Summer Convocation

convoOkanagan College’s Summer Convocation ceremony was held on June 28, 2007. More than 100 students received certificates and diplomas in 29 of the College’s programs. Ross Gorman was recognized as an Honorary Fellow at the ceremony, which also bestowed several academic awards on a variety of students. Summer Convocation concluded a series of 2007 graduation ceremonies for Okanagan College. Combining certificates, degrees and diplomas awarded at winter, spring and summer ceremonies, the total number of students who received credentials from Okanagan College throughout the academic year exceeds 1,100. To view photos from the June 28 Convocation visit the photo gallery.

Jamaican Minister announces details of partnership with Okanagan College

jamaicaThe Hon. Derrick Kellier, Jamaican Minister of Labour and Social Security, announced several new initiatives that will result in a strong relationship between Okanagan College, the EDC and Jamaica. Among them, a new Jamaican liaison office and consular services, operating under the Jamaican High Commissioner to Canada, will be established in Kelowna. One of Okanagan College's own professors, Michael Patterson has been named as the candidate to be the honourary consul. Kellier also announced a new consultancy project for Okanagan College, focused on helping institute a micro-credit program for Jamaica. Professors with expertise in small- and medium-size enterprise will work with officials from Kellier’s ministry to develop a program to help unemployed and underemployed people get the financing necessary to start small businesses. Finally, Okanagan College and the Jamaican Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce will work with other agencies, such as the Canadian International Development Agency, to explore the potential of establishing a furniture manufacturing company in Jamaica to meet the needs of the burgeoning development in the hotel sector. Visit the media section to read press coverage of the announcement or read the Public Affairs Press Release.

College IT department play large role in IT4BC conference

itconferenceOkanagan College was well represented at the eighth annual IT4BC conference held at the end of June. Tom Esson did a presentation on the new Service Desk while Dave Harris led panel discussions on Canadian issues to present to SCT Sungard and the new Leasing Program at Okanagan College. Deb Matheson was the General Track Chair for the annual conference hosted by Langara College.  Attendees from the College included Xavier Mendoza, Cliff Nelson, Jake Block, Gerry Schellenberg and Kurtis Lawson

Continuing Studies trains more than 300 staff of Interior Health

During the past 18 months Okanagan College's Continuing Studies has provided contract training for 335 Interior Health Authority staff who are interested in moving into supervisory or management positions. The training program is called Transitioning to Management (TTM) and consists of two levels.  Each of the levels is 18 hours long and delivered over a six-week period. 

“We’ve had great success with the program and are in the midst of developing a level-three course to meet the demand for more from TTM grads,” says Lorrie Forde, the Administrator responsible for the TTM program.  “We offer classes throughout the IHA region and have facilitators in Trail, Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton."


A June 26 press conference featuring the Jamaican Minister of Labour and Social Services, Derrick Kellier, was hosted by Okanagan College and led to a flurry of media coverage. View news pieces by Shaw, CHBC and CBC Radio. A series of newspaper articles about the new initiative also followed the press conference:
The Daily Courier, Jamaica Welcomed, June 27
The Capital News, Jamaica wants to fill jobs in the region, June 27
The Daily Courier, Valley forges economic links with Jamaica, June 29

The fourth annual George Ryga Award ceremonies for social awareness in B.C. writing and publishing will take place on July 27 in Summerland. Okanagan College is a sponsor of the contest that is organized by Honorary Fellow Ken Smedley. Two articles about the contest appeared in the Vernon Morning Star: Band rides in for Ryga awards and Writing on the world to change (which features contest judges John Lent and Ken Smedley).

A provincial press release issued yesterday features the accomplishment of Okanagan College's Jace Albrecht. Jace won the Skills Canada competition last month for carpentry. Read the full release.

The Vernon Morning Star published an article today featuring former Okanagan College professor Tom Wayman. Tom will be reading at a concert in Vernon on Tuesday to benefit the Kalamalka Press. Read more about the event in, Writer reads to help local press.

A new financial award for Electronic Engineering students and Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship students was created after the B.C. Electrical Association donated $25,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation.  Read about the new award in the Capital News, Industry group establishes awards, June 22.

The Vernon Morning Star published a brief article about the success of two local Okanagan College students who won awards at the June 28 Summer Convocation ceremony; Vernon students honoured during ceremony, July 1. Ashley Frederick won the Lieutenant Governor's Silver medal and Rylan Sandberg won the President's Award.

An article appearing July 1 in the Penticton Western, A lesson in music history, featured Okanagan College's music history course and professor Don Grant.

An online article posted on Industry Canada's Student Connections website profiled Okanagan College graduate and former student business advisor Jennifer Dixon and the student connections program in the Okanagan. Read about the success of the program in Student Connections 'great' workplace, says former student business advisor.

The success of the 10th Annual RV Owner's Lifestyle Seminar weekend resulted in an article that appeared in the Okanagan Saturday, All the comforts of home, June 24.


English professor wins national award for poetry

jakeAn Okanagan College professor of English, Jake Kennedy, was recently honoured by the national literary community when he received the bpNichol Chapbook Award for poetry. Kennedy’s chapbook, Hazard, is a 27-page collection of seven pieces of prose and visual poetry. All were written between 2000-2004 and each deals with the common theme of unusual biographical happenings and strange events occurring to artists and writers.

In a piece entitled Beckett, Kennedy relates a fictional account of the stabbing of dramatist/novelist Samuel Beckett at the hands of a Paris pimp in 1937. The following is an excerpt from Beckett.

2. Hole
In this space the words do not meet their
destinations. The words start out alright
but they end up turning into other things.
I have seen this happen, but on a different
scale: 'We walked to the' and what comes
after the 'the' is a hawk in the sky. Appearing
to take away our speech. Essentially these
ideas get silenced, it is sometimes a case
of substitutions. The environment takes
over from the talking. In this space, more
specifically, the knife is leaning over to the
lung. The lung is also calling to the knife.
We have tended to characterize violent
acts as unspeakable.

“In the poem I try to think through this bizarre event in terms of three terms--Knife, Hole, Lung--and the specific links they suggest between language and action,” explains Kennedy.

Read more about Kennedy's work in the Public Affairs Press Release.

Employee achievement

Congratulations to Continuing Studies' Helena Jordo-Zieske and Jill Fry who both passed the Certified Program Planner (CPP) program through LERN.  Helena and Jill worked extremely hard on the program and were recognized by Continuing Studies Director Charlotte Kushner.

Best wishes to Milvi Berg

milvi2Milvi Berg, who retired this year after 35 years of teaching Office Administration programs at the college, was honoured at a retirement luncheon on June 13. Milvi was presented with an original painting from her colleagues in the OADM department as well as a gift certificate from the entire college.  Milvi and her husband Harvey are moving to the Vancouver area in August to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

July 6, 2007, Vol. 1 Issue 7


Register now for Next Steps

If you haven't already registered for the Next Steps learning conference, you can now register through MyOkanagan. Just log on and follow the link to Next Steps or register through Inside Okanagan College. The theme of this year's event is "Next Steps 2007: Students First" and it will be held August 23 and 24 at the KLO campus. The conference will feature a number of learning symposia focused on a variety of topics that should be of interest to faculty, support staff and administrators. A new employee orientation session will also be offered. Register early and your name will be entered into a draw for prizes.

Think globally (but try not to send them)

In response to the outcome of a report issued by the Internal Communications Working Group, we are trying to reduce the number of global emails sent and received across the institution. In order to ensure internal communication is effective and open to everyone, Inside Okanagan College is the new venue for employee and organizational announcements. Send information about your news or event to Christine Ulmer and watch for it in the next edition.

Landscape design unveiled

All staff of the Kelowna campus are invited to attend a summer pit stop this morning between 9:30 - 10:30 in the student services building. In addition to coffee, snacks and the opportunity to catch up with colleagues, the new landscape design plan will be on display. If you can't make it in time for coffee, the landscape design plan will be on display all day and your feedback is requested. The coffee and treats are available by donation with all proceeds benefiting the United Way.

Human Resources welcomes Jill Toth to department

Jill Toth has joined the Human Resources team as a Pension and Benefits Coordinator to provide a wide variety of HR and pension related activities. Jill has over 20 years of experience in Pensions and Benefits Administration. Prior to joining Okanagan College, Jill worked at Excell Services in Penticton as a Benefits Administrator. Jill's in-depth knowledge of pension plan rules, legislation and regulations makes her an excellent resource person to both staff and employees. Jill's office is located on the third floor of the Landmark V building in Kelowna and she can be reached at extension 4603 or by e-mail for any/all pension  and retirement  enquiries.

What's new for Payroll?

TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return - July 1, 2007
The federal TD1 has been revised to include a new non-refundable tax credit amount of $2,000 in respect of children under 18 years of age at the end of 2007. The new $2,000 non-refundable tax credit will take effect on July 1, 2007. Employees can reduce their tax withheld at source by submitting a revised TD1. In addition, under proposed changes, the spouse or common-law partner amount and the amount for an eligible dependant increases from a maximum of $7,581 to a maximum of $8,929. The amount will be reduced by the partner or eligible dependent's net income for 2007.  The new TD1 forms are available on MyOkanagan - Employee Tab - Forms Channel - Payroll. If you wish to adjust your tax at source, please complete a new TD1 and forward it to Payroll for processing. Additional information can be found at Canada Revenue.

Have you missed an issue of Inside Okanagan College? Visit the Public Affairs homepage to view the first six editions.


July 10 -  Okanagan College is hosting a concert to benefit the Kalamalka Press on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the campus lecture theatre. The Lent Fraser Wall Trio will perform and a variety of authors and poets will read, including former Okanagan College professor and B.C. poet Tom Wayman. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Bean Scene coffee house or at the door.  

July 12
- Help Okanagan College Adopt a Stream in Kelowna on Thursday, July 12. An orientation session with the City's Watershed Coordinator will be held at noon at the Fascieux Creek footbridge and the clean up project will begin at 4 p.m. later that day.  Please join us for this important and fun event!  Contact Angie at 4501 to confirm your attendance.

deniseJuly 19 - Okanagan College staff are invited to participate in a fun slo-pitch game every third Thursday of the month at the baseball diamond at the Kelowna campus. The drop-in games get underway at 4:30. The next game will be held on July 19. Contact Nathan Bartlett for more information.


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

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on July 20, 2007.