Jazz lands with new opportunities for Commercial Aviation students

Jazz CoAvA new agreement with Jazz Aviation LP will mean enhanced opportunities for students of Okanagan College’s Commercial Aviation diploma program—both during their studies and after graduation.

Jazz and Okanagan College have signed an agreement that will see OC participate in the Jazz Aviation Pathways Program (APP), which can help graduating pilots land careers with the national airline. The College will be among the first aviation schools in Western Canada to participate in the program. Five colleges and universities in Ontario participate as well as Mount Royal University in Alberta.

“We have worked closely with Jazz regarding our program’s curriculum, and expected outcomes for students,” said Dr. Barry McGillivray, Okanagan College’s Acting Dean of Business. “Our program and our graduates have a good reputation in the industry, and this affords them some advantages in terms of advancing their careers.”

The College’s two-year program, run in concert with Southern Interior Flight Centre (SIFC), recently celebrated a quarter-century of operation.

More information is available in the media release.

National gold for College grad

Skills National 2016 IOCTwo-time Okanagan College graduate Zach Andrews brought home a gold medal in Electronics at the recent National Skills Canada Competition in Moncton, NB.

The 31-year-old punched his ticket to the Canada-wide competition after winning gold at the provincial challenge in Abbotsford earlier this year. He was joined at Nationals by fellow Okanagan College student Aaron Schmidt, who also earned gold at the provincial competition and finished second in the country in Automotive Service.

“I was completely taken by surprise when I found out I won,” says Andrews. “I thought the other competitors from across the country were doing really well. I was pleased to win and I think the education I received throughout the program combined with my knowledge as an electrician really set me up for success. I worked really hard and in this case putting in the work paid off.”

Andrews completed the Electrical program and earned his Red Seal designation in 2009 and then returned to the College in 2014, enrolling in the Electronic Engineering Technology program, which he completed in May.

With two credentials to his name and a gold medal in hand, Andrews is already eyeing his next challenge: he has enrolled in Okanagan College’s Electronic Engineering Technology Bridge to UBC Okanagan Electrical Engineering program.

Read more in the media release.

New provincial funding will benefit Aboriginal students

Powwow 2015 iocThe provincial government has announced $75,000 in one-time funding to help Okanagan College offer a range of new and enhanced events and services to support Aboriginal students during their studies.

“This initiative fits very well with Okanagan College’s strategic direction about working with and learning from the Indigenous community,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “It will add significantly to our ability to increase access and success of Aboriginal learners.”
Okanagan College is among 14 public colleges and universities that will draw from more than $1 million in total support from the province through the project, as part of ongoing efforts to ensure B.C.’s post-secondary institutions provide a welcoming environment for Aboriginal learners.
The College will use the funding for a range of activities including increasing support from Elders and cultural knowledge keepers on college campuses, implementing workshops to improve skills such as studying and peer-mentorship and increasing outreach to and recruitment of Aboriginal students.

More information is available in the media release.

Salmon Arm campus and community recognize students

julia agassizNearly 40 students from the Salmon Arm campus were honoured recently for their dedication in the classroom and activities in the community.

The annual Salmon Arm campus Student Award Ceremony took place on Wednesday, June 15. And for a number of students training toward helping careers, a helping hand from those around them is bringing career goals closer to reach.

Salmon Arm-born Julia Agassiz will graduate from the 18-month Practical Nursing diploma program in January. A mother of twin five-year-olds, she credits receiving an award as a major motivator as she approaches graduation.

“As a mother of two young children, any additional support I can bring in for my education is a huge relief and goes a long way,” says Agassiz. “I hope as I enter into a career where I’ll be helping people day in, day out, that I’ll be able to pay it forward and make an impact in the community.”

At the ceremony, Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean of the Shuswap-Revelstoke, acknowledged the hard work and determination of students, and the role that community support plays in enriching the learning and teaching experience in Salmon Arm.

Read the full story in the media release.

Alumnus gives back to benefit tradespeople of tomorrow

Schmalz and WilsonA local builder with a connection to Okanagan College that spans more than 50 years has made a gift to inspire the next generation of tradespeople.

Lambert Schmalz, owner of Lambert & Paul Construction Ltd., has pledged $50,000 toward the Bright Horizons fundraising campaign in support of the new Trades Training Complex at the College’s Kelowna campus.

“The College and this region are very dear to me,” says Schmalz, who was born in Germany and immigrated to Canada in 1956 after completing his training as a journeyperson Carpenter. “I am proud to support the place where our future tradespeople will train.”

In 2004 Okanagan University College conferred upon Schmalz an honorary doctorate, in recognition of his long-term involvement.

“Lambert has been a dedicated champion and supporter of the College for many years,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We deeply appreciate his significant contributions to our institution and his dedication to advancing apprenticeship in the Okanagan.”

Read more in the media release.


Donna Lomas retiring at the end of 2016

Lomas retirement iocDonna Lomas, Regional Dean South Okanagan-Similkameen has announced she will retire from Okanagan College at the end of this year.
Lomas joined the College as a Regional Dean in September 2005, after nearly two decades with College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, B.C.  where she served first as an instructor of History/Political Science and later as Dean of Instruction.
“Over the past decade Donna Lomas has made an immeasurable contribution to advancing Okanagan College’s mission to transform lives and communities,” says Vice President Students Charlotte Kushner. “Under her leadership the Penticton campus has experienced tremendous growth, and numerous new community, industry, and post-secondary sector collaborations have been formed—leading to new programs and opportunities for students in the region.
“Donna’s hard work and dedication has earned her the respect and gratitude of students and her colleagues throughout the institution.”
Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton recently bestowed upon Lomas the President’s Award at the College’s 2016 Employee Excellence Awards, in recognition of her many contributions to the College.

“It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to work with the employees, the students and the broader community,” says Lomas. “To all the staff and instructors please accept my sincere thank-you for all your hard work and for the dedication you have shown our students.”

Strong turnout for Indigenous Knowledge Symposium

IKS 2016 iocVisiting scholars and attendees from throughout the region and across the province participated in a recent event at Okanagan College designed to foster dialogue and celebrate Indigenous ways of learning, knowing, and understanding.

The Indigenous Concepts of Knowledge Symposium took place in the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus on June 15. Dr. Bill Cohen, Professor of Indigenous Studies at Okanagan College, and Project Manager of the College’s Indigenization Task Force moderated the event which included speakers from across B.C., including Dr. Ann Doyle, Head, Xwi7xwa Library, UBC Vancouver; Dr. Melissa Adams, Librarian and Archivist at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs; and Dr. Gregory Younging, Publisher at Theytus Books and Faculty, En'owkin Centre.

“The interest and attendance was remarkable,” says Cohen. “People from the Okanagan-Syilx, B.C. First Nations, scholars, students, professionals and community members participated. This indicates a real interest in Indigenous knowledge ways as well as access to, and methods of documenting, using, protecting and sharing Indigenous knowledge and research.

“Indigenous knowledge has much potential to further contribute to and complement more conventional forms of knowledge and research. I believe this respectful convergence and continuing dialogue will be very useful in Indigenous and world educational contexts.”

Participants discussed the connections between orality and literacy, Indigenous concepts of ownership and intellectual property, traditional ecology-based systems of knowledge, ethics of the use and curation of Indigenous knowledge, and research methods that respect Indigenous ways of knowing. The event was co-sponsored by Okanagan College Library, Aboriginal Services, and the Okanagan College Faculty Association.

Scholarships inspire Penticton students to reach for the stars

Thorpe 2016 iocScholarships from Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and friends are helping high school students from Penticton and Summerland step into the classrooms of Okanagan College this fall.

Eight students received scholarships during a presentation at the Penticton campus on Thursday, June 16, during which they had a chance to meet the people who made the awards possible.

“Education opens so many doors,” said Rick Thorpe. “Yasmin and I feel incredibly proud to have been able to make a difference in the lives of students over the years.”

Hector Carlos of Penticton Secondary is one of those students reaching for the stars with a little help from the Thorpes.

“I am determined to obtain a degree in Physics and Astronomy,” says Carlos, who plans to complete the Associate of Science Degree program at the College before heading to the University of Victoria to finish his Bachelor of Science. “This scholarship is going to motivate me even more to achieve my goal and will reduce my stress along the way, so I can focus on my learning instead of student debt.”

Read more in the media release.

Community involvement part of lifelong learning for business professor

fenwick ioc headshot 2016An Okanagan College School of Business professor is one of many employees walking the walk when it comes to inspiring students to find time for community involvement.

When not teaching management and marketing courses at the College, Stacey Fenwick serves as the Chair of Habitat for Humanity Okanagan and was recently re-elected as a director on the Interior Savings Credit Union board. According to Fenwick, juggling community involvement with her duties as a professor and mother to two teenagers can be a challenge but helps her keep a pulse on business in the Okanagan region.

“My personal vision is to continue on a path of lifelong learning while contributing positively to sustainable economic growth in our beautiful Okanagan Valley,” says Fenwick, who is also a founding member of the JCI Okanagan chapter in Kelowna, a volunteer presenter for BC Junior Achievement, and chaired the Terry Fox Run in Kelowna for a number of years.

“I have a deep appreciation of our Okanagan community and have a desire to contribute to it.”

Fenwick earned a Masters of Business Administration in Strategic Management from the University of British Columbia in 2011 and specializes in strategic management, service marketing and customer relationship management.

Commuters rise to the challenge

commute 2016The go-green efforts of Okanagan College employees propelled the College to first place in the Okanagan in the recent Commuter Challenge which tracks participation by a host of organizations regionally, provincially, and nationally.

The challenge is a week-long event held during Canadian Environment Week (June 5 - 11, 2016). It is a friendly competition between Canadian cities and workplaces that encourages Canadians to leave their cars at home in favour of walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit.

On the heels of Bike to Work Week, which wrapped up the week prior and also saw strong participation, the Okanagan College Commuter Challenge team racked up some impressive numbers this year:

  • 41 participants
  • 3,039.02 - total kilometres traveled
  • 36,231.64 - calories burned
  • 180.53 - litres of fuel saved
  • 391.86 - kilograms of CO2 avoided

More information is available on the Commuter Challenge webpage.

June 28, 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 7


Fitness facility closed for long weekend; summer hours

The fitness facility at the Kelowna campus will close on Thursday, June 30 at 5 p.m. and will re-open on Monday, July 4 at 8 a.m.

As of Monday July 4, Fitness Facility hours will be as follows:

  • Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Closed weekends and statutory holidays

Okanagan College Moodle moving to a new home

Okanagan College will be migrating its Moodle server to a new, more robust cloud-based home this Friday, July 1. Impact to users should be very minimal. All courses and data will be moved to the new server completely intact; there is nothing you need to do to safeguard your work. Your login and password will remain unchanged.
A brief period of downtime will be required to implement the changes. Please note that Okanagan College Moodle will be unavailable from 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. on Friday, July 1, 2016 (4 hours).

Please keep this scheduled outage in mind and plan accordingly if you need access to Moodle resources during the long weekend. Users can check the status of Moodle here. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this transition, please contact Tom Esson.

IT Services: Planned Outages

In line with the goal to improve network and internet services IT will be transitioning the college to BCNET services over the month of July. This transition will result in service outages over the following weekends:

  • Friday, July 8 after 6 p.m. through Sunday, July 10
  • Friday, July 15 after 6 p.m. through Sunday, July 17
  • Friday, July 22 after 6 p.m. through Sunday, July 24

During these transition periods you can expect most services to be unavailable. All services will be restored prior to business hours Monday morning. For those attempting to access the website or myOkanagan, IT Services will set up a landing page to provide information on the outage and links to access any services that may still be available like Moodle. For more information, please email Jenna Alain or call local 4326.

ECE Ages and Stages Questionnaire - call for volunteers

The Early Childhood Education department is looking for volunteers to support students as they learn to administer the Ages and Stages Questionnaire. This is a developmental screening tool that indicates typical development as well as any potential developmental concerns.

The department is looking for 18 parents (employees or students) who parent children between the ages of two months and five-and-a-half years of age and would be willing to meet with ECE students to complete the questionnaire. Participants can expect to commit to two meetings with an assigned student, each approximately 15 minutes in length. On Oct. 3 at 12:30 p.m. the students will administer the questionnaire and on Oct. 7 at 12:30 p.m. they will provide feedback based on responses.

If you would like to participate, please contact Heather Ross or Pam Wetterstrand for more information.

Employee and Family Assistance Program publication

This newsletter provided by Human Resources provides information on how to assist with and spot health and wellness changes in elderly parents. Click here to register for the upcoming Metabolism webinar on Wednesday, June 29. The webinar will shed light on some techniques to help tune-up metabolism and keep it running efficiently.

College Pension Plan news

The College Pension Plan informs us that according to the recent actuarial valuation, the College Pension Plan funding ratio is 103.6 per cent. This means the money projected to be available for future pensions (actuarial assets) exceeds the projected costs of paying for those pensions (actuarial liabilities). Contribution rates for members and employers will not change. Click here for more details.

Kelowna campus Food Services: June - August

The cafeteria at the Kelowna campus is now closed for the summer and will re-open in September. The following food services are available June - August:

  • Fezziwig's (Centre for Learning) - Mon - Thur: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Fri: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • DeBeans (Student Services Building) - Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Rollie's Roadhouse (food truck) - Mon and Thur: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Chick Chick Boom (food truck) - Tue and Wed: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Security code notice from Facilities

Facilities and Business Services (FABS) is undergoing a clean-up of the security code database as we are running out of user codes. In order to do this, unused and/or duplicate profiles need to be deleted.
FABS will do the utmost to contact individuals before making any deletions. Should you experience issues while using your code, please contact Security to resolve the problem immediately. To have your code reestablished, please email Security Access. We do not expect there to be any issues as a result of this process.


Trades coffee break and photo op

July 4 – The OC Foundation and Trades and Apprenticeship department are hosting a coffee break and photo op in front of the new Trades building at the Kelowna campus at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, July 4. All students and employees are welcome. Coffee, goodies, and OC t-shirts will be provided.

Employee Social BBQ - Kelowna campus

July 6 – Summer is underway. The OC Social Committee invites you to a BBQ in the courtyard. Enjoy burgers and refreshments while socializing with your colleagues. BBQ starts at 4 p.m. sharp, Wed. July 6. Limited tickets available for $10. Purchase yours from any Social Committee member: Stacey Broderick (Facilities), Lynda Dreaper (HR), Heather Grassick (Trades), Angie March (Regional Dean’s Office), Tanya Tarlit (Co-op) or Carlyn Young (Reg Office).

Salmon Arm Charity Golf Tournament and Houseboat Vacation Prize Raffle

July 7 – The ACIC 20th Annual Links-to-Learning Golf Tournament will take place at Salmon Arm Golf Club on Friday, July 7, 2016. 12 p.m. registration and 1 p.m. shotgun start.

Waterway Houseboat Vacation Raffle: Help support the Okanagan College Foundation and Okanagan College students by purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Shuswap Houseboat vacation. The prize is a three-day weekend or four-day midweek houseboat vacation during Fall season 2016 on a Genesis 70 with Waterways. Click here for more information.

The trip is valued at $2,800 and the winner is welcome to upgrade to a different boat or season or length of stay (depending on availability of course) by paying the difference. Raffle tickets are 1/$10 or 3/$20. Cash, cheque or credit card accepted. Draw date is July 7, 2016.

To register for the golf tournament, purchase raffle tickets, or for more information, please email Margaret Scharf or call local 8238.

Explore effective learning & teaching environments: Planting The Seeds

August 22 and 23 – New and continuing faculty are invited to participate in a two-day interactive workshop held at the Kelowna campus that will focus on creating effective learning and teaching environments. The "Planting The Seeds" event is presented by Learning and Teaching and IT Services.

Much like planting a seed and watching it grow, learning and teaching provides a rewarding, organic experience of growth. This two-day workshop will look at the multiple topics to foster learner centered educational environments. Participants of this workshop can still attend Connections on August 24.

Register for the event by emailing Carla Whitten. Questions about the event can be directed to Ross McKerlich at ext. 4921.


News of Zach Andrew's golden win at the National Skills Canada Competition was published online by Castanet.

Okanagan College culinary students were among the young chefs from throughout the valley that participated in the Earth, Wine, and Fire Gala. The chefs received support from Urban Fare, as told in the pages of Okanagan Saturday, The Kelowna Capital News, and Okanagan Life Magazine.

An announcement about provincial funding that will help Okanagan College offer essential skills programming to students with disabilities was picked up by KelownaNow.

News of targeted one-time funding for Aboriginal students from the province was trumpeted by The Vernon Morning Star on June 24.

Audio Engineering and Music Production alumnus Ben Klick will be part of the Westside Daze Canada Day festivities; a fact picked up on and shared by the editors of Westside Weekly.

A letter from a local resident disappointed by the decision to scrap plans for an amphitheatre on lands adjacent to the Vernon campus ran in the June 19 edition of The Vernon Morning Star.

Another Okanagan College alumnus making headlines recently was world-renowned curler Kelly Scott who was inducted into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame this month, as reported by The Daily Courier on June 15.

Okanagan College Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan Heather Schneider was featured in a story by The Capital News about the upcoming International Children’s Games taking place in Taiwan next month. Schneider is president of the ICG Kelowna Legacy Committee.

The College’s economic impact – more than $500 million annually – was mentioned alongside that of UBC Okanagan’s ($1.5 billion) in a recent Capital News piece profiling UBCO Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr. Deborah Buszard.

The Daily Courier helped to spread the word that the force will awaken at Okanagan College on Tuesday, June 28. A free screening of the newest Star Wars film will take place in the OC parking lot off KLO Road, as part of the Open Road Cinema Tour.


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

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 July 12, 2016.