SCMT grad builds net-zero family home

David scmt iocIn search of a new career and a greener future, David Sawatzky enrolled in OC’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma program. Over the past three years, he has embraced sustainability as a way of life, a fact that can be seen in the one-of-a-kind, ultra-energy efficient home he recently constructed for his family. 

“The SCMT program was exactly what I was looking for,” explains the recent graduate who was part of the program’s first graduating class last month. “I learned that it’s not just the solution that matters – the process to the solution is equally important,” he says. “We need to build in eco-conscious ways and find a balanced triple bottom line approach: people, planet and profit.”

Sawatzky’s family moved into their new custom 1,700 square foot house in Lumby earlier this month. It boasts the most sustainable and industry innovative features available, including: LED lighting, a super insulated concrete form foundation, Energy Star compliant fixtures and appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures, and a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) and mini-split ductless heat pump. The icing on the cake is the 7.4 kW solar photovoltaic array (28 panels that generate 265 watts each) that Sawatzky expects will generate all the electricity needed to power the home, and perhaps even more.

Click here to read more about Sawatzky’s journey in the SCMT program and what makes his new home so unique.

New Lit course takes Penticton students to the end of the world and back

beaulne ioc july 2017A new English course is sure to bring much-wanted doom and gloom to students at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus this Fall.

When English Professor Jeremy Beaulne found out he was teaching Studies in Popular Narrative this September, he set out to create a unique course topic that has never before been offered at the College – the apocalypse. 

“Recently, I’ve seen many first year English classes talk about technology and the thought of technology potentially surpassing humans,” explains Beaulne. “I was interested to see how this cataclysmic thought manifested in popular media and quickly saw it’s something people are obsessed with. There are constantly new movies, TV series and literary works about apocalyptic scenarios.”

Visions of the Apocalypse in Literature and Film will look into different types of apocalypses including alien and technological invasions, zombies, ecological decimation and other doomsday scenarios. Students can expect to delve into materials spanning over two centuries, from 19th century poetry to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale.

Read more about how this new course came to be, in the media release.

Story poles installed in the na’ʔk’ʷulamən garden

story poles garden iocStory poles featuring carvings by a renowned local Aboriginal artist were recently installed in the na’ʔk’ʷulamən garden at the Kelowna campus.

Two poles featuring pictographs by Les Louis of the Lower Similkameen Band of the Okanagan Nation Alliance arrived in the garden on Thursday, July 13. The pictographs include an array of plant and animal species that are significant to the Indigenous peoples of the region.

View a photo gallery of the story poles here.


Markin twins issue fundraising challenge to OC alumni 

markins iocAllison and Quentin Markin have launched a donation-matching challenge to fellow Okanagan College alumni with the goal of raising $20,000 toward the College’s new child care centre at the Penticton campus.

The siblings originally moved to Penticton with parents Allan and Evelyn in 1988 when Allan took on the role of Campus Director for the College. Both parents are well known for championing many educational, fundraising and community-based initiatives in the Penticton area, including the Mad Hatter’s Ball, a fundraising event for the College.

“We wanted to recognize our parents and their connection to the College,” says Allison Markin. “Our parents gave us an appreciation for the transformative power of education and we wanted to pay it forward to the next generation of learners.” 

Alumni can donate online and share their support using the hashtag #BrightStartChallenge. Read the full story here.

OC joins Downtown Kelowna Block Party

cam dragsterWhat do a thousand bags of popcorn, a 3-on-3 basketball tourney and a drag racer have in common? All were part of the fun at the various booths organized by Okanagan College at the Downtown Kelowna Block Party over the weekend.

The College had four booths at the all-day event, which drew thousands of visitors to downtown Kelowna on Saturday. Attendees had a chance to check out programs offered, chat with recruiters and even get behind the wheel of the College’s drag racer. 

OC Coyotes Basketball presented a 3-on-3 hoops tournament to raise awareness and support for the new men’s and women’s teams that will take to the court this fall.

Follow this link to check out a photo gallery by KelownaNow.

Largest-ever group of students arrive from Toyota Technical College

toyota students 2017Students from Toyota Technical College in Japan arrived at the Kelowna campus on Monday, July 17, continuing the tradition of a summer educational exchange that has been running for more than 25 years.

Over the next four weeks, 120 students will study Automotive Collision Repair and Customer Service at OC, under the tutelage of College Trades instructors. This is the largest-ever group of students making the trip from the Japanese institution.

The program goes well beyond the technical aspects of automotive work and offers students a chance to immerse themselves in Canadian culture for a month. More than 1,100 students have participated in the program since it began in 1992.

Read the full story from last year’s 25th anniversary celebration here.

July 25, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 34


Don’t forget to register for Connections

Aug. 22 and 23 – Registration is open for Okanagan College's annual employee learning conference. Connections will be held at the Kelowna campus and employees have the choice to attend either Tuesday, Aug. 22 or Wednesday, Aug. 23. 

Rhonda Victoor, international speaker and professional coach, will give a special presentation at Connections: Connect for Effect! Going beyond the schmooze for more meaningful collaboration

She will share her insights and knowledge that will teach how to:
- approach a group situation with confidence
- create engaging conversation that has nothing to do with the weather
- make genuine connections with peers
- remain open and curious to enhance collaboration

OC Administrators Association Scholarships

Reminder that members of the OC Administrators Association who meet the eligibility criteria for Professional Development can apply to receive one of two scholarships valued at $1,000 each. The recipient must be registered in a certificate, diploma, degree or designation at Okanagan College or other institution providing post-secondary education. 

If there are no members of the Association who meet the criteria, the award may be awarded to dependents of members who meet the following criteria: the dependent must be registered and in good academic standing in a certificate, diploma, degree or designation at Okanagan College, or other institution providing post-secondary education. Please submit applications (or any questions) to Jan O’Brien (local 4529). Application deadline is July 30.

B.C. wildfire support from Life Works

LifeWorks, the College’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider is offering support and information for anyone impacted by the ongoing wildfires in B.C.’s interior. Emergencies and natural disasters, whether they hit close to home or far away, may increase feelings of stress, worry, and anxiety. If you or someone you love is experiencing difficult or painful emotions, remember that the LifeWorks program can help. You can call 1-888-307-0590 anytime to speak to a caring, confidential consultant. Help is available 24/7, whenever you need it. You can also visit the Life section of the LifeWorks app or website for helpful resources, including articles such as “Coping with Fears After a Traumatic Event,” “Steps to take After a Flood, Fire or Other Disaster,” and “How the EAP Can Help in a Crisis.” 

Kelowna Fitness Facility – August Long Weekend Closure 

Please note that the Fitness Facility will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 and reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, for the B.C. Day long weekend. Regular summer hours are: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed weekends.


Planting the Seeds workshop

Aug. 29 - 30 – Planting the Seeds: Cultivating Teaching and Learning at Okanagan College. A two-day workshop presented by Learning and Teaching, with Information Technology Services, Aug. 29 and 30, 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. room E103. To register please email Learning and Teaching.

OC Library closure

Aug. 30 – All OC Libraries will be closed on Wednesday, August 30 for Library Services' annual staff in-service meeting.


News of Okanagan College SCMT grad David Sawatzky’s custom-built sustainable home made the pages of Okanagan Weekend, The Daily Courier, The Business Examiner and Castanet

Okanagan College 2014 Honorary Fellow Raghwa Gopal was recently profiled by Okanagan Edge. Gopal shared everything from his pride at helping to grow the tech community in the region to his favourite thing about living in the Okanagan. He also received coverage in the Daily Courier after receiving a 2017 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award.

The Business Examiner interviewed Okanagan College's incoming Dean of Business. Read the feature on Bill Gillett in Dean Stresses Importance of Students Becoming Lifelong Learner

Camp OC students set up an ice-cold lemonade stand at the Mission Park Shopping Mall last week with profits directed to a heart-warming cause – relief for those affected by the B.C. wildfires. Watch a video by KelownaNow about their fundraising efforts.

Okanagan College’s Trades Complex in Kelowna was mentioned in a piece by BC Local News about the upcoming 2017 Commercial Building Awards. The Trades Complex picked up two awards in 2016 – Judge’s Choice (for best overall entry) and Best Community Institutional project.

KelownaNow has shone a light on the successes of a number of OC current students and alumni in their In Focus section, including Business alums Chad Haller, Co-Owner Operator of Kelowna Concierge, and Karen Bulmer who is currently continuing her education in France.

Okanagan College’s participation in the Downtown Kelowna Block Party – including the first-ever 3-on-3 basketball tournament – was showcased by The Capital News.

Allison and Quentin Markin’s launch of a donation-matching challenge to alumni of Okanagan College to help raise $20,000 towards the college’s new child care centre was shared with readers in the community by the Penticton Western News.

The announcement of a new Apocalyptic literature course at the Penticton campus to be taught by Jeremy Beaulne was heralded by Castanet and

Through a unique collaborative research project, Okanagan College instructor Darrell Skinner is exploring new strategies that may help reduce tendonitis in tree planters in B.C. as reported by The Daily Courier.

Doug Manning, former Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, was profiled by KelownaNow after being named to the Top 40 over 40 presented by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and BDO.

OCAA Young Alumnus Award winner Ben Klick was featured in the Kelowna Capital News. Read more in: Ben Klick shares his love of country

A number of Okanagan College Culinary Arts students joined forces with the BC Culinary Foundation and Okanagan Chefs Association to prepare food for the Earth, Wind and Fire fundraiser reception in support of The Nature Trust of BC.

Vernon student Sandeep Randhawa was photographed by the Vernon Morning Star receiving a donated tool box from Violeta and Ricardo Pacheco. Check it out in: Tech Support

Okanagan College English professor Kerry Gilbert was quoted in the Vernon Morning Star talking about the upcoming Spoke Literary Festival on Aug. 11-13. A number of familiar OC profs are mentioned in the article about the event including former profs John Lent and Alix Hawley and current professors Hannah Calder, Michelle Doege, Corinna Chong and Melanie Murray.  

Okanagan College's Director of Food, Wine and Tourism, Jonathan Rouse, was mentioned in an article in the Business Examiner featuring the upcoming inaugural Wine and Culinary Tourism Futures Conference in Kelowna this October. Find out more about the conference here


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

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 August 8, 2017.