Summer ceremony concludes season of Convocation

vernonOkanagan College hosted its final and largest Convocation and Commencement ceremonies of 2011 on June 28 and 29 in Vernon and Kelowna.

In Vernon, the Performing Arts Centre was filled with graduates and their supporters as more than 145 students walked across the stage to receive credentials in a range of programs from Continuing Studies to Vocational and Academic studies.

The following evening the Kelowna campus welcomed more than 250 graduates to the Summer Convocation ceremony. Dr. Gary Dickinson was presented with the 2011 Distinguished Service Award for his contribution and service to the community.

summer1A number of academic medals were presented to distinguished students at the ceremony – among them was Kimberly Chappell, a graduate of the Therapist Assistant program.

Kimberly also had the honour of addressing the graduates and their families as the student speaker. Her speech was touching to many. When she wasn’t ribbing instructor Brett Wade for his supreme hairstyle, she shared her personal experience about how Okanagan College transformed her life.

summer2“In my own personal experience I felt as though I could be myself in class and that I wasn’t just another number. A huge part of this came from our instructors.  I think I can speak on the behalf of the students present today when I say a great big thank you to all of you. You have shown patience, humour, and wisdom and have put the joy and fun into our learning at this school. You teach not only through words and lectures and exams, but through example, which is most important. Administrators, you should be proud of the staff you employ for they are the cornerstone to the success that we will all reach someday. They are passionate about what they do and that is an inspiration like no other to a student. And to us students they are the superheroes of our world helping to guide us through this chapter of our lives urging us to write our own stories.”

Photos from most of Okanagan College’s 2011 ceremonies are now available online for free download. Photos from the ceremonies held on June 28 and 29 will be available soon.

Changes to parking

parking2There are a few changes to parking at Okanagan College this year. At both the Kelowna and Penticton campuses there are designated parking areas for both Smart Car and Hybrid Vehicles. These are located in lot 14 at Kelowna and lot P1 at Penticton. Also new this year is a carpool vehicle parking area. They are located in lot 14 at Kelowna and lot P1 at Penticton. These areas are open to both students and staff. To park in carpool areas you will need to fully display two or more parking passes or permits. Check out the signage before parking your vehicle.

This year also heralds a change from the staff parking decal to the new hangtag permit. Staff will be issued one tag only. All permanent employees and staff with contracts of four months minimum service are eligible for the new hangtags. Parking Services will begin issuing the new staff permits on the first of August, once the online form is updated. Watch Inside Okanagan College for more information.

Four Board members reappointed


Douglas Manning, Dr. Sunddip Nahal, Yvonne Pinder and Loretta Swite-Ghostkeeper will continue their work on Okanagan College’s Board of Governors after a series of reappointments were made by the Board Resourcing and Development Office.

Manning, Nahal, Pinder and Swite-Ghostkeeper will remain on the Board for another three years, until July 31, 2014. Manning and Nahal each joined the Board in July 2010, when they were appointed to one-year terms. Pinder and Swite-Ghostkeeper joined the Board in 2008 – Pinder also served for a time as Vice-Chair of the Board. For the complete list of members of the Board of Governors visit the web.


Brooks appointed Director Learning and Teaching

brooksA familiar face has returned to Okanagan College after a year’s absence and she has a new role.

After explorations that took her through South America, Central America and Asia, Dr. Jayne Brooks has returned to her alma mater and will be working with VP Education Dr. Andrew Hay as the Director, Learning and Teaching.

Jayne’s major focus will be the Program Review and Renewal Process and she will be undertaking Tier 3 reviews of the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems (BCIS) and the Trades Technology Teacher Education (TTTE) programs.

She’s also going to be working with Madelaine Befus, Associate Dean of Business, to complete all annual Tier 1 and Tier 2 reviews. As well, Jayne will be the acting Director for the Institute of Learning and Teaching (ILT), helping launch the Learner-Centred Instructor Certificate program that has been developed by the ILT and which is currently undergoing beta testing.

Jayne will also have responsibility for Program Advisory Committees, to ensure memberships are current and that there are regular meetings of the committees. 
Her work will include a review of Okanagan College’s academic policies, in consultation with the Registrar, Education Council chair and the Academic Regulations and Policy Subcommittee.

Hay says that Brooks will assist him with mentoring new Deans and Associate Deans. She will also be returning to the classroom to teach first year Financial Accounting in Business Administration.

The appointment is for six months.

Scarborough’s research to be published

scarboroughCollege Professor Terry Scarborough’s most recent project will be published through Palgrave Macmillan (UK). The book chapter is an extended version of a May 2010 publication in The Baker Street Journal. The research project, which has been active for well over two years, examines A.C. Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles in light of the urban Gothic and filmic adaptation.  

The first stage of his research was presented in the form of a conference paper at the University of Hull, then moved to an ISSN publication and finally to an ISBN chapter. Terry’s current research in Gothic fiction is taking him to Northumbria University this summer where he will present on M.R. James’s ghost stories and televisual adaptation.

Thomson and Wheeler take on new roles in Registrar’s Office

thomsonDiana Thomson has joined the Office of the Registrar in the position of Associate Registrar – Recruitment and Admissions. Diana replaces Lynn Grahame, who retired as Associate Registrar in April. The Associate Registrar position has been restructured to include responsibility for managing and providing strategic direction for admissions and recruitment.  

Diana will also play a key role in the implementation of the Prospective Student Portal and Banner Relationship Management. Diana joined Okanagan College in 2008 in the position of Regional Student Transitions Coordinator.  In that position, her primary role has been to facilitate and promote dual credit programs, and to increase the overall student transition rate between the regional secondary schools and Okanagan College. She will continue as a member and key facilitator in her new role. In 2009, Diana assumed the role of Manager of Student Recruitment and has led the recruitment team since that time.  

Prior to coming to Okanagan College, Diana worked at Thompson Rivers University, where she established and managed the Admissions and Advising services of TRU Open Learning, the former BC Open University. In addition, she worked at the University of Northern British Columbia for many years in a variety of student service roles including academic advising, international operations, circumpolar educational collaboration, co-operative education and prior learning assessment. Diana holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Natural Resources Management, both from the University of Northern British Columbia.

ingaInga Wheeler is taking on the role of Manager, Student Information and Transitions, a new position within the Registrar’s Office. She will be responsible for the strategic development and implementation of communication to prospects, applicants and enrolled students at Okanagan College. 

She will manage the Banner Client Relationship Management (CRM) system and will also be responsible for the Become a Student web pages and the Prospective Student Portal (PSP), which is currently under development. Inga will work closely with Public Affairs and the new Associate Registrar – Recruitment and Admissions to build communication plans designed to increase enrolments and to improve high school transition rates.

Hisdal's salute

howardOkanagan College professor Howard Hisdal, also a Captain of the British Columbia Dragoons, was photographed saluting Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd on May 14 during a parade. The parade celebrated the centennial of the British Columbia Dragoons, the Okanagan Valley’s army reserve regiment.

Howard is also a professor in the History Department of Okanagan College. Many soldiers of the regiment have been or are presently students at Okanagan College. 

Butler recognized for service

butlerOkanagan College’s Director of Advancement, Kathy Butler, was recently presented with the Rotary Foundation District Service award by the Rotary District 5060 (3000 members from Clearwater to Prosser Washington) in recognition of her service and work in coordinating the Group Study Exchange program -- an international cultural and vocational exchange. 

The presentation was made by Vern Nielsen, President of the Rotary Club of Kelowna, on behalf of the District Governor, Dave Stambaugh. The inscription reads, For outstanding service in promoting the Rotary Foundation and its goal of world understanding and peace. 

Snowsell’s work published later this month

poster4Okanagan College Communications professor Colin Snowsell will have a book chapter published in a new peer-reviewed collection entitled "Morrissey: Fandom, Representations and Identities," which is edited by Eoin Devereux, Aileen Dillane and Martin J. Power of the Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

The book is published by Intellect Books (UK) and is distributed in North America by The University of Chicago Press. Its official release date is July 11, 2011. Colin’s chapter is entitled, Fanatics, Apostles and NMEs.

The publication is the result of a conference paper Colin delivered at an academic conference sponsored by the Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick, Ireland in 2009.

Colin’s research, as well as Okanagan College, received a mention in a June 29 article in the Guardian newspaper. Follow this link to check it out.

SIFE Okanagan’s national presentation now available online

Ever wondered what Okanagan College’s Students in Free Enterprise team does at the national competition? A new online posting allows anyone interested in the competition to view the top five teams’ presentations from the final round. The top five institutions’ annual reports are also available online. Follow this link to watch Okanagan College’s team in action.

Twelfth Annual IT4BC Conference 

Okanagan College IT personnel contributed to the 12th annual IT4BC conference, which was held in Vancouver and hosted by HEITBC June 9 and 10, in the following ways:

Pre-conference workshops:

Groovy and Grails: Kim Nowak, Xavier Mendoza
Windows 7 deployment: Joel Todd, Kurtis Lawson

Conference: Seven in attendance
Two Track Chairs: Tom Esson and Deb Matheson
Four presentations:
Kurtis Lawson: VMware view
Xavier Mendoza: Mobile App Development
Tom Esson: Custom FAQ solutions and Password Re-set Management
July 5, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 7


OCAD – who are we and what do we do?

OCAD is the Okanagan College Assistants Development Forum and most of the OCAD members report directly to a member of the Leadership Team. OCAD’s goal is to connect the various faculties and departments to share issues and discuss best practices within the College. The members of the forum help with College functions like Connections, distribute urgent information via email and work closely with various departments to streamline processes and implement changes to procedures.

OCAD also provides training opportunities for all employees whenever possible (MS Office 2007 and licenses). If anyone is interested in attending an OCAD meeting to share ideas, please contact the newly elected OCAD Chair, Jennifer Klotz. 

Wellness InFocus newsletter now available

Human Resources presents the most recent edition of Wellness InFocus, an e-newsletter provided by Mercer HR Consulting. Wellness InFocus aims to help employees focus on wellness by providing strategies for living a healthy and well-balanced life. Each edition provides tips on making positive lifestyle choices and discusses common health concerns.

This issue focuses on stress: the good and the bad with tips on eating right to beat stress, exercise and tips for managing your time. Follow this link to read the summer edition.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Karen Lutz from the Adult Special Education at the Kelowna campus, who has won the Friday June 30, 2011 payday draw for $530. 
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.

IT hosts information day

IT Services held its annual in-house information day on June 17 in the Executive Boardroom at the Kelowna campus. There were presentations and discussion on two projects underway, Desktop Virtualization and Mobile App development, as well as a future gazing session.

Vice President Bob Eby joined the group for the day and provided valuable insight and commentary while Dr. Andrew Hay gave an aesthetic and technical overview of the marvelous new, world-class Centre of Excellence building in Penticton.


Okanagan College was the host site for the TEDx: Beyond Sustainability, an international event organized by Okanagan College Board of Governors member Brian Hughes. The Penticton Western News published a feature of the event with comments from Brian. Read about it in: Speakers exchange ideas. The Penticton Herald published a photo of the packed house. Brian was interviewed discussing the event on CBC Radio. Follow this link to listen to the audio file.

The Vernon Morning Star ran an update on the proposed sports complex at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College. The article cites Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick as he discusses the process to send the proposal back to the Agricultural Land Commission for review. Read more in: Sports complex still on agenda.

Okanagan College’s residential construction program in Salmon Arm received coverage in the Vernon Morning Star after it partnered with the Caravan Theatre to build a series of four permanent cabins at the farm site. Read more about the partnership in: Course of true love leads to the farm.

Okanagan College nursing student Megan Snider was photographed in the Kelowna Daily Courier with Kathy Butler, Ross Gorman and Vern Nielsen after she received a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by Gorman Bros and the Rotary Club of Kelowna. Check it out in: Scholarship winner.

The Kelowna Daily Courier canvassed six participants of the 14th Annual RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar to suggest quick summer trips for readers. Nancy Ankerstein suggests Lemon Creek in the Slocan Valley. Interested in finding out where Jim Ingram would send you? Read the article in take it to the streets. CHBC TV also attended the RV Owners Lifestyle Seminar. Watch a clip from the weekend event with Al Cohoe.

Okanagan College’s Penticton campus is hosting the B.C. Youth Write Camp this week. Read more about the camp and advice from author Jack Whyte in: Writing camp is superb and Author Jack Whyte offers advice.

Okanagan College’s Blair Baldwin was featured in eVent magazine discussing the events planned for the Summer Okanagan Wine Festival. Blair is one of the coordinators of the event, which takes place between July 8 and 17 in a series of locations from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos. Read more about the 10th annual event in: Summer wine fest comes down the hill.

Public Affairs Director Allan Coyle pitched in on Jane Muskens’ School’s In column while Jane is away on vacation. Allan focused his article on the importance of literacy and strong linkages between early competency in reading and success in life. Read on in: Study confirms good readers do well later in life.

In his Global Citizen column, former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs Stan Chung wrote about the power of music.


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, July 19 - the very same day in 1990 Peter Pocklington sold Palm Dairies Ltd. to Beatrice Foods Inc. of Toronto for an estimated $100 million.

In Oct. 2010, the former owner of the Edmonton Oilers was sentenced to six months house arrest and two years probation by a California court after he plead guilty to a perjury charge in connection with a bankruptcy application.