Connections wrap up

connections 2014_1Okanagan College just wrapped up its ninth annual employee learning conference, which took place on Aug. 19 and 20 at the Kelowna campus.

More than 400 participants over two days took advantage of the opportunity to interact with colleagues, reflect on past accomplishments and get pumped for the academic year ahead.

Attendees participated in professional and personal development workshops on a variety of topics, including mastering Prezi, doing the term professor two-step, making healthy food, surviving in the woods, and how to hire a reputable contractor.

connections 2014_2A highlight of the conference was the Connections video shown at the President's address in the morning, which asked employees what they thought Okanagan College would be like in 50 years. If you were unable to attend Connections, you can view the video by clicking the following link.

To assist in the planning of next year’s event, the Connections organizing committee would like all event attendees to fill out the following survey (if you haven’t already done so). Don’t miss this opportunity to have your suggestions and input incorporated into future Connections conferences.

Kick Off to Orientation

Kick off 2014The College is gearing up to welcome faculty and new and returning students to campus next week for the fall term.

On Sept. 2, students will start off orientation week with Kick Off events, which welcome them to the Okanagan College community, help them meet other students, and give them an idea of how things work at the College.

These events take place at each campus, click here for details.

New Continuing Studies programs 

CS Brochure 2014The 2014-15 Continuing Studies brochure is now available and has been sent to homes across the Okanagan Valley.

Along with Continuing Studies' perennially popular programs, there are a number of new courses and programs worth checking out, including:

  • Project Management
  • Early Childhood series (online)
  • Revit Essentials series
  • Lean Six Sigma series (offered in conjunction with BCIT)
In addition to the certificate programs, there are also hundreds of general interest courses on offer in business, computers, first aid, photography, wine and food studies, and more.

To view the digital version of the 2014-15 Continuing Studies brochure, click the following link.

Park-Aid in Kelowna

The construction of the Trades Training Complex has resulted in a reduction of parking spaces at the Kelowna campus. As a result, employees and visitors to the Kelowna campus are encouraged to park in the Evangel Church parking lot located at 3261 Gordon Drive, south of the Esso Station.

Click this link for a map.

For the past two years, the College has rented approximately 40 parking spaces from the Evangel Church to provide extra parking capacity.

This year, the College has rented 150 parking spaces in the Northwest corner of the lot (closest to the College) for employees, students and construction workers to use Monday through Friday. Please make sure your staff parking sticker is visible when you park there. 

The lot is only a six to eight minute walk to campus and is a great way to get some exercise and reduce stress.


Blair Baldwin’s research reveals secret to Okanagan prosperity

Blair BaldwinOkanagan College business professor Dr. Blair Baldwin's research has garnered international attention.

This past summer he was invited to present his latest research findings at the prestigious Academy of Wine Business Research conference at the University of Geisenheim in Germany, which hosted 125 delegates from 28 wine regions including Niagara, Sonoma, Napa, Marlborough, Adelaide, and Bordeaux.

Using interviews with 900 visitors to the Winter, Spring and Fall Okanagan Wine Festivals in 2012 and early 2013, Baldwin, in conjunction with the British Columbia Wine Institute and the Wine Festivals Society, studied what impact wine-related events and festivals had on visitors’ desire to come to the region.

This is especially important given the Okanagan’s increasing profile on the global wine stage. A July poll of readers of the U.S.’s largest circulating newspaper, USA Today, found the Okanagan was the #2 wine destination in the world, second only to Alentejo, Portugal.

Baldwin and his team discovered that the greatest influence on visitor motivation was event and/or festival execution—meaning not just the presence of those events but also the experience guests had while there. 

“You may sell out your event or win an award for your wine but if you haven’t devoted enough resources to ensuring a seamless experience, such as having prominent directional signage, good traffic flow to your wine shop, enough tasting room servers, and ample parking, visitors won’t return. And they won’t recommend it to their friends either,” says Baldwin.

Global News picked up on the press release highlighting Baldwin’s research. View the video here.

Also see coverage in the Westside Weekly (OK College discovers key to wine industry’s success), and the Kelowna Capital News (Professor’s research unlocks key to future prosperity).

Professor showcases Summerland’s unique geology

SummerlandOn July 19 and Aug. 23, Okanagan College geography and environmental science professor Kathleen Jagger shared her knowledge of local geology with 35 participants on tours through Summerland.

Taking approximately three hours, Jagger’s tour showed attendees the strata revealed by the highway expansion, the formation of the Silt Cliffs, how Okanagan Lake was formed, examples of lava flows from the extinct volcano, and striations left from the last passing glacier.

It also included exploration of Giant’s Head Mountain where the attendees enjoyed panoramic views from the summit. 

"I have volunteered to lead this tour for the last eight years and it’s been very popular with locals and visitors to the region. It now requires two tours to cover demand,” says Jagger.

Party for Jan Leonard

Jan LeonardTrades and Apprenticeship is hosting an open house for Jan Leonard on Friday, Aug. 29 from 12-1 p.m. in room B129 to mark her retirement.
Leonard has provided support services for the Okanagan College Trades and Apprenticeship Department for the past eight years. With the expansion of electrical, plumbing and sheet metal program offerings, Jan relocated her office to the Penno Road facility in 2006.

“Jan is a pleasure to work with and I will miss her smile and her positive character,” says Pat Dandeneau, Manager of Apprenticeship Programs.

“She has always been there to assist the students in navigating their apprenticeships and offered the department valuable insight into enhancing internal processes and procedures to improve services to our students.”
Please join Trades and Apprenticeship in wishing Leonard a fond farewell on Friday.

Yvonne Pinder retires from Board

Yvonne PinderYvonne Pinder recently retired from Okanagan College’s Board of Governors, where she has been a member since 2008 and also served as Vice Chair.

Formerly Pinder served as Vice-President of Finance at Okanagan College, Chief Financial Officer of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology and Director of Integrated Financial Services at Saskatchewan Health.
To mark the occasion of her last board meeting, Board Chair Tom Styffe presented her with a crystal bowl as a thank you for her dedicated service to the College.

Aug. 26, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 11

College closure on Labour Day

Please note that all campuses will be closed for business in observance of the Labour Day statutory holiday on Sept. 1. The College will reopen with regular business hours on Sept. 2, which also marks the start of the Fall semester.

Employee health and wellness

Okanagan College's Employee and Family Assistance Provider, Optum PPC Canada, provides a wealth of information each month about an important issue regarding your health and well-being.

August’s focus is on managing stress at home and at work. The Balance Sheet newsletter features the following articles:

  • Manage Your Stress Before It Manages You — how to identify stress in the workplace and develop strategies to ensure you don't bring it home with you;
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Do You Worry Too Much? — the nature of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), symptoms to be aware of, and methods of treatment;
  • Are We There Yet? Stress-Free Family Vacations — strategies to help ensure your family vacation actually feels like a vacation.

Read the August newsletter.

Optum PPC Canada is also hosting a webinar on Aug. 27 at 12 p.m. about recognizing and avoiding daily anxiety triggers. Sign up here.

Family Award application deadline

Applications are being accepted for the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees, until Sept. 19. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

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 Student Services Administration office in Kelowna (or at the Campus Administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm) by Sept. 19.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419.

Kelowna campus power disruption

The construction of the Kelowna Trades Complex requires a significant electrical shutdown from Friday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.

The power to the West Trades electrical room will be off during that time and the following areas will be affected:

  • PCL Site Temporary Power
  • TEW Pump house
  • Stores
  • Trades Wing Fire Alarm Panel
  • Trades West: Welding (includes B/Pipeline), Carpentry Exterior Canopy, Autobody, Carpentry/Woodwork

There will be no power interruptions to the following areas: Lab, Student Services, Cafeteria, Library, Day Care, P Building and Skaha Residence.  
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Peter Csandl in Facilities Management at ext. 5625.


Yoga at work

Okanagan College employees and yoga instructors Kim Snyder and Dawn Balic teach yoga classes on a weekly basis to staff and students.

Yoga will be cancelled the first week of classes (Sept. 2-5). Regularly scheduled classes will begin again the week of Sept. 8, but please note that Monday’s class time has changed.

  • Monday: 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Thursday:  12-1 p.m.

Bring a yoga mat, towel (for under your mat), water and wear comfortable clothes.

Prices for staff are $9 per drop-in class and $80 for a 10-class punch card.

Email Kim Snyder to receive notices about events, classes and locations.

Terry Fox Run

On Sept. 14, Team Okanagan College will be participating in the 34th annual Terry Fox Run in Kelowna, starting at the Mission Sports Fields. Registration is at 10 a.m., race starts at 11 a.m.
 Click here to register.

If you have any questions regarding the Terry Fox Run, contact Angie March or Darrell Skinner


A recent economic impact study reveals that Okanagan College contributes more than half a billion dollars to the regional economy, see College contributes to economy in the Vernon Morning Star, and OC making its economic mark in the Kelowna Capital News.

Okanagan College announces its newest entrepreneur-in-residence, philanthropist and tech entrepreneur, Dave Krysko, see Club Penguin co-founder brings expertise in the Vernon Morning Star.

Construction is well underway at the Greater Vernon Community Sports Complex next to Okanagan College, see Major project in the Vernon Morning Star.

Professor Matt Kavanagh is delving into the world of espionage this fall with a new 20th Century British literature course, see College English course looks at spies in the Kelowna Daily Courier, Spies, double agents and fugitives take over Okanagan College campus in the Kelowna Capital News, and College English course looks at spies in the Westside Weekly.

The City of Kelowna has added more traffic lights in front of the Kelowna campus, see More signals, crosswalks on KLO in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

Writer and Okanagan College honorary fellow Yasmin John-Thorpe and illustrator Endrene Shepherd have penned a new book, see “Bird” book aimed at kids in the Penticton Herald.

Alumnus Bobby Gidda of Volcanic Hills Winery served his wines at a Greater Westside Board of Trades event, see Mingling at the Dentist's office in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

The Kelowna & District Genealogical Society is holding one of the largest conferences on the subject at Okanagan College this fall, see Western Canada Conference hosted by Kelowna chapter in the Kelowna Capital News.

Award-winning authors, poets, archeologists, geographers, sociologists and political scientists are on staff at Okanagan College, see Talented, experienced professors bring amazing array of arts courses to Vernon campus on Castanet.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.

To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Sept. 9, 2014.