Reconciliation-themed conference coming to Okanagan College
Pathway to Truth and Reconciliation is a two-day conference scheduled for Nov. 23 and 24 at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus, and is open to anyone who works with children and families in the region and those interested in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
Local supporters of early years education and services came up with the idea following a presentation by Okanagan elder Mollie Bono, an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College who was recognized for her long-time efforts to champion education, reconciliation and inclusivity in the region. Bono’s talk stirred a desire to gain more Indigenous knowledge.
Workshops include topics such as the Kalamalka Indigenous Garden, Okanagan oral history, songs, stick game to Jordan’s Principle, in addition to presentations from elders and scholars working with knowledge keepers and leaders.
Keynote speaker Monique Gray Smith, an award-winning author and leader, will present the “4 Blankets of Resiliency” concept she developed to support wellness of children and families (strong sense of self; family; community; and culture, language and connection to the land) and how these factors might be used to strengthen programming and services.
Registration is open until Nov. 22. For more information and to read the full story, click here.
Awards a ‘tremendous relief’ for aspiring nurse
OC student Jenna Kellerman recently wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and B.C. Premier John Horgan to highlight the challenges for people living in poverty.
Prior to starting upgrading at Okanagan College, Kellerman, a single mother of four boys, would never have dreamed she’d be advocating on issues to government leaders.
“Going back to school has given me the confidence and the voice to speak up,” says Kellerman. “It’s made me think from a different point of view. I’m not scared to speak up anymore, I am maturing as a person and finding my voice.”
Kellerman is currently completing upgrading in order to pursue her dream career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. While in the past, Kellerman wouldn’t describe herself as doing well in school, she’s worked hard to achieve high grades and set an example for her sons.
Her hard work is paying off in more ways than one. Kellerman is being recognized with two scholarships from the Okanagan College Foundation.
“It’s such an honour to receive these awards and a tremendous relief,” says Kellerman, adding one of the awards brought her to tears when she learned it came from professors at the College. “These awards will go a long way in helping me pay for my education.”
Kellerman is one of more than 30 students in Penticton who will be receiving awards at a special ceremony Nov. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. Similar awards nights are being held in Vernon, Nov. 15 and Kelowna, Nov. 22. In total more than $250,000 will be handed out to approximately 200 students.
College Career Fairs and Information Nights a success
Okanagan College’s four campuses held a series of Information Nights, Career Fairs and Freshman 15 presentations, collectively bringing more than 1,400 people to the College to learn about educational programs, future career paths and nation-wide employment.
The Vernon campus presented its Program Open House and Spotlight Sessions on Oct. 29 and received 115 applications that day. The week before, the campus held its Freshman 15 seminar which brought in a full house of 75 people.
The Salmon Arm campus hosted its Open House on Nov. 1 which attracted more than 100 attendees and garnered more than 70 applications from prospective students.
The Kelowna campus hosted the 37th Annual Career Fair on Nov. 4 and drew in a crowd of more than 1,000 people. The campus offered a unique set of presentations, including one from a cannabis industry expert, and gave people the know-how to get digitally savvy and create a professional LinkedIn photo – including providing free headshots.
The Penticton campus held its Information Night on Nov. 6 and more than doubled attendance this year with 250 people. They also received 70 applications.
Tentative Memorandum of Settlement reached
The Province delivered news of a Tentative Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) between five post-secondary institutions – including Okanagan College and BCGEU Vocational instructors on Nov. 2.
The MOS paves the way for local collective agreements to be freely negotiated. The College has contracts with three different unions:
The three negotiated contracts are due to expire in 2019. Okanagan College employees can visit this site for College updates relating to negotiations.
The other four post-secondary institutions included in the MOS are Camosun College and BCGEU, Coast Mountain College and BCGEU, Northern Lights College and BCGEU and Selkirk College and BCGEU.
Click here to read the provincial media release.
Federal funding fuels OC research-collaboration in the Shuswap
An OC research initiative involving two different Shuswap area companies is among more than 94 projects nation-wide that are being supported with $45 million from the federal government’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
The funding was outlined on Nov. 5 at a press conference in Ontario, and work on the research projects in the Shuswap is already underway. The project funding flows through the NSERC-administered College and Community Innovation Program. Okanagan College personnel involved in the Shuswap research include researcher Dr. Peter Janele and David Williams, who teaches in the Electronic Engineering Technology program.
“This is research that demonstrates how Okanagan College can bring expertise and knowledge – and federal support – to bear on real world challenges and opportunities that will benefit business and impact the economic health of our region,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “I’m pleased this work is focused in the Shuswap and am looking forward to seeing what the results are. Important to us is the fact there are OC students involved, bolstering their education with research experience.”
The Shuswap projects are focused on technology in agriculture and improving economic sustainability for existing businesses. $200,000 of federal grant money (over two years) is going to support:
Pictured above is OC professor and researcher David Williams who is preparing a temperature probe to gather data at different depths in the soil at HighCroft Farms, where Williams, OC researcher Peter Janele, students and others will be looking at year-round greenhouse operations using low grade geo-thermal temperature control systems, either on grid or off grid.
The projects are projected to be complete within two years. Read the full story here.
Small student-designed home boasts big sustainability features
Dylan Roche and his family are excited to move into their newly built home on Penticton’s Upper Bench, designed by Okanagan College students as they completed their Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma.
The Roche’s house design is the result of applied learning at its best— students incorporating international best practices in sustainable construction to save energy in the scaled-down house.
Roche had a connection with Brian Rippy, a professor in the SCMT department with 15 years of experience in sustainable design and construction management. Rippy recommended the family home become a SCMT Diploma Capstone project for students, who are required to complete a real-world project and demonstrate skills and knowledge they gain in the program.
The home is approximately 800 square feet, with living and kitchen space in the middle taking advantage of natural light from south-facing windows. The interior spaces are open to maximize daylighting and connection to the outdoors. Other features include insulated concrete forms for the foundation, low-emission finishes, high-performance windows, low-flow water fixtures and Energy Star appliances. The building is also considered net-zero ready, in that future additions of solar panels have been planned, which would make the building reach net zero energy.
Read the full story here.
All-female gateway to trades help build locker rooms for OC Coyotes
The men’s and women’s OC Coyotes basketball teams will start their sophomore season later this month with new locker rooms at Kelowna Christian Academy School thanks to the handiwork of an all-female gateway to trades class.
A class of 13 Grade 10-12 students from School District 23 were the first to contribute to the project. That class is the first of its kind in the province – an all-female gateway to trades opportunity that is modelled on the Industry Training Authority (ITA) Youth Explore Trades Sampler program for high school students. The 19-week program (a collaboration between the ITA, School District and the College) provides youth an experience in various trades to help students identify their passion before continuing on to an apprenticeship.
“We’re so proud of the girls of School District 23 for trying their hands at skilled trades and contributing to their community and Okanagan College. Creating safe and welcoming environments for girls and women interested in exploring trades is a great way to get them started,” says Shelley Gray, interim CEO, Industry Training Authority.
Others from the College’s Trades and Apprenticeship department will also play a role in finishing off the project. Electrical, plumbing and carpentry/joinery students and instructors will rotate through in the coming days.
When completed (the College is aiming to have the project wrapped by the end of December) the space will boast locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s teams and a coach’s/meeting room.
Penny Lane invests in child care
The Summerland Charity Shop Society, which formally ran Summerland’s Penny Lane Bargain Outlet stores, announced a $5,000 donation to the new Little Learners Academy at the Penticton campus of the College.
“It’s challenging for parents to find child care,” says Orv Robson, Chairman of the Penny Lane Legacy Fund. “Little Learners provides a solid start to learning for children and makes it easier for their parents to pursue the next step of their education.”
Youth and education are at the forefront of what Penny Lane does. In 2013, with the closing of its retail stores, the board of directors of the Society created the Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. The fund invests in the community with a focus on youth projects.
Penny Lane has a long history of assisting students at Okanagan College and has supported two student bursaries annually since 2011.
Little Learners opened in September 2017 and is operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and OneSky Community Resources. Registration is open to College students and employees, as well as families in the South Okanagan.
Read the full story here.
Cross-cultural event educates on Japan
Students and employees gathered in the Trades atrium on Oct. 31 to take in the second Cross-Cultural Awareness session to learn about Japan first-hand from three OC international students.
The session was led by Kota Otomo, Chiaki Nagae and Daichi Moriyama. They presented on the country’s education system and the style of learning Japanese students undergo.
The three students shared details about group lunches (students serve and clean lunch in the classroom), cleaning (students of all ages clean their classroom every day after classes, not janitors), walking buses (students form groups before walking to school) and that students spend their young lives studying for university entrance exams.
The International Education department worked with students to launch this initiative which celebrates a different culture at the Kelowna campus every month.
The next session is about Indian culture and will be held on Nov. 28 from 12:15-1 p.m. in the Trades atrium. View the event poster here.
Visiting veterans and former female trades workers for Remembrance Day
The OC Gateway to the Building Trades for Women class made a special visit to the Smith Creek Village nursing home in West Kelowna on Nov. 9 to pay tribute to the veterans who live there and to speak with the female veterans who used to work in the trades industry.
Students heard from many veterans including Clara, who accepted a job at age 18 to maintain the planes for those serving in World War Two. Clara worked in Aircraft Maintenance and received her training on the job but unfortunately lost her job, like many women at the time, when the men returned from war.
“Remembrance Day is a special time of year that our students value the opportunity to be inspired by the stories of veterans and appreciate the opportunity to show their gratitude for the women who helped make their future possible,” says Nancy Darling, OC Program Administrator, Women in Trades Training. “Women like Clara have paved the way for women who are interested in a career in trades. She is an incredible inspiration to our women who are just starting their own path to a career in trades.”
For the past three years, students from the fall intake of the program have visited the Smith Creek Village nursing home for Remembrance Day. This year's class made a special plaque and presented it to the veterans to honour their service.
Dr. Bob Burge joins College as Registrar
Bob Burge will step into the role of OC's Registrar on Jan. 7, 2019.
Burge comes to Okanagan College from Queen’s University where he has held a variety of leadership positions. Most recently, within the scope of his responsibilities as Director Student and Support Services in the Faculty of Education, Burge served as Faculty Registrar. With 20 years in the post-secondary sector, Burge brings a diversity of experience to the role of Okanagan College Registrar.
He holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Windsor and an EdD in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Calgary. Burge also has an impressive resume of committee work.
“I am delighted to have Bob joining our team,” says Okanagan College Vice President Students, Charlotte Kushner. “Bob is an enthusiastic leader who measures his professional accomplishments through the lens of student success. I am looking forward to sharing with Bob our pride in what we do here and am confident he will thrive in his role as Registrar and as a leader at Okanagan College as we continue to transform lives and communities.”
Read Burge’s full bio on College Matters.
OC Speaker Series talks cannabis, mental health and the public
Tonight's instalment of Okanagan College’s Signature Speaker Series at the Vernon campus will address recent research on cannabis use and mental health, as well as what legalization will mean for public health.
Zach Walsh, an associate professor at UBC Okanagan, will review recent research and explore the potential of cannabis to serve as a substitute for other psychoactive substances like alcohol or opioids.
“There is so much we don’t know about the use of medicinal plants,” says Walsh. “Refining medicines derived from cannabis and other plants will have a dramatic effect on the health of Canadians and people worldwide. How do we make the best use of these plants and combine them with other therapies to create better outcomes for people who are suffering?”
The presentation will take place in the lecture theatre of Okanagan College’s Vernon campus today at 7:30 p.m.
Presented by Okanagan College, the Signature Speaker Series is sponsored by the Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre and Basket Case Picnics Catering. Admission is $10. Participants can register in advance online or pay at the door.
Read the full story here.
OC students go on a unique journey at Kelowna Art Gallery
OC Communications Professor Raluca Fratiloiu took her CMNS 130 -Intro to Digital Media class on a unique educational fieldtrip to the Kelowna Art Gallery to visit the Journey of a Pod exhibition.
“The goal of the fieldtrip was to have students reflect on digital art in the context of digital culture and design,” says Fratiloiu. “It is fascinating to see a multimedia piece on local water and land and our role in the ecosystem and the students really enjoyed the exhibit.”
The project is titled Water Ways—The Past, Present and Future of Okanagan Waterscape and is a culmination of year one of a four-year research project the artists are conducting. Through sound and imagery, the exhibit represents the artists’ observations of the people and landscape of the Okanagan when they were researching cultures, environments and communities around the Okanagan’s water system.
The class began their tour guided by Laura Wyllie, Education & Public Programs Coordinator, in the morning of Nov. 7 and had the option to join the artists themselves at noon. The artists led a talk and tour of their exhibition as part of the Art Gallery’s Lunchbox Speaker Series, which is free to the public.
Taste of India a success at Penticton campus
The 13th annual Taste of India luncheon event returned to the Penticton campus on Nov. 6, serving up delicious meals while raising money for the campus’ emergency student fund.
The well-attended event saw students, employees and community members come together to enjoy a delicious feast of samosas, butter chicken, cauliflower curry, tomato chutney and chickpeas. The lunch was prepared by OC Library Assistant Surander Dasanjh who was joined by a team of volunteers – made up of current and former employees – to serve the lunch.
Topping last year’s total, the event raised more than $1,300 for the Dire Straits Fund, which supports Penticton students who are experiencing a financial emergency.
View the photo gallery on the College’s flickr page.
New faces in the Kelowna Learning Centre
The Kelowna Learning Centre has been busy welcoming its newest Learning Centre Coordinators Alex Hanna and Lynn Sinclair.
Hanna joins Kate Sidlar as the Centre’s second full-time Math & Science Coordinator. Sinclair stepped into the English & Writing Coordinator position (with a focus on ESL) following Paul Stephenson’s retirement.
The Learning Centre team invites all staff and students to stop by the Centre and meet its newest members and find out more about its available services and resources. For more information, please contact The Learning Centre.
OC alumna named one of VanMag Power 50 List
OC BBA alumna (2002) Stephanie Allen was just named one of Vancouver’s 50 most powerful individuals.
Allen is the Vice-President for the Catalyst Community Developments Society and this is her first time on the Power 50 list. She joins the likes of Attorney General David Eby, B.C. Premier John Horgan, actor Seth Rogan and long-time Okanagan College supporter, Jim Pattison.
Allen has made waves in the Vancouver community for bringing the black community’s history back to life. As the Vice President for Catalyst, she is a leader who is advocating for a community centre, business space and housing to Hogan’s Alley, an area of Vancouver’s east end which was home to many ethnically diverse groups.
Read about Allen in the 2018 VanMag Power 50 List.
Nov. 13, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 22
Two Business students were successful in their election to the Board of Governors; Shakti Shekhar Singh and Karmvir Kaur will begin their terms Nov. 1.
Education Council will welcome Debbie Freeman from the Registrar's Office who was successful in the by-election for the support staff seat and Catherine Farrow who will take the Health and Social Development seat. Two students will join them: Relan Johanson from Shuswap-Revelstoke and Nathanial Lee-Ran from the Central Okanagan were declared elected by acclamation.
Two student seats remain vacant (South Okanagan and North Okanagan) and a by-election will be held.
Elections: Nov. 12 - 18 in myOkanagan
Faculty and instructors are invited to participate in the Winter Convocation ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 12 by leading graduands in the processional. If you would like to attend a ceremony, please email Michelle noting the ceremony you wish to attend. If you require regalia please include your height and highest awarded credential (i.e. 5’11”, MSc, U of Calgary).
If you’d like to watch the ceremonies but cannot attend in person, tune into the College’s Facebook page to watch the livestream for each ceremony.
OC Campus Store Annual Customer Appreciation Sale
The OC Campus Store is hosting its Annual Customer Appreciation Sale on Nov. 22, at all campus bookstore locations.
Customers will enjoy up to 65% off select items, 25% off all regular priced crested clothing and giftware and bargain books start at just $0.99. Special merchandise has been brought in for the sale and all visitors will receive a coffee and goodies.
Get a sneak peek at the Store’s newest holiday themed display.
Cars for sale
The Okanagan College Foundation and Okanagan College Supply Management, in conjunction with the Collision Repair Trades Department, are presently offering the following vehicles for sale:
All bids are to be delivered in person to Okanagan College Supply Management (P-111).
Infusions Restaurant hours (Kelowna campus)
View lunch and dinner menus here.
Need floral arrangements for your OC event?
Are you planning an OC event and need floral arrangements? The College’s Floral Design program can help meet your needs and has wholesale prices. For more information, contact Kathy Neufeld at email@example.com.
Entrepreneurship at Okanagan College
Nov. 14 – Join Okanagan College students Sophie Sullivan and Agustin Cisneros as they share their journey into entrepreneurship through taking a co-op in Entrepreneurship at OC. They will give insights into their pathway to start their business Hustle Outlet and give tips on how you can be part of the start-up community in the Okanagan. Visit the College’s Facebook events page for more details about this event and to RSVP.
Christmas Hamper Fundraiser - Indian Tacos