College students collect seven medals at Skills BC

Josh BurnellSeven Okanagan College students returned home from the Skills Canada BC competition in Abbotsford boasting strong podium finishes, including two gold finishes.

OC Aircraft Maintenance Engineering student Josh Burnell and Automotive Service Technician student Kendall Giesbrecht both took home gold in their categories and are now preparing to compete at the 25th annual Skills Canada National Competition on May 28 and 29 in Halifax.

"Skills Canada offers an opportunity for students across the country to hone their skills in trades and technology,” says Teresa Kisilevich, Associate Dean of Trades & Apprenticeship. “The students compete against the clock and each other in an intense competition that also serves as an interactive and engaging environment for the students and instructors in the audience. A lot of hard work goes into preparing for this, and it’s great to see the learning in action.”

Also taking home medals from the provincial competition were Riley Nairn with silver for Heavy Equipment Service, Frank van Zandwijk with silver for IT Network Systems Administration, Cody Mayo with bronze for Heavy Equipment Service, Michael Parker with bronze for Refrigeration and Ryan Robertson with bronze for IT Network Systems Administration. 

Read the full story here.

OC students power up remote smartphone chargers

Project ReChargeCentral Okanagan park-goers can now charge their electronic devices at two regional parks thanks to Okanagan College Enactus students, who have installed solar powered ReCharge stations for public use. 

The project – Project ReCharge – was brought to fruition in February 2018 by two Business Administration students and Civil and Mechanical Engineering students as part of a new Enactus initiative to help people power up their devices on the go, while also providing a conduit for giving back to the community. The first iteration was installed in 2018 at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

The project caught the eye of the Regional District of Central Okanagan which called for a two-month pilot project, where visitors can charge their phone, iPad or laptop while they enjoy the beautiful outdoors at Mission Creek and Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Parks.

“We came up with the idea of having a charging station attached to tables that people can sit and charge their devices at and so we went through many design phases and now what the project has turned into is a social enterprise where we are getting students from our ‘Accelerate Youth’ programs at Rutland, Central and Westside schools building the stations,” said Cooper Simson, OC business student.

Read more about this project in the Capital News, Daily CourierCastanet, AM 1150, InfoTel News or BC Local News. 

OC Coyotes top of the league

Okanagan College Coyotes Baseball team 2019After an impressive four-game series win against the University of Calgary Dinos, the Okanagan College Coyotes are entering their final games of the season in search of another first-place finish in the 2019 Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC). 

The Coyotes now have a record of 17-5, which will see them vying for first or second place in the final championships. The ‘Yotes will next hit the diamond tomorrow to play back-to-back games against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. Games are at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Last year the Coyotes took home the CCBC championship title for the first time ever since joining the conference 11 seasons ago. The team is on the hunt to make it two years in a row, giving a sweet ending to the season especially for the players who are graduating this year.

The graduating players will be celebrated between the team’s two games on May 1.

After the May 1 games, the team will travel to Lethbridge to take on the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs on May 3 and 4. 

Read game details and the full story here.

Scholarships support health-care training at OC’s Revelstoke Centre

Tamra Robinson - HCARevelstoke residents taking the HCA program at Okanagan College beginning this September will get a financial boost, thanks to the Revelstoke District Health Foundation. 

The Foundation is donating $12,000 to create scholarships to directly support Revelstoke residents who register as students in the program this fall. The HCA program provides training for one of the most in-demand positions in the province. 

Up to 12 students will each receive $1,000 scholarships, as part of a partnership between the Revelstoke District Health Foundation, Interior Health and Okanagan College. Tuition for the program is $3,261 and is student-loan eligible. 

“The need for health care assistants is growing and employment opportunities for individuals with this training are plenty. We are grateful that the Foundation chose to support students who will ultimately become the faces of health care in the region,” explains Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean Shuswap Revelstoke.

An information night is scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Revelstoke Centre, 1401 1st St. West. Students will meet program staff who can discuss the program and outline education financing options, admission requirements and supports for returning students. Information on Work BC funding eligibility will also be available. 

Read the full story here.


OC’s new fundraising director starts June 10

Helen JackmanA new face will be leading Okanagan College’s fundraising efforts beginning June 10. 

Helen Jackman will join the College as Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation and Director of Advancement. Jackman replaces Kathy Butler, who retired in late 2018. 

Jackman is a relatively new arrival in the Okanagan, moving here with her family in 2017 to join United Way. Before leaving the United Kingdom, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Macular Society, a medical research charity, where she led multi-million dollar research campaigns and oversaw significant growth. Prior to that, she was Executive Director Programs at NESTA, where she built funding partnerships with government and industry. Jackman also recently joined the Board of the Journey Home Society, where she co-chairs the Advocacy and Education Committee.

“Helen has established significant connections in the Okanagan in the short time she has been here and has a CV that showcases her ability to lead as well as challenge herself and the teams she worked with,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “I know she will relate well to the many donors who have well-established relations with the College and the Foundation.”

Read the full story in College Matters.

Rubadeau wins City of Kelowna Civic award

Devin Rubadeau headshotOkanagan College School of Business professor Devin Rubadeau's devotion to sport and youth was recognized by the City of Kelowna as he was awarded the Bob Giordano Memorial Award for Coach/Sport Administrator of the Year at the City of Kelowna’s 44th annual Civic & Community Awards. 

Rubadeau has been a professor at OC for six years and is an international sailing champion several times over. He has traveled the world coaching elite athletes and training coaches. Rubadeau is currently a member of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. 

“It’s a real honour to even get nominated for these types of awards,” notes Rubadeau. “I know both of the other coaches nominated in my category, and actually went to high school with one. We’re all really involved in the community…it’s what we are passionate about.”

Also recognized at the awards was the 23-member Journey Home team, including founding Board Co-Chair Dr. Kyleen Myrah, who is also an OC School of Business professor. The Journey Home team received the Anita Tozer Award, a special recognition bestowed by a unanimous vote of council to a group or organization providing an extraordinary and positive contribution to the city.

"If we are truly going to solve this very complex issue of homelessness, it's going to take a collective effort of our entire community. Be patient, be compassionate, and most of all, be hopeful," said Myrah.

Read more about the awards from the Daily CourierCapital News and Castanet.

OC buzzes to first at Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee 2019The Okanagan College Eggheads were the champions of the 12th annual Literacy Society of North Okanagan’s 12th annual Adult Spelling Bee last Wednesday at the Prestige Vernon Lodge Hotel. 

This isn’t the Eggheads' first win at the spelling bee though: the Eggheads have only been defeated once before. 

The Adult Spelling Bee is one of the main fundraising events for the Literacy Society of North Okanagan. Teams of eight gather to practice, come up with fun names, wear costumes, and are tasked with spelling the most words correctly with only 45 seconds per word to do so.

From words like acquiesce, lascivious, synecdoche and reminisce, the Eggheads faced stiff competition until the final round when the Queen Bees (a team of retired women) had spelled daiquiri incorrectly. 

Will the Eggheads bee first again next year?

Read more about the Adult Spelling Bee in the Vernon Morning Star.
Photo credit: Vernon Morning Star.

Are you ready to Hoopla?

Hoopla photo - Inside OCOkanagan College’s Coyotes basketball teams and the OC President’s office invite you to mix and mingle with the players, coaches and supporters at the third annual Hoopla fundraiser. 

“In our first year, both teams made the playoffs, which is an incredible accomplishment,” says Dino Gini, head coach of the men’s team. “It’s pretty surreal to think about how quickly our program has grown and how passionate the community is about supporting what we are doing. We are proud to have the OC logo on our chest.”

The fundraiser takes place this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning building at the Kelowna campus. 

Attendees can participate in silent and live auctions, enjoy a cash bar with local VQA wines, beer and cider from Big Surf brewery and savour gourmet bites prepared by OC Culinary Arts students and staff. 

Special guest speaker Tom Budd will also be at the fundraiser. Budd’s journey is one of healing and finding hope, and he will speak of the value of giving while drawing attention to health and wellness.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite. Read the full story here.

April 30, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 3


C, F, S, A building closure, Kelowna campus – May 4

Maintenance on the high voltage system will require shutdown of the following buildings at the Kelowna campus on Saturday, May 4, 2019:

  • Lab (C)
  • Students Services (S & A)
  • Cafeteria (F) and Infusions

These buildings will be closed for the day and expected to re-open on Sunday, May 5.

Updates will be posted to

Revised Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy

The Board of Governors has directed that the revised Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy be posted for students and employees to review and provide feedback. The revised Policy is posted on Moodle for review and comment for a period of 30 working days.

To review and comment on the revised policy, please click here to be directed to the Moodle page. Once you have signed in, enter “review” as the enrolment key. Please provide your comments on the feedback form on or before May 16, 2019. No personal identification is required to submit feedback on the policy. Accordingly, you will not receive a response regarding your comments.

OCAA needs your help

The Okanagan College Alumni Association is in need of volunteers for several convocation events in June. Events run for 2.5 hours and volunteers will be paired with an alumni representative to help them along the way.

Kelowna campus

  • June 1 from 9:30 a.m. - noon 
  • June 1 from noon - 2:30 p.m.
  • June 26 from 4:30 - 7 p.m.
  • June 27 from 4:30 - 7 p.m.

Vernon campus

  • June 25 from 3:30 - 6 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at any of these events, please email before May 8.

EdCo election results and by election

Congratulations to Vlado Neykov who was the successful candidate (Central Okanagan) in the election to Education Council. He will join Glen Coulthard (North Okanagan). 

A by election will be held for two faculty seats as follows (as always, faculty and vocational instructors are eligible):

EDUCATION COUNCIL: Regional Faculty (1 each)
Shuswap Revelstoke
South Okanagan-Similkameen
Term: August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2021

Important Dates:
Call for Nominations: Open until May 6 at 4 p.m., forms are available in myOkanagan or here
Post List of Candidates: May 7
Elections: May 22 – 28 in myOkanagan
Announcement of Results: May 29
Deadline for Appeals: June 5

Room booking requests for meetings and events - reminder

When submitting your online booking request for a meeting room or event space, please keep in mind that OC facilities are available for room bookings only after all program-related schedules and exams have been finalized each semester. Until the schedules are finalized, rooms are put in a room booking freeze. 

Please check with the appropriate campus as room booking freezes will vary. Although we understand this process is difficult for your meeting and event planning, we must give priority to students.

If you have any questions, please email the appropriate campus: Salmon Arm Event Booking; Vernon Event Booking; Kelowna Event Booking; Penticton Event Booking.

Please also remember to submit your room booking requests through the appropriate channel: 

  • for external meetings or events, please book through the OC Facility Rentals page
  • for internal meetings or events, please book through myOkanagan through the Internal Event and Room Booking Request form. This will ensure that your request is in the queue and will be dealt with by date and on a first-come-first-serve priority basis.

DELT consultation concluded

The DELT consultation period for faculty and student surveys has closed and Chantale Hutchinson and Bradley Clements are beginning to put together the survey findings. More information on this initiative will be available in the coming months.

Introducing the Collaboration Hub room

Learning and Applied Research and IT Services are pleased to introduce the Collaboration Hub - Evolving Teaching, Technology and Learning space located in L100 at the Kelowna campus. This space is available for employee collaborative teaching and learning events. For more information and to book, email Colette Martin

OC Foundation houseboat raffle

The Okanagan College Foundation is hosting a raffle for a houseboat vacation valued at $2,645. Tickets are $10 each and proceeds will support OC students at the Salmon Arm campus. Tickets can be purchased from the OC Foundation office, P Building at the Kelowna campus or through Margaret Scharf at the Salmon Arm campus. The draw date is May 23.

Click here to view prize information.

RVs for sale

The Okanagan College Foundation and OC Supply Management are presently offering the following RVs for sale: 

 All bids are to be delivered in person to Okanagan College Supply Management (P-111). 

Kelowna Fitness Facility hours

The Kelowna Fitness Facility has begun summer hours and will be in operation from Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and closed for weekends and statutory holidays.

Do you have health or safety concerns while working alone?

Employees who work alone or in isolation tend to be more vulnerable than those who have co-workers present, particularly if the lone worker is on shift during late night hours. 

Do you work alone or in isolation? You and your supervisor can help reduce health and safety concerns by:

  • Identifying hazards and assess risks and tell workers about them
  • Eliminating or minimizing the hazards
  • Developing and implementing a written procedure for checking on the well-being of workers, like a person check procedure
  • Training workers in the person check procedure
  • Reviewing written procedures at least annually, or more frequently if there is a change work arrangements or the procedures are not effective

Look to your future

Being prepared for the future can give you and your loved ones peace of mind. Learn how to have the difficult conversations that come with planning for your future and find out what steps you need to take when it comes to estate planning. For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night at 1-888-307-0590. 


Move for Health Day

May 10 – Move for Health Day is an international event created by the World Health Organization to promote physical activity.

Join Athletics, Recreation & Student Life for a 3 km walk on Friday, May 10 from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. Refreshments will be served during the walk. Please register your spot for the walk by clicking here. Deadline to register is Thursday, May 2.

OC Speakers Series - Sex, Salmonella and Beetles

May 13 – Attend Okanagan College's next Speakers Series event on Monday, May 13 from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the theatre at The Innovation Centre (460 Doyle Ave. in Kelowna). Award-winning author, veterinary epidemiologist and speaker David Waltner-Toews will share his insights on a cutting-edge topic entitled "What do food, sex and salmonella have in common?" Waltner-Toews will be reading from his 2008 book, Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why Our Food is Making Us Sick and will answer questions about his work, Eat the Beetles!, The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us about Evolution, Ecology, and Sustainable Society and his other books.

Visit the Eventbrite page for more information and register your seat for free.

RIPE - Research Innovation Partnerships Expo

May 14 – Join us for an applied research educational and networking day at Okanagan College on May 14 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Listen to keynote speakers, take part in workshops, pitch your research ideas and ask questions about your applied research. Sample workshops include Grant Writing, Intellectual Property, Applied Research in the Craft Brewing Industry, Building Applied Research in Colleges, Changes to NSERC Funding and many more.

Please register by clicking here. For OC employees only, enter the access code RIPE for free tickets.


Castanet shared information and a video about OC’s Women in Trades Gateway to the Building Trades program.

The Vernon Morning Star  and Daily Courier shared the winning details from the recent Skills BC competition where seven OC students placed, including two gold finishes.

The Summerland Review caught up with Lake Country’s mayor James Baker, 77 – also a former OC anthropology professor from 1974-2000 – to talk about his fifth term as mayor.

OC Culinary Arts instructor and Culinary Federation western regional vice president Jeremy Luypen spoke with RestoBiz about his career, industry and new leadership role within the Federation.

OC Enactus students coordinated a Youth Shelter Fundraiser on April 27 and the Summerland Review shared details about the fun event, which saw children play at the EnergyPlex for a good cause.

The BC Tasting Games is underway in three Okanagan communities. The Summerland Review, BC Local News and Haida Gwaii Observer shared details about the sport of wine drinkers, for which the event proceeds will support the Okanagan College viticulture program as one of two recipients.

The Vernon Morning Star shared game details for the OC Coyotes baseball team who – after an impressive four-game series win in Calgary – is well-positioned to defend the championship title for a second year in a row.

Maxine DeHart’s article in the Capital News featured OC business students from four Enactus teams who had four podium finishes at Enactus Western Canada Regionals.

Helen Jackman is joining the College as Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation and Director of Advancement on June 10 and was profiled by Castanet, Daily Courier, Capital News, Penticton Herald and Summerland Review.

The Summerland Review, Penticton Herald and Daily Courier shared details about the B.C. Government’s Provincial Tuition Waiver Program which allowed 43 students to train at Okanagan College.

Castanet provided event details for the College’s upcoming Experience OC day to be hosted at the Penticton campus on May 8.

Tricity News caught up with Chris Pearce, a 97-year-old artist in Port Coquitlam and Okanagan College alumna, who spoke about her fond memories of her Okanagan College instructors as she prepares for an upcoming art show.

OC professor and local poet Kerry Gilbert launched her new work, Little Red on April 26 and the Vernon Morning Star shared details about the book launch.

The Penticton Herald shared details about Shane Koyczan's recent poem in response to the Penticton shootings.

In anticipation of his upcoming concert season, OC alumnus and award-winning country musician Ben Klick was profiled in the Daily Courier.

OC alumna and Olympian Kelsey Serwa was featured in the Daily Courier for winning her final race of the season.

OC Honorary Fellow (2015) and renowned chef Rod Butters was profiled in the Daily Courier for opening a fourth location of The Okanagan Table in Kelowna. 


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

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 May 14, 2019.