Record number of College teams Queen’s bound

It won’t be the first time Okanagan College business students spend the early part of January competing with the country’s top universities at the Queen’s Inter-Collegiate Business Competition, however 2012 will mark the largest delegation of College students to ever make it to the final round.

Five teams, representing 11 students from the Okanagan School of Business, have made it into the final round of the prestigious competition, which takes place January 5-7 at Queen’s University.

This year 38 universities from around the world were invited to submit 165 preliminary cases – each one of these submissions responding to highly complex case studies.

Out of a possible eight categories, Okanagan College will compete in the final rounds of: finance, accounting, business policy, debate, and ethics.

Follow this link to read a Public Affairs press release with more details about the competition.

Centre of Excellence to mark official opening

coeStudents, staff, faculty, donors, community partners, government representatives and College administration are among those who will attend the official opening of Penticton’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation on Monday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.

The building opened its doors to its first students earlier this summer and since then events such as the community open house have been held to allow members of the community to explore the building and learn about its unique attributes and innovative design.

Monday, Dec. 12 will mark a special event, as it will be the first time official representatives from the provincial and federal governments will have the opportunity to tour the building. Together, the two branches of government contributed $22.65 million toward the construction of the $28-million building.

The event will also include an announcement of a major contribution to the building’s capital campaign. The event will be streamed live on the web beginning at 9:55 a.m. Anyone interested in watching the event remotely can follow this link on Monday, Dec. 12. Stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for information about the announcement and photos from the event. 

Top prizes shared among regional schools competing in RoboCup Junior

robocupStudents from four schools in the region came up as big winners in the 2011 RoboCup Junior challenge, held on Friday, Dec. 2 in Kelowna.

In the Secondary school category, the Vulcan’s Apprentices, the team from Rutland Senior Secondary, won the Search and Rescue Challenge. When it came to the Soccer Challenge, the big winner was RoboBro H (Hudson, formerly of the RoboBros) from Clarence Fulton Secondary took home the top prize.

Meanwhile in the Primary category it was the Hound Dogs from Central School Online who dominated the Search and Rescue Challenge and their colleagues, Pele’s Best, also from Central School Online, finished first in the Soccer Challenge.

In the Primary Dance competition the top performers were the Techno Band team from Anne McClymont Elementary.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the RoboCup Junior challenge at Okanagan College. Electronic Engineering Technologies instructor Nadir Ould-Khessal initiated the event, which serves as a preliminary round for the international World RoboCup Junior competition. Winners from Okanagan College’s competition have the opportunity to compete in the international challenge, which takes place in Mexico City in June, 2012.

For complete results from the 2011 competition, visit the website.

Call for non-profits to participate in innovative course

Do you currently volunteer in the nonprofit sector? Know someone who does? The Faculty of Business has an innovative course that brings the nonprofit sector and third- and fourth-year students together in a seminar style learning environment and is looking for engaged volunteers and nonprofit staff to fill waiting seats in this course.

BuAd 341 - Introduction to Nonprofit Management is in its third year and has built a following in the nonprofit sector and with students. The BC Center for Nonprofit Development has funded seats in this course for the nonprofit sector and the final intake of free seats begins in January 2012. The January course is a highly interactive online class and caters to people working and volunteering in the sector.

Learners enrolled in this course will explore the general nonprofit sector environment, its challenges and examine the management issues unique to nonprofit organizations. Many faculty and staff at Okanagan College are active members of Boards and volunteer with one or many nonprofits. If you are interested in seeing how your organization can address the challenges it may currently be facing, you may be interested in attending the course itself, or passing the information on to others in the organization.

Students can opt to take the course for credit, or can audit the course. To apply or for more information contact Kerry Rempel.

Trades hosts series of information nights for Residential Construction program

resconThe Construction Trades Department is opening up their shop doors and hosting a Residential Construction program information night on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, from 5-7 p.m. at the Kelowna Campus.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the program can attend and learn how Okanagan College and students in the Residential Construction program are committed to helping those in need within the community.

Past Residential construction projects have included partnerships with Armstrong’s Caravan Farm Theater, Habitat for Humanity and cabins at the Agur Lake Camp. 

Information nights are also taking place at campuses in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Penticton on the following dates:

     Vernon: Dec. 7, 6-7 p.m.  Room #  D223 Main Campus
     Salmon Arm: Dec. 8, 6-7 p.m. Room #  5450 48th Ave. SE
     Penticton: Dec. 8, 6-7 p.m. Room # Cafeteria

For more information call 5457 or go online:

Energy audits in the Engineering Technologies

elec1Electrical Circuit Theory students from the Electronic, Mechanical, and Networking and Telecommunications Engineering Technology programs are all required to complete an electrical energy audit of their home. This audit involves not only looking at their electrical bill, but also determining the energy usage of each light bulb, each electrical device and each electronic device in their home. 

Students discover many examples of energy waste after performing the audit and generally resolve to fix the issue by coming up with a usage reduction plan and target. They learn that one of the first steps towards conserving energy is to figure out how much you are using in the first place.

If you would like to find out how to perform an energy audit of your own home, please see David Williams' website.
(To submit your own 100-150 word Sustainability in Education story please send it to David Williams so it can be featured in upcoming editions of Inside Okanagan College.)

LCI certificate program garners praise and opportunities for transfer credit

As the initial offering of the 60-hour Learner Centred Instructor program (LCI) approaches completion, the Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT) is now accepting applications for a new January 2012 intake. 

Here’s what some current LCI students are saying about the program:

“Brilliant – I think all Okanagan College instructors should do this course and it be mandatory.”
“The assignments themselves were a fantastic learning experience...”
“One I would definitely recommend to take…”
“Overall I feel that this program is very worthwhile, and is helping me to construct a philosophy of learner centred education…”

Here’s what Vancouver Community College (VCC) is saying about the Learner Centred Instructor Certificate program in relationship to their popular Provincial Instructor Diploma (PID) Program:
“We are most definitely interested in pursuing a laddering agreement (transfer credit) between Okanagan College and VCC.”

An agreement is currently being drafted between OC and VCC that should result in transfer credit of two course equivalencies in the PID Program being granted to graduates of the Learner Centred Instructor Certificate Program.

How can you get started becoming a Learner Centred Instructor? Please see this link for a program description and admission requirements. Excellence in learning and teaching are key objectives of Okanagan College, as a result this program is tuition-free for Okanagan College employees. Registrants will be required to purchase two course textbooks and pay a small administration fee.

Application Process
Please print and fill out the application form found at this link and contact Continuing Studies in Kelowna for more details.

College team joins CBC Live Food Bank Day

cans1Students from the Okanagan School of Business and Civil Engineering Technology program teamed up to participate in CBC Live Food Bank day on Dec. 2. As a part of the Live Food Bank challenge, the College students participated in a trial run for Canstruction Kelowna, an annual event that challenges community members to design and build structures out of canned food items. After building the structures and having them judged, teams donate the food items to local food banks.

The Okanagan College team was given two days to get a team together, design a structure to build, and to build it at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Once completed, they took part in a live interview with CBC - follow this link to listen to the CBC interview with SIFE Okanagan President Caroline Wyatt as she talks about SIFE's Let's Can Hunger initiative.

The team built a snowman with the Okanagan College logo on it. With 475 cans and two hours, the team pulled it off. The cans for the structure were donated by Walmart and after the structure was disassembled, they were donated to the Kelowna Food Bank.

The team consisted of: Carson Todd, Scott Fallis, Leigh Huddart, Deryck Irmen, Dean Ogren, Cody Warren, Dominique Tipton, Bill Wang, Paven Sekhon, Nolan Dizak, Caroline Wyatt and Evan Dizak. The team was supported by Ken Langedyk of Civil Engineering Technology and Dr. Kyleen Myrah of Okanagan School of Business.

The next Canstruction event takes place Feb. 6 - 13, 2012 at Orchard Park Mall.


Salmon Arm students challenge staff and faculty

safood1Students in professor Melissa Munn’s Sociology class in Salmon Arm came out victorious after challenging staff and faculty at the Salmon Arm campus to raise donations for a variety of local non-profits. In the end, the real winners are the users of the food bank and Women’s Shelter.

The initiative resulted in 2,500 items being donated to the food bank and local women’s shelter. Students on campus collected 1,800 of those items while staff and faculty managed to contribute 700 after being challenged by the students.

Carpooling reaps rewards for Enderby student

carpoolAdele Lacoursiere’s commitment to carpooling landed her a prize with

Lacoursiere makes the 108-km round trip from her home in Enderby to the Kelowna campus twice a week, sharing the ride with a fellow student. She told her story to, and ended up winning a brand new Kindle.

“Going back to college as a very mature student was hard enough financially and mentally,” she wrote in her entry. “I had no money left over for travelling.”

Graham Kershaw, manager of parking and property services, presented Lacoursiere with the award just before her evening class got underway.

“We really applaud Adele for carpooling,” he said. “In the surveys our students did in 2011, the majority pointed out that of all the options out there, carpooling was by far the best.”

The contest was sponsored by ICBC.

College employees shuffle for the Salvation Army

shuffle1A team of 10 runners representing Okanagan College participated in the 2011 Santa Shuffle in Kelowna to help raise money for the Salvation Army. 

The College runners collected $1,195 in pledges for the Salvation Army, which earned the team the title of Top Fundraiser (and a plaque) for this year's event. 

Individual runners from the College finished in 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th overall, which was a great showing for the team. Whether walking, running or cheering, it all contributed to a fabulous Saturday morning.

Members of the College team included: Eileen Plementos, Janet Mantyka, Stacey Laitinen, Drew Petrie, Arch and Mary Doody, James Coble, Mark Scorah, Aaron Walker and Michelle Sinclair.
December 6, 2011 Vol. 5 Issue 18


Moodle on down today

Ed Tech Coordinator Mike Minions will be at the Lecture Theatre at the Kelowna campus today from 4-5:30 p.m. giving instructors a first look at Moodle – the new open source Learning Management System.

Take the Moodle 2.1 test drive and learn how to:
-    Navigate
-    Create resources and activities
-    How to dock a block
-    How migrated Blackboard content appears in Moodle
-    Plus, some new student-centred tools

Catch that truck

The final truck runs before the Christmas break are coming up fast.
-    To Salmon Arm and Vernon – Tuesday, Dec. 20
-    To Penticton – Thursday, Dec. 22

Regularly scheduled truck runs resume the first week of 2012, with the first run north on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and south Thursday, Jan. 5.

The Central Stores Department at the Kelowna campus will be closed at 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23. Central Stores will re-open Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 8 a.m.

CPP changes afoot for 2012

If you are 65 or older and in receipt of your Canada Pension Plan Benefits be aware that changes are taking place to the Canada Pension Plan effective Jan. 1, 2012. If you wish to stop contributing to the CPP, please visit this website and submit the CPT30 form to Payroll by the end of December. For more information about this, please contact Vicki Pannell at ext 4312.

IT Services gift basket draw

Delight someone special this Christmas while giving to the Salvation Army. IT Services has put together a basket of goodies filled with wine, olives, jams, jellies, and even peppermint candy. Tickets are $5 and available through IT Services. The draw takes place Dec. 13.

Toques with a twist

Over 50 red and white toques made their way into the Kelowna campus’ Pay it Forward campaign, thanks to the Okanagan College Coyotes Hockey team.

Fans purchased the $5 toques and then threw more than 50 onto the ice at last Saturday night’s game against Eastern Washington University. The toques will join the growing number of donations headed for the Kelowna Gospel Mission and Inn From the Cold.

Christmas de-stress

Take a breather and dip into this month’s issue of The Balance newsletter from PPC Canada. This month’s issue features sensible tips on budgeting, responsible drinking, and stress reduction. PPC is also offering two free webinars this month to help smooth the holidays.
-    Dec. 6 -  Financial Planning for the Holidays
-    Dec. 8 – Substance Abuse: Spotting the Signs
To register, email Carrie Middleton. PPC is Okanagan College’s EFAP provider.

Parking ticket magic

Christmas gets a little brighter for everyone this year when parking tickets get magically transformed into new stuffed toys for children at regional hospitals. It’s all part of Okanagan College Facilities Management stuffed toy drive campaign.

Students or staff members at the Vernon, Penticton and Kelowna campuses can choose to pay for a ticket by donating a new stuffed toy with the receipt attached. Each ticket is worth one toy. The offer is only valid for current tickets during the two-week campaign, which runs until Dec. 16.

Everyone else is also welcome to add their holiday cheer by dropping a stuffed toy into one of boxes located at:
-    Penticton - main office
-    Vernon - main office
-    Kelowna – facilities management office
-    Salmon Arm – admin office

Donations will be given to area hospitals where they are donated.

Truly moved

The Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Fall Fitness Challenges wrapped up Nov. 25 with 52 students and staff literally “stepping” up to the five-week challenge.

Bobby’s Angels (Donna Olson, Bob Eby, Lara Jennings, Charlotte Kushner) took first place with a pounding 5,123,479 steps, followed by the Nursinators (Carlin Klotz, Lauren Fraychineaud, Mallory Smith, Tyler Embree) in second with 3,441,175 steps, and the Sole Sisters (Dorie Burnham, Monique Powell, Terrell Bouma, Tina Pernosky) in third place with 3,078,519 steps.

Grab a paddle – it’s ping-pong time

Practice your backhand – the first HO-HO-HO Invitational Ping Pong Tournament is just around the corner.

This singles, round robin tournament takes place over three days from Dec. 21-23, so players need to be available each day. A match is played best three out of five games. For each game, the first player to reach 11 points wins that game. Each game must be won by at least a two-point margin.

When: Dec. 21-23
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: The PIT
Entry fee: Donation to the Food Bank
Registration deadline: Wed., Dec. 12
Please contact Lynn Johnson to play.

Kelowna history comes alive

Well-known local historian Sharron Simpson has put the final touches on one of the biggest projects she’s ever engaged in – the history of Kelowna.

Simpson will be talking about her book The Kelowna Story Wed., Dec. 7 at 3 pm. at the Centre for Dialogue (E-202) at the Kelowna campus. Everyone is welcome to attend.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Norah Bowman-Broz from the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at the Kelowna campus, who won the Dec. 2 payday draw for $595.

The staff lottery contributes to annual student awards that now exceed $1-million. If you’re interested in being among the 200 staff who participate, please contact Tessa Derksen (Local 4774) in the Advancement & Alumni office (located in P103, KLO Campus) or download a registration form online.  

Family Award application deadline Jan. 20

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees, and employees of the Okanagan College Foundation.

Full award criteria and the application form can be found in myOkanagan – follow the link to OC Express - Forms and then click through to Foundation.

All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by January 20, 2012. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2012.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419.


The Revelstoke Current reported that program coordinator Mary Kline helped in steering the way for Revelstoke to become the first to receive $100,000 over the next four years through the Columbia Basin Trust’s new Community-Directed Youth Funds (CDYF) program. Read: CBT grants $100,000 for local youth projects.

The Vernon Morning Star couldn’t help itself by acknowledging another – this time the silver STARS recognition Okanagan College received from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Read OC earns silver STAR. The story also appeared in The Okanagan Saturday (OC scores silver for sustainability.)

Success at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition landed Okanagan School of Business students into the pages of the Capital News, and the Penticton Herald.  Read: OC business students bound for Queen’s, and Business students make playoffs.

The Vernon Morning Star continued to keep a close watch on the progress of the Okanagan College’s bid for a $7.8-million sports facility in Vernon. Read: Complex decision draws near. The paper continued its coverage after the ALC said yes, with a story aimed at informing the public about its role. Read: Sports complex must go to voters.

The Okanagan College Coyotes warmed hearts and heads with its toque game – a fun-filled way for fans to help those in need. Read: OC Coyotes to hold toque game Saturday, which appeared in The Daily Courier.

The Daily Courier wondered whether the Coyotes could capture six straight wins heading into its game against the Selkirk College Saints. Read: OC Coyotes aiming for 6th straight win.

Registrar Jane Muskens used her regular School’s In column in the Capital News to focus on Statistics Canada’s report that a dwindling number of men are enrolling in college or university. Read: Boys getting left behind.

Photography instructor Bruce Kemp knows a good picture when he sees it, enough that he was able to capture a cover shot for the book he recently co-authored with fellow Continuing Studies instructor – writer and editor Laurie Carter. Kemp’s story appeared in the Nov-Dec issue of Okanagan Life. Read: Seize the moment.

Writing instructor Matt Rader talked about the small but vital steps he took to become a poet of note, in an article that appeared in the Capital News. Read: Poet finds an entry point into literary world.

Members of the Okanagan College Students’ Union are playing a high profile role in acknowledging the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. See Anti-violence event set for Dec. 6 at college, which appeared in the Penticton Herald.

NDP leader Adrian Dix is pleading for a $100-million needs-based grant program for post-secondary students. Read The Daily Courier story: Dix wants to restore student grants.

Business professor Terry Kosowick helped keep the beat going in a story in the Vernon Morning Star about the Dixieland All-Stars. Read: These boys ain’t just whistling Dixie.

Former student Lei Zhang made it into the Kemp Harvey Group Autumn newsletter for her outstanding performance at Okanagan College. Read: Kelowna Employee Honoured.

The trial into the murder of former Okanagan University College student Jennifer Cusworth ended last week with a conviction and 15-year-sentence for 45-year-old Neil Snelson. Cusworth’s body was found in 1993, and the case remained cold for 16 years before RCMP linked a blood sample to DNA found on Cusworth’s body. Kelowna and area media devoted many years to covering the case. The trial made headlines province-wide. Read a summary provided by Castanet after this week's sentencing of Neil Snelson.


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 Tuesday, Dec. 20.