SIFE Okanagan cleans up at national competition

sifeOkanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise arrived back in the Okanagan last week bringing home with them seven national awards – more than any of the other 53 teams at the national SIFE competition.  

SIFE Okanagan’s Green Team won first place in the country after presenting to a panel of industry experts on a variety of community-minded sustainable projects that included partnerships with the Kelowna and Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Glenmore Elementary.

“What we were able to demonstrate at this competition is that we stand up for our communities,” explained Green Team captain Sattu Dhaliwal. “We take every opportunity to create change and put our social entrepreneurship education into action."

In Financial Literacy, Okanagan College earned second place behind Ryerson University – the overall winners of the National competition. Projects executed by the team included mentorship of Young Entrepreneurs, consultation to Therapy Vineyards and credit management and educational program delivery to Bridges Youth Mentorship in Kelowna.

adminAt the final awards ceremony Okanagan College received an unexpected but highly coveted award for the Most Supportive Campus Administration. Okanagan College received a standing ovation as President Jim Hamilton, Board Chair Lance Kayfish, Dean Jayne Brooks and Chair David Northcott took the stage to receive the award – evidence of SIFE Okanagan’s network of support from the institution

SIFE Okanagan also won the Campbell’s Soup Can Hunger project, which charged Canada’s SIFE teams with collectively raising 100,000 pounds of food for local Food Banks. Okanagan College collected in excess of 36,000 pounds of food – more than a third of the national goal. 

Third-year Kelowna business student Matthew Cosar earned the David Henderson Bursary for Entrepreneurial Leadership in recognition of his strong team leadership.

Okanagan College faculty were also singled out with awards. Faculty Advisors Sheilagh Seaton (Penticton) and Garth Maguire (Vernon) earned the John Dobson Ace Fellow awards for 2010. 

To find out more about the national competition, visit: 

Building the Long-Term Education Plan

Work is underway on a critical piece of institutional planning that will complement the Strategic Plan process that was started earlier this spring and which is continuing
The outcome of the plan is to create a detailed map of where Okanagan College needs to go in terms of educational direction, rationale, programming and resource support for the next five to 10 years. Getting to that outcome will entail a unique process that is intended to stimulate dialogue and deepen discovery.

There are three broad parts to the planning process:

1) defining the right questions that will inform our directions, resources, and agenda

2) engage in dialogue leading to an analysis of our options using a variety of approaches

3) present a statement of preferred options using an iterative framework.

Consultation Phase 1—White Papers and Survey

1.  Under the direction of the VP Education, Deans and Directors have articulated a group of defining questions and have prepared thought-provoking open-minded discussion papers.

2.  These papers will undergo dialogue, discussion, and revision based on feedback from the spring 2010 Leadership Retreat.

3.  An interactive online survey will be created. This survey will allow precise feedback on the directions and choices delineated by the Leadership Team.

4.  Consultations sessions will be provided on each campus to provide for further input in a group setting.

5.  Written feedback will also be collected by the VP Education Office for those who would like to provide more detailed input.

Consultation Phase 2—Survey and Discovery Draft

1.  The survey period will conclude, and the results of the survey will be used to create the first draft of the Long Term Education Plan, based on the direction delineated by papers and tempered by the feedback and discussions throughout the College community.

2.  The first draft of the Long Term Education Plan will be released for a thirty day review at which time all members of the College community will be invited to participate in an online review.

Consultation Phase 3—Final Draft

1.  After the 30-day review, the Deans Forum will collate the responses and create a final draft of the Long Term Education Plan.

2.  This final draft may include areas for iterative development, areas, issues, and questions that will require deeper or further development.

Growth in trades opens the door on new facility

aclandOkanagan College cut the ribbon on its newest training facility in Kelowna on Friday with help from students, neighbours and partners. MLA Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country), Board Chair Lance Kayfish and Deputy Mayor Kevin Craig were just a few of the guests who joined President Jim Hamilton and Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship John Haller at the opening of the new Acland Road Trades Training Facility.

The 9,890 square-foot space has been leased for three years to accommodate growth in trades programming. Nearly all of the College’s plumbing programs will be delivered at Acland Road, which will free up space for additional programming at the Penno Road facility. The new space includes a mock house for students to work on, two shops, two classrooms and two offices. Chair Greg Wirachowsky now makes his office at the facility as well as additional plumbing instructors.

Talks commence on two of three collective agreements

Collective agreements with the College’s three unions have expired or are about to: the agreements with the Okanagan College Faculty Association and BCGEU Vocational Instructors expired on March 31, and the BCGEU Support Staff agreement will expire on June 30. 

Negotiations to renew the agreements with the Okanagan College Faculty Association and the BCGEU Vocational Instructors commenced on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at the Faculty Common Table.

Opening proposals were exchanged by the Post-Secondary Employer’s Association, on behalf of the employers represented at the Common Table (which includes Okanagan College) and by the Federation of Post Secondary Educators associations and the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, on behalf of the local unions represented at the Common Table. Discussions occurred between the parties from May 11 - 14 and will continue at a later date.    

In conjunction with Common Table negotiations, the College has discussed potential dates for the commencement of local negotiations with the Faculty Association. 

Dates for the commencement of local negotiations with the BCGEU Vocational Instructors and for negotiations with the BCGEU Support Staff are to be determined. Continue to watch Inside Okanagan College for updates on the process and outcomes.

Home for Learning launched in Kelowna   

h4lkelStudents from Okanagan College’s Residential Construction program in Kelowna were joined by dignitaries, partners and the media last Tuesday to launch the 2010 Home for Learning project in Kelowna.

The students, led by instructor Ken Radalet, are working with partners from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of the Central Okanagan, Melcor Developments and Distinctive Developments to build a home in Black Mountain.

The students will take the project from footings through the framing process and will learn unique environmental practices while working on the home, which is registered as a Built Green Gold Standard home. As with all of the Home for Learning projects, funds raised through the sale of the home will be directed to bursaries and new tools for future students in the program.

Okanagan College students share award with Tim Horton’s in the Shuswap

drnDuring the Disability Resource Network of BC’s annual conference, held on May 17-18 in Vancouver, three Celebrate Excellence Awards were presented. The Disability Resource Network is a provincial organization offering post-secondary programs and services for people with disabilities.

Each year, two individuals and one corporation are recognized for serving people with disabilities in the post-secondary system.

This year, the Tim Horton’s franchise from Salmon Arm and Sicamous won the Corporate Division Award. Currently, they employ 15 people with disabilities, six of whom are Okanagan College students. This is the first time such an award has been given to a business outside of the Lower Mainland.

The award was presented by Robyn Rossworn (ASE Coordinator, Salmon Arm Campus) to Kelly Moores (Owner, Tim Horton’s, Salmon Arm/Sicamous ) at the Disability Resource Network Conference luncheon.

College hosts Diversity Health Fair

diversityOkanagan College partnered with Kelowna Community Resources to host the inaugural Diversity Health Fair in Kelowna on May 15 in the Centre for Learning.

In partnership with the AMSSA (the Affiliation of Multi-Cultural Societies and Services Agencies), the event brought together people from all across the region with a focus on creating awareness about healthy lifestyle services available in our community for our immigrants, international visitors and Canadians alike.
mohinijanesteveThis free event featured more than 25 exhibitors who demonstrated lifestyle choices, services and information to create overall health and wellness inclusive of body, mind and spirit development.

Staff from International Education, including Director Steve Robinson and Jane Smith, attended the event and were photographed with the Okanagan's Mohini Singh, Kelowna's Woman of the Year and emcee of the event. It was also attended by MP Ron Cannan and MLAs Norm Letnick, Steve Thomson and Ben Stewart. 


Ed Benoit named interim Regional Dean

benoitEd Benoit has been selected as the interim Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan. He started his role on May 21. Ed will spend the next months in the role while Heather Schneider covers the position of Dean, Science, Technology and Health. Many staff already know Ed from Penticton where he has spent the past three years as the Campus and Continuing Studies Manager for the South Okanagan and Similkameen region.

Before joining Okanagan College, Ed was with Northern Lights College in both administrative and teaching positions. Ed can be reached at local 4789 and will be located in the Regional Dean’s office in the Student Services Building in Kelowna (S109F). Heather Schneider is now working out of the Laboratory building in the office of the Dean of Science, Technology and Health - C245 and can be reached at local 4334. The search for the Dean of Science, Technology and Health is underway - for further information contact Dr. Andrew Hay's office.

Celebrate Ron Spence’s career at Okanagan College

spenceBusiness instructor Ron Spence is retiring after more than 14 years with Okanagan College. Join colleagues and friends for a retirement send-off in Ron’s honour on Wednesday, June 16 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. in the Infusions Dining Room in Kelowna.

Prior to his retirement celebration, Ron will be making a presentation on his 2008-09 Extended Study Leave including his adventures as he traveled around Canada and the United States researching small, family-owned restaurants. 

The presentation is sure to be entertaining as well as informative. It will take place from 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. in room E212 in the Centre for Learning. Everyone is welcome to attend.

(Rumours have it that Ron is leaving a legacy that is sure to be the talk of the Okanagan College fashion community for years to come.)

Ellen Pedersen rides to conquer cancer

ellenOn the weekend of June 19-20 Okanagan College’s Ellen Pedersen will be strapping on her bike helmet and hitting the road in an effort to help raise funds for the BC Cancer foundation through the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Ellen participated in the event last year, joining 1,700 other cyclists to pedal from Vancouver to Seattle – a total of 270 kms. Last year the group raised $6.9 million for cancer research and is hoping to raise even more this year.

Each rider must contribute $2,500 – so far Ellen has raised $1,940. Anyone interested in helping can go on-line to donate.

Public Affairs welcomes new graphic designer

johnJohn Wecels has joined Okanagan College in the role of Graphic Designer with the Public Affairs Department. John comes from Calgary and has more than 20 years of experience in the graphic design Industry. John’s professional experience ranges from working with multinational corporations to small independent businesses.

John spent four years at Mount Royal University where he was a graphic designer in the department of external relations. John grew up in the Okanagan and is very happy to be living and working in the valley. He is also looking forward to building on Public Affairs’ past successes and contributing to the Okanagan College community. John replaces Christian Reiner, who retired this spring after holding the position for 10 years.

Former employee celebrates ninth decade

marjMarjorie Ward, Admissions Officer at Okanagan College from 1980-85, recently celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends at Duffer's Pub. Marjorie lives at Hawthorne Park, which is right across from the Kelowna campus. She’s had the pleasure of watching the College grow and develop over the past years.

Marjorie visited with former colleagues at the Kelowna campus just a few days after her birthday milestone. She was given a tour of the new Library as well as the Centre for Learning, both of which she thought were remarkable spaces.    

College team succeeds in Bike to Work Week Challenge

btwwCongratulations to the 30 members of the 2010 Okanagan College Bike to Work team who jointly rode 1,455 km or the equivalent distance from Kelowna to Indian Head, Saskatchewan. This surpasses last year’s total of 1,200 km.

Okanagan College’s Bike to Work Week team’s goal for next year is to reach Winnipeg, Manitoba (1,923 km). The team welcome all levels of participation from recreational riders to regular commuters. Anyone with questions about bike commuting or the challenge, can contact Paul Stephenson at 4647.

Science, Tech and Health announces new Chairs

The department of Science, Technology and Health is welcoming two new Chairs to positions in the department. Roberta (Bobbie) Massey has been elected as the new Chair of Chemistry, effective June 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013. She will take over from Sandra Kenefick, who previously held the position.

In Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology Phil Ashman has taken over for Nolan Fretz. Phil’s term runs from May 18, 2010 to June 30, 2013.

Gidda hosts open house at Volcanic Hills Estate Winery

bobbyBobby Gidda, Accounts Payable clerk in Financial Services, and his family had an open house on May 8th at the family’s new business Volcanic Hills Estate Winery.

The family celebrated Mehtab’s (Bobby’s grandfather) 80th birthday with friends and family. They also had a free tasting of five Okanagan wines and had a free East Indian buffet. The turnout was amazing with approximately 350 - 400 people in attendance. Volcanic Hills Estate Winery opened May 11, 2010. A grand opening will be set at a later day in June 2010. The winery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
May 25, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 4


24 hour Relay

Okanagan College will enter a team into the Central Okanagan 24 hour relay in support of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. Campus Recreation’s Mike and Lynn are organizing the team and are looking for participants. The race takes place in Kelowna at the Apple Bowl and begins at 9:30 a.m. on June 12.

Join other staff and students to raise money and awareness for the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. Sign up friends, family or colleagues and enjoy 24 hours of entertainment, food and lot of fun. Register at the Student Athletics office in Kelowna or contact Mike or Lynn.

Emailing Campus Security, now easier

Okanagan College’s Facilities Management has made a small change to simplify the way in which staff use email to contact Campus Security. Security is now listed in the College’s email address book. Simply type in “Security” and a range of options will pop up. From there you can select the campus you would like and end off your email to the correct location.

Spring Into Summer Fitness Challenge

It’s time once again to challenge yourself and your colleagues to the Spring into Summer Fitness Challenge. This is an opportunity to build on the momentum of the “Put Your Money Where your Mouth is” challenge and to continue to integrate physical activity into your daily life. There will be milestone prizes posted on the Spring into Summer website. There are points for all kinds of activities and bonus points for signing up new participants. This challenge runs from May 3-June 25. Contact Lynn or Mike for more information.  

Kayaking Kalamalka Lake

Join Campus Recreation’s Mike Craig and Lynn Johnson for an amazing kayaking experience on Kalamalka Lake on Wednesday, June 23 from 1-4 p.m.

Included in this excursion is a 30-minute kayak orientation and then participants will hit the lake to explore the amazing waters of Kalamalka Lake. The kayaking tour will be led by Kelowna Kayak and Outdoor Inc. The cost of joining is $30 and space is limited. Registration is available at the Student Athletics and Recreation office in Kelowna or contact Mike or Lynn.

Register now for Connections 2010 - Okanagan College's employee learning conference and secure your spot in the learning symposia of your choice.


Plan to attend one of two days: Wednesday, August 25 or Thursday, August 26. The events begin with coffee and check-in beginning at 8:30 followed by presentations at 9:30 by Jim Hamilton and guest speaker, Chris Schneider.

Chris’s presentation will address social media and its influence in our daily work and personal lives in ways you may never have contemplated before. Lunch is provided, reconnect with colleagues, then attend your choice of learning sessions and a social event in the afternoon.

What a great way to gear up for the new academic year. If you have any questions, please contact Kaya Forest.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Norbert Heinzelmann from Telecommunications in Kelowna who won last week’s payday draw for $525. 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 or online.


May 28 - The Kelowna lecture theatre will host a performance by M.A.S.K. beginning at 6:30 p.m. Contact Angie March for more information.

June 4 – Trades Commencement, 6 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Contact Michelle Lowry for more information. 

June 5 – Spring Convocation at the Kelowna campus, 10:30 a.m. (Health and Arts programs, Associate degrees, Technology diplomas, CIS, HKIN) and 1:30 p.m. (Business Programs, Commercial Aviation, Advanced Culinary Arts). Contact Michelle Lowry for more information.

June 9 - Campus Recreation is hosting a BBQ in Kelowna to raise funds for the Okanagan College 24 Hour Relay Team. All proceeds will go to the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club and Easter Seals Camp in Winfield. The BBQ will take place in the courtyard at the KLO campus and will begin at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $10 for a healthy lunch and rsvps can be sent to Mike before June 7.

June 10 – The Okanagan College Foundation will host a concert fundraiser featuring award-winning bluegrass artists A Day Late and A Dollar Short. The concert will take place at the Vernon campus at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the concert will go toward scholarships and bursaries for Okanagan College students. Tickets are $18 for general admission, $16 for seniors and students, and can be purchased at the Bean Scene in Vernon (2923 30th Avenue) or email for more information.

June 12 – The Darren Cabral Memorial Golf Tournament will take place at the Vernon Golf and Country Club – registration starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by a shot-gun start at 1 p.m. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to support a scholarship for a student in Okanagan College's Human Service Work program. Darren Cabral was an alumnus of the Human Service Work program. His friends and family have organized the charity golf tournament to help support students who follow in his path in the field of Human Service Work. Contact Andrew or Jeff for more information: 250-545-6272.

June 28 – Vernon Commencement and Convocation, 4:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Centre in Vernon. Contact Michelle Lowry for more information. 

June 29 – Summer Convocation, 6 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Contact Michelle Lowry for more information.


Audio Engineering and Music Production grads along with faculty celebrated the 19th anniversary of the program. Check out the pictures in eVent night out.

Vernon hosted Experience Okanagan College for more than 400 Grade 11 students. See a photo in The College Experience.

The OC Coyotes baseball team made headlines as they played for the CCBC title. Read more in: Coyotes vie for the college title, Coyotes vs Wolfpack in ‘Loops, OC Coyotes reach semis and Coyotes stopped in semi finals. The Daily Courier’s Champions magazine also captured several photos of them in play.

Lynda Wilson, former Regional Dean of the Shuswap Revelstoke region will receive the Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to Okanagan College and the community. Read more in: Distinguished Service

Culinary Arts students prepared a five-course meal to help benefit the writing and publishing programs at Okanagan College - Culinary college kids cooking up a storm.

Residential Construction students in Penticton who usually build homes through the Home for Learning program will this time work with Greyback Construction to build an office structure for the Penticton Indian Band.  Read more in: Partnership helps students.

Kelowna Residential Construction Trades students will build the 2010 Home for Learning with a Green Gold standard. View a photo from the program’s groundbreaking ceremony in: The Green Gold standard.

Okanagan College Arts student Matt Hall made his way to Ottawa to attend a National Youth Ambassadors conference. Find out more about his experience in: Hall answering the call for Okanagan College or read coverage in the Globe and Mail - It's the economy that counts and the rest is just noise, Harper tells students.

In her School’s In column, Registrar Jane Muskens writes about the value of trades training and how heavy-duty mechanic John Aldred was able to donate $15 million to SAIT to go towards a new trades training building. Read more in: Trades grad gives back.

Due to fires on a piece of leased property behind the Penticton campus, consideration is being given to fence off the property, which would deny public access. Read more about the issue in: Fires on vacant lot causing concern.

Okanagan College friend Jack Ross donated his deceased wife’s Kimball piano to the Kalamalka campus so local students would have the opportunity to appreciate and play his wife’s most treasured possession. Read more in: Beloved piano donated to college.

SIFE Okanagan students competed against students from the top universities in Canada while at the National exposition in Calgary and won several awards.  Read more about their success in: Business students scoop up awards and SIFE students win big at nationals.

The new Green Business of the Year Award, which was a joint initiative between SIFE and the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, was awarded to Aspenware Inc. at the Greater Vernon’s 2010 Business Excellence Awards.  SIFE and Okanagan College worked with the judges to select the winner. Find out more in: Businesses honoured at awards.

In Kelowna, the Chamber of Commerce partnered with SIFE Okanagan to present the 2010 Green Business Awards. These awards recognize organizations that demonstrate leadership and forward thinking in adopting environmentally sustainable practices in their businesses. Read more in: Green Business Awards.

Grade 12 students in Penticton got noticed by Dragons’ Den judges for their product “Burnt Bindings,” an attachment on snowboard bindings that allows the foot to face forward in the lift lines. The idea for the Dragons’ Den competition in Penticton came from a similar event in Kelowna organized by SIFE students. Read more in: Lift lines made easier.

Kelowna Community Resources and Okanagan College hosted the first Diversity Health Fair on May 15.  To find out more read the article.

CBC Radio will host a panel featuring Okanagan filmmakers including communications instructor Marc Arellano, as the Okanagan Institute presents Celluloid Dreams: The Best Seat in the House. Read more in: Visionaries share their film making dreams

In his Global Citizen column Stan Chung gives readers a sneak peak to Colin Snowsell’s novella The Frollett Homestead. Find out where to get a copy in: An Okanagan ghost story.


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 8, 2010.