SIFE Okanagan to participate in World Cup

sifeOn Friday, Oct. 2 Dr. Kyleen Myrah will lead three presidents from SIFE Okanagan to participate in the SIFE World Cup in Berlin, Germany. The team was invited to be a part of the Accelerator Training Program after posting award-winning results at the National competition this spring.

“Being invited to the SIFE world cup and working with the top teams in UK and Germany is a testament to the quality of our students and the projects they are running in the community,” said Myrah. “This will be an incredible experience for the team and ensure that SIFE Okanagan continues to be a leader in the country and a key driver in our local region.”

Kelowna SIFE presidents Deepak Garcha and Travis Fleming will join Vernon president Brittany Sjoblom at the international event, where they will have the opportunity to network, share best practices, receive targeted training, and learn from the top SIFE programs in the world.

“In four short years, the SIFE Team at Okanagan College has become a source of inspiration for faculty and students throughout the country,” said Amy Harder, President of ACE. “The compassion, determination and entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by SIFE Okanagan has been unparalleled as they fight to build a better Canada. Selected as one of three institutions to join a special Canadian delegation attending the SIFE World Cup in Berlin, SIFE Okanagan will gain valuable insights and connections to bring back to their community while also showing the world that Canada is home to the top enterprising youth who are a powerful force for change.”

Kelowna campus hosts Pow Wow

powwowOkanagan College welcomed Aboriginal students, elders and partners from throughout the province to attend its first ever traditional Pow Wow at the Kelowna campus. The day kicked off with a grand entrance dance, prayers and featured the talents of local Similkameen drummers, The Spotted Lake Singers.

Renowned international performer Ernie Phillips, of the Little Shuswap Indian Band served as the Pow Wow announcer and also performed for guests. Richard Jackson acted as floor director and Pamela Barnes was on campus providing taste tests of traditional Aboriginal food such as ancient grains bannock with siya (Saskatoon) jam.

Artist Dorothy Tinning unveiled her painting, Paddling Home, a 30” x 72” original acrylic centered around the central role that the Okanagan people played in the Okanagan Similkameen valley. The event was organized by James Coble and Shelley Witzky and provided a great opportunity for students and community members to visit Okanagan College and to find out more about Aboriginal culture.

City of Kelowna WORKS

cityThe Okanagan College Alumni Association visited alumni working at the City of Kelowna in one of its WORKS coffee breaks.

The morning networking event provided alumni working for the City an opportunity to find out about recent happenings at Okanagan College and was a means for them to reconnect to the College.

The City of Kelowna currently employs approximately 40 alumni, the majority of whom took business or engineering technology programs at Okanagan College.

New Kalamalka Vertigo Exhibit

Staff are invited to view Vernon artist Katie Brennan’s current exhibition One Thing Leads to Another from now until Nov. 15 at Kalamalka Vertigo. According to Katie, One Thing Leads to Another is a selection of work created between 2007 and 2009 "that demonstrates the progression of changes that occurred in my work during this time - from smaller non-referential paintings to larger canvases that began from found visual motifs…ideas morphed from one tangent to another and copious numbers of variations were explored.”

Katie is a sessional lecturer at UBCO in the Fine Arts Department. She started her studies at Okanagan University College, completed her BFA at Emily Carr University, and her MFA at the University of Guelph.

Make Hope Real with the United Way

The United Way has initiated a new theme for its annual giving campaign entitled: Make Hope Real. The United Way supports 27 different community partners in the Central Okanagan alone, helping to make communities a better place for all to live. This year’s goal for the United Way for the Central and South Okanagan is to raise $1.3 million.

If you would like to help the United Way in their campaign please follow this link to a pledge form, or contact your Regional Dean’s office. This year, the College’s United Way campaign will be coordinated through the Regional Deans’ offices so stay tuned for more United Way events and information over the next month. Thanks for your support.

OC Baseball team awards tuition voucher

bballJasdip Mundi received welcome news this week after his name was drawn as the recipient of a $1,500 tuition bursary. Jasdip, who is a first-year Water Quality and Environmental Engineering Technology student, entered a contest to help support the Okanagan College Baseball Team and was selected as the contest’s winner.

The team's head coach Geoff White (far right) and the president of the Okanagan Baseball Society, Bill Bayne, joined Jasdip and Okanagan College’s Mike Craig and Jenn Naiman for the cheque presentation. To find out more about the team

CGA-BC donates $100,000 to support Okanagan College students

Returning business students at Okanagan College will benefit from a new financial award established by the Certified General Accountants of BC (CGA-BC) Educational Foundation.

The CGA-BC Educational Foundation Award is the result of a $100,000 donation to the Okanagan College Foundation and was created to encourage education and research in accounting, auditing and related disciplines. The scholarship will annually assist one or more students in need, those pursuing research projects and will promote the field of accounting generally.

In acknowledgement of this partnership, Okanagan College will recognize CGA-BC through a named classroom in its new Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus.

In order to qualify for the award, students will have completed two or more years of full-time study in the Business Administration program at any campus of Okanagan College and will be returning for a subsequent year of full-time study in the program. Recipients will be selected based on a combination of academic achievement and financial need, and will be in good academic standing.

College students awarded $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarships

Three former Okanagan College students are among 16 who will receive a $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship this year from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.

The scholarships are awarded annually to undergraduate students who have completed two years at a public post-secondary institution in BC and are transferring to another degree-granting institution in BC to complete their degrees. They are funded from returns on a $15 million endowment established by the Province in 2006.

Marie Ouellet, transferring from Okanagan College to Simon Fraser University, Sandra Bargery and James Powell, both transferring from Okanagan College to University of British Columbia, will each receive a $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.

Students gain access to unsecured library!

Nothing reported stolen...Nothing amiss

by Margo McMahan, Professor, Okanagan School of Business

I had a rather enlightening [and humorous] conversation during our first week of the semester, which confirmed a long-held suspicion of mine…that students are here to learn, and given every opportunity, they will.

We have a new Centre for Learning at Okanagan College. [Imagine that any institute of higher education should have to declare that it has, let alone is, a centre for learning. From my decades of involvement in the learning process, I know that learning takes place everywhere, in every building, no matter how new or old, no matter how many hi-tech gadgets it boasts, whether it's encouraged or not…but I digress.]

The new Centre for Learning is a modern, beautiful building, with wonderful spaces that encourage student interaction, and I'm delighted it's now open and being used for its stated purpose.

All modern buildings require security systems to protect them, which do not just rely upon traditional keys. We now have ID cards with our pictures on them (as if anyone would look at them) which are specifically coded to allow employees to access only the rooms they need to.

Instructors are warned to activate their passes every 24 hours at a special station before entering the building, or they will not be able to then gain access to the classrooms they teach in. After circling the building looking for such a special station to activate my magic card, I then arrived early at the classroom to find that it was unlocked and the students were already there waiting for me! But again, I digress…..

What I found even more amusing was a report that the secure Library in the secure Learning Centre was entered before official opening hours, not by employees who had access cards, but by students who did not. And all before 8 in the morning!

Employees who arrived to open the Library at 8 a.m. found students working on their computers inside the Library! Imagine that! They had been there since 7:30 a.m… working already.

Apparently, the front door lock wasn't functioning properly. This begs the question of why we have locks at all. Why not just open it 24/7? It might actually get used for its intended purpose 24/7……. Learning…….. just a thought….. really delivering on our raison d'être..... Learning........

Admin Association Scholarships


Okanagan College’s Administrators’ Association has awarded its two annual scholarships for 2009 to Marie Scarborough and Andrea Bradley. Marie and Andres each received $700 to assist their pursuit of post-secondary credentials. Marie is seen in the photo receiving her award from Pat Dandeneau.


Catherine Williams has retired


Join friends and colleagues as they celebrate Catherine Williams’ retirement on Wednesday, Oct. 7. A reception will take place in the International Education lounge area in the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus from 3 - 5 p.m. Please RSVP to Charmaine Eby by Friday, Oct. 2 at or call extension 4573.

Inga Wheeler to join Registrar’s Office

ingaInga Wheeler will join staff in Kelowna at the Registrar’s Office in the new position of Student Information Coordinator. Inga will look after the Okanagan College Calendar and help develop the Registrar’s Office and Admissions website. She will also coordinate information and communications with students.

Inga has a master’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Stirling in Scotland. She also holds a post graduate diploma in Information Technology. She has extensive experience in communications and has been working at Okanagan College in the International and Trades departments for the past seven months. She will begin her new position on Oct. 5.

Par Tee Girls win fall putting classic

puttCongratulations to the Par Tee Girls putting team of Arlene DeBruin and Bianka Blandon from Human Resources in Kelowna. The duo won the Kelowna Fall Classic putting tournament with a combined score (yes combined) of 50.

The Regional Dean’s office is having their trophy engraved and the winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate to the Bookstore. This year’s event was bigger and better than ever with 38 staff and nine students participating. Many came up with unique approaches to the putting obstacles, such as Kim Synder, who got creative while lining up her putt.

John Lent launches book of poetry

lentRegional Dean John Lent will embark upon a tour of Western Canada in early October to promote his new book of poems, Cantilevered Songs (Thistledown Press). John will read in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo and will launch the book in the Okanagan in November with readings in Penticton, Kelowna and, finally, Vernon.

Cantilevered Songs is John’s ninth book book of poems about living in Vernon. His second last book, So It Won’t Go Away (Thistledown Press), was short listed for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 2005 and has gone into its second printing.

“I have always been mesmerized by two things,” said John. “First, the thick texture of our day-to-day lives as they fly up around us...the people you meet on a morning walk, the color of this place, its detail... and second, the way the head and the heart register those things... the rhythm and awareness of the body ticking away in all its random rushes.”

John says these poems try to mimic those rushes and that randomness. “I composed these poems as if I were playing an instrument. They tumbled down the page like notes from a saxophone. They surfaced like jazz suites.”

Cantilevered Songs will be available in bookstores in November.

Salmon Arm campus welcomes Tracy Riley

Tracy Riley joins staff at the Salmon Arm campus in the role of English as a Second Language instructor. Tracy has been teaching ESL for six years, mostly at Kalamalka campus, and is very excited to build a strong ESL program in her hometown of Salmon Arm. Tracy can be contacted at:


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. 13, 2009.
September 29, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 12


Last chance for early bird tickets to Alumni Awards

Don't miss out – Wednesday is the last day to purchase tickets to Okanagan College's 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Distinguished Alumni winner Launi Skinner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and Young Alumni Award winners Todd and Mark Regier of Prestige Collision will receive their honours at a dinner reception at the Quail in Kelowna on Thursday, October 15, 2009. Purchase your tickets online at: or by emailing, or by calling Marcy Nelson at 250-762-5445 ext. 4773 or toll free: 1-888-650-6968.

Call for nominations - Distinguished Service Awards

The Okanagan College Tributes Committee invites nominations for the Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Awards for the 2010 Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.

Honorary Fellow Award

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award include mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment 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.

To make a nomination:
Nominations can be made in confidence by e-mail 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(s).

Distinguished Service Award

This award honours and recognizes former Okanagan College employees who have given outstanding service to Okanagan College, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Okanagan College, and who are active within and outside the Okanagan College community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.

To make a nomination:
Nominations from either a peer or supervisor are the chief source of candidates and all are given serious consideration. Nominations should include:
1. A personal profile of the nominee, including name, title, position, address, telephone number and email.
2. A comment on their exceptional service to the institution, and the special connection the nominee has to Okanagan College and our region.
3. A clear statement in support of the nomination including any supporting documents
4. The name, signature, department or address and telephone number of the nominator(s).

Nominations should be submitted in confidence by Oct. 16, 2009 to:

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

Canada Savings Bonds

The new series of Canada Savings Bonds goes on sale Monday, Oct. 5 and Okanagan College is pleased to offer continuing and regular employees the opportunity to save easily and securely through an automatic payroll deduction. Employees can enroll in the Payroll Savings option or in the Canadian RSP option or both. Please visit the campaign website ( during the month of October to purchase your bonds or make changes to existing bonds. You will need to enter Okanagan College’s corporate ID which is 12924. For more information on the purchase of Bonds or RRSP’s please click here.

Purchasing upgrades to environmentally preferable paper

Effective Oct. 1, Okanagan College will begin purchasing a 30 per cent recycled Post-Consumer Waste (PCW) copy paper. This paper, with PCW content, will help protect endangered forests and prevent native forests from being converted to tree plantations.

To give staff an idea of the difference using the new paper will make, Purchasing has compiled the following information based on current College paper use:

College Virgin Paper usage April 2008 - September 2009 (18 months):
- 22,400 packages/reams (8.5” x 11”), which is 11,200,000 sheets.

The paper currently used by the College results in 1,344 trees being used in the process. Making the switch to 30 per cent PCW paper will save 403 trees over the course of 18 months.  

Catch the Wave and use the online web requisition

Web Requisition Training

Not sure how to create a Web Requisition?
Are you perplexed as to why text keeps disappearing?
Do you click the "save" button and nothing happens?

Supply Management offers a Web Requisition training session. The session will cover everything you need to know in order to create a new Web Requisition as well as functions like ...Save, Edit, Copy, Forward, Cancel and Status.

To take advantage of this training, simply submit your name to The minimum required number of participants is six and sessions last approximately one hour. Purchasing will contact you once we have the required number of participants and a training session has been established.

Smoke Out Day Oct. 8

On Oct. 8 Okanagan College is asking staff and students to smoke off campus to support this initiative. Post-secondary institutions around the province have agreed to hold a smoke out day to bring awareness to clean air campaigns and encourage the reduction of tobacco use on campus.

Okanagan College’s Tobacco Reduction Strategies goal is to reduce tobacco use by 50 per cent by 2012. Post-secondary students account for approximately one quarter of all young adult smokers. Please support the campaign and Smoke Out on October 8.

OCFA Professional Development

There a new way for OCFA Faculty to report their professional development activities to colleagues. The PD activity report form is now available on MyOkanagan, under OC Express: Forms: Professional Development/Training.

The activity report permits a maximum length of 200 words, and an option to have the report made available though the Inside Okanagan College. In addition to the advantage of a standardized length and format, the Inside Okanagan College option will allow those from other departments to review the diverse PD activities that faculty engage in.

PD reports will still be submitted, as before, to the appropriate PD Chair, who will ensure distribution to the Department Chair. The advantage is standardized format, and an opportunity for a wider sharing of the PD experience.

IT Services – Banner upgrade scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend

The Banner system will be upgraded to version eight over the Thanksgiving weekend (Oct. 10-12). Banner and all systems that integrate directly with it will be unavailable from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13. IT Services is working to ensure there will be minimal or no interruption of service for other systems. Watch Inside Okanagan College for a list indicating the availability of services over the Thanksgiving weekend.

50/50 draw largest ever

Congratulations to Ingrid Carter from Continuing Studies in Penticton who won last week's payday draw for $515. 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 or online.


The Penticton campus received media coverage due to the impact the Centre of Excellence will have on the campus, students and community. Read more about the Centre in a series of articles: Okanagan College students endure growing pains, Centre of Excellence construction begins and Leading resurgence from the recession.

Vernon artist Katie Brennan will exhibit her artwork at Kalamalka Vertigo, which is located at the Kalamalka campus. Read more in: College’s Vertigo opens new exhibition.

To commemorate a successful exchange program, officials from the College and Tachibana University unveiled a sculpture at the Kalamalka campus. Find out more in: College unveils artwork.

Okanagan College will host a Women in Trades Conference to share information about careers, education and training for women in trades. Read more in: Women in Trades conference set for October.

President of the Okanagan College Foundation, Steve Tuck, was interviewed by CBC Radio discussing the achievements of the Foundation and the work it has been doing on behalf of students. Follow this link to listen to the clip.

In his Global Citizen column Stan Chung wrote about learning how to say goodbye and how difficult it can be. Read more in: The Brave Heart: How to Say Goodbye.

In Jane Muskens’ School’s In column she wrote about the “Freshman 15” and offered insight into why first-year students are susceptible to gaining weight while in first year. Read more in: Avoiding freshman weight gain.

Executive Director of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, Robert Fine, is this year’s recipient of the Business Leader of the Year award. Read more in: EDC manager honoured for leadership and Fine named business leader of the year.

The Science in Society Speaker Series begins October 8 at the Kalamalka campus. Read more in: College hosting lecture.

Okanagan College kicks off its inaugural season in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League with its first home games in early October. Read more in: OC inaugural game in league.

The first Okanagan College Fall Classic baseball tournament was held last weekend at Elks Stadium. Check out the College's schedule in: OC baseball back with fall tourney.

Okanagan College hosted its first traditional Pow Wow at the Kelowna campus, featuring dancers, music and drumming and Aboriginal food. Read more in: College hosts pow wow today and College pow wow. CBC Radio also covered the event – follow this link to listen to a clip.

Jane Muskens wrote about Job opportunities popping up in some obscure fields in her School’s In column. Obscure jobs included accent-reduction specialist, casting director, child-life specialist and more. In her own words, these careers are just some of the options that can present themselves if you do some research.

Three finalists for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature have been announced. Read more in: Ryga Award short list announced and Three authors up for Ryga award. The Ryga Centre in Summerland also made headlines due to recent developments. Read more in: Ryga Centre future uncertain.

Three former Okanagan College students will receive a $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship this year. Find out which students will receive the financial boost in: Former OC students receiving transfer scholarships.

Okanagan College was recognized for the Centre for Learning targeting LEED Gold status in: Green technology ready to be put in new or old houses.

The Okanagan College Alumni Association is celebrating three of its talented graduates at the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Read more in the Capital News article about Launi Skinner and Todd and Mark Regier.

Okanagan College alumni Todd and Mark Regier have been named finalists for the Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Read more in: Business Excellence Award nominees revealed by chamber.

The Certified General Accountants of BC have established a new financial award for returning business students at Okanagan College and donated $100,000 to support the award. Find out more in: CGAs donate $100,000 to OC, Accounting body donates $100,000 to support college business students, New scholarship for OK College

Check out a photo of Okanagan College practical nursing students at the Penticton campus administering care to their patient, George.

Okanagan College was noted in Everyone wants prosperity as an institution turning out youth who want to stay, work and contribute the economy and community in Kelowna.

Regional Dean John Lent was profiled in the Vernon Morning Star after releasing his book of poetry, Cantilevered Songs. Read more in: Regional dean finds time to write.