Convocation season draws to a close

harding2The last group of students to graduate from Okanagan College during its series of 2008 Convocation celebrations received their credentials on June 26 at a ceremony for vocational graduates. Ken Harding was recognized as a 2008 Okanagan College Honorary Fellow. In his address to the graduates Ken reminded students to never lose sight of the simple but important things in life – family, good friends, taking care of your health and volunteering your time to others.

More than 1,250 students received credentials during the three ceremonies held during June. The next group of Okanagan College students to graduate will be the Salmon Arm and Kelowna Practical Nurses in August 2008.

HR implements new web-based recruitment tool – POST

Human Resources launched the new Position Description and Applicant Tracking modules of the Posting On-line System and Tracking (POST) web-based recruitment tool (developed by PeopleAdmin) during the week of July 1, 2008.  The on-line modules introduce automated position description and recruitment processes for end-users involved in the recruitment process. 

For a short time period, both the old and new recruitment systems will be maintained until open postings in the old system are closed following completion of all related recruitment activities. For a full description of the POST system and information about the implementation process, please follow this link.

Get connected

connectionsRegister now for the third annual employee learning conference Connections 2008. Two day-long sessions will be offered to accommodate staff and departmental scheduling. Each session will include a message from Jim Hamilton, breakout groups, lunch, learning symposia and a social event. To register for either August 26 or 27 (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) please follow this link or contact Michelle Lowry or Marian Gruber for more information.

TELUS delivers $5,000 in scholarships to NTEn students


TELUS' Jordy Koenig presents
Christy Hyde (NTEn) with $2,500
scholarship for achievement.

Three Okanagan College Networking and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (NTEn) students received a combined $5,000 in scholarship funding from the Jordy Koenig TELUS Scholarship last week. Christy Hyde received $2,500, Jesse Doyle received $1,500 and Stefano Da Rosa accepted a cheque for $1,000. Each of the students has completed the first year of the challenging two-year technology diploma program and was selected based on their academic standings.

This is just the second year that TELUS has given out the scholarships, which were initiated last year as a way of supporting students in the industry. The scholarship is named after a longtime TELUS employee Jordy Koenig who has close ties with Okanagan College. Koenig serves on the NTEn program advisory council and is dedicated to strengthening ties between industry and education. The awards were distributed in the offices of Kelowna Flightcraft, the summer workplace of top scholarship winner Christy Hyde.


Staff get Smart (& co.) at Strawberry Jammin'

Staff from the Kelowna campus had the opportunity to hear from one of the College’s Jamaican Culinary Arts students as he jammed with a collection of staff musicians at Thursday’s Strawberry Jammin'. Lennox Smart played the lead on his saxophone and was accompanied by Tom Esson, Art Boehm and Dave Harris on the guitar. strawberry2Mike Minions and Jake Block played the drums. The social event was hosted by International Education and the Kelowna campus.

Reflect on the reflections pond

It is hard to believe that just one year ago the area that served as a stage for the 2008 graduating class of Okanagan College was home to ducks and lily pads. With the Kelowna campus reflecting pond renovation now complete, Inside Okanagan College is offering a glimpse into the considerable changes that have taken place.




The Vernon Morning Star devoted four separate articles to Okanagan College graduates. Two pieces featured Practical Nursing grads: Nurses now ready to step into their new roles and LPN Grads Congratulated. The paper also covered the Continuing Studies Commencement: Grads Line up and published photos of two award winners who attended the Kalamalka campus: Grads get a nod from the Governor General.

Media coverage of the Okanagan College fundraising campaign for earthquake relief in China made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier: College students raise $10,000 and the Kelowna Capital News: Community throws support behind China’s earthquake victims. 

An obituary paying tribute to Okanagan College staff member Joanne Schick appeared in the Kelowna Daily Courier and Penticton Herald.  A celebration of Joanne's life will be held at Linden Gardens in Kaleden (351 Linden Avenue) on Wednesday, July 9. Entry to the gardens can begin any time after 6:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 7 p.m.

ECE instructor Linda McKinlay was interviewed for an article in the Kelowna Capital News about proposed changes to the delivery of Kindergarten education  in the province. Read more about the provincial government's proposals and McKinlay's expert opinion in: Trustees call consultation timeline flawed.

The official re-opening of the Myra Canyon Trestles warranted significant media coverage with a feature article about Okanagan College alumnus  Kevin Witzke’s contribution to the project. Read about the Civil Engineering grad in: Trestles job special for project director. Other trestle articles include: Big crowd expected for trestles re-opening/Okanagan College students help with festivities, KVR trestles reborn, and Thousands gather to celebrate the trestles’ rebirth.

The June 22 BC Summer Games feature article written by Games’ PR Chair Christine Ulmer profiled the large role that Okanagan College’s Food Services will play in feeding the 3,600 athletes, officials and coaches who will arrive in Kelowna on July 24. Read about the efforts of Susan Kane, Jonathan Bull and five Okanagan College students, all of who will volunteer their time to the Games – The challenge of fuelling the Games.

Okanagan College professor and City Councillor Norm Letnick was photographed relaxing in a bed in downtown Kelowna as part of a fundraising campaign for the NOW Canada Society. Find out more about the society, its goals and Norm’s contribution in: Bed-in for shelters and green space.

A large photo and caption featuring elementary school children participating in Okanagan College’s Wizards Academy made the pages of the Kelowna Capital News. Read more about the upcoming intakes for the Camp OC program in: Summer headache for parents.

John Lent and Honorary Fellow Ken Smedley were interviewed and photographed for an article appearing in the Vernon Morning Star. In the piece John and Ken discuss the nominees for the fifth annual George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in B.C. Writing. Read more about the award and the short listed books in: Ryga award honours brave new writers.

Stan Chung’s Global Citizen column offered insight into Stan’s experience at the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Stan included a blog entry written while attending the conference. Read more in: First impressions from leadership road trip. You can check out other blog entries from Stan and others at the conference by following this link.. Stayed tuned to Inside Okanagan College for more from Stan about his experience at the Leadership Conference.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In column covered the value of obtaining a certificate in: Many options for adults who need to work through school and the effect of rising costs on education: Cost of oil affects education.

July 6, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 6


Elluminate Webconferencing

Following a successful trial in March, Okanagan College has acquired a 25-seat license for Elluminate vClass.
Webconferencing lets people connect over the web in real time to talk, sketch, share presentations and documents, and demonstrate computer applications from wherever they happen to be at the time. The only requirements are an internet connection and a computer headset. For small groups sharing a single computer connection, Okanagan College has echo-cancelling USB speakerphones available through the AV loan program at all four campuses.

Webconferencing is often used for virtual meetings, interactive online seminars, and to provide a live component for distance learning courses. In a blended learning environment webconferencing can, with suitable preparation, take the place of one or more face-to-face sessions.

As a moderator, anything you can put on your computer screen can be shared with conference participants, including a live webcam. Any participant can be given moderator status to share their own presentation or desktop. For more details on the capabilities of the Elluminate vClass visit the EdTech Webconferencing page at this link.

Okanagan College’s 25-seat vClass is available 24/7/365 and can be booked by contacting Educational Technology Coordinator Mike Minions.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to  Arch Doody from Facilities in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $447.50. 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 (Landmark V, Kelowna) or online

Records & Registration and Admissions staff hotlines

Okanagan College always has lots of queries during the registration periods for both Records & Registration and Admissions. With so many calls from the public, Okanagan College staff often have a difficult time reaching staff in those departments to ask questions or confirm information.

Last fall Records & Registration and Admissions set up hotline numbers for staff only so internal users were able to get the information they needed during these peak periods. These hotline numbers are still active and available for staff use.

Records & Registration staff hotline: 250-575-4461
Admissions staff hotline: 250-575-4462

Please ensure that these hotline numbers are not given out to students – staff are available to answer student questions on the student hotline number 862-5414.

Okanagan College golf shirts

golfshirtsAll departments interested in getting staff golf shirts for September are encouraged to get their orders in to the Campus Store by July 31 to ensure adequate sizing is available. The golf shirts are a great way for students to easily recognize Okanagan College staff members.
Please contact Carla Macfarlane, General Merchandise Buyer, at the Kelowna Campus Store, ext 4675 for further information.


Aug. 26-27 - Connections 2008 will take place at the Kelowna campus. If you have yet to register for one of the days of the employee learning conference follow this link to make your workshop selections.


In memory of Joanne Schick

Flags at the Penticton and Kelowna campuses of Okanagan College were lowered to half-mast on Thursday in honour of Joanne Schick, who passed away on Saturday, June 28. Joanne began working at Okanagan University College in January of 2000 as a vocational instructor in the Adult Academic and Career Preparation department in Penticton.

During her time with OUC and eventually Okanagan College, Joanne also taught AACP at the Kelowna campus, biology in Penticton and Distance Education labs. She is remembered by colleagues as someone who was committed to her students and was always willing to go the extra mile to help students succeed. 

A celebration of Joanne's life will take place at Linden Gardens in Kaleden (351 Linden Avenue) on Wednesday, July 9. Entry to the gardens can begin any time after 6:30 p.m. and the service will begin at 7 p.m.

What’s up Docs?

docsThe Okanagan School of Business hosted a reception to celebrate the achievements of Dr. Margo McMahan and Dr. Lynn Sparling, both of whom earned doctorate degrees this year.

Margo completed a Doctor of Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology in California. Her dissertation focused on the life of one of Canada’s first female university presidents, Dr. E. Margaret Fulton.

Lynn completed a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. Her thesis was titled: Adoption of E-Commerce by Small and Medium Enterprises in the Central Okanagan. Congratulations to Dr. McMahan and Dr. Sparling.

A Verse to Summer

francesFollowing colleagues Sean Johnston and Alix Hawley, creative writing professor Francie Greenslade presented her original poem on CBC Daybreak this morning as part of A Verse to Summer. Francie was given the topic of the end of summer music by one of the CBC's listeners. Follow this link to hear Francie's poem, Summer Song for Maggie.

On Friday, June 27  Jason Dewinetz presented his poem, The end of children. Jason was given the topic of the end of summer transition when children no longer stay at home but head off to school.  Next week Mary-Ellen Holland will begin work on her poem for a Verse to Summer.

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 July 18, 2008