College receives second plane donation in month of October

carsonCarson Air landed its Metroliner II aircraft for the last time on Oct. 16 when the company delivered the aircraft to its final home at the Vernon airport. The company has donated the plane to the College’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) M-License program and estimates the value of the aircraft at approximately $300,000.

The plane was welcomed by students, instructors, and Okanagan College employees outside the College’s Aerospace hangar adjacent to the runway.

“This aircraft has served Carson Air very well and we are proud to see it put to use as a training tool at Okanagan College,” says Carson Air’s Vice President of Operations Kevin Hillier. “We’ve hired numerous graduates of the College’s AME program over the years, so in a way, we are supporting the future of our industry and our company with this donation.”

A little more than a month ago, on September 19, Carson Air announced a donation of $125,000 to support the purchase of a flight simulator for the Commercial Aviation program in Kelowna.

Follow this link to read more about the 19-passenger Metroliner II, which was built in 1980 in San Antonio Texas and has a wingspan of nearly 60 feet.

Career Fair brings out crowds to Kelowna campus

carfairThe 34th annual Career Fair was held on Sunday, Nov. 1 and saw hundreds of high school and College students along with their families and members of the community come to the Kelowna campus seeking insights and opportunities about careers and educational paths.
Popular events at Career Fair this year included the car flip by Motor Vehicle Trades and the Kelowna Fire Department doing an extraction using the Jaws of Life (check out the slow motion video here.)

Culinary Arts offered tours, cooking demonstrations and tasty food samples in the kitchens and special presentations from exhibitors and Okanagan College service departments were well attended throughout the day.
Trades shops were open, as were Engineering Technology labs and the Dental clinic opened its doors to give visitors a first-hand look and what students in the program experience at the College.
More than 30 exhibitors and representatives from all of Okanagan College’s programs and services shared career and program information with students and job seekers.

PCL donates to Bright Horizons campaign

PCLPCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. (PCL), the construction company overseeing the renovation and expansion of Okanagan College’s new trades training facilities, has donated $75,000 to the fundraising campaign for the new Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna campus.

“Okanagan College is a leader in producing qualified skilled tradespeople for our province and our country,” says Todd Craigen, PCL’s Vice President and District Manager for the B.C. Region. “These tradespeople are on the frontlines of jobsites everyday building the projects that PCL is renowned for across North America.”

The $75,000 pledge toward the Bright Horizons campaign brings the company’s total gift to the College to $185,000 to date. PCL is also a long-term sponsor of the Okanagan College Foundation’s annual Charity Golf Tournament, the proceeds of which benefit students.

PCL has a long history of partnering with the College on its major building projects. In 2006 PCL began construction on the LEED Gold certified Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus. Shortly after the Centre for Learning, PCL began work on the LEED Platinum certified Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at the Penticton campus.

Follow this link to read more about PCL’s donation.

This is the week to acknowledge your favourite apprentice

The B.C. government has proclaimed Nov. 2-6 as B.C. Apprenticeship Recognition Week and there are few places in the province where the role of apprentices is more obvious than at Okanagan College, B.C.’s second-largest trades training institution.

“This week we have 310 apprentices in class at the College,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Think about the impact they have and the role they play in our economy as they finish their studies and return to work.”

One of the many places they are working is at the College itself. An example is Tyler Tetlock, a journeyman carpenter who is helping the College build for the future.

“Okanagan College helped prepare me for my career, so I’m very proud to help build a space where thousands of others will train towards a career in the trades,” explains Tetlock, who is an Assistant Superintendent for PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., the company spearheading construction of the new Trades Training Complex at the Kelowna campus.

In addition to acknowledging current students and alumni, the College also wants to salute another key player in the apprenticeship process next week—employers.

"The participation of employers is crucial to apprenticeship,” says the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Steve Moores. “We are very grateful to all of the businesses and individuals that hire and endorse our apprentices and are supportive of the apprenticeship process.”

Follow this link to read more about the forecasted need for apprentices in B.C. and their vital role in our regional and provincial economy.


Eight of the College’s best new students dine with the President

presdinnerPresident Jim Hamilton personally welcomed eight exceptional new students to Okanagan College at his annual President’s Entrance Scholarship dinner, which was held on Thursday, Oct. 29 in Infusions.

The students, two from each of the College’s four regions, earned the prestigious scholarships based on their outstanding contributions to their respective communities.

The 2015 recipients included:

Gabrielle Edblad (Vernon), Therapist Assistant
Brett Shaigec (Vernon), Associate of Arts
Morgan Rogers (Penticton), Associate of Arts
Michelle Rogers (Penticton), Associate of Arts
Kaitlyn Anutooshkin (Kelowna), Bachelor of Business Administration
Johnny Roy (Kelowna), Business Administration diploma
Logan Pilias (Salmon Arm), Associate of Science
Steven Vas (Salmon Arm), Associate of Science

New health and safety coordinator joins Okanagan College 

austinRay Austin is joining Okanagan College as the new health and safety coordinator. Ray comes to the College from Vancouver Island where he worked in Campbell River providing occupational health and safety (OHS) services throughout B.C.

Ray has a long-standing and wide-ranging OHS background in areas including construction, forestry, utilities, civil work, as well as previous experience in a post-secondary institution delivering campus OHS and security services. Ray is a qualified safety consultant, registered construction safety officer, adult instructor, and provided occupational first aid level 3 services for many years.

Ray will be visiting all College locations and participating with the Joint Health and Safety Committee meetings at each campus.

Acclaimed biologist promotes public appreciation for insects

JNMWhen Dr. Jeremy McNeil, Biology professor at Western University, visits the Vernon campus on Nov. 24 for the Science in Society Speaker Series, he will make the case about the crucial role insects play in the planet’s ecosystems.

Though feared by many, insects have an unjust reputation. McNeil encountered this first hand when he showed his neighbours’ seven-year-old son a hornworm caterpillar from his garden. The young boy stared for a minute and then squashed it in the palm of his hand. When McNeil asked why he did that, the boy replied "insects are not nice."

This interaction sparked nearly 40 years of public outreach, where McNeil has attempted not only to educate the public about insects (and hopefully reduce insecticide use) but also to instil a real appreciation for the natural world around us.

His public talk Are humans really smarter than insects? will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre.  

With his students and collaborators, McNeil has published more than180 papers in primary international journals and more than 10 book chapters. He has received many national and international awards, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and this year he was named to the Order of Canada for his work in studying the reproductive biology in insects and for his dedication to increasing public appreciation of science.

Admission to his lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. To subscribe or obtain more information about the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit

Nov. 3, 2015, Vol. 10, Issue 16


Twenty days left to complete Employee Survey

Okanagan College employees have the chance to participate in the fifth version of the institution’s Employee Engagement Survey.

The survey can be accessed at

Employees are encouraged to participate because results from the survey will yield valuable feedback and help guide the College’s plans.

The survey will be online until midnight Nov. 23. The feedback employees provide through the survey is confidential. While the survey instrument asks for basic demographic data, the categories have been kept deliberately broad to preclude individual responses from being identified.

International Education Week brings the world to OC

The Kelowna campus will come alive with the sounds, tastes and images of the world during International Education Week Nov. 16 - 20 in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning. Join staff and students to learn more about the diversity of our students with featured food and drink samples, interactive activities and performances from the following regions each day between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. (12 - 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19):

November 16: Opening ceremony followed by a celebration of the Americas and the Caribbean
November 17: Celebrating Asia and Australasia
November 18: Celebrating Africa and the Middle East       
November 19: Celebrating Europe
November 20: Finale day with a large international fashion show and the world cup – a selection of beverages from around the world

Auditions this week for Red Dot players production

Holy stage fright, Batman! Okanagan College’s Red Dot Players theatre troupe hosting auditions Nov. 4, 6, and 8 at the Kelowna campus lecture theatre for its sixth annual theatrical production, the comic book comedy A.K.A. Fangirl.

This will be the inaugural stage production of A.K.A. Fangirl, which was written by playwright and Okanagan College English Professor Jeremy Beaulne. Uniquely, Beaulne will also direct the play.

The play is seeking nine actors: five men and four women, with most of the actors playing more than one role. For a detailed character list and an audition schedule, visit Evening and weekend rehearsals will commence in January 2016, and public performances will be in March. Actors must be a minimum of 17 years old, and roles are on a volunteer basis. Email Jeremy to book an audition time.

New Monaco research opportunities

Are you interested in exploring the potential of engaging in an applied research project? Come join James Kay of New Monaco on Nov. 25 to hear about the exciting applied research opportunities with his company. James will provide an overview of New Monaco’s projects starting at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. under the center for dialogue in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning in Kelowna.

Explore how your interests and questions could become a funded applied research project. Please register by emailing and note the time you would like to attend.

Nov. 4 Roundabout - Create a positive classroom environment 

In this 1.5-hour roundabout session participants will learn how to create a classroom environment that is conducive to learning and teaching. This workshop takes place on Nov. 4 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. in room A125 and is facilitated by Beverlie Dietze and Teresa Kisilevich. Register by email. 

Nov. 9 Science in Society Speaker Series – Great Bear Rainforest

Based on his summer 2015 expedition, long-time Great Bear Rainforest resident Ian McAllister will describe his efforts to generate a more complete picture of the B.C. coast from both below and above the water. This will be presented in a public talk, Where the ocean meets the rainforest: exploring Canada's Great Bear Rainforest on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre.

Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. To subscribe or obtain more information about the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit

Nov. 10 Roundabout – Write a successful research proposal

Dr. Dawn McArthur from the Child & Family Research Institute will facilitate a one-day workshop on how to write a successful research proposal. The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in room A131 at the Kelowna campus.

The Roundabout Series is presented by IT Services and Learning & Teaching. Visit the website for more information, and email Ross McKerlich to register.

Nov. 16 Penticton Speakers Series - Scott McMillan

Join Scott McMillan, CEO of XCo. for a presentation on “Wearables: Indoor GPS and the Future of Health Care and Sport Technology.”

This event takes place from 7 - 8:30 p.m. in the Penticton campus lecture theatre and admission is by donation. Find out more about the series online.


Practical Nursing instructor Tanis Coleti was profiled online as part of the team that won Sail Canada’s Women’s Keelboat Championship. Read more about Tanis’s accomplishments in
Career Fair made headlines in the Kelowna Daily Courier with an article that focused on the trades renovation and expansion at the Kelowna campus. Read more in: College’s trades students to be back under one roof.

Adult Special Education PACE student Jeneka Greif was profiled in a Public Affairs press release that was picked up by the Kelowna Capital News. The release prompted Global Okanagan to visit the campus to chat with Jeneka about her successes and challenges. Watch the clip here.

The Village of Kettle Valley’s longstanding partnership with Okanagan College’s Residential Construction program was covered in an Okanagan Saturday article: Trades backbone of Okanagan College, community.

The donation of a $300,000 aircraft from Carson Air made the pages of the Vernon Morning Star. Read about the Metroliner II and how it will help train the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers of the future in: Donation lands in OC classroom. The Capital News also covered the donation in: Carson Air plane bound for OC.

PCL Westcoast Constructors Inc. has joined the ranks of the many industry partners who have demonstrated their support for the Bright Horizons, Building for Skills fundraising campaign. PCL announced a donation of $75,000 to help fund the Trades Training Complex renovation and expansion. Read about it in the Kelowna Capital News: PCL donates $75,000 to trades complex campaign.

The Penticton Herald picked up a Public Affairs press release about the upcoming Info Session at the Penticton campus on Wednesday night. Read more in: College holding info session Wednesday.

Okanagan College alumna Lenetta Parry has landed on the BDO Top Forty Under 40 list for her esteemed career and role as the Executive Director of the Central Okanagan Food Bank. Read more in the Daily Courier’s: Food for thought.

College alumnus and Young Alumni Award recipient Ryan Donn made headlines last week as the Kelowna City Councillor took on a new position as cultural development coordinator with the District of Lake Country. Read the following articles from the Cap News, Courier and Morning Star: New gig for Kelowna city councillor, Kelowna councillor takes job next door, and Donn joins district staff.

Another OC alumnus and Young Alumni Award recipient was featured in the news last week – famed slam poet Shane Koyczan’s Kelowna performance was reviewed in the Daily Courier. Read more in: Well-versed Okanagan poet reveals writing process.

Culinary Arts Manager Chef Bernard Casavant was quoted in the Kelowna Capital News in an article about the good community work being done by the Okanagan Chefs' Association, whose members spent time juicing local apples for the Kelowna Community Food Bank. Read more in: Local chefs jazzed about making juice.

The generosity of Okanagan College Foundation donors Rick and Yasmin Thorpe was covered in a series of articles by the Penticton Herald and Summerland Review after the Thorpes announced they will boost their scholarship fund next year in honour of its 10th anniversary. Read more in: Couple to mark 10 years of giving with scholarship bonanza in 2016 and Students to benefit from scholarships.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow Annette Sharkey was quoted in the Vernon Morning Star telling the Vernon council about the need for more affordable and supportive housing. Read more in: Homeless camps a rising concern and Camps gain compassion.

Norah Bowman was photographed in the Kelowna Capital News at her post-election gathering held on Monday, Oct. 19. Read more about Bowman’s positive outlook on the future of the NDP party in the region in: Still feeling inspired despite vote setback.

Dick Cannings, Okanagan College Honorary Fellow and newly elected MP of South Okanagan-West Kootenay, was profiled in an article in the Osoyoos Times. Read about it in: New MP faces steep learning curve as he sets up offices, gets ready for return of parliament.


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 Nov. 17, 2015.