An introduction to Inside Okanagan College

Earlier this year, a group of our colleagues from throughout the institution was commissioned to take a look at internal communications at Okanagan College and recommend some ways it could improve.

Led by Marc Arellano, the group has reported to the Leadership Team and made some solid recommendations that the Leadership Team and will be reviewing this week. The full report is available as a PDF.

icwgcover.jpgSome of the recommendations are already bearing fruit; you are reading an example. Inside Okanagan College will be a biweekly internal newsletter that will be produced by Public Affairs. It will cover off major events and news at the institution, highlight upcoming events and serve as a more regular communication device that we hope engenders interest, submissions and support from the Okanagan College community.

For the first four issues, it will be distributed as a global e-mail, but as part of our response to the Committee and our attempt to find better, more targeted ways to communicate, it will turn into a subscriber-based electronic publication, with an option to unsubscribe at any point. The overarching goal is to give the staff at Okanagan College a better sense of all the things that are occurring throughout the institution.

One of the benefits of Inside Okanagan College is that it will be able to gather in one communication some of the material that has previously been communicated via a series of global e-mails. We will also be developing a new policy around use of global e-mail - again part of the focus of the Internal Communications Working Group report.

Enjoy - there is an opportunity for feedback at the bottom of this edition and we welcome any recommendations for improvement.

Jim Hamilton,

Allan Coyle,
Director, Public Affairs

College recognized for Community Leadership

Okanagan College has been recognized by the Okanagan Science and Technology Council (OSTEC) for outstanding contributions and service to the science and technology community (see OSTEC's press release and our own). Okanagan College Board of Governors' Chair Janet Shaw and President Jim Hamilton accepted the Science and Technology Community Leadership Award on behalf of the institution on March 29 at OSTEC's Silicon Vineyard Innovation Awards Gala. The award, sponsored by TELUS, is given to a leading individual or organization that has provided an outstanding contribution or service to the science and technology community, or the community at large.

Civic awards

Four Okanagan College alumni were honoured at Kelowna's Community and Civic Awards on April 12. Lorraine McGrath, an Okanagan School of Business alumna, received the Sarah Donalda Treadgold Memorial Award for Woman of the Year. Lorraine serves as a director with Interior Health and is also active as a member of the Okanagan College School of Business Advisory Council.

Kelowna's premier curling team also received honours when it was selected as winners of the Bryan Couling Memorial Athletic Team of the Year award. Team Scott consists of four members, three of which are Okanagan College graduates: Kelly Scott (Business Administration, 1999), Jeanna Schraeder (Computer Information Systems, 2000), Renee Simons (Office Administration, 1991) and teammate Sasha Carter.


Salmon Arm Golf Tournament takes a new twist

A news event in Salmon Arm on April 12 launched a new version of the Links to Learning Golf Tournament, that will see the College partner with the Shuswap Hospital Foundation to jointly raise funds for students, the College and a CT scanner for the Shuswap Hospital (see our press release).

Lanzhou University Visit

A delegation of officials from Lanzhou University in China will visit all four campuses of Okanagan College on April 16 and 17. A distinguished list of visitors including Professor Jing Tao, Vice President; Professor Li Fayuan, Dean of School of International Cultural Exchange and Lecturer Wu Wanpei, Program Manager Foreign Affairs will meet with members of the Leadership Team of Okanagan College to confirm a future partnership between both institutions. Lanzhou University will be Okanagan College's first university partner in China.
On April 16, Jim Hamilton and Professor Jing Tao, Vice President of Lanzhou University will sign a letter of intent to develop academic and educational cooperation and to promote mutual understanding between the two institutions. Specifically Okanagan College and Lanzhou University will:
  • Promote institutional exchanges by inviting faculty and staff of the partner institution to participate in a variety of teaching and/or research activities and professional development
  • Receive undergraduate students of the partner institution for periods of study and/or research
  • Organize symposia, conferences, short courses and meetings on research issues
  • Carry out joint research and continuing education programs;
  • Exchange information pertaining to developments in teaching, students development and research at each institution


One of the features of Inside Okanagan College will be highlights of some of the media coverage (including links to clippings where possible) featuring Okanagan College students, staff, programs, events and issues. Much of the coverage the institution gets is as a result of media releases, so we will try to tie the two together where possible.

Over the past weeks, there has been extensive coverage of the Board of Governors' March 27 decision to hold the line on tuition (see press release). There were stories in the Penticton Western News, the Oliver Chronicle, the Vernon Morning Star, as well as television coverage on CHBC. Accompanying that blitz of media attention was focus on the increase in health care programming that will come as a consequence of the 2007-2008 Okanagan College budget:

There was also CBC Radio and print coverage of the fundraising efforts of the Dental Assist Program, spawned by a press release

Other media coverage and releases included:


Voices Rising

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Xiaoping Li, professor of Sociology at the Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses, for the recent release of her book, Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism, by UBC Press. After 10 years of research, writing and manuscript preparation, the finished book will be used by universities across Canada as curriculum for Canadian Studies, Asian/North American Literary and Cultural Studies programs as well as Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

School of Business has strong showing in Philadelphia

Four professors in the Okanagan School of Business will be represented at the Academy of Management conference in Philadelphia this August. The Academy recently announced the acceptance of the caucus proposal on Small and Medium Enterprises across the Management Disciplines. The ability to engage with leading business and management academics and researchers from across North America and around the world is a great opportunity to expand the applied research themes of the Okanagan School of Business. Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business, Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business, and professors Dr. Sherry Price and Dr. Yunke He will represent the College at this prestigious event.

Eby joins as VP on April 30

Okanagan College will have a new Vice President of Finance and Administration on April 30 when Bob Eby, an experienced educational administrator, joins the Leadership Team. Bob comes to the College after having worked for School District 22 in Vernon for the past 17 years, during which he held the position of Assistant Secretary-Treasurer for 15 years. A Chartered Accountant and former Okanagan University College Board member, Bob is a valued member of the Vernon community, where he volunteers his time to assist charitable organizations, local soccer teams and musicians.

New Face in the South Okanagan - Ed Benoit

Okanagan College's South Okanagan Similkameen region gained a new Manager of Campus and Continuing Studies on Feb. 19 when Ed Benoit joined the team. Ed brings a wealth of knowledge to the position after having served as Campus Administrator at Northern Lights College in Fort St. John. Ed also taught history at Northern Lights in the University Transfer program and UNBC's regional campus in Fort St. John.

Columnists making their mark

Some familiar faces are regularly appearing in two of Kelowna's most widely-read newspapers. One is offering advice and information about post-secondary education; the other can be found sounding off on issues ranging from local and international events to pop culture and beyond. Jane Muskens, Manager of Recruitment, Promotion and Events, recently acquired a weekend column in the Kelowna Capital News called School's In. Jane joins Arts and Foundational Associate Dean Stan Chung who writes a bi-weekly opinion piece in the Kelowna Daily Courier's Okanagan Sunday edition.

Norm Embree joins IH Board

Norm Embree, formerly the Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors, was recently appointed as a director of the Interior Health Authority Board.
April 16, 2007 Vol. 1, Issue 1


Okanagan College flags have been lowered to half-staff today to signal our sympathy and concern for the families and victims affected by today's tragic shooting incident at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The Okanagan College policy catalogue has been updated and is now online. Please visit the website to familiarize yourself with any new policies that may apply to staff or faculty. The mileage policy and the Cellular Phone and PDA Use policy have undergone a few changes and all staff are encouraged to review them online.

Okanagan College's Board of Governors' regular meeting will be held in Salmon Arm on April 24. The open session begins at 11 a.m. in room 134 of the Salmon Arm campus.

Congratulations to Lucy Kwasniewski from Physics and Astronomy who won the payday draw for $437.50.

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) or Human Resources (Landmark V, Kelowna) and they are available online


April 25 - The College's downtown Kelowna location will be holding an open house on April 25 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the 1405 St. Paul Street location. Find out more about Office Administration programs and tour the facility, classrooms and student space. For more information, contact Sylvia Lehmann at 762-5445 ext. 4394.

April 30 - Kelowna Info Night - KLO Campus Pit 6-9 p.m.
Parents, Secondary students and adult learners are invited to attend an information night held in Kelowna on April 30. Participants will learn about the programs offered at Okanagan College as well as financial aid and awards information. A series of half-hour sessions will be held beginning at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. For more information, call Christy Cave at 762-5445 ext. 4469.

April 20, Penticton, Pen-Hi Auditorium - Three giants of the B.C. music industry will be performing together as part of a special celebration marking the 12th Annual Songwriters Workshops and Showcases on April 20 in Penticton. Chilliwack, Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes will be on stage together in concert at the Pen-Hi Auditorium, hosted by the George Ryga Centre. The concert also celebrates a renewed partnership between Okanagan College and the George Ryga Centre. John Lent, Regional Dean of the North Okanagan has spent two years working with Ken Smedley, Director of the Ryga Centre, to fine-tune an arrangement, which proposes bringing songwriting into the College's Creative Writing offerings in its Arts and Foundational Programs. For more information, check our press release.

April 25 8-9:30 a.m. Counsellors from the South Okanagan and School District will join Okanagan College staff and faculty for an informative (and delicious) morning get-together on April 25 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Current information about College programs and admissions will be covered. For more information, contact Stina Baschzok-Brown (250) 492-4305 ext. 3273.

Buy your tickets now! Tickets are now on sale for the Okanagan College Foundation/Whillis Harding Agencies Annual Charity Golf Tournament, which takes place at the Quail Golf Course and Okanagan Golf Club on May 24. Proceeds from this fundraiser support the scholarship and bursary program for Okanagan College students. To register and purchase your tickets, call (250) 862-5630 or toll free 1-888-650-6968 or email

April 18 - Okanagan College's Vernon campus will host a luncheon event featuring President Jim Hamilton and Regional Dean, John Lent. Hamilton and Lent will address the College Foundation Board, donors, planned giving clients and other interested parties as they bring members of the community up to speed on all that has been happening at the College in the North Okanagan. For more information about this event please contact Marcy Nelson at (250) 545-7291 ext. 4773.

April 26 - The Vernon campus will open its doors to parents who have a son or daughter entering a post secondary school in BC. Parents who attend College Prep 101 will learn when and how students apply, and what the general admission processes are for post-secondary institutions. Information about government student loans and how students can access scholarships and bursaries will also be discussed. College Prep 101 for Parents begins at 6:30 p.m. in the lecture theatre. For more information, contact Tawnya Cameron at (250) 545-7291 ext. 2309.


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 April 27, 2007.