Weekend ceremonies to celebrate student achievements

convoOkanagan College will kick off its season of graduation celebrations this weekend with four ceremonies, recognizing more than 1,300 students in its largest-ever graduating class. The first grads to be honoured will be Trades and Apprenticeship students. More than 120 students will attend Trades Commencement this evening at 6 p.m. in Kelowna.

The Kelowna campus will be buzzing with graduates on Saturday, when it hosts three separate ceremonies. The day will begin with a Commencement ceremony for Continuing Studies grads at 9 a.m. Graduates from a range of diploma and degree programs in Health, Technologies, Arts, Science and Computer Information Systems will receive 124 credentials at the 11 a.m. Convocation ceremony. Shortly thereafter, 333 business graduates will receive diplomas and degrees at their Convocation, which begins at 2:30 p.m.

Two community leaders will be recognized as Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College during Saturday’s ceremonies. Barbara Marchand will receive the honour at the 11 a.m. Convocation and Charles Armstrong will be recognized at 2:30 p.m. A third Honorary Fellow, Robert Fine, will be celebrated at Summer Convocation, June 25, 2009.

To find out more about the ceremonies, read a Public Affairs press release


Registration now live for Connections 2009

Registration is now available online for this year's Connections 2009 conference, Sustainability - students, employees, campuses, communities.

Join your colleagues on Wednesday, August 19 or Thursday, August 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. The morning will include a plenary welcome and update by Jim Hamilton, followed by a presentation from guest speaker Peter Gregg. Staff will also have the chance to meet Okanagan College’s Fellows of the Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching and attend learning symposia where colleagues will share their expertise in a variety of informative and engaging sessions.

The sessions range from Excellerating your Excel and Green Campus and Green Classrooms, to Working with International and Aboriginal students to Combating Racism, and Alternative Grading Practices to Being Happier at Work.

Come early to enjoy coffee with friends and colleagues and stay a little while in the afternoon for a social with food and prizes. Want to carpool? Please contact your Regional Dean’s office. Have any questions? Contact Kaya Forest.

IT staff share their skills at conference

itOkanagan College IT staff once again contributed significantly to the 10th annual IT4BC conference, which was hosted by VCC. The theme of the conference was Community and Collaboration. More than 230 participants had the opportunity to share information, learn about new technology and processes, discuss issues and solutions and meet some of the vendors who deliver IT Services within organizations like Okanagan College.

Okanagan College staff presented a number of workshops including:
Deep Freeze in the Administrative Environment by Kurtis Lawson
Virtual Machines (VMWare) by Ryan Ebner
Integrating Blackboard 8.0 with Banner by Tom Esson
Qlikview – Business Intelligence Tool by Dave Harris
Network/Infrastructure: with Tom Esson
Leadership, Enterprise & Innovation: with Deb Matheson

A bird’s eye view of the Kelowna campus

kloOkanagan College’s Rick Montagnon managed to snap a great aerial image of the changes to the layout of the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College. The new daycare facility appears near the bottom of the photo and the five-storey Centre for Learning also visibly changes the look of the campus. Staff and students will begin using the brand new Centre for Learning in July.


Deserving student earns Gorman Bros. Scholarship

lejlaLejla Kusturica was recently honoured at a Kelowna Rotary luncheon as the recipient of the $5,000 Gorman Bros. Rotary Scholarship. Lejla is a Practical Nursing student in Kelowna. She came to Canada 10 years ago from Germany, where she fled with her two daughters after being forced from her native country of Bosnia.

She began her education at Okanagan College with English as a second language classes. She will graduate from the LPN program this August and plans to get further training to become an OR nurse. Ross Gorman of Gorman Bros.(right) and Tony French, president of the Rotary Club of Kelowna presented Lejla with the scholarship.

Brian Bennett to retire

Brian Bennett is retiring from Okanagan College and staff at the Kalamalka campus are hosting a celebration of his career and retirement. The event will take place on Thursday, June 25 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Kalamalka campus cafeteria. Appies and beverages will be served. Please RSVP to Janice (2267) or Joan (2205) in Vernon, Shelby (8238) in Salmon Arm and Charmaine (4436) in Kelowna. Contributions for a group gift are welcome.

Staff, students pitch in to clean up the creek

creekAn enthusiastic group of 12 staff from the Kelowna campus, along with students Kal Klassen's carpentry class pitched in to clean up the banks and waters of Fascieux Creek, which runs adjacent to the Kelowna campus.

March accepts Mayor's award for environmentalism

Last week Angie March received an award on behalf of Okanagan College from Mayor Sharon Shepherd for the efforts of the College staff. Okanagan College was recognized by the City of Kelowna as the most environmentally-dedicated group.

Citizen’s Conservation Council Open House

Okanagan College’s James Coble and Robert Ruf are members of Citizen’s Conservation Council for Climate Action. As members, James and Robert are inviting all staff to the Citizen's Conservation Council Open House, June 10 from 5-7 p.m. at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park, 2363 Springfield Road, in Kelowna. The Council is looking forward to meeting you, and hearing you ideas for climate action in the Thompson-Okanagan region. If you have any questions please email, Alison Campbell Urness. Please follow this link to RSVP.

Zilm named Academic Librarian of the Year for Canada

Gwen Zilm, Head Librarian at UBC Okanagan and former longtime employee of Okanagan University College, was recognized for her professional contributions at the  Canadian Librarian Association's Annual Convention in Quebec City. Zilm was named the Academic Librarian of the Year for Canada.

Bocce Rollers rumble to victory

The Bocce Rollers team of Angie March and Heather Schneider are the winners of the 2009 Okanagan College Bocce Tournament. Playing in the finals against the strong Daylighter team of Kim Snyder and Betty Roegele, the Rollers quickly went down one game to nothing before coming back to win the finals with a 2-1 victory.

The shot of the match went to Kim Snyder who made an amazing throw with her last ball with the match on the line to hit the polino to count two. However, the next throw saw the Rollers get the points they needed for the championship. The Bocce Rollers have played in the tournament all three years including one previous finals appearance. Congrats to all that played and had fun, we hope to see you out next year. Next up at the Kelowna campus…mark your calendars for the annual Fall Classic, mini putt tournament in September.

Now Showing at Kalamalka Vertigo: Amber Powell

May 15 - June 30

amberFrom now until June 30, the work of Winfield’s Amber Powell will be on display at Kalamalka Vertigo. Amber is an Okanagan College alumna and a founding member of Gallery Vertigo. 

In the words of Amber “The ‘abolition’ series is a group of drawings which have been created watching the hillsides of the Okanagan. Thinking about erosion, specific landscapes and changing of perspective within those landscapes has provided a softer, stranger view of the world. There is a quirky twist to these pieces, and I sometimes have thought that I was creating alien contour maps of the Okanagan hills.”

Gallery Vertigo is a non-profit artist-run centre founded in 2002. The centre operates under the auspices of the North Okanagan Artists Alternative, a registered non-profit society.

For information call Gallery Vertigo @ (250) 503-2297 or email: or visit the website at


Okanagan College’s environmental efforts were recognized when it was selected as the most environmentally-dedicated group for its adopt-a-stream efforts in Kelowna. Read more in: Recycling and conservation initiatives earn recognition and Environmental award winners.

Okanagan School of Business professor Ron Spence was interviewed by CBC Daybreak’s Marion Barschel as he travels east across Canada interviewing restaurant owners as part of his research project. Marion caught up with Ron in Selkirk, Manitoba. Follow this link to listen to the complete interview.

The Okanagan Sunday picked up on the Public Affairs press release announcing the appointment of Steven Robinson to the position of Director, International Education at Okanagan College. Read more in: College names new director.

Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence in Penticton continued to make headlines in the daily news. Read more in: City sees spike in unemployment, And now the rest of the story, $5M sought for expansion, Ok College gets big in the south end, and supporting students. The Centre of Excellence was also mentioned online on the Academia Group’s website. Check it out:

The Revelstoke Times Review interviewed incoming Regional Dean James Barmby in a recent article. Check it out in: Okanagan College appoints James Barmby as regional dean for Shuswap-Revelstoke.

The Vernon Morning Star profiled Okanagan College’s Esthetician Certificate program and instructor Linda Villeneuve. Read more in: Esthetics program offered.

Okanagan College’s partnership in the Young Entrepreneur program resulted in more media coverage with the Dragon’s Den competition. Read more about the student winners and the support they received from SIFE Okanagan in: Make your own summer job, Youth awards announced, and Business concepts put to the test.

The Kelowna Daily Courier’s business reporter Steve MacNaull wrote his Focus on Entrepreneurs column about Okanagan College alumnus Shawn Greenhalgh. Read more about Shawn’s business and experience in: The butler does it.

The Vernon Morning Star published an article about the efforts of Vernon students in Okanagan College’s Residential Construction program as they undertake to build a housing unit for the community. Read more in: Habitat seeks to house a family.

A Kelowna Daily Courier article focused on the importance of job fairs in the struggling economy. Okanagan College got a mention in the piece, read more in: Tales from the job fair.

Okanagan College’s South Okanagan Habitat for Humanity Home for Learning made the front page of the Penticton Herald. Catch up on the progress of the students in: Habitat home coming together.

Maxine Dehart’s Capital News column referenced the success of Okanagan College Skills Canada bronze medal winners James Sawatzky (Automotive Collision Repair) and Andrew Goll (Automotive Service). She also covered the recent selection of Prestige Collision owners, Todd and Mark Regier as Okanagan College’s 2009 Young Alumni Award winners.

The Regiers also made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier in: Prestige for autobody brothers.

Okanagan School of Business professor Norm Letnick was profiled in the Kelowna Capital News in his first days as MLA Kelowna-Lake Country. Read more in: New MLAs face learning curve or check out the Vancouver Sun article: Pressure to do more than tinker:

The Okanagan Business Examiner carried news of Dr. Dianne Crisp’s appointment as Dean of Science, Technologies and Health at Okanagan College. Read more in: College appoints new dean of Science & Health.

Regional Dean John Lent was photographed with Okanagan College’s publisher-in-residence Robert MacDonald. Read more in: Reading between the lines.

Christine Ulmer filled in for Jane Muskens in her School’s In column last week when she wrote about the outcomes of the 2008 B.C. Diploma, Associate Degree and Certificate Student Outcomes (DACSO) Survey. Read more in: Survey shows education options result in jobs for B.C. students.

In her column this week, Jane Muskens wrote about the Canadian Council of Learning’s 2008 Composite Learning Index. Read more in: Pillars of learning cover spectrum of social interaction.

Stan Chung wrote his Global Citizen column about his experience with laser eye surgery and his struggle to claim a new identity in: Vision quest.

Two Okanagan College Applied Business Technology program students in Salmon Arm are interning with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The team wrote an article about the contributions of Alisha and Carolyn on their website. Check it out at:

Okanagan College’s partnership with Hustream Technologies resulted in a clip of its new aboriginal recruitment video on Youtube. Check it out.
June 5, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 4


New voice mail system

IT Services will be replacing the voice mail system, which has been in service for over seven years, with a new system that will allow IT Services to provide enhanced services for staff in the near future. The new system will work the same as the old system, the commands will be the same and access will remain the same.

The impact of the upgrade will be relatively minor, however you will have to log into the new system using the voice mail button on your phone or by dialing 89; enter the default password of 123654 to log in, and set up your voice mailbox; the system will prompt you through this once you are logged in.

The old voice mail system will still be available during the changeover, and for a couple of weeks after the final change. To access the old system once you are on the new system dial 86* and your local number, and you will be asked for your password. You will not be able to transfer messages between the old and new systems nor will you be able to give messages from the new system to the old or vice versa.

The upgrades will be done on a per campus basis:
Salmon Arm - June 21, 2009
Vernon - June 29, 2009
Penticton - July 5, 2009
Kelowna - July 12, 2009

Summer Truck Schedule / Central Stores

The regular Friday truck run to Vernon will be discontinued for the summer. The last run to Vernon will be on Friday, June 12, 2009. The run will resume its normal schedule Friday, August 14, 2009.

Need to brush up on your Memoirs?

If you are new to Okanagan College within the past few years or would like to brush up on your College history, Public Affairs has several copies of OUC Memoirs available for staff. The book is a great resource and provides interesting stories about the people and events that helped to shape Okanagan College and its roots in our communities. Anyone interested in receiving a copy can contact Jennifer Heppner in Public Affairs.

Gifts for grads at the Bookstore

gradBe sure to check out the Okanagan College Campus Store for great graduation gifts!  Fresh new items like the Tower of Notes, delightfully wrapped in a bow with matching pen, and the beautiful ceramic Lady Jane travel mugs are just some gift ideas for the proud grad in your life. Okanagan College gift certificates are also a great gift for grads or any lucky recipient. The Bookstore is open Mon - Thu 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Fri 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

IT Services Update 

- Look for changes in Okanagan College’s Staff Directory (which will be called the People Directory) within the next few weeks.
- IT Services is also introducing a new Service Request called Account Maintenance. When someone is hired, transferred or leaves the College, there will be one Service Request for all IT accounts.For this and other IT Service Requests, go to myOKanagan, Employee Tab, Requests and Notices.

- Effective June 30, H127E will no longer be an A/V drop.  If you need to make any bookings between now and June 30, please submit an IT Service Request as the room is no longer listed in the A/V booking system.
Information regarding A/V bookings for the fall semester will be made available once IT Services moves into the Education Technology space on the second floor of the Centre for Learning.

Food Services - Summer Hours


June 17:  Last day of full service
June 18 - Closed


June 17:  Last day of full service
June 18 - Closed


June 19  - June 26 - 7:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
June 28 - Sept. 4 - 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m., Monday to Friday

13th Annual Links to Learning Golf Tournament
Salmon Arm

The Okanagan College Foundation will host the 13th Annual Links to Learning Golf Tournament on Friday, June 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the Salmon Arm Golf Course. The registration desk opens at noon, followed by a shotgun start. Donations to the event support scholarships and bursaries for Okanagan College students.

The registration price for this year’s fundraiser is $150 per person, which includes green fees, cart, dinner, range balls, a keeper gift and entry into all on course games and competitions. Also available is a $1,000 Exclusive Sponsorship Package which includes two signs on the golf course and two registrations in the tournament (only five holes will be available) or a Premier Sponsorship package where you can purchase a sign for $250 or two for $400.

Golf festivities include golf prizes, a spectacular silent auction, and a draw for a fabulous houseboat vacation courtesy of Twin Anchors Houseboat Vacations. Only 75 tickets will be sold for a chance to win this minimum $2,000 prize! Tickets are $25 each.

Follow this link to access the online registration form or contact Don Kolysher  or Patty Bruce or call the Okanagan College Foundation office at 1-888-650-6968.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Denise Kurtz from the Penticton campus who won today's payday draw for $485. 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.


June 5 – The 2009 Trades Commencement ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Anyone with questions about Convocation or Commencement can contact Karma Lacoff.

June 6 – A series of ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 6 at the Kelowna campus: 9 a.m. Continuing Studies Commencement, 11 a.m. Spring Convocation (Health programs, Associate degrees, Technology Diplomas, BCIS), 2:30 p.m. Business Convocation (BBA and BUAD). Follow this link for more information about ceremonies.

June 10 – Vernon will host a Commencement ceremony for Continuing Studies students at 7 p.m.

June 11 – A second Continuing Studies Commencement will take place at 7 p.m. at the Kalamalka campus.

June 25 - Summer Convocation will take place at the Kelowna campus at 6:30 p.m. Graduates will receive credentials including diplomas and certificates from a variety of programs including Health, Business and adult graduation.

June 26 – The Links to Learning Golf Tournament will take place in Salmon Arm. Funds raised by this event will be put towards scholarships and bursaries for students at the Salmon Arm Campus of Okanagan College. Call the Okanagan College Foundation office for more information or to register: 1-888-650-6968.


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 Friday, June 19, 2009.