Jim Barmby to lead Shuswap-Revelstoke

jimbarmbyOkanagan College will welcome a new Regional Dean to the Shuswap-Revelstoke region in August when James Barmby joins the College’s Leadership Team.

Jim will come to Okanagan College from Thompson Rivers University (TRU), where he is currently Director of Program Delivery of the Open Learning Division. Prior to joining TRU in 2007, Barmby accrued more than 21 years of experience in Alberta’s post-secondary sector.

He will replace Regional Dean Lynda Wilson, who is retiring in August after nearly a decade of dedicated and valued service to Okanagan College.

We’re very fortunate to have Jim join our team,” said Dr. Andrew Hay, Vice President Education at Okanagan College. “He is a very capable individual and will be able to build upon the wonderful legacy that our outgoing dean, Lynda Wilson, has created. While Lynda will be missed, we know that Jim will continue to develop Okanagan College in the Shuswap-Revelstoke region.”

Follow this link to read the full Public Affairs press release.

College names Launi Skinner Distinguished Alumna

launiThe Okanagan College Alumni Association has named Launi Skinner, President and COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? as its 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award winner. Skinner graduated from Okanagan College in 1985 with a Business Administration diploma. Less than a decade later she began a prolific career with Starbucks, during which time she became the most senior woman in the organization, rising to the position of President of Starbucks U.S.

In 2007 Fortune Magazine named her one of its “Four Women to Watch.” With her career climbing steadily and after nearly 15 years with Starbucks, Skinner took command of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? in 2008. As President and COO of the growing organization, she is responsible for the growth of the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? brand in North America and Australia.

“I am deeply honoured the Alumni Association has selected me for this award,” said Skinner. “I am proud of my association with Okanagan College and credit the valuable education and great community culture I experienced there with many of the successes I’ve enjoyed in my career.”

She will be honoured by the OCAA alongside the 2009 Young Alumni Award winner at a dinner reception in October. Follow this link to read the full press release.

SIFE Okanagan earns its stripes at National competition

Okanagan College’s award-winning SIFE Okanagan business team lived up to its growing reputation, placing third in three categories at the National competition. The team won its rights to participate in the Canada-wide event after sweeping the regional competition with a series of first-place finishes last month.

The SIFE Okanagan National Team advanced to the finals as part of the “fabulous five” after an impressive first-place win in semi-final round of presentations. The team of Mike Blonde (President, Kelowna, 4th year), Melissa Veregin (Kelowna, 1st year), Wesley Wright (Kelowna, 4th year), Rob Fulthorpe (Vernon, 4th year), Brittany Sjoblom (Vernon, 3rd year) and Brant Jackson (Vernon, 1st year) finished third overall behind Memorial University (current reigning World Champions), and powerhouse Ryerson University (a 100+ member team with a 17-year history).

Three seemed to be the magic number for SIFE Okanagan. The Financial Literacy team consisting of Mark Wilms (Kelowna, 4th year), Wesley Wright (Kelowna, 4th year), Mitch Yrola (Kelowna, 3rd year) and Jill Konduc (Kelowna, 1st year) also came third in the country, behind Ryerson and Memorial.

SIFE Okanagan’s Sustainability team, consisting of Justin Sharma (Vernon, 4th year), Matt Cosar (Kelowna, 2nd year), Sattu Dhaliwal (Kelowna, 2nd year) and Kevin Slater (Kelowna 3rd year), also placed third in the country, behind University of Calgary and Ryerson University.

The Entrepreneurship team consisting of Deepak Garcha (Kelowna, 3rd year), Travis Fleming (Kelowna, 3rd year), Adam LePage (Kelowna, 4th year) and Bryan Fast (Kelowna, 4th year) again delivered a great performance on their projects. At this time, we are awaiting news of their final placement in the country, knowing they placed in the top 6 of the country.

Sustainability Team kicks into action

shorttermplanWith just three months under its belt, the Okanagan College Sustainability Team  has accomplished the two major tasks set out for them: to recommend an action list of short-term changes to make the college more environmentally-friendly, and to recommend an administrative structure for sustainability. Both these recommendations documents have been submitted to the President’s Office.

The Sustainability Team’s first set of recommendations, its Short-term Action Plan for Sustainable Change, included 67 low-cost, easy-to-implement actions in the areas of transportation, community, wellness, purchasing, grounds, buildings, waste, dining, learning and administration. These recommendations will be presented to the Okanagan College Board of Governors on May 19.

If you would like to know more about the Sustainability Team’s work, and to keep up-to-date on which recommendations are approved, visit:

Introducing Okanagan College's Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching Fellows

This spring College employees nominated and selected their peers to be the founding Fellows of the Institute for Leadership in Learning and Teaching. The following Fellows represent two staff groups, two liaisons, and nine instructional areas:

1. Staff 1—Margaret Evans
2. Staff 2—Patricia Toma
3. ABE and ASE—Court Ashbaugh
4. Arts—Terry Scarborough
5. Business, ABT, Commercial Aviation—Kerry Rempel
6. Continuing Studies—Dini Steyn
7. Health and Social Development—Brett Wade
8. International and ESL—Paul Stephenson
9. Science—Carl Doige
10. Technologies—Nolan Fretz
11. Trades and Apprenticeship—Jim Gamble
Library liaison: Jennifer Sigalet
Technology liaison: Mike Minions
Director: Stan Chung
Coordinator: to be posted soon

“Congratulations to our new Fellows,” said President Jim Hamilton. "The leadership these individuals provide to Okanagan College is greatly appreciated and I know everyone will benefit from their expertise".

“The Founding Fellows will be meeting this spring to further develop the Institute and explore ways to enhance learning and teaching throughout Okanagan College,” added Andrew Hay, Vice President Education. "It is very encouraging to see the level of engagement, and we are very pleased to see this initiative off to a great start."

The Institute is a peer-driven project that remains one of the most innovative projects in the province.

Aboriginal Gathering Place takes shape

gatheringSalmon Arm’s newest building addition is nearing completion as work continues on the campus’s Aboriginal Gathering Place. The centre is on schedule to be complete this summer and will be a student, campus, and community resource. Stay tuned to Inside Okanagan College for further developments in the building process.

Kelowna Child Care Centre nearing completion

The final touches are now being completed on the Kelowna Child Care Centre. Staff or students interested in placing their children in the centre for September should contact the YMCA/YWCA as soon as possible as spaces are now being booked.

There are spaces for children eight weeks to six years of age in the Centre. Thanks to the generous support of Urban Systems ltd the landscaping design plans and work will be completed over the next two years. Team construction is also providing support for the landscaping. The Child Care Centre is an important part of the college’s green initiative and will use the same geothermal heating systems as the Centre for Learning and has solar panels.

College to launch new Aboriginal student recruitment resource

A cutting-edge online recruitment tool will be launched by Okanagan College on Monday, May 11 at noon in the Kelowna campus Lecture Theatre. Join staff and students as they utilize the web to navigate a day in the life of a student at Okanagan College, finding out information about programs, admissions, financial aid and more. You won’t want to miss guest appearances by staff such as Jake Kennedy, Cam McRobb  and Rick Goulden. Popcorn and candy will be served at the premiere!


Kyleen Myrah honoured with national award

kyleenOkanagan School of Business professor Dr. Kyleen Myrah was honoured at the National SIFE business competition with the 2009 John Dobson ACE Fellow of the Year award, which recognizes the top Faculty Advisor of the year, as nominated by the students.

“This is an incredible privilege to receive this award and I share it with my colleague Garth Maguire, the administration at Okanagan College and the wonderful students I get to work with every day which makes my job so rewarding,” said Myrah.

Kyleen is just one of the many Okanagan College educators who devotes a great deal of personal time to supporting students who represent the College on competition teams across the country. 

Jacobs’ The Retreat excels at literary finals

timjacobsDr. Tim Jacobs’ short story The Retreat was listed as a finalist with honorable mention in the American creative writing review Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction competition. The Retreat was reviewed and ranked among the top five per cent among more than 1,000 entries.

President’s dinner honours student competitors

competitionPresident Jim Hamilton celebrated the achievements of an exclusive group of Okanagan College students, each of whom represented the institution at a competition this year, at the 2009 President’s Dinner for Competition Excellence. The group included individuals and teams of students from a variety of programs including business, trades, and technologies.

Karma Lacoff to continue in Public Affairs role

karmaOkanagan College welcomes Karma Lacoff to the department of Public Affairs on a full-time continuing basis as the Recruitment, Publishing and Events Assistant. Karma is an alumna of Simon Fraser University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural anthropology. She has prior professional experience in the field of post-secondary, having worked for student development and programming at SFU as well as experience as an orientation coordinator at Grant McEwan College in Edmonton. Karma is a music lover, cyclist and outdoors girl.

Arellano to showcase photo exhibit

arellanoCommunications professor Marc Arellano will have a photo exhibit in the Alternator Gallery in Kelowna beginning May 12. The exhibit is based on photos from single-use cameras that Marc distributed to Mexican migrant workers who documented their lives while working in the Okanagan during the 2008 fruit-picking season.

In the summer of 2007, letters to the editor of the Capital News framed the emerging community of Mexican migrant workers as a threat to the safety of Kelowna residents.

Marc’s project seeks to provide an opportunity for this group of workers to re-frame their own identity through the images they themselves have participated in creating.

Celebrate Howie Richardson's retirement

Please join your colleagues on Saturday, June 20 at 4:30 p.m. for a retirement party in honour of Howie Richardson as he retires from Biology at the Penticton campus. The celebration will take place at Sharon Mansiere’s house (250-494-4280), 4416 William’s Avenue Summerland, B.C. Please RSVP (and send photos) by June 8 to or call 250-494-4280. 

George and Gracie get jumpstart on Green Building

osprey2Staff at the College’s Penticton campus have been watching a dramatic series of events unfold on campus as George and Gracie, a pair of Osprey, play out their courtship live on the newly installed osprey pole near the southeast corner of the campus.

George arrived on campus a few weeks ago. After a couple of days of unending serenades, two females were drawn in by his obvious talent. A few twigs were procured, a few fish consumed. Just when it appeared that George was one lucky bird, both females disappeared last week, leaving George still singing his heart out, a little more lonely this time, in the penthouse suite.
Then a few days ago, both George and Gracie could be seen settling into their home on the pole. It would seem these two may be pairing up for a try. Osprey mate of life, and while these two look like a rather young pair, let’s hope they’ve chosen well! Stay tuned to Inside OC – if all goes well, we’ll keep reporting on their progress through the spring. Contact Kaya for any additional information.

ECE student honoured for excellence


Graduating Early Childhood Education Diploma student Katherine Wilson was recently presented with the KLARC Award for Exemplary Practice as a Special Needs Early Childhood Educator by Kiwanis representative Chris Thatcher. Congratulations to Katherine.

Fourth-year Cabinetmaking students showcase final projects

joinerySixteen Okanagan College fourth-year Cabinetmaking/Joinery apprentices presented their final projects to staff this week. The class is the first group to complete the program at the fourth-year level. As part of the curriculum, apprentices are tasked with creating their own project, which must be a freestanding piece of furniture.

Students create the concept, engineering, design, layout, drafting and actual construction and finishing. The projects are required, through a set of guidelines, to incorporate some complex technique and materials. They combine solid wood joinery techniques with hand laying domestic and exotic veneers in complicated geometric patterns. Projects included curved panels and structures in every piece. Contact instructor Tim Diebert for more information.

ECE students take learning outside of the classroom

ecegroupTwo classes of Early Childhood Education diploma students, one from Kelowna, the other from Salmon Arm, met in Vernon last month taking their knowledge and training outside of the classroom.

The group enjoyed lunch in Vernon’s Polson Park before engaging in educational activities involving planning events for young children in public venues, such as the park.

May 8, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 2


Bike to Work Week

bike2Monday, May 11 – Friday, May 15 is Bike to Work Week in Kelowna. Okanagan College has formed the Okanagan College Wheelers, a team of approximately 40 staff who have committed to riding their bikes to work. The Wheelers will compete against other workplace teams for the greatest number of kilometres ridden and percentage of employees participating. Team members only need to ride one day next week to be part of the team.

If you would like to join, please send Paul Stephenson an email. For information on prizes, gifts and free breakfast food available every day please go to The Wheelers will be taking a team picture on Wednesday, May 13 at 9 a.m. at the outdoor entrance closest to the KLO Bookstore.

Financial Aid and Awards Update

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award. Full award criteria and the application  form can be found in My Okanagan under "OC Express -  Forms" and "Foundation."
All applications must be date-stamped at the Welcome Centre in Kelowna or the Campus Administration office at your campus by May 22, 2009. This round of applications is for programs starting between May 1 and August 31. 

Please direct any questions about the Okanagan College Family Award to the Kelowna Campus Financial Aid & Awards Office at 250-862-5419.

Donate your Bicycle for Humanity

Join Keith Germaine in Kelowna on Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. to gather donated bikes for Bicycles for Humanity. The charity event will take place at St. Charles Garnier Church on Benvoulin Road (next to Father Pandosy in the Mission). Volunteers are asking for adult-sized mountain bikes or road bikes in good working condition. The bikes will be shipped to Africa in a large container and distributed to people in need of reliable transportation. The event will also feature a silent auction and cash donations will also be accepted to help cover the cost of shipping. Contact Keith Germaine to donate.

Connections 2009

Sustainability - students, employeees, campuses, communities

Look for your chance to register for Connections 2009 in the coming weeks! Mark your calendars to attend one day: Wednesday, August 19 or Thursday, August 20. Join colleagues and friends to reflect on the past year's successes and get inspired for a new year. There is still time to provide any ideas, comments, or suggestions on what you would like to see at this year's event. Contact Kaya Forest.

What’s  IT up to this summer?

Ever wonder what IT Services does during the summer months? The following is a partial list of the many things the IT department plans to accomplish this summer - for a more complete list, follow this link.

•    Recall and replace 100 laptops that are coming off lease
•    Install 180 desktops in labs throughout the Valley; the in-house development of new systems for managing and maintaining PC configurations and software tracking will significantly streamline these installations
•    In July - begin hiring IT Services Monitors for the fall
•    Install the Landmark and St. Paul computers, as well as moving many other labs, International Education and Faculty offices, into the new Centre for Learning
•    Move into the new Ed Tech Centre space in the Centre for Learning
•    The main floor of the Library where the current IT KLO space is located will be renovated over the summer; Help Desk will be moved to open into the atrium
•    Decommission the portables on the KLO Road campus and move one of them to the Penticton Campus
•    Move the Penticton portables in preparation for their recently announced building projects
•    Install voice and data wiring in the new Aboriginal Centre in Salmon Arm
•    Complete 70 Audio Visual installs including 22 classrooms and 10 meeting rooms in the Centre for Learning

Facilities Management Reminder

Facilities Management in Kelowna is currently busy with a number of large projects including: preparing to move employees into the new Centre for Learning, new salto system keycard system, convocation setups, and more. In order to ensure a high level of service, Facilities reminds staff to utilize the online forms.

All work orders, event setups, amd furniture moves, are to be requested via the new facilities service request form in My Okanagan. Any updates or changes, email Linda Crosbie.

All key requests, external room bookings can be requested via online forms or by email to Lois Harrold. All internal room bookings, proximity cards, security codes can be sent via online forms or by emailing Kathy McLean.

Any health and safety issues, can be sent to Charmaine Eby via email in Catherine Williams’ absence.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Kal Klasen from Trades and Apprenticeship in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $492.50. 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.

Convocation and Commencement update

Public Affairs is putting out a call for volunteers to help with upcoming Convocation and Commencement ceremonies in Kelowna on June 5 and 6. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Karma Lacoff at ext. 4657.

Hot on the heels of Okanagan College’s success at the BC Skills Canada competition, John Haller and Jamie Bloomfield were interviewed by AM 1150 about the College’s success and the demand for skilled tradespeople. Listen to the full interview here.

Penticton Western News reporter Kathy Michaels travelled to Toronto to cover SIFE Okanagan’s participation in the National Competition. Check out a series of articles about the team and their success on the Western’s website or read: Business students take on the nation.

Distinguished Alumni Award winner Launi Skinner was profiled in the Kelowna Capital News after a Public Affairs press release was picked up by the paper. Read more in: 1-800-GOT-JUNK? president gets award from alma mater.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah's social entrepreneurship students received coverage in Snap Magazine for their participation in the arts festival project. Follow this link to check it out.

The success of Okanagan College’s business team at the Intercollegiate Business Strategy Competition was covered by the Vernon Morning Star an Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Business students haul in awards and Students clean up at business competition.

A Public Affairs press release about the success of seven Okanagan College students at the BC Skills Canada competition was picked up by the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Trades students best in B.C.

News of Okanagan College’s new Dean of Science, Technology and Health, Dianne Crisp, made the pages of the Vernon Morning Star: College names dean and Maxine Dehart’s column.

Okanagan College’s baseball team coverage included: OC hosts top baseball team, OC needs to win or others to lose to advance, OC close to clinching on eve of twinbill, Two up, two down for OC, OC splits pair, stays first, OC looks to bounce out of four-game losing streak. Check out their latest results at:

Up and down the Valley politicians and community members have been talking about Okanagan College’s plans for the Centre for Excellence in Green Technology. Read more in: All set to get down to business, Put to the test, Forum draws crowd before residents head for polls and Green Party leader plans Penticton stop on Sunday.

Check out Stan Chung’s Global Citizen column: Cariboo town offers world of adventure for young Stan. 

Okanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant was featured as the Restaurant of the Week in eVent magazine. Read more in: What Infusions is all about.

The Kelowna Capital News ran a brief about Norm Letnick’s contribution to the Gala of Hope. Read more in: Cancer society honours four.

Okanagan College was mentioned in an article announcing the Aboriginal Career Fair, which was held at UBC Okanagan on Thursday, May 7. Read more about the partnership in: Aboriginal Career Fair hosted by UBC Okanagan.

The College was recognized for their contribution to the Upper Room Mission, a poverty reduction organization in Vernon. Read more in: Program leads to computer literacy.

Political Science professor Ayla Kilic was quoted in two Kelowna newspapers endorsing the BC-STV system. Read more in: University profs will back STV system and 2 Valley professors back electoral reform.

Okanagan College applicant Andy Frey was photographed in the Kelowna Capital News discussing post-secondary education issues with Westside-Kelowna NDP candidate Tish Lakes.

Vernon business, Tasty Tea ‘N’ Things, was profiled in the Vernon Morning Star. The local business is benefiting from assistance from Okanagan College’s SIFE Okanagan team. Read more in: Relaxation on tap at tea shop.

The Vernon Morning Star ran a profile of fur artist Stefan VanHumbeck and his paintings. VanHumbeck is an Okanagan College alumnus. Read more in: Fur artist creates with license to have fun.

Public Affairs’ Jane Muskens wrote her weekly columns about opportunities to return to school and post-secondary education in Europe. Check them out: Study options to see if you can return to school and European countries unify behind Bologna process.


May 16 - Bicycles for Humanity will be collecting adult road bikes, mountain bikes, tires, tubes and other bicycle parts on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Charles Garnier Parish (3645 Benvoulin Road, Kelowna). Collected bicycles will be transported to Africa, where they will provide reliable transportation for people in developing countries. Find out more at:

May 21 - The Okanagan College Foundation and partner Whillis Harding Agencies will host their 18th annual charity golf tournament at the Okanagan Golf Club. The event raises funds that contribute to financial aid and awards for Okanagan College students. Participation in the tournament costs $195 per golfer before Thursday April 9, after which the entry fee becomes $215 per golfer. To find out more about the tournament, or to register, go online.

May 21 – Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus will host the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event from 5 – 7 p.m. in the courtyard green space (formerly reflecting pond). Food will be provided by the Okanagan College Culinary Arts program, with refreshments from Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Tree Brewing. Other sponsors of the event include SW Audio Visual, and Okanagan College Trades and Apprenticeship.

June 3 - Michaelbrook Golf Club will be the place for the Okanagan College Kelowna Women’s Golf Tournament. Interested golfers can put together a team of four and contact Angie March to register. This year's format is slightly different - you can sign up as a single, twosome or foursome. Friends and relatives are welcome to join. The registration fee of $35 includes golf and dinner and prizes. Registration forms are now available in the Regional Dean's office in Kelowna.


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 Friday, May 22, 2009.