Have your Voice heard

voiceYour voice, opinions and ideas are a vital component of Okanagan College’s strategic planning review process.

At you’ll find many ways to become involved in the consultative process. With the review process well underway, several focus groups and individual interviews have already been completed, and there are opportunities to provide your comments on the current mission, vision, values and strategic direction.

Students and employees may attend focus groups, participate in an on-line discussion or add comments to idea walls located in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm.  Later this week an employee survey will be available on the website (

The fourth annual student satisfaction survey has been launched to a random sample of students. If you want to provide your ideas directly to the strategic planning team, email Heather Stewart, the Director, Strategic Planning.

We want to hear from you, so the revised strategic plan reflects the views and values of Okanagan College students, employees, communities, organizations, employers and individuals. Please add your voice to the process. We’re listening.

CBC's Dragon’s Den to film at College

dragon's denCBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den will hold auditions for its upcoming season in Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning on Monday, March 15. The open casting call will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Producers of the show are inviting entrepreneurs and those with great business ideas to pitch their business ideas to the Dragons in less than five minutes. Those who are successful will be invited to Toronto to be featured on the sixth season of the popular program.

Students and faculty from the Okanagan School of Business will assist producers and the film crew for the Kelowna casting call. Scheduling information and full details on how to apply are available on the Dragons’ Den website:

ECE students find support

Early Childhood Education students in Salmon Arm and Kelowna have been awarded a total of $29,000 in ECEBC Bursaries for the fall 2009 term. Thirty-two students have received bursaries ranging in value from $400 to $1,000.

The Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), funded by the Vancity Community Foundation, administers its bursary program for students studying early childhood education, and awards the bursaries after the successful completion of each term.

SIFE and Kelowna Chamber extend deadline for Green Business Awards

sifeOkanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Okanagan and partner, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, have extended the application deadline for the second annual Green Business Awards (formally known as the Eco-Nomics Awards) to Monday, March 8.

The Green Business Awards provide a platform for businesses in the community to gain recognition, advance as leaders, and broaden public knowledge of green and sustainable practices taking place in Kelowna.

Local businesses with a focus on sustainability are encouraged to go online to apply for the awards at: Individuals can also nominate businesses that are making a difference in Kelowna in the areas of manufacturing and construction, forestry and agriculture, retail and commercial goods, business and professional services, hospitality and overall sustainability. 

This year’s winners will be recognized at a luncheon ceremony on April 22 at the Coast Capri Hotel. Winners from last year include: Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Best Western Inn Kelowna, Orchard Park Mall, Granville Island Factory and Spider Agile Technology. 


Centre of Excellence draws attention at international conference

andrew Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Penticton received international attention after Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President Education, and CEI’s Robert Parlane, senior project manager of the building, presented at an international conference on sustainable building in Seoul, Korea. 

Hay and Parlane were invited to the conference: SB10 Seoul: International Conference on Sustainable Building Asia, after submitting a paper on the Centre of Excellence. While at the conference, Hay and Parlane received the Award of Excellence in Research for their paper. They also had the opportunity to present, along with Roger Bayley, Design Manager for Vancouver’s 2010 South East Olympic Village development, to the Green Building Research and Development team at Samsung Construction. 

Lent launches Cantilevered Songs in Vernon     

lent9The Okanagan’s Poet Laureate and Regional Dean of Okanagan College, John Lent, launched his ninth book, Cantilevered Songs, at an event at the Vernon campus on the evening of Feb. 26. 

“I wanted to launch this book in a proper way,” said Lent. “I wanted to perform some of the poems the way they should be performed, and sometimes, in order to do that, you need to wait until you feel right about the performance.” 

Lent went on a demanding public tour of this book last fall in Western Canada, delivering 12 readings in nine days in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo. He has read from his book on CBC Radio, but waited to launch the book in Vernon, where he lives, and where the material of the poems is rooted.

Lent, who was recently proclaimed Poet Laureate of the Okanagan, has also been informed that he has just been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of this year’s Okanagan Arts Awards.

Marcy Trotter joins Public Affairs

marcyMarcy Trotter has joined Okanagan College in the role of Aboriginal Recruiter and Event Coordinator for the South Okanagan Similkameen and Central Okanagan regions. Marcy has a BA in Recreation Administration from the University of Alberta.

She comes to the College from School District #53 (Okanagan-Similkameen) where she was a First Nations Support Worker for Similkameen Elementary Secondary School for more than 10 years.

Marcy will be connecting with the Aboriginal Communities to assist First Nations students with their educational goals and will help students discover opportunities at Okanagan College. For any questions or requests Marcy can be reached at her home campus in Penticton - local 3264 or by email to:

Marc Arellano’s Strange Fruit to premiere in Kelowna

Communications professor Marc Arellano will have his most recent documentary, Strange Fruit, screened at the World Community Film Festival at Okanagan College in Kelowna on March 13 at 1:15 p.m.

sfruitAs Arellano explains, Strange Fruit is a documentary video exploring the changing landscape of the Central Okanagan fruit industry - a result of the forces of globalization.

Land, labour and water are all in short supply, so who is going to produce local food? Orchards are disappearing. Most growers in the Central Okanagan are close to 60. Sky-high land values and low prices for fruit mean the next generation cannot afford to take over the orchard. The conflict and drama surfaces as the next generation rejects the family orchard, or wants it, but parents won’t hand it over to save their children the heartache they themselves have suffered.

Labour is in short supply. The traditional workforce of local and Quebecois pickers has been replaced by hundreds of Mexican workers. Tensions surface as activists oppose the use of temporary, foreign workers, yet growers must rely on them to get their crops picked.

Water is in short supply. The snowpack is shrinking each year and now the Pine Beetle is destroying local watersheds. Both of these issues threaten residential and agricultural water supplies and will result in higher water costs for all consumers of this precious resource.

For how much longer will we enjoy healthy, fresh fruit from the Central Okanagan? Head to the screening of Strange Fruit to find out more about these important issues. 

Staff answer Team Fitness Challenge

hula2On Jan. 18, Okanagan College Athletics, Recreation and Student Life department in Kelowna challenged students, staff and faculty to create teams of four to participate in the Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, team challenge.

Each participant was given a pedometer, a team shirt and the use of software to help them track points for participating in a variety of physical activities on and off campus.

A total of 32 teams have joined the challenge and have been competing for prestigious titles along the way to the grand finale (which will take place in four weeks). Among the fitness challenges was the Hula Hoop competition.

hulacsThe winners of the hula challenge were from TEAM F.I.T. (Dorie Burnham, Roberta Nechvatal, Laura-Jean Winslade, Susan Moran) and THE BEAKS (Verna Simpson, Marie Scarborough and Helena Jordo-Zieske).


Okanagan College Astronomy Instructor, Richard Christie, has been involved with the Okanagan Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s fundraising efforts for an observatory. Funds have been raised in part through Sidewalk Astronomy events showing people the stars from the streets. Read more in: Reaching for the universe.

English instructor, Jeremy Beaulne, has integrated his love of film into a 200-level English course. The Penticton class has welcomed the public to join it for screenings each Tuesday night at 7 p.m. until the end of the semester. Find out what films are showing.

A peer-reviewed paper on "The concept of heat in physical geography" appeared in the last issue of Geography. The article is co-authored by Terence Day (Geography), Carl Doige (Chemistry), and John Young of Saint Mary's University in Halifax. The paper can be accessed through the library website, or the abstract can be viewed online.

Okanagan College’s partnership with SHAW on the Trades BC series produced an interesting segment featuring Bruce Miller, a deaf student in the metal and steel fabrication program. Watch the segment to find out how Bruce has found ways to communicate effectively while honing his craft.

Arch Doody, Manager of Security and Parking Services, rocked the stage at the Minstrel Café in Kelowna last week with his band the Rowdy Men.

The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen rejected making a contribution of $2 Million to the fundraising efforts towards the Centre of Excellence in Penticton. Read coverage of the issue in: RDOS no ‘cash cow’ for college, Regional district in no mood and the editorial: Only in my backyard

Two developments concerning the Centre of Excellence caught the eye of the Kelowna Capital News. A new webcam, which will allow the world to witness the development of the building, was announced by the College, as well as news that Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President Education, presented the project in Korea. Read more in: Centre of Excellence wants to go global.

A groundbreaking for the expansion of the Salmon Arm Trades Training building took place recently and earned the attention of the press. Read more in: Trades training facility to expand, and Fusing tools, textbooks.

Shane Koyczan, Okanagan College Penticton alumnus, now has the world as his audience after his performance at the 2010 Olympic opening ceremony. He will perform with his band, Short Story Long, at the 2010 Roots and Blues Festival. Read more in: Penticton man shines at ceremonies, Catch slam poet champ after his Olympic performance and Koyczan to play Roots festival in Salmon Arm.

Doug Manning, of Envictus Corp, is the new entrepreneur-in-residence at the Okanagan College School of Business. Read more in: Manning takes up residence.

The Okanagan College Crusaders hockey team played TRU, leading them closer to the play-offs. Read more in: OK Crusaders split weekend set with TRU Wolfpack.

In her weekly School’s In column Okanagan College’s Interim Registrar, Jane Muskens, discussed the importance of behavioural awareness and intervention in institutions as a means to keep people safe. For those parents and educators wondering about the new math courses rolling out in high schools around BC in September, Jane breaks them down in: A practical application of math

John Lent, author, Okanagan poet laureate and Regional Dean North Okanagan, launched his most recent book, Cantilevered Songs at the Vernon campus. Read more in: Don’t give up reading for Lent.

Rick and Yasmin Thorpe are supporting the fundraising efforts for the Centre of Excellence as honorary campaign chairs. Read more in: Thorpes take the lead.

Reid Shillington, BBA and accounting student, and Dr. Jayne Brooks, Dean of Business, were interviewed for a story on the successes of college business programs. Read more from the Globe and Mail article: Taking care of business – at college.

The Alumni Association is calling for nominations for the Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards. Read more in: Nominees sought for college awards

Dual Credit Culinary Arts student, Tyler Chambers, took the program at Mount Boucherie Secondary and says it helped him enjoy school again. He also thinks Chef James Armstrong, the Okanagan College Culinary Arts Instructor who also teaches at Boucherie, is pretty cool. Read more in: Cooking up a career.

The Okanagan College Foundation has earned the support of the City of Penticton. The City approved a grant to the Centre of Excellence last week. Read more in: City gives college a break on expansion and the Herald editorial on the topic: When it does pay to listen.

Douglas MacLeod, Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health, participated in the Student Voice Forum in Vernon. Doug spoke with student representatives from all over the Okanagan about learning and education. Read more in: Students share collective voices.

In his weekly column, Global Citizen, Stan Chung, acting Dean of Arts and Foundational, discusses the evolution of his relationship with his sister. Read more in: Gretel in Whistler.
March 2, 2010 Vol. 3 Issue 22


Dental Assistants support children during month of May

The Okanagan College Certified Dental Assistant Program will be offering reduced fee preventive dental services for children during the month of May. If you or anyone you know may be interested in bringing children between the ages of 6 and 16 to Okanagan College’s clinic for dental sealants, x-rays or polish and fluoride, please call to receive additional information.

Clinic phone: 250-862-5424 or Catherine Baranow at 250-762-5445 local 4422

Campus Stores Pre-Inventory Sale

Campus Stores doesn’t want to count their inventory so they’ve put it on sale for staff to snap it up. Check out the great deals and sale prices at every campus on the following days:

Kelowna:  March 15 – 19
Penticton:  March 22 & 23
Salmon Arm:  March 15 – 18
Vernon:  March 15 – 18

Please note: Campus Stores will be closed for inventory from Tuesday, Mar. 30 – Thursday, April 1. The last day for 2009/2010 orders is Monday, March 15 so don’t delay, order today!

SIFE raises funds and food during Can Hunger Challenge

The Can Hunger Challenge resulted in a staggering 7,000 pounds of food collected by SIFE students at in Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna. The generosity of staff and students and the hard work of SIFE Okanagan amounts to the equivalent of a $3,023 donation to local food banks.

SIFE is planning to increase this number during the campus-wide Hunger Awareness Week, which starts March 8 and finishes at the SIFE gala on March 12. Over the next two weeks, SIFE will also host a ping-pong tournament in Kelowna, which will see registration fees ($5 per person) split between the winner and the food bank. Staff interested in signing up can email Sammi.

Little Scholars bake sale

The Okanagan College/YMCA childcare centre in Kelowna is hosting a weekly fundraiser bake sale every Friday morning during the month of March from 8 – 11 a.m. Centre staff will set up a snack stand at the entrance of the centre (near the Facilities building) with coffee, tea and baked items.

Coffee, tea and baked goods are $1 each.

All of the money raised will support the YMCA/YWCA Strong Kids Campaign within the community. The money raised allows the YMCA-YWCA to provide financial assistance to families in need so they can send their kids to daycare, learn to swim and attend summer camps.

Security reminder

Staff are reminded to refrain from putting classroom keys or office keys on the same lanyard as your salto card. If keys and the salto card are lost, it makes it very easy for others to identify who the keys belong to and provides easy access to specific areas.

Security staff also remind College staff not to put College lanyards on your keys as this also identifies where they belong. Each time keys are reported lost, Facilities Management has to assess the level of security being compromised. A significant breach will result in re-keying, a major breach may require re-keying the entire campus.  

Planning is now underway for Connections 2010 – Okanagan College’s annual employee learning conference (Aug. 25-26). Organizers are currently welcoming suggestions from staff to find out if there are specific learning sessions that should be included in this year’s event. For those who may not have attended Connections in the past, the day’s activities are meant to engage and inspire staff from all facets of the institution.

Do you have a skill or talent you would be willing to share with your colleagues? The organizing committee has gathered many ideas for sessions, but they still need your input. In the box or out of the box, related to your day-to-day work or completely apart from it, organizers are hoping to provide a broad array of sessions for staff to choose from but they need help coming up with ideas.

Feedback from last year’s event indicated that many would like to hear from a guest speaker in the morning session. Have an idea that you would like to hear presented? Do you know of a dynamic speaker (from within Okanagan College or our community) who can bring a perspective to our event that crosses all aspects of what we do?

Please contact Kaya Forest if you have session or speaker suggestions. Please stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College in the coming weeks for more details.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Ken Soucy from Trades and Apprenticeship in Kelowna who won last week’s payday draw for $532.50. 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.

Education Council update

Education Council will welcome new members - each position was filled by acclamation. Representatives from Support Staff are: Ardeth Anderson and Inga Wheeler. Faculty representatives are Karen Matthews (Business), Ann Marie McKinnon (Arts), Rick Gee (Science, Technology), Siri Marken (Health and Social Development), Alf Leimert (Trades) and Sandra Friesen (Foundational). The new student representative from the Central Okanagan is Jacek Gabanowicz.


Mar. 5 - Okanagan College will host the 27th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Competition at the Kelowna campus. Events will take place throughout the day, with one of the highlights, the heavy weight competition, getting underway around 1 p.m. in the lecture theatre. Drop by to check out exciting spaghetti and engineering action or contact Michelle Lowry for more information.

Mar. 8 Penticton Speaker Series - The Living Building Challenge: Okanagan College’s Exciting Green Building. An innovative building designed to be informed by its climate and region, that generates all its own energy from renewable resources, recycles all of its water, uses local materials with minimum detriment to the environment, and to be used to teach the next generation of trades men and women in the latest sustainable thinking. Robert Parlane will be talking about the College's newest building currently under construction in Penticton: the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 8 - ILLT Lunch and Learn Series  - Social Media in Teaching and Learning with Glen Coulthard, Business Okanagan College. Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.  

Mar. 15 Science in Society Speaker SeriesNot Just Any Old Place: Ethnoecology in a Changing World with Dr. Nancy Turner. This event will take place at the Vernon campus at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Turner is a renowned ethnobotonist from the University of Victoria. During her lecture, Turner will shed light on the traditional ways Indigenous peoples perceive, use and care for the natural resources around them. This event is co-presented by the College and the Okanagan Science Centre. 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.

Mar. 15 - Kalamalka Speakers Series - Killing Kalamalka:  How nutrient loading is threatening the future of Kalamalka Lake, Vernon's main domestic water source with Randy Schellenberg. Schellenberg is a local business owner and the spokesman for the Citizens' Coalition to Save Silver Star Provincial Park. Topics of discussion will include Vernon and Silver Star wastewater, biosolids composting, effluent irrigation, and the MacKay reservoir. Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30-1:20 p.m.

Mar. 15Penticton Speaker Series - A Travelogue, Ron Spence, Okanagan School of Business. Two road trips, 13,596 miles and about 200 restaurant interviews, form the raw material for an entertaining, creative, sometimes shocking, well illustrated with both original drawings and photographs, and set Journal Pieces and ad-libbed anecdotes that bring his voyage to life. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 18 – The Okanagan Business Students’ Association (OBSA) will host its annual banquet from 5 – 9 p.m. This year’s event will feature a keynote address from Bill Rancic, entrepreneur and winner of the first season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. Tickets will be available soon through

Mar. 19
- ILLT Lunch and Learn Series - Happiness through Character Building with Ben Coleman, Psychology Okanagan College, in the Kelowna Theater 12 -12:50 p.m.

Mar. 22 - Kalamalka Speaker Series - Sucking on lemons! with Ben Coleman, Psychology, Okanagan College. When life delivers lemons, why will some people pucker-up while others will smile? Your ability to prosper and remain happy in life, even when sucking lemons, will depend on whether or not you have established these “essential” psychological strengths in your daily life. This free event takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka Campus Lecture Theatre.

Mar. 22Penticton Speaker Series - Looking at the Milky Way and Seeing the Galaxy, Chris Purton (DRAO). The Milky Way is our galaxy seen from the inside.  Probing the depths of the Milky Way and building up a picture of what our Galaxy would look like from the outside is a process covering several centuries of research.  The process continues, with major additions to the picture incorporated quite recently. Chris will outline this history, and present the most recent ideas of what our Galaxy is actually like. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

Mar. 28 - Okanagan College will host the Campus to Campus Half Marathon, Relay and 10 km race on Sunday, Mar. 28. Go online to register and find out more about this year's new course:

Mar. 29 - ILLT Lunch and Learn SeriesTips and Techniques for Classroom Instruction (Film) with Rob Kjarsgaard, Coordinator of Okanagan College's ILLT.  Rob will lead a follow-up discussion of the film on teaching techniques and will present an update on the ILLT.  Kalamalka Lecture Theatre 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.  

Mar. 29Penticton Speaker Series - Parsing Nature, Don Gayton.
Our social and individual bonds to nature are at the roots of the current environmental crisis. In this interactive discussion, we will dig down to explore these roots, their historical development, how they have changed over time, and how they need to change in the future. Session will be led by Don Gayton, ecologist and author of several books about nature. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.

April 7
- ILLT Lunch and Learn Series - Diversity with James Coble, Aboriginal Access and Services Coordinator Okanagan College, in the Kelowna Theater 12 - 12:50 p.m.

April 12Penticton Speaker Series - Film: Revolutionary Road. A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates. This event takes place at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre.


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, March 16, 2010.