Families invited to experience outdoor play

dietze ioc 2017An applied research project led by Okanagan College’s Director of Learning and Applied Research Dr. Beverlie Dietze is engaging industry and inviting community members to help create a play space unlike any other in the region.

“Research tells us that when children visit traditional play spaces, they spend about six minutes on the play equipment,” says Dietze. “With a natural play space, children will spend as much time as you allow them. There are options for them to pick up rocks and look at the bugs underneath. They can challenge themselves to balance on a tree stump or walk the length of a log. The play opportunities are absolutely open and expansive.”

Those types of play opportunities are precisely the kind Dietze hopes to gain feedback on through workshops as part of a $91,000 research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and developer New Monaco. The goal is to support New Monaco in creating a unique naturalized play space in Peachland that will fit children’s zest for curiosity, learning, and development. 

The first step toward making the park a reality will be to gather data from children and parents on preferred outdoor play materials, activities and equipment in the coming months. Families are invited to provide feedback during a natural play workshop at the Peachland Heritage Park and Pavilion on Beach Avenue on Saturday Oct. 28, from 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Read more in the media release.

OC participates in provincial budget consultations

oc logo walker iocA request for more support for students, an ask for the flexibility to borrow to build residences, and investments in Indigenization and work-integrated learning were the themes when Okanagan College’s Board Chair Connie Denesiuk and OC President Jim Hamilton appeared before the provincial government’s bi-partisan Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on Friday, Oct. 13.

The committee was on a cross-province tour that ended the same day with hearings in Nanaimo. The College’s presentation echoed similar presentations made by a host of other post-secondary institutions in the province and also reflected themes that were presented in a joint submission by a consortium of the organizations representing all the PSIs (The Research Universities Council, BC Colleges, and the B.C. Association of Institutes and Universities). The text of the College’s presentation can be found here.

“At a time when B.C. is facing skills shortages, we cannot afford to squander the opportunity to help students succeed and go on to work at jobs and careers that will fuel the development of our provinces, its industries and communities,” Hamilton told the committee.

“There is great opportunity to do more, and that will yield the downstream benefits that will continue to distinguish British Columbia on a national and international stage and will serve all our students and citizens well,” noted Denesiuk in the conclusion to her remarks.

The Okanagan College Students’ Union also presented to the Standing Committee in Kelowna, and made requests for further investments in Open Educational Resources, increased funding for post-secondary institutions and reduction of student debt. 

The committee’s report on its consultations is expected by Nov. 15.

Co-op employers of the year honoured

co-op award metro van iocTwo B.C. employers have been recognized by Okanagan College’s Student, Graduate & Co-op Employment office for going above and beyond to create work-integrated learning opportunities for students.

Metro Vancouver took home the trophy for 2017 Co-op Employer of the Year in the Science, Technology and Health category. The organization has hired co-op students from the College for more than two decades, beginning in 1995. Metro Vancouver has also been a strong supporter of OC’s Co-op program by participating in on-campus events such as the Business Expo & Employment Fair, interview clinics and classroom lunch and learn sessions.

co-op TNG ioc

TNG (The News Group), a national periodical distributor with an office in Kelowna, was awarded Co-op Employer of the Year in the Business category. Over the past three years alone, the company has hired more than 15 co-op students from OC and has provided extensive training and mentorship throughout students’ co-op experiences.

This year marks the first time the awards have been handed out. The Student, Graduate & Co-op Employment office plans to present them annually.

Learning and Applied Research fall workshops in full swing

Raj Matthew iocFrom exploring the pros and cons of distance education to tips and tricks for project management, a series of professional development sessions organized by the College’s Learning and Applied Research department is empowering more employees than ever this fall.

The Fall 2017 workshop series ramped up on August 28 and to date more than 50 employees have participated in 11 sessions. Another nine are scheduled for October and November. Lynda Dreaper will present “Intermediate Microsoft Excel 2013/2016” on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, followed by Dr. Beverlie Dietze who will present “Introduction to SSHRC and NSERC” on Oct. 31. On Nov. 8 Continuing Studies instructor Raj Matthew will offer a fast-paced session on getting the most out of Outlook, starting with the basics and progressing to more expert topics over the informative two-hour talk.

“As part of our commitment to continuous improvement and learning, these professional development opportunities provide participants with up-to-date information on a variety of topics that may be applied to the context of their role at Okanagan College,” explains Dr. Beverlie Dietze.

More information about the workshops is available here. Email Learning and Applied Research to register in advance.


Supporting learner success

managing diverse classrooms iocA new pilot project underway at the Kelowna campus aims to provide additional support to help both international and domestic students succeed in the classroom.

Communications Professors Jillian Garrett, Michael Saad and Ed Henczel have launched Managing Culturally Diverse Classrooms, a project which seeks to help struggling students on a one-on-one basis with common concerns spanning assignment completion, group work, policies, citing, online resources, research, classroom expectations and more. The project works on a professor referral basis only and is open to all departments and levels of study. Each student receives a tailored experience based on their needs and will be given as much time necessary to reach their goals.

The project received support from the OC Innovation Fund earlier this year and also includes a research component which will see Garrett, Saad and Henczel explore best practices for supporting international students with a focus on nurturing the relationship between domestic and international students.

To refer a student or get more information about the project, please email Jillian Garrett, Michael Saad, or Ed Henczel

Aboriginal apprentices step into new program

ccwab level 2 welcome iocThe first group of apprentices to strap on their tool belts in the Construction Craft Worker Level 2 Aboriginal Journeyperson Preparation program gathered at the Kelowna campus on Tuesday, Oct. 5 for a welcome ceremony.

The program is a collaborative training opportunity presented by BC Hydro and Okanagan College. Students were welcomed by Regional Dean Phil Ashman, Dean of Trades Steve Moores, Aboriginal Services Coordinator Anthony Isaac, Program Administrator Sara Cousins, BC Hydro Director of Aboriginal Employment & Business Development Laurie Sterritt and Aboriginal Relations Specialist Nadine Israel.

Between now and Dec. 15, apprentices will complete technical training through a series of in-class and hands-on projects. The program offers Aboriginal apprentices a chance to advance their careers in the construction trades by boosting their technical, supervisory and project management skills. Along the way, students receive mentorship and support from Aboriginal tradespersons.

More information about the program is available at

Bookfest returns to Salmon Arm

ihimaera iocReaders, (book)mark your calendars. Bookfest returns this month and will once again see internationally-acclaimed authors speaking at the Salmon Arm campus. 

Award-winning Māori author Witi Ihimaera, best known for his book The Whale Rider, will kick things off with his talk on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

On Monday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. the campus will host the international launch of Powered By Love: A Grandmother’s Movement to End Aids in Africa. Attendees will have a chance to hear from the book's contributors about the remarkable process of bringing this inspiring true story to print.

Admission for both talks is by donation. Check out the poster for more details.

Coyotes take to the court at home and away

oc basketball women's team iocThe OC Coyotes women’s team travelled to Vancouver this past week to compete against two top 10 ranked teams nationally from last season. The Coyotes were down in their first game against Capilano University but fought back and thanks to a free throw in the final 30 seconds from Danielle Ruocco, the game went into overtime. The final score was 67-62 in OT for Capilano.

The second night had the Coyotes facing off against Douglas College. The team was down players and many suffered fatigue from the flu bug. While leading the first half 30-26, they were not able to sustain that same energy in the second half and fell short in the end for a 69-60 loss.

The Coyotes men’s team had the chance to play their first games ever at OC’s Penticton campus gym. The first game pitted the Coyotes vs. Capilano on Friday, Oct. 13. Capilano came out strong in the first half 46-36. The Coyotes quickly answered in the second half, scoring 57 points to cruise to a 93-81 victory.

The second game against Douglas College was a close match at the end of the first quarter. By the third quarter Douglas College steadily increased their lead for a 102-80 victory.

For the full season schedule, visit

Stevens joins Public Affairs

holly lansdowne iocHolly Stevens (née Lansdowne) joined the Public Affairs team this month as Marketing and Communications Specialist. Stevens will be supporting Public Affairs with a variety of marketing and communications projects and will be the primary contact for Inside Okanagan College.

Born and raised in Kelowna, she earned a B.A. in English from the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2013 and an Advanced Certificate in Communications from Okanagan College in 2015. Upon graduation, she went on to complete a Certificate in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Toronto in 2016.  

Stevens comes to the College with a communications and marketing background in professional sports and local residential development as well as freelance writing, planning and researching. She spends her spare time golfing and enjoying life with family and her husband.

Library staff reunion luncheon

library staff reunionA group of Okanagan College Library support staff (three current and six retired) recently celebrated a reunion at Infusions, marking the first time the group has gathered since 2010.

Sharon Leveque, Linda Howika, Marian Gruber, Carla Lundy, Maryann MacInnes, Wendy Hague, Faith Peyton, Yvonne Caldwell and Erika Henfling represent five decades of library service at the College.

October 17, 2017, Vol. 11, Issue 39


Volunteer for Career Fair

Okanagan College’s Career Fair helps connect the community to careers and educational opportunities in the region. On Sunday, Nov. 5, from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. hundreds of students, job seekers and employers will descend on Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus to explore their educational options, research potential career paths, and discover available job opportunities.

Public Affairs needs volunteers to act as hosts and ambassadors from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. All volunteers will receive a gift and lunch. If you are interested in volunteering or know of a potential exhibitor, please contact Michelle Lowry

Flu vaccination clinics

It’s that time of year again and Okanagan College is offering employees the opportunity to receive a flu vaccination on campus. The vaccine is offered as a service to Okanagan College employees only and participation is voluntary. Any questions regarding the type of vaccination or the after-effects should be discussed with your family physician.

As in previous years, OC is paying 50 per cent of the total cost. Please bring a cheque with you payable to Okanagan College or exact change only for your portion of the vaccination ($9.50). If you plan on attending the flu clinic at any of the following locations, please complete the Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire & Consent form ahead of time, except for the signature and date as those are completed when the nurse is present. 

Clinic schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 26: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 2nd Floor, Centre for Learning (to the right of the west staircase)

Wednesday, Oct. 25: 9 - 11 a.m. Sunoka Conference Room (PE A1E)

Salmon Arm
Thursday, Oct. 26: noon - 1 p.m. Room 203.

Tuesday, Oct. 24: noon to 2 p.m. Room E105

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Klotz (local 5682).

Adjusting your workstation for better health

Next month, the Kelowna campus Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee will present the second annual OHS awareness week with a focus on ergonomics. Employees are invited to drop by the Atrium of the Centre for Learning on Tuesday, Nov. 7 or Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to view “Then & Now” workstations, a visual presentation of best practices for better posture. Ever wonder what the five levers on your chair do? Stop by for helpful tips on adjusting it and find out how to organize your workstation to help prevent musculoskeletal injury.

Committee members will also have displays set up and be on hand to chat with staff on Thursday, Nov. 9 in the S Building and Friday, Nov. 10 on the second floor of the C building. Pick up useful information and free swag.

LifeWorks support following Las Vegas tragedy

Okanagan College employees can access support through LifeWorks in the wake of natural disasters and other events that can cause distress. Following the events in Las Vegas, please be aware of the following resources available to you and your family:

Call centre support. The Lifeworks team is trained to provide emotional support, from helping individuals cope with grief and loss to coping with fear and anxiety after a trauma. Call Lifeworks at 1-888-307-0590.

Online content. Lifeworks offers a wealth of resources on its website and app on recovering from grief and loss, recovering from a traumatic event, and helping children cope. Learn more at or (username: okanagan password: healthy).

What's cooking at Infusions?

Lunch is served at Infusions from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Monday to Friday. View the lunch menu herePlease note, due to curriculum, Infusions will be closed for lunch on Nov. 15-16, 2017 and Jann 2-3, Feb. 13-14, and March 26-27, 2018.

Infusions will open for dinner on Nov. 21, 2017 and will be open from Tuesday to Friday weekly 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Note that when a holiday falls on a Monday, Infusions will be closed on the Tuesday. Find menus and learn more on the Infusions website.


OC Speakers Series - Penticton campus

Okanagan College’s popular Speakers Series returns to the Penticton campus this fall with an exciting lineup of speakers. Talks are held Monday nights from 7 - 8:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre, (PL 107), Ashnola Building. Admission is by donation. Funds will be used to help students in need. Find the full schedule of speakers here.

Upcoming speakers:

  • Oct. 24 – Dr. Hussein Kushani: “Conflict in the Islamic world: misunderstanding religion's role”
  • Oct. 30 – Dr. Rosalind Warner: "Canada’s role in a changing world”
  • Nov. 6 – Sharon Wiener: "Saying goodbye – a Buddhist perspective on death and dying" 

OC Coyotes Basketball

See below for a list of upcoming home games for the OC Coyotes men’s and women’s teams. Find the full season schedule here.  

  • Oct. 20 – 5:30 p.m. – Immaculata High (women’s)
  • Oct. 20 – 7:30 p.m. – Immaculata High (men’s)
  • Oct. 21 – 9:30 a.m. – Immaculata High (women’s)
  • Oct. 21 – 11:30 a.m. – Immaculata High (women’s)

OC Coyotes Basketball Tailgate

OC students and employees are invited to attend a tailgate celebration on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4-7 p.m. in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus. Buy a ticket to watch the OC Coyotes men’s and women’s teams take on the Langara Falcons in the gymnasium at KSS (students are $5, employees and guests are $10) and get a free smokie and beverage with your ticket. There will be prizes, music and more. Tickets can be purchased from Athletics, Recreation and Student Life (A105) or in the Atrium from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 or 26. Download the poster here.

Information Sessions Fall 2017

This week kicks off a series of info sessions at Okanagan College campuses throughout the region. Potential students can learn about programs and services offered, take a tour, speak with faculty and advisors, and take in the Freshman 15 Seminar which covers the top 15 things all new and potential students need to know about first year. Find an info session near you:

  • Oct. 18 – Salmon Arm
  • Oct. 25 – Penticton
  • Nov. 1 – Vernon
  • Nov. 5 - Kelowna

Dr. Nancy Turner: Indigenous land management knowledge and practices

Oct. 18  Dr. Nancy Turner, Trudeau Fellow and Emeritus Professor in Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, will speak at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus in the lecture theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Turner will discuss how traditional Indigenous plant and habitat management practices and knowledge are passed on, and how they can inform current research in the field. Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit the Science in Society Speaker Series website.

AME-S open house

Oct. 18 – To help meet the national demand for skilled aircraft maintenance engineering technicians, Okanagan College is offering an additional intake of the AME-Structures program this fall. This accelerated 37-week program will start on Nov. 14. Okanagan College and KF Aerospace are hosting an information session at KF Aerospace at the Kelowna International Airport at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18. Follow this link to learn more about the program and attending an information session.

Oktoberfest party

Oct. 19 – The OC Social Committee is hosting an Oktoberfest party for employees on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the back patio behind the A building at Kelowna campus. Celebrate the fall season, chat with your colleagues and enjoy a smokie and a beverage for just $5. Tickets can be purchased in advance from one of the Social Committee members listed on the event poster.

Reconciliation and indigenization

Oct. 24 – What do reconciliation and indigenization look like in a post-secondary context? Tosh Southwick, Executive Director of First Nation Initiatives and Community Engagement at Yukon College will give a free public talk on Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Room S104 at the Kelowna campus. Southwick will speak about Yukon College’s experience with Indigenization. See the poster for more information.

Wine Talks

Oct. 24 – Hear from wine industry leader John E. Peller, Chair and CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd., when the third entry of the popular Wine Talks series comes to Okanagan College’s Penticton campus on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The series is presented by Liquidity Wines and OC. Find the full story and ticket information here

International Development Day

Oct. 25 – Join the International Development department in celebrating the role of local individuals and organizations focused on creating a better world, one step at a time, through international humanitarian actions, aid and development efforts worldwide. International Development Day is happening from noon-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at the Kelowna campus. The event will interest students, practitioners, teachers, volunteers, non-profits and anyone interested in learning more about the international development field. Follow this link for more information and to register online.

Loose Parts Outdoor Play Workshop

Oct. 28 – Families are invited to join a natural play workshop at the Peachland Heritage Park and Pavilion on Beach Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Attendees are asked to please register in advance. View the poster for more information.

Sharon Thesen book launch

Nov. 2 – The launch of renowned local poet Sharon Thesen’s latest work The Receiver is happening on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. at the Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon, presented by the Kalamalka Press. Download the poster here.


Provincial funding was announced this week for community-based adult literacy programs delivered in the Okanagan and Columbia-Shuswap. The funding will support a number of community organizations partnering with Okanagan College to open doors for adult learners, as reported by The Lake Country Calendar.

Castanet recently showcased the cutting-edge green building materials, technology and design behind the new child care facility at the Penticton campus.

Dr. Melissa Munn, a professor of Sociology & Interdisciplinary Studies at Okanagan College was interviewed by CBC regarding the case of a Winnipeg senior who spent four decades behind bars and now faces life in prison.

Okanagan College School of Business alumna Danielle Hofer was profiled by KelownaNow this month for her extensive community involvement. Danielle remains connected to the College, volunteering her time as a mentor with Enactus Okanagan College

A letter to the editor by an Okanagan College student in Kelowna regarding recent on-campus displays by the Kelowna Right to Life Society was picked up by The Daily Courier and Okanagan Weekend. The Capital News also spoke with students as did Castanet.

Renowned ethnobiologist Dr. Nancy Turners upcoming talk on Oct. 18 at the Vernon campus was shared with readers by The Vernon Morning Star and Castanet. Turner will explain how Indigenous people in B.C. pass down their knowledge, techniques and practices through generations, to cultivate wild species.

Regional media served up a host of stories about Okanagan College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams this month. The Penticton Western News and The Capital News previewed the team’s first games at the Penticton campus gym last weekend, while KelownaNow provided a recap. The Coyotes also made the pages of the Red Deer Advocate and The Capital News for their play over the Thanksgiving Weekend against the Red Deer College Kings. 

Human Rights Observers Debbie Hubbard and Dean Reidt spoke at the Kelowna campus on Thursday, Oct. 12 about their experiences working with organizations and individuals seeking peace in Palestine and Israel over the past decade. The talk made the pages of The Lake Country Calendar.

The Rolston String Quartet will be performing a free public concert in S112 (the Pit) in the Student Services building at the Kelowna campus on Thursday, Oct. 19 at noon and The Daily Courier let readers know.

The return of Wine Talks to the Penticton campus on Tuesday, Oct. 24 featuring keynote speaker John E. Peller, Chair and CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd. was heralded by Okanagan Life, Scout Magazine and The Capital News.

Okanagan College Honorary Fellow (2012) Lane Merrifield took home Business Leader of the Year at the Kelowna Business Excellence Awards on Oct. 12 at the Delta Grand Hotel. Merrifield, who co-founded Club Penguin and more recently Freshgrade, a portal that connects parents, teachers and students, was profiled by The Penticton Herald and The Capital News for the accolade. 

Jordan McIldoon, the 23-year-old Heavy Mechanical apprenticeship student at Okanagan College who was killed on Oct. 1 in Las Vegas was profiled in The Capital News and The Daily Courier.

Carla Costain, a graduate of Okanagan College’s Health Care Assistant program (2003), was interviewed by The Capital News in September for her ongoing efforts to raise awareness about Dystonia – a neurological condition that causes muscles in the body to pull or spasm. Costain shared her experience living with the condition for more than a decade and referenced support groups and resources in place for Okanagan residents living with dystonia.

The Vernon Morning Star recently helped spread the word about the growth in fall student enrolment at Okanagan College. 

Okanagan College Business student and Kelowna Chief’s hockey player Myles Mattila is leading a fundraiser in support of mental health and The Capital News provided an in-depth story on the details.

The College welcomed William Gillett as the new Dean of the School of Business this fall and Maxine DeHart helped introduce Gillett to the public with an engaging biography in her Oct. 17 column.

The Capital News and The Daily Courier shared the sad news of the passing of Dr. Blair Spearman, a former Okanagan College Professor of Mathematics.


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

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 October 31, 2017.