Heartfelt gifts launch Vernon Trades campaign

Vernon Trades donation Galbraith and Kal TireOkanagan College kicked off its fundraising campaign for the Vernon Trades Training Centre on Dec. 11 with the announcement of two major gifts.

Vernon philanthropist George Galbraith pledged $250,000 to the campaign and immediately after, a second gift of $250,000 from Kal Tire was announced. The $500,000 boost puts the Okanagan College Foundation well on its way to the campaign’s $1-million fundraising goal.  

“It’s very rewarding to be part of such an exciting initiative in our backyard,” says Galbraith, who is dedicating his gift and naming one of the trades shops in memory of his son Kieran.

“We’re proud to support a new learning environment that will provide the highest quality trades training, and a promising career path for students,” says Robert Foord, President of Kal Tire. “This new centre will create a positive impact for our local economy and help keep qualified tradespeople in the North Okanagan.”  

Read the full story here.

New part-time viticulture courses introduced

Part-time viticulture coursesThree new part-time viticulture courses starting in January at the Penticton campus will offer students a flexible way to gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in or manage a commercial vineyard.

“By allowing students to take individual courses on a part-time basis, we aim to provide a more convenient means to explore this exciting field of study,” explains Jonathan Rouse, Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “It will allow individuals, both experienced and new to viticulture, an opportunity to further develop a range of skills and knowledge that aligns with the needs of the wine industry.”

The courses span three key cornerstones of viticulture – vineyard health and nutrition, irrigation and trellis systems and vineyard operations. Students can expect a blend of classroom instruction and practical experience at local vineyards.

The courses were developed as part of the College’s new Viticulture Technician diploma program that launched in September. The two-year pilot program was made possible with funding from both the federal and provincial governments through labour market agreements, and developed in partnership with the B.C. Wine Grape Council.

Read the full story here.

Student wins big at 36th Annual Career Fair

Braeden Lambert and Bill Gillet - tuition winnerA Kelowna Secondary School student attended the recent Career Fair at OC’s Kelowna campus and got more than expected after winning the event’s grand prize, a $2,500 tuition credit.

Grade 12 student Braeden Lambert went to the Fair on Nov. 5 to research the College’s Bachelor of Business degree program. The Okanagan School of Business’s strong reputation and inclusive program options led Lambert to apply on the spot, making him eligible for the grand prize draw.

“It totally took me by surprise when I got the phone call telling me I won the tuition money – I felt like I won the lottery or something,” says Lambert. “It’s like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I don’t have to stress as much about my job or how I’ll pay for tuition – I can just focus on my school now.”

The College’s Career Fair is the Interior’s longest-running fair and attracted hundreds of prospective students this year. Attendees were treated to post-secondary preparatory seminars, tours, activities, program information and draw prizes.

Read the full story here.

Holiday giving campaign brings smiles and clothes to charities

Pay it Forward Sorting - CombaThe 12th annual Pay it Forward (PIF) drive wrapped up at the Kelowna campus. Led by OC alumna and campaign founder Sarah Comba, the PIF initiative invited students and employees to donate lightly used winter clothing in various holiday-themed containers found around the campus.

The PIF drive ran for two weeks and completed on Dec. 1. Comba and several volunteers spent the day sorting the donations and delivered six truckloads of warm winter gear to various local charities.

Credit Union invests in next generation

Credit Union donates to Little Learners AcademyThe Summerland & District Credit Union (SDCU) announced a pledge of $5,000 to Little Learners Academy, the new child care centre at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus last week.

“The relationships we build with our members gives us insight into the needs of the region. We see a demand for high quality child care in the South Okanagan and feel the new centre will be a community asset for years to come,” says Kelly Marshall, CEO of SDCU, who says it is easy to get behind a project that clearly addresses a community need.

The credit union has been a long-time investor in students at Okanagan College, with their philanthropic history dating back to 1989. In 2008, they established the Credit Union Foundation of BC – Summerland Credit Union Endowment, an annual bursary presented to a deserving student at the Penticton campus. 

Read the full story here.


Eby steps in to help with transition

Bob EbyA former Vice President is stepping up to help Okanagan College while it searches for a new Vice President of Employee and Corporate Services.

Bob Eby, who retired from the College in 2014 after seven years as Vice President Finance and Administration, has agreed to return to help guide key processes and activities in the wake of Roy Daykin’s pending departure at the end of December.

“Bob and Roy worked closely together as Bob retired three years ago, and they’ve already started meeting to make this transition as smooth as possible,” explains President Jim Hamilton. “While many things have evolved and changed since 2014, Bob knows the institution well and is clearly a capable leader to help us while we find a replacement for Roy.”

The College has initiated recruitment activities to replace Daykin. Eby will begin in the interim role on Jan. 2, 2018.

Skulmoski appointed interim Associate Dean, Science, Technology and Health

Lukas SkulmoskiLukas Skulmoski will be taking on a new role beginning Jan. 2 as the interim Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health. Skulmoski is a senior electrical instructor in Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College, a position he has held since joining OC in 2006.

“I am honoured to have been given this opportunity and am excited to be joining the Dean’s office team,” he says. “Everyone in Science, Technology and Health have been so welcoming and supportive, and I look forward to helping them provide students with an educational experience that is second to none.”

In addition to his instructional role, Skulmoski has been involved in several College research projects, including the development of the Level 1 Electrical Apprenticeship blended delivery pilot project.

He has extensive industry experience and holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning from the University of Calgary and is currently completing his Doctorate of Education at the University of Calgary.

Skulmoski will fill the interim role until June 1, 2018.

English professor takes love of the arts to the stage

Kevin McPhersonWhen he’s not in the classroom, you can find OC English Professor Kevin McPherson on the stage or in front of a camera performing stand-up comedy and acting.

McPherson has been teaching at the College for 10 years and enjoys fusing his passions for arts and performance together. Wanting to further research performance techniques and acting, McPherson took an Extended Study Leave in the 2016-17 academic year to study at Vancouver’s Second Circle Studio and with renowned acting coach, Anthony Meindl.

“My performance interests have been ever-slinking towards less traditional performance styles like sound art, skits, audience participation and improv,” says McPherson. “I’ve been on the stage for a few years now – I’ve enacted one-night one-person shows, played lead roles in several independent films and performed stand-up comedy in Kelowna, Vancouver and Toronto.”

McPherson continues to work on films as semesters allow and aspires to teach a section of Intro to Acting at the College.

Bartlett lends helping hand to B.C. Ministries

Nathan BartlettInstitutional Research Analyst Nathan Bartlett is playing a role in British Columbia’s Student Transitions Project (STP), a mass provincial database that tracks B.C. students and guides program planning and management.

Bartlett has worked at the College for more than 11 years and for the past six years has sat on one of the STP subcommittees that works directly with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Education. 

“I work in a team essentially as a technical data advisor and representative of the Post-Secondary Central Data Warehouse,” says Bartlett. “We test new data releases and work on feasibility and solutions to new questions using existing data."

The STP recently released a new Post-Secondary Student Mobility Newsletter that focuses on student mobility within the public post-secondary system and was produced from 14 years of enrolment data, spanning Fall 2002 to Fall 2016.

For more information on STP and the Mobility Newsletter, click here.

December 12, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 43


Submit mileage logs/expense claims by Dec. 15

Financial Services would like to remind employees to please submit mileage logs and meal expense claims ASAP as they are currently preparing for the 2017 T4s - Statement of Remuneration Paid and need to account for any Taxable Benefits that may result from these claims.

All expense claims, for travel to Dec. 31, 2017, must be received in the Finance Department no later than Dec. 15, 2017 for processing of the Taxable Benefits in the 2017 calendar year.

Kelowna cafeteria holiday hours

  • Dec. 11, 12, 14 and 15: open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 13: closed at 12:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 18 - 19: open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 20 - 31: closed

The cafeteria will reopen on Jan. 2, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Service is as follows:

  • Breakfast is served from 7 - 11 a.m.
  • Fast food is served from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Hot lunch is served from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Fitness Facility holiday hours

The Fitness Facility holiday hours and closures at the Kelowna campus are as follows:
  • Dec. 4 - 15 - open 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., closed on weekends
  • Dec. 15 - closing for holiday break
  • Jan. 2 - reopening with regular winter semester hours

Central Stores and truck run holiday schedule

The Central Stores department at the Kelowna campus will be closed as of 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22. It will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

The last scheduled truck runs of 2017 are as follows:

  • Vernon and Salmon Arm – Tuesday, Dec. 19
  • Penticton – Thursday, Dec. 21

Regularly scheduled truck runs will resume the week of Jan. 2 with the first run to Vernon and Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Jan. 3 and to Penticton on Thursday, Jan. 4.

Next year's holiday closure dates 

The dates for the 2018-19 holiday closure and summer hours have been announced. Okanagan College will be closed to the public beginning Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. and will re-open on Jan. 2. View the closure schedule here.


Heather Banham retirement party

Dec. 19 - A retirement party for Dr. Heather Banham is being hosted at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19 in Infusions. Celebrate Heather's 24-year career with Okanagan College.

Roy Daykin farewell party

Dec. 18 - A farewell party for Roy Daykin will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 18 in the Executive Boardroom, S103B. Please join in celebrating Roy's time at Okanagan College.

Web Conference Essentials 

Jan. 17 – Come learn about how to teach using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Okanagan College’s web conferencing tool on January 17 from 10 a.m. - noon. Employees are encouraged to attend remotely. If preferred, B130 on the Kelowna campus will be set up for group collaboration. Explore the user interface, learn how to communicate, share content, record sessions and review best practices. Email Ross McKerlich for the link to join remotely or to RSVP if you are planning to attend in B130. A USB headset is required to participate.

2017 OC Social Committee holiday party

This year's holiday party will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Mission Tap House in Kelowna. For just $35 you can enjoy a full holiday buffet, live music, dancing, use of the games room, prizes and $4 house wine and beer after 9 p.m. 

Tickets are available from any OCSC member: Angie March, Blake Edwards, Carlyn Young, Danai Belanger, Dawn Douglas, Gerry Born, Lynda Dreaper, Margaret Johnson or Tanya Tarlit.  


The Vernon Trades building fundraising campaign kicked off with a bang thanks to local philanthropist George Galbraith and Kal Tire, who each donated $250,000. The donations brought a large crowd and the story was shared by many news outlets including Global News, Castanet, Vernon Morning Star, InfoTel News and radio station 107.5 Kiss FM.

Three new part-time viticulture courses starting in January caught the attention of Okanagan Life Magazine, Castanet the Salmon Arm Observer and Capital News, who each shared news of the College’s program.

A family with close ties to Okanagan College and to teaching has pledged $2,500 to the College’s new Little Learners Academy Daycare Centre and the Penticton Herald took note.

The College’s 2017-18 high enrolment numbers and its anticipated 2018-19 record-breaking numbers caught the attention of the Capital News and the Salmon Arm Observer.

Students and staff from Kelowna and Salmon Arm campuses prepared for the Annual Candlelight Vigil on Dec. 6 in honour of the National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women. Vigils took place in both Kelowna and Salmon Arm and KelownaNow and the Salmon Arm Observer shared the event details.

Local high school student Braeden Lambert took home the College’s 36th Annual Career Fair grand prize of $2,500 towards tuition and InfoTel News, the Capital News and Castanet shared his winning story.

OC alumna Udloriak Hanson will become deputy minister of the Department of Economic Development and Transportation in Nunavut. Hanson will step into her new role on Jan. 8. Nunatsiaq Online helped share her story. 

The Summerland and District Credit Union is contributing $5,000 to the Little Learners Academy Daycare Centre at the College’s Penticton campus and both Castanet and the Business Examiner shared the story.

OC’s Director of Learning and Applied Research Beverlie Dietze was featured in The Western Producer for her research on outdoor play improving children’s emotional behavior and ability to overcome fears.

A recent fundraising event from a 2016 Okanagan College Honorary Fellow has the attention of the Okanagan Weekend. Anthony von Mandl, proprietor of Kelowna’s Mission Hill Winery hosted the Festival of Trees fundraiser event which raised more than $25,000 for the B.C Children’s Hospital.

A recent survey of Aboriginal students attending the College showed overall positive experiences yet poor physical and emotional health. The Daily Courier shared the survey results.

Okanagan College’s Director of Public Affairs Allan Coyle composed a letter that was published in the Daily Courier. The letter clarified and expanded upon a recent article the Daily Courier and Herald published about students and enrolment numbers at the Vernon campus.

The Capital News profiled OC alumna and world-renowned ski cross Olympian Kelsey Serwa after her recent podium finish in Val Thorens, France. Serwa took home the bronze medal on Thursday, Dec. 7 at the event’s opening race.

OC’s Skaha Residence employee Kathy Zucchi was featured by the Okanagan Weekend as she and a long-time friend are vying for a spot on the upcoming season of the Amazing Race Canada. 


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 January 9, 2018.