OC wraps up convocation ceremonies

Woznow Grad 2019Okanagan College's 2019 convocation ceremonies have come to a close as the College sends out over 2,000 students into the world this year to embark on their next journey.

At the June 27 ceremony, Katie Woznow, a graduate of the Therapist Assistant Diploma program (TAD), was chosen to give the student address.

“Katie thrives in environments where she is challenged to use and grow her knowledge and clinical skills, and interact with clients, families and team members,” says TAD Chair Jennifer Stephenson. “Her enthusiasm and commitment to the program could be seen by all of our instructors at OC. She is a wonderful ambassador for the Therapist Assistant program.”

Woznow always knew she wanted to further her education and apply for her master’s degree in occupational therapy. But when the time came to apply, she didn’t feel quite ready to make that commitment, and instead found a program that could get her into the same working environment much sooner. 

“I found the TAD program, and thought it would be a great way to learn more about the role of other disciplines,” explains Woznow. “It also allowed me to work directly with clients and patients much sooner than I would have been able to.”

Okanagan College has been educating physio, occupational and recreation therapist assistants for over 25 years. The Therapist Assistant Diploma program (TAD) was one of the first of its kind in Canada to be nationally accredited. It originally launched as a one-year certificate in 1990, transforming into a two-year diploma in 2005.

“I really feel I have chosen a career that I can be excited for, and I no longer feel lost or unsure which is such a great feeling,” says Woznow.

Read the full story here.

Students savour traditional flavours and practices on Indigenous Culinary Arts field trip 

Indig Culinary Arts 2019Salmon fillets roast on stakes over an open fire while roe bubbles up in a steaming pot of vegetable and fish soup nearby. These are signs of a finished and ready-to-eat meal, yet indicate the start of something special cooking here at Okanagan College.

On a field trip to the Westbank First Nation late last month, OC’s Indigenous Culinary Arts class had the opportunity to learn about the traditional Okanagan-Syilx style of cooking in a hands-on experience, hosted by Elders Pamela and Grouse Barnes. 

The field trip is an important ingredient of the brand new intake which launched this past March, as part of the broader Culinary Arts program offered at the College. With tradition at the heart of the new program, students follow the same curriculum to that of their counterparts in other intakes, but the flavour of Indigenous culture is heavily infused.

The Indigenous Culinary Arts students are preparing a lunch for the Industry Training Authority (ITA) Board this Friday. 

The pilot is supported by the ITA and the Okanagan Training and Development Council (OTDC), which also plays a part in assisting students from the moment they enrol to the time they begin searching for a job.

Read the full story here.

Geoscientists roll into Penticton for NAGT conference

Geoscience Conf 2019College instructors were in Penticton for the National Association of Geoscience Teachers annual conference recently. Okanagan College’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence filled with some of the Pacific Northwest’s best and brightest rock enthusiasts, keen to dig into the region’s geological landscape.

Heading the three-day conference was Todd Redding, Okanagan College’s Professor of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Based out of the Penticton campus, Redding saw the potential in bringing the conference to the Okanagan for the first time.

“The valley is split down the middle by a big fault, which has resulted in very different rock types on either side of the valley,” says Redding. 

All of the field trip sites are within a short distance of the Penticton campus, and are locations that provide research and learning opportunities for Okanagan College students. As instructor of first- and second-year Physical Geography, Weather, Climate and Environmental Sciences courses, Redding takes his students on field trips regularly, noting the high value in learning about processes in the field.

Read the full story here.
Go-kart camp lets girls test-drive a career in the trades 

Go Kart 2019Okanagan College’s Girls Can Go-Kart Too! returned last week as part of the College’s popular CampOC summer camps.

The camp is offered to girls Grades 4-6 and was created in 2018 by the College and the Industry Training Authority (ITA), who provided funding both last year and this year to help bring the project to life.

“This camp is a great opportunity for young women to learn and directly apply useful skills in a fun environment,” says Shelley Gray, CEO of ITA. “It’s a hugely enjoyable program for the young women, who we hope will become the skilled trades people of the future.”

Last week 14 girls stepped into the automotive shop at the Kelowna campus, tackling everything from designing their go-karts to working on small engines, changing the oil, patching and replacing tires, testing and fixing brakes, and installing ignition kill switches – all under the watchful eye of OC Red Seal endorsed trades instructors.

“Last year I saw the girls racing the go-karts in the parking lot and it looked like a lot of fun, so I decided to try it this year,” says Skyla Golbey, a Grade 6 student. “I haven’t built one before but my uncle builds cars so I’ve been around them a lot. We’ve been learning about all the tools and how an engine works.”

Read the full story here.

OC culinary students win trip to Italy

Simon Dufresne 2019Simon Dufresne and Hui Xu cooked their way to the top and won themselves a trip to Italy at the annual OC Road to Riccione Cook-off competition on June 28.

The competition saw seven OC students design and prepare their own italian-themed menu. The students were tasked with creating an entrée using quail as the main protein, as well as a dessert in just over two hours. 

The culinary students’ creations were taste-tested by two judges during a blind tasting and were graded based on taste, texture and presentation. The competition was open to the public and included some familiar faces to the College's Culinary Arts program including former OC Culinary Manager Chef Bernard Casavant and Culinary Arts alumnus Jeremy Luypen, executive chef at Summerhill Winery.

Dufresne and Xu will travel to Italy alongside OC chefs Mike Barillaro and Jim Armstrong as well as one apprentice from the Okanagan Chef’s Association this October. The trip includes a tour of the region and local cooking schools, and the students will also prepare a pre-dinner reception as well as a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner at the Belvedere Hotel.

Students get head start with Thorpe and Friends Scholarships

Thorpe Scholarships 2019Miya Stel is grateful to receive a $2,500 scholarship to help her attend Okanagan College this fall. She is one of three Penticton high-school students who received a Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship during a special ceremony June 26.

“It means a lot to be chosen for this award and it’s going to make my education more affordable,” says Stel, who graduated from Penticton Secondary School and will be pursuing a Criminal and Social Justice diploma.

The main criteria for the annual awards is that the students demonstrate good grades and contribute to their communities. 

For Stel, this meant hosting bake sales with the funds supporting a clean water and sanitation project in Haiti, as well as raising money to support the introduction of a new recycling and composting program at her school.

Helping young people is meaningful for the Thorpes, who have a long history of championing education in the region, having supported students at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan for 13 years. 

Since 2006, the Thorpes have awarded 65 awards totalling $139,250 to South Okanagan College students.

Read the full story here.

July 9, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 8


Building closure notice 

Construction on the new Health Sciences Centre will require shutdown of all buildings at the Kelowna Campus on July 27 and July 28. The campus will re-open on July 29. Please notify the Regional Dean’s office immediately if there is concern regarding the shutdown. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this might cause.
Health Sciences Centre 2019

Donate blood

The Public Service Blood Drive is rallying public servants to “Give Life, Donate Blood.” During the summer, the Canadian Blood Services receives fewer donations and are in need of blood from now until August 5.

Your donation matters. Take the eligibility quiz before you donate.

Book your appointment by calling 1-888-2DONATE or at Use OC’s partner ID# OKAN002612. 

Kelowna Blood Donation Centre
103-1865 Dilworth Drive

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-6 p.m.
Every second Saturday from 9-4 p.m.

Employee & Family Assistance Program: Take Care in Your Career

Having a busy work schedule doesn't mean you have to neglect your well-being. Practice self-care at work: take deep breaths, stretch, go for a walk, get a drink of water, or ask for support when needed. Taking care of yourself can help you take control of your stress.

For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and the password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night at 1-888-307-0590.

View the July feature here.

The revised Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy

In June 2016, the College approved a Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy. The legislation required this policy to be reviewed after three years. 

Accordingly, the College consulted extensively starting in December 2018, received feedback and revised the policy.

The revised Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy can be found here.

Safety inspections

Okanagan College is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and learning environment for all members of the OC community. Workplace safety inspections are an opportunity to prevent incidents and injuries from occurring. Your local Joint Occupational Health & Safety (JOHS) Committee members will be performing safety inspections over the summer. Please expect visits in your work area in the next few months. You are encouraged to participate with the inspection process should your schedule allow.

The goal of these inspections is to:

  • Address any health and safety concerns
  • Identify existing or potential hazards
  • Remedy serious hazards or unsafe work practices immediately
  • Seek and implement corrective action

You can get in touch with JOHS Committee members by visiting:

Learning and Applied Research, Research Ethics Board and Education Technology's temporary offices

The Learning and Applied Research, the Research Ethics Board, and the Education Technology offices at the Kelowna campus have temporarily relocated to the portable faculty offices (P1), while B120 is being renovated to rework the office space.

Phone: ext. 5461 or 250-862-5461
Summer Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Kelowna summer food services hours

Kelowna cafeteria

  • Closed for the summer

Kelowna Food Services

  • Fezziwig's: Mon-Thu from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Fri from 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • DeBeans: Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Infusions: July hours: open Tues-Fri for lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and dinner 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. 


Flag Raising in Vernon

July 16 – Join Okanagan College as the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance flag is raised at the Vernon campus as an official acknowledgement of the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan people. The flag raising ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m at the Vernon campus. 


OC students win OC culinary arts cook-off competition and win trip to Italy. Vernon Morning Star shared the exciting news.

Girls’ go-kart camp at Okanagan College introduces 14 to trades industry. Kelowna Capital News, The Okanagan Weekend and The Daily Courier shared more.

An OC graduate will be cycling almost 6,000 kilometers across America next fall to help build schools for children. Castanet shared the details.

CS instructor Howard Soon and past OC Board Chair, Brad Bennett were appointed to the Order of Canada. The Daily Courier shared the exciting news. 

MLA Linda Larson congratulated Okanagan College on receiving the BCBTAC grant in The Nelson Daily.

OC professor Todd Redding headed the National Association of Geoscience Teachers annual conference on June 25 at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. Kelowna Capital News, Penticton Western News and Global News shared the details.

Okanagan College culinary students experience local Indigenous flavours. Kelowna Capital News and Black Press Media shared more. 

Vernon Morning Star and Castanet shared the touching story of OC’s Kate Camire who overcame the impossible.

The Daly Courier and Kelowna Capital News shared the exciting news of KF Aerospace’s plans for a conference centre that will benefit OC students.

Okanagan College is confident in the policies in place against money laundering. The Daily Courier and Penticton Herald shared more.

OC alumna and Olympic ski cross champion, Kelsey Serwa, announced her retirement from racing. The Daily Courier and Penticton Herald shared the details. The Daily Courier also featured an editorial.

Maxine DeHart at Kelowna Capital News shared the news that OC instructor, Karen Barnstable's memoir was awarded top five best new manuscripts 2019 by the Word Guild and is offering a course about writing memoirs through Distance Education at OC.


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

To ensure the best chance for your submission to be 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 July 23, 2019.