College alumna cooks her way to Italy

It was a great showing for the Okanagan College Culinary Arts program this past Saturday as three Culinary Arts alumni took to the farm in an effort to win the Okanagan Chefs Association’s first annual Farm to Fork Global Scholarship.

chefsTaking part in the competition was alumni David Colombe (RauDZ Regional Table), Tiffany Anderson (Grapevine Restaurant, Gray Monk Winery),  and Robyn Sigurdson (Wild Apple Grill at Manteo Resort).

With help from three current Okanagan College entry-level Culinary Arts students, the chefs took part in a black box competition featuring ingredients from a 10-acre organic mixed-use farm.

Must-use ingredients in the box included a leg of local lamb, wild boar bacon, sockeye salmon, Qualicum scallops, kuri squash, coronation grapes, dried morel mushrooms, corn and prune plums. The chefs’ creations were judged by a panel of 20 guests that included industry professionals, media and supporters of the Okanagan Chefs Association. 

entreeRobyn Sigurdson won the competition (see award-winning entree featured in the accompanying photo), which was decided by a mere few points. She will now have the opportunity to live, study and work in Tuscany for 10 weeks in the fall of 2011. 

Okanagan College Chef Geoffrey Couper (also president of the Okanagan Chefs Association) congratulated the participants on their creations, adding, "Looking back some 30 years I was very fortunate to have had a similar experience living on a family farm in the south of Germany. After completing my apprenticeship I went over there thinking I knew a lot about cooking. What I quickly realized was that I knew very little about food. To this day I can say that living and cooking on that farm completely changed my approach to the culinary profession. That was the impetus behind organizing this scholarship for our membership."

Key Directions consultations

As part of Okanagan College’s strategic planning process, a number of consultation sessions have been planned to obtain feedback from employees on the draft key directions. These consultation sessions are an important part of the overall strategic planning process.

The sessions provide an opportunity for Okanagan College employees to provide input into the planning process and have their voices heard. There are several consultations planned, and food will be provided.

September 29                 12 - 1 p.m.              Kelowna - Room H115

September 30                   9 - 10:30 a.m.       Vernon - D231

September 30                   2 - 3:30 p.m.         Penticton - Portable 3

October 1                          1 - 2:30 p.m.         Kelowna - Room B113

Please attend if you're able. Even if you cannot stay for the entire session, your participation and feedback are welcome. For more information or to provide your feedback on-line, please visit Okanagan College’s strategic planning website at:

College to host Alexis de Portneuf Fine Cheese makers’ Young Chefs competition

cheeselogoAlexis de Portneuf, makers of the award-winning Le Cendrillon (voted best cheese in the world in 2009), is challenging nine young BC Interior chefs to get creative with cheese.

The challenge is to create an appetizer, main or dessert course using award-winning fine cheeses from Alexis de Portneuf.

Guests will sample these creations and will vote for their favourite. Hosted by the Okanagan Culinary Arts School at Okanagan College at Infusions, this new event will showcase the talents of many young chefs including those who work at Okanagan College.

The Okanagan Chefs Association will also select the winner of the Saputo Top Young Chef Award. This event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, go online to or call 250-860-1470.

Bicycle lockers make debut at Okanagan College campuses

bikelockersOkanagan College now has 20 individual weatherproof bicycle storage lockers available for student and staff use. Positioned close to high traffic buildings for easy access and convenience, these bike lockers will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Located at all four campuses (12 in Kelowna, 4 in Penticton and 2 in Vernon and Salmon Arm) the lockers are made from recycled plastic and manufactured in Canada. These bicycle lockers are part of Okanagan College’s dedication to reducing green house gases and are in alignment with the 3 Steps Forward program.

Staff are reminded that due to safety and maintenance reasons, no bikes are to be inside of buildings for any reason (hallways, offices, classrooms or stairwells). Staff can access bike racks, the secure bike storage compound and the new bike lockers.

It’s finally here – online program search now live

programThe programs in the Okanagan College online Calendar are now searchable.

Users can browse programs by Program Area, Subject, Delivery, Credential and Campus.

Each program listing also includes details on tuition and fees as well as a link to the department’s website. Follow this link to try out the new feature.

Director of UBC Herbarium to speak about biodiversity in Vernon speaker series

Dr. Jeannette Whitton, associate professor of botany and director of the UBC Herbarium in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, is coming to Vernon as the first presenter in this year’s Science in Society Speaker Series, hosted by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre.

whittonWhitton will explore the challenging question of how can we decide which species to save when we don't know how many species we have? Her presentation entitled: Adventures in plant biodiversity: new tools, classic studies and the nature of plant species, will take place on Monday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre of the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, and will be followed by free refreshments.

Plants form the fabric of the landscape, and represent an intriguing component of biodiversity. Many plants can double their DNA content, interbreed with other species or give up traditional reproductive modes and become clonal. Examples of these unusual strategies will be used to illustrate how plant biologists use combinations of new tools and classic studies to help us understand the basic units of biodiversity. 

Whitton studies plant evolution, focusing on plants that have either very wide or very narrow breeding tendencies - from hybrids through asexual plants - and the factors that affect these tendencies. She received her PhD from the University of Connecticut in 1994 and was a post-doctoral fellow at Indiana University before joining UBC in 1997. She currently serves as the director of the UBC Herbarium in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and as a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Admission is $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Please contact the Okanagan Science Centre or call (250) 545-3644 for advanced purchase of tickets or for more information.

Nominations open for Honorary Fellows

The Okanagan College Tributes Committee is inviting nominations for the Honorary Fellow Awards, which will be presented at the 2011 Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment. The College welcomes nominations that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society.

Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the province, the nation or on an international level. The award will not normally be given to a serving politician or current employee of the College.

Nominations can be made in confidence by email or mail, and should contain as much information as possible including:
1 – the nominee’s name, title, position (or former position), mailing address and phone number
2 – a personal profile of the nominee
3 – comments on the nominee’s connections with Okanagan College, or with the region if applicable
4 – a statement supporting the nomination (supporting documents may be included)
5 – the name, mailing address or campus address of the nominator, along with your Okanagan College phone number and department or portfolio name.

Follow this link to access the nomination form.

Nominations should be submitted by Oct. 22, 2010 to:

Joanna Campbell, Assistant to the President
Okanagan College
1000 KLO Road
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4X8
250-762-5445 ext. 4715


Yvonne Moritz named Dean Science, Technology and Health

Okanagan College’s new Dean of Science, Technology and Health will be bringing a broad spectrum of educational and managerial experience to her role when she starts in early October.

Yvonne Moritz is leaving her position as Associate Dean, Specialty Nursing, at BCIT to join Okanagan College’s leadership team. Prior to being Associate Dean, she was program head of Pediatric Specialty Nursing at BCIT. 

Moritz’s experience is international in scope – from developing and implementing a pediatric nursing program in Guyana to helping the government establish some of the regulatory framework for pediatric nurses. 

She has two master’s degrees: one in nursing and the other in adult education. 

“The opportunities I see unfolding at Okanagan College are substantial,” said Moritz, who is already a resident of Peachland. “There are solid, well-respected programs in each of the these areas and I look forward to being a part of the continued success at Okanagan College as it responds to the changing educational needs of industry and the community.”

Moritz replaces Dr. Dianne Crisp.

“Yvonne is a great addition to our team at Okanagan College,” said Dr. Andrew Hay, Okanagan College’s Vice President Education. “She’s demonstrated a capacity to inspire and bring people together along with an enthusiasm for creating programs that meet student and employer needs.” 

McGillivray and Befus to lead Business Administration

Dr. Barry McGillivray and Madelaine Befus have been appointed Associate Deans in the Okanagan School of Business. McGillivray was appointed to a three-year term as Associate Dean – he replaces Dr. Heather Banham, who is now the school’s Dean; she replaced Dr. Jayne Brooks on July 1.

Barry has been with Okanagan College for 25 years. His experience includes four years in the Associate Dean role, and a term as Chair of Business Administration. In addition to his leadership roles, Barry is also a professor at Okanagan College, where he specializes in business law.

befusMadelaine Befus has been appointed to a one-year term as Associate Dean. Befus is a graduate of Okanagan College’s Business Office Training program (1972). She also holds a Provincial Instructor Diploma from UBC and a master’s degree from Royal Roads University.

Madelaine began teaching at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus in 1979 and held the position of Chair of Office Administration from 2005-2010.

McPherson performs at international writer’s festival

Okanagan College English instructor Kevin McPherson recently performed at this year’s THIN AIR: Winnipeg's International Writer's Festival, Sept. 19-26 -

He has also released a chapbook of a single microfiction (which is less than 500 words) called "The Sun Reflects Off Anything Shiny." To purchase Kevin’s chapbook go online.

Scarborough’s Revenge in Oxford

This past summer, Department of English faculty member Terry Scarborough traveled to Oxford University’s 1st Global Conference: Revenge to present his conference paper, If you don’t come to me, I’ll come to you: Primal Injury and Revenge in the Ghost Stories of M.R. James

terryThe paper explores Victorian and contemporary theories of revenge and their connections to justice in the Victorian and Edwardian Gothic. The paper is being published in ISBN eBook with the Inter-Disciplinary Press.

After presenting his paper and chairing an engaging panel on Renaissance revenge tragedy, Terry continued to the south of England where he made video and slides of literary sites, ranging from R.L. Stevenson’s house in Bournemouth to an overnight excursion on the Devon moors. 

He is currently editing video for a series of short documentaries for his English 151, 153, 211 and 231 classes. Terry also recently published Open the window then!: Filmic Interpretation of Brian Mills’s The Hound of the Baskervilles in The Baker Street Journal.
Sept. 28, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 13


Show your school pride

If you are Okanagan College or Okanagan University College (OUC)
alumni, the Alumni Association wants to hear from you. The OCAA has introduced car window decals for all Okanagan College and OUC grads. It’s easy to participate. If you are a member of the alumni network, simply contact the 
Alumni Office at or local 4771 to sign up for your decal. 

Put the decal in the back window of your car, and if your car is spotted by our prize patrol you could win a prize from the Alumni Office. The prize patrol will be visiting all campuses regularly to give away prizes.

The Sunday Sociologist
presented by UBC-O and Okanagan College

How is society possible? Find out every Sunday from 5-7 p.m. 
The Sunday Sociologist group meets every Sunday evening at The Bean Scene on Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna. The purpose of these gatherings is to organize intellectually like-minded people interested in engaging in scholarly discussions pertaining to social matters of any interest.

Weekly gatherings include, among others, members of the public community, students, their parents, and faculty from Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia - Okanagan. On occasion, the discussion includes feature speakers, to lead or facilitate dialogue with members. This event is supported by  CBC Radio One and AM1150.

Kelowna Campus Recreation news

Join colleagues for the Fit for Fall Team Challenge, which starts Monday, Oct. 4. This eight-week team challenge includes milestone prizes, double points weeks, and many more fun activities to get your body moving. Contact Lynn Johnson or Mike Craig to register. Cost: $10 for staff or $5 for students.  
Okanagan College Coyotes Hockey presents: THE FAN BUS! Join students and staff on Friday Oct. 1 for the Coyotes’ home opener at Memorial Arena vs. SFU. A fan bus will depart from the Kelowna campus at 8 p.m. Anyone wishing to catch a ride and join in on the fun can sign up at the Campus Recreation office. 

Okanagan College will host a KVR Cycle Tour on Saturday, Oct. 16. The tour departs at 12:30 p.m. and returns at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $50 for students and $80 for staff and includes a bike, tour guide, helmet, snacks and transportation to the KVR. Deduct $20 if you have your own bike. For more info contact Mike Craig or Lynn Johnson.

College to host TEAL Conference

Okanagan College will host the BC Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL) Interior Conference on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Kelowna campus. The theme of the conference will be Culture Kaleidoscope: Changing Times, Changing Practices in English Language Teaching.

This will be the third annual conference, but the first time that the conference will be held in Kelowna. The last two years, TRU has hosted the event in Kamloops. In addition to ESL teachers from around the province, the conference registration will be open for students, instructors and staff at Okanagan College to come and learn about the challenges our international students face and the gifts they bring to our community.

There will be a number of workshops designed specifically for understanding cultural diversity and integrating international students into mainstream classes. Conference delegates can also sign up for a cultural reception at the end of the day, which will offer samples of recipes contributed to the International Cookbook by students and staff in International Education across all Okanagan College campuses. Contact Karen Rauser at: for more information.

Canada Savings Bond sale

The new series of Canada Savings Bonds goes on sale Monday, Oct. 4. Continuing and regular employees have the opportunity to utilize an automatic payroll deduction.

Employees can enroll in the Payroll Savings option and employees already enrolled in the Canadian RSP option are permitted to make changes to their existing plans.

Your bond purchase amount is deducted from each pay and starts earning interest when your funds are received. Your principal and interest are guaranteed by the Government of Canada and the interest income is tax sheltered if your bonds are held within The Canada RSP.

Okanagan College is participating in the electronic CSB campaign, which provides complete electronic services including an on-line application to start participating in the program. To register, simply visit the CSB web site and follow the instructions. 

New applicants will receive a confidential Client ID after completing their first on-line transaction. If you are already participating in the Program and your current deduction is to remain unchanged, you don't have to do anything. If you do wish to make a change in the amount of your current bi-weekly deduction, you can do so on-line before Oct. 29 2010 by visiting the e-campaign Web site.
Changes will be effective on the December 3, 2010 payday. To access the e-Campaign Web Site to apply or make changes, you'll need to use the College’s employer identification code - 12924.  If you're applying decide how much you wish to have deducted from each pay (minimum $4 per pay) deductions will start on December 3, 2010.  

If you encounter any problems during completion of your on-line application, please contact the employee  helpline at 1-877-899-3599 Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern Time). There is a special Customer Service Hotline for employees; call 1-877-899-3599. 

If you have any questions, please contact Jody Otten at extension 4312.

IT to upgrade Banner over Thanksgiving

IT Services will be upgrading Banner on the Thanksgiving weekend. From 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 8 until 8 a.m. Tuesday, October 12 the only systems that will be available are:

myOkanagan email

Okanagan College website 


For more information, contact Deborah Matheson.

Conversation partners wanted

The International Education department in Vernon is seeking people who are interested in meeting students from around the world for conversation. The goal is to create an opportunity to learn about other cultures and languages.

Conversation partners are matched with people who share similar interests who can meet once a week for an hour to converse and get to know about each other.

This is not an English tutoring role - it is a great opportunity for people to get together and learn about different cultures over coffee, lunch, tennis or a variety of hobbies. Anyone interested can contact Art Harrigan at ext. 2315.

New policy now available for staff

Okanagan College has approved a new policy on Accommodation of Employees. The policy identifies Okanagan College’s commitment to providing an equitable and accessible work environment and to taking reasonable steps to accommodate employees and prospective employees who are disabled, or whose participation in the workforce is affected by employment-related barriers created by an area protected by the Human Rights Code, unless it would cause undue hardship to the College to do so.

The policy identifies process and procedures for considering medical accommodations and non-medical accommodations, which may arise during recruitment, at the time of job offer or hire, or during the period of employment. It also identifies the responsibilities of various participants in an accommodation request and the basis upon which accommodation requests will be denied.  

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Alf Leimert from Trades in Kelowna who won the September 24 payday draw for $562.50 (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.


Oct. 4 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - Classroom A204 12:30 -1:30 p.m.

Media wars in the Middle East with Johann Funk (retired College Sociology professor) Rajai Ghattas and Steven Heeren. Israel has a distinct advantage in conventional military and diplomatic terms given financial and political support from the US and Canada but is less effective in managing its media image.  

The panel will explore media as a weapon in the struggle for the legitimacy of the Israeli State and Palestinian nationhood. Rajai Ghattas, a Palestinian who left after the Six Day War, follows developments in the Middle East in the English and Arabic press. Steven Heeren, a retired Psychology professor with a special interest in the media, is the convener of the biweekly Vernon Palestine Study Group. Johann Funk, a retired Okanagan College sociology professor, has spent the last four winters in Palestine as a human rights observer.

Oct. 14 - Tickets are now available for the 2010 Okanagan College Alumni Association Award celebration, which will take place on Oct. 14 and honour two deserving recipients - Distinguished Alumni Award winner Lee Claremont and Young Alumni Award winner Ryan Donn.

This year’s award celebration will take on a new format as a cocktail reception in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning. Tickets are $55 per person - contact Erin Kavanagh to purchase yours. 

Oct. 18
- Kalamalka Speakers Series - How I spent my summer vacation with Ron Spence - recently retired Business Professor from Okanagan College.  

Is there anyone out there who has NOT groaned, winced, gritted teeth yet still had to deal with this theme at least once in their life? Join Ron Spence for a presentation on his many summer adventures with his 1957 Travel trailer, PeeDee. Come and hear this year’s tales of Dragon Boating, Music Festivals, Scenery and Seniors’ Games. Classroom A204 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Oct. 25 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - Ecopsychology with Moira McNairnay, former Okanagan College student and now a graduate student in Integral Transformational Learning. Classroom A204 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Oct. 28 – Tickets are now 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 Glen Anderson. Tickets are available at a cost of $100 per person and may be purchased by contacting Mike Craig.

Nov. 8 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - Canadian Generals and British Troops with Howard Hisdal, History, Okanagan College. Professor Hisdal’s research interests include military, religious, and ethnic history. Classroom A204 12:30-1:20 p.m.

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.


The Penticton campus started this year’s speaker series with Don Gayton. Don, who pairs wine with books and landscapes, discussed his book Okanagan Odyssey. Read more in Speaking of ecology tonight at OK College. Topics for the series until the end of the 2010 are included in: College Speakers Series tackles weighty topics.

Okanagan College will play host to a new Fall Wine Festival event on Oct. 5 as young chefs from the valley create recipes with 25 per cent cheese. The competition winner will walk away with a cash award from Saputo. Read more in ‘Organized chaos’ lets visitors see a winery at its busiest.

The second annual Okanagan College Pow Wow, held September 23 at the Kelowna campus, had photos of the event in the local press in: To the beat of the drums and Old school dance. Watch a clip of the day’s events from CHBC-TV.

The Centre of Excellence in Penticton received a donation of $75,000 from the Bank of Montreal in mid-September. Read more in: College centre given boost.

Yvonne Moritz, previously of BCIT, was announced as the newest addition to the College leadership team. Read more in: OC gets new science, technology, health dean.

Troy Berg, Jeffrey Nishi and Colin MacDonald, all Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology students were awarded with this year’s Jordy Koenig Telus Scholarship. Read more in Telus contributes $20,000 to engineering tech students and Telus donates $20,000 to promising OK engineering tech students.

The English department’s Matt Kavanagh had a book review published in the Globe and Mail. In the piece, Matt reviews Vancouver novelist William Gibson’s new book Zero History.

Jim Barmby, Regional Dean Shuswap Revelstoke, is helping form a committee to look at establishing a downtown Salmon Arm campus by 2020. Read more about this project in: Downtown campus gains momentum.

In her weekly School’s In column, Jane Muskens, Registrar, looks at how governments create educational opportunities for citizens in Meeting post-secondary challenges in economic downturn.

Glenn Anderson, NHL Hall of Famer, is the guest speaker at the Coyotes baseball and hockey team fundraiser. The breakfast event is Oct. 28 at the Cost Capri Hotel. Read more in: Anderson keynotes Coyotes fundraiser.

The Coyotes baseball team was in action at Elks Stadium in mid-September starting their season. Read more in OK College hosting tournament and Coyotes set to start baseball season.

The Coyotes hockey team is gearing up for the season and head coach Kim Barnstable is finalizing the roster. Read more in Upgraded Coyotes open main camp.

Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence received significant profile after CEI Architecture announced details of the building’s extensive use of Pine Beetle wood. Read coverage from the Vancouver Sun, Journal of Commerce, World Construction Network, and CHBC news.


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, Oct. 12, 2010.