SIFE Okanagan sweeps regional competition

This just in, late-breaking news from the Okanagan School of Business has both of Okanagan College's teams taking first place in the regional Western Canada Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) competition, which just wrapped up in Calgary this afternoon.

Okanagan College won the entrepreurship category, as well as the financial literacy category. There were 11 teams from four western provinces that competed.
The entrepreneurship team of Mike Blonde, Travis Fleming, Deepak Garch (all from Kelowna) and Rob Fulthorpe (Vernon) competed at 9:50 this morning. According to coaches Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Garth Maguire, they nailed it! Both the presentation and their answering of questions were fantastic, and the team had the judges complimenting them on their sense of community and the impact of their projects.
They competed against: the University of Calgary, Thompson Rivers University, the University of Alberta, Brandon University and Simon Fraser University.
Okanagan College's financial literacy team, consisting of Andrew Malashewsky, Mark Wilms, Wes Wright, Melisa Veregin (all from Kelowna) and Brant Jackson (from Vernon) competed at 10:50 a.m. They had a tough group of judges and once again delivered an amazing presentation and answered the questions with poise and confidence to take first place.
They competed against: the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Alberta, Brandon University and Mount Royal College.

According to Myrah, no other institution has won both awards, much less won in back to back years (last year SIFE Okanagan swept the regional competition).

The teams have now qualified to compete at the national competition in Toronto in May in four categories.
The SIFE Okanagan team won $3,000 ($1,500 each team) for these two prestigious awards today. The students have met key contacts at the career fair today and through the judging and already been approached by industry leaders for positions with their companies, and they are going to have a fun night of celebration with the over 150 students here in attendance.

Engineering Tech grads featured in promotional campaign

shantelleShantelle Clarke and Jared Wilkison, Okanagan College engineering technology alumni, were featured in two new TV commercials now airing on CHBC. Clarke completed the Water Quality and Environmental Engineering Technology program in 2003 and Wilkison is a 2002 graduate of the Civil Engineering Technology program. Clarke is the current operations manager at the wastewater treatment plan in Lake Country and Wilkison is a transportation designer with Urban Systems in Kelowna. Follow these links to check out Shantelle and Jared’s commercials.

Okanagan College creates culinary gold

 Robyn Sigurdson
Last month’s culinary competitions at the British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association annual food show highlighted some of the outstanding kitchen talent, who are products of the Culinary Apprenticeship program at Okanagan College.

Competing with the very best chefs from all across the province, local chefs and alumni Robyn Sigurdson (2007) and Brian Warwyk (2009) took home top honors in the team version of the Hot Competition while Brandon Pridie (2009) competed and won the Apprentice version.

Culinary Arts Instructor Geoffrey Couper was proud to mentor the four competitors, welcoming them into the College kitchens to practice their craft in the weeks leading up to the show. Displaying determination, dedication and desire these successful young culinarians proudly exhibited how far passion can go in their chosen trade.

The support of the Okanagan College Culinary Arts department, along with assistance and encouragement of industry partners like the Okanagan Chefs Association, certainly made a difference on the podium for these enthusiastic competitors, according to Cooper.

Award-winning business students pay visit to Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

tourismThree of the four members of the Okanagan School of Business team that recently won first place in the British Columbia Tourism Industry Case Competition had the opportunity to deliver their presentation to members of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. Clint Steer, Katrina Gillett and Jillian Konduc delivered a compelling argument for the importance of management in the tourism industry. Missing from the presentation was team member April Erickson, who was unable to attend. The team was coached by Blair Baldwin and Laura Thurnheer with support from Michael Conlin, Alan Rice and Kyleen Myrah.

Sustainability: Three steps forward

Everyone at Okanagan College has ideas to make the organization more environmentally, as well as socially and financially responsible – and we want to hear yours! Please join us at an Open House, or take a moment to fill out our on-line survey

All ideas will be collected, considered, sifted, and then evaluated by experts throughout the institution. The short-term recommendations will be bundled in a recommendation document for College leadership at the end of March.

3 Steps Forward Open Houses

Vernon Campus: Tuesday Mar. 3, 2 - 4 p.m. in the student lounge
Kelowna Campus: Wednesday Mar. 4, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in room A131 and 1 – 2 p.m. in the Trades Boardroom
Penticton Campus: Thursday Ma. 5, 9 – 11 a.m. in room C09B

Contact Arnica Rowan for more information.

Secondary students EXPERIENCE OC

experienceSecondary students in Salmon Arm and Kelowna had the opportunity to find out what it is like to be an Okanagan College student for a day when they were invited on campus to EXPERIENCE OC. The event saw 60 students in Salmon Arm and 350 students in Kelowna visit the campuses and take part in a series of classes, lectures and demonstrations in a variety of disciplines. EXPERIENCE OC is an annual event that is organized by Public Affairs recruiters and strongly supported by faculty. The Vernon campus will host EXPERIENCE OC in May, while the Penticton campus will host a different event to help attract and recruit secondary students.


Kat Hay returns to Alumni & Advancement, Marlis Wecels moves on

kat marlis 
Friday, Feb. 27 marks Marlis Wecels' last day as the Alumni & Community Relations Coordinator with the Advancement & Alumni Office.  The department wishes Marlis all the best as she moves forward to an exciting new time in her life.

Katerina Hay returns from her  leave on Monday, March 2 and will be back in her role as the Alumni & Community Relations Coordinator. Kat can be reached at Local 4771 or by email at

Tumuki Manu visits Penticton

manuThe Penticton campus recently hosted a mysterious professor by the name of Tumuki Manu who stopped by to teach the Huka. Several staff commented on Tumuki’s excellent skills, as well as his striking resemblance to business professor David Northcott!

Jennifer Heppner joins Public Affairs

jenniferPublic Affairs is pleased to welcome Jennifer Heppner to the role of Public Affairs Assistant. Jennifer is a graduate of OUC, and while further education, travel and work opportunities kept her away for a number of years, she is very happy to be living and working in the Okanagan once again.  Jennifer’s educational background is in English language and literature; her employment background covers art, travel, teaching and administrative work. Jennifer can be reached at extension 4649 or by email at:

Rob Kjarsgaard publishes book

robProgram Administrator for Trades and Apprenticeship, Rob Kjarsgaard, has recently had a book published based on his master’s thesis. The book, Rapid Prototyping, is now available online at

Rapid Prototyping is based on a program development method for online courses. Rob used this development method in designing a online Career Certificate program for Continuing studies. Assisting Rob with the development was Continuing Studies’ Lorrie Ford.

"It was a pleasure to work with Rob as he developed the template that became a foundational piece for us in moving the Okanagan College Career Facilitator Certificate program from face to face to an online format,” said Forde. “His template took into consideration the key elements that were identified by all parties involved and eventually became the starting place for all of the courses in the Career Facilitator program.  In the beginning, our plan was to transfer just one or two courses into an online format via this process but with the resounding success of the first, it was a natural evolution that eventually saw six of the seven courses in the program converted for online delivery."

Student Services staff take a stand against bullying

Several staff in Student Services in Kelowna donned pink attire in colorful support of Workplace Bullying Awareness Week.


A visit from Finance Minister Colin Hansen made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier when Hansen spoke about the importance of infrastructure projects underway in the region such as those at Okanagan College. Read more in: Hansen hits the road to sell B.C. budget.

Okanagan College’s Director of Public Affairs Allan Coyle was quoted discussing the College’s economic contributions to the region in an article appearing in the Penticton Herald. Read more in: Eye on the economy and Economic Outlook.

Okanagan-Westside MLA Rick Thorpe was featured in an article discussing the recent funds raised for scholarships for Okanagan College students. Read more in: Fundraiser boosts scholarship fund. Thorpe’s reaction to the deficit budget was also covered in the Kelowna Daily Courier along with comments from Okanagan College’s Norm Letnick. Read more in: Thorpe offers explanation.

Okanagan College’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner Nick Arkle was photographed in an article in the Okanagan Sunday. Arkle was encouraging people to get involved in a project that is near and dear to him, Global Citizen Week. Read more in: Still working to change the world.

Okanagan School of Business students Jill Konduc, Clint Steer, Katrina Gillett and April Erickson were mentioned in Steve MacNaull’s business update after they won the top award at the B.C. Tourism Industry Conference in Vancouver. Read more in: OC team winners at industry conference.

Students in the Okanagan School of Business received coverage in the Kelowna Capital News as the Young Entrepreneur program was profiled. College students act as mentors in the competition, which aims to promote entrepreneurialism among youth. Read more in: Young entrepreneur program competition now underway.

Okanagan College alumnus Ryan Donn was featured in an article in the Vernon Morning Star. Read more about the success of the musician in: Singer hopes for tower of support.

Communications professor Dr. Marlo Edwards was quoted in an article in eVent magazine discussing the upcoming Travelling World Community Film Festival. Read more about the event in: Documentary film fest comes to OK College or check out a Public Affairs press release.

Associate Dean of Trades Randy Werger made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier after he finished 15th overall in the opening race of the Interior Running Association season. (Randy also came in first place in his age category). Read more in: Wintry start for runners.

Okanagan College’s baseball team was featured in a Kelowna Capital News article as they gear up for the start of their competitive season. Read more about the team and upcoming games in: Okanagan College to start in CCBC this week.

Okanagan College will host the 19th annual B.C. Secondary School Mathematics Contest in March. Read more about the region-wide event in: Math contest offers cash prizes for Valley kids.

The Kelowna Daily Courier reported that student enrollment is up at Okanagan College after interviewing President Jim Hamilton. Read more in: As times turn tough, people turn to college.

Habitat for Humanity in Penticton received some ink after it announced it will partner with Okanagan College to build a home on Stocks Crescent in Penticton. Read more in: Habitat makes plans for second property.

Kelowna Daily Courier columnist Ron Seymour included Okanagan College’s KLO campus buildings on his list of government-owned buildings that should face the wrecking ball. Read more in: Spare the excuses, bring the wrecking ball.

Stan Chung’s Global Citizen column shared advice on how to take a micro-vacation to yourself.  Sound interesting (and affordable)? Read more in: The micro-vacation.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In column shared information on how, where and why college students switch post-secondary institutions. Read more in: New provincial report tries to track college students on the move.


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 Friday, Mar. 13, 2009.

February 27, 2009 Vol. 2 Issue 22


50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Brenda Naka from Co-operative Education in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $475. 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.

Facilities Management to launch new work request forms

Facilities Management has decided to follow in the footsteps of IT Services and go to NEW Online Work Requests. As of March 30, 2009 all work orders will have to be requested online for internal tracking purposes (not by phone or email) through My Okanagan – OC Express – Requests and Notices – NEW – Facilities Management Work Request.

There will be a new form that will capture your email address so that you don’t have to enter it in and will provide you with a work order number straight away so that you will be able to track the status of your request online. As always, Facilities Management will require seven days notice of any work request such as event setups, furniture moves, etc. except for emergency safety situations i.e.: flooding, no heat, etc.

If you have additional details i.e.: you need to meet ahead of time to discuss a special seating arrangement and you are only available after 2 p.m. each day on your cell phone, please state this so we can make sure to contact you and help make your event a resounding success.

Facilities Management looks forward to providing you with even better service.

Holiday Season Closure: 2009-10

Okanagan College will be closed to the public during the holiday season from Friday, Dec. 25, 2009 to Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 and will re-open Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.

Employees not scheduled to work are expected to take vacation or leave without pay for the days outlined below. Also, Vocational Instructors may book CD/PD time if available for the days outlined below. Please ensure that the following information is shared within your department.

Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009 (Support Staff floater day). Admin – Faculty and Vocational employees report to work unless on approved leave

Friday, Dec. 25, 2009 – Christmas Day (Statutory holiday)

Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 – Boxing Day (Statutory holiday)

Tuesday, Dec. 29 (Employees book a vacation day or leave without pay)

Wednesday, Dec. 30 (Employees book a vacation day or leave without pay)

Thursday, Dec. 31 (Employees book a vacation day or leave without pay)

Friday, January 1, 2010 – New Year’s Day (Statutory holiday)

Monday, Jan. 4, 2010 – Okanagan College is open for business (Report to work unless on approved leave).

In accordance with established procedure, on the last normal working day prior to Christmas Day, this year being Thursday, Dec. 24, departments may close at 3 p.m. During the closure, the heating in the buildings will be set to low, therefore, if there are requirements for employees to work, Facilities Management should be notified.

School of Business hosts Connecting You to Your Future Employees

Okanagan College and the Okanagan School of Business are proud to be hosting the second annual Business Expo and Career Fair. The purpose of this event is to connect our skilled students, both graduating this year and those continuing with their studies with the business community, with employers. This event is more than a job fair in that students who are looking for jobs and career opportunities will use this event as an opportunity to make decisions on the future focus of their education. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 11 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Student Services Building of the Kelowna Campus. Contact Jamie Morrow for more information.

Nominate a Fellow

Nominations are now being accepted for Okanagan College’s Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching. Ten fellows of the Institute will be nominated later this spring from eight instructional areas and two staff groups. Those fellows will be tasked with developing “communities of practice” in their respective areas that will encourage sharing, mentoring and dialogue around learning and teaching. Nominations are being accepted for Fellows from the following groups:

1. Librarians, Ed Tech, Learning Centre Coordinators, Ed Advisors, HR Advisors, Counsellors, Recruiters, and other staff with an instructional focus.
2. Student Services, Advancement, Registration, Admissions, Facilities, Human Resources, IT
Services, Public Affairs, Ancillary and Business Services, Finance, Institutional Research,
Excluded Staff, and other staff with a service focus.
3. Adult Acadmic and Career Preparation, Special Education
4. Arts
5. Business, ABT, Aircraft
6. Continuing Studies
7. Health and Social Development
8. International and ESL
9. Science and Technology
10. Trades

Follow this link to download a pdf of the nomination form and submit forms to Lara Jennings by March 31. For more information about the Institute contact Stan Chung.

Canada Millennium scholarship applications now available

Applications are now being accepted for the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation's national in-course awards. Each year, the Foundation grants these awards to more than 1,200 young Canadians who are contributing to the betterment of their community while pursuing their post-secondary studies.

Any student who meets the eligibility criteria set out below, has a strong academic record, demonstrates leadership as well as constructive and verifiable community commitment, could be eligible for a national in-course award worth between $4,000 and $10,000.

To be eligible, by the end of the 2008-09 academic year the student must have completed one of the following:

First year - but not the second year - of a diploma or associate degree program


Second year - but not the third year - of a degree program (including university transfer)

If you know students who deserve this type of encouragement, invite them to visit for more information and the online application. The deadline for Okanagan College students to apply is May 1, 2009. 

Campus Store Pre-Inventory Sale

Campus Stores are offering a pre-inventory sale from March 9 – 13 at all campuses. Receive 20 per cent off regular-priced clothing and giftware and 10 per cent off general interest books (some exclusions apply). Please have your department I-charges into the Campus Store by Mar. 13 to receive sale prices. Contact Carla Macfarlane for more information.

Campus Stores will be closed on Mar. 19 & 20 due to inventory maintenance.

Catch the Wave and use the online web requisition

Completing a Web Requisition  - Where To Begin

Web Requisitions enable College faculty and staff to create online Purchase Requests on their desktop computers, and submit them via the Internet to the Purchasing Department for processing. Web Requisitions are the quickest and most efficient means of submitting purchase requests.

To create your Web Requisition log into My Okanagan and then click on the Employee tab. Click on Purchase Requests and then on the Request to Purchase link. A new window will open on your computer. Click on Requisitions and then surf down and click on New Requisition.

For step-by-step instructions on completing a Web Requisition see the Web Requisition Wizard notes. These help notes are located in My Okanagan under Purchase Requests.

Check out the Purchasing Website for more information or contact us if you have any questions or require Web Requisition assistance. Call 862-5613 or email (

The Purchasing Department would like your comments or concerns, and will gladly answer any questions you may have related to the areas for which the Purchasing Department is responsible.


Mar.  2Kalamalka Speaker Series: How are lasers used in making the car you drive? with Dr.  Vivian Merchant. The automotive industry is one of the largest users of Lasers, the Light Fantastic. Learn the latest in manufacturing technology, how lasers are used for cutting, welding, drilling, and labeling in the manufacture of vehicles. This lecture will take place on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. There is no admission cost and parking is free during the lecture.

Mar. 3 – The Okanagan School of Business and partners are sponsoring a free debt-management seminar at the Kelowna campus. There will be two sessions offered on Tuesday, Mar. 3; one is for students (3:30 – 5 p.m. in room C-240) and the other is for the general public (7 – 8:30 p.m. in room H-115). Email Jamie Morrow for information.
Mar. 4 - Okanagan College and the Canada Council for the Arts presents a free Writers West reading by Louise Halfe and guests at 7 p.m. in the Penticton campus lecture theatre. Halfe has published three acclaimed books of poetry. Bear Bones & Feathers received the Canadian Peoples Poet Award, and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award. Blue Marrow was a finalist for both the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Pat Lowther Award, and for the 1998 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award and the Saskatchewan Poetry Award. Her most recent book is The Crooked Good. Halfe has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina and currently gives workshops on drug and addiction counselling.

Mar. 5 - In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Gordon Turriff, QC, President of the Law Society of British Columbia, will give an informative presentation on the history of the Law Society, the importance of the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession. This event will take place at 7 p.m. in the Penticton campus lecture theater.

Mar. 6 – Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus will host the 26th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building competition. The event will begin at 10 a.m. in the Pit and in the lecture theatre. For more information, contact Karma Lacoff.

Mar. 9 Penticton campus Speaker Series presents the film: Burn after Reading at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre. For more information contact Kaya Forest.

Mar. 9 The Kalamalka Speaker Series presents: Authentic happiness through virtue and character development with Dr. Ben Coleman (part one). The inspired Abraham Lincoln once commented with hope to mending the deeply rooted animosity that had severed his country through an appeal to “the better angels of our nature.” Similarly, amongst global economic turmoil and upheaval, Barack Obama in his inaugural address appealed to “doing the right thing.” The first presentation will focus on virtue while the second will focus on developing and maintaining essential virtues for living well and doing well. This lecture will take place on Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. There is no admission cost and parking is free during the lecture.

Mar. 10 – Okanagan College presents an evening with Dr. Vandana Shiva at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (Mary Irwin Theatre). Dr. Shiva is a celebrated physicist, environmental activist and author. Her presentation will begin at 8 p.m.

Mar. 12 – 15 – Okanagan College will host the World Community Film Festival from March 12 -15 at the Kelowna campus. This free event is BC’s largest documentary film festival. For a complete schedule of movies go online: The event is free and donations will be accepted for the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre.
Mar. 16 - Kalamalka Speaker Series: Happiness (part two): How to develop these virtues/traits in order to improve/maintain genuine happiness with Dr. Ben Coleman. Happiness (part two) will focus on developing and maintaining essential virtues for living well and doing well. (See Happiness Part I March 9). This lecture takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the lecture theater.  

Mar. 17 - Okanagan College and the Canada Council for the Arts presents a free Writers West reading by Warren Cariou at 7 p.m. in the Penticton campus cafeteria. Cariou is the author of The Exalted Company of Roadside Martyrs and Lake of the Prairies: A Story of Belonging, which was shortlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction in 2004. Lake of the Prairies was chosen as a Globe and Mail Notable Book of the Year in 2002 and won the 2003 Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize. He is a Canada Research Chair and Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba.  His most recent work in fiction and in film explores the interactions between Aboriginal people and oil companies in the Canadian west.

Mar. 18 - Okanagan College and the American Astronomical Society present the Harlow Shapley lecture: “Cosmic Evolution: From Big Bang to Biology” with Dr. Chris Impey. The lecture will take place in room C-272 from 7:30 – 9 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Impey is Deputy Head of the Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona. He has been the recipient of eleven teaching awards there and is the youngest person ever to be awarded the position of University Distinguished Professor at Arizona. In 2002, he was named the National Science Foundation Distinguished Teaching Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation, and in 2005 was selected a Galileo Circle Scholar, the College of Science’s highest honor.

Mar. 21 – Two students in Kyleen Myrah’s BUAD 339 (social entrepreneurship) have organized a Women’s Art Festival in Kelowna as part of their term project. The show is open to the public and will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Pit at the Kelowna campus. Event organizers are still looking for women artists who are interested in exhibiting their art. Funds raised at the event will be donated to the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre. For more information email:

Mar. 23Penticton campus Speaker Series presents: Getting away from it all – in the Okanagan, with Howie Richardson at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 23 - Kalamalka Speaker Series presents: Noticing Synchronicity: Mindfulness Beyond “Mere” Coincidence with Dr. Ralph Maddess at 12:30 p.m. in the lecture theater. The Swiss Psychiatrist C.G. Jung coined the term 'synchronicity' in seeking to explain the modus operundi of the I Ching, which is often roughly translated as meaningful coincidences. Through noticing these synchronicities in our daily life, one glimpses, sees, then knows the interconnectedness of our inner and outer 'worlds' of experience, linking subject-object, self-other and inner-outer. There is no admission cost and parking is free during the lecture.

Mar. 29 – Register now for the Campus-to-Campus Half Marathon or Bookworm Relay Race. The 21.1 km half-marathon race will begin at UBC Okanagan and follow a speedy course that will take runners along Lakeshore and back to the Kelowna campus. The relay race includes teams of 5 runners (each of whom run approximately four kms) and follows the same course. Today is the final day for early bird registration pricing – go online to sign up or contact Race Director Jane Muskens for more information. 

Mar. 30 - Kalamalka Speaker Series presents: Peru: A 15,000 Foot Vertical Drop with Madelaine Befus at 12:30 p.m. in the lecture theatre. Peru is a land of intriguing contrasts: wealth and poverty; ice-clad mountains, dry coastal deserts, and flourishing jungles; ancient cultures and optimistic future. Enjoy a pictographic trek from Lima to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco; then from the 15,000-foot Salkantay pass to the valleys chasing the glacier melt to the hot springs of Agua Caliente. Explore the fascinating, deserted Inca city of Machu Picchu; then hop a train for a trip through the mountains. Flee the dry highlands of Cusco to the lush jungles of the Tambopata Nature Reserve in the Amazon basin. This event is free.