M’m! M’m! Good!

SIFE-Okanagan---Let's-Can-HungerSIFE Okanagan has done it again. The team has been recognized by ACE Canada as the 2012 Let's Can Hunger champions at the national SIFE competition in Calgary.

The team is in Calgary this week and will vie for first place in Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, the Green Challenge and as the overall top team in Canada in the National competition. Stay tuned to College Matters for up-to-date results from the competition as they break.
"The SIFE Okanagan College team stood out because of their creativity and the impact of their projects,” said Mark Childs, Vice President of Marketing, Campbell Canada, in making the announcement at the 2012 ACE National Exposition underway in Calgary.
The team successfully implemented twenty projects, which served to raise awareness about hunger, collect over 47,000 pounds of food for the local food bank and charities, while transferring skills and knowledge to over one thousand individuals caught in the cycle of hunger.
The team also implemented a marketing campaign on campus, partnered with organizations including Kelowna Rotary, Kelowna Food Bank, and the Salvation Army, and took their skills to local classrooms where they taught students about budgeting and nutrition. To support local farmers, the team also supported eighteen local farmers by finding new ways of getting their produce to market.
“The SIFE Okanagan team was recognized for their innovative solutions for hunger in their community, raising donations and awareness for this important cause,” said Amy Harder, President, ACE. “These students are shining light on how easy it can be to make a relevant impact and provide hunger relief in communities across Canada.”

Okanagan College celebrates its own


Employee Award rick and dave 
Richard Montagnon (left) and David Sandberg (third from left) were among the winners of the awards.
Okanagan College took time to honour its own employees for their exceptional work serving students, and the community at large at the inaugural Okanagan College Employee Excellence Award ceremony earlier this month.

Employees from throughout the College region, and from areas as diverse as teaching to maintenance, received the awards at a ceremony held at the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus.

The employees were selected from among 23 finalists. Two selection committees comprised of nine representatives from various employee groups assisted in reviewing the nominee packages for each of the finalists.

The award winners were as follows:

President's Award
Kyleen Myrah


Donna Lomas – Regional Dean, South Okanagan-Similkameen

Scholarly Activity
Frances Greenslade – Professor, English, Penticton

Teaching Excellence
Carl Doige – Professor, Chemistry, Vernon
Geoffrey Couper – Instructor, Culinary Arts, Kelowna
Melissa Munn – Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Salmon Arm

Michael Orwick – Professor, Okanagan School of Business, Kelowna

Key Directions
Surandar Dasanjh – Library Staff, Penticton

Service Excellence – Group
Richard Montagnon and David Sandberg
Facilities Management, Kelowna

Service Excellence – Individual
Michael Minions – Educational Technology, Kelowna

Strong Start
Yvonne Moritz – Dean of Science, Technology and Health, Kelowna

In total, 23 College employees were selected as finalists for the inaugural celebration. Finalists were selected from a list of nominees, and their packages were evaluated by two selection committees comprised of nine representatives from various employee groups.

Board approves budget 2012-13

The Okanagan College Board of Governors approved its budget for the coming year. The budget addressed a $2.26-million shortfall and included an increase in fees, cuts in services and opportunities for revenue generation.

In making the announcement, College board chair Lance Kayfish noted that it was a "very challenging" decision and significantly, none of the College's programs will be cut.

More information is available in the College's media release.

The news drew considerable interest from media in the College service area.

The Okanagan College Board of Governors passed the 2012-13 budget on Tuesday, April 24. Media coverage included: Students face tuition hike, Union rep criticizes college fee hikes, Jobs cut, tuition raised to meet $2.26 million budget shortfall, Students to pay more, Staff cut, fees jump to make up shortfall, Tuition going up at OK College and a news segment from CHBC TV

Conference tackles people, power and politics

Former Canadian Ambassador Paul Heinbecker speaking at the BCPSA Annual Conference.
Members of the British Columbia Political Studies Association met at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus May 3 for a conference themed “People and Power."

Paul Heinbecker, who is Canada’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a chief architect of Canada’s human security agenda, gave the keynote address, focusing on the Harper government’s foreign policy and the role of the Prime Minister in historical context.

In all, over 40 presenters came from locations as far afield as Ireland and Italy for the two-day event.

Presenters discussed the many radical political shifts taking place in the world and at home, including the political uprisings in the Middle East, China, Ireland, the U.S. and Canada. 

Meanwhile, political scientists shared their research on a variety of topics, including intervention to prevent atrocities in Libya, citizens’ involvement in democratization in Africa, and even former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell’s career.

The BCPSA annual general meeting and conference was jointly organized by Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Annual awards take students sky high

aviationThree graduates from Okanagan College’s 2012 Commercial Aviation diploma program received special recognition at their year-end banquet held April 21.

Ashley Alexander and Carlos De Matteis were awarded the Central Mountain Air Awards for interviews into the Tier 2 pilot program.

Meanwhile, Toby Baker won the Air Canada Award. The award comes with two return airfare tickets on Air Canada in the North American system, including the Caribbean.

Baker has also accepted an instructor position at Southern Interior Flight Centre, as has fellow graduate David Cooper.

“Welcome to your first flying job guys,” said Southern Interior Flight School director Marc Vanderaegen.

The banquet was attended by aviation industry members and representatives from Okanagan College.

SIFE Okanagan helps keep business green

SIFE-chamberSIFE Okanagan and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce encouraged green envy early this month with the announcement of four winners at its annual Green Business Awards.

Green Innovator of the Year
Optic Signs and Marketing, which operates the only water-based ink printer in the B.C. Interior

Sustainability Leader of the Year
Lisa McIntosh, co-owner of Urban Harvest Organic Delivery

Small Green Business of the Year
Sunshine Farm, organic grower

Big Green Business of the Year
Cintas, a company that uses waste water to heat its building, and uses green cleaning processes, and 100 per cent recycled paper products

David Williams, Electronic Engineering Instructor at Okanagan College, was the guest speaker and urged people to undergo an energy audit of their own homes.

Now in its fourth year, the Green Business Awards were created to recognize businesses and organizations in the Central Okanagan who successfully operate with environmentally sustainable practices. Previous winners have included Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Rack Force Kelowna, and Campion Marine Inc.

To read more about the awards, see the articles in the Capital News, and The Daily Courier.

Maps of local cemeteries to help genealogists

Human geography students came a little closer to death than they expected this semester.

As part of a service learning project in their course (GEOG 272), students worked with the Kelowna and District Genealogical Society to map several remote and sparsely documented cemeteries throughout the Okanagan Valley.

Burials of early settlers are often poorly documented and old cemeteries are usually not spatially-organized into neat rows. As a result, it’s hard to locate where people are buried.

The students’ maps will be published in a KDGS guidebook for genealogical researchers. Click here to view the students' map of the Gellatly Cemetery in West Kelowna.

Professor Gill Green said this is a great example of how service learning provides professional experience for students and benefits for the College and community groups.

“The students also quipped it was a ‘killer’ project,” Green laughed.

Green gave thanks to Mary Read and of KDGS for making this possible. Any other community groups interested in developing maps can email Professor Gill Green.

College students take top marketing research award

Okanagan School of Business marketing students Chaunda Daigneault, Sarah Helbig, and Marina Marzinger took a top prize in this year’s MRIA (Marketing Research & Intelligence Association) Student Marketing Research Competition.

The three degree students received the Michael Anteco Award for Excellence in Marketing Research along with $1,000 for their research work for the company Find It EZ of Kelowna.

MRIA established the award this year to honour Antecol, an active researcher who passed away this year and had been a long time member with the MRIA.

The project was a major part of the students' education in Applied Marketing Research  with Professor Rick Appleby.

The annual MRIA student marketing research contest is open to students enrolled in undergraduate full-time or part-time studies at an accredited British Columbia College or University.

Students celebrate another brick in The Wall

The-WallStudents in Civil Engineering Technology completed another portion of the segmented retaining wall March 30 as part of their third semester studies.

The students began the day working on theory, followed by a quiz. After lunch the group of 30 students put theory into practice to erect a 15-metre section of the retaining wall just to the north of the A building on the Kelowna campus.

Dubbed Retaining Wall Day, the project is part of the Civil Engineering course taught by Instructor Ken Langedyk.

The course is lab-based and the retaining wall day is just one of the labs. The students get a chance to apply the theory they learned in class as well as to work together in a team environment.

“The results speak for themselves. There was only minor bloodshed and no fights broke out,” Langedyk said.

This year’s wall was sponsored by Keystone.

Retaining Wall Day has been running since 2002 as a joint project between the Civil Engineering Technology department and the Facilities Management department.


Wheeling with inspiration

mike-runOkanagan College student Mike Seddon was among those taking part in the Rick Hansen Relay for Life when it rolled through the Okanagan earlier this month. Seddon is a student in the Okanagan School of Business in Kelowna, and took time to stop and talk with younger participants at the event.

Students and employees from both Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus and Kelowna Secondary School lined the streets of K.L.O. to cheer for local participants.

Seddon is among an estimated 7,000 participants from across Canada taking part in the relay which celebrates Hansen’s historic Man in Motion World Tour that took place 25-years ago, when he crossed the country to raise awareness about accessibility.

For more information on the relay, and to donate, click here.

Gary Schwartz unplugs

Gary-Schwartz-retiringFollowing 33 years of dedication to students' success in the Electronic Engineering Technology department and numerous contributions to the growth of Okanagan College, Gary Schwartz will soon enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

The ELEN department and the Science, Technology and Health faculty are hosting a joint celebration to honour Schwartz Thursday, May 10 from 3 - 5 p.m. at Infusions Restaurant at the Kelowna campus.

For those who can't make the event, a greetings book will be placed in the Science, Technology and Health dean’s office from Monday, April 30 until Thursday, May 10.

Fascieux just fine

Thanks to many hands, including small ones, Fascieux Creek is clean once more.

Taking part were Ken Langedyk, James Dalsvaag, Ross Tyner, Rob St. Onge, Max Rhein, Rick Gee, Nathan Bartlett, and Marie Scarborough.

Adding to this year’s excitement was the spotting of three snakes and one muskrat.

College student flaunts her flips

HKIN-students-slopesStephanie Haines, a first year Human Kinetics student, won the Billabong Flaunt It competition at Big White earlier this year. Now her antics (boarding down a staircase) are also being featured on YoBeat as a potential rising star.

Also cutting up the slopes is Kylan Verhaeghe, another HKIN student, who recently competed in the International Ski Federation’s Slope Style and Snowboard Cross Circuit competitions.

Maintenance Chief Engineer Mike Gorzynski retires

After 30 years of service at Okanagan College, Mike Gorzynski is retiring.

In that time, Gorzynski has developed a reputation as a creative person who knows how to handle challenges with a calm demeanor and positive outlook.

A retirement party acknowledging his contribution will be held in the boiler house at the Kelowna campus Friday, May 18 from 2-4:30 p.m. Friends and colleagues can stop by the facilities office to sign his card, and choose to contribute to a retirement gift.

New program administrator for ILT

Paul StephensonDr. Paul Stephenson has accepted the position of program administrator with the College’s Institute for Learning and Teaching, a professional development program.

Stephenson, who has been involved with ILT since its inception, is replacing Rob Kjarsgaard who has stepped down following his three-year term.

Stephenson said development of the ILT enhances the College’s provincial and national reputation for excellence, and plays a critical role in the attraction and retention of staff, which ultimately benefits students.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Paul’s background and knowledge available to step into this position,” said ILT Director Dr. Jayne Brooks. “Paul has proven he is committed to the success of the ILT.  He is familiar with Okanagan College and he has the educational background to help the ILT to move forward.”

For more information on the Institute for Learning and Teaching please visit the ILT website.

  May 8, 2012 Vol. 6 Issue 2



ILT Fellow nominations deadline May 18

The deadline for nominations for Fellows for the Institute for Learning and Teaching is Friday, May 18. 

Fellows are needed in four areas:

  • Arts - term June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2015
  • Science - term June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2015
  • International and ESL - term June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2014
  • Business - term September 1, 2012 – May 31, 2013

For further information or nomination forms, please contact any ILT Fellow, Rob Kjarsgaard or Jayne Brooks.

Students hit the books with Volunteer Tutoring Program

Tutor logoVolunteers provided Okanagan College students with more than 6,000 volunteer tutoring hours between September 2011 and April 2012.

A total of 131 volunteers enrolled in the Okanagan College Volunteer Tutoring Program from Revelstoke to Osoyoos assisted 151 learners throughout the period.

The free and confidential program provides one-to-one tutoring to adults who would like to work on their basic reading, writing, computer, and math skills.  Learners are paired with trained volunteer tutors who build lessons around the learner’s interests and goals. Tutoring sessions range from one to three hours a week and take place on campus or in another public space, such as a regional library.

With their support, learners achieved a variety of goals including: succeeding in the workplace, passing pre-entrance trades tests, writing driver’s tests, completing upgrading courses and certificate programs, and gaining confidence to help their children with homework.

Savvy students view videos

More help is now available online for students attending Okanagan College.

Check out the College’s YouTube channel to see screencast videos designed to help students. Videos posted so far:
  • How to use ClassFinder
  • How to Search for Labs in ClassFinder
  • How to Add and Drop Classes in myOkanagan
  • How to join a Waitlist in myOkanagan, and
  • How to Register for a Waitlisted Course in myOkanagan

Videos will also be available in Become a Student in the How to Register section and in myOkanagan under the Student tab, within Course Registration Help.
If you have any comments or questions, please contact the screencasts' creator, Kim Naumann, or call Kim at extension 4561.

Size matters on May 28

bike to workThe 2012 Okanagan College Bike to Work Team at the Kelowna campus is hoping to dramatically increase its size.

This year the team is offering custom-designed Okanagan College Bike to Work T-shirts for $10 but if you convince a co-worker to join, then each of you can buy a T-shirt for $5.
They will have a booth in the Centre for Learning atrium on Tuesday, May 15, from 12 - 1 p.m. where participants can register and pick up T-shirts. Quantities are limited so don’t delay.

For more information, please contact Paul Stephenson

Overflow parking lot closed

The overflow parking lot at Evangelical Church near the Kelowna campus is now closed to College staff and students.

Get moving May 10

If spring hasn’t got you going, then May 10 could be the jump start you need.
This Thursday is Move for Health Day, featuring a 1-3 km walk, plus a free lunch at the Kelowna campus. Meet in the courtyard at 11:30 a.m. Event details are posted on the Athletic and Recreation Department’s Facebook page.

Walk to Fight Arthritis

There is still lots of time to limber up those fundraising muscles for the Walk to Fight Arthritis.
The walk takes place Sunday, June 10. To join the Okanagan College Coaches team, register here first.


May 9
– Celebrations and Talking Sticks: Folklore and Films. Visit the library foyer at the Kelowna campus through to May 18 for a look at artifacts, and collections of Aboriginal legends and folklore.

May 10-13 – Federation of B.C. Naturalists holds its Annual General Meeting at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

May 11 – EthiopiArt Exhibit takes place at the New Moon Art Gallery in West Kelowna. The show is organized through the efforts of Okanagan College employee Susie Duval.

May 22 – Esthetician Info Night. Learn what’s behind the job of nail technicians and estheticians, and the education needed to get there. This event takes place at  6:30 p.m. at the Vernon campus.

May 23 – ILT Lunch and Learn session at the Lecture Theatre, Kelowna campus featuring Kelowna Museum curator Michelle Harvey on the research opportunities available when it comes to heritage and culture in the Okanagan.

May 24 – 21st Annual Charity Golf Tournament for the Okanagan College Foundation at the Okanagan Golf Club.

May 26 – Okanagan College Garage Sale. Office furniture, office supplies and filing cabinets will be on sale. Drop by the automotive shop at the Kelowna campus from 8 a.m. to noon.

June 1 - Trades Commencement ceremony at the Kelowna campus at 6 p.m.

June 2 - Spring Convocation. Ceremonies take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., at the Kelowna campus.



SIFE Okanagan was the proud co-host of the 2012 Chamber of Commerce Green Business Awards in Kelowna. The event recognizes small to large local businesses for their efforts in sustainability. Read more about this year’s winners in: Going green helps the bottom line, too (Courier), and Kelowna’s green business honoured (Kelowna Capital News).

The Okanagan College Coyotes Baseball team is nearing the end of its season with lots of regulation action. Read more in: Eye on the ball, OC in Kamloops for CCBC championship, Coyotes look for rebound in 4 game at Elks, and Former OC Coyotes shines in Mayville.

Registrar Jane Muskens wrote about the best and worst jobs in Canada in 2012 and demystified some common post-secondary misconceptions. Read more in: Best job list offers some surprising areas of opportunity and Pursuit of post-secondary education myths exposed.

The Penticton Herald published a brief about the ratification of a collective agreement with BCGEU Vocational Instructors. Read more in: College instructors ratify deal.

The Salmon Arm Observer included a feature on the direction the Downtown Community College group intends to pursue, which includes the development of agricultural programming for Okanagan College. Read more about the group’s plans in: A vision for the future.

Public Affairs’ own Karin Wilson received a byline for a feature article she wrote for Forever Young. Karin’s piece on the RV experiences of Ferne Northcott was published in the April 2012 issue. Read more in: Woman behind the wheel.

A photographer from the Kelowna Daily Courier captured all kinds of action at the Kelowna campus when Grade six students from Black Mountain Elementary took to campus to try out four different careers – welding, heavy-duty mechanics, nursing and carpentry. Read more in: Black Mountain Elementary.

The College’s Trades department took its show on the road to Similkameen Secondary School for a daylong hands-on event for students to experience what training in the trades might be like. Read more in: College trades trailer to visit.

Okanagan College’s SIFE team in Vernon hosted a charity challenge on campus to help raise funds for their organization and the North Okanagan Hospice Society. The event challenged staff from Kal Tire, BDO and Community Futures to a series of Family Feud-style games. Read more in: Teams Feuding for charity.

Students in Okanagan College’s Studio Woodworking program will showcase some of their original pieces of work at a studio exhibition in Kelowna on May 12. Read more in: College students polish up for studio woodworking exhibit.

The Kelowna Daily Courier reported that numbers for the 22nd annual BC Secondary School Mathematics Contest were down this year. The event is co-presented by Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. Read more in: Finalists compete for top prize.


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

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 Tuesday, May 22, 2012