College Board approves $92.9 million budget

Okanagan College’s Board of Governors has approved a $92.9-million operating budget for 2011-12.

The Board passed the budget at a meeting Tuesday. The budget anticipates that student numbers will increase by approximately five per cent in the coming year.

“This was a challenging year,” says Board Chair Lance Kayfish. “We are facing inflationary pressures of approximately $1 million this year.  The anticipated enrolment growth, along with careful reallocation of resources, will allow us to offer modest expansion in some areas. Targeted government funding will also allow us to introduce the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program this year as well.”

One program area that will likely see some reductions the coming year is trades training, as the College responds to a five per cent reduction of the Industry Training Authority’s (ITA) funding to institutions.

To read more about how the new budget will impact Okanagan College, follow this link.

College apprentices and technicians dominate Skills BC

elenAfter competing in a wide variety of disciplines at the annual provincial Skills BC competition, Okanagan College students are bringing home a truckload of hardware.

It was a clean sweep in the Electronics competition after three of Nadir Ould-Khessal’s Electronic Engineering Technology students finished in the top three spots. Ould-Khessal brought four students to the competition, three first-years and one second-year. Jamie Maloway won gold and the opportunity to represent BC at the Skills Canada National Competition, which takes place in Quebec City in early June. Fellow students Zander Erasmus and Brad Hall finished second and third.

Students representing the College in the Trades competitions fared just as well. It was another sweep for the Automotive Service Technician students, who dominated the podium. The students were coached by Jamie Bloomfield; Russel Silvius won gold, Jesse Gervais won silver and Michael Collin took home bronze.

Marvin Rode coached Jadyn Lowe in the carpentry competition, where he won gold. Over in the welding competition Justin Bye won bronze – he was coached by Mike Turigan.

Gold medalists earn the right to compete at the National competition, which takes place from June 1 – 4.

Applications now open for Bachelor of Science in Nursing

For the first time, Okanagan College is accepting applications to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program after the Ministry of Advanced Education announced the College will open 24 spaces for first-year students to begin the degree program at Okanagan College.

The announcement of the new partnership between Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan was made on Thursday, April 21 – the College’s online applications opened shortly after.

Students will now have the opportunity to complete years one and two of the four-year degree program at Okanagan College. Students will then join third-year students at UBC Okanagan to complete the degree.

The collaboration means that by 2015 the region will benefit from an increased capacity of graduating nurses from UBC Okanagan – up to 134 per year. The first class of BSN students at Okanagan College will begin their studies in September in Kelowna.

Lister to lead North Okanagan region

A prominent Vernon community leader will be assuming the role of Okanagan College’s North Okanagan Regional Dean in June. Jane Lister, who has headed Community Futures Corporation of the North Okanagan for 20 years, will replace retiring Regional Dean John Lent.

“Okanagan College is a critical component in the cultural, social, and economic development of our region,” says Lister, who has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UBC. “Over the past two decades, I’ve worked closely with the College in my role as General Manager of Community Futures, and in other capacities. I’m eager to help the College further develop its connections with and value to the region.”

Lister served as a member of the College’s Board of Governors and was Vice-Chair.

“We’re pleased to have Jane join us,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with her over the past two decades and I know that she will bring a dedication to education and service to the role.”

Follow this link to read the complete Press Release.

Connections 2011 registration is now live

connlogoRegister now for Connections 2011 – choose either Tues. August 23 or Wed. Aug 24, hop on the bus at your home campus and join friends and colleagues in Penticton. Registration details including transportation times, learning session options, and the day's schedule can be found online. We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please contact Kaya.

A fresh look at

Beginning Wednesday Okanagan College will host a series of consultative sessions at every campus to contemplate opportunities to improve the Okanagan College website. The goal is to revisit the homepage’s look, feel and contents, as well as explore ways to improve site navigation, and means to make the most of new web and institutional developments, such the customer relationship management software being implemented in the Registrar’s office.

The sessions will take place at the following times and locations:

Salmon Arm – noon, April 27, Rm. 141
Vernon - 3 p.m., April 27, Rm. D333
Penticton - noon, April 28, Rm. C13
Kelowna - noon, April 29, Rm. S103B

If you plan on attending a session, please follow this link for an introduction to the sessions, as well as background information and questions to contemplate prior to joining the consultation sessions.


Lynn Grahame to retire

lynnAfter 30 years with Okanagan College, Associate Registrar Lynn Grahame will retire this week. Lynn first joined Okanagan College in 1981 when she was hired as a clerk in Financial Awards. With less than a month of experience under her belt Lynn moved to financial aid as the clerk, a role she maintained for six years.

In 1987 Lynn became Assistant to the Deans, Academic and Applied Studies. In 1988 Lynn then returned to the Financial Aid office as the Financial Aid Officer until 2001. She moved to the Registrar’s Office in 2001, taking on the role of Manager, Admissions. Seven years later Lynn became Associate Registrar, Enrolment Services.

“I’ve known Lynn during her years in the Registrar’s Office and when she was a key part of Financial Aid and Awards,” said Steve Koehle, Vice President Students. “No matter where she has worked or the position she has held, Lynn has always been a committed and very, very hard-working employee. After so many years of dedication and long hours, I’m happy to hear that she will have more time to relax and to enjoy her family. Her retirement is well deserved and well earned!”

A celebration in honour of Lynn’s career and retirement will be held on Thursday, April 28 from 2 – 4:30 p.m. in the lunchroom in the Registrar’s Office. Lynn’s last day at Okanagan College will be Friday, April 29.


bookEnglish professor Melanie Murray will launch her book FOR YOUR TOMORROW: THE WAY OF AN UNLIKELY SOLDIER (Random House Canada) on May 14, 1-3 p.m., at Mosaic Books in Kelowna.

“Melanie Murray sketches the life and tragic death of one Canadian soldier with such a tender regard for his motives that she allows us to comprehend the sacrifice without ever asking that we accept the war,” writes Carol Off. “She takes us to the heart of a grieving family as it struggles to find meaning within calamity. Through a sweep of history and myth – both personal and universal – she gives insight into a tragedy so many Canadian families have experienced. In the end, we come to share her family’s understanding of Jeff’s quest for higher purpose. This is an evocative and poignant story, written with style and compassion.”

To find out more, visit:

She will be signing books at bookstores in:
Penticton – Hooked on Books on May 26 at 7 p.m.
Vernon – Bookland on May 28, 1-3 p.m.
Salmon Arm – Bookingham Palace Bookstore on June 4, 1-3 p.m.

In memory of Rev. Albert Baldeo

baldeoFlags have been lowered at the Kelowna campus in memory of Rev. Albert Baldeo, an Honorary Fellow and longtime friend to Okanagan College, who passed away on Monday, April 25 at the age of 81.

Rev. Baldeo was born and raised in Trinidad. He moved to Canada to pursue his education, eventually settling in Kelowna in 1981. Just one year after arriving in Kelowna, Rev. Baldeo was voted Kelowna Citizen of the Year in 1982. He served as a minister in the United Church and is well known for his dedicated service to the community, where he is informally known as the Chaplain of Kelowna.

In 2006 Okanagan College bestowed its top honour on Rev. Baldeo, naming him an Honorary Fellow of the institution, in recognition of his service to the community.

Rev. Baldeo was also a treasured author, contributing regularly to local newspapers. Just one month ago he wrote about his weakening health in a column for the Capital News.

“I trust that our mighty God will take me through the valley of the shadow of death,” wrote Baldeo. “However, I am fully aware that my day to be ushered into eternity will come. But do not weep me for I have gone for my coronation where I will meet with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

My new destination is heaven, where there is no sickness, there is no Parkinson’s Disease, there are no hospitals…and there is no HST.”

The Baldeo family will accept visitors who wish to pay their last respects on Friday, April 29 from 7 – 9 p.m. at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. A Funeral Service will be on Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 a.m. from Trinity Baptist Church, 1905 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC.

Werger conquers heartbreak hill

baaDuring a year when records were shattered, Okanagan College’s Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Randy Werger also posted his best ever Boston Marathon finish at the 2011 race.

Randy qualified for the 115th Boston Marathon last year after posting a fast time at the Victoria Marathon. Though he didn’t catch Geoffrey Mutai – Geoffrey posted a record-breaking 2:03:02 to win the race – Randy completed the tough, hilly course in 3:24:33, four minutes faster than his previous time five years ago.

Hope for Japan sets sail

japanThe entire crew of the China Doll recently showed their support for the people of Japan by wearing shirts designed and sold by Okanagan College’s International Education department as a fundraiser to support victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

Among those sporting the shirts was Okanagan College’s Manager of Security, Arch Doody. The group was out competing at the British Virgin Island 40th Sailing Regatta on April 1 – 3. Congratulations to Arch’s team, who also managed to take third place in the Jib and Main class.

Ryan Ennis finishes third in Short Story contest

Second-year Okanagan College Arts student Ryan Ennis’ short story Hole finished ahead of 139 other entries from across the Southern Interior, enough to capture third place in the 13th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest.

Award-winning author Annabel Lyon served as this year’s judge. Lyon is the current writer in residence at UBC Okanagan. Her most recent book, The Golden Mean, won the 2009 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award among others.

Ennis won $100 for his story, which will also be published in Other Magazine, a publication out of Vernon. 

“He's probably the hardest-working, most dedicated young writer I've ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Ennis' English professor Jake Kennedy. “It's not uncommon for Ryan to go through ten drafts of a story and many, many drafts of a poem before he's happy with the result.”

First place, and $500, went to Lindsay Diehl of Kelowna for her work, Basel, while second place went to Vernon’s Susan Fenner for her story Axis of Fault. 

The Cage Match

civilAs the end of the semester drew near, the Civil Engineering students in Kelowna were getting rowdy. To calm down the students, the Civil Engineering Technology department decided to play some Road Hockey on the last day of classes, April 8.

The Road Hockey Game was dubbed "The Cage Match" due to the metal fence around the asphalt rink that was set up near the student residences.

With the help of Facilities Management, who set up the Cage, and instructors from other various departments, the activities kicked off just before lunch. After a quick pizza break, the instructors took on the first-year Civil Engineering students. The game was well played by both sides since there were only three rules:

1. No padding or gloves allowed, except for the goalie.
2. No bloodshed.
3. What happens at Road Hockey, stays at Road Hockey.

After about ten minutes, the instructors scored the winning (and only) goal. The instructors then challenged the second-year students. Again, after about five minutes the instructors scored the winning goal. The teams then broke up and the instructors and students played until about 2 p.m.

Rethinking training for an association, or
how Jan O'Brien spent her Easter weekend

Jan O’Brien has been involved with her professional association, AIR (Association of Institutional Research) since 2007 when she joined the professional development services (PDS) committee from 2007 to 2010. The committee is dedicated to developing PD events that are relevant to AIR members. Because of her involvement in PDS she was asked to join the current committee for a two-day planning meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
One item impacting the association is the move to a Policy Governance ® Model, a model of board leadership. On Thursday, the planning committee met with Miriam Carver, whose husband, John Carver, developed the model. Adoption of Policy Governance® impacted the committee by making clear what level its responsibilities are toward the development of training, separating the committee’s responsibility for Ends and reporting to the board, and allowing the association staff to work out Means. For more information, see the

The Power of Two: Promoting Adult Literacy in the Central Okanagan

tutorOn March 12 the literacy department of Okanagan College hosted a valley-wide tutor training event entitled The Power of Two. Volunteer tutors, instructors and members of the public from as far north as Revelstoke and as far south as Oliver and Osoyoos gathered at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College for a day of brainstorming, networking and professional development.

The conference was specifically designed to celebrate the efforts of volunteer tutors and to provide them with the opportunity to mingle and exchange ideas. The event began with a most informative and inspiring plenary session. Kathy Hamilton, Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, provided a fascinating glimpse into the history of adult literacy programs in British Columbia from the early 1980s to the present.

Literacy instructor Mary Kiviste talked about the role of provincial literacy agencies such as Literacy B.C. and Literacy Now, discussed some of the funding challenges facing literacy programs in the future, and thanked everyone for being part of the ongoing conversation about literacy.
April 26, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 2


Summer Hours begin in May     

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 2 to Friday, September 2, for those departments who are participating.

Provide your input
on learning management system

Okanagan College’s Information Technology Services department is looking at three different models for a learning management system, and staff will have an opportunity to preview each one and provide input before a decision is made.

The vendors are Desire2Learn, Moodle/Lambda, and Blackboard.

The department is examining the options because the current LMS agreement (with Blackboard) ends December 2012.

The presentations are scheduled for:
Desire2Learn, May 16, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., KLO Lecture Theatre
Moodle/Lambda, May 17, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., KLO Lecture Theatre
Blackboard, May 18, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., KLO Lecture Theatre

A link to live webcasts of the presentations will be posted on myOkanagan.

Now easier than ever to connect with Financial Aid

Okanagan College’s department of Financial Aid & Awards now has a generic email address available for student queries. The email is posted on the Financial Aid website and also in the Become a Student portal. Financial Aid will also be launching a new bookmark with useful contacts and links in the next month. The bookmarks will be available at the welcome centres at all campuses.

Questions? Try out the new email address:

New Signing Authority Policy now in effect

The new Signing Authority Policy is now in effect. Please ensure that documents forwarded to Financial Services, Human Resources and Purchasing have the appropriate approvals as per the Expenditure or Revenue Matrices or a Sub-delegation form.

Beginning in May 2011, any documents that do not have the appropriate approvals will be sent back to the originator. If you have any questions about the Expenditure matrix or Sub-delegation form, please contact Vicki Pannell. Also, if you have not already done so, please complete and submit the Signature Library to Finance as soon as possible, to prevent delays in processing.

Apply now for the Okanagan College Family Award

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award. Full award criteria and the application form can be found in myOkanagan – follow the link to OC Express - Forms and then click through to Foundation.

All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by May 20, 2011. This round of applications are for programs or terms starting between May 1 and August 31, 2011. Please direct any questions about the Okanagan College Family Award to the Kelowna Campus Financial Aid & Awards Office at 250-862-5419.

Walk to Fight Arthritis

Okanagan College is entering a team in the Walk to Fight Arthritis in Kelowna. The walk will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 10 a.m. (registration opens at 9).

Anyone interested in participating can get in touch with the Angie March in the Regional Dean’s office at local 4501. Walk details are below – visit: to find out more. 

Date:           Sunday, May 15, 2011 

Location:     Kerry Park, 1480 Mill Street
, Kelowna
Walk Distance:         1 KM or 5 KM 

Registration Open:  9:00 a.m. 

Walk Start Time:     10:00 a.m.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Cathi Clark from the Welcome Centre in Kelowna, who won the April 22 payday draw for $575.

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.


April 28 – Join Communications professor Marc Arellano for the DVD launch of his award-winning documentary, Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in The Central Okanagan. The launch takes place at Infusions at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on April 28 between 5 – 6 p.m. 

May 17 - The Okanagan College Board of Governors will hold its monthly meeting in Kelowna.

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 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 spring on June 29 at 6 p.m. Contact Michelle Lowry for information or to volunteer for any of the Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.


Steven Robinson, Director of International Education, commented on a new tool to help BC post-secondary institutions recruit new students in the article: Tool to predict international student trends

The first two years of a bachelor of science in nursing will be offered at the College starting this September for 24 students in Kelowna.  Read more in: More nursing spaces open in B.C. schools.

Okanagan College students joined in the vote mob on April 21 to combat young voter apathy in the upcoming Federal election.  Read more in: Vote mob swarms downtown, vote mob to swarm downtown and Vote Mob to gather at Sails.

The Centre of Excellence has classes scheduled starting June 6, 2011. Read the Herald article: Centre of Excellence ‘on time, on budget.’

Chris Jeberg, an incoming student, benefited from the Sunshine Foundation and helped out with their recent Family Day fundraising event.  Read more in: Sunshine Kids at play.

Communications professor Marc Arellano is releasing the DVD of the award-winning documentary Strange Fruit on April 28 at Infusions. Read more in: Local professor hosts DVD launch for homegrown doc film.

The announcement of Jane Lister as the new Regional Dean of the North Okanagan was included in the Daily Courier. Read more in: New regional Okanagan College dean named.

Finance’s Mary Read found a connection to Kate Middleton in her genealogy research and has invited the soon-to-be Royal to tea. Read more in: Researching your genealogy could lead to a Royal connection.

The Vernon campus was filled with energy as the Okanagan Science Centre hosted the North Okanagan/Shuswap Regional Science Fair at the campus in mid April. Read more in: College plays host to regional school science fair and Students win big at regional science fair.  

Fezziwig’s Bakery raised $2,000 for the Red Cross relief effort for Japan through the sale of coffee and tips at their Mission Park and Okanagan College locations. Read more in: Fezziwig’s Bakery-Café serves up help for Japan.

Chandra McCann, ABE English instructor in Vernon, was photographed as part of a team from Okanagan College who participated in the fourth annual Junction Literacy and Youth Centre Spelling Bee Challenge earlier in April. Read more in: Super Spellers.

The Okanagan College Students’ Union met with Liberal candidate John Kidder to discuss post-secondary education as a Federal election issue. Read more in: Student leaders meet with candidate.

John Lent, outgoing Regional Dean of the North Okanagan, said a fond farewell as he handed off the administration duties of the Ryga Awards with a concert fundraiser featuring Al Brant at the Vernon Campus last week. Read more in: Concert helps keep Ryga legacy alive.

Stan Chung, former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs, recounts his last visit with his ailing father in a new Global Citizen column. Read more in: Last day with my father.

Jane Muskens, Registrar, commented on the Federal election candidates’ attention to post-secondary education in her School’s In column on April 13: Post secondary education should be federal election use. On April 15 she explained how the post-secondary credit system works in: Credits are the currency of a post-secondary education. On April 22 Jane discussed the aggregate records kept by institutions and the government in: Data warehouse offers student insights.  


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, May 10, 2011 - also on this day in 1907 the first Mother's Day celebration took place in Philadelphia as part of the women's suffrage and temperance movement...don't forgot to hug your mother this year on May 8.