Board approves $88-million annual budget

The Okanagan College Board of Governors passed an $88.17-million annual budget today that anticipates some modest program growth and which will support increasing enrolments for the sixth year in a row.

The budget avoids cuts in service to students despite a $1.3 million decrease in government funding in the coming year for annual capital improvements and maintenance. Maintenance and renovation projects at the College’s campuses and centres will be reduced as a consequence.

The 2010-11 budget also anticipates no increase in the primary government grant for continuing programs. Over the past five years, the province has funded new seats for post-secondary institutions; that funding ended in the 2009-10 fiscal year. 

Follow this link to read the full Public Affairs press release.

College Board tailors tuition increase for 2010-11

Almost half of students at Okanagan College will see their tuition remain steady for the next year as a result of a decision made today by the College’s Board of Governors.

The Board decided to freeze tuition fees for programs that are more than 10 per cent above the provincial average for similar programs. Tuition fees that are less than that will be increased.

That means approximately 50 per cent of students won’t be paying increased tuition fees next year.

“We’ve heard a well-articulated concern from students that our tuition should be comparable to similar schools in the province,” explains Board of Governors Chair Lance Kayfish. “This decision, along with last year’s decision to freeze all tuition fees, continues to move Okanagan College in that direction.”

Follow this link for the full press release and details about program areas that may see tuition increases.

More than 600 come out for Campus-to-Campus

randyOkanagan College hosted close to 1,000 runners, spectators and volunteers at the Kelowna Campus on Sunday as the community turned out in droves for the eighth annual Campus-to-Campus Half Marathon.

Changes to this year’s race included a new start location at the Kelowna campus, a new out-and-back course and the addition of a 10 K race. Vernon’s Aaron Heidt won the half marathon in a time of 1:11:46. The women’s race was won by Surrey’s Shannon Thompson with a time of 1:25:43.

The winner of the inaugural 10 K race was Okanagan College’s very own Associate Dean of Trades Randy Werger (40:08). The female winner of the 10 K was Michelle Blackburne in 41:13. The relay race was won by team Just in Time: Gavin Docherty, Kevin Duncan, Aaron Haazen and Kayle Jang.

The race, which raised funds for student recreation and fitness at Okanagan College, grew dramatically this year – registrations were up 20 per cent over last year. Also noted by race organizers was an increase in College staff participation, both on the runner and volunteer side. Dozens of College staff turned up to help as course marshals while other key volunteers assisted the race committee with timing, registration and first aid.

Penticton staff entered three teams in the relay division and although they didn’t win the race, they deserve extra credit for getting up early to make the drive in time to show their College spirit.

Special thanks are in order for members of the 2010 race committee: Randy Werger, Jane Muskens, Allan Hickey, Ben Kendal, Lynn Johnson, Mike Craig and Christine Ulmer. For complete race results go online:

Strategic Plan dialogue now accessible online

dialogueDuring a thought-provoking conversation between Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair, President of Nova Scotia Community College, a series of questions about both institutions’ futures were addressed.

The public dialogue, which was moderated by Regional Dean John Lent, took place on Friday, March 19 in Kelowna. While many staff attended the event and put forth questions for Hamilton and McArthur-Blair, many were not able to be there in person. The conversation was captured by media guru Mike Minions and is now available online via webcast. Follow this link to watch it on demand.

College Owns the Podium at business competition

businessOkanagan School of Business students cleaned up at the 21st Annual BC Business Simulation Competition, winning 14 out of a possible 16 team and individual gold medals.

The College hosted the annual competition, which included teams from Langara College, Camosun College, College of the Rockies, College of New Caledonia, and Medicine Hat College in two divisions, senior (third and fourth year degree students) and sophomore (second year).

Twelve judges, each with notable industry experience, lent their time to the thee-day competition, evaluating the anonymously numbered teams and offering feedback to the budding business professionals.

David Crawford, Principal of Capri Intercity Leasing in Kelowna, was one of the judges for the competition; he has been judging similar competitions for the past three years and was immediately impressed by the Okanagan College team.

“They were so superior that it was incredible,” said Crawford. “They took it very seriously and were standouts in their professionalism, passion, execution and decision-making. They were clearly the front runners.”

Follow this link to read the full press release with names of each of the gold medal winners and their categories.

Student competition teams honoured for excellence

compdinnerOn Thursday, March 25 Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton honoured a distinguished group of students from across the institution for their achievements at a variety of student competitions during a dinner held in the cafeteria.

More than 70 students representing business, trades and engineering technologies attended the dinner along with their coaches and faculty mentors. Representatives from each of the competition teams had the opportunity to address the group, many of whom thanked Okanagan College and staff from the College for their strong support of students both inside and outside the classroom.

Crusaders finish season in third 

crusadersIn their inaugural season, the Okanagan College Crusaders hockey team finished 2009/2010 in third place in the British Columbia Inter-Collegiate Hockey League (BCIHL).

The Crusaders third place finish saw the team rank ahead of Trinity Western University, University of Fraser Valley, University of Victoria and Selkirk College. Congratulations to Coach Barnstable and his staff as well as the whole Crusaders organization.

The Crusaders will host a year-end banquet on Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the Kelowna campus cafeteria. Tickets will be $40 and are available at the student recreation office in Kelowna.

Coyotes spring into action

baseballThe Okanagan College Coyotes baseball team started out the defence of their division title on Saturday with a couple of dominating pitching performances leading to two wins over division rivals Kwantlen Eagles, 7 - 0 and 3 -1. With spring weather not on their side, the Coyotes were disappointed to be rained out of their two Sunday games - especially with the team on a roll.

The team is off to a strong start, due in part to experience they gained over the past three weekends spent playing U.S. Junior College teams. In their opening games the Coyotes made only two errors all weekend, issued two walks and earned 15 hits. The team will travel to Nanaimo this weekend for a four-game series on the island.


Christian Reiner to retire

christianAfter more than a decade in graphic design at Okanagan College, Christian Reiner will retire on April 15. Christian joined OUC in 1998 after many years spent working as a lithographer, designer and photographer in Europe and North America. His work on the College’s transition in 2005 was critical to the institution’s branding and design.

Outside of his career at the College, Christian is known for his talents as a painter, artist and photographer. He has plans to continue his artistic pursuit in his retirement.

Staff who require assistance with upcoming graphic design projects are encouraged to go online to myOkanagan to fill out a Public Affairs work request.

Launi Skinner to lead First West Credit Union

skinnerOkanagan College distinguished alumna Launi Skinner (Buad 1985) has been appointed chief executive officer of First West Credit Union by its board of directors.

Skinner will take on the position of CEO on April 19, which includes leading First West’s executive team (presidents of the credit union’s Envision Financial and Valley First operating divisions).

Skinner was honoured by Okanagan College this fall as its 2009 distinguished alumna for her excellence in business and leadership as COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and esteemed career at Starbucks, where she led the company as president of Starbucks U.S.

To read more about Skinner’s recent appointment, follow this link to a Valley First press release.

John Walker to succeed Randy Jespersen as President and CEO of Terasen Inc.

In a media release issued last week, Terasen Inc. announced John Walker will become President and CEO of Terasen Inc. Walker, who is also President and CEO of FortisBC and Executive Committee Chair of Okanagan College’s Capital Campaign, will succeed Randy Jespersen, who is retiring on June 30, 2010.

Walker will assume his new position on July 1, 2010. 

Stan Chung’s recycling archive on display at UBCO

exhibitStan Chung, Okanagan College’s Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, is one of a series of artists whose work is being showcased in an exhibit at the Gallery at UBCO this week. Stan is presenting Recycled Archive: The Artist as Historian and Researcher.

In his own words, Stan’s artist statement reads:

“Recycling” juxtaposes the complexity of history, the ambiguous positioning of journalism as disposable archive and underscores the constant interplay of family.

The recycling box suggests the decomposition of everyday newsprint but also hints at “history” as merely one form of representation. The installation uses both translucent and newsprint photographs to evoke the interplay between visual and written representation. 

The original newspaper columns are written as emotional memoirs to the past, present, and future but they are presented loosely like memory itself as fragile and transitory. The columns draped around the edges and strewn on the floor are at once vulnerable in their physical impermanence but are also ironically archived in libraries as a source of received history.

This installation is presented as research because it interrogates both the photograph and memoir as history and suggests that “artist as researcher” provides a way of questioning received truth.

Each box acknowledges and questions the iconic family photograph as a container of memory, archive, and history. Only by exploring these complex juxtapositions as creative research can we uncover a larger and deeper sense of the past, present, and future.

Stan is an Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies doctoral student researching improvisation and performance at UBC Okanagan. Contact him for more information about his exhibit.

Vernon AME student earns bursary

bachmannOkanagan College Aircraft Maintenance Engineering student Raphael Bachmann is the second recipient of the $500 Len Neufeld Bursary Award. Raphael recently had the award presented to him at the Vernon Airport by Vernon Mayor Wayne Lippert and Barry Jackson, president of the Vernon Flying Club.

Raphael entered the AME program in February 2009 and has achieved excellent marks and a nearly perfect attendance record. He hopes to secure an apprenticeship next year, preferably in BC or somewhere else in Canada.

John Caspers pays his experience forward

caspersSince retiring from the military, Okanagan College’s parking supervisor John Caspers has remained connected to the military through countless hours spent volunteering with local and provincial Air Cadets.

John spends much of his holiday time taking groups of young people on winter and summer cadet outings. His enthusiasm, expertise and ability to communicate will have a positive and long lasting effect on young people.
March 30, 2010 Vol. 3 Issue 24


Support student success at 2010 Graduation

Faculty are invited to attend Okanagan College’s 2010 Convocation and Commencement ceremonies, which will take place over a series of events beginning in June. Faculty who choose to attend are asked to contact Michelle Lowry with height, highest educational credential earned (ie: 5”9 MSc. UVic), and the ceremony you wish to attend.

For a list of programs honoured at each ceremony please visit:

Ceremonies will take place on the following dates:

Trades Commencement
 - Friday, June 4

6 p.m.
 Kelowna Campus

Spring Convocation
 - Saturday, June 5 

10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
 Kelowna Campus

Vernon Convocation/Commencement - 
Monday, June 28

4:30 p.m.
 Vernon Performing Arts Theatre

Summer Convocation/Commencement
 - Tuesday, June 29

6 p.m.
 Kelowna Campus

College to host E-waste recycling event

1-800-GOT-JUNK, in partnership with Organizing Help, will host their annual E-Waste Recycling event in honour of Earth Day at the Kelowna campus on Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Bring your unwanted electronic waste to this free E-Waste Recycling event and help make a positive environmental impact on future generations. 

Items accepted:
TV’s (limit of 48 inches)
Computer monitors (CRT and LCD)
Computer towers, laptops, and netbooks
Tablet computers
Keyboards, mice, cables, etc.

Other Activities:
 will also accept confidential documents for on-site shredding. Limit of three file boxes per customer.
 For more information contact Yoree Grozenok, 1-800-GOT-JUNK Okanagan, at (250) 258-5865.

Shuswap Lake 2010 International Writers Festival

The Shuswap Association of Writers is proud to present the 2010 Shuswap Lake International Writers Festival. Festival dates are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 28 - 30, 2010. Events will take place at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort & Convention Centre, the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College and the Salmon Arm Art Gallery. With a theme of Renewal, this year’s festival promises an exciting weekend of writing, readings, and inspiring connections.

Festival authors include:
Brian Brett – Keynote Speaker
Anne DeGrace
Patricia Donahue
Melody Hessing
Crawford Kilian
Mark Leiren-Young
Kay McCracken
Lee Rawn
Crystal Stranaghan
Margaret Thompson
Richard Wagamese

Please visit for more information or to register.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Sandi Gould from Financial Aid in Kelowna who won last week’s payday draw for $542.50. 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.


The Okanagan College Foundation was the beneficiary of proceeds from the Silver Star 7.5–kilometre team challenge race in March. Proceeds are directed toward Okanagan College Nordic Scholarships, which support skiers who also attend the College. See photos and find out more in: Ski for School and Skiing for a Cause

Okanagan College provided a venue for a conference put on by Worksafe BC. Students in the College’s carpentry program also helped build some staging for the event, which showcased the importance of safety on the job site. Watch CHBC coverage of the event.

Okanagan College hosted the eighth annual Campus-to-Campus Half Marathon on Sunday, March 28. The half marathon was won by Aaron Heidt of Vernon. Randy Werger, Associate Dean of Trades, won the 10 K portion of the race. The race was covered by and the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more and see photos in: Campus run and New course leads to faster times or check out For complete race results visit:

In her weekly School’s In column, Interim Registrar Jane Muskens considered the impact technology has on the millennial generation. In a subsequent column she reflected on changes in trades education. Read more in: Opportunities to get into a trade abound.

The Okanagan College Coyotes Baseball team has wrapped up its exhibition games and is getting better every weekend. Read about their results in: OC Coyotes baseball squad swept by Spokane in pre-season series and One bad inning sets OC back.

The Okanagan College Crusaders hockey team finished their regular season in the BCIHL with a third place standing. Read more about their exciting playoff ordeal in: Crusaders embark on maiden playoff voyage, Crusaders fall to eventual champion SFU, finish 3rd, and Intercollegiate hockey team third in inaugural tournament.

In an article about the health of the local job market, Okanagan College was mentioned as an educational choice by those who retrained during the last year. Read more in: Job market showing new signs of life.

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Okanagan helped collect food donations again this month in Kelowna and Vernon. See photos and details from The Morning Star and the Courier.

Last week SIFE Vernon also hosted an event featuring keynote speaker Darren Jacklin, a renowned business professional who has trained Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T and Air Canada. Read more in: SIFE brings in business speaker.

Okanagan School of Business students participated in the Western Regional SIFE competition and came out on top for the third year in a row. Read more in: Two gold and a silver for students.

Young Alumni Award winners Todd and Mark Regier have added another award to the growing list of achievements for their business. Prestige Collision was named family enterprise of the year by the Okanagan chapter of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise. Read more in: Another big win for Regier brothers.

Penticton’s Debbie Cutt and Donna Lomas were photographed in the Penticton Herald with Ben Minuk, Tom Beardsley and Molly the yellow lab at the fourth annual adopt-a-trail event in Penticton. See the photo and read more in: Good Deeds.

“To let it out or keep it in?” – that’s the question posed by Stan Chung, Acting Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, in his Global Citizen Column. Wonder what he’s referring to? You’ll have to follow the link to find out.


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

April 12 – Penticton 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.

April 12ILLT Lunch and Learn Series - Diversity with James Coble, Aboriginal Access and Services Coordinator Okanagan College, in the Kalamalka Campus Theatre 12:30 - 1:20 p.m.


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, April 13, 2010.