Greater Vernon votes yes to new sports facility

vernon sports complex vote smallOkanagan College’s Vernon campus will soon be home to a regulation sized track – the kind that could attract events like the BC Summer Games.

This past weekend, voters in the North Okanagan Regional District voted in favour of borrowing $7.5-million to construct the running track and sports field.
“This is great news for both the College and the community,” said Regional Dean Jane Lister. “We are pleased to be a partner in the sports facility initiative and excited that the project is moving ahead. The College believes that the sports facility will provide significant benefits to its students and employees and to the Greater Vernon community.”

Once built, the facility will include a synthetic track that meets all International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) requirements, one natural turf field, plus seating for 400 spectators, and a field house.

Full details of the vote, and the project, are available on the regional district's website.

Employee Excellence Awards 2013 to take place May 1

Okanagan College will recognize and celebrate the achievements of dozens of employees at its second annual Employee Excellence Awards event on Wednesday, May 1 in Kelowna.
The event will take place at 3 p.m. in the Centre for Learning and will provide an opportunity for employees to socialize and show support for their colleagues who are nominated in any of the following nine categories:
excellenceCareer Achievement
Teaching Excellence
Scholarly Activity
Key Directions
Service Excellence (Individual and Group)
Strong Start
President’s Award
Finalists for each of the awards (excluding the President’s Award) will be announced this week in College Matters. Log on to the employee communications portal to find out more about the event and the finalists. All employees are invited to attend.

Venture Okanagan backs online safety tool

VO Investors Forum PriebeKelowna entrepreneur Chris Priebe and his PottyMouth concept has become the latest winner following the Venture Okanagan Spring Investors Forum, held April 3.

Priebe, who owns 2 Hat Security and helped create the software infrastructure that protects children playing on the popular Club Penguin site, received the grand prize of $5,000.

Okanagan College Business Professor Steve Watson, who chairs Venture Okanagan, said Priebe’s chat tools concept is precisely what parents are looking for.

“Rather than focus strictly on good and bad words, the tools analyze how people combine words and whether – once in context – the meaning is naughty or nice,” he said.

Runner-up was Janice Taylor, founder of Just Be Friends, a web-based platform that connects families and builds community.

Six businesses took part in the forum, which is co-sponsored by Prospera Credit Union and Grant Thornton LLP.

The forum is one of the many projects organized by Enactus Okanagan College, a non-profit student organization that operates on all four of the College’s campuses.

To read the full media release, click here.

Young runner takes women’s title in 10K race

Girl runnerA twelve-year-old girl from Blind Bay took the top female spot in the 10-km run event held as part of this year’s Okanagan College Half Marathon.

Chantel Jeffrey was the youngest of 123 runners to register in the 10K women’s division, and came in with a time of 45:45. Second place went to Alisha MacGregor with a time of 46:52, and third to Alyssa Byl (48:18).

Hans5In the tougher Half Marathon, Hans Aabye of Merritt took his second title with a commanding lead in the 21.1 km race, coming in at 1:18:14, just ahead of Penticton’s David Matheson, who came in second at 1:20:10, edging out Wade Carlson, also of Penticton, who crossed the line at 1:20:43.

A total of 506 runners took part in the 11th annual event. Among them were many Okanagan College employees: Helena Jordo, Michelle Lowry, Jen Hamilton, Markus Heinrichs, Donna Olson, Michelle Sinclair, Rob St. Onge, Randy Werger and Inga Wheeler. Thanks also to the many volunteers, including lead cyclists Kerry Rempel and Lee Robinson.

To see the full results, click here.

College Board passes $95.5-million budget for 2013-14

Okanagan College’s Board of Governors has approved a $95.5-million balanced operating budget for the coming fiscal year, addressing a $1.6 million shortfall through a number of measures, including reduced expenditures, expected increases in enrolment and a two per cent increase in tuition fees.    

“We must a produce a balanced budget for the institution,” explained College Board of Governors Chair Tom Styffe.

“That balance extends to what we’ve asked our staff to do and what we are expecting of students. Our departments have found ways to reduce expenditures and increase revenues through contract training and through enhanced enrolment. At the same time, we’re increasing tuition two per cent.”

For a full-time student in university Arts with a typical course load, the two per cent increase in 2013-14 will amount to $62.79 per year, while a level one Automotive Painter apprentice would see tuition increase by $7.96.

To read the full release, click here.

Puppy love to ease stress on campus

puppyThe Penticton campus, and now the Kelowna campus are embracing some fluffy love this exam season.

Penticton recruiter Jill Smith thought it would be a good idea to get dogs on campus during the stressful period. She's lined up a pack of therapy "puppies" big and small to frolic with students on campus starting this week, and carrying throughout next week.

"We'll have one or two dogs on campus at a time," she said. "So far we have a Maltese, Shih Tzu-Bijon Frise cross, a black Lab and a Labradoodle joining us."

At the Kelowna campus, Chemistry Professor Sandra Kenefick will be bringing her therapy dog Cassidy (right) to the Pit starting Wednesday.

“After doing some online research I found that exam de-stressing with pet therapy is becoming extremely common at colleges and universities,” said Kenefick.

Kenefick is working with St. John Ambulance's nationally recognized and certified pet therapy program in Kelowna. Two to three dogs will be hanging out at The Pit weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through to April 19.

To view a video about “puppy playtime” at work at UVic, click here.

Students create prawn lollipops

wine and food pairingEleven Advanced Culinary Arts students enrolled in Chef Sam Lau’s Food and Wine Pairing class hosted a winemaker’s dinner in the Kelowna campus test kitchen on Monday, March 25.

The students worked in teams to prepare dishes paired with wines from La Frenz in Naramata.

Winemaker Scott Robinson provided background information about the wine and the class discussed the pairings, while enjoying the delicious food, which included: lobster, prawn lollipops, beef tenderloin stuffed with Stilton and wrapped in pancetta, followed by tiramisu.


Printer extraordinaire wins book design prize

DewinetzOkanagan College English Professor Jason Dewinetz has received second place in the Limited Edition category in this year’s Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence.

Dewinetz chose to reprint Stanley Morison’s classic text First Principles of Typography.

Dewinetz impressed the judges with his “meticulous craftsmanship.”

This marks the tenth Alcuin Society award for Dewinetz. His book will be among those able to represent Canada at the Best Book Design from All Over the World competition held each year in Leipzig, Germany.

To read the full release, click here.

Students nose into books for fun

stressAn estimated 75 students and staff at the Salmon Arm campus took a page out of the stress-free book of life by taking part in the Stress Less Fair that featured, among other things, a reminder that reading can be pleasurable.

“This can be something most College students only dream about at this time of year,” said recruiter Leslie Bogula.

Salmon Arm librarian Taryn Schmid put out a selection of books, including some amusing childhood favourites like the Eric Carle classic The Very Busy Spider.

The fair also featured healthy snacks, free chair massages, prizes, X-Box fun, and information about other physical and mental health strategies students can use to help ease their way through the exam period.

Professors taking part in UBCO conference

Two Okanagan College professors will be among those presenting at this year's 9th Annual Learning Conference taking place May 1 and 2 at UBCO.

Political Science Professor Dr. Rosalind Warner and Communications Professor Dr. Cathi Shaw will each be making presentations at this conference, which features nearly 30 sessions on the theme of Enhancing Student Learning.

Warner, who is also the Arts Fellow with the College’s Institute for Learning and Teaching, will be presenting Spaghetti With(out) the Sauce: Presentation and Communication in a Learner-Centered Classroom, while Shaw and a colleague from Summerland Secondary School will be talking about preparing first year students for post-secondary success in Making the Leap.

History Professor gets military lesson

Howard Hisdal on virtualOkanagan College History Professor Howard Hisdal, who is also a Captain with the British Columbia Dragoons, took part in Exercise Virtual Dragoon, a computer simulation exercise at Camp Vernon on the weekend of 23-24 March 2013.  

The exercise gave soldiers their own computer station, which simulated their place in an armoured reconnaissance vehicle. Hisdal got to work with an American sergeant from the Washington State National Guard.  

“This gives me a valuable insight on the Americans; which is helpful when I am teaching American history,” he said.

April 9, 2013 Vol. 8 Issue 1


Young patients needed for Dental Clinic

Okanagan College’s Certified Dental Assistant program is looking for young patients, between the ages of 5 and 15, who could benefit from receiving reduced cost dental cleaning, x-rays, fluoride treatment, sealants or oral hygiene education.

The clinics will be taking place from May 9 – 23, but appointments are being booked now. The number of spaces are limited. Call Carrie at 250-862-5424.

New email communication policy for students

A new policy has been developed to support the College's move to electronic communication with both applicants and students – in particular via email – in lieu of many paper-based processes.

Students are being encouraged to provide a current email address and keep it up to date to ensure efficient and effective communication.

The policy is available online, and students are being advised through various communication channels, including Reach Out. For more information, contact Jane Muskens, ext. 4340, or Inga Wheeler, ext. 4847.

Kelowna campus library hours extended

The Kelowna campus library is offering extended hours during the final examination period. Hours are Friday, April 12 and 19 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday (April 13 and 14) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Bike sharing comes to Kelowna campus

bike sharingFour commuter bicycles are now being made available to staff and students at the Kelowna campus.

The program, which has been running at the Penticton campus for the last year, is designed for those who do not already own a bike.

On a first-come, first-serve basis, staff or students can pay a $30 deposit and borrow a bike for up to four months at a time to support their transportation needs.

The bikes are in different sizes and come with helmets, locks, carry bags, lights and a bell. Anyone interested in borrowing a bike can contact the Regional Dean’s office in Room E110 or email

Last call for Bocce ball

Round up a buddy and get your name in for the coveted annual Okanagan College bocce ball tournament at the Kelowna campus.

Seventeen teams are needed for the tournament to be a go. Deadline to register is noon, Wednesday, with the season slated to begin April 15. To sign up, contact Angie March, ext. 4501.

Convocation 2013

Be a part of Convocation and Commencement and support your grads.

If you are planning to attend a ceremony please let Michelle Lowry know which ceremony you wish to attend.  If you require regalia please include your height and highest credential awarded (i.e. 5’11” MSc, Alberta).
Trades Commencement
Fri, June 7 – 6 p.m.
Spring Convocation
Sat, June 8 – 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Vernon Convocation & Commencement

Tue, June 25 – 4:30 p.m.
Summer Convocation & Commencement
Thu, June 27 – 6 p.m.
For more information visit:

Volunteers needed for May Garage Sale

The Kelowna campus is looking for volunteers to help set up for this year’s Garage Sale on Saturday, May 25.

Volunteers are needed on the Friday afternoon from noon to 5 p.m., and also on the day of the sale from 7:30 a.m. to noon (coffee and muffins will be provided).

The Garage Sale offers the best buys on office furniture, computers, printers, monitors, storage units. To volunteer, contact Angie March at ext. 4501.

The sale is put on in conjunction with Trunk Sale - which offers bargains on goods from the general public and is put on by the Regional District of Central Okanagan and the Waste Reduction office. For more information, visit their website.


April 9 – Students in Salmon Arm are invited to an All Candidates Debate in the lead-up to the provincial election. The debate, featuring candidates from the Conservative, Green, Liberal and NDP parties, takes place in Room 130 from 5 – 7 p.m.

April 10 OC Toastmasters holds its noon-hour meeting in Room E212 at the Kelowna campus. The meeting is open to everyone interested in improving and expanding their public speaking skills. Meetings are also held on Tuesdays in Room E212 between 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

April 15 – Cyclist Andrew Drouin examines the history of single-track trails in the South Okanagan, and offers a review of land-access issues. The talk will take place from 7 – 8 p.m. at the Penticton campus.

April 20 – Anyone with electronic waste can drop his or her material off with 1-800-GOT-JUNK in Lot 16 at the Kelowna campus.


Results in this year’s 11th Annual Half Marathon were a virtual shut-out for Kelowna-area men, reported the Daily Courier in Visitors dominate OC run.

The Capital News ran a front-page feature on a unique Okanagan College program that uses Aboriginal spirituality to help ease stress. Read: Smudging away a stressful exam period.

Okanagan College’s role in the Canadian Culinary Championships was featured in the spring issue of Okanagan Life. Read: Gold Medal Plates.

The referendum vote on a new track and field to be located at the Vernon campus resulted in numerous stories, including many in the lead-up to the final – and positive - vote. The Morning Star provided extensive coverage in the days leading up to the final vote. Read: Terrific turnout at advanced polls, Complex touted for economic benefits, Facility figures don’t add up, Community needs suitable facility, Chamber endorses facility, Current track not acceptable, Sports complex is too expensive, Group throws support on track, Vote sparks cost concerns, A positive and significant project, Facility vote ‘ready to roll’, College is wrong site for a track, Athletes look to fill void with facility, and Vote yes for sports complex. Additional coverage also appeared in the Daily Courier (read: Sports complex Ok’d by voters and Thousands expected to vote) and in the Penticton Herald (Voting on sports complex begins).

This year’s 11th annual Okanagan College Half Marathon will be supporting a new award for Okanagan College students. Read: OC race to raise funds for new student award, in the Capital News, and OC half marathon raising funds for students, in the Courier.

Okanagan College's Board of Governors passed its 2013-14 budget. Read media coverage from the Morning Star: College tuition climbs. Okanagan College’s new budget also received coverage in the Courier (College board boosts tuition), and in the Capital News (Tuition hiked for Okanagan College).

A new face on Okanagan College’s Board of Governors brings experience overseeing corporate finances and working on non-profit boards. Read: College garners board member.

Okanagan College Business alumnus Adam Spratt was mentioned in Okanagan Saturday for his new mobile website. Read: Upwardly mobile.

SAXX underwear founder Trent Kitsch spoke at the recent Okanagan Business Students’ Association banquet. Read: One great business in the bag, from the Courier. The feature also appeared in the Penticton Herald.

Okanagan College student Reid Schretlen was featured in the Courier after his presentation at the Okanagan School of Business honours program finale. Read: Students get real-life experience. The story also appeared in the Penticton Herald.

Enactus Okanagan College has earned a berth at the Enactus Canada exposition in Toronto. Read: Enactus earns a shot at national title, from the Morning Star, and Students advance to national stage in the Salmon Arm Observer.

Budding entrepreneurs are at it again at the Launch-a-Preneur in Salmon Arm, which is organized by Enactus Okanagan College. Read: A dozen teams vie for Launch-a-Preneur win.

Okanagan Saturday picked up a media release on the recent Alcuin Society Award given to Okanagan College English Professor Jason Dewinetz. Read: Re-print of historic text wins award.

Ariel Gordon, the recipient of the first annual John Lent Poetry Prose Award will be reading in Vernon. Read: Lent winner to read, from the Morning Star.

A book that accuses big business of capitalizing on children has won a provincial book award, sponsored by Okanagan College. Read: Writer wins George Ryga Award, from eVent magazine, and Ryga award winner announced, from the Morning Star.

Taking a look at life beyond earth is the topic for this week’s Science in Society Speaker Series, sponsored in part by Okanagan College. Read: Science centre looks at life beyond earth, and Science speaker aims for stars.

The Central Okanagan School District held its 23rd annual Science Fair at Okanagan College. Read: Science fair takes off, from the Courier.

The Okanagan College Coyotes Baseball team opened up their fifth season competing in the Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference. Read: Blustery start for OC opener.

Registrar Jane Muskens examined the role housing construction plays in the current Okanagan economy. Read: As economy has changed so has advice for an education, in the Capital News. She also tackled the subject of targeted training in Post-secondary skepticism unjust.

Okanagan College is offering its 20-week Geographic Information Systems certificate course especially for Aboriginal students. Read: College course, in Okanagan Saturday, and GIS plan draws interest, in the Morning Star.

North Okanagan Shuswap School District is waiting to hear from Okanagan College about purchasing the site of a former school. Read: College group still reviewing purchase of Jackson site, in the Salmon Arm Observer.

A look back 25 years ago, in the Courier revealed that Okanagan College students were running out of places to party. Read: Students misbehave again.

The Skills Canada Regional Competition, held at the Kelowna campus, resulted in great results for School District 53 student Trent Philipps. Read: Success in provincial skills competition, in the Osoyoos Times.


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, April 23, 2013.