Okanagan College brings home the hardware at BC Skills Canada

 Oliver Teal & James Sawatzky
Seven Okanagan College students won medals at the 15th annual BC Skills Canada competition on Wednesday.

In its strongest showing ever, the Automotive Service department swept the top three spots with medals earned by Andrew Goll (gold), Ryan Vlooswyk (silver) and Devon Kritsch (bronze).

In Automotive Collision Repair, students finished first and second with medals earned by: James Sawatzky (gold) and Oliver Teal (silver). Devon Hamilton won a bronze medal in the Carpentry division and Christy Hyde took the gold in IT PC Network Support.

Okanagan College finished third overall at the provincial competition and will send its top two finishers, Goll and Sawatzky, to the national competition in Charlottetown next month. Follow this link to the full press release.

Crisp to head Science, Technologies and Health

crispOkanagan College will welcome a new Dean of Science, Technologies and Health when Dr. Dianne Crisp replaces Phil Beckmann, who will retire in August. Crisp, an experienced educator and academic administrator holds a PhD from SFU and brings extensive administrative experience to the role, having worked at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (previously Kwantlen University College) for the past 14 years.

From 2006 to 2008, Crisp was Associate Dean of Kwantlen’s School of Business (acting as Dean in the Dean’s absence). Prior to that portfolio, she was the Curriculum Development Co-ordinator for the Trades, and in 2005-06, Advisor to the VP Academic, with a focus on developing and managing degrees at Kwantlen. Before Kwantlen, Crisp worked at SFU and Douglas College.

In addition to the extensive academic experience she brings practical knowledge from the health care system to this portfolio. As a trained Electroencephalographic (EEG) Technologist she worked in health care for 15 years. In 2006, Crisp was recognized with an Exemplary Leader Award by The Chair Academy, an international organization devoted to leadership training for post-secondary leaders.

Okanagan School of Business dominates International competition

businessA team of four students from the Okanagan College School of Business impressed judges at the Intercollegiate Business Strategy Competition in San Diego when their company outperformed others in the competition, resulting in first place finishes in the categories of financial performance, business reports and top stock market performance.

Okanagan College’s team consisted of Cindy Rephin, Jason Bosscher, Ryan Rotariu, and Qu (Richard) Ming Qu. Rephin acted as CEO and VP Finance, while Bosscher filled the role of VP Human resources. Rotariu served as VP Operations and Qu was VP Marketing.

“In over 15 years of judging the competition, this is this best team I have ever seen,” commented Richard Bylina, a marketing consultant with Motorola who served as one of the judges. “We knew after our first meeting with the team in year six that while the Okanagan team was behind that the others were going to have to watch out as the Okanagan team was so strong strategically that they were about to pass everyone! An outstanding team,” commented Head Judge Dr. Steve Achtenhagen. Follow this link to read the full Press Release.

SIFE Okanagan, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, to host Eco-Nomics Awards

Partners SIFE Okanagan and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are hosting the first Eco-Nomics Awards Luncheon, which will honour 13 finalists and announce winners in five categories for Eco-Nomics Awards on Wednesday, April 29. The Eco-Nomics Awards program celebrates the use of sustainable practice in the business community.

Okanagan School of Business professor Arnica Rowan will be the featured guest speaker with a presentation on how to catalyze sustainability within organizations. Tickets are $40 per person, $30 for Chamber members and $20 for students. Tickets include lunch and a glass of red or white wine. To purchase tickets, follow this link.

Play Ball


Okanagan College’s baseball team is now well into their regular season. The team plays all home games at Kelowna’s Elk Stadium. Staff interested in attending upcoming games can catch the team at home on:

Saturday, May 2 vs. Victoria Island U -  4 p.m.
Sunday, May 3 vs. Victoria Island U - 11 a.m. 
Saturday, May 9 vs. Prairie Baseball Academy 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 10 vs. Prairie Baseball Academy 11 a.m.

For the full schedule of home and away games, check out the team’s website:


From bamboo shirts to 80% recycled binders – College bookstores stock sustainably

sustainIf you haven’t browsed one of the Okanagan College bookstores lately, you might be surprised by what is on the shelves. Most of the clothing sold at the bookstore is made from bamboo and soy, both renewable materials. Look for the renu brand to support sustainable farming and fair labour practices.

If you are shopping for classroom supplies, read the back of the notebooks: many are Greencycled, with 50% recycled content. Eighty per cent recycled binders make a statement – and when you are no longer using them, the components are recyclable and compostable. The bookstores will even be carrying Elephant Poo Poo brand paper notebooks and other supplies in the fall, made from – you guessed it! – elephant waste.

For your summer reading, learn about social responsibility with a copy of Fashioning Reality by Ben Barry, or explore the beautiful Okanagan with your own Lone Pine guide to hikes or local flora and fauna. Students walking away with $500 in purchases (usually a semester’s worth of textbooks,) get a free multiuse bag to carry them; for your purchases, you can buy a cool peace sign multi-use bag for $2 or choose a biodegradable plastic bag (although these will soon be phased out.) Even better, you can BYOB – bring your own bag. Happy shopping!

Connections 2009

connPlease join your colleagues for Connections 2009! Mark your calendars to attend one day: Wednesday, August 19 or Thursday, August 20. Connections offers the opportunity to reflect on the past years' successes and get inspired for a new year. Do you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions about what you would like to see at this year's event? The organizing committee is looking for your input! Contact Kaya Forest.


Business prof shows off artistic flair

shelleyOkanagan School of Business professor Shelley Johnson is partway through her inaugural art show, Collective Spaces, Collective Dispositions, which is being displayed in the Pit at the Kelowna campus. The show will run until Friday, May 1 and features original art created by Shelley. 

Arnica Rowan to headline Eco-Nomics Awards

By day, Arnica Rowan lights up classrooms as a Professor at Okanagan College. By night, weekends and summertime, she is a business development consultant and a passionate advocate for sustainability. On Wednesday, April 29 Arnica will keynote the Eco-Nomics Awards with a presentation on organizational sustainability, using examples from the Three Steps Forward campaign.

In 1997, Rowan founded Cross Country Consultants, an innovative business development consultancy. As a Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner with Specializations in Education and Communications sub-sectors, she and her associates have helped numerous environmental organizations, First Nations and BC government agencies to plan, develop and grow.

Previously a Professor in Environmental Science and Business Departments at Lakeland College, Arnica worked with staff and students on the Sunfuel Biodiesel Science education project, for which Arnica and her students were the recipients of an Emerald Award – the top environmental recognition in Alberta.  A dynamic speaker and experiential educator, Arnica received the Innovation in Teaching Award in 2007, and was the runner-up for the 2007 Alberta Venture e-award for entrepreneurial employees.


April 27
– Okanagan College’s Trades and Apprenticeship is hosting an information session about the Trades Technology Teacher Education (TTTE) Diploma program from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in room T123. Contact Nancy Ankerstein for more information.

May 21 - The Okanagan College Foundation and partner Whillis Harding Agencies will host their 18th annual charity golf tournament at the Okanagan Golf Club. The event raises funds that contribute to financial aid and awards for Okanagan College students. Participation in the tournament costs $195 per golfer before Thursday April 9, after which the entry fee becomes $215 per golfer. To find out more about the tournament, or to register, go online.

June 3 - Michaelbrook Golf Club will be the place for the Okanagan College Kelowna Women’s Golf Tournament. Interested golfers can put together a team of four and contact Angie March to register. This year's format is slightly different - you can sign up as a single, twosome or foursome. Friends and relatives are welcome to join. The registration fee of $35 includes golf and dinner and prizes. Registration forms are now available in the Regional Dean's office in Kelowna.
April 24, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 1


Need to brush up on your Memoirs?

Ever wonder how Okanagan College came to be the amazing institution it is today? Public Affairs has several copies of OUC Memoirs, a book written about Okanagan College’s predecessor and its roots in our communities. Anyone interested in receiving a copy can contact Jennifer Heppner in Public Affairs.

You’re Losin’ It Challenge 

Calling all Okanagan College staff and students!  Are you ready to get fit and stay fit? Join campus recreation for a fun eight-week fitness challenge. Each week teams will participate in an exciting challenge that will help you achieve your overall health and fitness goals. Please contact Jenn Naiman to sign up or for more information! 


Okanagan College’s CAMP OC is back this summer with programs and fun learning opportunities for children. Okanagan College employees’ children receive at 10 per cent discount on CAMP OC tuition. Check out this year’s offerings at: or register by calling 250-862-5480.

Lunch hour fitness

Campus Recreation in Kelowna is offering a variety of fun fitness activities for staff from May 11 – June 19. Lunch hour fitness takes place from 12 – 1 p.m. and offers the following sessions:

Monday – Lawn games in the courtyard
Tuesday – Running group (meet at fitness facility)
Wednesday – Outdoor yoga in the courtyard (please bring your own mat)
Thursday – Running group (meet at fitness facility)
Friday – Beach volleyball at Skaha Residence

All of these activities are FREE to staff and are on a drop-in basis.  All levels of fitness are welcome.  For more information please contact campus recreation at or

Faculty Association Update

The Faculty Association is holding its AGM on Tuesday, April 28 from 5 - 8 p.m. in the College’s KLO cafeteria. Earlier that day, at 4 p.m. the Association is hosting a public lecture and discussion in room C-272 on upcoming changes to the College Pension Plan.

Dominique Roelants from Vancouver Island University (Chair of the College Pension Plan Trustees) will discuss items including:
-  Benefit coverage and inflation protection trade offers
-  Options for dealing with inadequate funding for inflation protection

Summer Hours at Okanagan College - 2009

As in the past, departments at Okanagan College have the option to change normal operational hours to summer hours. This year, summer hours (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Okanagan College will be in effect from Monday, May 4 to Friday, September 4, 2009 for participating departments. 

College Fleet Vehicles Going Green

As part of Okanagan College’s global environmental initiative, the College has chosen the Toyota Prius Hybrid to replace its current gas-only passenger vehicles. The first Toyota Prius arrived in October 2008, and the second Toyota Prius arrived in April 2009. Both vehicles are at the Kelowna campus and available to faculty and staff.

prius The Toyota Prius is an ultra low carbon emissions hybrid car, which uses gas/electric technology, making it one of the most environmentally friendly cars on the market.

Environmentally, the Toyota Prius will emit 58 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the Chevrolet Cavalier. Hybrids are also about 40 per cent more fuel-efficient, which will translate into hundreds of dollars in fuel savings over the lifecycle of each vehicle.

CO2 Emissions:
Toyota Prius              104 grams/kilometre
Chevrolet Cavalier      180 grams/kilometre

The move to hybrid fleet vehicles reflects the commitment of Okanagan College and Supply Management to reducing its carbon footprint, including the reduction of CO2 emissions.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Jason Berard from Facilities Management in Penticton who won today's payday draw for $492.50. 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.


News of Okanagan Colleges new $28-million Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies received extensive news coverage. Read more in: College unveils massive expansion, College in line for funding, Region building towards recovery, Official campaign start follows funding flurry.

The editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier focused his editorial on the importance of investing in the future after Okanagan College announced plans for the Centre of Excellence in Penticton. Read Jon Manchester’s take on the announcement in: Investing in the future.

The announcement of Okanagan College’s new Dean of Science, Technology and Health, Dr. Dianne Crisp, made the pages of the local media. Read more in: Crisp takes helm of OC sciences, tech and College hires a new dean.

The Honourable Stockwell Day, MP Okanagan-Coquihalla and Minister of International Trade and Asia Pacific Gateway, acknowledged the work of Okanagan College and its staff members, Jim Hamilton, Allan Coyle and Donna Lomas for their efforts in realizing the Centre for Excellence in Penticton. Read more in: Great news for Okanagan Valley.

In a letter to the editor Green Party candidate Julius Bloomfield commended Okanagan College for green initiative in Penticton. Read more in: OK College praised by Green Party.

In her School’s In column, Public Affairs’ Jane Muskens wrote about the importance of balancing part-time work commitments with post-secondary education. Read more in: Mixing part-time jobs with our classroom demands, You are never too old to educate yourself in new career and Provinces grappling with high school drop-out rates

In his Global Citizen column Stan Chung considered the importance of entrepreneurs and radical thinkers and offered readers five ways to embrace your inner radical. Check it out: Learn to embrace your inner radical.

The Business Examiner published a feature story on the Okanagan College Foundation and the work it does in our communities. Read more in: Who powers the promise?

SIFE Okanagan’s partnership with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce for the Eco-Nomics Awards was covered in the Kelowna daily Courier. Find out more about the finalists in: Eco-Nomics Awards recognize sustainability.

Okanagan College’s Dr. Tim Jacobs had another book review published in the Globe and Mail. Check out Tim’s take on David Foster Wallace’s: This is Water.

Two members of Okanagan College’s Enviro Club had a letter to the editor published by the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more about their concerns about the shortcomings of city transit in: City transit system sorely lacking.

Okanagan School of Business professor and Liberal candidate Norm Letnick was featured in an article in the Kelowna Capital News. Check it out in: Letnick takes on all comers armed with Liberal policies. Norm also received mention in the Kelowna Capital News: Kelowna-Lake Country.

Students in the Penticton Residential Construction program were commended for their efforts in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Read more about the students’ contributions in: Students’ efforts put Habitat on course and Habitat grateful for support.

The Dragon’s Den competition at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus was covered by the Vernon Morning Star. Read more about the efforts of Okanagan School of Business students in: Students thrive in Dragon’s Den.

The success of Okanagan College’s third Adopt-a-Trail campaign in Penticton made the pages of the Penticton Western. Read more in: Volunteers tackle cleanup of creek trail.

In baseball news Okanagan College received the following coverage: OC baseball teammates receive academic scholarships, OC baseball rained out, OC return to Kelowna.


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 Friday, May 8, 2009.