College Board passes 95.5-million budget for 2013/14

Okanagan College’s Board of Governors has approved a $95.5-million balanced operating budget for the coming fiscal year, addressing a $1.6 million shortfall through a number of measures, including reduced expenditures, expected increases in enrolment and a two per cent increase in tuition fees.

“This is only the third time in eight years that we have implemented an across-the-board fee increase,” Styffe notes. “Our goal this year was to avoid program and service cuts and we have achieved this. We want to ensure that we continue to provide access to the quality education that our students and communities deserve.”

To read the full media release, click here.

Student ambassadors honoured

Okanagan College celebrated student achievements and accomplishments at this year's President’s Dinner for Student Ambassadors, held at Infusions restaurant at the Kelowna campus on March 21.

A total of 173 students, along with their instructors, were invited to the dinner, which represents a significant increase from when the dinner was first held back in 2007 when 16 Business students were recognized for their participation in a number of competitions.

“This growth represents both our increased awareness of the breadth of activity beyond the classroom and our increasing desire to acknowledge excellence in the full spectrum of the educational experience,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

Okanagan College students come out tops at Western Canadian International Business Competition

Seven Okanagan College School of Business students walked home with medals at the Western Canadian International Business Competition held this past weekend at the College’s Kelowna campus.

The students were among 11 teams - most of them made up of four students - from University of the Fraser Valley, Lethbridge College, College of the Rockies, Langara College and Camosun College to take part in the event.

Teams were asked to simulate a technology business, prepare a strategic plan for that business and present their results to community business leaders.

The Sophomore team (Jordan Innes, David Spigelman, Daniel Otto) took gold for overall team, while the Senior team (Courtney Campbell, Ashley Schwarz, Michael Helfrich and Ashley Maas) took silver.

Taking gold in the Senior Division for their individual performance in the following categories were:
VP of Operations: Ashley Schwarz
VP of Finance: Michael Helfrich
VP of Marketing: Ashley Maas

Gold also went to the following students in the Sophomore Division:
VP of Marketing: Jordan Innes
CEO: David Spigelman

Silver medals for their individual performance in the Senior Division went to Courtenay Campbell (VP Human Resources), and in the Sophomore Division to David Spigelman (VP Human Resources), Daniel Otto (both VP Operations and VP of Finance).

The Okanagan College teams were coached by Okanagan School of Business Professors Roger Wheeler and Alan Rice.

Aboriginal students celebrate success 

 Aboriginal celebration 2013 gis
Reginald Narcisse from the Neskonlith Indian Band was one of the students from the Geographical Information Systems program honoured at this year's celebration.

One of Canada’s top dignitaries was on hand to congratulate students at the fourth annual Aboriginal Student Recognition Celebration held at the Kelowna campus on Saturday.
Hon. Judith Guichon, the Lieutenant Governor of B.C., joined President Jim Hamilton in congratulating 25 students from all four regions of Okanagan College for their successful completion of their diplomas, certificates and degrees.
“This is the biggest celebration we’ve had so far, so it was especially significant to have the Lieutenant Governor here to recognize their achievements,” said James Coble, Aboriginal Access and Services Coordinator.
About 125 people attended the event, which included an opening prayer from Westbank First Nations Elder Wilfred Barnes and a keynote address from Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Dr. Bill Cohen.
Speaking on behalf of students were Mary Song and Gus Timoyakin, along with alumni Michael Bertacco and Suzanne Hall.
Several students were honoured as well for being on the Dean’s list.
The students have been engaged in a variety of studies including: business, culinary arts, criminal and social justice, viticulture, trades, adult academic and career preparation, and distance education.

Childhood Under Siege wins 2013 George Ryga Award

bakanThe English Department at Okanagan College punctuated its fifth annual Word Ruckus with the announcement of this year’s winner of the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

Joel Bakan’s book Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children was named this year’s winner.

A law professor based in Vancouver, Bakan is known to many across North America as the internationally acclaimed author of the bestselling book The Corporation and the award-winning maker of the renowned film based on it.

More than 50 entries were received this year, said Okanagan College English and Women’s Studies Professor Norah Bowman-Broz, who organizes the award, which acknowledges B.C. authors.

To read the full media release, click here.

Half Marathon raises scholarship funds with run

runWhen runners tie up their laces on Sunday, April 7 for the Okanagan College Half Marathon they’ll be helping  to support a new scholarship fund.

The Okanagan College Half Marathon Award will provide one or more annual awards of $1,000 each for students who demonstrate a commitment to and involvement in sport, fitness and/or recreation.

“We wanted to create an award that would acknowledge the importance of wellness,” says Christine Ulmer, Okanagan College Half Marathon Race Director.

“People demonstrate that kind of commitment not only as athletes, but also through their volunteerism, coaching, and even mentorship. All of these things have a positive impact on others.”

The Half Marathon, 10 K and relay starts at 8:15 a.m. at the Kelowna campus on KLO Road. The course covers 21.1 km of pavement, taking runners from the campus into City Park, up a portion of Knox Mountain and back.

For more information, including how to register, visit the Half Marathon website.

Renowned astronomer in Vernon April 2

impeyOne of the biggest names in astrophysics will be at the Vernon campus next week as the closing lecturer for The Science in Society Speaker Series.

Dr. Chris Impey will be presenting a free lecture on the compelling topic Is There Life Beyond Earth? Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Impey, who wrote The Living Cosmos and How it Began: A Time-Traveler’s Guide to the Universe, is the Deputy Head of the Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona. He has had 14 projects approved for observations with the Hubble Space Telescope, and his work has been supported by $18-million in grants from both NASA and the National Science Foundation.

The free event is sponsored by the American Astronomical Society as part of its Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureship program.

For more information and to register for this talk, visit the Okanagan Science Centre at or call (250) 545-3644.



Professor hits province-wide airwaves

Jonathan Rouse, Director of Wine, Food and Tourism at Okanagan College, hit the airwaves recently as a guest on The Bill Good Show.

The CKNW radio program normally broadcasts from its home base in Vancouver. As part of its tour through B.C., host Bill Good spent one morning broadcasting from the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus on a variety of topics, including agriculture and tourism.

Rouse addressed the topic of what draws people to Kelowna and how much potential growth there is in the local hospitality industry, along with fellow guests Catherine Frechette from Tourism Kelowna and Helen Kennedy from Arlo’s Honey Farm.

Science in Society Speaker Series honoured with award

winter carnivalThe Vernon Winter Carnival Society presented the Science in Society Speaker Series and the Okanagan Science Centre with an award of recognition for the best event that embraced the carnival’s spirit.

This year the carnival took on a prehistoric theme, and the Science in Society Speaker Series, which is co-sponsored with the College, climbed on board by securing famous palaeontologist Phil Currie as one of the speakers.

Ryan Jameson (left) and Okanagan College Biology Professor Laurie Donovan (right) accepted the award on behalf of the two organizations.

New addition to Board of Governors

A new face on Okanagan College’s Board of Governors sat down for his first board meeting today after being appointed by the Province earlier this month.

Robert McGowan, a Kelowna resident who has served as Chief Financial Officer for two publicly-traded companies and is also a former Board member and Audit Committee Chairman of a publicly-traded software firm, will be in the position through to July 31, 2014.

McGowan is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and is a Chartered Accountant (B.C.) and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba (FCA). He is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba and has served on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.

“We are looking forward to drawing on Bob’s knowledge and insights as a part of the College governance,” says Board Chair Tom Styffe. “His public company and private sector experience will be an asset.”

Student honoured for bravery

braveryHuman Kinetics student Brandon Douglas was recently honoured with a Silver Medal for Bravery by the Lifesaving Society at the 101st Annual Commonwealth Honour & Rescue Awards.

Douglas was just about to get onto his motorbike after finishing his lifeguard shift last summer at Swim Bay in Peachland, when he noticed he hadn’t finished cleaning up. As he headed back, he spotted a small girl jumping off the dock. When she started flailing, he jumped in fully clothed to rescue her.

The full article about the rescue has been posted on the Lifesaving Society website.

March 26, 2013 Vol. 7 Issue 24


Easter Weekend Library Hours

A reminder that the libraries at all four campuses will be open both Saturday, March 30 and Monday, April 1. All campus libraries will be closed on Friday, March 29, and Sunday, March 31. For a look at the complete schedule, which varies slightly by campus, click here.

Kelowna Fitness Facility closed

The Fitness Facility at the Kelowna campus will be closed as of Thursday 9 p.m. for the Easter weekend. It will re-open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 2.

New copyright laws apply to music

Okanagan College has applied for, obtained and paid for a specific license to cover most situations that involve the use of recorded music, as required under the Copyright Act.

As a result, anyone who is organizing an event can contact the Ancillary and Business Department to ensure such use is covered by the license, particularly as there are many distinct situations and rules that apply.

A new form is available to help record and report events that involve music. Please take the time to review the form and the guidelines on the Public Affairs webpage under Event Planning and Protocol.
The form can also be found in MyOkanagan / Employees tab / OC Express – Forms / Supply Management Services / Music Licensing at Okanagan College.

Walk to Fight Arthritis June 9

Okanagan College is setting up a team to run in this year’s Walk to Fight Arthritis, taking place in Kelowna June 9.

There are also opportunities to assist with fundraising, including donating coins in the hope of filling a  hot tub at the event. Pennies can be dropped off at the Rec office at the Kelowna campus, Room A05.

To take part on the team, register here.

Innovation Fund application deadline April 22

A reminder that the call is now out for Okanagan College employees to submit their proposals for the 2013/2014 Innovation Fund.
The Innovation Fund is available to support innovative activities throughout the institution and proposals can be submitted on an individual or a team basis.
Past projects have covered a range of activities including the start of the Red Dot Players and development of the Kalamalka Demonstration Gardens, the use of technology in the classroom, Moodle Best Practices, alumni mentoring, hybrid classrooms, retention strategies, waste-water reuse, and so many more diverse and exciting projects.
Employees must submit their applications to their Dean or Director by April 22.  All projects must be completed by March 31, 2014.
More information about the Innovation Fund is available online, along with the application form. The information is also accessible through MyOkanagan under the Employees tab in OC Express - Forms. Summaries of approved projects are also available online for the 2012-13, 2011-12 and 2010-11 funds.

Call for nominations for ILT Fellows

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT) is seeking nominations for four new Fellows to serve three-year terms (June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2016) representing the areas of:
1)    Foundational Programs
2)    Health & Social Development
3)    Business
4)    Employees within Instructional Focus
(e.g., Learning Centre Coordinators, Ed Advisors, Human Resources Advisors, Counsellors, Recruiters)

If you are from one of these areas and you are passionate about enhancing learning and teaching at Okanagan College, or know of a colleague who fits this description, please review the duties as outlined on the nomination form and submit. Each nomination requires two nominators and a statement from the nominee.

For additional information please email Paul Stephenson or reach him at ext. 4928. For more information on the ILT please visit the ILT website.

Get ready to toss the pallino

It’s that time of  year again when the cry “Bocce!” fills the outdoor courtyard air at the Kelowna campus.

Anyone interested in taking part in the OC Bocce Team Competition can find a partner and enter with a team name for the 2013 season and submit to organizer Angie March ext. 4501.

A small committee is being put together to determine the guidelines for this year’s competition. If you would like to assist, please contact Angie.


March 26 – Okanagan College Toastmasters meet at the Kelowna campus from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Room E212. For more information, visit their website.

March 27 – Okanagan College Student Union’s BBQ / Rock the Vote event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Enjoy some hot dogs and find out why it’s important to register to vote in the upcoming provincial election.

March 27 – Okanagan Business Students’ Association hosts its 34th annual banquet and silent auction at the Coast Capri from 5 – 8 p.m. with featured keynote speaker Trent Kitsch, founder of the SAXX Underwear Co. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at

March 27 – English professor Corinna Chong launches her book Belinda’s Rings at the Bohemian Café in Kelowna from 7 – 9 p.m.

March 28 – Penticton campus hosts its Spring Egg Hunt from noon to 5 p.m. with a chance to hunt the campus for well-hidden eggs that can be redeemed for prizes at the Campus Rec Office.

April 4 – Students get a chance to relieve some stress at the Salmon Arm campus during the Stress Less Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with fun tools and strategies, including chair massages, yoga, games and snacks – all free of charge.

April 4 – Students celebrate the end of semester at both the Kelowna and Penticton campuses with It's a Wrap from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The free fun party, features  food, music, giveaways and games. In Kelowna it's in The Pit, and in Penticton, in the Courtyard.

April 6 – Residents in the Greater Vernon area vote in a referendum to borrow $8.5 million to construct a track and multi-use field at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

April 7 – Runners take part in the 11th annual Okanagan College Half Marathon from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., starting at the Kelowna campus, this year as part of the Interior Running Association’s 2013 Series. To register or volunteer click here.

April 8 – English Professors Corinna Chong, Alix Hawley, Jake Kennedy, Kevin McPherson and others host All-OC Writers, a fun evening of readers at the Penticton campus from 7 – 8 p.m.



Japanese students enrolled at Okanagan College helped remind the community of the Hope for Japan campaign. Read: Deadly tsunami anniversary marked, in the Courier.

Robert McGowan is the new face on the Okanagan College’s Board of Governors. Read: Kelowna CA named to college board, in Okanagan Saturday.

The launch of Okanagan College’s new website resulted in a number of stories in local media. Read: College gets new site (Courier), College launches new website (Morning Star), and Okanagan College launches new-look website (Capital News).

The history of Okanagan College and its link to the trades, was showcased in the Central Okanagan Outlook feature in the Courier. Read: College has come a long way since 1963.

Okanagan College students are engaged in some of the hot button fields touted in the federal budget, reported the Courier. Read: Trades cash to help build future.

The Gateway Program offered at Okanagan College is helping students who never thought they would have much of a future. Read: Gateway Program offers hope for at-risk students, in the Capital News.

The Women in Trades Training program at Okanagan is breaking barriers with a foundation metal fabrication program. Read: Women in metal fabrication, in Business Thompson Okanagan.

A Summerland Secondary school student showed he has the skills to excel in the trades at the Skills Canada competition in Kelowna. Read: Nehring wins in Trades competition, from the Summerland Review.

Kelowna is poised for growth according to Okanagan College Regional Dean Heather Schneider, who is chair of the 2013 Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission board. Read: Small biz will pull us through, in the Courier’s Central Okanagan Outlook feature.

Registrar Jane Muskens wrote about education in South Africa in her School’s In column in the Capital News. Read: Quality of education policies mirrors level of investment.

Both eVent Magazine and the Capital News picked up the media release on Word Ruckus and the upcoming Ryga Award. Read: Okanagan College profs make a ruckus with words and Ryga (Capital News) and OK College profs make a ruckus with words, Ryga (eVent).

English Professor Corinna Chong has penned her first book. Read Squid helps professor ink first fiction book from eVent.

Enactus Okanagan College teams are on their way to the national competition. Read: OC students back in national spotlight (Capital News).

The young entrepreneur who ignited his career with a revelation born of underwear will be speaking at the Okanagan Business Students’ Association’s 34th annual banquet. Read: SAXX founder to speak at banquet.

Students from Enactus Okanagan College are empowering women in Penticton to gain important life skills in the areas of financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Read: Program is turning lives around, from the Penticton Herald.

News that all four Okanagan College campuses now have electric car battery recharging stations captured the media’s interest. Read: Charged up, in the Capital News and College gears up for electric cars in Okanagan Saturday.

With the referendum just days away, there were numerous stories and commentaries regarding the proposed sports complex at the Vernon campus. Read: Advanced voting for Vernon sports facility, Community calendar, Complex gets rough ride, Fiscal challenges add up to say no, Residents invited to get informed on sports complex, Games bid contingent on referendum success, and Sports facility offers benefit.

Canadian writers in the early stage of their career are being invited to submit their work for the John Lent Poetry-Prose Award. Read: Press holds second award named after Lent, from the Morning Star, Submissions for John Lent Poetry-Prose Award sought, in the Capital News, and Become a poet like Lent, in eVent.

The Capital News ran a brief item about the dual credit programs available in conjunction with Okanagan College. Read: School dual credit information workshop.

Capital News columnist Joel Young spoke about the rising tide of entrepreneurship at Okanagan College. Read: Student entrepreneurs sow seeds for future.

Honorary Fellow Jeanette Armstrong has been honoured with a B.C. Community Achievement Award. Read: En’owkin Centre director receives award, from the Penticton Herald.

Okanagan College Business Professor Laura Thurnheer has been nominated Women of the Year at the 38th annual City of Kelowna Civic and Community Awards. Read: Civic award nominees revealed, from the Capital News.

More than 110 high school students from Revelstoke to Osoyoos will be testing their trades and technology skills. Read: College tests B.C.’s skills, in the Morning Star.

Community support is required if a new garden initiative at Okanagan College is to flourish. Read: Community garden seeking community support, in the Morning Star.

Honorary Fellow Dick Cannings is running for office in the Penticton riding with support from NDP leader Adrian Dix. Read: Dix likes national park idea, from the Penticton Herald.

Continuing Studies instructor Howard Soon received another award for his Sandhill chardonnay. Read: Local wines winning on the world stage, from the Capital News.

CKNW’s The Bill Good Show visited Kelowna’s Okanagan College. Read: Good show in town, followed by A Good visit, both from the Courier.

The Courier wrote about environmental journalist Damien Gillis presenting a talk at Okanagan College. Read: Filmmaker touches on water and power.

Kelowna’s Rails with Trails project is part of a larger plan that includes a new transit exchange at Okanagan College. Read: Second phase of Rails with Trails.

The Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus filled up with seed seekers recently. See: Seed Sale, and Seed Swap a success.

Honorary Fellow Dick Cannings presented a talk on Canada’s bird population at the Penticton museum. Read: Increase your bird knowledge.

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, on leave from his position as a Professor at Okanagan College, helped to launch Tourism Kelowna’s new Farm to Table program. Read: Farming tourism (appeared in both the Courier and Penticton Herald) and Connecting local farmers and chefs (Capital News).

The Okanagan Baby Fair took place at Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning. See: Buss for Baby, from Okanagan Sunday.



Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer.

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 Tuesday, April 9, 2013.