Mission Possible: OC business team shows how social enterprise works

mission possibleTwo Okanagan College professors and one student researcher are illustrating the value of social enterprise in our communities, and their work has earned them a prestigious grant from the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel of the Okanagan College School of Business, along with Cassandra McColman, a third-year business student, recently received a Trico Social EnterPrize award for their case study research with Vancouver non-profit Mission Possible. The biennial awards go to Canadian organizations demonstrating best practices, impact and innovation in social enterprise.

“A social enterprise is an organization endeavouring to solve a social problem through a business approach,” explains Rempel. In the case of Mission Possible, that means helping people challenged by homelessness and poverty find meaningful work. The researchers’ hope is that the detailed study of Mission Possible’s model will aid other organizations looking to do the same.

“We are thrilled to be working with Mission Possible and really grateful for the support from the Trico Charitable Foundation,” says Myrah. “For Kerry and I, our teaching and passion lie in social enterprise, so the fit could not be better. It provides us with a real-world example to share with students.”

“It has been one of the most uplifting experiences because it has re-affirmed that what we teach in the classroom is real,” adds Rempel. “Hopefully what we learn will inspire students and show other organizations in Canada and around the world that social enterprises can be sustainable and effective in driving change.”

Read on in the media release.

Writers, take your marks

daniel greeneOkanagan College’s English department is once again inviting budding writers to step out of their comfort zones and leap into the exhilarating challenge of the 3-Hour Short Story Contest, returning Saturday, Nov. 5 at all four campuses.

The popular contest is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. As in previous years, writers will not only be tested by a time constraint, they’ll also have to find a way to blend in a “secret phrase” that won’t be revealed until the contest starts. Adding to the challenge, writers are not allowed to access any online or print sources.

“It’s an atmosphere unlike any other I’ve encountered as a writer,” says last year’s overall winner Daniel Greene, an Arts student at the College’s Penticton campus. “It challenged me, focused me and spurred me to take an idea for a story I had been turning over in my head and bring it to life.”

Greene’s winning story “Watercolours,” available online here, illustrates a moment of connection between grandmother and grandson. According to Greene, the title for his story proved to be apt as participating in the contest helped him test new waters as a storyteller.

Read more about the contest and Greene’s journey here.

OC students sweep tomato contest

annie low iocOkanagan College’s culinary students know their tomatoes, and the proof is in the jam.

Annie Low, an international student from Britain studying Advanced Culinary Management at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, earned first place in the annual Top Tomato Recipe contest sponsored by the Florida Tomato Council. Her recipe for a Tomato Chili Jam that incorporates fresh tomatoes, roasted peppers and fresh and dried chilies wowed judges and vaulted her into the top spot of the competition, which is open to culinary students across Canada.

Low had good company on the podium: her classmates. Second place went to Morris Hsu, who developed a recipe for tomato iced tea. Hsu slow roasted tomatoes before they were strained and then infused them with mint, fennel leaves and ginger. Third place belonged to Elizabeth Devereaux, who stacked a panko-crusted eggplant slice with tomato jam, mozzarella, a tomato slice, tomato mayonnaise and a fresh basil leaf.

“I’m impressed with the results, but not entirely surprised,” says Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “We have a top-notch group of chef instructors and passionate students who appreciate fresh ingredients – and love developing recipes that reflect different ways of thinking about them.”

Read the full story, and the winning recipe, in the media release

Donors appreciate appreciation event

2016 donor event kelownaOn Monday, Oct. 17, more than 150 Okanagan College donors enjoyed an evening of food, wine and tours of the new Trades Complex at the Kelowna campus – many of them donors to the new facility. 
“At first I thought it was a bit weird to be asked to speak to a group of people I didn’t know,” admitted student speaker Nathan Mollard. “But then I realized that they didn’t know me either, nor all the students they support through their donations. It is pretty amazing that people feel so strongly about supporting students and the College that they will give so generously.”
Dennis Gabelhouse, Chair of the Foundation’s Bright Horizons Campaign put his finger on the feeling of pride that resonated throughout the room.

“The campaign has been galvanizing for reasons greater than financial support: it has truly helped elevate trades careers as valuable educational choices. Many of the campaign supporters have expressed their pride in supporting students who will one day form the backbone of the economy, working and living in communities as the skilled workforce we will all rely on and appreciate.”
President Jim Hamilton recognized the integral role donors play in the College’s mission, and also acknowledged the OC Foundation and its Board, as well as the Bright Horizons, Building for Skills campaign team at the event.

“It is extremely heartening to witness the investment in the College made by donors throughout the region."

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event.


Historical Friction comes to OC

alix hawley ioc smallDaniel Boone will be making an appearance at Okanagan College this month – at least the character of Boone as brought to life by award-winning local author and past OC professor Dr. Alix Hawley.

A free public panel discussion entitled Historical Friction: The Pleasures and Perils of Writing about the Past will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Centre for Dialogue (E building, E202) at the Kelowna campus. The discussion will focus on the historical context of Hawley’s acclaimed novel All True Not a Lie In It.

The event features four Okanagan College faculty and two former Okanagan College faculty. Howard Hisdal will open with a brief talk on “The Historical Context of All True Not a Lie In It” (Daniel Boone and the American Frontier) which will be followed by Hawley and four other authors – Hannah Calder who recently published a book, Francie Greenslade, Melanie Murray who has a book forthcoming, and Laisha Rosnau – offering brief readings from their work and discussing the writing of historical fiction.

Historical Friction is free and open to everyone as part of the One Book Kelowna collaborative series of events by UBC Okanagan, OC Library, and OK Regional Library. Click here for more information about this event and follow this link for more information about the One Book Kelowna series.

Students get cooking in the community

camp cook csA group of 13 students from local First Nations bands in Ashcroft and Lillooet are now one step closer to employment in the hospitality field. These trainee cooks recently attended the Assistant Camp Cook Training Course run by Okanagan College Continuing Studies and the Ashcroft Aboriginal Skills Employment Training Centre.
The four-week course focused on giving students the skills and knowledge required to obtain entry level positions in large kitchens or remote camp settings. Students were introduced to areas such as menu planning, food ordering and using kitchen equipment intended for cooking for large groups. Participants were also provided information regarding FOODSAFE training, as well as first aid, WHIMS and resume writing, helping to prepare them to work in industries such as oil, gas and mining industries.
The culmination of the course saw students prepare a meal for “Soup’s On” a local initiative in Ashcroft that organizes lunch by donation every Friday to members of the local community. Funds raised go toward the local food bank.
Two graduates of the course have already secured employment in Lytton and with a local mining company.

Nutech powers up new first aid room 

nutechA local fire protection and safety services company has stepped up with support for the recently opened Trades Complex in Kelowna, and the company’s donation carries a reminder to Okanagan College students about health and safety.

Nutech Safety has pledged $30,000 toward the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons, Building for Skills fundraising campaign. The support will help outfit the first aid room in the new building.

“As a company we feel strongly about supporting students,” says Bob Dieno, President of Nutech Safety. “We want to ensure the next wave of tradespeople knows business is behind them. And given our company’s focus, we obviously want them to know that safety while they are in school, and when they step out into the workforce, is very important.”

Read the full story in the media release.

Webb shares her secrets for public speaking

The thought of public speaking strikes fear into the hearts of many, but it doesn’t have to, says Moya Webb, President of the OC Toastmasters Club.

“Toastmasters is a safe, supportive environment in which each person, at their own pace, learns communication skills, not just public speaking,” explains Webb. “There is a lot of emphasis on listening skills and developing the ability to give feedback to someone so that they feel supported, motivated to try again and have some concrete ideas for where they can improve. There is a strong mentorship element, that I personally really love about Toastmasters.”

The OC Toastmasters club is holding an Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 12-1 p.m. in E107 in the Centre for Learning. Everyone is welcome to come along and see what a meeting is like.

“We are a very diverse group - a mixture of faculty, employees, students and some members of the public. Students often come to improve their presentation skills and stay when they learn of the leadership skills they can attain. Employees from all departments within the College develop better communication and leadership skills. We have many members, for whom English is a second language, and Toastmasters is a great place to improve their English. All in all, we have fun.”

Webb recently came out on top in a local area Toastmasters competition and will next up put her skills to the test against speakers throughout the region.
“My speech title in the Humorous Speech contest was "Sharing My Secret,” explains Webb. “It was a humorous piece about how everyone has it within their power to save lives and save the environment, in an unexpected way – by using the proper orientation when loading a new roll of toilet paper.”
Webb will now proceed to the Division level of the contests, going up against competitors from four areas and 15 clubs from Oliver and Penticton in the south, through Kelowna and then east to Nelson, Castlegar and Nakusp. The competition will take place at the Shatford Centre in Penticton on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 18, 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 15 

Volunteer at Career Fair

Okanagan College’s Career Fair helps connect the community to careers and education opportunities in the region. On Sunday, Nov. 6, 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.

Connections survey

The Connections planning committee would like your feedback to help plan next year’s event. Employees can fill out the online survey to share suggestions and ideas for future Connections conferences.

 A highlight of the conference is always the Connections video shown during the President’s address. If you were unable to attend or view the video remotely you can watch it here.

Budget Town Hall meetings

All Okanagan College employees are invited to attend a Town Hall meeting on the proposed 2017-18 budget. Sessions will be held at each campus and will be led by Roy Daykin, Vice President Employee and Corporate Services.

Daykin will provide an update on some of the issues the College is facing during the upcoming fiscal year and staff will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding the budget information presented. The College’s budget will be presented to the Board of Governors for consideration in March 2017.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. – Penticton (Rm PC202)
  • Thursday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. – Kelowna (Trades Atrium)
  • Friday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. – Vernon (Rm D310)
  • Friday, Oct. 28 at – Salmon Arm (Rm 130)

Coffee and cookies will be provided at each session.

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 will cover 50 per cent of the total cost. Please bring a cheque payable to Okanagan College or exact change only for your portion of the vaccination ($9). 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.

The clinics will be held as follows:

  • Kelowna: Thursday, Oct. 27. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
 Atrium, Centre for Learning (under the Centre for Dialogue).
  • Penticton: Wednesday, Oct. 26. 9 - 11 a.m. Sunoka Conference Room PE A1E.
  • Salmon Arm: Wednesday, Oct. 27. 12-1 p.m. Room 153.
  • Vernon: Tuesday, Oct. 25. 12-2 p.m. Room: E105.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Klotz at extension 5682.

Research approval reminder

The Research Ethics Board (REB) would like to remind employees and students that if they are conducting research it may require REB approval. For more information, please visit the website or contact Kathy Bockhold, PhD, Chair of Research Ethics Board.

United Way campaign

October is United Way month at OC. Employees can choose to donate through payroll deduction or by credit card. Click here to learn more and see how funds are disbursed and which organizations/individuals in surrounding communities benefit. Please contact Angie March local 4501 for more information or to pick up a pledge form.

Donate blood with ease through LIFEBUS

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is offering a LIFEBUS program in Kelowna that will pick up and drop off teams of three or more who want to donate blood and help save lives. Okanagan College is one of the organizations in the region that is a Partner For Life with CBS. A goal has been set to reach 70 donations in total by students and employees by the end of the calendar year. The LIFEBUS schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 31 – 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Nov. 21 – 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 12 – 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 16 – 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 21 – 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Mar. 13 – 2 - 6 p.m.

For more information or to register, please email Gayle Voyer or call (250) 979-8053 to arrange a pick up location and time. Employees and students are reminded to please register their teams to ensure donations are counted toward Okanagan College’s donation total. Click here to register online using Okanagan College’s partner ID number: OKAN002612.

Reminder: Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Award nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the Okanagan College Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service awards.

The Honorary Fellow award is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment.

The Distinguished Service award recognizes a former Okanagan College employee who has given outstanding service to the College, who shares and supports the College’s mission, vision and values, and is active within and outside the College community. This award is not given as a matter of routine.

Full criteria, nomination forms, and a list of previous honorees can be found here. Deadline for nominations is Thursday, Nov. 10.

Finding work/life balance on the agenda

The October issue of the Employee and Family Assistance program newsletter is available here.

The topic for the month is Do you Worry too Much? Generalised Anxiety Disorder is discussed. A webinar entitled Live Well and Work Well will take place at noon on Oct. 26. Presenters will offer strategies for achieving an ideal work/life balance. Register here.


Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Week

Nov. 1-4 – In an effort to ensure Okanagan College is a leader in occupational health and safety, the Kelowna Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) committee is launching its first Health and Safety Awareness week, November 1-4. The focus of this first annual OHS week is personal protective equipment (PPE) education and compliance. From 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. throughout the week, there will be an information table rotating through the C building, Trades Complex, and the Atrium in the Centre for Learning. Stop by to pick up information, ask questions, win prizes, and get some free swag. Everyone is welcome.

Wine Talks.

Nov. 9 – Okanagan College and Liquidity Wines are partnering to offer Wine Talks: An International Perspective on Wine Marketing on Nov. 9 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Penticton campus. The event will feature presentations from best-selling author Karen MacNeil (the Wine Bible) and Rob McMillan, EVP and Founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division. MacNeil will kick off the event and after a short intermission (and wine break, of course) McMillan will close the evening. Tickets to attend the event are now on sale at a special early bird rate. Click here to purchase.

Discover Africa’s Culture and Cuisine

Nov. 19 – Enjoy dishes inspired by African cuisine prepared by Okanagan College Junior Chefs with the mentorship of distinguished chefs of the Okanagan Chefs Association and Okanagan College. Saturday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. in the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. Tickets are $75 and available here. Proceeds will be donated to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign and to the Okanagan Chefs Association to provide educational opportunities for junior chefs in our community. Stay tuned for more about this great event in the next issue of Inside Okanagan College.

OC Holiday Season Party

Dec. 10 – The OC Social Committee invites all employees to attend the annual OC Holiday Season Party at Rusty’s Steakhouse and Lounge on Dilworth Dr., Dec. 10 beginning at 6 p.m. 

Enjoy a traditional holiday meal including dessert, dance to the tunes of Blue City Trio, featuring OC’s own Tom Esson, participate in a draw for prizes, a 50/50 draw and challenge someone to a game of pool at one of two reserved tables. All of this is included in your ticket price of $35. Those who purchase prior to Nov. 10 will be entered in a draw to win one of five $25 bar tabs which you can use during the party. Lots of parking is available at the venue and there is also an option to get a safe ride home for an additional cost.

Purchase a ticket from: Dawn Douglas or Katerina Hay (Advancement & Alumni), Angie March (Regional Dean’s Office), Gerry Born or Tanya Tarlit (Co-op Office), Carlyn Young (Registrar’s Office), Margaret Johnson (Executive Office), Jo-Dee Hecko (Faculty, ST&H), Lynda Dreaper (HR).

Moya Webb was celebrated in the pages of The Kelowna Daily Courier for her speaking abilities and her dedicated efforts as Okanagan College Toastmaster Club President. 

Scribes at The Capital News recently shared word of the 3-Hour Short Story contest returning this year on Saturday, Nov. 5.

News of the inaugural Wine Talks event presented by Liquidity Wines and Okanagan College on Nov. 9, was carried by The Penticton Western News and Scout Magazine. The event brings internationally-known wine industry experts Karen MacNeil and Rob McMillan to B.C. to share their insight and international experience of wine marketing. Click here to purchase tickets.

Donna Lomas is retiring this December after a decade as Regional Dean South Okanagan-Similkameen and she was celebrated for her accomplishments by The Penticton Western News on Oct. 16.

The Okanagan Wine Festival Society’s Young Chefs event at Okanagan College was profiled recently by The Georgia Straight, The Daily Courier, and Okanagan Saturday. Students and instructors from the College’s Culinary Arts program pitted their creativity against chefs from across the region in this friendly competition focused on wine and cheese.

A Hispanic Cinema Retrospective is being hosted at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus over the next few weeks, as reported by The Daily Courier. Films celebrating Cuban culture will be screened each Wednesday until Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre.

Okanagan College’s Kalamalka Press writer-in-residence Janet Munsil is at the Caetani Cultural Centre this October to research and write a play about Vernon's iconic artist Sveva Caetani that will be produced at the Powerhouse Theatre in 2017. Munsil is currently seeking stories about Caetani from which she can draw from and her quest was highlighted recently by The Vernon Morning StarThe Morning Star also picked up on Vancouver novelist and poet Daphne Marlatt’s ruminations on Caetani in her new work Reading Sveva.  

Enrolment growth at Okanagan College made the pages of The Kelowna Capital News and The Vernon Morning Star this month; the College witnessed a four per cent climb in fall enrolment compared to last year.

The Kelowna Capital News re-capped the 8th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow hosted by Okanagan College on Sept. 15 in an article this week, catching up with a number of KSS students who participated.

Three Okanagan College Culinary Arts students swept the podium at the Top Tomato Recipe contest sponsored by the Florida Tomato Council and their recipes for success were shared by The Okanagan Saturday, The Daily Courier, The Capital News, along with mention in Maxine Dehart’s Oct. 12 column, and Castanet.

Dr. Gail Anderson, one of Canada’s leading forensic entomologists, spoke at Okanagan College Wednesday, Oct.12 as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series and her visit made The Vernon Morning Star.

Okanagan School of Business chair Laura Thurnheer shared her passion for business and education recently when she was profiled in the Women to Watch series by The Capital News.

Also in the news was local author and 2012 Honorary Fellow Yasmin John-Thorpe, featured in The Penticton Herald for her new children’s book Grandpa’s Gift, which explores the Battle of Vimy Ridge in World War I for a young audience.


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 Nov. 1, 2016.