College welcomes students back to campus

kelowna campus 2016 orientationThis week Okanagan College extends a warm welcome to new and returning students. Hundreds of students took part in Orientation events today at all four campuses as part of the kick-off to the new semester.

Food, music, games, and an introduction to the College’s facilities, faculties, clubs, and student associations were on the menu at every campus.

sa orientation 2016 - jh bailey - iocThe Salmon Arm campus hosted a ‘Take a Selfie with the President’ contest; pictured here with President Jim Hamilton is student Bailey Marcellay who is currently completing upgrading and plans to enrol in the Practical Nursing program in Salmon Arm.

Today marks the beginning of a month of welcome events and activities for students. Festivities at the Kelowna campus include an out-of-town student café and carnival/outdoor movie night on Wednesday, Sept. 7, a pancake breakfast organized by the Okanagan College Students’ Union (OCSU) on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and the 8th annual Youth Exhibition Powwow on Thursday, Sept. 15. More information about Orientation and upcoming student events is available here.

Okanagan College professor walks for injured student

tim walters - ioc sept 16Okanagan College professor Tim Walters went the distance last week to show his support for an ailing student, and his efforts have inspired a remarkable outpouring of generosity from within and outside of the College.

An English professor at the Salmon Arm campus and President of the Okanagan College Faculty Association (OCFA), Walters set out Tuesday, Aug. 30 to walk from the College's Penticton campus to the Salmon Arm campus to raise money for student Gary Baker, a father of four, who recently suffered a massive brain aneurysm.

Walters successfully navigated the trek between the Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, and Salmon Arm campuses—a distance of 160 km over three days (an average of 55 km per day), sharing photos of his journey on a Facebook page

Walters far exceeded his initial goal of raising $3,600. Upon completion of his marathon effort, he shared a thank-you message explaining that the fundraising had topped $11,000 and continues to grow.

“Give yourselves a massive and well-deserved pat on the back,” said Walters, addressing both the College community and the public in his post. “This really was an incredible display of solidarity and generosity from each and every one of you.” Read his full post-walk reflection and thank-you message here.

“Wow...Thank you so much Tim and the entire OC community!” said Baker’s wife Erica, also an OC alumna. “Gary and I have always boasted about how exceptional the College was, the teachers were absolutely fantastic, the staff were caring and we made such great friends. This act of support just deepens my regard for you all! Thanks for caring about us. I am so proud to be known as an OC alumni."

Anyone wishing to contribute or learn more, can do so on the GoFundMe page.


Renowned Canadian Astronomer to speak about search for goldilocks worlds

jamie matthews - iocOne of Canada’s foremost astronomers will take the stage at Okanagan College later this month to shine a light on his efforts to find and photograph potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy.

Dr. Jaymie Matthews is a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UBC. His presentation “Goldilocks and the Three Thousand Worlds: Searching for planets that are 'just right' " will take place at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus in the lecture theatre on Monday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

“The first step in finding abodes for life is to find planets in the Habitable Zones of their stars, whose surface temperatures would allow liquid water,” explains Matthews. “These are known as ‘Goldilocks Worlds’ – not too hot, not too cold, but just right for life as we know it. We live in a revolutionary era for the understanding of the origin and evolution of planets, including our own Earth.”

The talk launches the 10th season of the Science in Society Speaker Series, co-presented by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre. Admission to the lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advance tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. More information is available on the website.
 Read the full story in the press release.

Ground-breaking program prepares nurses for in-demand specialization

A new program developed collaboratively by Okanagan College and Interior Health is seeking to bridge the skills gap in an increasingly needed nursing specialty.

Shirley Pope is among the first graduates of the College’s Gastroenterology Nursing Certificate program. After a 15-year career in neonatal nursing in Calgary, she recently moved to the Okanagan and came out of retirement when she learned about the chance to make a difference in a new area of specialization.

“I tried retirement and thought, ‘No, I’m not ready. I want to try something different in nursing,' ” she says. “It’s a specialty that’s definitely growing, and it’s one that requires a great deal of education.”

Pope has hit the ground running in her new field of expertise. She landed a position on the Gastroenterology unit at Kelowna General Hospital before she had even graduated.

The program is being called a ground-breaking new training opportunity. Before it was launched, practicing nurses who wanted to prepare to take the Certificate in Gastroenterology Nursing exam would often have to educate themselves.

“This program has been well received by the first group of Interior Health nurses participating in the studies as well as by their managers,” noted Denise Dunton, Interior Health’s Surgical Services Clinical Leader in Acute Care Services who worked with the College to develop and launch the program last year. “Feedback has been excellent and I am pleased to be supporting the second cohort of students in this comprehensive program.”

Read more in the press release.

Tuck earns master’s degree

terry tuck masters - iocIT Services’ Terry Tuck has earned a Master’s of Educational Technology (MET) degree from UBC Vancouver. Terry, who works in Educational Technology in Kelowna, began working on her degree in 2013.

She started with a graduate certificate in technology-based distributed learning and then went on to complete the full MET master’s degree in May of 2016, all while working full time at Okanagan College.

September 6, 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 12 Notices

Penticton campus: September roadwork advisory

Resurfacing along Highway 97 starting at the Duncan Ave. West intersection in Penticton was scheduled to begin today. Be advised the roadwork may cause disruptions and delays when accessing the Penticton campus and when driving to the campus from Summerland or north (Kelowna). The project is expected to be completed in November. Instructors and students may need to leave a little more time for travel.

Family Award application deadline for Fall Applications September 2016

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees. This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 2016.

Full award criteria and the application form can be found in myOkanagan under “OC Express – Forms." Click on “Foundation" or click here to download the 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) by Sept. 30. For more information, email the Financial Aid and Awards Office or call 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.

Parking fees to increase

Okanagan College parking fees have increased beginning this month. The change in parking fees will impact the taxable benefit associated with park as well. Please visit the Facilities webpage for more information.

Kelowna campus – poster approval process

A reminder that posters and other print materials are not to be taped (displayed) on the walls or glass anywhere on campus. When the posters are removed they often damage the walls. Please bring posters to Athletics, Recreation & Student Life office or the Student Union office to acquire a date stamp so that your poster can be hung on the designated bulletin boards around campus. This keeps the campus looking neat and tidy.

Emotional resilience on the agenda

The September issue of the Employee and Family Assistance program newsletter is available here. The topic for the month is Emotional Resilience – Hope and Help for Depression: dealing with your own depression or that of your partner. A webinar entitled Building Resilience- will take place at noon on Sept. 28. In this presentation, presenters will offer strategies for building skills to better manage stress. Register for this free webinar here.


Introducing Roundabout Fuel

Beginning on Sept. 8, drop in for an engaging discussion in B-130: the Learning & Teaching Center on the Kelowna campus. Each month will have weekly themes – for details see the Roundabout website. September’s theme is Learning & Teaching and the first topic will be death of the lecture. Come by and enjoy a lively discussion.

Microsoft Surfaces for Teaching

Sept. 15 – Learning & Teaching and IT Services is pleased to offer a one-hour workshop on Sept. 15 between 12 and 1 p.m. on how to use your Microsoft Surface for Teaching. Facilitated by Okanagan College School of Business professor Devin Rubadeau, workshop participants will learn how to use this advanced device to enhance learning and teaching. To register, please email the Roundabout team.

Fall Classic Mini Golf – Kelowna campus

Sept. 16 – The Fall Classic is back! This fun nine-hole course requires no golfing skills or prior golf experience. There will be a whole lot of fun and prizes to go around. Putters and golf balls will be provided as needed, or employees can bring their own. This year’s theme is movie classics.  

To book your tee-time, email Angie March or call local 4501. Tee times are available from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Click here for more information.

Celebrate Science Literacy Week

Sept. 19 - 25 – Discover the world of science with a display of science books, periodicals, databases, and DVDs which will be on display at each of the four Okanagan College Campus Libraries from Sept. 19 - 25. As part of national Science Literary Week, this event promotes public awareness of science and highlights resources available. Visit the Library webpage or your campus Library for more information about displays and events at each campus Library.

earthBODYment workshop

Sept. 20 – The faculty of Arts is sponsoring Ecological Performance Artist Bronwyn Preece to lead free workshops for students and employees at Okanagan College. The workshop for employees will take place on Tue., Sept. 20, 6 p.m., in the main courtyard, Kelowna campus.

earthBODYment is an arts-based exploratory movement workshop. Working predominantly outside, participants will collaboratively respond to the place we find ourselves in: employing a series of easily accessible creative tools to generate a poetic performance piece. Absolutely no previous experience in the arts is required, and the workshop is open to all movement and ability levels.

Participants are asked to bring a small sample of soil from where they live or a significant place for them. Please email Norah Bowman with any questions or to register.


Tim Walters' inspiring journey in support of an Okanagan College student who suffered a brain aneurism in August reached readers region-wide thanks to coverage by The Vernon Morning Star, Castanet, KelownaNow, Global News, The Penticton Western News, and The Salmon Arm Observer.

Okanagan Saturday and The Vernon Morning Star shared the recent announcement of a second intake of the College’s popular Construction Craft Worker Aboriginal Bridging (CCWAB) program, which launches on Sept. 12 in partnership with BC Hydro.

The success story of Shirley Pope, one of the first students to have completed the Gastroenterology Nursing Certificate program launched by the College last fall, made the pages of The Daily Courier, The Vernon Morning Star, and Castanet.

News of the appointment of two new members to the Okanagan College Board of Governors was shared recently by The Capital News. Gloria Morgan, former chief of the Splatsin Indian Band and Riminder Gakhal, a lawyer with Davidson Pringle LLP in Vernon, joined the Board in August.

Okanagan College alumnus and local wine industry rising star Ryan Fipke was profiled in the pages of The Kelowna Capital News, The Daily Courier, and Castanet in mid-August.

Two other Okanagan College alumni made the news in recent weeks when it was announced they would be receiving the Okanagan College Alumni Association’s highest honours. Sarah Comba and Heather Stewart will receive the OCAA’s Distinguished Alumni and Young Alumni Awards, respectively, as reported by The Daily Courier and Castanet.

Firehall Brewery in Oliver announced on Aug. 17 the addition of two new partners to its business team as part of the latest chapter of its ongoing expansion. As shared by editors of The Penticton Herald and Okanagan Saturday, the brewery’s story began at Okanagan College where resourceful business students (and now alumni) Marie-Eve and Sid Ruhland brewed up the idea for the family-owned business.

Okanagan College Audio Engineering and Musician Production (AEMP) alumnus and award-winning country music star Ben Klick added more hardware to his trophy case in August when he was named a finalist of Canada’s Walk of Fame emerging artist contest, as covered by Okanagan Saturday.

The Salmon Arm Observer published a special feature on Okanagan College alumna Cindy Strubholm—a graduate of the Certified Education Assistant (CEA) program at the Salmon Arm campus—and the program that is filling a critical skills need in the local school districts.

MP Richard Cannings, 2008 Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College, was featured in the pages of the The Penticton Herald, The Osoyoos Times, and The Daily Courier for his recent Ride the Riding 430 km cycling tour, and for his recent town halls on voting system changes, as also reported by The Osoyoos Times.

Another Okanagan College Honorary Fellow, Ross Gorman, who received the honour in 2007, was profiled by The Capital News on Aug. 26, in an in-depth look at the history and legacy of the Gorman Bros. Mill.

The next chapter is looking optimistic for the Marginal Arts Festival in Summerland, as shared by The Penticton Herald on Aug. 25 and Sept. 6. Among the highlights of the inaugural festival that took place on September 3, was a performance by George Pavel Ryga, grandson of renowned Canadian playwright and Summerland resident George Ryga, for whom the Ryga journal published by Okanagan College, is named.

Word of a former Okanagan College employee with a royal connection was heralded by The Daily Courier on August 23. Mary Read, who worked in Finance at the Kelowna campus, traced back a family connection to the Duchess of Cambridge spanning more than 150 years.

Anyone curious about their ancestral story may wish to learn more about an upcoming geneology conference that will feature workshops at Okanagan College on Friday, Sept. 23, as detailed in a recent article by The Capital News.

Accelerate Okanagan’s summer block party turned out to be a hot ticket for the valley’s tech community, including a number of Okanagan College and UBC-Okanagan students and alumni. Brea Retzlaff, Acccelerate Okanagan Operations Manager and an alumnus of the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration program spoke about the significance of the event and the importance of the tech sector on the region’s economy, as quoted in Okanagan Saturday.

Growth in the number of international students at Okanagan College – who now total more than 1,100 students this year, up more than 100 from a year ago – was trumpeted by 101.5 EZ Rock Kelowna.

The passing of long-serving federal politician and Penticton resident Fred King, who was instrumental in making the deal for the land that currently is where the Penticton campus of Okanagan College sits, was shared by editors of The Penticton Western News on Aug. 31. 


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

To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Sept. 20, 2016.