Daily Courier columnist and Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational, published 10 tips about how not to be an effective leader. Read more in: Lessons in weak leadership.

Jane Muskens’ regular School’s In columns covered the challenges of attending a large university and the shortage of skilled technologists and trades people. Read more in: Larger university offers challenges for students and College programs geared to fill trades labour shortage.

On May 14 Dr. Gabor Mate, author of In the Realms of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, presented a lecture at the KLO Theatre. Watch a clip from CHBC and hear from Dr. Mate.


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 June 6, 2008.
May 23, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 3


Convocation 2008

Public Affairs is looking for people who would like to be a part of Okanagan College’s 2008 Convocation ceremonies as volunteer ushers. Ushers are required to help with seating and hand out programs.

Ceremony dates and times are:
June 6 - Trades Commencement  at 6:30 p.m.
June 7 - Spring Convocation at 10 a.m.
June 7 - Spring Convocation  at 2 p.m.
June 26 - Summer Convocation  at 6:30 p.m.
To volunteer contact Michelle Lowry

2008 Links to Learning Golf Tournament

Mark your calendar for the 2008 Salmon Arm Links to Learning Golf Tournament. The event takes place on June 27 and begins at 1:30 p.m. with a shot gun start to the texas scramble. There will be great prizes for participants, a silent auction and $25 gets you a ticket for a draw for a houseboat vacation, courtesy of Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations. Golf fees are $150 and include green fees, cart rental, range balls, a gift and a great dinner. Contact Patty Bruce to sign up.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Michael Orwick from the Okanagan School of Business who won today's payday draw for $455. 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.

A taste of the Caribbean

Experience the sweet life of Caribbean culture here at home. The Caribbean Student Association invites staff to join them for a Soca – Reggae Dance party at Mission Hall (Lakeshore & Dehart) on Friday, May 30.  Doors open at 8 pm.

Students will help you learn some new moves on the dance floor and admission price of $20 ( $15 for students) includes a sampling of Caribbean taste treats and cash bar.

Tickets are available at the Okanagan College: International Education Office. For more information contact Kate Gilchrist 762-5445 ext. 4425.

Walk/Run for prostate cancer awareness

Join Therapist Assistant instructor  Darrell Skinner in the first Father’s Day 5K Walk/Run taking place on June 15 to raise awareness of prostate cancer.  Monies raised will go towards supporting the Okanagan Prostate Resource Centre. The Prostate Resource Centre offers men and their families education and support regarding men’s prostate health including both benign and malignant conditions, and other male health problems. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Prostate cancer is a predominant form of cancer and the incidence has increased from 20,400 men diagnosed in Canada in 2004, to an estimated 24,700 new diagnosis in 2008. 3,200 men are predicated to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in BC this year.

If you wish further information regarding this event, please contact the Okanagan Prostate Resource Centre at 712-2002.

Who benefits from carpooling?

Your wallet:  The Canadian Automobile Association reports that the average yearly cost to operate a car can be as much as $9,000! 

Your health:  The congestion and volume of traffic on the roads can be a major source of stress for many drivers. Studies have consistently shown that employees who commute by means other than a single-occupancy vehicle demonstrate lower levels of stress, higher morale, and lower blood pressure.

The environment:  The environment is everyone’s business. Using fewer cars means less pollution, more conservation of habitat, and less demand for new roads and parking lots. Using fewer cars also means less production of greenhouse gases, a major contributor to climate change.  

Visit to explore carpool options in your community.

Continuing Studies certificate students to graduate

The Kalamalka campus is looking forward to their second annual Continuing Studies Graduation for certificate students. Two nights have been set aside, June 11 and 16, to honour the students who have completed their certificate in 2007-2008. Ceremonies will be held in the Lecture Theatre starting at 6:30 p.m., with dessert and beverages in the cafeteria afterwards. The first annual event in 2007 was a great success with over 200 people attending.


May 24  - Take advantage of the chance to get your car squeaky clean, while supporting students in the College’s Licensed Practical Nursing program. The car wash and BBQ will take place at the KLO campus from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Funds raised will be donated to Kelowna’s Downtown Street Clinic – Outreach Urban Health.

May 25 – The Penticton Philosopher’s Café will feature an evening with John Ralston Saul: Musings about Canada’s Global Future. Join the award-winning essayist and novelist as he examines the future of Canada’s global military and economic role. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Penticton High Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College or the Tumbleweed Gallery (adults $10, students $7, at the door $15).

There's another event on Monday, a chance to dine with John Ralston Saul at the Front Street Bar and Bistro. It's a limited-audience event, though, and tickets are a little more: $200. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Okanagan College Foundation.

June 6 - The 2008 Trades Commencement  will take place at the Kelowna campus beginning at 6 p.m.

June 7 -  The 2008 Spring Convocation will begin at 10 a.m. at the Kelowna campus.  The Cannings brothers will be honoured at the ceremony and will address the graduates.

June 7  - The afternoon Spring Convocation ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Honorary Fellow Jeanette Armstrong will address the group of Business Administration degree and diploma graduates.

June 26 - Summer Convocation will be held at the Kelowna campus at 6 p.m.

June 20 – Okanagan College’s men’s golf tournament will take place at Kelowna Springs with tee times starting at 3:44 p.m. The tourney is a nine-hole challenge – email Jim Gamble to register.

June 25 – The women’s tourney will take place at Michaelbrook in Kelowna beginning at 5 p.m. (shotgun start). Thirty-five dollars will get you nine holes, dinner and prizes. Register with Angie March.


When and where do you feel yourself a hyphenated Canadian?

(kə nā′dē ən), a short documentary film, made by Marc Arellano, hybridizes the genres of documentary film, and elements from elegiac and documentary poetry. It explores and de-stabilizes the notion of identity--how it's constructed and interpreted. Memory, history and family are all interwoven to tell a narrative about one Canadian family's typically atypical membership in our national family called Canada.

It's all in how you say it!

Check out Marc's video on youtube.

Jessica Oman to pursue master's degree

Come and wish Jessica Oman great success in her studies as she leaves Okanagan College and heads off to Simon Fraser University to pursue her Master’s degree.  As the assistant to the Dean of Health, Science and Technologies for the last three years she has been so very helpful to all the professors of the Science, Technology and Health departments. Jessica will be greatly missed. A celebration will be held on June 19 from 3 – 5 p.m. in the staff room opposite C245 in the Lab Building.

Linda McKinlay retires

After 21 years at Okanagan College, Linda McKinlay is retiring.  She’ll be heading for the West Coast to pursue writing and to be closer to her family. Please join with colleagues and friends at Infusions, June 10 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. to wish her all the best for her retirement.

College staff train as first aid volunteers

Two of Okanagan College’s staff have successfully completed first aid training and will be volunteer first aid attendants. 

 Xavier Mendoza
Xavier Mendoza completed the Occupational First Aid Level 1 and Tom Esson completed Level 2. Xavier’s training is designed to provide skills that include: minor wound care, CPR & obstructed airway management, hemorrhage control, recognition of spinal injuries and stabilization of the injured worker until a higher level care is available.

Tom’s training is designed for industry that is located in close proximity to hospitals (less than 20 min.). Skills include: minor wound care, upper limb immobilization techniques, CPR & obstructed airway management, as well as medical conditions and regulatory requirements by the WCB.

Tammy Szucs lends a hand during 'Be Kind to Animals' month

A big thank you goes out to Tammy Szucs who coordinated the adoption of a very nice cat in desperate need of a new home. The cat (no name), which turned up at the Shuswap Veterinary Clinic in Salmon Arm, needed a home on a farm since she grew up exclusively outside. Within the span of about 24 hours, Tammy had lined up a lovely home on a horse ranch in the Kelowna area. On Saturday, May 17 the cat met her new mom in the parking lot of Chapters.