Okanagan College, Mohawk College seeks joint aerospace opportunities 

OC MohawkA common connection with the aerospace industry and opportunities to co-operate and collaborate on programs and research have led Okanagan College and Mohawk College to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that signals their intent to work together on new training and research initiatives that will benefit a growing industry.

The MoU outlines a new joint commitment that could see cross-Canada opportunities for training, internships and cooperative education, as well as collaborative applied research and potential new programs. 

“Collaboration between OC and Mohawk College will help us pursue and advance joint applied research opportunities that will open doors to innovative learning and teaching opportunities for our students and faculty,” notes Andrew Hay, VP Education at OC. “It will also benefit our industry partners like KF Aerospace and others who are so supportive of hands-on training and research opportunities in this field.”  

“It’s great to see two forward-thinking Colleges like Mohawk and OC working together to create these types of research and training opportunities that align and support our needs in industry,” says Grant Stevens, VP Corporate Services, KF Aerospace. “As an employer, we couldn’t be happier to see partnerships like this that advance aerospace training and innovative thinking about the needs of today and the future.”

Read the full story here.

College to host 11th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow

PowwowThe Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow returns to Okanagan Colleges Kelowna campus on Thursday for its 11th year in celebration of Indigenous culture.  

The Powwow is a high-energy, family-friendly event that draws participants from across the B.C. interior. Dancers and accompanying drummers perform in a variety of dance categories including grass, fancy, chicken, jingle and traditional.

The Powwow begins at 9 a.m. with a Grand Entry during which College and community members will carry in flags followed by Chiefs, Princesses, Elders, Powwow organizers and dancers. The Grand Entry also includes a moment of honour for veterans. This year, Elder Grouse Barnes of the Westbank First Nation will give the traditional welcome.

Powwow attendees will be treated to a tasty lunch prepared by Deli City and can enjoy shopping at the many vendors on location selling jewelry, artwork, soaps, moccasins, jams, lotions and more. Additionally, there will be a 50/50 and a raffle draw available with proceeds going to financial awards for Indigenous students at OC. 

The College hosted a Pre-Powwow Seminar last week to teach staff and students proper Powwow etiquette. For those who were not able to attend, photos and videos from the seminar can be found on OC’s flickr gallery. 

The festivities run from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Kelowna campus courtyard. Attendance is free and open to the public.

For those who cannot attend, portions of the event will be livestreamed on the College’s Facebook page.

Storm brings Kelowna campus together

stormLast week, Kelowna experienced heavy rain causing flooding in a number of departments and classrooms across campus, with significant damage done to the Finance department. And while the rain caused disruption, it also highlighted the dedication of OC employees to the College and their peers.

“Thanks to the immediate response from staff in a number of areas, including Finance, IT, Facilities & Business Services and many others, the damage and disruption from flooding was kept to a minimum,” says Drew Petrie, Manager, Facilities & Business Services.

The College partially activated its Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) which aided in expediting the recovery process thanks to diligent training the EOC team has received over the last couple of years.

“By activating our EOC, we were able to significantly reduce the impact on our staff and students,” adds Petrie. “It was certainly an unfortunate event but I believe our response as an institution was commendable.” 

The Finance staff deserves huge kudos for going with the flow as they were dispersed throughout campus, given temporary laptops and computers (thanks to the quick work by IT services and the Regional Dean’s office) and still managed to successfully complete payroll.


Is your brain feeling FIT? College introduces lecture series to spark curiosity and dialogue

Emma Lind IOCResearching fatphobia, one of the up-and-coming subfields of feminist studies, Emma Lind, an Okanagan College instructor, uncovered an avalanche of material about the oppression and social shaming of people who are overweight.

Lind is one of the experts sharing their research and knowledge by bringing provocative and challenging topics to a new series at the College.

Fat is Not a Four-Letter Word, the course that Lind will lead, is part of the Fascinating Intellectual Topics (FIT) series that begins this fall at Okanagan College. The series is comprised of two-day sessions that cover a range of subjects sharing a central theme of global citizenship.

Lind’s course will take place Sept. 24 – Oct 1 on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Topics covered in the FIT series range from timely local concerns such as homelessness and urbanization in the Kelowna area to broader discussions on the impacts of climate change and diversity and inclusion. The 11 courses in the series were developed by professors and community experts, who partnered with the College with the goal of creating healthy dialogue and making a difference in the community.

To see the full lineup of course offerings, dates and times, and to register, visit

Read the full story here. 

Nearly a decade of getting muddy for a good cause

Shei and NicIt was another successful fundraiser and huge turnout of mountain biking enthusiasts that Okanagan College School of Business Professor Sheilagh Seaton and her husband Nic put on last weekend.

The Test of Humanity race has taken place through the hills of Cartwright Mountain in Summerland for the last nine years, and this year’s raised a record $75,000 in pledges alone. That doesn’t include thousands of dollars in additional donations that haven’t been tallied yet.

In its nine years, the mountain bike race has raised more than $465,000 to support Canadian Humanitarian’s education projects for children in Ethiopia.

The Test of Humanity featured four different age categories, ranging from the half hour test (ages three to six) all the way up to the four-hour test (ages 16 and over). The race takes place on a 10.2 kilometre loop from Cartwright Mountain along the hills and turns above Garnet Valley.

Riders have been coming from all around Western Canada to take part but the core riders and donations are locally-grown. The public credits the Seatons for bringing awareness to the cycling community in the Okanagan and for the tangible results in Africa.

Read the full story on Castanet.

OC community joins 55+ Games celebration

Lynn SparlingSome 4,200 athletes and supporters from around the province competed in the Kelowna 55+ BC Games, and some familiar OC faces were part of welcoming them to town.

Business professor Devin Rubadeau served as Co-Director of Sport for the Games, a huge responsibility that involved organizing all 30 sports at 27 different venues throughout the community. 

“It was amazing to be part of an organization that created so many positive experiences for seniors from across the province while contributing to significant economic impact for the City of Kelowna,” Rubadeau says.

Lynn Sparling, who retired this summer from Okanagan School of Business, competed in track and field during the Games, and won three medals in total for the Okanagan-Similkameen Zone. She captured silver in the 5,000-metre race, bronze in the 10-km road race and bronze for the 400-metre sprint.

Gord Stefansson from the Kelowna campus Bookstore placed first in Hockey and will be representing B.C. next year at the Nationals in Kamloops.

College days fun at any age

Fae HodginsReturning to school as a mature student can be intimidating but one Penticton student says it was the best decision she’s made.

“It’s been a journey,” says Fae Hodgins. “It’s been really good. The instructors are very helpful; they open up their doors to help you.” 

Hodgins returned to Okanagan College in Penticton this month for her fifth year to complete her high school diploma, with plans to continue her education at OC afterwards. 

The Penticton campus was buzzing earlier this month for orientation day, an annual event which Hodgins said she’s attended every year and adds, is a great way to get to know other students and dispel any anxious jitters.

“We’re just cracking 930 students on campus this year,” says Eric Corneau, Regional Dean of the Penticton campus. “We have a really strong student services department and campus life. We try to tailor a lot of the different activities we have on campus for all students and give them the chance to mix with all generations.”

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki, who was also at the barbecue, said education, no matter at what age, is the most important tool in a person’s life. 

“Education is very, very important. Don’t hesitate; go back to school if you want to,” adds Vassilaki.

Read the full story in the Penticton Herald.

September 17, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 13


2019-20 Recruitment

Check out what activities College recruitment staff are involved in and provide feedback on other events and opportunities, or if you are able to volunteer and assist.

Contact Inga Wheeler for more information or with any suggestions.

OC’s CARE program 

As part of its Safe Disclosure Policy, Okanagan College provides the opportunity for employees to report any misconduct concerns through the Confidential Anonymous Reporting for Employees (CARE) hotline.

The hotline enables employees to anonymously provide information on fraudulent or suspicious activities to a third party for further investigation. To make a report, call 1-855-484 CARE (2273) or email

To find out more about this service, refer to the Safe Disclosure Policy. 

Connections feedback

The Connections planning committee would like your feedback to help plan next year’s event. If you haven't had a chance yet, please take a moment to fill out the online survey by Sept. 29 to share suggestions and ideas.

A highlight of the conference is always the Connections video shown during the President’s address. To view this year’s Connections video, click here.

Returning to work after a leave of absence

Taking time away from work can be challenging. There can be feelings of insecurity and difficulties integrating back into your work environment. Try to ease back into work at your own pace and create a smart plan of action to guide your return.

For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and the password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night, at 1-888-307-0590. 

View the September feature here.

Board of Governors and Education Council election

An election will be held for two student seats on the OC Board of Governors and four student seats on the Education Council. In addition, a by-election will be held for one support staff seat on the Education Council.

Call for nominations is open Sept. 11 - Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. Forms and additional information will be available on Sept. 11 in myOkanagan on the Elections page. 

Elections: Oct. 6 - 15 in myOkanagan.

Education Planner

Okanagan College has joined universities and colleges across the province in using EducationPlannerBC – the B.C. application system for prospective students.

To learn more about EducationPlannerBC, visit the project website. For questions, please contact Inga Wheeler in the Registrar's Office. Reminder: OC applications will open on Oct. 1 this year.

Health & Safety concerns?

If you have a Health & Safety concern, please ensure you report it to your supervisor.

For an urgent issue/emergency, call 6699 or 250-862-5401 for immediate assistance.

For a non-urgent concern or complaint, do one of the following:

  • Contact a member of the Joint Occupational Health & Safety committee
  • Complete the online form at
  • Submit an online work request through myOkanagan and check messages for follow-up (room temperature adjustment, washroom needing attention, etc.)

To report an incident, injury or near-miss (no incident but a potential for an injury to occur):

Upcoming research funding opportunities

Learning and Applied Research invites expressions of interest for the fall 2019 College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) funding competition offered through NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program. The CCSIF is valued up to $120,000 per year, for up to three years, and is intended to address research challenges in social innovation to meet a community need. The college may submit multiple applications for this funding, and support is available in the preparation of your grant application. To indicate your interest in submitting an application for this funding opportunity, please contact Learning & Applied Research by Tue, Oct. 1st. 

Teaching, Learning, and Technology Professional Development Workshops

Staff are invited to join Learning & Applied Research and Education Technology for the Teaching, Learning, and Technology fall professional development workshop series. Workshops will be held from Sept. through to Dec. 2019. Participants can view the workshop catalogue here, and register on our website form or by email. Walk-ins are welcome, however, advance registration is recommended as hosting of workshops is dependent on sufficient registration.

Upcoming dates:

  • Student Evaluation (Kelowna) – Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m.
  • Student Behaviours and Engagement (Kelowna) – Sept. 24, 3:30 p.m.
  • Video Capture (Kelowna) – Sept. 25, 12 p.m.
  • Assessment Options in Moodle (Kelowna) – Sept. 26, 12 p.m.
  • Maximizing the Lesson Application in Moodle (Kelowna), Sept. 27, 12 p.m.
  • Accommodations for Learning (Kelowna), Oct. 1, 9 a.m.
  • Introduction to Screen Casting (Kelowna), Oct. 2, 12 p.m.
  • Maximizing the Lesson Application in Moodle (Vernon), Oct. 3, 12 p.m.
  • Learning, Teaching, and Technology Open House, Oct 4, 10:00am (Salmon Arm), 2:00pm (Vernon)

Battery drop off box

The Bookstore at the Kelowna campus has a battery drop-off box to discard your used batteries.

Kelowna campus fitness facility fall hours 

Mon - Thu, 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fri 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Closed on weekends and stat holidays.

Kelowna fall food services hours

Kelowna cafeteria

  • Mon - Fri from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Kelowna food services

  • Fezziwig's: Mon - Thu from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Fri from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • DeBeans: Mon - Thu from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Fri from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Infusions: Tues - Fri 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. until Sept. 6 and then closed until Oct. 1.
  • Marmalade Cat Café: Mon - Fri 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.


11th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow

Sept. 19 – OC is proud to host its 11th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow in the courtyard at the Kelowna campus on Thursday, Sept. 19. The Powwow begins at 9:30 a.m. and the closing ceremony takes place at 4 p.m. Year after year dancers and drummers from across the B.C. interior attend this non-competitive Powwow and draw in a crowd of more than 1,000 visitors.

Everyone is welcome to attend and experience one of the most visual celebrations of Aboriginal culture and dance. Craft vendors will also be on site.

For more event details including maps and etiquette guides, visit

The Politics of Housing and Beyond

Oct. 1 – A wide-ranging conversation about issues facing Canadians today.

Join OC’s Kyleen Myrah of the Journey Home Taskforce at UBCO Okanagan (UNC 200) from 4 -5:30 p.m. as she joins a panel discussion on Social Housing and Homelessness.

“Journey Home has some recent findings from lived experience focus groups and a community design lab that explore key criteria purpose built shelters,” says Myrah. “I will be giving an overview of these findings and implications for any types of new social housing being built in our community.”

Join OC’s Brian Rippy at the Okanagan Regional Library (1380 Ellis St.) from 7 - 9 p.m. as he joins a panel discussion on Sustainability: Indigenous and Green Housing.

“I will be talking about my experiences working in small island developing states with native Polynesian and Micronesian communities addressing sustainable building projects incorporating indigenous design and cultural influences,” says Rippy.


Vernon Morning Star highlighted the Orientation Carnival that took place at the Vernon campus earlier this month and featured 5 tips to starting school on the right foot. 

Kelowna Daily Courier and the Penticton Herald shared Okanagan College School of Business’s new partnership with the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence that will be offering a series of free online courses that can help Canadian non-profit agencies with their professional development and training needs.

Kelowna Capital News spotlighted United Way of the Lower Mainland that has invested $150,000 in the Youth Futures Education Fund, a program that supports former fosters kids as they pursue post-secondary education. Last year, 43 students studied on a provincial tuition waiver across all four of OC’s campuses.

Castanet hit the Penticton campus to find out how students and staff alike were feeling about being back to school this September.

Skies Magazine, Vernon Morning Star, BC Local News and Kelowna Now shared the details on KF Aerospace’s Open House Career Fair on Sept. 26th. OC will be on-site to introduce prospective students to Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) programs. The career fair takes place from 4 - 7 p.m. at 5650 Aerospace Dr.

Castanet and The Okanagan Weekend helped announce OC Penticton’s Speaker Series kickoff with dates in place from Sept. to Dec. Admission to each series is by donation, with funds going to help students in need. 

Kelowna Now and Kelowna Daily Courier featured former professor Melanie Murray who made the longlist for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction prize for her story Nineteen Sixty-Eight. The finalists will be announced Sept. 18.

Salmon Arm Observer noted the positive trend of job creation in Salmon Arm, specifically noting the booming Trades industry and the hands-on training offered at OC.


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

To ensure the best chance for your submission to be 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 Oct. 1, 2019.