Summer ceremonies close with exceptional students

Convo generalOkanagan College rounded out its Convocation season with the celebration of more than 1,000 graduates at ceremonies held in Vernon June 27, and in Kelowna June 29.

A total of 128 graduates from both the Salmon Arm and Vernon campuses were recognized at the Convocation ceremony held at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

Another 893 graduates were honoured at the Summer Convocation ceremony held at the Kelowna campus.

Among the celebrants taking part was President’s Award winner Mark Kornell who graduated from the Studio Woodworking program with a 97.72 per cent grade average.

Kornell, who also holds a Bachelor of Science, MBA, and spent many years working in the IT field, credited the College for the opportunity to embrace a second career – one that takes him closer to his true passion of creating artisanal furniture.

 Mark Kornell
The Kelowna Convocation also included the bestowing of Honorary Fellow on Janet Shaw, who has had a long association with the College both as a member of the Board of Governors with Okanagan University College and later with Okanagan College.

In accepting the honour, Shaw reflected on the trepidation she experienced when she first set foot in a role with the College.

“Believe me I was quite nervous when I arrived for my first meeting as a Governor,” she said. “I am sure you too had moments of panic and nervousness as you began your studies.”

Shaw credited the College’s demonstrated commitment to a learning philosophy to her own successes, and reminded graduates that they each could take credit for stepping up to the challenge.

“Student success is at the heart of this institution and I trust that this guiding principle was evident to you,” she said. “I hope that whatever journey you take in life that you remember ‘it’s where we go and what we do when we get there that tells us who we are.’”

In total, the Spring and Summer Convocations celebrated the achievements of more than 2,600 students.

To read the full media release on Mark Kornell, click here.

European design award for Penticton’s Centre of Excellence building

JpcoeThe prestigious European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies has listed Okanagan College’s newest building as one of the outstanding examples of Green Design in 27 nations.

This marked only the most recent recognition for the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at the Penticton campus.

The award-winners of the International Architecture Awards’ Green GOOD DESIGN Award was announced in mid-June. The International Architecture awards date back to 1950 in Chicago.

The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence was also credited in June with two awards from the Illuminating Engineering Society and a Canadian Green Building Award from SAB (Sustainable Architecture Building) Magazine.

To read the full media release, click here.

France beckons for Business student

Jennifer AndrewsOkanagan College School of Business student Jennifer Andrews is on her way to studying at a prestigious French business school following her receipt of the Premier’s Scholarship.

Andrews, who is studying Business Administration, was one of 22 students across the province to receive the award, which was announced by the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.

Andrews received $6,000 and will be spending four months this fall continuing her studies at the International Business and Management Program at EDHEC Business School, one of the top business schools in the world.

To read the full media release, click here.


Positive action yields international award

Javid WuThinking about others, and then taking action, has earned one of Okanagan College’s international students an ISV (International Students Voice magazine) Spotlight Award.

Jing Wei Wu, known as “Javid” to many of his friends, was recognized for his volunteer efforts, which include fundraising for victims of earthquakes, to transcribing for a deaf student from China.

“Jing Wei is an inspiration to all students,” Donna McGrath, Manager of International Student Services at the College, wrote in making the nomination.

Wu is a student in the Okanagan School of Business. He’s taken leadership roles both on and off campus, including taking part as a volunteer at the 2008 BC Summer Games, the Okanagan International Marathon, and community gardens.

July 3, 2012 Vol. 7 Issue 6


Moodle workshops

Workshops for Moodle are continuing for professors and instructors throughout the month of July as the College continues the transition from Blackboard to the new course management system.

Workshops cover both basic and advanced Moodle skills, including an online advanced course on Using Collaborate July 25 from 9 – 11 a.m. A basics workshop will be also be offered in Vernon July 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To view the full July schedule, including times available at the Kelowna campus, click here. A schedule for August is in the works.

Meanwhile, the implementation team has also installed a drag-and-drop upload function that you can add to your course in Moodle which will make it easier for instructors and professors to move files.

This tool will also enable users to manually migrate files from Blackboard to Moodle, using the same drag-and-drop. Details are available on the Moodle website in the drag and drop instruction document.

Signing authority changes

Changes took place effective June 20 regarding signing authority on various expenses at the College.

Members of the leadership team, managers, program administrators and executive assistants can view the details under Schedule C of the Signing Authority Expenditure Matrix.

The revised policy is posted under Policy E.1.11.

Group X Challenge wraps up

It’s time to turn in the June cards for those who have taken part in the Group X Challenge at the Kelowna campus. The person who attended the most classes in the month will win a heart rate monitor.

Congratulations to the May winner Phil Ashman who took in all 18 classes offered that month.

Preparations are already underway for the Fall Challenge. In the meantime, to stay fit the Athletics and Recreation department has posted some of its Challenge X workouts on its Facebook page.

Kelowna campus electrical power shutdown

A campus-wide electrical power shutdown will occur at the Kelowna campus on Saturday, July 21 between 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 22 between 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

The electrical interruption is necessary to carry out maintenance and servicing of the high voltage electrical distribution system.

Peter Csandl, Manager, Operations and Energy Systems, recommends staff not come to the Kelowna campus on that weekend as there will be limited electrical power supplied by electrical backup generators to some areas.

For more information, email Peter Csandl  or call local 5625.


Studio Woodworking graduate and President’s Award winner Mark Kornell had quite a story to tell CBC Radio West guest host Alya Ramadan. Listen to: Kelowna woodworker. Kornell was also featured on the front page of the Daily Courier. Read: Graduating to a new life.

Okanagan College student Jennifer Andrews' receipt of a Premier’s Scholarship was featured in the Daily Courier. Read: Okanagan College student rides scholarship to France.

Two Salmon Arm sisters with a penchant for academic excellence were featured in the Salmon Arm Observer. Read: Sisters earn awards at OC.

Registrar Jane Muskens used her School’s In column in the Capital News to write about the challenge of predicting the future when it comes to job training. Read: Education key to change. Muskens also wrote about the nation-wide trend of budget cuts to post-secondary institutions in Post-secondaries must cut costs to keep budgets in line, and the rise in high school students heading straight for college. Read: Number of high school grads heading to college is growing.

Design awards from around the world are stacking up for the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence. Read: More awards for OC centre of excellence in the Capital News.

A community farm at Okanagan College's Vernon campus is close to planting its first seeds. Read: College ‘food forest’ taking root this fall.

The community helped raise more than $42,000 for Okanagan College students at the recent 21st annual Okanagan College Foundation Golf Tournament. Read: Donations boost college funds.

Honorary Fellow Yasmin John-Thorpe, known for her devotion to developing young writers, graciously accepted a donation to her cause. See: Good Deeds and Young Writers from the Penticton Herald.

Three Sorrento residents, including Okanagan College student Alli Janzen, were killed in a head-on collision. Read: Father, daughters killed in crash.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer. To ensure your submission is included, plese send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter's publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, July 17.