Centre for Learning takes top awards at OMREB

cflOkanagan College’s Centre for Learning earned important community and industry recognition for its design, functionality and performance at the second annual Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) Commercial Division Awards last week.

The Centre for Learning dominated the evening by winning three awards - more than any other project - including the ultimate award for the competition: Judges’ Choice.

The other categories where the Centre won were Institutional-Community and Green.

In the Judges’ Choice category, winners from every category are compared to determine the best overall winner and Judges’ favorite. Winning this award was especially gratifying for Okanagan College, given the competition from other winners that evening, which included the $122-million Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, and the Madison, a 15-storey luxury condo complex in the heart of downtown Kelowna.

omrebThe OMREB Commercial Division covers an area stretching from Peachland to Salmon Arm.

The $28-million project was designed by Bunting Coady Architects and built by PCL Westcoast Constructors Ltd. The Province of British Columbia contributed $23 million to the project. Follow this link to view the complete list of awards.

Salmon Arm trades students celebrate newly expanded facility

salarmOkanagan College carpentry and plumbing students were joined by MP Colin Mayes and MLA George Abbott as they gathered with College officials, donors and partners to mark the completion of the $1 million expansion and renovation of the Salmon Arm trades training facility.

Announced in August 2009 as part of the joint Federal-Provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which is aimed at stimulating the economy and developing capacity in post-secondary institutions, the expansion added 2,783 square feet of shop and classroom space in addition to a new 6,456 square-foot covered work area.

The new space will accommodate 144 additional students -- 96 additional spaces for carpentry and 48 spaces for entry-level trades programs.

CTV covered the opening celebration, which concluded with carpentry students sawing through a 2 x 4 to mark the official opening. Follow this link to watch the piece from CTV.

Gorman Bros donate beetle-kill pine to Centre of Excellence

gormanA donation of pine boards from Gorman Bros. Lumber to Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence is driving home the messages of sustainability and stimulus.

A truckload of tongue-and-groove pine boards left Gorman’s in West Kelowna last week and arrived at the Penticton campus, where it will be used in the Centre of Excellence.

“The wood comes from beetle-infested forests in the Okanagan,” explained Ross Gorman, one of the founders of Gorman Bros. “It meets the specific requirements of the College’s ambitious efforts to create one of North America’s greenest buildings, and we’re proud to support that.”

“Our company and employees share a significant belief in sustainable forest practices,” said Gorman Sales Manager Cameron Cook. “Being able to put excellent value-added product into a Centre of Excellence is a terrific fit. Helping the College meet the Living Building Challenge is especially meaningful to all of us at Gorman’s.”

“One of the valley’s best-known family firms is stepping up to support the Centre of Excellence at a time when we know things aren’t particularly rosy in the forest industry,” said President Jim Hamilton. “This connection also points to how the local economy and local firms benefit from the investment being made in this building, in post-secondary education, and in sustainability. These are local resources being put to use, creating work for the area’s employees.”

Ross Gorman is also an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College (2007) – he was recognized, in part, for the commitment he and Gorman Bros. have shown to the College through donations and scholarships and for the support demonstrated for the community.

Arts asks students to help Spread the Word

spreadthewordFaculty in the Arts Department have developed an interactive and creative contest to help raise awareness about the Media and Cultural Studies diploma program.

The contest is called Spread the Word and invites prospective students to create an 8.5 x 11 poster or 30-second web video that spread the word about the diploma program or studies in the field of media and culture.

The contest runs until Nov. 30 – entries can be made online at:


1st prize—$1,000 tuition voucher to study in any Arts program at OC next year.

2nd prize—Norco, men’s City Glide 3 urban bike from Kelowna Cycle ($660 retail value).

3rd prize—Backpack with hydration system from Kelowna Cycle ($90 retail value).

For more information visit the website and check out a contest video featuring Communications professor Colin Snowsell. You can also follow the contest via Twitter:

Science in Society series presents Dr. Tom Pedersen

pedersenDr. Tom Pedersen, Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, will present a talk in Vernon entitled: Responding to the Climate-Change Challenge in British Columbia: Science, Social Science, Politics and Opportunity, as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series, hosted by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre.

Pedersen will explore how the climate-change challenge provides an opportunity for us to do things better, to unleash a new era of creativity, to improve the stewardship of our natural environment, and to revitalize our economy while generating new, cleaner industrial activity.

The talk will take place on Friday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre of the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, and will be followed by free refreshments. Admission is $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Please contact the Okanagan Science Centre or call (250) 545-3644 for advance purchase of tickets or for more information.

Audio Engineering Students get a new room with a view

audioThe Audio Engineering & Music Production students at Okanagan College will be using a new commercial recording studio facility in Kelowna for their upcoming recording projects.

The students will gain real world-class recording experience at the new Kelowna facility which features a mastering quality control room, top-of-the-line analog and digital recording and mixing equipment, and one of the best sounding live/drum rooms in the BC interior.

During the Audio Production recording projects students work together in pairs as producers and engineers with local music groups in a practical and professional setting. The finished songs are then added to the students’ in-class projects to compliment their portfolio of work completed during the eight-month certificate program.

For more information about the program or studio, contact Continuing Studies.

Another local company supports Penticton’s Centre of Excellence

windsorWith a 35-year history of service to the people of Penticton, Windsor Plywood understands the significance of the development of Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence. The company recently recognized the building’s importance with a $20,000 gift to support the building.

The donation is a welcome signal of how a locally owned and operated company is supporting the community and the importance it attaches to sustainability in building practices.

“Windsor Plywood has been in Penticton for more than 35 years and we know the role that Okanagan College has played here,” said Doug Sudchak, owner and manager of Windsor Plywood Penticton. “With expanded trades training and the new programs that the Centre of Excellence will bring, we know it is going to be an even more important part of the community.”

“Over the years we’ve provided builders and homeowners with many of the materials that have gone into building this community. You could say that this donation for the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation is doing the same thing.”

Follow this link to read the complete Public Affairs press release.

Let SIFE show you how to Dress for Success

sife2SIFE Okanagan is presenting the second annual Dress for Success fashion show in Kelowna on Friday, Nov. 5 from 6-9 p.m.

Watch students, faculty, administration, and even Board members strut their stuff as they wind down the atrium stairs onto a runway, while showcasing exciting local fashion from the retail community. 

The purpose of the show is to teach students and those entering or in the workforce how to dress for occasions such as presentations, meetings and networking events. The event is also a fundraiser for SIFE Okanagan, a non-profit student organization. SIFE runs community outreach projects throughout the Okanagan to create positive Social, economic and environmental change.

This year Orchard Ford has come on board as a major sponsor of the fashion show. The event will also feature a silent auction, wine, appetizers, door prizes and music from DJ Davie Westside of PartyWrekkers.

Anyone wishing to attend can contact Jill Konduc. Tickets are $20 – those who bring non-perishable food items will receive an extra ticket for a door prize.


OCAA honours Claremont and Donn

daaThe Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) celebrated the achievements of two of its most deserving alumni at the annual Distinguished Alumni Award reception on Thursday, Oct. 14 in Kelowna. Artist Lee Claremont received the 2010 Distinguished Alumna Award while musician and certified education assistant Ryan Donn took home the 2010 Young Alumnus Award.

The OCAA produced video tributes to both recipients – follow this link to watch Lee and Ryan's videos. 

Rylee Block opens for Shane Koyczan

slamOkanagan College Audio Engineering and Music Production student Rylee Block (left in the photo and also the son of IT Service’s Jake Block) recently opened for slam poet Shane Koyczan (middle), who performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Rylee presented his own slam poetry at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on Oct. 22 along with his good friend Chris Porter, also doing an original piece, before handing the mic to Shane.

Arellano gets some Fresh Air in Toronto

arellanoCommunications professor Marc Arellano recently traveled to Ontario, where his award-winning short documentary – Strange Fruit – was premiered in Toronto at Canada’s largest and longest running environmental film festival: Planet in Focus.

While in Toronto Marc had the opportunity to go inside the famed halls of the CBC for an interview on Fresh Air. Follow this link to watch part one of Marc’s segment in studio – ready for part two? Check it out.  
Oct. 26, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 15


Notice to faculty – Winter Convocation Jan. 15

Faculty are invited to attend Okanagan College’s 2011 Winter Convocation ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. Faculty who choose to attend are asked to contact Michelle Lowry with information about their height and highest educational credential earned (ie: 5”9 MSc. UVic). 

For a list of programs honoured at Winter Convocation please visit:

Volunteers are needed to support the ceremony as ushers, to hand out gowns to students, and for the reception. If you are interested in helping out please contact Michelle at ext. 4649.

Wellness InFocus

Human Resources is pleased to present the first issue of Wellness InFocus. This newsletter is prepared by Mercer for the BC Colleges and Institutions Consortium to support wellness initiatives and further spotlight the importance of managing your health.

Wellness Infocus, published three times per year and aims to provide strategies for living a healthy and well-balanced life. Each edition will feature tips on making positive lifestyle choices and discuss common health concerns. This first issue focuses on Diabetes – are you at risk? It also includes healthy-eating tips that can benefit anyone.

What’s new in International Education?

International Education has published its October e-newsletter. Follow this link to find out more about their Thanksgiving trip to Banff or tackle the Halloween crossword puzzle.

Still time to contribute to the Long Term Ed Plan

The series of consultation sessions focusing on the Long Term Education Plan and discussion papers is now underway. Sessions have been held in Salmon Arm, Penticton, Kelowna and Revelstoke. There is still an opportunity to attend additional sessions in Vernon (Oct. 27, 12-1:30 p.m., E202
) and Kelowna (Nov. 3, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., S103B).

In order to focus discussion around some of the important issues that will be addressed by the plan, a series of discussion papers have been developed with input from the Leadership Team – these have been linked into a single document, which is available online under myOkanagan.

A link to the PDF is available under Personal Announcements. Alternately, there are copies of the discussion document available for check-out at each of the
campus libraries, along with a companion document (Institutional Research Viewbook), which is referenced in some of the discussion papers.

Feedback can be provided at the sessions or via e-mail to the VP Education office.

Flu Shot Clinic reminder

The flu vaccine will be offered as a service to Okanagan College employees - participation is voluntary. Any questions regarding the type of vaccination or the after effects should be discussed with your family physician. Also please review the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Info Sheet.

As in previous years, Okanagan College is paying 50% of the total cost. Please bring a cheque with you, payable to Okanagan College, or exact change, for your portion of the vaccination ($10).

If you plan on attending the flu clinic at any of the following locations, also fill out the Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire & Consent form ahead of time in order to move the clinic along smoothly (except for the signature and date) as those are completed when the nurse if present.

The clinics in Vernon and Kelowna will be held as follows (Salmon Arm and Penticton clinics have already been held):

Vernon: Wednesday, Oct. 27
  12 - 2 p.m.

Room: E105 (Boardroom)


Thursday, Oct. 28
  8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Pit, Student Services Building

If you have any questions, please contact Matt Robertson at local 4573.

Facilities notice

Facilities Management is advising staff of a series of building audits that will be performed by VFA and will take place at all of the main campuses between Monday, Nov. 1 – 8. There will be three representatives from VFA on site – their review will be purely visual and should not interfere with any operations at the College and should not require access to any teaching spaces while occupied.

The team will be taking many digital photographs, however, we have been assured that they will not be taking any shots that include students or staff.
Audits will take place as follows:
Kelowna Campus Nov. 1 – 4
Vernon Campus Nov. 5
Salmon Arm Campus Nov. 5
Penticton Campus Nov. 8

Facilities Management personnel will be accompanying staff from VFA during their inspections. Questions or concerns? Contact Steve Robinson.

The Little Scholars Daycare kids are ready to trick or treat!

The Kelowna campus’s Little Scholars Daycare children will be visiting staff on the campus for Halloween trick or treating on the morning of Friday, Oct. 29. The kids will come in groups and will try to visit the cafeteria, the bookstore, the registrar’s office, the library, international education and human resources.

Access to Novell Netware disappearing

Over a year ago, the decision was made to migrate Okanagan College File and Print Services from the Novell Netware platform to Microsoft Windows by August 2010.

This has involved creating a new infrastructure, migrating all existing files on the F drives and K drives to the new infrastructure, and updating all Okanagan College desktop and laptop computers.

Almost all that work has now been completed and on Nov. 1, IT Services will disable access to Novell Netware file and print services.

If you are logging in using your nine-digit Employee ID then your desktop or laptop has already been converted. If not, you need to submit an IT Service Request to have your desktop or laptop migrated.

If you are logging in using your nine-digit Employee ID but you are subsequently logging into Novell Netware and using drive F or drive K to access files you need to submit an IT service request to have your files moved to the new infrastructure.

For assistance please call the IT Help Desk at local 4444.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Margo Kendal from Human Resources in Kelowna who won the Oct. 22 payday draw for $592.50 (the largest amount won to date).

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, or online.


The Regional District of the Central Okanagan held its final Household Hazardous Waste round up at the Kelowna campus on Oct. 16. The Battery doctors will now be a year-round facility to drop off hazardous waste materials. Read more in articles from the Capital News and Lake Country Calendar and see a photo of RSS students collecting waste in Final Roundup.

A photo of Windsor Plywood’s $20,000 donation to the Centre of Excellence made the Penticton Herald. See the photo in: Committed to community.

A $50,000 donation to the Centre of Excellence made the pages of the Penticton Herald when the Ramada Inn, Coast Penticton and Kettle Valley Station Pub announced their joint contribution to the new building. The funding will be directed toward creating student study space. Check it out in the Good Deeds section.

Gorman Bros. Lumber donated 12,000 board-feet of beetle-killed lumber to the Centre of Excellence. The lumber will be used on exterior soffits and inside shops, classrooms and offices. Read more in: Beetle wood to go into college building and Beetle handiwork goes into new college building.

In Jane Muskens’ School’s In column she wrote about the success of the “new” Okanagan College since July 1, 2005 in A school merger coupled with 43 years of continual growth. She also wrote about Making wise schooling choices and investing in education - even if it means taking on student loan debt.

The Vancouver Sun is predicting B.C.’s economy will slow down in the next year before ultimately picking up steam two years down the road. The article was accompanied by a photo of College staff and MP Stockwell Day touring Penticton’s Centre of Excellence.

The Business Thompson Okanagan noted Yvonne Moritz as the new Dean of Science, Technology and Health.

The Okanagan College Coyotes hockey team made headlines in: OC Coyotes look for road sweep and OC Coyotes eager to avenge defeat. They also hit the news in: OC benefit breakfast, which featured information about the inaugural Athletics Fundraising Breakfast with NHL Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson. The event will raise funds for the Coyotes Athletics teams.

The Vernon campus is offering two courses for businesses to help write promotional materials and everyday letters: Business Writing and Copywriting. Read more in: College courses introduce writing to businesses.

A UBCO student researched the difficulty of finding affordable rental housing in Kelowna for post-secondary students. He reports a supply and demand problem in the next five years with post-secondary student numbers rising. Read more in: Hard for students to find shelter.

In his Global Citizen column former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational, Stan Chung, wrote about a lost childhood as he played protector and confidante to his own mother, trying to keep her safe from his father.  Read more in: Growing up before our children do.

The eighth annual George Ryga Award will be announced during George Ryga Week. Three books are on the short list. John Lent, Regional Dean North Okanagan, is one of the readers assessing the books. Read more in: Summerland to host Ryga Award.

Other events will also be held in Summerland to mark George Ryga Week. The Contenders will hit Centre Stage on Nov. 4.  Read more in: Fjellgaard not slowing down, Musical legends returning to stage and Fjellgaard skipped the Junos the year that he finally won

The Okanagan Regional Library is researching what people want from their public library. Many users still want books but the need for electronic materials is growing. The electronic collection at the Okanagan College library can be viewed from any web browser and online services bring students in the door. There is a high demand for computer access and several laptops are loaned out annually as well as the many computers terminals are in constant use. Read the whole article in: Changing Priorities.

Self-referred clients of the Volunteer Adult Literacy Program can be tutored at the College, the public library or the Junction Literacy Centre. The volunteers love reading and want to share their skills and help others improve theirs. Read more in: Volunteering towards literacy.

One of Okanagan College’s most mature students was featured in an article in Forever Young. Read more about 94-year-old Vera Dewar and her commitment to lifelong learning.


Oct. 28 – Tickets are still available for the Okanagan College Coyotes Fundraising Breakfast, which will take place at the Capri Hotel in Kelowna from 7 – 9 a.m. The morning program includes a guest presentation from NHL Hall of Fame legend Glenn Anderson. Tickets are available at a cost of $100 per person and may be purchased by contacting Mike Craig.

Nov. 7 - Okanagan College will host the 2010 Career Fair and Community Science Celebration on Sunday, Nov. 7 from 10:30 - 4 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Contact Michelle Lowry for information.

Nov. 8 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - Canadian Generals commanding British Troops: Command Difficulties in 1944 with Howard Hisdal, History, Okanagan College. Professor Hisdal’s research interests include military, religious, and ethnic history. Hisdal gave this talk in Ottawa with Canadian General Romeo Dallaire in the audience. Come to this presentation and find out what question General Dallaire asked Howard. Classroom A204 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Nov. 8 - Penticton Speaker Series – 7 p.m. Lecture Theatre – Great Thinkers: Darwin Would Have Been on Facebook, presented by Okanagan College students.

The most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, had nearly 2,000 correspondents around the world with whom he exchanged letters, not only about his own ideas, but also about Victorian science and culture in general. Student readings from the letters will reveal a compelling narrative about the evolving theories of a great scientist, as well as insight into his life and culture.

Nov. 15 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - Restorative Justice with Margaret Clarke, Restorative Justice Coordinator.

Restorative Justice is part of the extrajudicial measures that were included in the Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2003 as a result of people searching for alternatives in dealing with young people in conflict with the law. Classroom A204 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Nov. 15 - Penticton Speaker Series – 7 p.m. Lecture Theatre – Crazy Heart (Film)
Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for his moving performance in Crazy Heart, the story of a country music star's rocky road to redemption. Bad Blake is a boozy, broken-down singer who reaches for salvation with the help of Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the music. Oscar-winning music by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett make this film worth watching on the big screen.

Nov. 22 - Penticton Speaker Series – 7 p.m. Lecture Theatre – How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Ron Spence

It was the summer of 2010, and with his 1957 Travel trailer, “PeeDee,” retired Okanagan College business professor Ron Spence recorded, journalized, drew, and observed dragon boating, music festivals, scenery, and Seniors’ Games. Those of you who have heard Ron tell his stories about being stranded in the Arctic, travelling behind the former Iron Curtain, or interviewing an 86 year-old restaurant owner who holds the Order of Manitoba will enjoy his irreverent and entertaining observations from this year’s travels.

Nov. 29 - Penticton Speaker Series – 7 p.m. Lecture Theatre – Extrasolar Planets: The Search for Other Worlds, Roland Kothes (DRAO)

Eight planets are orbiting around our sun…but how many are orbiting around those billions of other stars in our galaxy? Astronomer Roland Kothes will give a brief overview of the short history of exoplanet discoveries, describe the methods we use to detect planets, and look a little bit into the future and discuss the possibility of discovering an earth-like planet.

Nov. 29 – Kalamalka Speaker SeriesEat your Greens! The Power of Outdoor Learning with Dr. Veronica Gaylie. Join Gaylie for a discussion based on the experience of creating a Learning Garden in an interdisciplinary, higher education program. The talk will focus on the practical and pedagogical benefits of experiential learning at the college level, while touching on the many urgent – and global - reasons why a student-land connection is now needed at all levels of learning.

Gaylie is a professor, poet and founder of The Learning Garden at The University of British Columbia. She is also the author of The Learning Garden: Ecology, Teaching and Transformation (Peter Lang, 2009). Classroom A204 12:30-1:20 p.m.


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, Nov. 9, 2010.