Career Fair wraps up

careerfairThe 33rd annual Career Fair took place on Sunday, Nov. 3, and saw hundreds of visitors from the community coming to the Kelowna campus seeking insights and opportunities about careers and educational paths.

This year’s edition of Career Fair featured popular events, including the car crush by the Motor Vehicle Trades department and the excavator test drive by Heavy Duty mechanics. The Culinary Arts program provided food samples — guests sampled cinnamon buns and pork sliders — as well as held cooking demonstrations and hosted a sugar spiral-pulling contest.

Campus tours and info sessions for prospective students and their parents were also part of the event.

“This year, more than 30 exhibitors, representatives from all Okanagan College faculties, and tons of students and job seekers came together to share information about programs, credentials, transfer opportunities and careers,” said event organizer Michelle Lowry.

Students recognized for community contributions

presidentsSeven students attended a special dinner hosted by President Jim Hamilton last week in recognition of their receipt of the 2014 President’s Entrance Scholarship awards. The winners were from each of the College’s four regions and varied in their programs of study.

Recipients included: Sydney Hofer, Miranda Lambert and Olivia Bieniada (North Okanagan), Courtney Davies and Rylan Klassen (Central Okanagan), Rylee McKinlay and Brikena Vrenezi (South Okanagan) and Leif Saba (Shuswap-Revelstoke). 

Automated Staffing Project complete 

After more than two years of development, testing, and staged implementation, the Automation of Staffing Project (ASP) – an initiative spanning IT Services, Human Resources and Financial Services – was completed on Nov. 3.

In January 2011, Okanagan College engaged Millennium Professional Services Limited to conduct an assessment of the College’s Human Resources Information and Payroll System (BANNER HR) and a review of HR business processes to identify areas of risk and inefficiency.
From the recommendations, the College identified the need to streamline and automate the staffing processes while respecting policies and collective agreements. Through this project, online processes with electronic routing and approvals of personnel transactions replaced paper-intensive ones.
For employees responsible for initiating or authorizing staffing, contact HR to receive instructions on how to create an EPAF tab in myOkanagan. Once this is created, you will have access to links to the electronic staffing tools and resource materials including EPAF user guides. Please contact Human Resources with any questions you may have. 

Canadian Spacewalkers

mcdonald2Bob McDonald, award-winning science journalist and host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks is appearing at the Science in Society Speaker Series on Monday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., at the Okanagan College Vernon Campus Lecture Theatre.

In Canadian Spacewalkers: What’s it like to Step into the Abyss? McDonald takes the audience through his own experiences with simulators, zero-g aircraft and his interviews with three astronauts about the physical and mental demands of spacewalking and the significant contributions of Canadian astronauts.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Get them at the Okanagan Science Centre 250-545-3644. To subscribe to or obtain more information visit

Canadian Blood Services Lifetime Partner

As a lifetime partner of Canadian Blood Services, Okanagan College employees and stakeholders are challenged to meet an annual donation goal, which is currently set at 50. As of the end of October 2014, Okanagan College’s generous staff have already donated 54 units to Canadian Blood Services.

For anyone wishing to donate blood and have it included in Okanagan College’s Lifetime Partner total, ask for the member form at the clinic or fill it in online at, using the ID number OKAN002612.
For times and locations of blood donor clinics across the Okanagan, visit or call 1-888-2-DONATE to check your eligibility or book your appointment or book online.

Cleaning up the creek in Kelowna

creek2A group of dedicated volunteers came out on Friday, Oct. 24, to clean the Fascieux Creek wetland around the Kelowna Campus.

The team collected about six large bags of garbage, noxious weeds, some planting pots and even a bowling ball. The creek is happy once again.

Unique learning-teaching collaboration

lpn2Students from classes in two different programs recently came together to facilitate learning. AACP English instructor Andrew Pulvermacher and LPN instructor Dana Susheski teamed up to have current Practical Nursing students teach AACP students about selected health topics for five minutes.

“It was a great opportunity for students to practice the skill of teaching as well as connect with other students on campus,” says Susheski.


Karen Sansom appointed Associate Dean Arts and Foundational programs

sansom2Karen Sansom will bring nearly two decades of experience to her new role as Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs at Okanagan College.

Sansom fills the position left vacant by Kathy Hamilton’s retirement and joins colleagues Craig McLuckie, Associate Dean, and Dr. Robert Huxtable, Dean, in the leadership team of the portfolio.

“It feels a little bit like being back in school,” said Sansom, “there is a lot of learning but it has been really great so far.”

Sansom joined Okanagan College in 1995 when she was hired by Continuing Studies in Salmon Arm. She began as a clerk and then worked as a program administrator before moving to the instructional side of the College in the Adult Academic and Career Preparation department in 2001. She was a full-time instructor in AACP and spent three years as Chair of the department. Sansom also took on an acting role as Regional Dean after Clyde Tucker retired.

“I have a rich background at the College,” she said. “This position is a welcome opportunity for me to engage in institution-wide issues and support a complement of instructors and faculty who contribute so much to the programming and life of Okanagan College.”

Sansom’s home campus will be Salmon Arm.

Lisa Laflamme’s Halloween Haunt

laflammeLisa Laflamme, Campus Support and Enrolment Clerk and CS Program Assistant in the South Okanagan Regional Dean’s office, and her husband, Erik, transformed their house in Penticton into a haunted house for Halloween. The goal of the ghoulish fun is to scare the pants off visitors to their home, but more importantly, to raise funds for the Upper Deck Vees special needs hockey team and food donations for the Salvation Army.

The Penticton Herald and Penticton Western News recently covered the haunting.

CS instructor authors manuals

profContinuing Studies instructor Arlene Nora Arlow, a bookkeeper by trade, teaches QuickBooks in Penticton. She is also the author of the textbooks that she uses in her courses.

“I have been teaching QuickBooks for more than 10 years,” says Arlow.

“The classroom textbook that the manufacturer provides does not allow students to learn progressively. I figured if I wanted something more suitable, I should do it myself.”

She recently updated the manuals she uses in the course, Bookkeeping with QuickBooks® in Canada and Payroll With QuickBooks® in Canada.

The books come in spiral bound and PDF editions. For more information, visit

New Fellows for the ILT

iltfellowsThe Institute for Learning & Teaching (ILT) has selected three new fellows. Fellows play an important role in the ILT as they are community builders for their respective areas to facilitate discussions about learning and teaching and instill a learner-centered culture.

The new ILT Fellows are Corey Bransfield for trades, Paul Stephenson for employees with an educational focus, and Margaret Johnson for science and technology.

If you would like to serve as an ILT Fellow, there is one opening for the South Okanagan Community of Practice. Further information can be found on the ILT website. 

Jan O’Brien presents at Open Data event

jan2On Oct. 16, President of the Treasury Board and MP Tony Clement was in the Okanagan to share his insight on open data and Okanagan College’s Manager of Institutional Research Jan O’Brien was invited to sit on a panel about the subject.

Chad Kohalyk from Predicative (geolocation intelligence) and Accelerate Okanagan hosted the event and the other panelists were Peter Watkins, Executive Director of the BC Ministry of Technology, Innovation, and Citizen’s Services, and Dr. Ramon Lawrence, Associate Professor of Computer Science at UBC Okanagan. During the event O’Brien described her role as co-chair of the BC Student Outcomes Project and its contribution to DataBC.

“I was honoured to be on the panel,” says O’Brien. “I wanted to impress upon the audience that quality data is not cheap and this is often difficult for people to appreciate. Minister Clement was openly appreciative of the feedback and information he received from our session.”
Click the link to learn more about DataBC.

Public Affairs personnel news

Public Affairs’ Marketing and Communications Specialist Meredith Birchall-Spencer is leaving her role with Okanagan College later this week. Her last day will be Nov. 7.

Meredith is a Penticton resident and has accepted a communications role close to her home. Part of her responsibilities in Public Affairs included Inside OC, so until Meredith’s replacement is hired, any submissions should be sent to Christine Ulmer.

Nov. 4, 2014, Vol 9, Issue 16


Have you seen Infusions lately?

Infusions restaurant at the Kelowna campus is open for lunch Tuesday to Friday and dinner Tuesday to Thursday. Infusions offers a reasonably priced, locally focused menu of appetizers, mains and desserts all prepared by the College's Culinary Arts students, with supervision by some of the valley's most talented chefs.

Call 250-862-5455 for reservations, stop by to view the menu and make sure to recommend the restaurant to friends.

Visit the website for details.


Canada and the First World War 1914-1918

On Nov. 7, Professor Howard Hisdal, chair of the History department and a 25-year veteran with the Canadian Armed Forces, will be giving an ILT Lunch and Learn talk covering Canada’s critical role on the battlefields of France and Belgium, how women got to vote in the 1917 federal election, and the long-term effects of this war on Canada. Event takes place at 1 p.m. in room E202 on the Kelowna campus.

Hisdal will also present at the Okanagan Military Museum in Kelowna on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

Scholarly & Creative Expo now underway

Okanagan College is showcasing the written and research work of some of its faculty in a series of presentations taking place from Nov. 3 to 7 at all four College campuses. Topics run the gamut from creative writing to astronomy, math to feminism.

The festival also includes an appearance by Ted Bishop, author of The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder and Our Relationship with the Written Word, on Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.

Most of the sessions are organized around the lunch-hour to allow public attendance. Presentations are free. For a full schedule, visit

Students awarded during evening events

Each year, the Okanagan College Foundation celebrates its award recipients and donors at the annual awards events. To highlight the accomplishments of the 2014 recipients and generosity of donors, awards nights will be taking place in the next few weeks in following locations:

Penticton: Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Vernon:  Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Kelowna:  Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.


Okanagan College was mentioned as a partner in the developing Okanagan Centre for Innovation, which held a groundbreaking on its site in Kelowna last week. Read more about the Centre and the College’s involvement in: Construction begins on innovation centre.

The College’s 33rd Career Fair was featured by local media in a series of articles leading up to the event. Read more in: College career fair back for 33rd year, College info session to shine spotlight on education and careers and Info session, open house at college today.

The 3-hour short story contest was promoted in the Daily Courier after Public Affairs issued a press release inviting budding writers to take part. Read more in: Students invited to enter 3-hour short story contest.

Local RV Service Technician student Brett Stuart-Ayers and instructor Jim Ingram were featured in a special article to the Kelowna Daily Courier, which promoted the value in dual credit programs at the College. Read more in: Student excels when given a chance.

The College’s dual credit Culinary Arts program at Mount Boucherie Secondary was profiled in the Kelowna Daily Courier and students were photographed cooking up their education. Read more in: Culinary Arts program at Mount Boucherie Secondary.

The College’s inaugural Scholarly and Creative Expo kicked off this week and received some coverage in the Courier and Capital News. Check it out in: From mainstream to out there, college research in the spotlight and OC Faculty Skills Showcased.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Ross Gorman died on Oct. 17. His legacy was profiled in the Kelowna Capital News: Business pioneer leaves huge legacy.

Meanwhile Honorary Fellow Dick Cannings received press coverage in the Osoyoos Times when he was nominated as the federal NDP candidate for the new riding of South Okanagan-West Kootenay (SOWK). Read more in: Federal NDP picks Dick Cannings as local candidate.

The Salmon Arm Observer published an article about the region’s agricultural plan, which includes recommending programming for Okanagan College. Read more in: Agriculture plan moves ahead.

Young Alumni Award winner Shane Koyczan is well known to be a proponent of raising awareness about bullying. Now the Vancouver Opera has created a libretto based on Shane’s experiences of school bullying. Read more about Stickboy in: Opera takes on bullying based on poet’s life.


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, please 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 Nov. 18, 2014.