OC and UBC Okanagan working together to build a greener future

OC and UBCO greener future Hamilton and BuszardA new partnership between Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s School of Engineering is laying the foundation for a greener future.

Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College and Dr. Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of UBC Okanagan, were joined by industry, government and community members at the College’s Penticton campus on Oct. 25 to sign a letter of cooperation. 

The letter of cooperation in green construction research and training outlines a number of ways in which the institutions aim to collaborate, from developing shared capstone projects for students to establishing a speaker series in green construction and smart energy use. The letter also outlines the joint commitment to explore the creation of a Green Construction Research and Training Centre in the Okanagan. 

Another goal will be to build on the work both institutions have done to establish the region as a hub for innovation in advancing sustainable construction. 

“We are at a critical turning point in the future of the planet,” says Buszard. “Green construction research that begins here in the Okanagan will generate new techniques, technologies, and materials that could have national or global impact. Through this new collaboration, UBC researchers, working side-by-side with faculty and students from the College, will develop solutions that help bridge the gap from where we are today to the greener future we seek for tomorrow.” 

Read the full story here.

College’s technology programs earn national accreditation

Technology engineering programs accreditationFour Okanagan College engineering technology programs have earned a new national accreditation designed to help create streamlined pathways toward professional certification for graduates. 

Richard Sampler, Executive Director of Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC), visited the Kelowna campus on Oct. 24 to present certificates for the College’s Civil Engineering Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Water Engineering Technology programs.

This accreditation signifies the College’s programs align with the current standards of that profession and also provides a streamlined pathway towards professional certification as an Applied Science Technologist (A. Sc. T), through the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC). 

“This new national accreditation re-affirms for our students that the knowledge and skills they’re acquiring at the College meet the highest standards and are valued by employers,” says Yvonne Moritz, OC Dean of Science, Technology and Health. “And the expedited path to becoming a certified technician or technologist through ASTTBC ensures our students will continue to step into their industries quickly – and well prepared – after graduation.”

Read the full story here.

OC adult literacy programs get a boost

Community-based adult literacy programs at Okanagan College received a $67,043 investment from the Province in October.

The funding will support four community adult literacy programs including the Project Literacy Kelowna Society ($11,765), Revelstoke Family Literacy Program ($4,943), Volunteer literacy tutoring program in Revelstoke ($25,535) and the South Okanagan Community Literacy Program ($24,800).

“Community adult literacy programs help students gain skills and confidence for everyday life, for pursing employment or for establishing a pathway to further education and training,” says Andrew Hay, Vice President Education. “Partnership arrangements between the College and community groups, supported by Provincial funding like this, are enabling learners to work with skilled tutors in welcoming and convenient environments, bringing developmental adult education into communities across the region.”

Read the full story in the media release.

Strong turnout for website feedback town halls

The College’s website development project team hosted drop-in feedback sessions at all four campuses last week and OC students and staff turned up in droves to provide their input. 

Participants worked through a series of challenges designed to garner feedback on navigation, organization, look and feel, features and services on the website.

Sessions were held in Penticton and Kelowna on Monday, Oct. 22 and in Vernon and Salmon on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Among other tools, feedback is being gathered through a brief google survey and a lengthier online survey developed in consultation with Institutional Research. 

By the end of this week, the project team will also have conducted more than two dozen focus groups and conversations with departments and individuals across the College. The project team consulted with more than 200 people during the town halls.

Those unable to attend a session can still provide feedback through the online survey here until Sunday, Nov. 4.

For more information, please contact Kim Fukushima by email or at ext. 4526.

College helps job seekers get social media savvy at Career Fair

Job seekers who attend the College’s 37th Annual Career Fair at the Kelowna campus on Nov. 4 will walk away with the skills to build and set the right tone with their online presence on LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn is an easy way for employers to take a quick snapshot of you,” says OC Co-op Employer Co-ordinator Tanya Tarlit. “Once they have your resume, they will search for you on LinkedIn to see if you have additional experience or, even better, recommendations on your page endorsing you for a specific skill.”

Tarlit is one of several job-search experts scheduled to present at Career Fair, the yearly open house for current Okanagan College students to meet employers and gain important skills to make informed decisions about the future.

Her presentation will offer tips and tricks for creating an all-star LinkedIn profile, including pitfalls to avoid. “Make sure your profile is filled out, that you have done all the areas that need to be completed. If someone has a sparse profile, it can lead to questions about whether you have the experience listed on your resume,” she says.

Learn more about Career Fair here.


Wine film series kicks off

Puckette Wine Film SeriesMadeline Puckette, a renowned writer and influencer in North America’s wine industry, will be at the Kelowna campus on Nov. 12 to launch SOMM3, the latest entry in the cult wine film series.

Puckette is the narrator of SOMM3, a provocative wine film featuring Decanter editor Steven Spurrier, renowned master sommelier Fred Dame, and wine critic Jancis Robinson. The original SOMM is the most viewed wine film on Netflix to date. Okanagan wine lovers will be able to catch a sneak peak of SOMM3 in the Okanagan College Kelowna campus lecture theatre at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12. Guests can enjoy wine tastings starting at 6 p.m. and the film screening will commence at 7 p.m.

An author and illustrator of Wine Folly’s blog and books, Puckette was recently rated just behind Decanter magazine by Social Vignerons (an online hub for wine industry news) for her influence on social media.

“Okanagan College is proud to sponsor this event and bring SOMM3 to the Okanagan, because the wine industry is of critical importance to the communities we serve,” states Jonathan Rouse, Director of Food, Wine and Tourism at Okanagan College. “It’s important to reflect on our industry’s history to shape the future of wine.”

Tickets – available online at - are $38 each and include film admission, garagiste wine tastings and small bites from local social enterprise Start Fresh Kitchen. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Start Fresh’s culinary and farming employment projects.

OC alumna skates into cutting-edge business

Nina Greschner - AEMPProfessional figure skater Nina Greschner arrived at Okanagan College last fall and traded in her skates for headphones and a mixing board as she stepped into a new career and launched a niche business focused on helping other athletes achieve their best.

Greschner got her start in figure skating at age four and was competitive for many years until she transformed her skills into a long-time career travelling abroad with Disney On Ice. After completing more than a decade with Disney, Greschner moved to coaching.

“I envisioned a niche business helping coaches and choreographers eliminate the problem solving of music and focus their attention on the creation of the performance,” explains Greschner. “I knew I needed a better technical understanding of music editing and how to achieve the perfect tone and energy.”

Greschner enrolled in the College’s Audio Engineering and Music Production (AEMP) certificate course to get the necessary training to make her business idea happen.

After completing her program, Greschner successfully launched her business, Composed Music Services, in her hometown of Revelstoke this fall. 

Read the full story here.

New award honours Okanagan columnist

Thomson Memorial awardA new annual award for top marketing students at Okanagan College is honouring a well-known Okanagan businessman and columnist John Thomson.

The John Thomson Memorial – Kelowna Executive Roundtable Scholarship in Marketing is an annual $2,500 award for a top marketing student enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration program. The award winner is chosen for having the highest marks in three second- or third-year marketing courses. OC student Andrew Nash is the first recipient of the award.

When Thomson passed in 2015, members of the Executive Roundtable wanted to find a way to recognize his impact on their group and the community at large. Along with his wife Dolores, they set up a legacy that will introduce new students to Thomson’s work for years to come.

“This award in John’s name will hopefully inspire the recipient this year and in years to come to help carry on the commitment to marketing and community that we know was at the core of John’s bigger-than-life persona,” says Dr. Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College.

Thomson was the former Marketing Manager at B.C. Tree Fruits. After retiring in the early 90s, Thomson went on to form the Kelowna Executive Roundtable, a group of local business leaders that meet monthly to discuss topics relevant to the Central Okanagan community.

Thomson also began writing the Thomson Report, a column about business in the Okanagan. In 1999, for his contributions to community, Thomson was awarded an honorary doctorate from Okanagan University College.

Read the full story here. 

OC Journalism class visited by industry experts

Basran in Journalism Studies classOC Professor Ed Henczel’s Intro to Journalism Studies class are learning about the anatomy of a news story in a unique way this month – through the perspectives of three Okanagan media experts.

The class was visited by Castanet’s News Director and Content Manager Jon Manchester who stopped by on Oct. 10 to talk about the media’s perspective on a story.

A week later, Mayor of Kelowna and former OC student Colin Basran took time to explain the many sides to a news story to students from the perspective of a former journalist and also as a current news-maker. Students also took the opportunity to ask Basran questions about the election including municipal government policy, transportation, student housing and homelessness. He also passed on some advice from his former career as a TV journalist.

Wrapping up the topic will be OC Public Affairs Director Allan Coyle who will speak to the class on Oct. 31 about the public relations side of a news story.

DELT consultations underway

DELT logoThe DELT (Digitally Enhanced Learning and Teaching) consultation process is now underway.

Over the past several weeks, Brad Clements (Economics) and Chantale Hutchinson (AACP) have met with Chairs in Science and Technology, Arts and Foundational programs, and Business and Trades portfolios. They have provided an overview of the project and have engaged in dialogue with the Chairs about DELT in relation to student learning and student success. 

Meetings are scheduled to further engage faculty and instructors over the next several weeks.

Watch for DELT’s survey on College Matters, created in consultation with OC’s Institutional Research Department, that will be available soon.  

Oct. 30, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 21


Auditions for Pride and Prejudice

Auditions for the Red Dot Players’ 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 College's theatre 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.

Flu vaccination clinics

Okanagan College is offering employees the opportunity to receive a flu vaccination on campus. The vaccine is offered as a service to 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% of the total cost. Please bring a cheque with you payable to Okanagan College or exact change only for your portion of the vaccination ($10.00). If you plan on attending the flu clinic at any of the following locations, please complete the Seasonal Flu Vaccination Questionnaire & Consent form (2018 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, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 2nd floor in the Centre for Learning (E) building (to the right of the west staircase).

Penticton - Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Sunoka Conference Room, PE A1E.

Salmon Arm - Thursday, Nov. 8 from 12 to 1 p.m. in room 153.

Vernon - Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 12 to 2 p.m. in room E105.

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

New members for the Board and Education Council

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.

Call for Nominations: Oct. 19 - Nov. 2, 4 p.m. inclusive, forms will be available in myOkanagan
Campaign Period: Oct. 29 - Nov. 9
Post List of Candidates: Nov. 2, 2018 after 4 p.m.
Elections: Nov. 12 - 18 in myOkanagan
Announcement of Results: Nov. 19
Deadline for Appeals: Nov. 26
Deadline to Request a Recount: Nov. 26

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.

Full criteria, nomination forms, and a list of previous honorees can be found here. Nominations are being accepted until Nov. 5. For information on last year’s recipients, click here.

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.

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.

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.

Kelowna Fitness Facility holiday hours

The Fitness Facility at the Kelowna campus will close on Fri, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. for the Remembrance Day weekend and reopen on Tue, Nov. 13 at 6 a.m.

Infusions Restaurant hours (Kelowna campus)

View lunch and dinner menus here.


  • Oct. 2 – Nov. 15: Infusions will be closed for lunch and open for dinner from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 15 – June, 2019: open Mon – Fri for lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and dinner (closed on Mondays) from 6 – 9 p.m.

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


Cross-Cultural Awareness Event - Japan

Oct. 31 – Join in on an engaging and educational presentation on Japan's culture and country, delivered first-hand by OC Japanese international students in collaboration with the College's International department. The event is free to attend and is held from 12:15 - 1 p.m. in the Trades atrium. View the event poster here

This event is part of a new Cross-Cultural Awareness initiative that brings a new country to the College each month.

37th Annual 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. By attending Career Fair, prospective 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.

Taste of India

Nov. 6 – The Taste of India event is back at the Penticton campus. Join in the delicious festivities and enjoy Indian food, music and culture in the Community Hall (PC 113) from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Cost is $5 and the event is open to all students and employees.

An evening with award-winning novelists

Nov. 8 – Join OC’s Department of English, Diploma in Writing & Publishing and Gallery Vertigo on Nov. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for an Evening with award-winning novelists Alix Hawley and Ashley Little. Hawley, a former OC Professor is the author of The Old Familiar, All True Not a Lie in It and My Name is a Knife and Little is the author of Anatomy of a Girl Gang, Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist and Confessions of a Teenage Leper.

The event is free to attend and is being held at Gallery Vertigo (3105 28th Ave., #102). There will be an open mic from 6:30-7 p.m. as well. View the event poster here.

Christmas Hamper Fundraiser - Indian Tacos

Nov. 15 – As it gets closer to the holiday season, Aboriginal Services is working to provide support to students and their families and will be hosting an Indian Taco Lunch Fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. to help raise funds. Tacos are by donation and all proceeds go directly toward Christmas food hampers for students.

Indian Tacos is a staple meal served at most Powwows in the area and a local fan-favourite lunch, popular with a lot of OC staff. Fresh bannock is served with a topping of chili, sour cream, salsa and cheese. View event poster here

Academic Skills Boot Camp – Kelowna campus

Nov. 27 – The Arts and Foundational portfolio is hosting two free workshops to help students grow academic skills. The Academic Skills Boot Camps are open to students in all Arts, Business, Science and Technologies classes. Click here to view the poster and feel free to share with your students.

Holiday Party - OC Social Committee

Dec. 8 – Join the OC Social Committee for the annual employee holiday party on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 7-11 p.m. in the Trades Atrium for a winter wonderland of fun. Cocktails, appetizers and an OC jam session is on from 7-9 p.m. and then from 9 - 11 p.m. there will be dancing and music from Jeff Piattelli. Tickets are $25 and if you purchase your ticket before Nov. 15, you get a free drink ticket. Your evening will include $4 drinks, raffle prizes, toonie tosses, 50/50 draw, photo booth and more.

Purchase your tickets from Angie March, Carlyn Young, Erin Dreyer, Gerry Born, Lara Jennings, Maddy Welsh, Margaret Johnson or Richard McAdam. View the event poster for more details.


The Daily Courier, Salmon Arm Observer, Castanet, Academica GroupThe Okanagan Weekend and Osoyoos Today shared details about OC’s new partnership with UBCO in support of a greener future.

The Capital News and the Salmon Arm Observer took a closer look into the College’s cannabis courses.

KelownaNow, Castanet and the Capital News featured the College’s four engineering technology programs that received a new national accreditation.

The Salmon Arm Observer profiled Kathy Butler, OC’s Director of Advancement and Executive Director of the OC Foundation, who announced her retirement at the end of this year.    

OC is offereing an additional intake of its Health Care Assistant program and The Daily Courier helped share the news.

Okanagan School of Business alumnus Andrew Bennett made headlines in the 100 Mile Free Press for sharing his spooky stories when he lived in the reportedly haunted Brookside Manor while studying at OC; the Manor was originally owned by his grandfather and former B.C. premier W.A.C. Bennett. 

OC Professor Gary Strachan wrote a letter to the Summerland Review about supporting candidates who will assist in the cannabis industry.   

The Summerland Review ran information on election day on Oct. 20 and included mention of former OC Instructor Toni Boot.

The Daily Courier shared information about the electoral reform promoting proportional representation to students at Okanagan College’s and UBC Okanagan’s campuses.

The Daily Courier highlighted the Okanagan Military Museum’s special lecture series in which historians, including OC History Professors Howard Hisdal and Jim Wood, give presentations to the public every Thursday to countdown to the 100-year milestone of the end of the first World War.

The Daily Courier provided information on the Kelowna school board candidates including OC Professor Norah Bowman, who was successful in her candidacy. 

Global News helped spread the word about the recent funding the BC government gave to Okanagan College. The funding, totaling $67,000 will benefit four Okanagan College community adult literacy program partners.

The Daily Courier shared information about the Creating a Professional LinkedIn Profile workshop at the upcoming Career Fair on Nov. 4 at Okanagan College's Kelowna campus.

Tolko Industries recently donated $11,000 plus in-kind support toward Okanagan College's Youth Trades Sampler program and the Vernon Morning Star shared details.

OC alumna and Olympic gold medalist Kelsey Serwa is the spokesperson for Brain Trust Canada and recently spoke about a new concussion clinic. The Daily Courier provided details about the clinic.


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 Nov. 13, 2018.