Congratulations to the class of 2008

convoThrough a series of convocations and commencement this weekend Okanagan College will honour its largest graduating class ever. The achievements of more than 1,250 students will be recognized today and tomorrow including 457 degree and diploma graduates and more than 800 trades students from ELT or apprenticeship programs.

The Trades Commencement will take place this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. Two Convocations will be held on Saturday; the first will begin at 10 a.m. and will recognize Honorary Fellows Syd, Dick and Rob Cannings. An afternoon Convocation for business degree and diploma students will begin at 2 p.m. Honorary Fellow Jeanette Armstrong will be recognized for her achievements and address the afternoon graduating class. All three ceremonies will take place at the KLO campus.  Read Public Affairs' Convocation press releases: Graduation ceremonies celebrate students success and College grads realize the power of the associate degree.

Tyler Selzler turns collision repair skills to gold

 Tyler Selzler
& Jeff Francis

After winning a gold in the provincial Skills BC Competition, 23-year-old Okanagan College apprentice Tyler Selzler’s winning streak continued at the national Skills Canada Competition with another gold medal performance. Selzler won top honours in the Autobody Repair Competition, which took place in Calgary from May 25-28.

Tyler had to complete four tasks over two days; the biggest challenge was repairing the inner door shell and outer door skin of a vehicle without using filler. On day-two Tyler sectioned a rocker panel on a Honda Accord, conducted a one-hour frame analysis and completed a plastic repair on a bumper. Tyler’s instructor Jeff Francis traveled to the competition to support the young apprentice. Francis said that Tyler blew the rest of the competition out of the water.

Okanagan College’s Cailan Libby also competed at the national Skills Canada competition. He qualified for the Industrial Wiring competition after winning a gold at Skills BC in April. Although Cailan did not finish in the top three in the country, he was presented with a workmanship award for his success at the competition.  

Chinese students raise money for earthquake relief

chinaA group of domestic and international students from Okanagan College came together to show their support for the victims of the May 12 earthquake in China by launching an impromptu fundraising campaign. The group came up with the slogan ‘one world one family’ after feeling a deep sense of connection to the victims of the quake, despite living on the other side of the globe. They set up a table at the Kelowna Farmers’ Market and Costco and collected donations for the relief fund. After meeting with the Red Cross, the group will give their funds directly to the Red Cross’ relief effort. To get involved or donate to the cause please contact Quentin Hughson.

Southwest Studies

swsA group of Okanagan College students are taking their learning outside of the classroom through their participation in the College’s Southwest Studies program. The group is earning academic credit for studies in geography, ecology and philosophy while witnessing the worldly applications of these disciplines. The students have traveled to Arizona and discovered flora, fauna and geographical wonders such as the Grand Canyon. Check out this photo gallery of the students in action. For more information about the Southwest Studies program contact Stephen Doyle or view the photo gallery.

Okanagan College hosts donor reception

donorThe Okanagan College Foundation hosted 26 guests at the Salmon Arm campus at a donor reception. College donors and potential donors heard from President Hamilton, Steve Tuck and one of the College’s financial award recipients Ruth Dresen. Ruth received an award from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #62. She had the opportunity to meet the president of the Legion’s branch Harry Welton. Also at the event the Shuswap Women in Business presented a $500 cheque to support Okanagan College students.


With graduation season in full swing Maxine Dehart’s column included information about Okanagan College’s Honorary Fellows.

An article about KSS graduates included information about Chris Harris, who plans to attend Okanagan College’s Culinary Arts program. Read more in: New beginnings.

Developments in the Okanagan-Jamaican partnership made news in the Kelowna Daily Courier: More Jamaican workers coming, Caribbean students now have own OC association, and the Kelowna Capital News: College ratifies deal with Jamaica, Antigua Sun: Canadian college on a recruitment drive in Antigua, Caribbean News Net: Overseas work programme being expanded, says Jamaican minister and SUN St. Kitts/Nevis: College offers new opportunities

The earthquake relief fundraising campaign initiated by Okanagan College students was covered in the Kelowna Daily Courier: College students reach out to China, and Students to raise cash for quake victims. CBC Radio also covered the story and interviewed College students. Listen to the story here.

The Vernon Morning Star published a feature article about Okanagan College CEA instructor Kim Ondrik and her student Michele Tarr who each played a role in making a dream come true for a young girl who is visually impaired. Read more in: Girl dives into dream.

The opening of the William R. Bennett bridge in Kelowna resulted in a special edition of the Kelowna Daily Courier. Coverage of Okanagan College students’ efforts to build a time capsule resulted in a full page. Read more in: Students put time in a metal box. An Okanagan College WORKS ad also appeared in the special edition. Check out the ad featuring Greyback Superintendent and Okanagan College grad Troy Prevost. The Kelowna Capital News' special edition also included a full page devoted to the College. Check out: Okanagan College students help make history.

Stan Chung’s Daily Courier column focused on the new bridge opening as well. Read about Stan’s ideas for sustainable development and responsible community planning in: The bridge ain’t enough – What Kelowna should look like in 2030.

While perusing google alerts Director of Public Affairs’ Allan Coyle came across a unique  (and by unique I mean very unique) video about the positive effects of attending Okanagan College. No author is named nor has anyone claimed responsibility for posting the video but it is definitely worth watching. Check out: Be smart. Study at Okanagan College.

The Summerland Home for Learning hosted a community barbeque and block party inviting members of the media to check out the progress that has been made on the home built by 11 residential construction students. A series of articles have been written about the home in the South Okanagan – Summerland Review: House ahead of schedule, Penticton Western News: Students building momentum and the Penticton Herald: Student project almost home.

News of Collision Repair apprentice Tyler Selzler’s gold medal at the national Skills Canada competition made the pages of the Kelowna Daily Courier: OC grad wins autobody contest.

A student in the College’s Bridging for Women program is currently on a job placement at the Kelowna Daily Courier. Read about Samantha Batten’s experience as a journalism intern in: Is journalism for me?

The South Okanagan’s Regional Dean Donna Lomas was quoted in an article in the Penticton Western discussing the College’s program growth and the challenges that affordable housing creates. Read more from Donna in: Campus’ future linked to affordable housing. (After listening to feedback from Donna and other concerned citizens and community members, Penticton's city council voted on June 2 in favor of allowing secondary suite in single-family neighbourhoods).

The Penticton Western News ran an article about the new Human Kinetics diploma program, which will come to Penticton this fall. Read about the program in: College offers diploma program in human kinetics.

The Vernon Morning Star picked up on a Public Affairs press release and published an article about the new financial support offered to students as a result of a donation from the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT). Read more in: Tuition help available.

Okanagan College business alumna Jane Long was honoured by the Vernon Women in Business as a nominee for 2008 Woman of the Year. Read more about Jane in: 2008 Woman of the Year Nominees.

Two events featuring writer John Ralston Saul raised more than $12,000 for Okanagan College and the Locatee Lands Project in Penticton. Read more about the events in: Events raise $12,000 for college, local land project.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In columns covered the opening of the new William R. Bennett bridge and the value of studies in humanities. Read more in: Being a participant in history alters your viewpoint and Studies in humanities valuable to society at large.


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 June 20, 2008

June 6, 2008, Vol. 2 Issue 4


Summer Truck Run Schedule

The regular Friday truck run to Vernon will be discontinued for the summer. The last run will be on Friday, June 13. The run will resume again on Friday, August 8, 2008. Due to the July 1 holiday the truck run to Vernon and Salmon Arm is rescheduled for Wednesday, July 2.

CS seeks instructors

Continuing Studies is looking for instructors to teach the following courses for the Introduction to Office Administration Certificate:
OA 92 Basic Office Procedures – Sept 15 to Oct 20/08, Mon & Wed, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
OA 90 Communication Skills – Oct 27 to Nov 26/08, Mon & Wed, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
OA 98 Basic Supervisory Skills – Dec 01 to Dec 03/08, Mon & Wed, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
OA 93 Business Math – Jan 05 to Feb 04/09, Mon & Wed, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
OA 94 Basic Accounting – Feb 09 to Mar 11/09, Mon & Wed, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
OA 99 Simply Accounting – Sept 14 to Oct 19/0, Mon & Wed, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.    
For more information, contact Lorrie Bauer at local 4533.

Help wanted!

Continuing Studies is looking for an instructor to teach a course this fall:
Taking Better Minutes. The course trains participants to become a valuable organizational asset by learning and practicing the skills to produce exceptional and well-summarized minutes that accurately reflect the key details and decisions of meetings. Students learn time saving tips to use during meetings, ways to effectively summarize group discussions, and how to create and format informal and formal minutes. If you think you have the experience and desire to teach this course please call Jill Panton at ext. 4589 for more information.

Parking committee sought   

Okanagan College is forming a parking committee to address the increased demand for parking at the KLO campus. The committee will be comprised of no more than eight people, including two members of the OCSU, two administrators, two faculty and two staff. Anyone interested in being a part of this should email Charmaine Eby with a cc: to Arch Doody by the end of June. Following selection of the membership, the committee expects to meet once a month, and more if necessary. All members will bring forth ideas from their respective areas so that everyone has a chance to provide input.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Darleen Lajeunesse from switchboard in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $452.50. 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.

KLO Campus Recreation update

Campus Recreation has a variety of recreational activities and programs geared toward staff and students. Check out the recently updated programs on the website.
Campus Rec is also giving away 2 for 1 driving range coupons to The Golf Centre on Benvoulin Road. Pick up your coupon at KLO Campus A149.

Make the most of summer sports at work

Stuck at your desk? Get out and enjoy the sunshine! Sign out some of the fun recreation equipment from the KLO Rec Office (A149) and have fun with your coworkers at lunch. Gaming equipment includes tennis racquets & balls, badminton racquets, birdies and a net, bocce set, beach volleyball, basketball, football and frisbees. If you don’t have anyone to play with, let campus rec know of a specific activity you are interested in and we can put you in touch with others who also might like to play.


June 6 - The 2008 Trades Commencement will take place at the Kelowna campus beginning at 6:30 p.m.

June 7 - The 2008 Spring Convocation will begin at 10 a.m. at the Kelowna campus.  The Cannings brothers (Syd, Dick and Rob) will be honoured at the ceremony and will address the graduates.

June 7  - The afternoon Spring Convocation ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Honorary Fellow Jeanette Armstrong will address the group of Business Administration degree and diploma graduates.

June 11 - Continuing Studies in Vernon will hold the first of two spring commencement ceremonies for certificate and diploma graduates.

June 12 – Campus Recreation is organizing a Kalamalka kayaking trip from 1 – 3 p.m. The trip costs $40 and will include a tour of the lake with a guide from Kelowna Kayak. Contact Alicia King for more information. 

June 16 - Seventeen Practical Nursing students from Vernon will graduate at a Convocation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in Vernon.

June 16 - Continuing Studies in Vernon will hold a second Commencement ceremony.

June 17 – Join Monashee Adventure Tours and Campus Recreation for a cycling tour of the newly rebuilt Myra Canyon trestles. The trip costs $50 – for more information contact Alicia King or Mike Craig.

June 17 – July 17 - Campus Recreation will host a month of Boot Camp workouts to help get staff and students fit for the summer. The month-long boot camp costs  $45 and includes classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6:30 – 7:30 a.m. at the KLO Fitness Centre. Sign up with Alicia King.

June 26 - Summer Convocation will be held at the Kelowna campus at 6:30 p.m.

June 20 – Okanagan College’s men’s golf tournament will take place at Kelowna Springs with tee times starting at 3:44 p.m. The tourney is a nine-hole challenge – email Jim Gamble to register.

June 25 – The women’s tourney will take place at Michaelbrook in Kelowna beginning at 5 p.m. (shotgun start). Thirty-five dollars will get you nine holes, dinner and prizes. Register with Angie March.


Bartlett earns top honours at grad

Institutional Research’s Nathan Bartlett is the recipient of the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems academic medal at the 2008 Convocation. Nathan will receive the award as a result of achieving the top graduating grade average of everyone in the BCIS degree program (92.29). Nathan came to Okanagan College after spending three years at the University of Alberta and a few years working in Alberta’s oilfields in his hometown of Drayton Valley. After completing the majority of his degree program Nathan was hired by Okanagan College’s department of Institutional Research, where he has worked as a research analyst for the past two years.

Len Nickel joins Public Affairs

len5Public Affairs welcomed Len Nickel to the position of graphic designer on June 2. Len comes to the College from Quesnel where he worked for the Black Press at the Quesnel Observer in ad design and layout. Len is an Okanagan College graduate, having received a diploma of fine arts before going on to Emily Carr to complete a four-year program in painting and printmaking. Len also has experience as a freelance designer and has worked designing corporate identity packages, package design and commercial ads while also running a web design company.

IT staff update

IT Services welcomed two new employees effective June 2.  Michelle Sinclair is an IT Support Assistant and Karen Tessier will be working with Mike Minions as a Media Production Technician. 

IT Services will be closed on Friday, June 13 for an in house Professional Development day.  There will be limited Help Desk coverage (4444) between 8 - 4p.m. with emergency coverage only from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

itOnce again, IT Services staff contributed to the success of the ninth annual IT4BC conference, hosted by Douglas College. Kurtis Lawson did his first ever presentation on Image and Software Deployment to a full house. Jake Block described how IT is using a DocuWiki to document our processes and Dave Harris did a session called “IT Leadership – What’s it all About?”  Tom Esson and Deb Matheson were on the planning committee and were Track Chairs. Tom also assisted with a presentation on Help Desks. The conference is an excellent opportunity for IT personnel to meet with colleagues from across the BC post-secondary sector and attend pertinent and useful presentations.

Bon Voyage to Allan Hickey and Dawn Govan of IT Services who begin a year long leave on June 13. Their plans include traveling the world beginning in the UK.  

Oman and Dally take bocce title

bocceCongratulations to Jessica Oman and Jean Dally, winners of the second annual Okanagan College bocce tournament. Jessica and Jean won the title after beating the second-place team of Jamie Basran and Christy Cave in a best of three final. One of last year’s winners, Lulu Hall, was on hand to present the championship trophy. The bocce balls are available at the registrar’s office if any one wants to practice for next year. Congrats Jean and Jessica! See you all next year.