Student numbers keep climbing at OC
Enrolments at the College’s four campuses this fall have increased about 13.3 per cent over the same time last year, suggesting the institution will likely exceed 2018-19 government enrolment targets for the 14th year in a row – the best record among B.C.’s Colleges.
When the enrolment period for this fall semester ended in mid-September, Okanagan College had 9,570 students registered, compared to 8,446 students a year ago. However, student numbers won’t be finalized until the end of fiscal year (March 31, 2019).
“The numbers are encouraging,” notes OC President Jim Hamilton, “but what’s really significant is that they tell us and the community that we are helping more students pursue higher education.”
Kelowna’s campus enrolment grew to 6,126 this fall compared to 5,330 last year, while Vernon’s student headcount climbed to 1,088 from 970. Penticton enrolment grew to 1,025 from 940 and Salmon Arm’s student numbers increased to 721 from 692. Students registered in distance education courses grew to 610 from 514.
Read the full story here.
College’s Vernon Trades Training Centre earns commercial building award
Okanagan College’s new Trades Training Centre in Vernon, which opened its doors to students in August, is already being recognized for its innovative construction.
The centre took home the Institutional Award at the 10th Annual Thompson Okanagan Kootenay Commercial Building Awards held on Thursday, Sept. 20 in Kelowna, presented by MNP LLP, RE/MAX Commercial and the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA).
“We had three goals in mind when we set out to construct our new Trades facility in Vernon,” said OC President Jim Hamilton. “We knew we wanted to provide students with the highest-quality learning environment possible, to build a facility that will help meet the demand for skilled trades people in the North Okanagan and beyond, and, finally, to continue to raise the bar for ourselves in sustainability.”
The facility was constructed to meet the minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard, building on the College’s commitment to delivering sustainable facilities.
Read the full story here.
Business program compounds opportunities for finance students
The College’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program recently received the stamp of approval for its finance curriculum from the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, making it one of 32 institutions in Canada and the third in B.C. to be affiliated with the CFA Institute.
The CFA credential covers academic theory, current industry practice as well as ethical and professional standards to provide a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio-management skills. In order to qualify for the university affiliate program, the College had to submit course outlines for a variety of finance topics: statistics, economics, ethics, derivatives, investments and investment management, to name a few.
“Having the CFA designation is a requirement in this day and age for certain jobs, as finance positions are becoming even more competitive,” says Elena Mitropolsky, the Okanagan College professor of finance who worked on articulating the program’s curriculum to CFA requirements. “People often consider whether they want to pursue an MBA or CFA, and while graduate schools can differ in terms of quality of program, the CFA designation is a signal to employers that the individual has met international standards.”
Up to nine scholarships will also be provided to College students who pursue the CFA exams, with the financial award administered by the Okanagan School of Business.
Read the full story here.
Kiwanis gives $125k to College to support youth
Students, children from the Little Scholars child care centre and College representatives took part in a special presentation on Sept. 21 during which the Kiwanis Club of Kelowna announced a $125,000 donation in support of OC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Human Service Work (HSW) programs.
The major gift establishes the Kiwanis Kelowna 2018 Legacy Education Endowment, which will provide two annual $2,000 scholarships to a student in the ECE and HSW programs.
The funds for the endowment came from the 2016 sale of the Kiwanis Tower, located at the corner of Lawrence and Gordon. The funds are being used to support children and youth locally through a number of charities and supporting institutions.
Kelowna Kiwanis President Bob Bissell says Kiwanis chose Okanagan College because it has an excellent reputation and the programs to ensure the investment is well utilized beyond the foreseeable future.
Read the full story here.
Website townhalls, feedback survey launch this month
OC students and employees, along with potential students, parents, counsellors and others, will have a chance to put their imaginations to the test and join interactive town halls this month to help guide the redevelopment of the College’s website.
The website development project team will be hosting drop-in sessions at every campus this month and into November. Participants will be invited to navigate through a series of challenges to provide feedback on navigation, organization, look and feel, features and services.
Drop-in any time on the following dates to provide feedback:
Penticton: Monday, Oct. 22, 9-11 a.m. – Community Hall, Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence
If you’re unable to attend a session, you can still provide your feedback online through a survey tool. Communication will follow when the survey goes live, later this month. The project team will also be hosting focus groups and conversations with departments and individuals across the College.
Please contact Kim Fukushima by email or at ext. 4526.
OCAA honours young alumni
Brea Retzlaff and Drew Vincent each received the Okanagan College Alumni Association's (OCAA) Young Alumni Award on Sept. 18.
The awards acknowledge alumni who demonstrate excellence in leadership, environment, business or industry, public or community service or arts.
Retzlaff, who completed her Business Administration degree from the College in 2013, got an early start working in the tech-industry immediately after graduation. She is now the Director of Operations at Accelerate Okanagan (AO), helping lead AO’s strategic direction and contributing a strong voice in the booming Okanagan tech-sector.
Vincent completed his Business Administration degree in 2014 at the Kelowna campus and is a former President for Enactus OC. He is well known for his contributions to a number of youth initiatives and social enterprises – as well as being a champion for sustainability in the region.
The OCAA has been conferring these awards since 2002 and this year marks the first time in the awards’ history that two Young Alumni Awards have been given out.
Demo day brings the future of welding to OC
One of the largest manufacturers of welding equipment in North America, Miller Electric Mfg LLC (Miller), has partnered with OC to ensure students work with the latest welding technology, and on Oct. 9, the public will have a chance to learn about today’s training opportunities and the equipment of tomorrow.
“Technology is always changing and so this agreement is great news for our welding students and apprentices, and for our instructors,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at the College. “It means that every six to 12 months, some equipment will be swapped out of the shops and our students will get access to the latest, most high-tech equipment from Miller.”
The Miller equipment trailer and Miller representatives will be on hand at the Kelowna campus from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9 to provide live demonstrations of the latest welding and plasma cutting machines. The demo day is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is not required. For more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/welding.
Read the full story here.
College’s 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow
Hundreds of youth, students and community members gathered in the courtyard at the College’s Kelowna campus on Sept. 20 to take in one of the most vibrant cultural events of the year – the 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow.
The event began with a special ceremony honouring Elder Richard Jackson Jr. of the Lower Nicola Indian Band and Noel Ferguson of the Canoe Creek First Nation. In acknowledgement of their long-time involvement in the powwow, OC President Jim Hamilton and Aboriginal Services Coordinator Anthony Isaac wrapped Jackson and Ferguson in traditional Pendleton blankets as a physical and spiritual symbol of respect and thanks for their years of commitment.
Shortly after Jackson and Ferguson were wrapped, the duo presented Okanagan College with an Eagle Staff as a symbol of respect and to recognize the College’s continued efforts to embrace Aboriginal culture and values and support the educational journey of Aboriginal learners.
Dancers and accompanying drummers came from across the B.C. interior to perform in a variety of dance categories including grass, fancy, chicken and traditional. The invited drum groups this year were Birch Creek, The Northern Tribes and Red Spotted Horse.
Attendees were treated to a fan-favourite lunch of Deconstructed Indian Tacos – prepared and served by the College’s Culinary Arts team and volunteers – and enjoyed shopping at the many craft vendors on location who were selling jewelry, artwork, soaps, moccasins and more.
New Culinary Manager on board
Chef Vincent Stufano, the new manager of Okanagan College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts program, started this summer and is looking ahead to infusing regional knowledge and products into the student experience.
“I wanted to teach here because when it comes down to what I am passionate about, the Okanagan is heaven. It has everything, from wine, farms, fruit, you name it,” he says. “The wine region is emerging, the farmers are getting better and better, and the artisans are making cheese. What better place could there be to teach young people who want to be chefs?”
Stufano was born in Montreal, raised by Italian and French family whose passion for fresh food, gardening, winemaking and locally sourced ingredients came second nature.
He began working in several kitchens across B.C., apprenticing at Big White at the age of 23. After graduating, he found himself in Vancouver at the time of Expo 86 standing in front of Canada Place, inspired to cook in the city. He managed to talk his way into a meeting with the head chef of the Five Sails at the Pan Pacific Hotel, who brought him on as chef de partie.
He was certified under the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks in 1989/90, and embraced pastry while working at the Delta Hotel in Whistler. That brought him to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, where he worked for 18 years and ultimately became the executive chef.
Stufano’s skills have been seen at culinary competitions around the world, including Singapore and Chicago for Team B.C., and representing Canada in Germany and Switzerland.
Read more about Stufano here.
Managing Culturally Diverse Classrooms returns to OC
Managing Culturally Diverse Classrooms (MCDC) is back this year with a new chapter aimed at assisting faculty with managing classroom interactions through an online course.
The new chapter is the brainchild of OC Communications professor Jillian Garrett who applied and received an OC Innovation Fund to help launch the initiative. The new chapter of MCDC builds off last year’s project which set out to improve the educational experience of all students – both domestic and international – in culturally diverse classrooms by offering one-to-one writing assistance for students and pedagogical support to professors.
“Through last year’s MCDC we saw relative success in our goal,” explains Garrett who worked in a team alongside OC Communications Professors Michael Saad and Ed Henczel. “We were invigorated by the many conversations we had with the faculty and staff who shared their own encounters with a culturally diverse student population and expressed an interest in learning how to best support students.”
The free online course will help faculty learn to promote inclusion and a sense of community in the classroom, use Moodle and other Web 2.0 technologies to support community-building, communicate effectively with students from different cultures, teach students to understand the importance of adhering to Canadian standards of academic integrity, guard against plagiarism and cheating and apply strategies of culturally responsive teaching.
The course is anticipated to be available in January 2019. If you have any questions or want to contribute input to course topics or delivery, please contact Jillian Garrett at ext. 4283.
Nicholson breaks records
OC Business professor Michelle Nicholson’s extended study leave researching Provincial and State Parks turned up some unexpected outcomes, becoming a viral travel sensation with more than 4.5 million views online.
On May 1, 2017 Nicholson set out to visit and research 100 Provincial and State Parks across British Columbia, Alberta and USA’s Washington and Oregon states. She finished the last park Aug 17, 2018.
“I set out to do a content analysis where I would make a comparative study of the parks as a whole – including campsites, facilities and services – to see if what was advertised on their websites was accurate,” says Nicholson. “I started every day at 5:30 a.m. so I could capture uninterrupted photos of the facilities and I would journal my daily findings.”
In total, Nicholson put on 12,000 kilometres, took 15,000 photos on her journey and wrote all-encompassing reviews for every park – which she began cataloguing online to a Google Maps account under the name Prof. Nicholson. To date her reviews have garnered 170,000 hits and her photos have been viewed more than 4.5 million times.
“People are viewing photos and reading the reviews to decide which parks to book at,” says Nicholson. “Using Google Maps was only supposed to be a way for me to catalogue all of my findings, I never expected it go to viral.”
Nicholson is continuing to upload the rest of the park reviews and photos and has plans to start a YouTube channel which will be populated from a colossal terabyte worth of video footage she took along the way. Read more about Nicholson’s research findings here and check out her Google Maps account here.
Renowned Okanagan artist and educator donates work to the College
A former Okanagan College instructor and nationally-acclaimed artist has donated one of his works to the College to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication of students and employees.
Bryan Ryley, who taught Fine Arts at the College from 1978 to 2005, was at the Kelowna campus on Sept. 20 to unveil his work entitled “Passage,” which will be displayed in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning.
“As an educator, it was wonderful to be a part of Okanagan College, to witness the commitment of the institution and the sense of family among students and staff that was fostered,” said Ryley. “I’m really pleased to see that that attitude and approach to education continues under the leadership of President Jim Hamilton, wonderful staff and a student body that is so enthusiastic.”
“The title of the work is meant to capture the notion that we are always on a journey and always in a state of passage – which, I think, is particularly apt for students,” added the artist.
Hamilton and Ryley unveiled 84” x 120” acrylic on canvas painting during a ceremony captured in this photo gallery.
Read the full story here.
Cross-cultural event educates on Brazil
Students and employees gathered in the Trades atrium on Sept. 26 to take in the first Cross-Cultural Awareness session to learn about Brazil first-hand from three OC international students.
The session was led by OC students, Fabio Chakkour, Sophia Martins and Rodrigo Bruno who are all from Brazil. They presented on the country’s culture, music, sports, festivals, education systems, statistics and even served attendees the token taste of Brazil, Guaraná Antarctica (a soda).
“Fabio, Sophia and Rodrigo really kicked off this cultural awareness series well with a strong and engaging presentation,” noted Petya Whelan, Marketing and Recruitment Specialist, International Education. “It’s a great opportunity for students and staff to connect, network and become more aware about the different cultures we have on campus.”
The International Education department worked with students to launch this initiative which will celebrate a different culture at the Kelowna campus every month.
The next session is about Japanese culture and will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 12:15-1 p.m. in the Trades atrium. View the event poster here.
Denis Redding spent ten years working as an Engineer for OC’s Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses. He had his last day of work on Friday, Sept. 21 and was celebrated by many colleagues at a farewell party.
“Denis is a very dependable, hardworking and organized individual,” says Peter Csandl OC Manager, Plant Services & Operations. “I commend Denis for the work he has done at the Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses and at the Vernon Aerospace Centre. His shoes are big ones to fill.”
“I appreciate Denis for his hard work and dedication to our campus,” noted Jane Lister, North Okanagan Regional Dean. “He was always accommodating to the needs of the campus and helped out immensely during challenging incidents.”
Denis is looking forward to camping, fishing and spending time with his family.
Oct. 2, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 19
Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Award nominations open
Nominations are now being accepted for Okanagan College's Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service awards.
The Honorary Fellow award is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. it is the highest honour bestowed by the College. 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.
Learn about your Pension Plan
Wondering how being a member of the plan, returning from paternal leave, getting a separation or divorce, changing jobs or choosing a pension option could affect your future? Find answers to your pension questions through a free member education.
Please note: space for the two-hour workshops is limited to 35 seats and workshops fill up quickly. Register at your earliest convenience to secure your seat.
Getting to Know Your Pension is a 15-minute online learning session that introduces you to the value and benefits of membership. This session benefits new and potential members. Visit the College Pension Plan website or the Municipal Pension Plan website to take the online learning course.
Making the Most of Your Pension is a two-hour workshop that can help you maximize your pension by understanding how the decisions you make throughout your career affect your pension when you retire. Visit the College Pension Plan website or the Municipal Pension Plan website for more information and to register your seat.
Approaching Retirement is a two-hour workshop designed to help you understand the important decisions you need to make about your pension and make the transition easier. Visit the College Pension Plan website or the Municipal Pension Plan website for more information and to register your seat.
Call for volunteers and exhibitors at Career Fair
Okanagan College is hosting its 37th Annual Career Fair on Sunday, Nov. 4 and is in need of volunteers. Departments are also invited to participate as exhibitors at the Fair. This event is an opportunity to network, recruit and promote your department to students. To inquire about volunteering please email Michelle Lowry and to sign your department up as an exhibitor click here.
Kelowna Fitness Facility holiday closure
The Kelowna Fitness Facility is closing this Friday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. and will re-open on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 a.m. for the holiday weekend.
Kelowna campus road closure schedule: Oct. 1 – 5
Due to work being performed on the high-voltage system for the new Health Sciences Centre under construction at the Kelowna campus, a three-phase road closure is necessary (Phase 1 and 2 have been completed). Phase 3 will impact the flow of traffic on Campus West Rd. until Oct. 5. Click here to view the map.
Auditions for Pride and Prejudice
Auditions for the Red Dot Players’ (the College’s theatre troop) production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will be held on Nov. 2, 3 and 4 at the Kelowna campus. Click here to view the audition schedule. For more information about the production and for character/role details visit the Red Dot Player’s website.
The troop is looking for actors but also for production crew. In particular, volunteers who can assist with sound, publicity, costumes, front of house and stage management. Interested parties should contact Jeremy Beaulne.
Infusions Restaurant hours (Kelowna campus)
View lunch and dinner menus here.
Bake Shop and Meat Shop closed
Bake Shop is closed until March 2019 and Meat Shop will reopen in January 2019.
Tips for ladder safety – JOHS monthly update
Did you know that falls from ladders are one of the leading causes of injuries?
When climbing up or going down a ladder, you should always face the ladder, use a 3-point contact method (both feet and one hand or one foot and both hands), only have one person on a single-width ladder at a time and never stand on the top two rungs of the ladder. For safe ladder use, do not carry heavy, bulky or hazardous materials when climbing ladders and instead use suitable equipment for rigging and hoisting materials up. Lastly, always visually inspect the ground area before you place your ladder – make sure of a level surface, free from obstacles and tripping hazards that may impede your safe use of the ladder.
Source: WorkSafeBC: Resources and Forms, Toolbox Meeting Guide – Safe Ladder Use.
YOGA for Every Body and Mindful Meditation - Kelowna campus
Interested in Yoga? Join Yoga for Every Body every Tuesday and Thursday from noon-1 p.m. in room E105 (Centre for Learning building) for yoga. Staff drop-in price is $10 or you can purchase a 10-class punch card for $90. Email email@example.com.
Interested in meditation? Join Mindful Meditation led by Brett Wade, PhD for free in room E102 on Fridays from 12:15-12:45 p.m. No experience is required.
Click here for more information.
Post-secondary information night
Oct. 2 – Okanagan College is one of fourteen B.C. colleges and universities participating in a free public post-secondary information night at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 in the CFL Atrium (E-building) at the Kelowna campus. For more information, read the media release or view the event poster.
Networking for Non-Profits: Program Sustainability with Kylie Hutchinson
Oct. 4 – Join your peers to network and find out what is happening in the broader non-profit community. Whether you work for a local area non-profit or are a volunteer, this event gives you a chance to connect with others and share ideas. It's also an opportunity to learn more about Program Sustainability with evaluation consultant and author Kylie Hutchinson. The event presentation is from 4 -5 p.m. and networking opportunities to follow from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.
Mental Health First Aid training opportunity in Vernon
Oct. 23-24 – Want to learn how to support student wellness? This two-day training course is an official program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Mental Health First Aid and is being offered to Okanagan College employees for free. The workshop will be hosted on Oct. 23-24 at the CMHA Vernon Branch. For more information about this training opportunity, click here.
Okanagan College Career Fair
Nov. 4 – Okanagan College’s 37th annual Career Fair is happening on Sunday, Nov. 4 from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus. All departments are invited to participate as exhibitors. This event is an opportunity to network, recruit new students and promote your department and programs. By attending Career Fair, potential students have a chance to explore programs offered at the College, view interactive demonstrations, have their post-secondary questions answered and be eligible to enter to win a $5,000 tuition credit. Visit the website for more information and click here to register.
The Daily Courier, Capital News, Okanagan Weekend and KelownaNow shared information about former Okanagan College instructor and acclaimed artist Bryan Ryley who donated a painting to the College’s Kelowna campus.
The Okanagan College Students’ Union is hosting an all-candidates meet-and-greet for the upcoming Kelowna municipal election and the Capital News shared details.
The College hosted its 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow at the Kelowna campus on Sept. 20 and drew in a large crowd of students, youth, community members and media – including KelownaNow, Daily Courier, Castanet and the Capital News who put together a video and a separate article that shared details and photos.
KelownaNow and the Daily Courier reported on the OC men’s basketball team who took two wins during the first weekend of exhibition games. They also shared a follow up article with game details for both teams who played their fourth and second exhibition games on Sept. 21 and 22. KelownaNow and the Capital News has also followed the Coyotes on their new online initiative “Values over Victory.”
Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan named as two major contributors in the booming tech industry in a Capital News and Daily Courier article that interviewed OC Honorary Fellow (2014) and Accelerate Okanagan CEO Raghwa Gopal.
Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement and Executive Director of the OC Foundation, announced her retirement and Maxine Dehart shared her upcoming retirement in her column in the Capital News.
The Regina Leader-Post featured Okanagan College’s cannabis courses and industry partnerships that work together to create training programs and inject qualified and trained employees to the budding cannabis industry.
The Capital News shared the news that the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration program has received a stamp of approval for its finance specialty from the CFA Institute.
The District of Coldstream is supporting a proposed campus residence project at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus and Castanet provided details. The Daily Courier, Vernon Morning Star and Summerland Review also shared details about residence housing including information about the College’s proposed housing projects.
The Capital News helped welcome OC’s new Culinary and Pastry Arts Manager Chef Vincent Stufano.
The Vernon Morning Star and Castanet touted the College’s new Vernon Trades Training Centre which has already earned its first building award.
The Salmon Arm Observer provided a list of candidates in the Shuswap municipal elections including OC employees Amanda Krebs who is running for the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District board and Louise Wallace Richmond who is running for councillor.
The Summerland Review reported on Summerland councillor and OC alumna Toni Boot who is now running for mayor.
The Daily Courier reported on the various business leaders and community members including the Okanagan College Students’ Union who appealed to the B.C. budget committee for more post-secondary institutional funding to encourage more student services.
Author and OC English and Fine Arts Professor Corinna Chong is one of five guest authors who will facilitate a panel discussion at the Kamloops writers’ festival, Words Alive, on Oct. 19. Kamloops This Week gave event details and information on the attending authors.
The Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal wrote about the $1-million gift from the Jacobsen family to Okanagan College.
Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Holly Stevens.