Sports proposal unveiled for Vernon campus

Vernon TrackIf the approvals - and there are a number of them - come together, the Vernon campus could be home to one of the Okanagan's most impressive outdoor sports facilities within a couple of years.

At a joint press conference last Tuesday, Okanagan College and the Regional District of the North Okanagan announced a new lease agreement that will allow the partners to move forward with plans to turn 10 acres of College land into a $7.8-million multi-use sports facility that includes an Olympic size rubberized track, artificial playing field and field houses for use by community groups, School District 22 track meets and municipally-hosted events.

The project will need to a series of approvals before development begins. The first stop will be in Coldstream, when the District Council will consider support for an application to the Agricultural Land Commission to seek permission to use the land for the sports facility. The partners will ask the ALC for non-conforming use status – the 10 acres on the College site is currently in the Agricultural Land Reserve but has not been used for agricultural purposes since the ALC was established in 1973. If approved by the ALC, the final decision on the project would be made by Greater Vernon residents via a referendum.

To read the full news release, click here

Penticton Auto Dealers add support to
Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies

autodealersThe Penticton Auto Dealers Association has helped fuel the fundraising campaign for Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation with a $10,000 donation.

The contribution was presented recently by Janet Parker, President of the Penticton Auto Dealers Association, and her fellow dealers, including David Newman, Tony Lunelli, Brian Calbury, Ken Huber and Hendrik Keij. To read the full story, click here.

Robocup competition keeps growing

Robocup2010A record number of students from more than 40 schools turned out to participate in the fifth annual Western Canada RoboCup Junior competition held Dec. 3 at the Kelowna campus.

“I wish this kind of event was around when I was in school,” said Bruce Stevens, Regional Manager of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC). “We have been supporting RoboCup and other challenges like Spaghetti Bridge for a number of years and feel it is our responsibility as an organization to help generate interest in science and engineering because we know that some of the students here today will become technologist professionals.”

ASTTBC sponsors RoboCup, which is an internationally accredited educational competition that includes teams of students ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 12 working in teams to develop solutions to one of three specific challenges (soccer, rescue and dance) using robots.The full story can be found here.


Santa shuffle draws College crowd

santashuffleIt might have been a slightly chilly -4 on Saturday for the Santa Shuffle, but spirits were warm among the 20 people who formed the OC Runners team. The Santa Shuffle raised funds to help the Salvation Army feed families at Christmas - more than $125,000 was raised nation-wide this year.

Michelle Sinclair
, the push behind organizing the College team, reports that Matt Robertson was the first OC runner to cross the finish line, in third place overall. Michelle was second female to cross the line and ended up sixth overall. James Coble finished eighth overall. "Everyone did a great job and a big thanks to Jim Hamilton for getting the whole family out for such a good cause," she says.

The team also included Dawn Southern, Lynn Johnson, Heather Carson, Nancy Darling, Charlene DeAnthe, Drew Petrie, Jane Muskens, Helena Jordo-Zieske, Liz Hamilton, Mark Scorah, Gerry Born, Angie March, Jen Hamilton, Andrew Hamilton, Dave Lovisa, and James Wheeler.

Nygren's contributions earn deserved reward from ASTTBC

nygrenawardRichard Nygren was presented with an Appreciation Award by the Association of Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia for his tireless promotion and dedication to the advancement of Technology and membership with the Association while he was employed at Okanagan College. The presentation was done by Bruce Stevens at the recent Civil Engineering Technology PAC meeting Nov. 24. Richard has always spoken very highly of the Association and helped advance our membership with students of Okanagan College.

Richard has returned to work from retirement for Okanagan College to replace the Civil Engineering Technology Lab Tech who has moved into the Mechanical Lab until a replacement could be hired for that vacancy.

Early arrival a welcome addition

babyhawleyCapping a good week for the English Department, the latest departmental baby, Kate Charlotte Anna Hawley, arrived a surprising four weeks early on November 12, 2010, weighing in at six pounds. She is doing well, and Mum Alix, Dad Mike, and brother Theo are glad to have her here.

On a mission to eradicate polio

Okanagan College's Therapist Assistant Diploma students had a rare opportunity recently to learn more about polio, its devastating effects and the lengths a determined survivor on a mission is willing to go to help eradicate the childhood disease.
A 28-year-old polio survivor, Ramesh Ferris was adopted from India by Canadian parents in 1982. He can walk with the assistance of braces and crutches; however, his legs are not strong enough to propel a conventional bicycle. Instead, he rides using a hand cycle which relies upon his powerful upper body strength to maximize distance and speed.

In 2008, he hand-cycled 7,000 kilometres across Canada to raise awareness of polio and funds for vaccination.

He brought his message to the students just before embarking on another trip to India. You can find out more about Ramesh and his campaign (Cycle to Walk) here.

Cheryl is saying so long to commute

Cheryl Poulsen, the Student Accounts Receivable Clerk, will be leaving the Finance Department and College. Her last day is December 10, 2010. After almost two years of commuting from Vernon, Cheryl will be staying close to home in her new payroll position with KAL Tire’s head office based in Vernon.
Her Finance Department colleagues will miss Cheryl’s smile and wish her all the best in her new job. 

Dec. 7, 2010 Vol. 4 Issue 18


Centre for Learning Atrium being used for exam

A heads-up that on Saturday, Dec. 11, the atrium of the Centre for Learning on the Kelowna Campus will be set up to accommodate exams for Business Admin students from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tables will be set up Dec. 10 and taken away Dec. 13.

College Pension - purchase of service

Did you know that purchasing pensionable service for leaves of absence can increase your future pension benefits?

Beginning in 2011, all College Pension Plan members will have a new 30-day window from termination of employment to purchase service. This change applies to all members, including those who have recommenced employment with a different employer within the 30-day period.

This change is effective January 1, 2011, and does not change the overall deadlines for purchasing service. If you take a leave of absence and wish to purchase service for the leave period, you must apply for the purchase within five years of the end of the leave period or within 30 days of terminating employment with the employer with which the leave occurred, whichever is earlier.

Please refer to the PensionFacts, purchasing leaves of absence on the plan’s website at for more information on purchasing service and how this can increase your future pension benefits.

cookbookCooking from 21 countries

Okanagan College's International Education Department has created an eclectic cookbook that brings together food, friends, language and culture from 21 different countries!

This cookbook will not only engage your palate, but it will speak to your heart as you read and cook these culinary inspirations from Okanagan College’s staff, students, and volunteers. Proceeds from the cookbook will go to an ESL scholarship. The cookbook can be purchased for $25.

If you have any questions, or would like to order a cookbook please contact Tracy Riley at

Cross-country volunteers needed in North Okanagan

Long-time Okanagan College supporter and former Board of Governors vice-chair Jane Lister is hoping to find more volunteers for a world-class cross-country event being held in Vernon at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre from March 3 to 11.

Winter athletes from all over the world will soon be arriving in the North Okanagan, reigniting that Winter Olympics feeling. More than 1,200 cross-country ski racers from over 25 different countries will be participating in a variety of individual and team competitions at the 2011 Sparkling Hill Masters World Cup from March 3rd to 11th. The Sparking Hill Masters World Cup is a World Masters Association (WMA) and FIS sanctioned race.

Lister, wearing the hat of Chief of Volunteers for the event, reports that volunteers are still needed to help with race events - marshals, controllers and officials, stadium and finish line areas - as well as with marketing, sponsorship, awards and ceremonies, food, water and aid stations, host services, information booth, language assistance, security and crowd control. Volunteers may help behind the scenes or up-front, choose from inside or outside tasks, for a few hours, a day or the entire event. More information, including a detailed list of volunteer positions is posted on the Masters World Cup website at and volunteers can sign up online.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Kathryn Neilsen from Culinary Arts in Kelowna who won the Dec. 3 payday draw for $595.

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.


Chung's column becomes a book

globalstanFormer Okanagan College Associate Dean Stan Chung (now a Dean at Camosun) is choosing to launch his new book at his old stomping grounds.

After four years, Global Citizen, the book, is set for release at 1p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 at the Okanagan College Theatre in Kelowna. The book will also be released in Vernon (Dec. 16, 7 p.m.) and Penticton (Dec. 21, 7 p.m.)

"I'm really grateful that the 80,000 people who read this column have made it a highly anticipated release," says Chung. "I am humbled by the impact of the column, the conversation it has generated, the reaction I have received everywhere I go. Even in Victoria, I am recognized for the column."

More details of the release are available at . The Kelowna launch will be have special guests including opening music by Mike Minions. The Editor of the Daily Courier will also be there. Advance reviews from eminent local writers are extremely positive.

Pay it Forward

For the fifth year, Okanagan College staff and students in Kelowna have a chance to Pay it Forward by donating food, clothing and other goods that will be given to the Kelowna Gospel Mission and Inn from the Cold for distribution. Organized by Campus Rec, donations can include:
  • Clean & gently used warm winter clothing for adults and children
  • New socks & underwear
  • Unused toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, brushes, combs)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Unopened baby food & formula
  • Cash donations and store gift certificates in any amount*
Please leave cash and gift certificates with Mike Craig in A105 in the Campus Recreation Office or call at 250-762-5445 local 4754 to arrange drop-off.

Place your non-monetary donations in the gift-wrapped donation boxes at the following locations:
  • Registration Office – S 109
  • Business & Technologies Office – C 245
  • International office
  • Campus Recreation Office – A 105
  • Trades Office – B 120
  • Library
  • Alumni Association office -  E228
  • The Pit – only 9 am – noon on Monday, Dec. 13t
Dec. 16 - The Okanagan College Foundation is hosting a celebratory dinner for Steve Tuck, in recognition of his distinguished service to the Okanagan College Foundation. Steve was the founding President of the Foundation, and retired from the Board at its AGM on November 17.

The event will be held at Infusions on Thursday Dec. 16.  To reserve your seat at this wonderful celebration, please contact Dawn Douglas  local 4774. The cost of dinner is $35 per person.

giftbasketIT Gift Basket Raffle

A $5 contribution will earn you a chance to win a great gift basket being donated by IT Services, worth an estimated $65. The draw will take place on Dec. 17 and all proceeds will go toward the Salvation Army. Tickets can be purchased through the Help Desk.

REMINDERS - If you're the last to leave a classroom or office unattended, remember to close the door behind you and ensure the lights are off. Security and energy savings are important.

ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS - Looking to rent a house, buy a used (barely) Ipod Touch, or advertise some of your wares for sale? Don't forget the community classifieds available to Okanagan College staff on the myOkanagan portal. Just sign in, click on the community tab and go shopping or start selling!


The Regional District of the North Okanagan and Okanagan College have entered into a 40-year lease to use 10 acres of land at the Vernon campus to build a sports complex which would include a running track, an artificial turf field, covered seating and a field house. Find out more about it in Sports complex pitched for college. Richard Rolke from the Morning Star also wrote an article on the subject.  Read his opinions in All need to be on board. Check out the CHBC news coverage of the event.

eVent! spent some time with Audio Engineering and Music Production instructor Bob Gabelhouse at his home where he owns B.i.G Audio Productions, a recording studio. Find out more about music production in Recording the dream.

Okanagan College alumnus John Perrot moved from role as executive director of the Downtown Kelowna Association to West Kelowna as their first business development officer. Read more in Downtown guy headed to West Kelowna.

The Okanagan College Young Liberals have endorsed George Abbott, MLA Shuswap, for the provincial party leadership.  Read more in College students OK with Abbott.

RoboCup, held last Friday at the College, drew more than 120 students to compete in the soccer, obstacle and dance challenges. See some photos and read about the winners in Students stoked for robotic science and Robo ready.

Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 2009 Launi Skinner has been recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network. Read more in Skinner receives award for leadership, Most Powerful, and Summerland-born CEO in exclusive company

The Penticton Auto Dealers Association donated $10,000 to the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies.  Read more in Auto dealers rev up College project.

In his Global Citizen column, former Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs, Stan Chung wrote about life success and self regulation.  Find out more in What 5 and 50 years olds know about success.

SIFE students collected 1,434 pounds of food for local Food Banks during their one-day Halloween food drive, Trick or Eat. Read more about SIFE and this campaign in Community gives generously to Trick or Eat campaign.

Okanagan College employee, Joel Todd, and seven friends took holiday photos for people in need as part of a global movement called Help-Portrait. To find out more and learn about Help-Portrait read Volunteer shutterbugs shooting for the needy.

The Okanagan College Coyotes hockey team has been on the road. Read about their games in OC Coyotes split on Vancouver Island an article that appeared in both the Daily Courier and the Penticton Herald: Coyotes stung by back luck in 1st-place fight with SFU.

Aircraft Maintenance Engineers continue to be in demand and the College’s program sees most students land jobs within three months of graduation. Read more in Aircraft mechanics remain in demand and Lucrative aircraft careers taking off.

After 10 years of service as president of the Okanagan College Foundation, Steve Tuck has retired. Read more about that and his continued support for post-secondary education in Dedicated service to College and an article in the Capital News.

In her School’s In column, Registrar Jane Muskens wrote about the alarming statistics as baby boomers move into retirement and what that means in terms of educating today’s young people.  Read more in Baby boomer retirement stats raise unpleasant numbers.

Seven young job-seekers earned recognition in Revelstoke this week when they completed the Youth Skills Link program that blended five weeks of classroom work with 15 weeks of workplace experience. Read more online.

The Okanagan Short Fiction Contest has launched into its 13th year and award-winning author Annabel Lyon (The Golden Mean) will select the best three stories to be awarded cash prizes in Spring . Read more here . . .

In Revelstoke, there's word that program development is on the mind of Regional Dean Jim Barmby. Read more in Destination Program in works.

Okanagan College's role as partial host to the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championship competition in mid-February is referenced in an online article, Who Will Be Named Canada's Best Chef?


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, Dec. 21, 2010.