Great turnout for Home for Learning, Salmon Arm

Residential Construction 2013 Home for LearningLocal politicians, including Mayor Nancy Cooper and City Counsellor Chad Eliason, joined the Board Chair and representatives from Okanagan College, Rotary Club of Salmon Arm Shuswap and School District 83 in Salmon Arm on Jan. 21 for the completion reception of the Home for Learning residential construction project.

Okanagan College’s Regional Dean of Shuswap-Revelstoke, Jim Barmby, held court as emcee and the new Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, Steve Moores, addressed the crowd on behalf of the College stressing the importance of skilled trades training.

“Statisticians and economists are forecasting there will be a significant shortage of skilled tradespeople in our region and country, but notice the emphasis is on skilled,” said Moores.

“That’s important, because creating skilled workers is exactly what Okanagan College does, and that’s what the Home for Learning does. It puts real quantifiable skills into the hands of students. The students here will be filling that shortage, and they’ll be doing the work confident that they have what it takes to not only succeed, but excel.”

Residential Construction student, Griffin Victor, who was one of 11 students on the project, affirmed Moores’ comments.

“I gained valuable experience on the project, both in technical carpentry skills, but also in life skills that I will carry with me throughout my working life,” he said.

For more information, see the press release.

Eight Okanagan College students receive Ike Barber Aboriginal Scholarships

Reducing barriers to education is the goal of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship society. Eight deserving Okanagan College Aboriginal students are among 265 in the province who have been selected as recipients of the society’s BC Aboriginal Student Awards. 

They are:

Britney Jennison – Kelowna campus
Penny O’Leary – Kelowna campus
Robin Arnouse – Kelowna campus
Naomi Baker – Kelowna campus
Dallas Keller – Penticton campus
Tyler Walkden – Salmon Arm campus
Cassandra Gunn – Salmon Arm campus
Jessica Hamilton – Vernon campus

Established in 2008, the scholarships facilitate access and improve achievement by reducing financial barriers. In 2013, the society disbursed $813,000 to Aboriginal students in B.C. who received awards that ranged between $1,000 and $5,000 to help in securing skills and training.

For more information, see the press release.

Tickets going fast for Winter Indulgence

Pastry Arts Class of 2014 Celebrate sweet love on Feb. 14 at Winter Indulgence in Kelowna. The evening features seven themed tables of creative confections made by Pastry Arts students. Desserts include Raspberry Ganache Marijolaine, White Chocolate Apricot Roulade, French Macarons and Guinness Stout Ginger Cake with Caramel Sauce with wine pairings. Diabetes-friendly and gluten-free options are also available.

“What will surprise people about Winter Indulgence is the level of skill the students showcase after just a few months of training,” says Pastry Arts program instructor and event organizer, Anna Mandziuk.

“Instead of being a typical dessert buffet, it’s a showcase of an art form. We’re raising the bar on most people’s idea of dessert.”

As a bonus for staff and students, Pasty Arts will be presenting a special preview event on Jan. 30 from 3-5 p.m. Tickets are only $5 and are still available through the Kelowna Campus cafeteria and Infusions.

Tickets for the Valentine’s Day event are $35 and available at Infusions, in the Kelowna campus cafeteria or by calling 250-762-5445, ext. 4426.

To watch a clip from Global News about the event follow this link.

Goodnight Kelowna, G'morning poetry

An Okanagan College literary romp is taking over the Streaming Café in Kelowna on Feb. 7. Mark your calendars for G’Morning Poetry: A late-night humour talk show live. This free for all ages, half-improv, half-scripted, late-night talk show-style event promotes the love of literature in a zany setting with games, goofs and gaffes.

Hosted by Okanagan College English professors kevin mcpherson eckhoff and Jake Kennedy, the evening features many special guests including local stand-up comic Nick Abrey, Canadian poet Sharon Thesen, and West Kelowna musician, Bjorn Kriel with his band Bear Meets World.

"G'morning Poetry aspires to make poetry real, relevant, joyful and everything else that poetry is not," says mcpherson eckhoff.

Limited to 50 people, the event is free and takes place from 8-9:30 p.m. at the Streaming Café, 596 Leon Ave, Kelowna. For more information, contact or follow @Gmorningpoetry.

Register now for Golden Day of Service

OC 50 logo 220Organizations have been busy populating the online portal for Golden Day of Service with opportunities. Log on to Golden Day of Service to check out the available volunteer opportunities and register to take part on Feb. 14.

Initiatives include updating the website for the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society and helping 4-H Clubs with an alumni mailout to a cleanup at SPrkl-Kal Beach Lagoon and Lookout and replacing the deck at South Okanagan Women in Transition Services.

If you belong to a charitable organization and have an activity you want to take part in or solicit others to join you, make sure you register it as soon as possible.

“The Golden Day of Service has the potential to have a profound impact in our communities on just one day,” says College President Jim Hamilton.

“It’s our way of saying thank you as we write the next chapter in our College’s story and we want to write that chapter with the people who have done so much to support our students, our employees and our College.”

For more information, visit Golden Day of Service.

Launching Okanagan College’s first LOOC

resized Rosalind Warner and Arnica RowanYou’ve probably heard of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), but three Okanagan College employees are in the final touches of developing an innovative Local Open Online Course (LOOC).

“MOOCs have been around for a while,” says course co-creator and Political Science professor Rosalind Warner, “but these courses lack a local flavor and interaction between the participants.”

“We wanted a deep learning experience that was focused on the Okanagan but open to anyone in the world who wanted to learn about how to apply sustainability practices,” she says.

Warner, together with Business Professor Arnica Rowan and Education Technology Specialist, Ross McKerlich, created the online course to be flexible enough to enable the learner to complete the sections they want to complete, when they want to complete them.  

“The three of us share a similar learning philosophy that is learner-centred,” says Rowan. “If you don’t finish the course but participate for two days, learn something, and make some connections with like-minded people, then it served its purpose.”

In the course, learners get to explore timely sustainability issues, like Food Systems, Green Living, Nature and Outside, Human Health, and Local Global.

Another unique feature of the course is it’s based on game theory. Students complete tasks to earn badges and discover the next challenge. At each bronze, silver and gold level they can earn three types of badges: Connection Facilitator, Resource Specialist, Change Agent. The elusive Topic Master badge is awarded to learners who complete every challenge in the topic.

Registration for the Applied Sustainability LOOC opens Feb. 10. Course starts on Feb. 17. Contact Ross McKerlich for registration details.

Getting the word out

The Public Affairs Department of Okanagan College sent out the following media releases in the last two weeks:
Okanagan College presents: G’morning Poetry: A Late-Night Humour Talkshow Live
Career opportunities the focus of College’s Business Expo and Employment Fair
Okanagan College joins post-secondary partners in research project to bridge essential skills gap
College seeks opportunities to help community on Golden Day of Service
Raising the roof on skills training in Salmon Arm
Okanagan College Aboriginal students earn Irving K. Barber awards
College half marathon set for April 6, registration now open


Penticton ushers in the New Year

Penticton Winter Term LunchTo welcome new and returning students to the winter 2014 term, the team at the Penticton campus hosted a lunch event. All of student services were at the event, as well as the Students’ Union and Enactus.

Organized by Jill Smith, Recruiting and Events Coordinator, with help from Jackie Pine, Regional Dean’s assistant, 200 students enjoyed free lunch and popcorn and had the opportunity to play games and win prizes. Sabrina Crawford in the HCA program was the lucky winner of the $250 Campus bookstore gift certificate.

“Many students were able to take advantage of the reception. It was a great event that was well received and allowed the campus staff to give a warm welcome to 2014,” says Penticton’s Regional Dean, Donna Lomas.

New employee makes a cross-Canada trek

Danai kusikwenyuOkanagan College’s new International Education Advisor in Kelowna, Danai Kusikwenyu, braved inclement weather to start her role with Okanagan College on Jan. 6.

A native of Zimbabwe, she came to Canada to study English and History at Memorial University in Newfoundland. After graduation, Danai worked in international education at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. Most recently, she was at the University of Waterloo in Ontario where she embarked on the cross-country drive with her fiance.

Although far from home, she chose the job at Okanagan College for the depth of experience it would bring her.

“I have worked in universities of various sizes and I wanted the experience of working in a college,” she says.

“In my previous positions, I dealt mostly with immigration and settlement and now I have the opportunity to work on the academic side and advise students on their course selections.”
Danai can be reached at or ext. 4282.

Jan. 28, 2014 Vol. 8, Issue 21


Health info from the Employee and Family Assistance Provider

Okanagan College's Employee and Family Assistance Provider (EFAP), PPC Canada, provides a wealth of information each month about an important issue regarding your health and wellbeing.

This month’s focus is on aging with vibrancy. Read the Balance Sheet newsletter here. 

The webinar takes place on Jan. 29 at noon, and is free.
 To register, click here.

Summer Distance Education opens soon

Registration for Summer 2014 Distance Education courses opens on Feb. 3 for continuing students and Feb. 10 for new students. Courses start in May and students write their final exams mid-August. In summer 2013, Okanagan College had more than 900 registrations in online and distance education courses.
This year, students can catch up or get a head start on their fall studies in more than 70 courses in arts, business and science.
Check Classfinder for a complete list of course offerings. Students are encouraged to register early as spaces may be limited.

College Pension Plan statements coming soon 

This week, your Member’s Benefit Statement will accompany your Report to Members booklet in the mail. Both publications are provided to help you understand your pension benefits. Your pension is a valuable asset, and your Member’s Benefit Statement explains the value of your pension and provides you with an overview of the choices you may make about how and when to retire.
Your statement is also available online through My Account. To register for My Account, visit the College Pension Plan website and click on the My Account login button. Registration is easy and offers enhanced security measures.
Questions about your pension? Read your Member’s Benefit Statement for answers.

Boost your leadership quotient

Continuing Studies has updated and renamed its Management Skills for Supervisors Certificate. The new three-course Leadership Skills Certificate has its first intake in Kelowna, running from Feb. 6 to Mar. 28, on Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The program provides a foundation in the principles of leadership, building high performance teams, and performance management. Instructor, John Singleton is an award-winning expert in personal development, leadership and training, and a Certified Executive Coach.
Tuition is $2,136 (plus materials). The program is eligible for tuition waivers, and is now accepting applications at
Contact Mary Kline for more information.


Using iPad in the Classroom

On Jan. 29, Okanagan School of Business professor, Michael Orwick shares ways to enhance students' learning using the iPad. From videos to PowerPoint-style presentations, there are a growing number of teaching options available to professors. Co-presented by the Institute for Learning and Teaching and Education Technology; from 4-5 p.m., Room E303, Kelowna, Campus. Visit for more information.

Celebrate the Year of the Horse

Usher in the Chinese New Year on Friday, Jan. 31. This year’s event features the Dragon Dance lead by Mr. Lee from the Chinese Freemasons Club and attendees will receive a lucky red envelope. Discover your Chinese zodiac sign, make paper lanterns and learn how to use chopsticks. Sample Chinese culinary delights from the Asian Pear; from 3-6 p.m., Atrium, Centre for Learning, Kelowna campus.

Baseball ticket drive is a home run

Buy a ticket to an Okanagan College Coyotes baseball game by 4 p.m. on Jan. 29, and you could win a trip for two to Las Vegas. As an incentive to sell advance tickets to the 2014 season, the baseball team is holding a series of prize draws starting on Feb. 1.  

Your $20 ticket will enable you to see any baseball game in the 2014 season, but you’ll also be entered into prize draws taking place throughout the season. Aside from the trip to Vegas, a trip to Los Angeles, ski passes and a spa/golf package are also up for grabs this year.

The draw-prize schedule is as follows:

Feb. 1: Trip for two to Las Vegas

Feb. 17: Okanagan College Hoody
Mar. 1: Romance Package at Hotel Eldorado

Mar. 15: Okanagan College Hat

Apr. 1: Sparkling Hill Resort/Predator Ridge Golf Package

Apr. 20: Trip for two to Los Angeles

May 1: Okanagan College Hoody
May 15: Okanagan College Golf Shirt

Jun. 1: Okanagan College Dri Fit Shirt

Jun. 15: Two Big White Season Passes for 2014-2015
Jul. 1: Golf BC Gift Certificate
Aug. 1: Okanagan College Golf Shirt

At time of purchase, you’ll be asked to provide your contact information and winners will be notified by email. Tickets can be purchased from Athletics, Recreation & Student Life, 250-762-5445, ext. 4938.

Home Support Forum

On Feb. 6, the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) is hosting a community discussion on the crisis in home care for the elderly featuring the BC Ombudsperson Kim Carter, Co-Chair of the BC Health Coalition Rick Turner and front-line community health worker Donna Stubbe.

The event takes place from 7-9 p.m. in the lecture theatre at Okanagan College, Kelowna campus. Visit the BCGEU website for more information.

Register now for Okanagan College Half Marathon event

What better incentive is there to keep your New Year’s resolutions than to register for a fitness goal? Register now for the Okanagan College Half Marathon on Apr. 6 and keep yourself on track.

Participants have three distances to choose from: the half-marathon, the half-marathon relay and the 10 km. Lace up your sneakers, strap on your fuel belt and get training.

Visit for information.

Business expo brings employers to Kelowna campus

Okanagan College will host its seventh annual Business Expo and Employment Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus.

More than 60 regional and national employers will be onsite to speak with students and members of the community about employment opportunities in a wide array of professions. 

The event takes place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., is free and open to the public. Follow this link for more information.

Studio woodworking tool demonstration

For the third year, the Studio Woodworking program in Kelowna is hosting a tool demonstration from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, Inc. This is a rare opportunity to see high-quality hand tools and fine woodworking in action.

“Our hope is to generate a community of woodworkers in the Okanagan that contributes to the region’s Arts and Crafts tradition,” says Chair of Construction Trades, Alf Leimert.

The demonstration for Okanagan College students and staff takes place on Feb. 21 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and the public event is Feb. 22 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Trades Building, room T102, Kelowna campus. For more information, visit

Could you become a superhero?

Having the power, agility and speed of Ironman and Superman may seem like it can only happen in comic books, but according to neurobiologist, it is possible.

E. Paul Zehr, professor and head of the Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Victoria, answers the question: “Is there a superhero in you?” on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. at the lecture theatre at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

The event is part of the Science and Society Speaker series and the Vernon Winter Carnival of Superheroes.

The event takes place the lecture theatre at the Vernon Campus.Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644 or visit


An art exhibit at the Vernon Campus, supplied through a partnership between Okanagan College and Gallery Vertigo, was a topic of public debate. Read more in ‘Distressing' exhibit removed from OC, listen to a CBC radio interview with Regional Dean Jane Lister and the artist, and watch a Global News report on Jan. 21.

Okanagan College is promoting community volunteerism through its Golden Day of Service on Feb. 14; see Golden Day of Service promoted and College wants to serve on Feb. 14.

Finalists of the Canadian Culinary Championships taking place at the Delta Grand Hotel and Okanagan College on Feb. 7 and 8 were announced, see Battle royal cooked up for top chefs, Culinary championships will have definite Canadian music flavor, Singers to serve up entrainment at end of Canadian chefs competition, and Canada’s best chefs converge on Kelowna.

Eight Okanagan College Aboriginal students were among 265 students in the province who received scholarships through the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society, see Aboriginal students at College win scholarships and OK College Aboriginal students receive Irving K. Barber awards.

In her regular Capital News column, Registrar Jane Muskens discusses the benefits of post secondary education to salary competitiveness and job security in times of economic uncertainty, see Housing market cost increases outpace rise in salary income.

If you have an unfilled New Year’s resolution, then chances are Okanagan College has a class to help you complete it, see OC arts classes abound.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow, Richard Cannings, a Penticton-area biologist and author, is seeking the federal NDP nomination for the new South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, see Cannings wants Atamanenko’s job.

The Pastry Arts program's Winter Indulgence dessert event at Okanagan College in Kelowna promises to sweeten the soul on Feb. 14. Watch the Global News clip here, Pastry program on the rise.

Okanagan College’s announcement that it's joining eight B.C. post-secondary institutions in the Skills Bridge Research Project intended to bolster student success made Academica’s TopTen on Jan. 24.

An Okanagan University College business graduate has turned her attention to pursuing her music career full-time after personal turmoil, see This girl has grit.

The College's Kelowna campus is hosting a business expo and job fair, see Business expo attracts employers and job seekers.