MoU signed with SD 23

MOU Early CollegeOkanagan College and SD 23 are partnering to create a new dual credit program called Early College. The program is designed for high ability students currently facing circumstances that hinder their academic performance at a traditional secondary school.

Starting in Sept. 2014, the Early College program will enable secondary school students to undertake their Grade 11 and Grade 12 studies at Okanagan College. They will have the opportunity to apply, be admitted, and start their first year of College in their Grade 12 year, while finishing Grade 12 secondary courses.

The MoU was signed April 29, and opens up the option of college to students in a supported learning environment.

Team returns with podium finishes and pride

Enactus NationalsDozens of students, faculty and administrators returned to Okanagan College late last week after a successful series of competitions at the Enactus national exposition in Calgary.
Students who competed in the Financial Literacy challenge finished third in the country, as did the entire Enactus Okanagan College team in the Campbells Help Hunger Disappear challenge (Enactus Okanagan College was the champion for three successive years.)
The College’s national team made it through to the final round and finished among the top four post-secondary institutions in the nation.
Okanagan College School of Business professor Devin Rubadeau was awarded the Rookie Faculty of the Year, a prestigious national recognition of his dedication to students, Okanagan College, and our communities.
“Working with Enactus has been the highlight of my experience at Okanagan College,” said Rubadeau. “The students I had the opportunity to work with have inspired me to work harder. I’m overwhelmed by their abilities and their talents.”

Finalists announced for 2014 Employee Excellence Awards

The finalists of the third annual Employee Excellence Awards have been announced. College employees were nominated in eight categories. Two selection committees, comprised of representatives from all employee groups, evaluated the nomination packages.

Out of the 59 nomination packages received, 25 individuals and five teams were selected. Finalists represent a broad array of positions and come from all four of the College’s regions.

The finalists are:

Kathleen Lausman, Richard McAdam, Alisa McAuliffe

Jeremy Beaulne, Cathy Fitzgerald, Rosalind Warner

Alison Beaumont, Connie Beckett, Liz Plamondon

Administration Support – Salmon Arm/Revelstoke Campus: Verna Bazinet,Jennifer Beckett, Mandie Belle, Ferne Davis, Tanya Egli, ShannonKiehlbauch, Alison Landry, Stacey Larsen, Renee Myers, Margaret Scharf.

Carly Chute and Ann Marie Ruether 

Women in Trades Team: Nancy Darling, Amanda Hancock, Bob Lingor, Cam McRobb, Carrera Teal, Carolyn Theiss


Automated Staffing Process: Eve Avis, Bianka Blandon, Dorie Burnham,Liz Currie, Arlene DeBruin, Lynda Dreaper, Laura Eagen, PattiHeinzelmann, Margo Kendal, Jasmine McGee, Carmen Nadon, Dawn Southern, Deb Matheson. 

Chi-Fui Chong

Welding Department: Sherwood Brocke, Greg Burkett, Dave Dutcher, Fred Geisler, Tracee Harder, Sean Jarvis, Alex Kortzman, Don Lingor, Murray Perrett, Tyson Powell, Raymond Proulx, Ken Soucy, Mark Stathers, Aaron Thomas, Mike Tourigan, Greg Wagner

Chris Clarkson, Bob Eby, Donna Selski

Derek Cook, Jim Ingram, Tracy Riley

Amy Cohen, Laurie Donovan, Nadir Ould-Khessal

Dianne Crommer, Kathy Hamilton, Janice Ulrich 

Winners from each of the categories have been chosen by the selection committees and will be announced at the special recognition event at 3 p.m. on May 21 at the Kelowna Campus Centre for Learning. All employees are encouraged to attend.

Employees who have celebrated milestone achievements over the past year will also be recognized at the May 21 event. There is still time to submit achievements for recognition. Fill out the milestone recognition form and submit it before midnight on May 16.

Flipped Classroom conference

Aaron Sams, a pioneer of the Flipped Classroom education movement, will be appearing at the CanFlip 14 conference taking place June 19 and 20 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Inverting traditional teaching methods, whereby students watch lectures online at home and then do their homework in the classroom, is the premise of the Flipped Classroom concept.

In addition to Sams's keynote, more than 35 unique sessions featuring some of the best educators North America will be offered at the conference.
“This conference is a tremendous professional development opportunity for people who really care about ensuring education delivers all that it can for all involved,” says Dr. Rosalind Warner, Okanagan College political science professor and Institute for Learning and Teaching fellow.

Each conference participant will receive a free copy of TechSmith's Camtasia 8 Screencasting Software, training, daily lunch and refreshments, door prizes, and a wine and cheese reception on Thursday evening.

The conference fee is $425 per person, although groups of three or more individuals can register at $250 each. Okanagan College participants wishing to register should contact Rosalind Warner by May 15 to take advantage of the group rate.

Conference information and registration can be found at

Winning wordsmiths

The first ever three-hour poetry contest winners have been announced. On April 3, students from Okanagan College and Grade 11 and 12 students came to all four campuses of Okanagan College for the ultimate poetic pressure test: to write at least one, but up to three poems, in 180 minutes.

The winners from each campus were:

Salmon Arm: Lauren Reaka
Vernon: Kourtney Bootsma
Kelowna: Alison Hodgins
Penticton: Sydney Kemp
The overall winner was Kourtney Boostma. Each winner took home a $250 tuition credit and the grand prize-winner won an additional $250.

Kelowna donors honoured

Tozer LairdOkanagan College President Jim Hamilton, Okanagan College Foundation President Alf Kempf and Foundation Executive Director Kathy Butler thanked the dozens of donors gathered in the Centre for Learning at the Okanagan College Foundation Donor Appreciation event on April 30 at the Kelowna campus.

One student, 18-year-old Brett Stuart-Ayers, shared with the donors how he struggled with school in his early teen years but is currently attending the College’s Recreation Vehicle Service Technician program thanks in part to receiving one of 647 awards the Foundation handed out this past year.

Also speaking was Allen Tozer and his wife Linda Laird who established two awards to assist students enrolled in the Health Care Assistant and Education Assistant programs after they witnessed how important these professionals were to the elderly and to children.

In 2013/14, donors helped the Okanagan College Foundation provide awards totaling $630,357.


Alumni Association selects 2014 honourees

Lane ShupeThe Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is bestowing honours on two former Okanagan College students, Lane Shupe and Donnie Ungaro.
Lane Shupe, a certified dental assistant who graduated from the College in 1981, will receive the OCAA’s Distinguished Alumni award in recognition of her commitment to her profession and her exemplary record of volunteerism.

“I’m overwhelmed by this honour,” said Shupe. “The College has the best dental program in the province and I am extremely proud to be a graduate from the program. It’s wonderful to be recognized for doing something that I love.”
Donnie UngaroDonnie Ungaro, Young Professionals/Culture Development Officer with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, is being honoured with the association’s Young Alumni award, which recognizes the achievements of Okanagan College or Okanagan University College graduates under the age of 35.
"I can honestly say that my time at OUC has given me the greatest satisfaction and success in life,” said Ungaro.

Shupe and Ungaro will be honoured at special recognition event on June 12 in the Atrium of the Kelowna campus’s Centre for Learning. The free event will mark 50 years of alumni excellence.

College hires veteran Finance Director

Okanagan College’s new Director of Finance won’t have issues figuring out how a B.C. post-secondary institution handles its accounts.

Ann Johnson is an eight-year veteran in the same role at Vancouver Community College, having served as that organization’s Director of Finance since 2006. She also brings a wealth of private-sector experience to the role at Okanagan College, which she will be starting in early July. Before joining Vancouver Community College, she worked with a startup logistic company that developed into a business with $100 million in annual revenue.

“The opportunity to come to the Okanagan was one I couldn’t resist,” says Johnson. “The area is a second home for us, and I have great respect and interest in Okanagan College.”

Johnson will be replacing Chi-Fui Chong, who is retiring after six years at Okanagan College. He came to Kelowna from Calgary where he held a similar role at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

“We’re pleased with Ann’s decision to join us,” says Okanagan College’s Vice President Finance and Administration Bob Eby.

“She comes with many years of post-secondary experience in efficiently managing resources to maximize the student experience while ensuring financial sustainability.”

Retirement party announced for Chi-Fui Chong

Chi-Fui ChongOn that note, Okanagan College’s current Director of Finance Chi-Fui Chong is retiring on May 31.

A retirement party to celebrate his contribution to the College is taking place on Wednesday May 28, from 3-5 p.m. at Infusions Restaurant at the Kelowna Campus.

Please RSVP to Sharon Oliver if you plan to attend.

Can you spell success?

Spelling Bee EggheadsOkanagan College students and staff proved their wordy wisdom at two recent spelling competitions.

For the third year in a row, a team from Okanagan College claimed the top title in the Junction Literacy Centre Adult Spelling Bee Fundraiser in Vernon on April 30.
Battling against 21 other teams, the “OC Eggheads” triumphantly tackled terminology that included bouillabaisse, doughty, echelon, and isochronous, to win the top prize.

Teams members were Jeanne Boekelheide, Daniel DeGroot, Tanya Golanowski, Jim Hamilton, Edie Lowes, Chandra McCann, Ingrid Neumann and Amanda Pope.

Spelling Bee 1Over in Salmon Arm, a team from the Adult Academic and Career Preparation department competed in the first annual Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) spelling bee on Friday, May 2.

Students Nicole Lazaruk, Frankie Manson, and Dan McClure joined English instructors Ruth Chambers and Tracy Riley at the event, which featured 11 other teams, spelling words such as cappuccino and connoisseur. The event raised more than $1,300 for LASS. Okanagan College works closely with LASS to provide a variety of literacy programming in Salmon Arm.

For the love of cheese

The Cheesiest Sweet and Savoury Competition, presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada as part of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival, is taking place on May 7 at 7 p.m. at the Culinary Arts Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

The event features apprentice chef teams from Okanagan College creating their own cheesy dessert and savoury dishes, each paired with a sumptuous Okanagan wine.

“This is a great opportunity to meet the apprentices, mingle with the wineries, and marvel at the pairings,” explains Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism.

Every guest at the event will cast a vote to determine the cheesiest culinary creation and wine pairing, while being entertained with live music. Tickets are $40 and they can be ordered by emailing Linda Dyck or by calling 250-762-5445, ext. 4426.

Alumnus to receive Medal for Bravery

Okanagan College Alumnus and Deputy Fire Chief, Brent Penner is to receive a Bronze Medal for Bravery today from the Royal Canadian Humane Association for his actions on Dec. 19, 2012, in attempting to rescue a woman from a submerged vehicle on Wood Lake. Brent graduated from Okanagan College in 2009 with his BBA.

“I’m very honoured to receive this award,” said Brent. “Everyone involved worked so hard in the rescue trying to achieve a more successful outcome. I was most impressed by the valiant efforts of passing motorists that stopped to help, with little regard for their own safety.”  

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and Patron of the Royal Canadian Humane Association was to present the award to Penner, along with other B.C. bravery award recipients at an Investiture Ceremony at RCMP Headquarters in Surrey, B.C. May 6, 2014. 

Remembering Mark and Mike

Okanagan College lowered the flag to honour the memory of two of its own last week, Mark Baranow and Mike Schewe.

Mark Baranow, a member of the Trades and Apprenticeship department in Kelowna, died on April 30.
Mark joined Okanagan College in 2006 and held a few positions ranging from classroom assistant to tool room attendant and eventually became a shop assistant.
Mark was a key member of the team that launched the Rotating Trades program, which brought Welding, Electrical and Plumbing programs to Penticton, Salmon Arm and Vernon.
His colleague Bob Lingor remembers Mark as a family man who loved the outdoors.
“You could always count on Mark,” said Lingor. “He was great to work with and was well known for his expertise in repairing equipment and for organizing the movement of the rotating trades program.”
A celebration of Mark’s life will be announced at a later date.

Mike Schewe, a former Dean of Trades and Technology at Okanagan University College, died on Sunday, April 27.
Mike joined the College in 1982 when he was hired as a vocational instructor in Auto Mechanics. In 1995 he became Dean, Trades and Technology at OUC – a position he held until 2001.
A small family service has been planned; details of a memorial will be shared when they are known.

The story of Dancing Bear

Dancing Bear Ernie PhillpsOne of Okanagan College’s Honorary Fellows, Ernie Philip, is the subject of a documentary film that is nearing completion.

Entitled Dancing Bear (a name given to Ernie by the Sioux people in 1993), the documentary chronicles Ernie’s life from his childhood experiences in the Kamloops Residential School to recent days. Ernie is a Shuswap Elder who has been recognized internationally not just for his dancing, but also for his ambassadorial efforts on behalf of First Nations people.

The film, produced by Brian Sumner (pictured with Ernie), was screened at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College on April 28 before an appreciative audience of more than 60 people. A potluck was held after the screening and the irrepressible Philip provided a display of his dancing and regalia. The event was organized by the Aboriginal Services Department.

Philip was honored by Okanagan College last year with an Honorary Fellow.

For more information on the movie, visit

May 6, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 3


Automated staffing goes live with pilot project

As of May 5, Arts & Foundational Programs, Science, Technology & Health, and Student Services began staffing through an online system that incorporates electronic forms, input, routing and approvals. 

The impetus for automating staffing began a few years ago when Millennium Professional Services Limited (MPSL) was engaged by Okanagan College to conduct an assessment of the functionality of the College’s Human Resource Information and Payroll System (BANNER HR) and business processes. The primary objective was to identify areas of high risk, inefficiencies and required system enhancements.

See the communiqué for more details.

Centre for Learning sound system installation

The Centre for Learning on the Kelowna campus is getting a new Bose certified commercial grade sound system, which is in the process of being installed. While booking details for the new system is still being worked out, the initial contact will be with Facilities.

Adobe Creative Cloud at Campus Store

The Kelowna Campus Store now carries the Adobe Creative Cloud, a 12-month prepaid membership card for $379.99. 

An Adobe Creative Cloud membership provides access to the latest version of over a dozen Adobe applications. Services included with membership include 20 GB of cloud storage, syncing between desktop, device and cloud, file sharing with anyone, website publishing and hosting services, and services for publishing apps for Apple iPad.
The Campus Store also now carries software download cards for Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, $129, and Photoshop Lightroom 5, $89. 

Family Award application deadline

Applications are now being accepted for the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between May 1 and Aug. 31.  The deadline to apply is May 16, please see details and the application form in myOkanagan – follow the link to OC Express - Forms and then click through to Foundation. 


Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Learning Outcomes

The Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT) is holding a free workshop at each campus for faculty and instructors about writing learning outcomes. Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Learning Outcomes is ideal for anyone who has wondered about how clearly defined learning outcomes make a difference in learning and teaching, struggled with how to write learning outcomes and effective sequencing, and wants to use learning outcomes to guide their teaching and assessment strategies.

Each participant will receive an ILT Learning Outcomes Workshop Certificate. Attendance limited to 15 Participants per workshop.

The workshop's original schedule was amended, please see the revised schedule:

May 7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. – Kelowna
May 8, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. – Vernon
May 13, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. – Salmon Arm
May 21, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. – Penticton

To register, send an email to Carla Whitten with “Registration for ILT Learning Outcome Workshop” and your campus in the subject line.

Exhibition of fine craftsmanship

The fourth annual Studio Woodworking Student Exhibit is taking place on Tuesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning. Students will be showcasing a wide range of interesting projects from the 2013-14 Studio Woodworking program. For more information, contact studio woodworking instructor, Tim Diebert.

Meadowlark Nature Festival

Okanagan College biology professor, Sharon Mansiere will present two talks on May 18 at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus lecture theatre as part of the Meadowlark Nature Festival.

A Bird in the Hand explores the many zany patterns, textures, shapes, and colours of birds. Sharon will reveal why some feathers look like one colour when they are in fact another and give attendees a hands-on look at bird species from the Okanagan College Research Museum. Ildiko Szabo, Assistant Curator of the Cowan Tetrapod Collection at UBC Beaty Biodiversity Museum will be co-presenting. Event starts at 7 p.m., $10.

Following A Bird in the Hand, Sharon will co-present Death Trapped: Birds in the Land of Artificial Light with Roland Dechesne, a member of the Calgary Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society and Dark Sky Advocate. Together they will examine how the biological adaptations and strategies that have served birds so well in the natural world are now causing them to fly to their doom in a world now cluttered by man-made light. Event starts at 8 p.m., $10.

Visit the festival website for details and tickets.

Connections 2014

Join your colleagues at Okanagan College's ninth Annual Employee Learning Conference, Connections 2014 at the Kelowna Campus, Aug. 19 and 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn what’s happening at Okanagan College from President Jim Hamilton and attend workshops on a range of topics, including new technologies in practical assessment, a Pearson Canada product overview, a how-to on healthy eating, and even a primer about surviving in the mountains of B.C.

There will be many opportunities to network with colleagues from all four campuses. Beverages will be provided courtesy of Tree Brewing, Okanagan Spirits and the View Winery. To register for Connections 2014 click here.

To plan your day, see full descriptions of each workshop on the Workshop Planner.

Be Well Challenge

The Athletics and Recreation team on the Kelowna campus is hosting a wellness challenge for both students and employees on Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m., May 7- Jun. 25. Participants will meet in the Courtyard for 3 km walks in local parks and on trails and receive fitness tips, healthy recipes, myth busters and giveaways. It’s $10 for staff and free for students to participate. Register at A105 or online.

Move for Health Day

Join the Kelowna campus Athletics and Recreation team in a group walk to celebrate Move for Health Day 2014 on May 7.

This event will kick off the Be Well at Okanagan College Challenge. Meet in the Courtyard and bring your lunch to eat after the walk. 
This event takes place from 12-1 p.m. Register at A105 or online.


South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls in Oliver unveiled its new clinic, built primarily by Okanagan College trades students, at its open house on May 4, see Owl rehab centre shows off new ‘wing’ in the Penticton Herald.

Okanagan College employee Markus Heinrichs' latest running race results were mentioned in the Kelowna Daily Courier, see Kelowna marathoners enjoy southern success.

The automotive service technician program will benefit from the $33-million renovation and expansion of Okanagan College’s trades facility in Kelowna, see Training gets a boost in Signals.

College students had an outstanding showing at the BC Skills Canada competition in Abbotsford, see OC sweeps skills competition in the Vernon Morning star, and OC students win 11 medals at Skills BC trades competition in the Kelowna Capital News.
The College’s Culinary Arts students and the Dairy Farmers of Canada are partnering for a Spring Wine festival event competition, see Apprentice chefs try cheesy dishes.

Okanagan College School of Business professor Dr. Sheilagh Seaton and third-year marketing student Wesley Favro were quoted about the findings of a business outlook survey in the Kelowna Daily Courier, see Business isn’t hiring yet.

Geography students Julia Thielmann and Arianna Lapham participated in a groundbreaking research project and presented at the Canadian Association of Geographers conference, see College students’ research leads to national exposure in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College teamed up for their annual Aboriginal Career Fair on May 1, see 20th anniversary for Aboriginal career fair.

BCGEU faculty members at Okanagan College reached a tentative agreement, see OC faculty reach deal.

A new public art project was unveiled on Apr. 19 at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College, see Mosiac unveiled at College.

The Kelowna Capital News covered the Okanagan College baseball team, see OC Coyotes take 4 of 5 at Easter Classic for share of 2nd in CCBC, and Every part of the game counts as Coyotes turn season around.

On Apr. 24, Human Kinetics students in Penticton attempted to break the record for the world’s largest Tabata class, as well as raise money for OC student going to the PanAm games, see Tabata: What the heck is it? in the Penticton Herald.

People are invited to bring their unwanted items to a trunk sale on May 24 at Okanagan College, see Trunk Sale a chance to carry out some spring cleaning and Sell your stuff at trunk sale.

An Okanagan College alumna, Corrine Inman, is named one of the Penticton Herald’s Top 40 Under 40, see Printer proves cynics wrong.

Okanagan College employees in Vernon prove to be superior spellers, see Bee spells out success for Junction in the Vernon Morning Star.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.

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 May 20, 2014.