Student surge pushes College growth close to 20 per cent

fteOkanagan College campuses are bracing for another year of record enrolments as early registrations point to a double-digit increase in student numbers.

“We’re seeing a 19 per cent year-to-date increase in registrations,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “The pattern that has seen us grow more than 65 per cent in the last five years looks to be accelerating.”

And the rush isn’t over yet for this fall – students can still apply and register in many programs at each of the College’s four campuses until Sept. 17. Follow this link to read the complete Public Affairs press release.

College registers as Charter Participant in STARS

starsOkanagan College has signed on to a new program to encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The program, called the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

To date, nearly 230 higher education institutions have registered as STARS Charter Participants. Taking part in STARS is a natural fit for Okanagan College, which announced earlier this month its participation in a green building consortium with partners Durham College, Lethbridge College, and Nova Scotia Community College.

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas:

1) education & research

2) operations 

3) planning, administration & engagement

“The advantage of STARS is that institutions can earn credits for all of their contributions to sustainability,” said AASHE Executive Director, Paul Rowland. “From providing sustainability coursework, to using green cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

For more information, visit:

Connections 2010


The Connections 2010 organizing team would like to extend a big thank you to all employees who attended this year’s event, to the facilitators of the afternoon sessions who gave of their time and expertise, and to the many people behind the scenes who assisted with the organizing that contributed to the event's tremendous success.

Follow this link to watch a slideshow of images from Connections 2010. Stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College - next edition will include a link to the 2010 video.
A very short survey to gauge feedback will be available shortly so please watch out for an email announcement to this effect – the organizing team would appreciate any feedback you have on how to make this event even better next year.

If you have any comments before the survey is sent out, please contact Kaya Forest.

SIFE Okanagan to host inaugural golf fundraiser


Students from Okanagan College’s SIFE Okanagan are organizing a golf tournament to help raise funds for new and ongoing projects, competition and activities.

The tournament will take place on Thursday, Sept. 16 at Gallagher’s Canyon with a 1 p.m. canyon shotgun start. Participants have the opportunity to golf and enjoy dinner, which is served at 6 p.m. (tickets for golf and dinner are $135). Those who would like to support SIFE Okanagan but do not wish to golf can attend the dinner at a cost of $50.

SIFE Okanagan will have great prize giveaways, raffles, a silent auction and entertainment. To register, download the pdf or contact Josh Fleming, Raymond Ong or Sheldon Gardiner.

Share your vision of Okanagan College

Okanagan College has adopted its new mission, vision, values and guiding principles. Help the College bring these elements to life.

Please share your stories, experiences, and examples of how Okanagan College transforms lives and communities.

The opportunity to help paint the picture of the College in human terms in ongoing, but the chance to contribute to this initiative evaporates on Sept. 17. Go to to share your story.

Your contributions may be used on the website, in print material, presentations and other documents. If you’d like your feedback to be used in these ways, please include your contact information in your submission.

College teams up with Bullfrog Power in leap toward sustainability

bullfrogOkanagan College’s commitment to sustainability has taken an energetic step forward with a new commitment to wind-power.

The institution has recently signed an agreement with Bullfrog Power that means half of the electricity to be used in the five-storey Centre for Learning building on the Kelowna campus will be generated by wind-power.

Bullfrog Power operates wind and hydro-powered facilities across Canada, including a facility in Dawson Creek, which feeds wind-generated power into the B.C. electrical grid. Bear Mountain Wind Park was commissioned in October, 2009.

“There is a small premium that we pay for the wind-power but it is a significant reduction of our carbon footprint,” explains Steve Robinson Sr., Director of Facilities at Okanagan College.

Buying the power from Bullfrog means the College will be reducing its annual emissions footprint by 205 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 266 kilograms of Nitric Oxide and 578 kilograms of Sulphur Dioxide. That is equivalent to removing 31 mid-sized cars off the road each year or planting 9,300 trees each year.

Robinson also notes that the Centre for Learning, which opened in mid-2009, has been submitted for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification; a higher standard than the LEED Gold certification that was originally planned.

Gathering Place in Salmon Arm receives finishing touches

In keeping with Okanagan College’s guiding principles of embracing Aboriginal culture and heritage, the Salmon Arm campus’s Aboriginal Gathering Place has had the finishing touches put on it and now displays a permanent etching of local First Nations pictographs.

These images predate European contact and were used historically to depict dreams, stories, legends, and visions. The Métis symbol is also included with the five pictographs, which surround the symbol of the First Nations’ Medicine Wheel. These symbols recognize and honour the local First Nations Bands and Métis people who live within the Shuswap region.

Okanagan College's Aboriginal Access & Services Coordinator, James Coble, facilitated a committee of local First Nations members to choose the pictographs. Each of the four Okanagan College campuses now have an Aboriginal Student Access Center open to the community, so please feel free to drop in and enjoy the facility.

Tickets now on sale for Alumni Awards

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. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by the awards presentation. Tickets are $55 (including HST), with a complimentary glass of wine, and are available until Oct. 7.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, please contact Alumni and Community Relations coordinator Erin Kavanagh at 250-762-5445, local 4771, toll-free at 1-888-6968 or by email at


Butler joins Board of Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education

Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement at Okanagan College, has been appointed to a two-year term as Director at Large for the Board of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE).

The CCAE is a volunteer-led national organization that promotes excellence in educational advancement and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and mutual support. CCAE members represent universities, colleges, institutes and independent schools from across the country.

For more information please visit:

New faces in the Library

The Library welcomed four new continuing employees this summer.


Leanna Jantzi, Business Liaison Librarian, started work in Kelowna on July 5 and wasted no time in getting to know the Business students and faculty, teaching research instruction sessions, and developing new research guides. Leanna graduated this spring with her MLIS from UBC, having previously earned her BA from Malaspina.

On August 30, Trish Boleen took on the responsibilities of the Processing/Serials Clerk position in Kelowna. Trish holds a B.Ed. from Brandon University and recently completed her Library and Information Technology Diploma at the University of the Fraser Valley.

In Vernon, Daniel de Groot began his position as Campus Library Assistant on August 23. Daniel holds a BA and a Library Technology Diploma, both from UCFV. He most recently worked in the library at Quest University and, before that, at Kwantlen, VCC and UCFV.


Since July 5, the Library’s web presence has been the responsibility of Roen Janyk, another 2010 UBC grad. Based in Kelowna, Roen will also be responsible for liaising with the Psychology department, a perfect fit with her BA in that discipline from Acadia. Look for some changes to the website in the near future.

Doucette to represent College at World Student Environmental Summit

Lindsay Doucette, an Environmental Arts student at the Kelowna campus, is attending the 2010 World Student Environmental Summit in Tubingen Germany this September.

Lindsay volunteered at the 2009 World Student Environmental Summit in Victoria, gaining valuable insight into the Summit. The aim of the 2010 Summit is for students from all over the world to meet together to discuss climate change and sustainable society.

The Summit is happening on September 20-26 at the University of Tubingen, where over 80 students from 48 countries will be present. The website and the details for this year's Summit can be found at:

Watch upcoming editions of Inside Okanagan College for a profile of Lindsay.

Arellano’s Strange Fruit hand-picked for Best Home Grown Award

arellano2Communications instructor Marc Arellano has added a new award to the growing list of critical acclaim for his documentary Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in the Central Okanagan. Arellano was awarded the Best Home Grown Award at the Okanagan International Film Festival. 

“I am so pleased that our judges rated Strange Fruit highly,” said Jason Woodford, president of the Okanagan Film Festival Society, which produces the annual festival. “It is a very worthy documentary and I look forward to seeing where he takes it next.”

It looks like the next stop will be Toronto this October. The Planet in Focus Film Festival has picked up Strange Fruit for its line-up. 

“They had heard about it somehow, and even though their program was already set, they asked me to send them some screeners. Once they saw it, they made room for it in their festival,” explained Arellano.

The Planet in Focus Film Festival, now in its 11th year, is the longest running environmental festival of its kind in the country. In 2009, the festival featured more than 85 environmentally-focused films from 25 countries.

Announcing Kaylene Jillian Lee Ritchie

Staff from Financial Services added a new number-cruncher to their roster with the arrival of Kaylene Jillian Lee Ritchie (well, it might be a few years before she's crunching numbers...).

Kaylene was born to proud mother Kristine Ritchie on Monday, Aug. 16 at 10:15 p.m. She weighed in at 6lbs, 9oz and is healthy and happy to join the rest of her family.

Brea Retzlaff earns prestigious financial award

For the second year in a row, an Okanagan College student has been awarded the Garfield Weston Upper Year Award.

Brea Retzlaff, a 19-year-old business student from Summerland, is just one of 25 winners from across the country. She, along with dozens of candidates, traveled to Toronto this month to attend a leadership conference and underwent a rigorous interview process.

Retzlaff was selected for the award based on the success of her interviews along with her record of volunteerism, which includes work with SIFE Okanagan, Free the Children and War Child Canada. 

The award waives Retzlaff’s tuition for second year, and is renewable for up to two years. In addition, Retzlaff receives an $8,000 stipend, again renewable, access to summer program funding and mentoring, plus up to $4,000 in retroactive award funds to defray accumulated expenses.

This year, along with fellow SIFE students, she’ll be focused on helping a local entrepreneur expand an innovative micro-lending program InStill Life to elementary schools in Kelowna and Vernon.

“Breanne has a lot of energy and enthusiasm and she’s a very good student who was involved in a number of SIFE projects here in Penticton,” said Donna Lomas. “She’s always been socially aware and conscious of what she wants to do.”
Aug. 31, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 11


Wanted – two policy wonks!

Education Council has an Academic Regulations and Policy Standing Committee. The committee reviews but does not write policy. It has members drawn from across the College.

At the moment, EdCo is looking for a member from Business and a member from the Engineering Technologies. 

If you would like to volunteer for one of these seats, or would like more information about them, please contact Rick Gee local 4634 or Dianne Crommer local 4491. Note, there is no money associated with these positions, nor is there time release.

Bargaining update

Negotiations with the BCGEU Support Staff and OC continued on August 23 to 25. Negotiating committees for the BCGEU and the College came to agreement on a number of changes to the Collective Agreement. However, key issues of importance to both the Union and the College remain outstanding, subject to further discussion at the Compensation Template Table.

Dates for the commencement of Compensation Template negotiations between PSEA and the bargaining agents involved in that process have yet to be determined. In the meantime local negotiations between the BCGEU and the College have been suspended by agreement of the parties.

Local negotiations, targeted to occur on Sept. 15, will depend on the dates chosen for the Compensation Template Table negotiations. 

For further information on the status of negotiations please continue to watch for news in Inside Okanagan.

HR finalizes electronic recruitment system

With the migration of all instructional positions to the POST electronic recruitment system, the Human Resources Department is now in the final stage of the technology implementation. Effective Sept. 7, all employment opportunities will be managed through the on-line recruitment system.

Those responsible for recruitment processes will be able to access and manage their own recruitment file using one system while applicants for positions will be able to view all available Okanagan College jobs in one electronic location and manage their application(s) efficiently through that system. Human Resources reminds candidates that applications are accepted until 7 p.m. on the closing date of the posting.   

For individuals who are less comfortable with electronic systems, instructions are available in all College libraries. For those needing personal assistance, please contact an HR Advisor for guidance in the system’s use.

Pow Wow to honour, celebrate Aboriginal culture

Okanagan College's Kelowna campus will again play host to the annual Youth Exhibition Pow Wow this September, but staff, students and the public will have a chance before the Sept. 23 event to find out more about what's behind a Pow Wow.

Richard Jackson, of the KiLowNa Friendship Society, will be a guest speaker in Adeja Chrisara's Anthropology 230 class on Tuesday, Sept. 21 (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) to discuss the cultural significance of pow wows, as well as the different types of dances and regalia.

The class will be open to the public, staff and students, but you're requested to indicate if you plan to attend by contacting Aboriginal Recruiter Marcy Trotter (ext. 3264). Stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for the room number for this presentation (yet to be determined).

IT Services Update

A heads-up - the next upgrade of Okanagan College’s Enterprise Management System, Banner, will occur over the Thanksgiving weekend in October. This means that many of IT Service’s systems may be off line from Friday evening until Tuesday morning. More details will be provided in the next edition of Inside OC.

Wanted – a few people interested in curriculum development!

Education Council has four portfolio-based subcommittees, which approve curriculum before it reaches EdCo itself. Many of the members of these committees are from within the portfolio but each committee includes at least one seat specifically reserved for people from outside the portfolio.

At the moment, EdCo is looking for outside-the-portfolio members on the CPRC STH (Science, Technology, and Health), CPRC AFP (Arts and Foundational Programs), and CPRC TA (Trades and Apprenticeship). 

If you would like to volunteer for one of these seats, or would like more information about them, please contact Rick Gee local 4634 or Dianne Crommer local 4491. Note, there is no money associated with these positions, nor is there time release.

College invites participants for 2010 AIDS Walk

A group of staff from Okanagan College will join in the 2010 AIDS Walk on Sunday, Sept. 19 in Kelowna’s Kerry Park. Anyone interested in participating should contact Claudia Cable at extension 4304.

Registration and a delicious, inexpensive pancake breakfast will start at 9 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10:30 a.m. Awards and prizes will be given out at 11:30 a.m. The walk begins at Kerry Park and goes along the waterfront, through City Park and back.


Alumni of Okanagan College and Okanagan University College are invited to attend the Okanagan College Alumni Association’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. in Infusions Restaurant at Okanagan College – KLO Campus. Light appetizers will be served.

RSVP is required; please contact Erin -  or respond by phone at Ext 4771 to confirm your attendance.

ILLT  launches summer newsletter

The Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching (ILLT) has produced its summer newsletter: Enhancing the Practice of Learning and Teaching. The pdf is available online and includes a series of articles geared toward maximizing student success.

Also inside the new ILLT newsletter is an interview with Frank Robinson, Dean of Students at the University of Alberta. To find out more about the ILLT visit:

Motorcycle Training at Okanagan College

Okanagan College, in partnership with V-Twin, is offering two more classes of motorcycle training at the Kelowna campus. 

CRN 70020 (Sep. 7 – 19)

CRN 90236 (Sep. 20 – Oct. 3)

For more information or to register, contact Continuing Studies at 250-862-5480 or
online at

Attention: Municipal Pension Plan Members

The Municipal Pension Plan is once again offering its free pension information seminars to plan members. Depending on where you are in your career, plan members can choose from two different seminars: 

Your Pension, Your Future - Are you at the beginning or mid-point in your career? 

Your Pension, Your Future will help you understand how the decisions you make today can have an impact on your future pension income—no matter how far into the future that may be.

Thinking About Retiring? - This seminar will help you understand the importance of the choices you need to make when preparing for this exciting new stage of your life. This two-hour seminar is for members within five years of retirement. All plan members, including those receiving long-term disability benefits, are welcome to attend.

Members can learn more about these seminars, view the most current schedules and register online (or manually) by visiting Under Resources, click on Pension Information Seminars.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and some venues fill up quickly. Members should register as early as possible.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Alan Kennedy from Computer Science in Kelowna who has won the August 27 payday draw for $527.50!

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.


Glendon Wiebe, counsellor at the Kelowna campus, was interviewed by the Capital News for a feature on the mental health challenges facing first year college and university students. Read the whole story in: More students than ever feeling the strain.

John Lent, Regional Dean of the Vernon campus, is once again assessing the shortlist for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in BC writing and publishing.  Read more about the shortlisted writers and this year’s gala in: Shortlist announced for Ryga writing award, Ryga list announced, and Authors shortlisted for George Ryga award.

Krystle Babott, a Women in Trades carpentry student in Vernon, shared her story and promoted the program intake starting this September in a feature article in the Vernon Morning Star. Read more in: Woman picks up hammer to nail down her vocation and Women embracing the trades.

Record enrolments are on the horizon for this fall at Okanagan College based on a snapshot of current registration numbers. Read more in: More learning.

Brea Retzlaff, a business administration student entering her second year in Penticton, will have fewer financial worries this year. Brea is one of 25 students from across the nation to win the Garfield Weston Upper Year award, a bursary that will pay her tuition this year and beyond.  Find out more in: College student receives national award.

Four colleges from across the country, including Okanagan College, have come together to share information regarding sustainable building technologies. Each institution has been a leader in the field thus far and looking forward to the future. Find out more in: Colleges working on technologies and OC teams up with four other schools.

Okanagan College will welcome two new members to the Board of Governors this fall with the addition of Doug Manning and Sunndip Nahal. Read more in: Two new members join college board.

The province has pressed the pause button on new degree program proposals until an assessment can be done on regional coordination and labour needs. Read more in: B.C. suspends new degree proposals.

Several media outlets covered the tragic drowning of Kelroy Munroe, a former Okanagan College student. Read more in: Friends mourn the death of ‘water-shy’ man in Kalamalka Lake, Friends help locate Kalamalka Lake body, Difficult search eased by witnesses, Lake claims another, Drowning victim chef in training, Police puzzled by drowning story, Drowning victim remembered.

The Korean exchange student who was injured while swimming at Kal lake in late July is making a speedy recovery. Read more in: Student recovers from near-drowning.

Allan Coyle, Director of Public Affairs, was a guest columnist in the Capital News and discussed the emerging clean energy sector and the difference between the labour shortage in other industries and new jobs in this industry. Read more in: College helps ease labour shortage

In her School’s In column, Registrar Jane Muskens focused on the business of international education. Read more in: International students can be an asset for many institutions

Stan Chung, former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, reflected on his relationship with his late grandmother in his Global Citizen column. Read A visit from Grandmother.


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, Sept. 14, 2010.