Culinary and Pastry Arts students impress at Gold Medal Plates

2018 Gold Medal Plates - Black Box competition

Chef Alex Chen of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar in Vancouver took home the trophy at the 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna on Saturday, Feb. 3 and he had a little help along the way from a team of OC students.

Chef Chen and 10 other chefs from across Canada were assisted by Okanagan College Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts students throughout the Championships. The College once again hosted the popular Black Box Competition, an Iron Chef-style contest, on the morning of Feb. 3. The chefs were tasked with creating a dish incorporating ingredients from the black box: Fraser Valley rabbit, oysters, milled flax seed, a feta-like cheese, along with local Cripps Pink apples, kohlrabi and frozen Zinfandel ice wine grapes.

In the end, 
Chen took top honours overall for his innovative dishes. He was supported by OC students Siobhan Detkavich, Jillian Leatherland, Caitlan Lapka and Shelly Nguy. OC Culinary Arts students and instructors also provided culinary delights for competing chefs, judges, media and guests throughout the Championships.

Check out Okanagan College's Instagram feed for photos, watch the recorded livestream and learn more on the Gold Medal Plates website.

SIDCO steps up for Little Learners

$5,000 gift - Little Learners AcademyPenticton's newest child care centre began the new year on a bright note with a $5,000 donation from the Southern Interior Development Corporation (SIDCO), an arm of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen.

"A child care centre right on campus is a wonderful expansion of the College's offerings for students," says Clee Roy, General Manager of Community Futures. "We are excited about the big picture of what this project means for the students and parents in the local workforce who will benefit from it."

SIDCO was attracted to the Little Learners Academy due to its cutting-edge sustainable construction techniques and this is not the first time they've supported an environmental initiative at the College. In 2011, they contributed $25,000 to the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence.

Click here for the full story.

First season for OC Coyotes Basketball in the books

OC men's and women's basketball 2018 wrap upThe College's men's and women's basketball teams recently played their last two games, wrapping up the inaugural season for the program.

"Both teams had the opportunity to play every PACWEST team this season," says men's Head Coach Dino Gini. "We played ACAC teams and some tough American teams so we had a very challenging season."

"We've got an awesome group of players that are close off the court and want to put in the work to compete for a championship next year," says women's Head Coach Andrew Gini. "It won't be easy but I believe we can build on this year and have the opportunity to come back and beat anyone in the country."

Stay tuned for updates on the Coyotes' "March Madness" Basketball Bracket and appreciation evening on May 3. For more information, click here.


New Chair and Vice Chair for College Board of Governors

Derickson & Morgan - Chair and Vice Chair Board 2018


Okanagan College has a new Chair and Vice Chair for its Board of Governors.

Chris Derickson, a councillor with the Westbank First Nation and a four-year veteran of the Board, was elected as chair on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Gloria Morgan, a former chief of the Splatsin Indian Band and an Enderby resident, was acclaimed as vice chair at the Board’s November meeting.

Derickson replaces Connie Denesiuk, whose six-year term with the Board ends in July.

Morgan steps into the role vacated by Derickson. She has been on the Board of Governors since 2016.

Morgan was a Chief of the Splatsin Indian Band from 2001 to 2005 and has been an RCMP officer, a general practice lawyer as well as a Crown Prosecutor. She was the President of the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce, and member of the RCMP's E Division Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and served on the board of the Provincial Community Co-ordination for Women's Safety.

Read the full story here.

From the wrestling ring to the classroom

Mad Dog Marty Sugar - Marc Arellano CMNS classOC Communications Professor Marc Arellano recently welcomed a unique guest speaker, wrestler "Mad Dog" Marty Sugar, to his class to speak to students about smackdowns and semiotics.

In planning his Communications and Sport course, Arellano knew a few class field trips would help bridge the gap between theory and the real world. First up was a trip to Lakecity Bowling to watch a pro wrestling event. In March, the class will attend a Rockets game to compare modern day hockey with other athletic spectacles throughout history, stretching back to ancient Greece and Rome.

"The class just finished reading Roland Barthe's essay from Mythologies, 'The World of Wrestling,' which can be very dense," explains Arellano. "I've taught this same theory in other classes but the students reaction to it this time was completely different because of the field trip – it's gratifying to see how this trip has augmented the students' learning."

Sugar, who runs Big West Wrestling, stopped by the class last Wednesday to answer questions about the wrestling match as a follow-up to the field trip and to help break down the narrative structures commonly seen in pro wrestling.

Dianne Crommer announces retirement

Dianne Crommer retirementAfter 30 years of employment at Okanagan College, Dianne Crommer has announced her retirement.

Crommer has worked as an Education Council Assistant for the last 13 years and prior to that she worked in the Finance department in accounts receivable. Crommer served two one-year terms on the Board from 1995-2001 and was elected as the vice chair. She has also been a steward for the support staff since 1990 and was bargaining unit chair from 2006 to early 2014.

Crommer is planning to retire before the end of April. 

February 6, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 3


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
  • Leadership
  • Scholarly and 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.

Bakeshop "Friday" special hours this week

Bakeshop "Friday" is open every day this week, except on Friday. Employees can stop by the Kelowna campus cafeteria from Monday - Thursday and choose from a selection of sausage, bacon, roasts and more.

Infusions closure dates in February

Infusions at the Kelowna campus will be closed for dinner service from Feb. 2 - 13, reopening on Feb. 14 and closed for lunch service on Feb. 13 and 14.

Athletics and Recreation holiday closure and reading week hours

The Kelowna Fitness Facility will be closed from Saturday, Feb. 10 to Monday, Feb. 12 for the Family Day statutory holiday weekend and will be on reading week hours next week from Tuesday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and closed again on Saturday, Feb. 17.

30-Day Yoga Challenge
Join Athletics, Recreation & Student Life for a 30-day yoga challenge. The challenge is open to employees and students and features $5 yoga classes on campus or at Ekahi. A private Facebook group is available to follow along for daily motivation and there will be a Friday mediation group. Email Heather Carson or Catherine Newton to sign up. 


Renowned human rights activist to give free public talk - Feb. 6 

For more than 30 years, Rick Sauvé has dedicated his life to improving the recognition of prisoners as rights-bearing citizens – a life's mission he stumbled upon while serving 17 years in prison for first-degree murder.

Sauvé is a former inmate turned internationally recognized human rights activist and will be giving a free talk at the Vernon campus tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre. He presented to an audience at the Kelowna campus yesterday.

International Winter Bike to Work Day - Feb. 9

Employees are once again invited to join their peers in cycling to work on Friday, Feb. 9 for International Winter Bike to Work Day. This year, the Kelowna campus will host a Pit Stop for cyclists from 7:30 - 9 a.m. with coffee and snacks in the Centre for Learning atrium.

Click here to register before Friday. Registration is free and participants can stop by the College Pit Stop to claim a free shirt for participating.

Two new workshops open to employees

The Continuing Studies department is offering two courses that may be of interest to employees:

Living Life to the Full
Learn how to feel happier, more confident and worry less.
Feb. 8 - March 1 from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Vernon or Kelowna campuses.

A three-hour workshop in suicide alertness.
Feb. 6 or April 17 at the Vernon campus.

For more information, visit Continuing regular employees may apply for a tuition waiver for these courses. 

Faculty workshops - deadline to register Feb. 8

Two upcoming workshops on Feb. 15 and 16 will focus on sharing best practices and work through common issues as business educators. Event highlights include keynote speaker Robert Kelly (U of Calgary) and discuss current topics on teaching in a multicultural classroom, using technology in the classroom, the essentials of business education in the digital age and creating integrated and internationalized curriculum.

View the workshop schedule here. All faculty are welcome to attend. RSVPs are required, please email before Thursday, Feb. 8.

Learning and Applied Research workshops - winter 2018 schedule posted

Learning and Applied Research offers various professional development workshops for OC employees. The goal is to provide opportunities for employees to engage in sharing their knowledge and skills as well as gaining new perspectives on various topics that support them in their daily work. 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. Download the schedule of winter 2018 workshops here. All workshops are held in B130 at the Kelowna campus unless otherwise indicated. 

Upcoming workshops:

  • Feb. 13, 11 a.m. - noon: Tyler Finley: Sharing Your Success Stories: Communications for Applied Research Projects
  • Feb. 20, 10 a.m. - noon: Marianne Kalinoski: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Increasing Web Conference Success (webinar - access remotely)
  • March 6, 11 a.m. - noon: Lukas Skulmoski: Applied Research - What is it about?
  • March 8, 2 - 3 p.m.: Cynthia Garcia and professor Michael Saad: In the Shoes of an International Student


OC business student and Kelowna Chiefs right winger Myles Mattila was profiled recently by Sportsnet for his work as a youth mental health advocate.

The Canadian Culinary Championships took place at the College on Saturday, Feb. 3. The event received coverage from CastanetGlobal NewsInfoTel NewsDaily CourierOkanagan Weekend, Capital News and the Lake Country Calendar which reported on the winner and interviewed two OC students who worked alongside the competing chefs. The Daily Courier also reported on Edmonton's Chef Shane Chartrand and on overall winner, Vancouver's Chef Alex Chen.

Okanagan College health care assistant and practical nursing students attended an inter-professional training day in Vancouver alongside Justice Institute of British Columbia primary-care paramedic students to gain experience working together. Business in Vancouver shared the news.

The Lake Country CalendarCastanet, the Capital News and KelownaNow shared the news that Okanagan School of Business professor and Central Okanagan Sailing Association Head Coach Devin Rubadeau has been named Sail Canada’s 2017 Sailing Instructor of the Year.

The Lake Country Calendar, Vernon Morning Star, Daily Courier and the Capital News shared word that Chris Derickson was elected chair of the College's Board of Governors and Gloria Morgan will step into the role of vice chair.

Vice Money released an article about post-secondary institutions offering courses on the budding cannabis industry in Canada and Okanagan College’s new business course, The Emerging Marijuana Industry, was cited as an example.

KelownaNow shared details about the upcoming Okanagan Boys & Girls Club Annual Pink Shirt Day Breakfast on Feb. 28. OC Culinary students and instructors will once again be serving up food for this worthy cause.

The Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur business development initiative developed in part by the College’s Enactus team is getting ready to kick off its start-up weekend on Feb. 17 and 18. The Salmon Arm Observer shared event and registration details.

Renowned human rights activist and former inmate Rick Sauvé is giving a free public talk at Okanagan College’s Kelowna and Vernon campuses and KelownaNow, Castanet and the Vernon Morning Star shared the event details.

Sixteen Kelowna Central School students recently graduated the 15-week Gateway program and the Lake Country Calendar and Okanagan Weekend chatted with one of the graduating students to share her story.

The Salmon Arm Observer helped spread the news about the College’s Resistance and Revolution film festival, which kicked off at Salmon Arm's Salmar Classic Theatre on Jan. 29.

Okanagan College Enactus President Abbey Jones helped facilitate the 100 Kids Who Care Kelowna quarterly meet up alongside founder Richard Deacon. Global News attended the meeting and interviewed Jones and a few youth members.

OC interior design student Jayden McBride made the pages of the Vernon Morning Star for her newly-launched clothing company.

OC alumna and world-renowned ski cross Olympian Kelsey Serwa is heading to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang and the Daily Courier and Capital News helped share the news of the homegrown athlete.

The Stockhouse shared news of recent OC Business Administration alumnus (2017) Brendan Reeve who was recently appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer of Kestrel Gold Inc., located in Calgary. 

InfoTel News caught up with OC Public Affairs Director Allan Coyle to talk about the growth in the number of international students attending the College.

Castanet, KelownaNow, Daily Courier and CBC shared the comments of Okanagan College Students' Union Internal Director Nancy deMelo who went before the College’s Board at its January meeting to appeal for more mental health support for students at the Kelowna campus.

The College’s men’s and women’s basketball team recently finished the last games in their inaugural season and KelownaNow, Capital News, Daily Courier and the Lake Country Calendar provided a recap.

The Salmon Arm Observer shared event details that the Salmon Arm campus will be hosting a Solar Seminar on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Okanagan College Professor Dr. Kyleen Myrah will join UBC Okanagan professors and representatives of the private sector to moderate a panel discussion about housing and homelessness on Feb. 7 in Kelowna. The Capital News shared event details.

The Capital News and KelownaNow provided a recap on the City of Kelowna's 2017 challenge to collectively volunteer 150,000 hours over the course of the year in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. The College’s new 6,000-square-foot Indigenous garden, which received a grant from the city, and included extensive volunteer efforts to develop, was highlighted. 

The Little Learners Academy childcare centre at the Penticton campus received a $5,000 gift from Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen and Castanet took note.

Kelowna nurse and OC alumna Crystal Grymaloski was featured in the Vernon Morning Star and Okanagan Weekend's Women Today for her recent travels to Bangladesh to work as a volunteer nurse helping Rohingya refugees.

OC Alumna Jemma Allan (née Cowin) was profiled in Okanagan Weekend's Women Today for her recent promotion and work in the mining industry.

The Daily Courier reported on the possibility of the College's Academic Integrity policy expanding to include a broader scope of academic violations.

The Daily Courier took note of the upcoming Earlybird RV Show and Sale which will highlight Okanagan College's RV Service Technician training.

At the Jan. 30 Board meeting, the possibility of making emergency fund loans available to international students was discussed and the Daily Courier shared more information on the topic.

The Vernon Morning Star reported on the City of Vernon's new website which includes updated information on a wide variety of attractions, services and institutions, including Okanagan College.

OC alumnus and owner of Prestige Collision & Glass Todd Regier made the pages of the Okanagan Weekend for his company's recent achievement of earning Certified Collision Care status.


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 February 20, 2018.