Enrolment up again at Okanagan College

fallFor the third year in a row, enrolment at Okanagan College has grown, with 5,229 students arriving to take programs at the College’s campuses this month. That’s an increase of 3.4 per cent from the previous September.

September’s enrolment growth was largest at the Kelowna campus. Student numbers there grew by 179 – or about five per cent over last year. Penticton grew by about 1.5 per cent to 475 students, while Salmon Arm grew by 2.4 per cent to 339 students. Vernon’s student headcount remained steady compared to last year, with 646 students, but the number of course registrations grew by almost 12 per cent.

There are also 92 students enrolled in distance education, taking a total of 584 courses. The numbers cited above include 468 international students, which is an increase of more than 24 per cent above last September’s enrolment of 376.

Public Affairs issued a press release earlier this week sharing the enrolment news with the media. The release resulted in a series of articles including:  : College keeps pace with increasing demand, and OK College enrollment up again.

CBC Radio One broadcasts live from Kelowna campus

cbc1The Kelowna campus pit was teeming with activity on Thursday afternoon as students, staff, community members and an esteemed panel of experts joined CBC Radio One for a live broadcast of the forum: The Changing Face of Kelowna – Are we Ready? Moderated by the CBC’s Marion Barschel, the forum delved into community issues of racism, multiculturalism, immigration and cultural diversity.

cbc2The forum panel included Mayor Sharon Shepherd; Dr. Carlos Texeira, UBCO; Woody Cross, EDC; and Joyce Brinkenhoff and Dini Steyn of the Intercultural Society of the Central Okanagan (ISCO). More than 100 people attended the event including Honorary Fellows Rev. Albert Baldeo, and Lorraine McGrath, Bertram Bailey, Jamaican Liaison Service, and Ron Cannan, MP Kelowna-Lake Country, among many others.

The forum came as a result of a study released by the ISCO. Follow this link to view the report: The Changing Face of Kelowna - Are we Ready? Watch a clip from CHBC, who covered the event, listen to a a segment from CBC Radio about ESL support for immigrants, the CBC coverage of the forum, or read a Public Affairs press release for more information. 

Career Fair planning kicks up

Career Fair 2008 is coming up!  The 27th Annual Okanagan College Career Fair will take place on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kelowna Campus. Invitations to exhibitors have been sent out via email this year as part of Public Affairs' effort to reduce resource consumption. If individual departments or programs would like to register to be an exhibitor, or if you would like more information, contact:  Katie Bowyer, Career Fair Assistant, at 4649

College continues to find ways to recycle

Facilities' Dave Sandberg
and Shelanne Flansburg

While attending a Greening your Business workshop, Graham Kershaw learned of a local company, Turtle Tanks Septic Systems, that was researching the use of recycled styrofoam as a component in their manufacturing process. In an effort to reduce waste at Okanagan College, Graham contacted the company and arranged to have waste Styrofoam from Okanagan College diverted from the mainstream garbage and sent to the company.

Upon hearing of this recycling initiative the Civil Engineering Technology department also got involved. Ken Langedyk and his students worked with the TTSS engineer to perform materials testing on the Styrofoam.

To date, Facilities, Central Stores and IT Services have been contributing their Styrofoam waste to this recycling initiative. If your department generates any waste styrofoam, simply submit an on-line work request to Facilities Management to arrange for pick up. We can then ensure Okanagan Colleges continues to reduce its impact on the environment. Let's all work together to keep it out of the landfill.

Okanagan College – leading the way in smoke-free initiative

lungNext week Okanagan College will launch Clearing the air, an informative campaign targeting young people between the ages of 19-29 with resources about smoking, tobacco prevention and harm reduction in partnership with the BC Lung Association. While the campaign targets young adults, it benefits all staff and students with the idea of promoting compliance with smoking in designated areas, on campus, minimizing butt litter and quit smoking support.

The BC Lung Association considers Okanagan College a forerunner in smoking and tobacco policies, and one of the leading post-secondary institutions in the province when it comes to responsible tobacco usage. Based on that reputation, Okanagan College has been awarded $15,000 in a working partnership with them.

Watch for more information about this campaign in the next edition of Inside Okanagan College. To find out more about the upcoming campaign, contact Jean Bryans at Campus Health and Wellness or go online to

Meet Okanagan College’s first class of HK diploma students

hkStudents from Okanagan College’s first class from the Human Kinetics diploma program got together for a 2008 class picture. To find out more about the new program taking place in the South Okanagan, contact Wendy Wheeler.

Third annual CS instructor retreat – Connect! Energize! Inspire!

Three years ago, Continuing Studies in Vernon started a retreat for their instructors as a way to offer them a quality professional development opportunity and to help build connections between instructors and Okanagan College. After two successful years with Vernon instructors, the Advisory Committee has decided to open it up to all Continuing Studies Instructors from all Okanagan College centers.

Participating instructors have been fortunate to have the ongoing support of Okanagan College staff who offer their time and talents to provide exceptional workshops during the retreat. Stan Chung has been a part of this retreat since the beginning and will be participating again this year along with Mike Minions and Michael Douglas.

The CS instructor retreat will take place on Oct. 25. For more information about this event, or to register, please contact Sarah Hanson at 250-503-2674.

Penticton pot luck

aboPenticton campus Aboriginal students, along with some members of the community, got together for a pot luck lunch on campus last week. The students would like to extend a big thank you to Judy George, an elder from the Penticton Indian Band, for her contribution and for providing delicious Bannock for the event.

College staff walk for the cause

aidsA group of staff from Okanagan College participated in the 12th annual AIDS Walk in Kelowna’s Waterfront Park on Sunday, Sept. 21.  From left to right: Claudia Cable, Michelle Sinclair and daughter Meaghan, Angie March, Heather Schneider, Jenice Bird and Tom Schneider, accompanied by a few furry friends.


A Public Affairs press release announcing an increase in student enrolments at Okanagan College resulted in a series of media hits. Read more in : College keeps pace with increasing demand, and OK College enrollment up again.

CBC Radio One’s live broadcast from Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus was covered by CHBC-TV. Follow this link to watch a clip from Friday’s forum on racism, multiculturalism and cultural diversity.

A Public Affairs press release generated promotion of the CBC Radio One forum held at the Kelowna campus. Read more in: Is Kelowna ready for changing reality?

John Lent was the subject of an article in the Vernon Morning Star as it announced that Lent would be the keynote speaker at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting. Read more in: Chamber holds AGM.

A follow-up article appeared in the Vernon Morning Star after John's presentation to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (where he successfully spread the message about Okanagan College's success using a PowerPoint presentation for the first time!). Read more about the success of the College and John's presentation in: College soars to new heights.

Okanagan College registrar Robert Ruf was one of 75 people from across BC to be named to the newly formed Citizens Conservation Councils on Climate Change. Robert comes to the council as a representative of the BC Citizens for Green Energy. Read more in: Okanagan faces named to citizens conservation council.

Okanagan College English professors Jake Kennedy and Kevin McPherson were featured in an article in eVent. Read about the professors’ current and upcoming projects in: Finding new boundaries in art genres.

President Hamilton was quoted in an article by the Penticton Herald as he addressed the issues of increasing international student enrolment at Okanagan College and the changing cultural mix Okanagan College is undergoing on its campuses. Read more in: Cultural mix changing on campuses.

Okanagan College’s baseball team received some media coverage in advance of its game against Thompson Rivers University. Read more in: OC fields its first ever baseball team and The OC looks to be a hit against TRU. TRU ended up with the win on Wednesday night but Okanagan College will get a chance to face them again next Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at Elks Stadium.

Okanagan College’s partnership with School District 23’s residential construction program garnered media attention after SD 23 invited media to tour the newly built home. Read more about Okanagan College’s involvement in the project including comments from president Hamilton in: Hands-on high school and Work experience and college credits, all before graduation.

Okanagan College’s Michael Orwick was photographed helping his wife’s team from TD Canada clean up a shoreline in Kelowna. Check out Michael’s good work in: Hundreds of Pounds of Trash Cleaned.

Lake Country MLA Al Horning was quoted in the Vernon Morning Start talking about the importance of the $159,733 commitment by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development to develop and support Aboriginal education programs at Okanagan College. Read more in: Funding supports aboriginal education.

The Kelowna Daily Courier picked up on a press release issued by Public Affairs and ran a story about first-year business student Melissa Veregin’s Garfield Weston Merit Scholarship for Colleges. Read the article: College student earns major financial award or check out the press release.

Okanagan College’s Student Connections program coordinator Tai Kolenko was featured in the Okanagan Saturday. Read more about the program and its services for the community in: College students step up with e-commerce help.

Chandra McCann and Carol Abernathy of Okanagan College’s Adult Literacy Program were featured in an article in the Vernon Morning Star. Read more about the program and how to get involved in: College promotes literacy.

An Okanagan College-hosted seminar on hiring foreign workers in Kelowna made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read about the demand for more foreign workers in: Job market still booming for foreign workers.

A feature article in the Penticton Herald promoted the seventh annual Going Once…Going Twice…Benefit Wine Auction. A portion of the proceeds from the auction, which will be held Oct. 4, will go toward scholarships for students enrolled in Okanagan College’s viticulture studies programs. Read more about what to expect at the auction in: Going once, going twice: upscale wines going under the hammer.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In columns covered skilled trades deficits and offered advice to high school students planning for post-secondary education. Read more in: New program addresses skilled trades shortfalls and Appropriate high school courses to consider taking.

September 26, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue12


Get your early bird tickets to DAA

Tickets to Okanagan College’s Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet are now on sale at an early bird price of $85 until Sept. 30. This year’s Distinguished Alumni winner is Don Turri of MacKay LLP in Kelowna. Penticton’s Chris Gibbons of Westhills Aggregates will receive the Young Alumni Award. To read more about the winners follow this link to a Public Affairs press release. The banquet and dinner reception will be held Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the Harvest Golf Club. Tickets to the event are available by emailing, calling Marcy Nelson at 250-762-5445 ext. 4773 or toll free: 1-888-650-6968.

College Pension Plan retirement seminar correction

Last week Inside Okanagan College announced news about College Pension Plan (CPP) retirement seminars and a new registration system. The link provided took members to the Municipal Pension Plan. The correct link to get to the CPP website, where employees can find out more about retirement seminars and register is:

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Jan Leonard from Trades and Apprenticeship at Penno Road in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $465. 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 (Landmark V, Kelowna) or online.

Help Wanted!

Continuing Studies is looking for instructors for the following courses:

SPD 24: Intro to Medical Terminology October 6 - October 22, Mon-Thu 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

SPD 21: Anatomy and Physiology October 27-Nov 20, Mon-Thurs 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Please contact Jill Panton if you are interested in teaching either or both of these courses at local 4589.

CS seeks Basic Math and Accounting Instructor

Continuing Studies is looking for a qualified instructor to teach OA Business Math, Jan 5 to Feb 4, and OA 94 Basic Accounting, Feb 9 to Mar 11, Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Please contact Lorrie Bauer, local 4533 for more information.

Food for Thought

The Brown Bag Lunch Series Food for Thought is back up and running in Kelowna! This speaker series provides an opportunity for staff and students to come out and hear a variety of college staff speak about a wide range of different topics. Speakers can present on anything they find interesting. Past speakers have presented on professional development events they have attended, places they have traveled to, aspects of student learning, and much, much more. If you would like to speak on a topic contact Sarah Dieno at local 4734 to make arrangements.


Sept. 30 – Oct. 4  - Okanagan College students and staff from the department of Communications will host a weeklong media education and awareness event, Free Media, from Tuesday, Sept. 30 until Saturday, Oct. 4 that will feature a keynote presentation by award-winning journalist, filmmaker and University of Washington digital media professor, Hanson Hosein. The event will also include open-air film screenings and a panel discussion. To find out more about Free Media events happening on various campuses, read a Public Affairs press release or contact Sharon Josephson.

Oct. 1 – Support the Okanagan College baseball team as they take on Thompson Rivers University in an evening game at Elks Stadium in Kelowna. The game starts at 7 p.m. Contact Mike Craig for more information.

Oct. 2 Food for Thought, the Brown Bag Lunch Series presents: The Canadian Federal Election: The ABC Campaign, Anything But Conservative
with guest speaker Wilma van der Veen (12 -1 p.m. room H116)

Explore the ramifications for Canada if the conservatives were to win a majority from the perspective of sociologist Wilma van der Veen. As an activist for over 20 years, and having organized around various social issues and been a member of many community organizations and different political parties, Wilma’s understanding of the keys issues of this election are not a mystery nor should they be to you. Do you want to become more like some European countries or do you want us to follow the example of the US? This event takes place in room H116 of the Kelowna campus from 12 – 1 p.m.

Oct. 4 - The Going Once...Going Twice...Benefit Wine Auction  will take place at the Ramada Inn in Penticton. The event will help raise funds for students in Okanagan College's viticulture studies programs. Tickets to the auction can be purchased at the front desk of the Ramada or by calling 250-492-8926 or emailing

Oct. 6Penticton campus Speaker’s Series presents: The Life Cycle of Stars with Roland Kothes, a scientist at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO). For eons, mankind has looked to the heavens and wondered at the lights in the sky. Stars are the most plentiful objects in the visible universe. Roland will describe the life cycle of these stars in our Galaxy: how stars are hatching from 'eggs,' which are emerging from cold and dense clouds of gas and dust. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Penticton lecture theatre – admission is by donation.
Oct. 8 - Food for Thought, the Brown Bag Lunch Series presents: The British Columbia Dragoons 1911-2011: The Okanagan Valley’s Own Regiment, with guest speaker Howard Hisdal. Howard is the Regimental Historian for the BC Dragoons and a History instructor at Okanagan College. Bring your lunch and learn more about the Okanagan’s very own Regiment. This event takes place in the Kelowna campus lecture theatre from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Oct. 20Penticton campus Speakers’s Series presents: Straight from the Streets! with Cpl. Mike Moyer, a member of the RCMP “E” Division Gang Awareness Unit. This lecture will present an opportunity to learn and discuss with the RCMP what role the social and cultural environment of a community plays in the development of gang culture, what signs may indicate the development of gang culture, and what steps a community can take to ensure that gangs and gang activities do not take root in their backyard. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Penticton lecture theatre – admission is by donation.

Oct. 23 – Join Mel Hurtig, a Canadian publisher, author, political activist and former political candidate, for a lecture on his latest book, “The Truth About Canada: Some Important, Some Astonishing, and Some Truly Appalling Things All Canadians Should Know About Our Country.” The event will take place in the Penticton lecture theatre at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 or by donation to support the Penticton Secondary School Global Awareness project.
Oct. 24 - Join Mel Hurtig, a Canadian publisher, author, political activist and former political candidate, for a lecture on his latest book, “The Truth About Canada: Some Important, Some Astonishing, and Some Truly Appalling Things All Canadians Should Know About Our Country.” The event will take place in the Kelowna campus lecture theatre beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free and this event is open to the public.


Katie Bowyer joins Public Affairs

katieOkanagan College welcomes Katie Bowyer to the department of Public Affairs in the role of Public Affairs Assistant. Katie graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Linguistics and completed additional studies in Marketing at BCIT. Katie brings to her role experience as a project coordinator in a public relations firm in Vancouver and as an administrative assistant at BC Hydro. Contact Katie for any questions about Career Fair 2008.

Jamie Basran

Jamie Basran, Educational Advisor for the Okanagan School of Business, has accepted a job in the co-op office at UBC Okanagan and will be leaving the Okanagan School of Business. Jamie has done an excellent job in the Ed Advisor position since taking over at the beginning of the year. Prior to that Jamie did an equally great job as a second Recruitment and Event Coordinator. Jamie's last day is today, Sept. 26. In Jamie's absence, all correspondence or advising questions should be emailed to: Anyone wishing to say goodbye to Jamie can come to room C246 for apple pie today between 3:30-5 p.m.

Landmark acquires additional First Aid attendant

Public Affairs’ Christine Ulmer has been certified as a level one occupational first aid attendant at the College’s Landmark location. She joins Xavier Mendoza, who is the other certified first aid attendant at Landmark. Anyone requiring first aid services can reach Christine at local 4412 or at her office in Public Affairs. Xavier can be found in his office in Information Services at Landmark.


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 Oct. 10, 2008.