Additional trades seats benefit College students and industry

Minister Mark - KF AerospaceMelanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training visited KF Aerospace in Kelowna on Feb. 8 to announce new funding and new partnerships that are opening doors for College students in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Structures program.

"With a global and regional demand for people in the aerospace industry exceeding the supply of qualified apprentices, it is critical to find solutions to meet the needs of industry, while creating good-paying jobs for people," says Mark. 

The program is being operated with an investment of $88,800 from the Industry Training Authority (ITA), which covers the cost of delivery. KF Aerospace has matched the ITA's contribution with funding that takes care of instructional costs. The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada has invested $20,000 to support the program with tools and equipment and the College is covering the remaining operational costs.

While in Kelowna, Minister Mark also toured the College's Animation classroom located in the Okanagan Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna.

Read the full story here.

OC research project goes overseas

Beverlie Dietze - web
Led by OC, a troop of educators and policy-shapers from across Canada are currently in Scotland to learn how to better plan and incorporate outdoor play into children's early educational experiences.

Dr. Beverlie Dietze, the College's Director of Learning and Applied Research and recognized expert in outdoor play curriculum for children, co-organized a six-day event that connects Canadian researchers, early childhood education professionals and policy leaders with experts in outdoor play in Scotland. 

From Feb. 18-23, Dietze and group are in Glasgow and surrounding areas, sharing their experiences in advancing outdoor play in Canada and are soaking up key learnings from their Scottish counterparts.

Read the full story here.

College students start up solar powered social enterprise

Nick Gallant, Cooper Simson, Josh WiebeA pair of OC Business Administration students have joined forces with Civil and Mechanical Engineering students to launch a new project that will help people power up their devices on the go, while also providing a conduit for giving back to the community.

Project ReCharge, a new initiative by Enactus OC, focuses on developing products that integrate the power of solar technology into our everyday lives. The idea was sparked by Nick Gallant and Cooper Simson, fourth-year BBA students, and Josh Wiebe, a second-year Civil Engineering Technology diploma student.

The team's first product, a solar powered phone-charging table, will be unveiled to the public at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 in the courtyard at the Kelowna campus. They've been given the go-ahead to have tables installed at the Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses later this spring.

The group is presenting its idea to the world at the Enactus Western Canada Regional Competition in Calgary on where they will compete for a $20,000 grant.

Read the full story here.

Nominations open for OC Alumni Awards

Klick, Greyeyes, MoffattThe Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award and Young Alumni Award.

The awards recognize an OC or OUC alumnus for their demonstration of excellence in the areas of leadership, environment, business or industry, public or community service, arts or support of the College. 

All members of the OCAA are eligible for nomination and must have completed a certificate, diploma, degree or apprenticeship program or a minimum of 30 credits at OC or OUC.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, March 14. Nominations can be made by completing an online form here. 

Researcher digs deep into overdose crisis

Cheyenne JohnsonA renowned researcher in the field of substance use is coming to the College next month to share her perspective on the challenges of dealing with this pervasive and multi-pronged issue.

Cheyenne Johnson, Director of Clinical Activities and Development at the British Columbia Center on Substance Use (BCCSU) and the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse, will present "Beyond opioids: the overdose crisis — how did we get here?" in the lecture theatre at the Vernon campus on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. The talk is open to the public and is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series.

Johnson, who is also the Director of the BCCSU Nursing Fellowship, will provide a broad overview of the current overdose crisis and will also focus on the key gaps to improving the substance use system of care in B.C. Key topics discussed will include stigma, science and social policy.

Click here for admission details. 


Myrah invites input on Journey Home initiative

Kyleen MyrahOkanagan College School of Business professor and co-chair of the City of Kelowna's Journey Home Task Force Dr. Kyleen Myrah is inviting the OC community to join the conversation about homelessness in the region.

“This is an opportunity to provide input on issues, gaps, solutions and strategies as we move forward to develop a long-term plan to address homelessness in Kelowna,” says Myrah. “I encourage you to complete the public survey and attend any of the design labs that are of interest. This is a plan for the community, by the community and your feedback is important.”

The public can get involved by participating in an online survey (open Feb. 7 – March 5) or by attending Journey Home Design Labs (Feb. 19 – March 9).

The online survey, full schedule of design lab sessions (along with sign up information), and more information about the project is available at Questions can also be emailed directly to Kyleen Myrah.

OC applied research project at Parliament Hill

Noah DorseyDual-credit Carpentry student Noah Dorsey and Dean of Trades Steve Moores attended the CICan Applied Research Symposium in Ottawa on Feb. 12 where they showcased an innovative applied research project aimed at helping homeowners achieve greater flexibility and reduced cost in their energy usage.

Last year, Dorsey worked with Electrical Instructor Lukas Skulmoski, currently Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health, and Andrew Gaucher, President of Catalyst Land Development, the industry partner on the project, to help bring to life a new concept that could allow homeowners to safely and easily connect/disconnect electrical services and circuits when they move or add onto their homes.

OC was among more than a dozen other institutions showcased at the Symposium, which took place at Parliament Hill. The event highlights the impact of applied research and innovation experience for students in Canada. Members of Parliament and government representatives had the chance to tour the presentations. Stephen Fuhr, MP - Kelowna — Lake Country stopped by the booth to chat about the project with Dorsey and Moores during the session.

Learn more about the “Plug-and-Play House” project here

Students thrive in Stress Buster event

Stress Buster 2018More than 150 students took part in the Penticton campus’ Stress Buster event, making for a rather relaxing day around campus.

The event was full of fun activities to help students beat the stress including aromatherapy, beading, board games, colouring, stress ball making, yoga and some therapy dogs were on site as well. Several nursing students also came to the event to showcase strategies for combating stress through exercise, sleep, test anxiety information and for time management.

Additionally, the newest campus wellness project, Flourish, encouraged students to take a pledge to choose to flourish in their own mental health. Special guests from The Women’s Resource Centre also attended the event and hosted a quilting table where students made squares to honour women.

Want to get a glimpse into the event? Check out this video from Castanet.

OC Business Expo brings hiring employers to the region

2018 Business ExpoWhat started as a small employment fair 11 years ago at the College has now grown to a large-scale event where local and national employers come to meet students and community members in hopes of making connections with qualified workers and fill job vacancies.

More than 500 students and community members attended the College’s annual Business Expo and Employment Fair on Feb. 7, which saw 61 exhibitors from a wide variety of industries come to the Kelowna campus for an afternoon of networking, making connections and interviewing. Many students secured interviews with companies such as Metro Vancouver and Terracon Geotechnique Ltd.

Stand against bullying at OC - Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt DayWhat began with two Nova Scotia high school students addressing bullying in their school has now become a nation-wide movement and pledge to take a stand against bullying in schools and workplaces, including at Okanagan College.   

Wednesday, Feb. 28 is Pink Shirt Day and each year hundreds of people at OC chose to wear pink and the College supports the movement by taking a group photo of anyone wearing pink and uses that photo to join the movement online in conjunction with the event’s hashtags #PinkShirtDay and #PinkitForward which raise funds to support programs that foster children’s healthy self-esteem.

This year, photos will be taken at the Kelowna campus in the Centre for Learning atrium at both 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the Penticton campus at 11:45 a.m. outside the Library and at the Vernon campus in the Administration Office at 10:30 a.m. The Salmon Arm campus is providing cookies and a draw in the lobby for all those wearing pink.

If you would like to be included in the group photo on your campus, simply show up to the meeting location at the designated time – no registration is required.

International Winter Bike to Work Day a success at OC

OC Bike to Work Winter Day 2018OC employees, students and community members geared up on Feb. 9 to ride their bikes to work for International Winter Bike to Work Day.

The Kelowna campus hosted a pit stop station, one of many throughout the city, which drew in a crowd of dedicated cyclists who enjoyed some hot coffee, snacks and even a free cycling t-shirt. The event is part of the fast-approaching International Bike to Work Week in May and is used to encourage those to dust off the cobwebs and get prepared to get active.

This year 14,292 people participated nation-wide and Canada came in second overall for the most cyclists and had an impressive six cities place in the top 25 top city scores.

Stay tuned for information about registering for the College’s Bike to Work Week team.

February 20, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 4


Planned power outage: Buildings B, H and T closed at the Kelowna campus on Saturday, Feb. 24 

Buildings B, H and T at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus will be closed Saturday, Feb. 24 beginning at 6 a.m. and will be without power all day due to scheduled maintenance to the high-voltage electrical system. Emergency power will be operational for all Life Safety systems. These buildings are expected to re-open Sunday, Feb. 25 at 7 a.m.
Students and employees should avoid buildings B, H and T on Feb. 24. Classes or activities scheduled for Saturday in these buildings will be rescheduled, relocated or cancelled.
If you are an instructor who has classes or workshops scheduled in these buildings for Feb. 24 that have not been rescheduled or cancelled, please contact your direct supervisor.
Web-based services will continue to be available on Feb. 24.
If there are any changes or updates to the predicted re-opening of these buildings, they will be posted at:
Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Ed Tech has moved

Educational Technology Coordinators Ross McKerlich and Mike Minions have moved to the Learning and Applied Research Office located in B120 at the Kelowna campus. Instructional technology consultation and drop-in Moodle support is available in the new space.

AV Equipment loan services are being shifted to the IT Help Desk located in the north-east corner of the Centre for Learning Atrium. Equipment can be booked online through myOkanagan and will be checked in and out by the Help Desk staff.

2018 summer hours / 2018-19 holiday closure schedule announced

As in the past, departments at Okanagan College have the option to change normal operational hours to summer hours. For those departments who are participating this year, summer hours (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.) will be in effect from Monday, April 30 to Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Please inquire with your supervisor if your department is participating. The 2018 holiday closure schedule has also been announced. Okanagan College will be closed to the public during the holiday season beginning Monday, Dec. 24, 2018 at 3 p.m., and will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Download the closure schedule here

Nominations open for 2018 Employee Excellence Awards

It’s that time of the year again – nominations for the 2018 Employee Excellence Awards are now open. Please take the time to recognize those you work with who have made a difference to you, to students or the institution.

You can nominate employees in any one of nine categories:
Career achievement
Continuous improvement
Key directions
Scholarly & creative activity
Service excellence
Strong start
Teaching excellence
President’s award

Nominations close at midnight on Friday, March 2. Award category details and nomination forms are available here.


Red Dot Players present NEVERWHERE

The Red Dot Players are excited to present NEVERWHERE, a stage adaptation of the classic dark fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. When London office worker Richard Mayhew helps a mysterious young woman who appears on the sidewalk in front of him, he finds himself drawn into the depths of London Below, a sinister realm full of monsters and magic. 

Performances of NEVERWHERE are taking place on March 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 11 at 2 p.m. at the OC Theatre. Tickets are available at Mosaic Books in downtown, Kelowna and the Okanagan College Campus Store and will also be available at the door. 

View poster here.

Dark Matter: How to Hunt for the Unknown

March 6 –  Dr. Ken Clark from the department of Physics and Astronomy at Queen’s University is coming to the Kelowna campus to give a free special lecture on “Dark Matter: How to hunt for the Unknown,” as part of the 2018 Canadian Association of Physicists Lecture Series. The lecture is in room H-115 and starts at 7:30 p.m.

The talk explores the quest for understanding dark matter and will focus on results and prospects from two experiments and discuss the imminent challenges to all detection experiments. View the event poster here.

Trivia Night - Are you Smarter than an OC Student?

March 14 - Are you a pop culture junkie, sports fan or history buff? Do you love catching an episode of Ellen's Game of Games or the classic Family Feud or Jeopardy? If yes, then OC Alumni Association's trivia night – Are you Smarter than an OC Student or Graduate – is for you!

Put together a team of friends, colleagues, family members or fellow alumni and join us for a fun night of trivia on the Kelowna campus. A cash bar is available and your registration fee includes an appie platter for your team. There are tons of prizes. All proceeds go toward student awards, bursaries and scholarships. The winning trivia team chooses what types of OC awards the event proceeds contribute to. For more information and to register a team, click here.

Learning and Applied Research workshops

Learning and Applied Research offers various professional developmental workshops for OC staff. The goal is to provide opportunities for OC staff to engage in sharing their knowledge and skills as well as gaining new perspectives on various topics that support them in their daily work.

Upcoming workshops:
March 6, 11 a.m. - noon: Lukas Skulmoski: Applied Research - What is it about?
March 8, 2 - 3 p.m.: Cynthia Garcia and Michael Saad: In the Shoes of an International Student.

If you have ideas or suggestions about the types of professional development workshops that you would like to see offered during the winter semester, please email your ideas to Download the schedule of winter 2018 workshops here.

All workshops are held in B130 at the Kelowna campus unless otherwise indicated. 

College Pension Plan workshops - seats still available

There are still spots available in the member education workshops for OC employees. If you’re a new member, you can take our eLearning course. Wondering how being a member of the plan, retiring, returning from parental leave, getting divorced, transferring service or choosing a pension option could affect your future? Find answers to your pension questions.

Members wondering how important events in their life can affect their future pension

Making the Most of Your Pension is a 2–hour online workshop that can help you maximize your pension by understanding how the decisions you make throughout your career affect your pension when you retire.

Members approaching retirement – March 6 in Kelowna – seats still available

Approaching Retirement is a 2–hour workshop designed to help you understand the important decisions you need to make about your pension and make the transition easier. This workshop only occurs once a year.

Register now to make sure you attend the date(s) of your choice. If the workshop is full, you can be put on a waitlist. Or, you could take a workshop at an alternative location.

For more information and to register for a workshop, visit > click Your pension > Pension basics or Planning for retirement.

New and potential members

Getting to Know Your Pension is a 15-minute eLearning course that will introduce you to the value and benefits of plan membership.

To take this eLearning course anywhere, anytime, visit > click Your pension > Pension basics.

Save the date for RIPE

May 8 – The Research and Innovation Partnerships Expo (RIPE) returns to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on Tuesday, May 8. Join this all-day event showcasing applied research projects, resources and opportunities at Okanagan College featuring OC researchers, community/industry partners and guest speakers. For more information about participating, please email Learning and Applied Research.


Castanet caught up with the Stress Buster event at the Penticton campus and highlighted the event in a video.

The Capital News' column by Maxine Dehart gave OC alumna Stefanie Meyer, a finance clerk at the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, kudos completing her program studies.

The 24th Annual Spring Okanagan Wine Festival is fast approaching and Castanet and Capital News shared event details including the Iron Sommelier B.C. wine and food pairing competition being held at Okanagan College.

Castanet, Lake Country Calendar, Voice Online, the Penticton Herald, Daily Courier, Capital News and Vernon Morning Star, shared the news about the Ministry event at KF Aerospace in which Minister Melanie Mark announced new funding and partnerships that are bringing more seats to AME-S program at the College.

The 2018 Alumni Awards are now open for nominations: the Daily Courier and the Penticton Herald helped spread the news.

The 2018 Canadian Culinary Championship winner, Chef Alex Chen, received congratulations from the Capital News and in Maxine Dehart's column.

While in Kelowna, Minister Melanie Mark visited 11 students from the College's Animation program to announce new funding for a total of 30 spaces in the diploma program. The Capital News shared the story.

KelownaNow and the Capital News shared the news of the College's new youth basketball program.

The College's annual Business Expo and Employment Fair caught the Daily Courier's attention who highlighted event details.

The Salmon Arm Observer shared information about the College's upcoming Gateway to the Building Trades for Women information session at the OC Salmon Arm Trades Centre in the industrial park.

On Jan. 25, Enactus OC helped facilitate the 100 Kids Who Care Kelowna chapter and Castanet and the Capital News took note of the events.

The Capital News and Castanet took note of the recent panelist discussion on housing solutions in the Okanagan. The event was co-hosted by UBCO and OC professors.

The Lake County Calendar and Morning Star shared event highlights from Rick Sauve's free talk at the College's Kelowna and Vernon campuses.

Castanet reported on parking complaints at the College's Kelowna campus. 

The OC Coyotes baseball team opened its season in Arizona. BC Local News and the Capital News gave game information about the Coyotes for their upcoming season.

The Capital News' column from Maxine Dehart spread the news that Chris Derickson was elected chair and Gloria Morgan was acclaimed as vice-chair for the Okanagan College Board of Governors.

OC alumna (2002) Stephanie Allen was profiled by the Globe and Mail for her work as a prominent housing advocate.

OC culinary instructor and alumnus Jeremy Luypen was featured in the Okanagan Weekend. Luypen was recently hired as a chef at Summerhill Pyramid Winery 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 March 6, 2018.