BC Colleges transform today to meet tomorrow’s economic needs 

Transforming for Tomorrow PDF imagePresidents of many of B.C.’s colleges gathered in Kelowna last week, and on their schedule was the official release of “Transforming for Tomorrow – BC Colleges: Creating Opportunities for All.” 

Transforming for Tomorrow is a strategic statement about how colleges will work with partners, including government, to prepare learners for the emerging economy. The report identifies strategic ideas for action designed to benefit students and employers. You can read it here.

In a release from BC Colleges, Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, echoed the importance of the work being done.

“Higher education and training can open the doors to a range of opportunities – from tech to tourism through to trades, business and health care,” notes Mark. “We want our neighbours to be able to participate in the workforce and build thriving careers to support themselves and their families. One of the best ways to build the best B.C. is to invest in accessible and affordable post-secondary education and skills training. Thank you, BC Colleges, for driving change and creating opportunities for students to live out their dreams close to home.”

For more information, visit BC Colleges.

Rise project lifts student learning and trades program

Rise Project 2019For Okanagan College carpentry student Brittany Couchman, building a new home from the ground up has been “an amazing experience.”

“I've learned so many skills, from reading a tape measure, to reading code and using hand tools, and lots of math,” says Couchman, a Vernon campus student.

She is one of 12 Carpenter Foundation program students taking part in this year's Home for Learning project, unveiled to community members and media in Vernon on May 29. This year's project marks Okanagan College's 60th Home for Learning, an initiative that involves carpentry students spending 14 weeks on a job site learning all aspects of modern construction.

Keith Construction is this year's Home for Learning partner, mentoring students as they build a new duplex. Keith Construction owner Ken Dahlen says his company was pleased to get behind the project and help coach future trades students, which are in high demand. 

In addition to being this year's Home for Learning partner, Keith Construction was a major sponsor of Okanagan College’s new Trades Training Centre in Vernon.

Read the full story here.

Coyote Trevor Brigden drafted into the MLB 

Trevor Brigden 2019 roster photoThe Tampa Bay Rays drafted OC Coyote pitcher Trevor Brigden in the 17th round of the 2019 MLB draft, making history as the first ever Coyote to be drafted. 

The 23-year-old Toronto native has played on the OC Coyotes baseball team for the last three years, and played for the Kelowna Falcons the summer of 2018. 

Brigden first caught the eye of major league scouts back in January. Coach Jared Johnson tweeted out a video showing Brigden throwing a fastball at 94 mph. The video would end up on the radar of many major league scouts, including the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Kansas City Royals.

The Rays Scouting Director Rob Metzler told the Tampa Bay Times that their longtime Kelowna area scout, Paul Kirsch, was already a huge fan of Brigden before the video came out.

Brigden was named the top pitcher of the Canadian College Baseball Conference this year with a record of 6-0, 64 strikeouts, pitching 36 innings and had an earned run average of 2.00.

Kathy Butler receives Outstanding Achievement Award

Kathy Butler 2019Kathy Butler, who recently retired as Okanagan College’s Director of Advancement and the Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation, has been recognized for Outstanding Achievement by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE). 

Butler’s career spans over 30 years (15 of those at Okanagan College) and overflows with extraordinary contributions to the field of educational advancement.

In a time when fundraising for colleges was still relatively new in British Columbia, Butler was able to grow the Foundation’s endowment by over $5.6 million; increase planned giving amounts by $21.6 million; raise over $35 million for capital, scholarships, bursaries and program support; lead the largest successful college capital campaign in B.C., raising over $9 million on a $5-million goal; coordinate the donation of the largest-ever individual donation to a college in B.C.; and establish and successfully administer the Foundation Board.

Her contributions to advancement reach far wider than Okanagan College having served on the Board of CCAE. In 2016, she conducted original research on the state of college fundraising in Canada, earning her a Master in Philanthropy and Development.

“I have been very fortunate to do what I love and love what I do for the past 15 years at Okanagan College,” says Butler. “I have been so privileged to work for a fine organization, build relationships internally and externally, and have a cadre of professional colleagues in B.C.”

Watch this short video to learn about the impressive impact of Kathy’s role on the College. For more information visit 

College sign signals future success for Office Administration alumna

Dana Ingram 2019Dana Ingram wasn’t looking for a sign about her future, but when she spotted one at the Okanagan College Penticton campus, it changed her life.

The former barista from Penticton was driving to work one day when she saw the Channel Parkway sign announcing openings for the Office Administration Certificate program starting in a few weeks. That planted a seed in her mind that propelled her to pull into the parking lot and was soon enrolled.

The program consists of a three-week practicum, which gives students hands-on experience to apply their learning. Ingram stepped into the Penticton Health Centre and was exposed to a variety of support roles for health care including public health, home support, kidney clinic, and more.

“The Office Administration program is valuable for learners right out of high school as well as adults who are returning to class. It is very accessible for different learning styles,” says Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. “These skills are in high demand by employers in the community. Our grads go on to work in non-profits, government, legal offices and many businesses in the region in positions they wouldn’t have received without learning the fundamentals from this program.”

For Ingram, full-time employment came quickly from Interior Health. She is currently booking speech therapy appointments and the setting is inspiring additional possibilities for her future.

“I have a full-time job in health care. I love the area I’m working in, and I love the people. It was a great decision, and I hope other people take advantage of it.”

Read the full story here.

Sweet victory for OC alumna at Vancouver Chocolate Challenge 

Jalayne Jones 2019Okanagan College Pastry Arts alumna Jalayne Jones whisked her way to the highest honours last month at the seventh annual Chocolate Challenge in Vancouver.

Jones, a pastry chef at Hillside Winery Bistro in Penticton, stepped up to the challenge with an original recipe inspired by locally grown – and brewed – ingredients. Her recipe achieved the perfect blend of savoury and sweet and crunchy and smooth, earning her a unanimous victory over competitors representing Chez Christophe, Thierry, Thomas Haas, Temper Pastry, Chocolate Arts, and the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

The bonbon – dubbed Beer and Pretzels – used Royal Decree English ale from one of Kelowna’s newest breweries, Vice and Virtue Brewing Co., and used locally crafted chocolate from none other than Okanagan College.

The College is the first post-secondary institution outside of Europe to create its own chocolate recipes. Jones used OC’s milk chocolate recipe, Kalamalka Karamel, to create the smooth beer caramel with almond pretzel praline.

Proceeds from the event benefit Vancouver Firefighters Charities Snacks for Kids, Project Chef and the Strathcona Backpack Program, which are local programs in Vancouver that engage kids and food. To date, the event has raised more than $125,000.

Read the full story here. 

OC student engineers a new career path

Keyvan Khadem 2019Keyvan Khadem graduated with distinction from OC’s Civil Engineering Technology Diploma program and was one of more than 600 students who were acknowledged at one of the OC Convocation ceremonies June 1. 

Khadem originally moved to Vancouver from Iran to pursue a career in medicine. After exploring that career path, he realized it wasn’t quite the right fit and decided to pursue his other passion, construction.

An exemplary student, Khadem was selected as the student speaker to address the 2019 graduating class as they embark on their future endeavours. 

“There’s so much happening around us in this chaotic world that the news portrays to us,” says Khadem. “It can be scary. You feel hopeless and wonder what you can do. The set of skills we learn at this institution are what will help us be better people. Institutions like this help shape the people who will assist in environmental issues, the people who will go into politics, and help the people who will help build your dream house.” 

Both of the ceremonies on Saturday were livestreamed on the College’s Facebook page.

Read the full story here. For more information on convocation and upcoming ceremonies, visit

OC student soars after turbulent upbringing

Kimberly Alaric, a second-year aviation student with Okanagan College’s commercial aviation diploma program, has come a long way from her past and is now mapping out the flight plan for her dream job.

“Growing up in a small town in the Kootenays, there was not a lot of support for me or my family,” said Alaric. “We lived in poverty. There was a substantial amount of neglect and emotional abuse. My parents are good people who struggle with depression and alcoholism. They haven’t always made great choices for our family.”

After a few years of bouncing around, Alaric entered into a youth agreement with the Ministry of Children and Family Development which gave her the support to find an apartment while she worked two jobs and finished high school. 

Alaric discovered her passion for flying when she visited the air cadets with her brothers and uncle. She was working towards her private pilot’s licence and enrolling at the College within weeks, chasing a dream she never thought would become a reality.

“Here I am, a small-town girl who lived in poverty and in care, working towards my dreams. I’m able to attend school thanks to the Tuition Waiver Program my social workers helped me with,” she said. 

Now 22 years old, Alaric is set to take her commercial flight test in late June in hopes of breaking into the industry this time next year.

Read the full story on Kelowna Capital News.

June 11, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 6 Notices

Draft Internationalization Plan
is ready for review

After significant consultation Okanagan College has developed a draft Internationalization Plan.

The College is seeking input and comments from the internal community.

You can review the draft plan document here.

Please click here to access an online form where you can provide insights and feedback.

Please note the deadline to provide feedback is Monday, June 17 at 4 p.m.

The President’s Selection Policy

After the consultation process, the President’s Selection Policy was revised and approved by the Board on May 29th. The revised policy is #C.2.5 and is posted here.

Volunteer at Convocation

Summer Convocation and Commencement ceremonies are coming up at the end of June and volunteers are needed at the Kelowna campus to help hand out gowns to students and direct guests to their seats.

  • Summer Commencement (CS grads only) – Wednesday, June 26 at 6 p.m.
  • Summer Convocation – Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. 

If you’d like to volunteer please contact Michelle Lowry.

June is "Take care of your brain" month

Regardless of your age, gender or which walk of life you come from, it is always a good time to think about keeping your brain healthy. Remember, your mind and brain need TLC too.

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 June feature here.

Website project update

Public Affairs and Information Technology are working on a complete redevelopment of the Okanagan College website; everything from the back-end infrastructure to the forward-facing design and user interface will be transformed in the coming year. Website best practices are shaping the development including: consistency of information, responsive design, web accessibility, usability, search engine optimization (SEO), reading comprehension of the audience, and analytics.

A lot has been accomplished since the project kicked off in August 2018, including considerable amounts of stakeholder engagement, user testing and internal training. OC departments and staff are key partners in this project, and we encourage you to read more about the project, timelines and what work departments should do now to prepare for the transition.

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 & 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:

Education Technology new contact info

Phone: ext. 5461 or 250-862-5461
Location: B120
Summer Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Contact for help with:

Education Technology:

  • Integrating technology in the classroom
  • Online course planning and delivery
  • Faculty development
  • Classroom technology ideas


  • Course building and management
  • Activity ideas – quizzes, cloze, forums, questionnaires
  • Gradebook
  • Connecting with Moodle mentors

Kelowna summer food services hours

Kelowna cafeteria

  • Closed June 17 for the summer
  • Open Mon-Thu from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Fri from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • The cafeteria is now proudly serving fresh brewed Starbucks coffee and selling special gluten- and nut-free vegan treats from Trish's Treats.

Kelowna Food Services

  • Fezziwig's - Mon-Thu from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • DeBeans - Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Flag raising ceremony at Kelowna campus

June 17 – Members of the community and media are invited to join Okanagan College representatives as the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance flag is permanently raised on Monday, June 17th at 2:00 p.m. The flag is an official acknowledgement that the Kelowna campus is located within the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan people.

OC Social Club fun golf tournament

June 17 – The Okanagan College Social Club presents the Annual Golf Tournament held at Michaelbrook Golf Club on Monday, June 17. Tickets are $40 and include nine holes of golf and a burger at the end. Shotgun start begins at 4:45 p.m. sharp. Wear your tackiest golf outfit for a chance to win a prize.

Register a team of four or yourself by emailing Angie March. View the event poster here.

Vernon Convocation

June 25 – Vernon Convocation will take place at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre at 4:30 p.m.

Summer Convocation & Commencement

June 26 & 27 – Continuing Studies certificate grads will cross the stage on June 26 at 6 p.m. Diploma and certificate grads will graduate on June 27 at 6 p.m.

All three remaining ceremonies will be livestreamed on OC’s Facebook page. For more information visit  

Nancy Ankerstein’s retirement party

June 26 – Join in to say farewell to Nancy Ankerstein as she prepares to retire. Ankerstein will say goodbye to colleagues on June 26 between 2 – 3:30 p.m. in the Trades Boardroom (T115B) at the Kelowna campus.

Vernon Morning StarCastanet and Salmon Arm Observer shared the news about the College teaming up with Keith Construction for the Home for Learning Rise project.

Kelowna Capital News gave a shout out to Heather Banham for receiving the College’s Distinguished Service Award.

The Daily Courier shared the story about OC student Keyvan Khadem who crossed the stage at the Spring Convocation on June 1.

Past OUC Board of Governor's member, Rory McIvor, was remembered and honoured by the city of Penticton as they unveiled newly named ‘Rory McIvor Way’. InfoTel News and Penticton Western News shared the news.

OC and UBC Okanagan joined up to create a Homelessness Research Collaborative to identify key areas to focus on to support the Journey Home Strategy. Kelowna Capital News shared more. 

David Bond shared his opinion on how OC is an important pillar of economic infrastructure of the Okanagan Valley. The Daily Courier shared part one and part two.

Jalayne Jones took home the top prize at the Vancouver Chocolate Challenge. InfoTel NewsKelowna Capital News and Okanagan Weekend shared the details.

A new trail has opened in Vernon that connects Okanagan College Vernon to the Rail Trail. Read more at InfoTel News and Vernon Morning Star.

Kelowna Capital NewsOkanagan Weekend and The Daily Courier shared how Okanagan College received funds for new equipment for OC Trades students.

Trevor Brigden is the first ever OC Coyote to be drafted into the MLB. Castanet, Kelowna Now and Tampa Bay Times shared the exciting news.

Oc's Norah Bowman and trustee of the Central Okanagan school board voted in favour of participating in the Kelowna Pride celebration on June 23. The Daily Courier shared the details.

Okanagan couple David Perron and Patricia Kully created the Perron Kully Fresh Start Fund to help new Canadian students seeking to improve their opportunities through education. The Daily Courier shared the news.

Kelowna Capital News shared the news about BC Colleges’ new strategy Transforming for Tomorrow.

A previous OC Spaghetti Bridge Winner, Ephraim Nowak, receives an award for an aviation invention. The Daily Courier shared the news.

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 June 25, 2019.