$1-million gift to Okanagan College

Jacobsen donationThe largest single gift ever received for Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus was announced on Sept. 7 and will help accelerate automotive training excellence. 

Muriel Jacobsen and her children Rhonda and Shayne donated $1 million to support the Kelowna Trades Training Complex in honour of their late husband and father Ron Jacobsen. Ron owned and operated Jacobsen Pontiac Buick for more than 40 years.

In honour of the generous donation, the College named the popular study, gathering and corridor space used by so many students as the Ron Jacobsen Pathway to Excellence. The Jacobsen family hopes Ron’s legacy will live on with the funds contributing to the following key areas: financial support for students, development of curriculum, training in alternate fuels, state-of-the-art training equipment and refreshing the automotive facilities.

The gift announcement marks the close of the OC Foundation’s fundraising campaign for the Kelowna Trades Training Complex – a $33-million project that started in 2014.

Read the full story here.

New crosswalks help kick off the new semester

rainbow crosswalksStudents and employees at the Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Penticton campuses were welcomed to the academic semester by newly painted rainbow crosswalks.

“Diversity is a core value of Okanagan College and the rainbow crosswalk is a symbol of acceptance, inclusion and diversity,” noted Phil Ashman, Central Okanagan Regional Dean. “Creating positive spaces at each campus is important and at OC all students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome, no matter their gender identity or gender expression.”

The rainbow crosswalks can be found at the entrance to each campus.

OC Coyotes men's basketball start strong

OC Coyotes mens basketballThe OC Coyotes men’s basketball team started their season this past weekend with two exhibition games at the Penticton campus. 

The ‘Yotes took a bite out of the Medicine Hat Rattlers, winning 88-33 on Saturday and 85-79 on Sunday. The exhibition schedule continues this weekend with both the men’s and women’s team visiting Ambrose at Kelowna Secondary School on Friday night and Saturday’s games (noon and 2 p.m.) will take place at the Penticton campus again.

OCSU opens student-focused pantry

OCSU pantryThe Okanagan College Students Union recently opened doors to the OCSU Pantry at the Kelowna campus.

The Pantry is a student-based food bank that offers non-perishable food items and hygiene products. It is run in conjunction with the Kelowna Community Food Bank who supplies food and delivers items to the College.

"Opening a pantry has been on the OCSU's agenda for almost ten years and we're so excited that it's finally here," says Brianne Berchowitz OCSU Executive Director. "It's something we can do for students with relatively little effort that will have a big outcome on students and their health."

The idea and functionality of the Pantry was a combined effort of the OCSU and Regional Dean's Office who jointly liaised with Kelowna Community Food Bank representatives to learn about best practices and how a food bank could operate at the College. 

The Pantry is open to all students and no questions are asked. It is located in the Student Services building in room A149 and is open Mondays from 1 - 2 p.m. and from Wednesday to Friday it is open from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

For those looking to get involved or support the OCSU Pantry, financial donations, non-perishable food items and volunteer hours are welcomed. 

Building on Progress brings global perspective locally

Building on ProgressOn Sept. 13 and 14 residents of Kelowna and Penticton had a chance to gain insight into global climate initiatives thanks to the Building on Progress: Climate Action event.

The event, held at the Kelowna and Penticton campuses, showcased Okanagan projects with a focus on climate action, especially healthy energy systems and sustainable communities, as an affiliate event to the Global Climate Action Summit that was held during the same time in San Francisco, California.

"The event is designed to build momentum achieved by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which calls on the world to communicate, educate, improve policies and strengthen resilience efforts," says Dr. Rosalind Warner, OC political science faculty member. "We are at a critical juncture in terms of adopting and implementing necessary policies to effect change."

The event engaged students, staff and community experts and also included an expo with exhibits from local businesses and organizations in the sustainability field.

Click here to read about the event or watch a video from Castanet.


New cross-cultural event at Kelowna campus

brazil imageThe International Education department has launched a new cross-cultural awareness initiative that will bring a different culture to the Kelowna campus every month. 

The series of monthly presentations kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 26 and will be featuring the vibrant culture of Brazil. A different country will be featured in each session and is led by international students who have been busy putting together presentations to share their country’s culture and history with OC.

“This is a great opportunity for students and employees to learn firsthand about places they may have never visited,” says Petya Whelan OC Marketing and Recruitment Specialist, International Education. “It will also help our students meet all of you and explain why they chose to come to Canada and study at Okanagan College.”

Those interested in attending the presentations can find session dates on the College calendar (located on the home page and in College Matters). View the poster for more information on the upcoming presentation.

Flourish up and running

Flourish yogaOC’s wellness program, Flourish, which launched at the Penticton campus last year, is already off to a strong start this year. 

Flourish is a drop-in safe space led by Penticton Counsellor, Sarah Lefebure. The weekly sessions, called Wellness Wednesdays, are offered free of charge to all OC students and explore themes related to stress management and mental wellness. Flourish also facilitates Flourish with Yoga classes on Thursdays, which are open to students and employees alike. 

The project started last September fueled by an Innovation Fund grant (the College’s internal grant for innovative new programs and initiatives). This year, Flourish is supported by the Campus Life fund.

“As a counsellor, our goal is to create and maintain a positive atmosphere for students to succeed in both their academic and personal lives and Flourish is helping us achieve that,” says Lefebure. “It’s exciting to take this project into its second year and what’s even more exciting is that we’re finding many OC employees are also utilizing Flourish in addition to students.” 

Click here for more information on Flourish.

Butler announces retirement

Kathy Butler retirementAfter a 15-year career with Okanagan College, Kathy Butler, Director of Advancement and Executive Director of the OC Foundation, will be retiring at the end of this calendar year. 

“Kathy will be leaving a legacy of growth and development and a significant record of fundraising and leadership since she stepped aboard in 2003,” says Jim Hamilton, President Okanagan College.

The Foundation has raised more than $33 million in the intervening years, successfully navigating the shift from the OUC Foundation to the OC Foundation.

“Under Kathy’s guidance, and with the support of an army of dedicated volunteers and staff, it has helped build a much larger and more modern, sustainable college and assisted a large number of students achieve their education and career goals,” explains Hamilton. “I’m sad to see Kathy leave, but pleased that she will be able to find more time to spend with her family and enjoy her other interests and pursuits.” 

Recruitment for a replacement for Butler will happen over the coming months. 

Muskens set to retire

Jane Muskens retirementOkanagan College Registrar Jane Muskens shared her plans to retire this year, with her last day scheduled for Friday, Nov. 23. 

Muskens began her career at the College in 1993 as a Publications and Events Coordinator. She subsequently served in a number of roles supporting recruitment and promotion activities in the Public Affairs department and the Registrar’s Office. In June 2008, Muskens completed her Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Enrollment Management from Capella University. She served as Interim Registrar from August 2009 to March 2010 and took over the role permanently in April 2010.

“Jane has led her department through a number of operational, organizational and physical changes since she took on the role of Registrar, always with the goal of streamlining and improving services to students and colleagues at every campus,” notes Charlotte Kushner, Vice President Students. “Jane has been active working with Leadership Team members in advancing strategic enrolment initiatives at OC and has been an institutional leader in bringing LEAN practices to the College. Her indefatigable enthusiasm will be missed at the Leadership table.”

The search for Muskens’ replacement is underway.

Sept. 18, 2018, Vol. 12, Issue 18


10th Annual Powwow raffle tickets

The College is hosting its 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow this Thursday, Sept. 20 and is already selling raffle tickets for the event. All of the proceeds of the raffle go towards the Annual Okanagan College Powwow Award for Aboriginal students enrolled in the AACP program. 

There are two prizes to be won this year. The first prize is a hand drum valued at $300 and second prize is a children’s Pendleton blanket valued at $125. The draw will be held on Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m. just before the powwow finishes.

Each ticket is only $2 and you can purchase tickets during the powwow or can pre-purchase tickets by contacting Anthony Isaac at ext. 4322 or Jewell Gillies at ext. 4498. 

Deadline approaching: Family Award Fall application

The deadline is fast approaching for applications for the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) College employees. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 and deadline for applications is Sept. 30. 

Click here to download full award criteria and application form. All applications must be date-stamped at the Student Services Administration office in Kelowna or at the Campus Administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid and Awards office (250-862-5419). 

Note: There is no longer a requirement to acquire an additional email from HR to confirm relationship to applicant and verification that the employee is a continuing (regular) employee of Okanagan College. 

Student Elections and By-Election for Health & Social Development

Pursuant to the Rules for Election to the Board of Governors and Education Council please be advised that Student Elections (4 for EdCo, 2 Board) as well as a By-Elections (1 for Staff and 1 for Faculty Health & Social Development for EdCo) will be held this fall. 

Call for Nominations: Sep. 12 – 25, 2018 inclusive, forms will be available in myOkanagan
Campaign Period: Sep. 17 - Oct. 8, 2018
Post List of Candidates: Sep. 26, 2018
Elections: Oct. 12 - 18, 2018 in myOkanagan
Announcement of Results: Oct. 19, 2018
Deadline for Appeals: Oct. 26, 2018
Deadline to Request a Recount: Oct. 26, 2018

Notice of Banner upgrade – Sept 21-24

IT Services is upgrading the Banner database which will cause a disruption in service for Banner and Banner related services from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21 to 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 24. 

Should upgrading complete before 8 a.m. on Sept. 24, employees will receive an email communication. If you or your staff experience any issues with Banner after 8 a.m. on Sept. 24, please contact Dorie Burnham at or at ext. 4790. DO NOT put in a service request as IT Services wants to triage any issues in the most time sensitive manner. 

The following services will be disrupted: Banner, services from MyOkanagan, Student, Application, Faculty and Employee tabs (including OC Express functionality), BRM, Financial Aid, Continuing Studies Online Registration, Apply Online (both domestic and international applications), Online Payments, Classfinder, FAST (including WebReq), Workflow (including EPAF, Test Accommodation & Event Booking), Transcript Request, Housing application, Student Affairs/Disability.

City of Kelowna elections at OC Oct. 17

Okanagan College's Kelowna campus will be a venue for the City of Kelowna's voting stations on Oct. 17 from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Staff and students are reminded that there is no campaigning allowed during this time within 100 metres of where voting is taking place. Election staff will be doing perimeter checks to enforce the boundary.

Click here to view a map of where the registration tables and voting booths will be set up.

37th Annual Career Fair - calling all departments

Okanagan College is hosting its 37th Annual Career Fair on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Kelowna campus. Okanagan College departments are invited to participate as exhibitors at Career Fair. This event is an opportunity to network, recruit new students and promote your department and programs. Click here to register. 

Volunteers needed
Volunteers are also needed for Career Fair. If you are interested in helping please contact Michelle Lowry.

IT Services password reset service

IT Services is enabling a new myOkanagan password reset service. This service allows students and staff to reset their own password without having to wait for help desk to process their request. This feature will be enabled Wednesday, Sept. 26.

For more information, click here.

JOHS easy link button

The Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committees have a new “Safety Concerns?” button to help make submitting a health or safety concern an easier process. The button is located on the right side column at the bottom of College Matters. It will link you to the online form to submit a concern and connects you with contact information for the JOHS co-chairs on each campus. 

Google Suite instructor opportunity

OC Corporate Training is seeking an expert in Google Suite to provide training for a potential client. If you are an expert or know of one, please call Dorothy Hamilton, Corporate Training Specialist, at 250-762-5445 ext. 4809. 

Volunteers sought for campus-to-campus race

Public Affairs is currently working with representatives from UBC Okanagan to explore the possibility of a return of the campus-to-campus half marathon, 10K and relay race next spring. 

Anyone interested in assisting with the planning and organization of the race, and/or in volunteering on race day (TBC Spring 2019) are asked to please contact Tyler Finley or local 4211.

The feasibility of the race will depend on achieving adequate volunteer support from staff and students at both institutions, so if you are interested, please contact Tyler to discuss opportunities and roles needed to be filled as soon as possible.

Proceeds from the race, if it goes ahead, will benefit Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan students.

Mental Health First Aid training opportunity

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 is designed to give participants the skills to help someone who is in emotional distress or experiencing a mental health crisis.

Choose from two dates and two locations (Oct. 2-3 at the Kelowna campus or Oct. 23-24 at the CMHA Vernon Branch). For more information about this training opportunity, click here.  

Fall food services hours

Kelowna cafeteria

  • Open Mon-Fri from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 Vernon cafeteria – Basket Case Picnics

  • Open Mon-Thu from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Penticton cafeteria

  • Open Mon-Thu from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. and on Fridays from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Infusions (Kelowna)

  • Aug. 21 – Sept. 21: open Tue-Fri for lunch from 2 – 4 p.m. and dinner from 5 – 7 p.m. View menu here.
  • Oct. 2 – Nov. 15: will be closed for lunch and open for dinner from 6 – 9 p.m.
  • Nov. 15 – June, 2019: open Mon – Fri for lunch from 11:30 – 1 p.m. and dinner (closed on Mondays) from 6 – 9 p.m.
  • Will be closed from Sept. 25-28 for curriculum purposes.

Coffee shops (Kelowna)

  • Fezziwig’s is open Mon-Thu from 7:00 a.m. – 7 p.m. and on Fridays from 7:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • DeBeans is open Mon-Thu from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Science Literacy Week

Sept. 17-23 – Discover the world of science with displays of science books, periodicals, databases and media at each of the four OC campus libraries. As part of National Science Literacy Week, this event promotes public awareness of science and highlights resources available. Visit the College's Science Literacy webpage or check out your campus library. 

10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow

Sept. 20 – The 10th Annual Youth Exhibition Powwow will be held in the courtyard at the Kelowna campus on Thursday, Sept. 20. The powwow begins at 9 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

Orange Shirt Day

Sept. 28 – Each year on Sept. 30, communities across Canada commemorate Residential School Survivors by wearing an orange shirt. OC Aboriginal Services is participating in Orange Shirt Day and is selling orange shirts to commemorate the occasion. To show our OC community’s support, everyone wearing an orange shirt is invited to gather in The Pit (Student Services building) on Friday, Sept. 28 at 11:30 a.m. to take a photo; tea and snacks to follow.

Need an orange shirt?
You’re welcome to wear an orange shirt you already own or you can buy a custom-made shirt designed by Aboriginal Services for $20. View the event poster to see what the shirt looks like. You can purchase a shirt at the Powwow celebration this Thursday, Sept. 20 in the courtyard (Kelowna campus) or you can preorder your shirt by calling Anthony Isaac at ext. 4322 or Jewell Gillies at ext. 4498. Men’s and women’s shirts available from sizes XS-XL. All of the proceeds of the sale will go toward the Annual Okanagan College Powwow Award for Aboriginal students enrolled in the AACP program.

What is Orange Shirt Day?
Orange Shirt Day stems from the story of Residential School Survivor Phyllis (Jack) Webstad who was sent to Residential School in 1973 at six years of age. As a survivor of her experiences there, she started the Every Child Matters movement and asked communities to honour survivors by wearing orange. Click here to read her story. 

B.C. universities and colleges host free public information night

Oct. 2 – Fourteen B.C. universities and colleges are hosting a free public post-secondary information night at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 in the CFL Atrium (E-building) at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. For more information, read the media release or view the event poster.

37th Annual Career Fair

Nov. 4 – The College is hosting its 37th Annual Career Fair on Sunday, Nov. 4. Okanagan College departments are invited to participate as exhibitors. This event is an opportunity to network, recruit new students and promote your department and programs. Click to register. 

Kelowna campus YOGA for EveryBody

Now through Dec. 20 – Join us every Tuesday and Thursday from noon-1 p.m. at the Kelowna campus in Room E105 (Centre for Learning building) for yoga.

Yoga at OC is for everybody. If you’re inflexible, “out of shape,” healing from an injury or stressing (more than usual) then yoga is perfect for you. Create better health for the mind, body and spirit. 

Staff can join drop-in sessions for $10 or buy a 10-session punch pass before any class for $90 (cash only please); OC students are always free. We have extra mats but please be sure to bring a big towel and water. If you’re interested, join the mailing list by emailing


The Lake Country Calendar, Capital News and Salmon Arm Observer shared information about the new OCSU Pantry at the College's Kelowna campus. 

The Vernon Morning Star joined OC students for fun and games at the Vernon campus for orientation day.

Building on Progress: Climate Action event caught the attention of the Daily Courier, Okanagan EdgeBC Local News and Castanet.

The College's Kelowna Trades Training Complex received a $1-million gift from the Jacobsen family. The gift announcement attracted the Penticton Western News, Global News, Capital News, Okanagan Weekend and Castanet.

The College's Penticton campus kicked off its speaker series and Castanet shared details.

All four campuses recently painted rainbow crosswalks. The Capital News caught up with OC and shared information about the crosswalks.

Global News and the Daily Courier shared information about the unique non-profit fundraiser that combined professional wrestlers with the OC Coyotes basketball teams. 

InfoTel Kamloops and Global News shared details about OC's plan to deal with cannabis on campus.

OC Coyotes baseball coach Geoff White is off to Toronto to Rogers Centre as the Blue Jays host the annual T12 Tournament. The Vernon Morning Star, Daily Courier and KelownaNow shared information about White and the tournament, which trains the best top young baseball athletes in Canada. 


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 Oct. 2, 2018.