Enactus Okanagan College eats up national challenge 

EnactusOC Campbell win 2013For the fourth year in a row, Enactus Okanagan College has won the top spot at the Enactus National Exposition and has been crowned the country’s 2013 Help Hunger Disappear champion.
The Okanagan College team is the only Enactus team in Canada to have won the challenge since it was created four years ago with support from Campbell Company of Canada.
The team was presented with its award last night in Toronto, where our students are vying for three additional national awards in the areas of the Entrepreneurship Challenge, EcoLiving Green Challenge, and as the overall National team.
“The Enactus Okanagan College team stood out again this year for their continued teamwork and commitment to lasting hunger solutions in their community,” said Mark Childs, Vice President of Marketing, Campbell Company of Canada. “Their boundless energy, passion and creativity continue to impress – they are truly role models for us all.”
In total, 16 Okanagan College students are competing at the National Exposition. National Presentation Team: Drew Vincent (Captain), Adrienne Renaud, Thomas Arrowsmith, Danielle Hofer, Paven Sekhon, Karen Vandergaag, and Bill Wang; TD Entrepreneurship Challenge: Molly Ciardullo (Captain), Scott Harvey, Kayleigh Zinger, and Lacey Cross; Scotiabank EcoLiving Green Challenge: Christi Hopkins, Cassandra Lum, Glen Larkin, Trina Carroll, and Dillon Brown.

To read the full media release, click here.

Tantalize your taste buds this weekend

cheesyA marriage of savoury with sweet will be ready for the tasting at Okanagan College May 10 when Culinary Arts students put on The Cheesiest Sweet & Savoury Competition as part of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.

The unique event takes place at Infusions Restaurant at the Kelowna campus, starting at 7 p.m., and features exquisite food paired with wines from Calona Vineyard, Hester Creek, Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery. Select cheeses include those from local purveyors Poplar Grove Cheese in Naramata, and The Village Cheese Company in Armstrong.

Tickets for the event are $40 and available through the College by calling 250-762-5445, ext. 4426. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Okanagan College cafeteria, located on campus at 1000 KLO Road, between 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

To read more about the event, including the food, read the full media release.

Anonymous donor has departments seeing gold

MechEng donation Professors of two Okanagan College departments had their financial wishes come true recently when an anonymous donor came forward with a $149,500 contribution to the Okanagan College Foundation.

“We were just sitting here wishing a pot of gold would come down from the sky, and then it did,” said Mechanical Engineering Technology department chair Reg Marte. “We don’t know what we would have done without this.”

Professor Nadir Ould-Khessal teaches the Robotics program and said the donation means students will now be working in a state-of the-art lab.

Funds also went to purchase a new shear, an expensive piece of equipment used daily in the Welding department to cut metal.

To read the full media release, click here.

Golf tourney swings into action for trades

Foundation golf 2013The Okanagan College Foundation/Western Financial Group Annual Charity Golf Tournament takes place Thursday, May 23 at the Bear and Quail courses of the Okanagan Golf Club.

This year’s tournament gives players a chance to not only hit the green, but also improve their score when it comes to trades knowledge. The Collision Repair Department is setting up their paint simulation booth for a contest, and there will be delicious food prepared by the Culinary Arts department.

“With the $33-million expansion and renovation of the trades training facilities at the Kelowna campus, we thought it made sense to bring the trades to the green this year,” said Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation.

Now in its 22nd year, the tournament has raised more than $250,000 for scholarships, bursaries and program support.

To register for this year's event, click here.

Employee Excellence Awards

Rick Appleby 2013A host of exceptional employees at Okanagan College were honoured with a series of awards at this year’s Okanagan College Employee Excellence Awards held May 1 at the Kelowna campus.

Among the recipients was Okanagan School of Business professor Rick Appleby, who received the 2013 President’s Award – an award granted at the discretion of President Jim Hamilton.

“Rick has been an integral part of the Okanagan School of Business and has left an indelible mark on his colleagues and the thousands of students who have had the opportunity to learn from him,” Hamilton said.

Since joining the College in 1987, Appleby has distinguished himself in numerous roles including developing and hosting the Western Canadian International Business Competition and co-authoring Canada’s leading textbook for first-year marketing students, and his tremendous passion for coaching students in business competitions, which has led to repeated success.

Employee Excellence 2013 finalistsOther award recipients were:
Strong Start - Ema Pecheanu
Scholarly Activity – Ryan Ransom
Service Excellence Group – Nathan Bartlett and Kevin Trotzuk
Service Excellence Individual – Allan Hickey
Innovation – Brad Piontek and Tracy Riley
Leadership – Marilyn Raymond
Key Directions – Graham Kershaw, Jane Lister and Ann Marie McKinnon
Teaching Excellence - Chantale Hutchinson, Sheilagh Seaton and Laura Thurnheer
Career Achievement - Rick Gee

To read details on each of the recipients, and all the other finalists, click here.

Students construct new future for owls in the South Okanagan

ResCon for Sorco owlsInjured birds of prey in the South Okanagan now have a new place to receive critical care thanks to students enrolled in two Okanagan College programs.

Nine students enrolled in the Penticton Residential Construction program, plus 10 students from the Plumbing and Piping program, built a 1,500-square foot structure for the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls, based near Oliver.

The new building will provide room to care for raptors in one of six stainless steel cages, and provides four flight pens for the birds to start their rehabilitation.

“This has been an incredible experience,” said SORCO volunteer and building committee member Dale Belvedere, noting it’s a significant addition to their original care facility – a cramped and noisy 250-square foot room. “We were amazed at what they were able to do and the work is just perfect.”

To read the full media release, click here.

Budding entrepreneurs winners at Penticton campus

YE Competition Enactus Okanagan College hosted the Windward Software Young Entrepreneurs Program finals competition at the Penticton Campus on April 28 with participants from McNicoll Park Middle School, Skaha Lake Middle School and Penticton High School competing.

"The Windward Software Young Entrepreneurs Program empowers middle and high school students to experience entrepreneurship and recognize its potential as a viable career path,” said Ryan Lancaster, Vice-President of Enactus Okanagan College.

The winners were:
High School: first place - Ogopogo Puffs (Tanner Johnson & Anton Grabreck), second place - Paws and Claws (Elizabeth Anderson)
, third place -  MVC (Mountain Valley Computers) Garrett Shannon
, Entrepreneurial Spirit - Evercool (Jared Harris & Brady Roguski).

Middle School: first place - Looper (Brooke Vennard & Ashley Patton), second place - X-Press Yourself (Lia Ciacone & Sydney Olexa), third place - Kids Matter (Oakley Pankratz, Desmond Hazel & Liam Brown)


The event was sponsored by Winward Software, along with Community Futures and BMO Canada.
This year the program is offering an Okanagan wide Summer Challenge to give young entrepreneurs the encouragement and support they need to continue to grow and develop their ideas into viable local businesses. More information about the program is available through the Enactus Okanagan College website.


College appoints new Director, International Education

Boris RusselOkanagan College will be welcoming a new face to its leadership team effective July 2 when Russel Boris arrives from Medicine Hat to take on the role of Director, International Education.

Boris has worked in the International Education department of Medicine Hat College for more than 16 years, most recently as its Director. During his time there he led the creation and growth of the international division which now accounts for approximately 15 per cent of the college’s overall student population.

“The experience Russel will bring to our College will be essential in furthering our goals and in meeting the needs of our students and community,” said Charlotte Kushner, Vice President, Students.

Aboriginal book club features Richard Wagamese

WagameseEmployees at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus were among those who got to enjoy an exclusive evening with celebrated author Richard Wagamese recently.

Wagamese, author of Indian Horse which was championed on Canada Reads, was in Penticton to speak about his work to the newly created Aboriginal Book and Video Club, a School District 67 initiative. This first event was held at the Demonstration Lab at the Penticton campus.

“We decided to start this club to help raise the level of understanding about Aboriginal people, culture and issues amongst the staff in our district,” said organizer Anne Tenning, Vice Principal of Aboriginal Education for the school district.

May 7, 2013 Vol. 8 Issue 3


Vote on campus May 8 and 9

Employees at the Kelowna campus can mark their ballots at a special polling station open May 8 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning.

Voters will need their yellow Where to Vote card and a piece of government-issue ID that shows voter’s name, address and photo. Employees can vote here even if the campus is not located in the voter's electoral district.

Family Award deadline May 17

Applications are now being accepted for the Okanagan College Family Award for programs or terms starting between May 1 and August 31, 2013. This award is designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees.

To apply, review the full award criteria and the application form. For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419.

Learn value of collaboration

The Institute of Learning and Teaching has released its latest newsletter, this time focusing on the impact of peer collaboration and sharing resources.

To read numerous articles on the topic, including valuable references and resources, click here.

Fresh Outlook Foundation seeks presenters

Building Sustainable Communities logoFresh Outlook Foundation is looking for presenters and issue experts from the academic sector to take part in its sixth annual Building SustainABLE Communities conference on issues that will help stimulate meaningful and productive dialogue around social, cultural, environmental, and economic issues, challenges, and opportunities.

Presenters and issue experts will receive reduced registration, plus free half-day registrations for students who would like to attend. Last year’s event drew 600 delegates from the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors operating in more than 80 communities.

For more information, contact Joanne de Vries at 250-766-1777 or send an email to

Athletic news

Spring hours for fitness centres
Fitness centres at both the Penticton and Kelowna campuses are now operating on spring hours.

The Penticton Campus Fitness Centre is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, while the Kelowna facility is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Hours are effective through to Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Reminder: Move for Health May 16
Grab your walking (or running) shoes and take part in a three-km walk plus free lunch as part of Move for Health Day at the Kelowna campus. Meet at 11:30 a.m. in the Courtyard. To take part, sign up at the Athletics and Recreation office, Room A105, by May 9.

Express Activity Challenge starts May 22
Join the Athletics & Rec dynamic trio at the Kelowna campus for an express 30-minute workout. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring a water bottle, and meet at 12:15 p.m. in the courtyard for a quick on-site workout, prepare to head for nearby parks and trails. The challenge runs from May 22 through to June 24, with draw prizes awarded. Sign up at the Athletics & Rec office in Room A105.

More body talk
Wondering what else to do this summer on campus and around the community? Check out the Spring/Summer Athletics & Recreation guide.


May 10 – The Culinary Arts department puts on The Cheesiest Sweet & Savoury Competition as part of the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival from 7 – 9:30 p.m. at Infusions Restaurant at the Kelowna campus. Tickets are $40 and available through the College by calling 250-762-5445, ext. 4426. To read the full media release, click here.

May 17 – Students in the Studio Woodworking program put on their annual exhibition Knotty by Nature, this year at the Kelowna campus, Room E202, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 23 – The 22nd Annual Okanagan College Foundation / Western Financial Group Charity Golf Tournament takes place in Kelowna to raise funds for scholarships and bursaries. To register, visit

May 28 – The Vernon donor luncheon is being held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Vernon campus.


Okanagan College’s new Sustainable Construction Management Technology course was highlighted in a letter to the editor of the Penticton Western news. Read: Okanagan College making impact in Penticton. The same letter also appeared in the Penticton Herald. Read: College doing some great things.

Registrar Jane Muskens was interviewed for an article in a special Focus supplement on post-secondary education. Read: Okanagan College establishes its identity. The supplement also featured an article on the College’s role in job training. Read: Connecting job skills to jobs.

A new agreement with the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program received coverage in the Capital News. Read: Mapping out new opportunities for students to get in-the-field learning.

Sixteen Okanagan College students are on their way to the Enactus Canada National Exposition. Read: Enactus business students up for the challenge, from the Capital News.

The Okanagan College Mechanical Engineering Technology and Welding departments got what they wished for thanks to a recent donation. Read: Anonymous donor comes through for OK college, in Okanagan Saturday.

Robert McGowan has joined the Okanagan College Board of Governors. Read: Robert McGowan, in the Business Examiner.

Used goods can be had for a good price at Okanagan College. Read: Trunk sale set for May 25 in Kelowna.

Registrar Jane Muskens wrote about the uphill struggle to encourage financially struggling students to enter college. Read: Just the right pressure needed to get students into college, from her column in the Capital News.

The Okanagan College Coyotes are forging ahead in their season. Read: Coyotes in Kamloops for CCBC playoffs and OC Coyotes road warriors (both in the Capital News), and Coyotes eager to return to the Elks, from the Courier.

An article about English professor Jason Dewinetz’s recent award appeared in Okanagan Life magazine. Read: Reprint of historic text wins book design award.

Letters are still coming in regarding the final results of the referendum on the Vernon sports facility. Read: Sports Facility, and Voter apathy is discouraging, both from the Morning Star.

School District #83 is looking for new options for the former J.L. Jackson property, which was up for consideration as a possible site for a downtown College campus. Read: Jackson site on the market, from the Salmon Arm Observer.

Election issues affecting college students got an airing at Okanagan College. Read: College students get their forum too, from Okanagan Saturday. The forum also received coverage from the Capital News. Read: College students grill candidates on post-secondary education.

Liberal candidate Norm Letnick, on leave from his position as business professor at Okanagan College, was profiled in the Courier. Read: Letnick’s passion still burns.

The annual Songwriters’ workshop held at the George Ryga Centre has been cancelled, now that the house has been put up for sale. Okanagan College regularly honours the historic B.C. playwright each year with the George Ryga Awards. Read: Songwriters’ workshop cancelled for this year.

Olympic skier, and former Okanagan College student Kelsey Serwa worked out with youngsters at a fundraiser recently. Read: Kicking it with Kelsey, from the Courier.

The buzz is starting to stir for an adult spelling bee, which ended last year with an Okanagan College team claiming the top prize. Read: Skilled spellers sought for bee, in the Morning Star.

Retired Business Administration instructor Ron Spence spent some time in Guatemala recently. Read: Herald on Holidays, in the Penticton Herald.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer.

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The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.