Librarians win national award

The librarians of Okanagan College are the winners of the 2011 Innovation Achievement Award, as judged by the Community & Technical College Libraries (CTCL) section of the Canadian Library Association (CLA).

The award is being given for Course Integrated Library Research Instruction (CILRI), a joint initiative of the Library and the English department. CILRI promotes the development of information literacy and critical thinking skills among Okanagan College students by incorporating librarian-delivered research instruction into all first-year English classes.

In announcing the award, CTCL referred to CILRI as “an excellent example of librarian-led, multi-campus collaboration with faculty in an academic school.”

For more information, see the CLA press release.

College launches sustainability blog


Interested in the new living building in Penticton? Want to read about diversity-related events on campus? Want to connect your students with sustainability-focused field trips? 
Everything sustainability is now being collected in one virtual place, our dynamic Sustainability Blog:

You can also access the blog from the Okanagan College homepage, under Quicklinks. Bookmark the site so you can browse through the amazing projects Okanagan College is undertaking, and catch up on the latest sustainability news. If you sign up on the blog homepage to receive updates by email, the blog will be delivered to your inbox as well.

There is an evolving list of writers for this blog, from across the College campuses. If you are engaged in sustainable practices and would like to become a blog writer, please email Arnica Rowan to sign up for a training session.

TEDxOkanaganCollege presents Beyond Sustainability

tedxOn June 25 Okanagan College will host the first TEDx event ever offered outside of the lower mainland. The theme of the one-day event is Beyond Sustainability and it will feature a series of presentations from 18 renowned speakers, educators, entrepreneurs and activists. The event is being organized by Okanagan College Board of Governors member Brian Hughes. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, seeks to bring people together to share ideas in a not-for-profit arena.

A few of the confirmed speakers for TEDxOkanaganCollege are: Jeannette Armstrong, Douglas MacLeod, Robert Parlane, Stephen Joyce, Andrew Hay, Merle Kindred, Emily Chartrand and Allan Ilicic.

There are 100 tickets available to TEDxOkanaganCollege – tickets will be available next week and participants will be selected from a pool of applicants based on their biography and information about how they plan on using the knowledge they acquire at the event and apply it in their own lives.

To read the complete list of speakers or find out more about TEDxOkanaganCollege and how you can become involved, go online to

Register now for Connections 2011


Registration is now open for Connections 2011 - choose to attend one of two days – Tuesday, Aug. 23 or Wednesday, Aug. 24. Hop on the bus at your home campus and join friends and colleagues at the new Centre of Excellence on the Penticton campus. Registration details including transportation times, learning session options, and the day's schedule can be found online. 
The organizing committee looks forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please contact Kaya

Okanagan College goes mobile

Okanagan College has released an official app for iOS (iPhone/i/Pads) and Android devices. The new app features include: College news, grades and class schedule. New features will be added over time.

To download the app visit the Apple App Store or Android Market on your mobile device and search for Okanagan College. 

Thorpes deliver another $5,000 to College-bound students

thorpeTwo Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends Scholarships were recently awarded to a pair of students from Princess Margaret Secondary. The two $2,500 entrance scholarships were awarded to Desirae Martin and Jenna Prowse - both students achieved an academic standing of more than 75 per cent, demonstrated leadership potential, and contributed to their community through sports, culture, volunteer services or other extracurricular activities.

Desirae plans to enrol in the Bachelor of Business Administration and Jenna intends to enrol in the Associate of Arts Degree and will major in English. Both students will attend Okanagan College at the Penticton campus.
With the awarding of these two scholarships, The Rick and Yasmin Thorpe & Friends scholarships have awarded 25 students with scholarships amounting to $55,000 since 2007.

Innovation Fund: Call for Proposals 2011-12

Okanagan College is currently accepting applications for the 2011-12 Innovation Fund until May 30. Funding is again available for three types of activities: scholarly release (scholarship, research and creative activities), innovative course delivery, and improved student support.

Taken together, these activities allow for innovation and applied research as it relates to a post-secondary institution with a comprehensive College mandate. Employees may apply either individually or as a group and should propose projects that contribute to discipline-based applied research, creative and scholarly work, applied technology, product and process innovation, research or application related to learning and teaching activities in course delivery and innovative student support activities.

The size of the fund is limited – typical requests range from $1,000 – $15,000. This fund is intended for everyone working at Okanagan College – any employee may apply. Please follow this link to view a pdf with complete details as well as the application form. Please note, all applications are due by May 30.

SIFE brings national awards home

sife2Okanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team returned to the Okanagan this week with three national awards and the well-deserved respect of their peers after making their way to the final round at the prestigious competition – the second time in SIFE Okanagan’s short six-year history.

For the second year in a row SIFE Okanagan won the Campbell’s Soup Let’s Can Hunger competition, which challenges teams to raise awareness around hunger issues as well as collect food for local food banks.

As part of their recognition for winning the hunger challenge, Campbell’s Canada invited SIFE Okanagan to tour the company headquarters in Toronto, where the students had the opportunity to witness the soup giant’s manufacturing operations in addition to meeting their marketing team.

In addition to winning the Campbell’s challenge, SIFE Okanagan went head-to-head with 45 of Canada’s top post-secondary institutions, making its way to the final round of the national competition, which charges teams with making sophisticated presentations on the projects they have undertaken over the course of the year. SIFE Okanagan finished in the top five after their final presentation.

The SIFE Okanagan Entrepreneurship team finished second in the country, placing ahead of Ryerson University, University of Toronto, St. Francis Xavier University and others, finishing behind Memorial University, who went on to win the national competition.

In Financial Literacy, the team finished in the top six in the nation.

sifeSIFE Okanagan Business Advisory Board member Sheldon Gardiner won a national award for his role in mentoring students, for acting as an ambassador of the program and for his guidance in developing Venture Okanagan. In addition to his role on SIFE Okanagan’s advisory board, Gardiner set up a scholarship award for SIFE – the inaugural award was presented to SIFE Okanagan President Sattu Dhaliwal.

It wasn’t all work and no play for SIFE. After the competition wrapped up the team took in a Blue Jays baseball game among other activities in Toronto. To read more about the competition, follow this link to the press release.

Shuswap hosts science and technology info sessions

sascienceOn Wednesday, May 18 students in Grades 10 – 12 attended workshops throughout the day at the Salmon Arm campus where they had the chance to interact with College faculty from the sciences and engineering technologies.

The students also interacted with local industry professionals from organizations such as the RCMP, City of Salmon Arm, Valid Manufacturing, Shuswap Lake General Hospital and Mill Tech Industries. They took part in interactive activities aimed at creating awareness around Okanagan College programs as a starting point towards real careers in the sciences.

Topics included Mechanical Engineering, Water Quality and the Environment, The Chemistry of Nutrition, Biology and Forensics, and Pure Sciences. At the end of the day the faculty and professionals formed a panel where they fielded questions from the participants.

Throughout the course of the day, 85 students from SD 83 and 19 attended the event, representing schools in Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Revelstoke.


Lethbridge presents paper in Montreal

The North American Sartre Society held a conference at the end of April at the Universite du Quebec at Montreal. Several dozen scholars from Canada, England, Europe, and the USA presented papers on every aspect of the work of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

David Lethbridge of the Psychology department at the Salmon Arm campus had the opportunity to represent Okanagan College and delivered a presentation entitled Praxis and the Objective Ideal in Sartre and Ilyenkov. Lethbridge’s paper was very well received and will be published in the Sartre Studies International journal.

More kudos for Strange Fruit

Communications professor Marc Arellano can add another accolade to the growing praise for his short documentary Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in the Central Okanagan. Marc recently received confirmation that his doc was selected as a finalist award winner at the 2011 Las Vegas Film Festival.

Marc was told the "judges felt that your film demonstrated superior and standout filmmaking and is deserving of special recognition. Your film was among the best of over 1,000 films submitted from over 30 countries around the world."

Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of Strange Fruit can do so at the Okanagan College Campus Store.

MacGregor recognized for volunteerism

Salmon Arm campus Library staff Star MacGregor was recently recognized for her exemplary dedication to the 4-H program in her region. 
Initiated to recognize volunteerism during the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer, the 2010 Co-operators/4-H National volunteer Leader of the Year Award features 10 provincial winners.  

Star was awarded a certificate of recognition, a cash prize and a beautiful 4-H pen set. Though she was formally recognized for her work in 2010, Star has been a very active part in the local 4-H club for many years and is a member of the Board for the Salmon Arm & Shuswap Lake Agricultural Association – the body responsible for the very popular Salmon Arm Fall Fair.

Whibley family welcomes Lucas


Congratulations to IT Services’ Rick Whibley, his wife Christina and two-year-old daughter Kaitlyn on the birth of Lucas Whibley on Monday, May 9. 
May 24, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 4


Join the discussion on the HST

Okanagan College is one of several post-secondary institutions hosting a public forum and discussion on the HST in advance of the referendum. The forum will be moderated by President Jim Hamilton and will give both sides of the debate the opportunity to explain their views about the HST as well as respond to questions from citizens who attend.

The forum will take place on Monday, May 30 from 7:30 – 9 p.m. in the Kelowna lecture theatre – everyone is welcome to attend.

Convocation and Commencement – call for volunteers

Public Affairs is putting out a call for volunteers to help with the upcoming Convocation and Commencement ceremonies in Kelowna on June 3, 4 and 29 and in Vernon on June 28. Volunteers are needed to support the ceremonies as ushers, to hand out gowns to students, and for the reception. If you are interested in helping out please contact Michelle Lowry at ext. 4649.

Touch rugby league

Campus Recreation is looking for individuals who are interested in competing in a six-week summer touch rugby league. Each team will enjoy two officiated 30-minute games a week. This league is open to all staff and students and costs $20 per player for staff – students play free. Contact Mike Craig for details.

Software available at the Campus Store 

cs5Did you know that students and staff receive educational pricing on Adobe CS5.5 software products? The Okanagan College Campus Store can special order Adobe software including: Dreamweaver, Photoshop Extended, Web Premium, Design Premium, Master Collection, Acrobat Pro, and Lightroom.

The Campus Store is also still receiving staff requests for MS Office 2010. The Microsoft Home Use Program (HUP) allows affiliate campus employees to purchase a single licensed copy of the Microsoft Office Suite or Office for Mac to install and use on their home computer. Please follow this link for more information. 

Please note, the HUP is not available to students.

For any student inquiries, direct them to this linked resource. 
Please contact Campus Store General Merchandise Buyer, Carla Macfarlane, at ext. 4675 with any questions or to purchase software.

Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay

Have the time of your life and help send kids to Easter Seals Camp in Winfield and the Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs Camp ArrowFlight this summer. Register yourself or your department as part of the Okanagan College 24 hour relay team by contacting Mike Craig or Jenn Naiman. Last year’s team had a great time and had almost 100 Okanagan College participants.

The event takes place June 11-12 at the Kelowna Apple Bowl. For more information, visit: 

Get ready for Bike to Work Week

Bike to Work Week begins Monday, May 30 and team Okanagan College is looking for participants to take part in this fun initiative. All levels of cycling ability are encouraged to take part. Cyclists only have to ride to work one day to be considered a part of the Okanagan College team. Contact organizer Paul Stephenson for more information or to sign up. 

Camp OC hits Penticton 

Camp OC is now being offered at the Penticton campus. The youth camps will run for four weeks, starting the week of July 18 and ending the week of August 8. Okanagan College permanent employees will receive a 10 per cent discount on camp registrations. Be sure to check out the new website and discover the exciting summer Continuing Studies has planned for your kids and teens.

Looking for a great professional development idea?

Continuing Studies can help – CS offers a variety of workshops, from supervisory skills to MS Office 2010 to event planning, and can even customize workshops specifically for your department. For more ideas, follow this link to view the CS Pro-D brochure. 
For more information on these courses, please contact Jill Panton in Kelowna at 4589 or Linda Kirbyson in Penticton at 3402.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Dianne Sarnecki from Records and Registration in Kelowna, who won the May 20 payday draw for $547.50.

All Okanagan College employees are eligible to participate in the Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery. If you wish to sign up, registration forms are available from Dawn Douglas (Local 4774) in the Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (located in P103, KLO Campus), from Human Resources.


June 3 - Trades Commencement will take place at the Kelowna campus beginning at 6 p.m.

June 4 - Okanagan College will host two Convocation ceremonies: the morning Convocation begins at 10:30 a.m. and includes students from a variety of programs. An afternoon Convocation for Business students will take place at 1:30.

June 28 - Okanagan College's Board of Governors will gather in Vernon for its regular meeting. 

June 28 - Vernon will hold a Convocation and Commencement ceremony for graduates from a variety of programs beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre.

June 29 - Okanagan College will hold its final Convocation ceremony for the summer on June 29 at 6 p.m. Contact Michelle Lowry for information or to volunteer for any of the Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.


Okanagan College English professor Melanie Murray was interviewed by the Toronto Star about her new memoir: For Your Tomorrow: The Way of an Unlikely Soldier.

SIFE Okanagan was once again named the winner of the Let’s Can Hunger Challenge at the Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) National Exposition in Toronto on May 9. Read more about the win in SIFE students are the best – again, SIFE students win title for hunger alleviation efforts and OC students can hunger.

The Coyotes baseball team wrapped up its season in mid-May. Read about their activities in: Coyotes end college season in third place, OC Coyotes need playoff turnaround, Coyotes finished season in 3rd after hard fought semi vs Vancouver Island, TAG, The Daily Courier’s Champions.

Three College representatives including President Jim Hamilton, Regional Dean Donna Lomas, Board Chair Lance Kayfish, and Vice Chair of the Board Tom Styffe had the opportunity to make a presentation about Okanagan College to Premier Christy Clark and Caucus during the Liberal Party convention in Penticton in early May. Read about what was discussed in: Party in the classroom.

Okanagan College will honour Dr. Gary Dickinson with the Distinguished Service Award at Summer Convocation on June 29. Read more about Dickinson, the former Dean of the Faculty of Adult and Continuing Education in: Dickinson honoured by college and College set to honour former dean for service.

Okanagan College will host a TEDx event at the Penticton campus in June. This will mark the first time such an event has been held outside of the lower mainland of B.C. The Penticton TEDx event has already confirmed 18 speakers for the event and tickets will be available soon. Read more in: Ideas worth sharing and doing.

Local media had the opportunity to step inside the doors of the new Centre of Excellence in Penticton when Public Affairs hosted a media tour of the new building. Penticton Herald reporter Scott Trudeau wrote a feature article about the building, its systems and potential impact on the region. Read more in: Centre of Excellence as green as can be.

Okanagan College and its partners are working toward creating a recreation facility at the Vernon campus. Read more about the project in: Officials focused on sports facility.

Discussion and work on a potential Salmon Arm downtown campus of Okanagan College continues with a survey requesting community participation. Read the latest developments in: Downtown campus plans.

Health labs at Okanagan College will be getting a renewal thanks to government funding to invest in renewing and replacing health education equipment at the College. Read more in: Prognosis good for clinical skills training at Okanagan College

The Okanagan College Foundation will be partial benefactor from the profits of a new book called Okanagan Geology South, edited by Murray and Robert Fulton. Read more in: Book examines area geology.

In honor of Art Sewell, a new bursary has been started for students from Summerland. Read more in: Bursary a tribute to Sewell’s legacy.

Jane Muskens’ most recent School’s In column shared insight into her experience participating in a local high school’s MAP presentations - read more in: Mount Boucherie students outline career/life action plan. In her second column, Jane considered youth unemployment rates in relation to the cost of education in: Need to develop programs that financially help students.

In his weekly Global Citizen column Stan Chung, former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, writes about the difficulty of confronting the act of saying goodbye as relationships pass through our lives. Stan was caught giving a copy of his recent book to fellow author Wayson Choy, catch it yourself in: From one author to another.


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 Tuesday, June 7, 2011.