Summer ceremony completes Convocation season

gradMore than 350 certificate and diploma students earned credentials at Okanagan College’s Summer Convocation ceremony, which was held on Thursday, June 25. The Summer ceremony also saw Robert Fine, Manager of Economic Development, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, receive the distinction of Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College.

With its season of Convocations now over, Okanagan College bestowed more than 1,300 credentials to students during the past year.

Photos from the June ceremonies, which took place on June 5, 6, 10, 11 and 25, are now available for download online. Graduates and their families can visit: to download a thumbnail size photo or contact Public Affairs through the online form (available on the site) to order a high resolution digital copy. Public Affairs is offering this as a free service to students.

College student earns prestigious Garfield Weston scholarship

Joel Dyck is the second Okanagan College student in as many years to earn the prestigious Garfield Weston Scholarship. Dyck is one of just 25 students from across Canada who were handpicked for the award from more than 700 applicants.

jdyckDyck received the news from staff at Garfield Weston after spending the weekend in Toronto where he went through a rigorous interview process with representatives from the Foundation.

The scholarship is one of Canada’s most lucrative financial awards. Recipients benefit from an $8,000 scholarship, have their tuition paid by their post-secondary institution, receive $4,000 to cover expenses incurred during the previous year and are eligible for $3,500 in summer funding to support the development of research or project work.

Dyck, 34, is partway through Okanagan College’s Trades Technology Teacher Education (TTTE) program. He lives with his family in Kamloops and rents an apartment in Kelowna where he stays during the week to save on the expense of daily commuting. The cost of the additional rent, tuition, and trips home add up and with another year at Okanagan College ahead of him this fall, he knows exactly how he’ll spend the scholarship money.

“Within a few clicks of my mouse this scholarship money will go a long way in helping me with my student debt,” said Dyck. “The funding will also do a lot to offset the costs of the upcoming school year, plus extra trips home to help with the new baby.”

For more information about the scholarship visit: or read the Public Affairs press release.


Sustainability: students, employees, campuses, communities

Connections 2009 will feature a slightly different format from previous years and will incorporate guest speaker Peter Gregg. Gregg’s presentation: Sustaining the Human Spirit – The Culture of Tenacious Optimism in a World under Threat ties in with this year’s theme of sustainability – here’s some insight into his presentation:

Global warming, water scarcity and degradation, exploding populations, world hunger, and other threats all in combination, spell out the challenges of our lifetime. The remedies for these problems are complex, and in most cases, involve the super technologies and knowledge of a new order. But if we forget that it is only through the indomitable Human Spirit that innovation, creativity, and knowledge flow that will result in the inevitable solution to our world’s challenge, then we forget the foundation of all complex evolution and progress. And so we must sustain the Human Spirit as the fountainhead of true innovation in a turbulent world.

Intrigued? Join friends and colleagues on either Wednesday, Aug. 19 or Thursday, Aug. 20. The morning begins with coffee, a presentation by Jim Hamilton at 9:30 a.m., Peter Gregg's guest lecture, followed by a chance to meet your fellows from the Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching. Enjoy a delicious lunch, chose from over a dozen afternoon sessions, and finish the day at a social with entertainment, food and prizes.

Not registered yet? Late registrations are still being accepted – visit: Any questions? Contact Kaya Forest.

Join the President for coffee, cake, and a tour

Staff are invited to join Jim for coffee, shortcake and a tour of the new Centre for Learning in Kelowna on Friday, July 10 from 9:30 - 11 a.m. All staff are encouraged to drop by, especially those from Landmark, who will begin moving into the new building in the next few weeks. The coffee break will take place under the breezeway. To arrange a tour of the Centre for Learning, contact Angie March in the Regional Dean's office.

Okanagan College daycare now accepting applications

daycareThe YMCA/YWCA is currently accepting applications for the Okanagan College daycare, which will open this September. College staff and students are encouraged to follow this link to find out more information about the daycare and how to apply.

College reaches out to students in Ghana

Last week a shipping container left Canada en route to Ghana. Among its contents were 53 Okanagan College computers that will be used in a nursing school in Ghana. The computers were scheduled to be recycled, as they can no longer be used by the College. That was until Jake Block, Manager of Desktop Computers, received an email from John Bosco Bongnea.

Bongnea is a Ghanaian graduate student at UBCO who also coordinates two hospitals, 14 clinics and three health training schools that serve more than 470 students in Ghana. He was able to secure eight computers from UBCO and decided to approach Okanagan College for support. With help from staff in IT Services Jake was able to redistribute 53 keyboards, mice, power cables and computers that were no longer able to function for Okanagan College. The computers will be used for computer labs at the training facilities in Ghana.

Home for Learning projects to celebrate completion

salarmThe Salmon Arm and Revelstoke Home for Learning Residential Construction programs will celebrate milestones in the coming weeks as both projects open their completed homes to the public and media for viewing. The 2009 Salmon Arm project was completed by a team of students that included several members of the Adams Lake Indian Band, who, along with partner School District 83, began the project in March. The open house for the Salmon Arm project will take place on Wednesday, July 8.

Revelstoke’s 2008 Home for Learning project is also now complete and will go on the market shortly. The home was framed by students in the Residential Construction program from 2008. The Revelstoke open house will take place on Wednesday, July 15.

Okanagan College has now worked on 19 projects, which vary from built-green environmentally responsible residences to multi-family non-profit facilities to smaller scale community projects.


In memory of Brett Klein

Okanagan College alumnus Brett Klein was killed in a single motor vehicle accident on June 28. Brett took part in the first Home for Learning project in Kelowna and went on to complete his level two and level three carpentry apprenticeship training at Okanagan College. He was scheduled to return to the College in November for level four.

According to his obituary, Brett is “missed greatly by all who knew him. His creativity, his knowledge & abilities and fun loving randomness made Brett the treasure he was.”
A celebration of Brett's life took place on July 2. Donations in Brett’s memory may be made to the SPCA.

Business alumnus to launch Cosmic Logic

aroberts9About the time he was graduating with a degree from Okanagan College’s School of Business, Andrew Roberts noticed a potentially lucrative opportunity in the online gaming industry and wondered how long it would take for someone to take advantage of it.

Now 28-years-old, Roberts is the CEO and President of Cosmic Logic, an online video game production company that is headquartered at various Tim Horton’s coffee shops in Kelowna - at least, that’s where his staff of 21 meet regularly to catch up on developments and pitch new ideas for games.

Roberts earned his BBA degree in 2006 and worked in a series of unfulfilling jobs. His desire to use his business knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship led him to develop Cosmic Logic, which will release its first products next month. As President of the company, Roberts matches programmers with artists who work together to create two-dimensional video games.

The games will be sold online through Microsoft’s global online platform. For every download, Microsoft will take 30 per cent. The remaining 70 per cent will be split between the programmer, artist and the company. All of Cosmic Logic’s staff currently work on a deferred payment structure. To find out more about Cosmic Logic read the Public Affairs press release.


July 9 – The Kelowna campus will host the Retro Boogie Live Music concert in the courtyard from 6 – 9 p.m. The free event will feature three live bands: Flashback, Teena Ree Gowdy Trio and Calculated Risk. The Retro Boogie Live is presented by Parks Alive.

Aug 19 – 20Connections 2009: Join colleagues on Wednesday, Aug. 19 or Thursday, Aug. 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. Registration is now available online for this year's conference, Sustainability - students, employees, campuses, communities.
July 7, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 6


CS Vernon offers Sustainable Building Advisor course

Continuing Studies in Vernon recently began its first intake of the Sustainable Building Advisor course. The course is designed to prepare graduates to advise employers and clients on strategies and tools to implement sustainable building, which is one of the fastest growing professional fields. Upon completion, students will be eligible to earn the Certified Sustainable Advisor (CSBA) designation. The course began on June 26, but there are a few spaces available. Contact Andrea for more information: 250-503-2671 or visit:

New student fee payment deadline notice

A new student fee payment deadline has been approved by Okanagan College. Information can be found at

Communication to students about the new fee payment includes:

- Inclusion in the registration appointment letters (for non-block registered students)
- Admission letters (from now on)
- Inclusion with their receipt and timetable (for block-registered students)
- A reminder phone call to all returning students in the next few weeks
- A message in myOkanagan
- A quick-link on the home page
- A web page:

For more information, contact Lynn Grahame.

2009-10 Academic Calendar now available

In accordance with its commitment to sustainability, Okanagan College has discontinued the print version of its Academic Calendar. The new 2009-10 Academic Calendar is now available online and has been uploaded to the Okanagan College website at:

Using the online Calendar will allow staff and students to find the most up-to-date information, as changes are occasionally made to the Calendar during the year, as directed by Education Council approvals.

The website also provides a link to the PDF version of the Calendar. Some staff may find it necessary to use a printed copy and can download all or a portion of the Calendar, or order one at:

New Inside OC publication schedule

You can now catch Inside Okanagan College on Tuesday mornings. The change in publication dates begins today and comes as a result of a survey conducted by Public Affairs.

The format of the newsletter will remain the same but submission dates will change slightly.

Please submit articles, news bits and photos to editor Christine Ulmer by the Friday prior to Tuesday’s publication. Information can be sent to Anyone with questions or concerns can also call Christine at local 4412.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Ingrid Carter from the Penticton Campus who has won today's payday draw for $ 480. 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.


The Penticton Herald carried a series of stories about Okanagan College hosting the Penticton Writers and Publishers writing camp for youth. Read about the camp and what Lt.-Gov. Steven Point had to say to some young writers in: Storytellers speak volumes, says Lt-Gov and It just feels write.

The Kelowna Daily Courier reported on comments made by Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair Janet Shaw at the June meeting. Read about the College’s year-end report in: College readies for loss of high school students.

Communications professor Marc Arellano was interviewed on CBC Daybreak North discussing the changes in the local and regional news media. Listen to Marc's insight on online media outlets such as, and the role of the newspaper in today's cultural climate.

A $30,000 donation to the Centre of Excellence in Penticton by the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce made the pages of the Penticton Herald and Penticton Western News. Check it out in: College expansion kick-started and College expansion given a boost.

The Centre of Excellence was also featured in the Penticton Herald after CEI Architecture and Design were named as the new architect for the building. Read more in: College names architect for its expansion

A Public Affairs press release announcing the completion of the Okanagan College Daycare Centre in Kelowna made the pages of the Kelowna Capital News and Daily Courier. Read more in: Y to open daycare at OC campus and College extends child care to staff, students next semester.

Okanagan College’s Olga Osipova was photographed and featured in an article on Osipova will perform at this weekend’s Okanagan Jazz and Blues Festival in Kelowna. Read more about Olga in: Inaugural jazz and blues festival is a picnic in the park.

Okanagan College Fine Arts alumna Julie Elliot was featured in the Lake Country Calendar. Read more about Julie’s exhibit in: New art at municipal hall.

A Public Affairs press release about the recipients of the Thorpe and Friends Scholarship was picked up by the Penticton Herald. Read more in: Award eases burden.

The College’s new service for grads which allows them to download grad pictures for free was covered in the Vernon Morning Star and Daily Courier. Check it out: Okanagan College offers free graduation photos and Grad pictures worth thousands at OC.

OSTEC named its new board of directors and among those on the board is Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President Education. Read the complete list of board members in: New board for OSTEC.

The Okanagan College Board of Governors passed a code of conduct for athletes at its June meeting. Read coverage of the new agreement in: OC athletes must behave themselves and Image before health for OC?

The June Board meeting also included a report from James Coble in which he reported the number of Aboriginal students attending Okanagan College has more than doubled in the past two years. Read more in: More aboriginals attending college.

A letter to the editor of the Daily Courier from a parent of an Okanagan College business student praised the College for its programming and teaching. Read more in: College should market nationally.

The Business Thompson Okanagan published an article about the success of students in the Okanagan School of Business written by Christine Ulmer. Read more in: OC students earn high grades.

The BTO also recognized Distinguished Alumni Award winner Launi Skinner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Young Alumni Award winners Todd and Mark Regier of Prestige Collision, and Okanagan College's new director of International Education, Steven Robinson.

News of Okanagan College’s David Colombe (who recently won the Florida Tomato Committee’s 20th annual Best of the Best Recipe Contest) made the Vernon Morning Star and Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in: Local chef cooks up top prize and Fiery twist to classic soup.

An Okanagan College press release featuring Dean of Trades John Haller made the page of the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Time is right to make an investment in skills training.

The Vernon Morning Star ran an article about the Under One Roof building project Okanagan College’s Residential Construction students are involved in. Read more in: Habitat for Humanity is a helping hand.

Okanagan College apprentices Andrew Goll and James Sawatzky were recognized along with Engineering Technology student Christy Hyde for their achievements at Skills Canada Team B.C. Read comments from Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson in : Academic excellence recognized.

Kelowna Daily Courier journalist Steve MacNaull profiled Penticton student Michael Bertacco in an article about the changing economy and booming post-secondary opportunities. Read more in: Education booms in a recession.

Madelaine magazine ran a feature article about Okanagan College’s Women in Trades Training program. Interviewed in the piece were trades instructor Lindy Monahan and trades administrator Nancy Darling. Read more.

Associate Dean of Arts and Foundational programs Stan Chung published two Global Citizen columns – one on the celebration of music (brought about by the death of Michael Jackson), the other about the complexities of choice and how too many options can be restrictive. Check them out: The glory of the unanticipated note and The burden of choice.

Read Jane Muskens’ School’s In columns: Meeting the future needs of evolving job demands and Easy buck not so easy anymore.


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, July 21, 2009.