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Records 1 to 4 of 13
Armstrong Co-op delivers new tools for trades students
Okanagan College Media Release

Armstrong Co-op Donation March 2019A co-operative that has a nearly 100-year history in the community is supporting the next generation of skilled trades workers with a donation of new tools to Okanagan College Vernon campus.

Armstrong Regional Cooperative has donated $5,000 to the new Trades Training Centre to purchase state-of-the-art tools for the students in the more than seven programs offered in the new Centre.

“A big part of our business model is supporting the community,” explains Jason Keis, Armstrong Regional Cooperative Marketing and Sales Manager. “We were excited to invest in students entering the trades, especially as the trades are so connected to our business.”

Armstrong Co-op operates gas and convenience stores in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Armstrong as well as cardlock fueling stations. The company also offers fuel delivery within the Okanagan-Shuswap and many of those deliveries are to contractors and construction sites.

The donated tools were delivered on a pallet and unveiled to students who responded with a round of applause. The new equipment ranged from air-powered nail guns to welding helmets, electric sanders and socket sets.

“We have a beautiful new trades facility and this donation means our students will have access to the very latest tools as well, so they’re training on the same equipment they’ll encounter when they step out onto the jobsite,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades at Okanagan College.

“We’re grateful to the Armstrong Regional Cooperative for supporting students – it sends a message to them that local employers believe in them and want to see them be successful in their chosen trades.”

Armstrong Regional Cooperative has a long history of supporting community through annual donations to a number of different organizations and community events. As a co-operative, the Armstrong Co-op is owned by its members who as owners, share in the co-op’s profits. Last year, the co-op returned just over $3.7 million in cash and equity to its 17,500 members.

“If you are not buying from a co-op, the money may be going somewhere else and not back to your community,” says Keis. “When you buy from your local co-operative, you’re truly supporting your community.”

 

Record OC budget broadens services and programs
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College’s largest operating budget – $121.7 million – will provide additional student services and expanded access to programs.

The 2019-2020 budget was passed by the College’s Board of Governors Tuesday.

“It’s encouraging to witness the College continue to grow and provide increased program opportunities and support for students,” notes Chris Derickson, Chair of the Board of Governors. “The College is an important economic engine in the communities we serve – something that is driven home by the fact that $88 million of the $121.7 million budget is wages that we pay.”

The new budget includes funding for 17.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty and instructors, and 16.6 FTE support and exempt staff.

It also includes funding for increased student counseling services in Salmon Arm and Penticton, an immigration consultant and cultural liaison positions for international students in Penticton and Vernon.

A new Tourism Management Diploma program will be offered in Revelstoke beginning in September, and there are new two-year diploma programs being offered in Collision Repair and Auto Service Technician.

The budget also provides funding for completion and implementation of a wellness strategy, an Indigenization strategy and an internationalization strategy.

“It is a challenge to balance the budget against the opportunities that are presented by the various departments in the institution,” says Curtis Morcom, Vice President of Employee and Corporate Services, who presented his first budget to the Board after assuming his role in 2018. “I was impressed by the scope of developments that were presented by the College departments through the budget process. What was clear was that our students and employees are interested in improving student services, broadening program offerings, and ensuring that Okanagan College is sustainable in the long-term.”

 

Okanagan College launches new training for tourism managers
Okanagan College Media Release

Revy TourismWith tourism employers across much of B.C. feeling the pinch when it comes to finding experienced managers, Okanagan College is launching a new applied diploma designed to help students advance their careers in the tourism sector.

The first intake of the College’s Tourism Management Diploma will take place at OC’s Revelstoke Centre this fall. Those interested in learning more about the program can attend an information session at OC Revelstoke, 1401 First Street West, on April 16 at 7 p.m.

“This diploma has been designed with a great deal of industry input,” says Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “Our goal is to provide students a program that will help advance their tourism careers, while helping employers find the skilled workers they need – and what better place than Revelstoke for this kind of program?”

“Revelstoke is the ultimate four-season tourism destination. It’s the place to be if you’re looking to get experience that will help advance your tourism career.”

One of those employers who can speak to the need for more skilled workers is Peter Nielsen, VP Operations for Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR).

“Tourism is one of the biggest growth sectors in the province. Workers are in-demand. It’s a great time to be thinking about a career in tourism and, specifically, to be thinking about your next steps and how to open up opportunities for growth into supervisory and management roles,” he says.

Nielsen is one of the many local tourism experts who has worked with the College over the past year to ensure the program would hit the mark – for students and for those who’ll be hiring them.

“From the location, to the access to tourism employers, to the quality of instruction at Okanagan College, all the components are there to set students up for success and help them distinguish themselves in tourism management roles. I couldn’t be more excited to see the program roll out this fall – and to be able to tap into this new pool of talent before and after they graduate.”

One way to ensure the training was relevant to needs of employers like RMR and many others was to incorporate work-integrated learning, Rouse notes. A carefully timed winter co-op component is an integral part of the learning.

“Students can take advantage of co-op with a local employer to build on their experience and build their network,” says Rouse. “It’s a win for students and a win for employers who get access to talent.”

"I think this program will be extremely valuable to employers, as the coop terms take place in the busy season, when our tourism employers need employees the most,” says Meghan Tabor, Marketing Director for Tourism Revelstoke. “This will also be a great opportunity for the employers to mentor these students and help them find their niche in the tourism industry.”

It’s expected that the program will not only help draw students to Revelstoke, but world-wide attention for the region as a tourism training destination as well.

“We’re excited to shine a light on Revelstoke through this program,” says Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean for Shuswap-Revelstoke. “For those students who already live in the region, it’s another opportunity to stay close to home and pursue their education at the College. For those who will be coming from other parts of B.C. and internationally, it’s a chance for us to showcase to new audiences what a dynamic and world-class place for tourism Revelstoke is. So, it’s a program we expect will be very beneficial to the community on a number of fronts.”

More information about the program is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/tmd
.  

 

OC Business students shine at WCBC
Okanagan College Media Release

OC WCBC Teams March 2019Two teams and an individual student from Okanagan College made the podium in their divisions at the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC) hosted at the College’s Kelowna campus last weekend.

WCBC, which has run for more than three decades, is a comprehensive undergraduate business competition in which student teams are tasked with administering a complex simulated business scenario over the course of a hypothetical eight-year timeframe. Each team has four members from the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program that are appointed to designated sectors: Finance, Operations, Marketing, Human Resources – and one member is also designated the CEO.

At the senior level, Okanagan College students Hannah Fiechter, Brett Loeppky, Mason Rice and Natasha Walters placed first for their Strategic Plan, and third in the overall competition. Rice stood out to the judges and was awarded the Top Individual distinction.

“Okanagan College has helped transform my life,” says Rice, who is currently completing his third year as a Finance student. “I’m so honoured to have won this award and grateful for the entire experience. This is my first year competing but I definitely plan to be back again next year, as it will be my last year at the College, and I hope to win big once again.”

At the junior level, OC students Kevin Heller, Beau Jackson, Jessica Overland and Justin Rantucci placed second for their Strategic Plan behind teams from College of New Caledonia, and third overall behind teams from College of the Rockies and Langara.

Both OC teams were coached by Okanagan College School of Business professors Dan Allen and Scott Overland.

“Coaching these teams is a truly rewarding experience,” says Allen, who’s been a coach at WCBC for the last four years. “I have had the privilege of watching students further enhance their business acumen, public speaking skills, corporate boardroom experience, and not to mention have fun while forming strong relationships with their colleagues in the process.”

Putting on an event of this scale is no easy feat without volunteers and sponsors. Eight judges from business backgrounds in the community volunteered their time and expertise to the competition: John Christie, Cliff Ehnes and Andrea Maniford judged the junior division, and Mark McGregor, Gord Hotchkis and Shad Shoranick judged the senior division.

2019 sponsors included McDonald’s on Harvey, Interior Savings and Okanagan Young Professionals Collective.

For more information about WCBC, go to www.okanagan.bc.ca/wcbc
.

 

OC student learns and leads as part of Launch-a-Preneur

The student has become a teacher in Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur.

Laureen ShannonThe Salmon Arm-based business competition has helped propel Laureen Shannon, a fourth-year Business student at Okanagan College, on a business development trajectory fuelled by community connections.

"I love this program. Once you’re in a launch, you’re in it for life,” Shannon explains. "We always follow up how they are doing, cross-promoting their business."

She began her studies in Office Administration, which capped off with a six-week practicum working with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society (SAEDS) on a variety of projects. One of the biggest projects included Shuswap Launch-a-Preneur — a Dragon’s Den-style business development competition, featuring a series of workshops that support participants in developing the building blocks of their businesses.

When Shannon returned to pursue her Bachelor of Business Administration, she joined Okanagan College Enactus — a student organization committed to offering community outreach projects.

"It allowed me to get to know students that had the same thought about giving back and making a difference in your community,” she says. “You are fostering a network that is creating positive change. It’s action oriented, they don’t just talk about change.”

Being part of the non-profit allowed Shannon to stay involved with Launch-a-Preneur, which is driven by three partner organizations: Okanagan College Enactus, SAEDS and Community Futures Shuswap. The program features a series of six workshops that cover the essential components for a business plan. In addition to the workshops, entrepreneurs are matched with business mentors specializing in fields that would benefit the new idea. For example, someone needing information on financials or accounting are partnered with local volunteers from BDO or Grant Thornton. The participants also have access to a pool of mentors ranging in expertise.

Since the program inception, 81 mentors from local businesses have provided countless hours of one-on-one training. Forty-four businesses have been involved, creating 78 full-time and 15 part-time jobs in the Shuswap.

"That mentorship begins a long-term relationship. They become customers, become partners, they’ll still work together in years to come,” Shannon adds.

Given the program runs every two years, Shannon and the Enactus team supported an accelerated weekend program last year that introduced participants to business plan fundamentals, with the option to join Launch-a-Preneur in 2019. This year, Shannon is a project coordinator for SAEDS, supporting sponsorship requests and facilitating sessions on her own.

“Over the last several years, our organization has had the opportunity to work with a variety of Okanagan College students on different community projects. We continue to be impressed by both the knowledge and passion to create change that OC students bring. We have been very fortunate to work with Laureen Shannon in different capacities, first as an Enactus volunteer and most recently as project coordinator for Season 5 of Launch-a-Preneur. The subject expertise, energy and unwavering commitment she brings to this program will provide ongoing benefit to our local entrepreneurs,” says Lana Fitt, SAEDS Economic Development Manager.

“Laureen is in a critical role this year, which is fantastic,” says Andrew Klingel, the Business professor who serves as an Enactus coach, alongside Terry Kosowick. “Community projects such as Launch-a-Preneur allow students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world. They see what they are learning is relevant to their careers. They practice these skills, tools and techniques, which really builds their confidence. I’ve seen Laureen grow tremendously over the years, which is really rewarding to see."

Shannon takes her business development path in stride.

"For me, the benefit of taking part is being able to apply what I’ve learned in school, working with the entrepreneurs, and learning from them. Creating a relationship and connection with the participants helps grow my network,” she says.

The group is now prepping for Season 5 Final Night, where participants compete for thousands of dollars in prizes like seed capital, business consulting hours, website development packages, accounting and legal fees — all designed to assist with Shuswap startups. Teams present a short pitch to a panel of judges that include angel investors and successful entrepreneurs in the region. Prizes are awarded for green initiative, public choice and the judges’ top three selections.

“Launch-a-Preneur showcases the entrepreneurial spirit of the Shuswap,” says Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean of Shuswap-Revelstoke. “It is a great opportunity for the College and students to work closely with community partners and businesses to strengthen our region.”

Shannon wants to continue on with Launch-a-Preneur, having already witnessed the value that Okanagan College alumni bring to working with students and community members.

“Launch has given me a lot of openings for my future and what I want to do when I graduate. I’ll either want to run these programs all the time or be in it,” she laughs. "These people are starting up businesses, and they’re going to hire Okanagan College students."

Launch-a-Preneur’s final night is scheduled for March 14 at the Salmar Theatre. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased online: http://launch-a-preneur.ca/. Proceeds support the Launch-a-Preneur program.

 

Rethinking risk: Are children too safe for their own good?
Okanagan College Media Release

Childhood is changing, but what will that do for confidence and resilience in adults?

Dr. Mariana Brussoni, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, will address the questions of risk and safety in childhoods as part of the Okanagan College Vernon Campus’ Signature Speaker Series.Mariana Brussoni March 2019

“Rethinking Risk: Are children too safe for their own good?” will take place on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the lecture theatre of the Vernon campus.

“It used to be normal for children to spend long hours outdoors and away from watchful adults, playing how and where they chose. Today’s children spend more time indoors, supervised, in structured activities and in front of screens,” says Brussoni. “Many parents struggle to find a balance between bubble wrapping their kids and not protecting them enough. Fears of strangers, traffic and social services can overwhelm parents, making it hard for them to let go.”

Research is mounting on the importance of giving kids more opportunities for “risky play,” considered thrilling and exciting play that includes children testing boundaries and flirting with uncertainty. This can include climbing trees, building forts, playing capture the flag and roaming the neighbourhood with friends.

This kind of play is associated with positive health, development and well-being in children, including increased physical activity, social skills, risk management skills, resilience and self-confidence. Brussoni’s interactive presentation will explore the evidence regarding changing childhoods, as well as strategies to restore balance.

In addition to teaching at UBC, Brussoni also serves as an investigator with the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit.

Presented by Okanagan College, the Signature Speaker Series is sponsored by the Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre and Basket Case Picnics Catering. Admission is $10. Participants can register in advance online –www.okanagan.bc.ca/SignatureSpeakers
 – or pay at the door.

 

Health Care Assistant program intake starts as demand spikes in Salmon Arm
Okanagan College Media Release

More health-care beds opening up is good news for patients and for those seeking careers in caring.

An intake of Okanagan College’s Health Care Assistant program is scheduled for May at the Salmon Arm campus, giving students in the Shuswap direct access to training for one of the most in-demand positions in the province.

The intake couldn’t come at a better time for operators of Mount Ida Mews in Salmon Arm, which just hosted the grand opening for Phase 2 of its 60-bed expansion project.

"We are very proud to partner with Interior Health to provide quality senior care to the residents of Salmon Arm. The expansion of Mount Ida Mews will create 48 new jobs for nurses, health care assistants and hospitality workers in the community. We look forward to continuing to nurture our partnership with the community of Salmon Arm and thank everyone who was involved in bringing this project to life," says Melanie Reinhardt, President of Vantage Living which operates Mount Ida Mews.

According to WorkBC, health care assistants have been identified as a priority occupation for the B.C. Ministry of Health. Average employment growth rates in this field are forecast at 13 per cent to 2022, with no sign of slowing. This demand is anticipated to increase even more after the Government of B.C. announced funding to increase staffing levels in residential care homes for seniors, which aims to fund more than 900 health care assistants by 2021.

“The need for health care assistants within the Interior Health region is growing. There are many employment opportunities for individuals who have this training,” says Interior Health’s Shalan Hundal, Health Care Assistant Recruitment and Marketing Project Lead. “Graduates of the HCA program can join our teams at Interior Health and choose to work in a team environment in long-term care or they can choose to work one-on-one with clients in home support. It is a great career choice for those who like making a positive impact on the lives of others.”

The intensive program runs for 26 weeks (six-months)

starting in May, and will feature four months of classroom instruction and two months of hands-on practicum for students to learn within the health-care environment.

In addition to being in demand, students can also expect to find a career that’s highly rewarding, notes Lisa Kraft, Associate Dean of Science Technology and Health for Okanagan College.

“Health care assistants find their work extremely rewarding. Graduates often tell us how much they appreciate the opportunity to have a significant impact on the quality of life for people in their care,” explains Kraft. “This profession also supports individuals and their families, as living wages are provided right out of school and a variety of shifts are offered, making it easy for people to find work that best fits their lives.”

An information night for people to learn more about the Health Care Assistant program and field will be held on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Salmon Arm campus, 2552 10th Ave. NE. Students will meet program staff who can discuss the program and outline education financing options, admission requirements and supports for returning students. Information on Work BC funding eligibility will also be available.

Applications can be submitted online. For information, call 250-832-2126, ext. 8259 or visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/hca.

 

OC Business students capture silver at Winning Pitch
Okanagan College Media Release

Winning Pitch team March 2019A team of second-year Okanagan College School of Business students took home the silver medal at a recent competition in Vancouver for pitching a way to make festivals more accessible.

Now in its third year, go2HR’s Winning Pitch is a competition held at the British Columbia Tourism Industry Conference where post-secondary students pitch business plans to develop a local tourism activity. This year the teams were asked to develop a new product or service that supports the development of accessible tourism opportunities in their region.

“Our concept, AccessFest, was a series of four seasonally inspired festivals designed around people with accessibility requirements that utilized the shoulder seasons of unique British Columbian destinations, and focused on bringing long-haul destination tourists to our province,” explains team member Zackery Plaxton. “After our presentation, people were asking us when we planned on actually doing the idea, and even though the concept was hypothetical, it was pretty neat to have people truly believe the idea is possible.”

Plaxton along with teammates Emily Pilon, Bryan Cresswell, and Celina Matte won the Regional Competition in November, earning the opportunity to compete against three other Regional finalists, fourth-year students from Vancouver Island University, BCIT, and College of the Rockies.

“We are particularly proud of these four second-year students as they competed against fourth-year students with more experience, knowledge and training in front of the largest audience in my experience,” notes Blair Baldwin, Okanagan School of Business professor who coached the team alongside Professor Alan Rice.

 

Fruitful idea earns OC Vernon students top prize at Enactus Western Canada Regionals
Okanagan College Media Release

A team of business students from Okanagan College’s Vernon campus notched one of three first-place finishes for OC at Enactus Regionals over the weekend and their idea – which is already feeding an Aboriginal daycare, a homeless shelter, an elementary school and an after-school program – has earned them a spot at Nationals.

Enactus OC Green Team March 2019Vernon’s Macy Burke, Karsten Ensz, Abby Lagerquist and Mitchell Vanlerberg had the winning green touch as they took top spot in the Scotiabank Environmental Challenge, sharing top honours with their neighbours from UBC Okanagan, and beating out tough competitors Simon Fraser University and the University of Calgary.

“The teams have proved that achieving big goals is made possible through hard work, dedication and commitment,” says Macy Burke, who is also Co-President of Enactus OC.

“Over the last several months, the students worked endlessly to perfect their scripts and presentations which became apparent in our results. I am truly honoured to co-lead such an incredible group of kind, smart, and like-minded individuals. The endless support from our faculty advisors, school administration, community partners, donors and alumni is what makes our team so powerful, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. With the National Exposition just around the corner, we’re now motivated to work even harder to achieve our next big goals.”

The green team presented on a new project called FruitSnaps, which piloted this past fall in partnership with the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners. The students came up with the idea of using leftover fruit from North Okanagan orchards that otherwise would go to waste to make healthy snacks for elementary students in SD 22. The team also recently worked with the Okanagan Indian Band to provide a daycare facility with 450 servings of FruitSnaps.

In addition to feeding hundreds of youth in the Vernon area, the project has already had an international impact as well. A shipment of more than 2,200 servings of FruitSnaps was recently delivered to Guatemala.

“The Okanagan is known for its fruitful produce but with the abundance naturally comes waste,” says fourth-year OC Business student Abby Lagerquist. “Many farmers in the region don’t have the time or the money to pick all of the fruit which results in thousands of pounds of unused fruit.”

The project addresses fruit waste and another issue that effects every community, hunger. A study by the Breakfast Club of Canada found one in five children go to school hungry due to lack of access to nutritious food.

FruitSnaps are made from 100 per cent real fruit and have no added sugars or preservatives. In addition to a tasty snack, the children also learn about healthy eating, and how they are helping to reduce fruit waste.

“OC Enactus always finds a way to innovate,” says Andrew Klingel, the team’s coach and a professor with the College’s School of Business. “The pilot phase of this project has already diverted 1,500 lbs of fruit waste and turned it into a healthy snack for those in need. I can’t wait to see where the project goes from here, and I think it is a shining example of Okanagan College's mission to transform lives and communities.”

“The results at Regionals speak to the remarkable dedication and effort the students expend on these projects, and where you can really find evidence of that is in our surrounding communities,” adds William Gillett, Dean of the School of Business. “The projects they’re working on benefit small businesses, non-profits, community groups and individuals. They advance causes like financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sustainability all around us and they also provide invaluable hands-on learning for students.”

The students are eager to compete again – this time on the national stage – when they will showcase the project at the Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver in May.

The project got a boost when it debuted at Nationals last year, where it claimed the Hellmann’s Food Security Challenge for Best Project Solution. The accolade saw Enactus OC bring home a $3,000 grant to help bring FruitSnaps to the classroom to benefit hundreds of students last fall during the pilot.

 


OC Enactus teams take regionals by storm, earn berths to nationals
Okanagan College Media Release

Neither freezing temperatures nor strong competition from some of the top business schools in the west could stop Okanagan College business students as they cruised to four podium finishes at Enactus Western Canada Regionals over the weekend.

During a competition in which no other school was victorious in more than one competition, OC took the top spot in three challenges – the CWB Financial Education Challenge, the Scotiabank Environmental Challenge and the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge. The College also notched a runner-up showing in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge.Enactus OC Team March 2019

The College faced teams from 20 other institutions – more than 400 students participated in total – during the two-day event, which took place from Feb. 28 – March 1 in Calgary.

The three winning regionals teams from the College punched their tickets to the Enactus National competition that will be held May 7-9 in Vancouver.

OC’s Entrepreneurship Challenge team, made up of students Isaac Hossmann, Tega Ovie, Sveta Pasko and Jake Pushor presented on Project Recharge, a solar-powered recharging platform designed to help people power up their devices on the go. The team was coached by professors Kyleen Myrah and Lynn Sparling.

For Jake Pushor, who already has the experience of a number of competitions under his belt, Regionals brought the opportunity to take his presentation skills to the next level, all while speaking about a project he’s deeply passionate about.

“The great thing about Project ReCharge is that there are so many viable settings the charging tables can benefit organizations, from the tourism sector to municipalities to schools, and they benefit the environment too. Getting a chance to showcase the project as a team was incredibly rewarding.”

“When you come together as a group and invest so many hours preparing, to come out on top and have all your collaborative efforts recognized is unreal – it’s an amazing feeling,” he adds.

“Once again Enactus OC delivered an exceptional performance highlighting four community projects they have been involved in. Their dedication and leadership are awe-inspiring and the support we get from our OC administration, community partners, donors and alumni really sets us apart. We are very proud to bring home such great results and are looking forward to Nationals in May,” says Myrah.

Vernon’s
Abby Lagerquist, Karsten Ensz, Mitchell Vanlerberg and Macy Burke comprised the Environmental or “green” team and were coached by professor Andrew Klingel. They took top spot in their challenge for their presentation on FruitSnaps, a project that utilizes leftover fruit from North Okanagan orchards that otherwise would go to waste to make health snacks for elementary students in SD 22.

Mitchell Folk, Iris Pham, Carmen Larder and Michelle Brouwer proved to be more than just top-notch number crunchers in winning the Financial Education Challenge, buoyed by their coaches – professors Laura Hetherington and Devin Rubadeau. The group presented on the CanSave project, which launched in 2016 and has already helped an impressive number of elementary school students and teachers in B.C. get a head start on financial literacy.

“To put the impact of this program in perspective, it was announced at Regionals that Financial Literacy projects created by Enactus students all over the country had impacted just over 100,000 people in the past seven years. CANsave is responsible for more 33,000 of those 100,000 impacted,” notes Rubadeau.

The College’s Youth Empowerment Team, which earned second place in their challenge included students Nathan Ziebart, Arya Guler, Tyson Thomlinson and Christopher Wadey. They were coached by professors Sheilagh Seaton and Dean Warner and presented on a project called Accelerate Youth which teaches practical skills, like cooking, to at-risk youth.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our students and faculty advisors on their success at Regionals,” says William Gillett, Dean of the School of Business. “Success at these competitions goes beyond skillful performance on the stage as presenters, it more so depends on students’ abilities to devise, launch, lead and adapt projects in our communities that have a tangible positive impact. And it is that wave of positive impact our students are contributing to through Enactus projects, and other efforts beyond the classroom, that is truly inspiring for all of us at the School of Business.”

“Seeing the Enactus OC students work so hard on their community projects and corresponding presentations was so motivating and to see their hard work rewarded with such success is so encouraging.  As students we are able to use this experience to learn from industry professionals and develop skills to benefit our community. This opportunity wouldn't be possible without the experience from our alumni and support we get from our community partners, faculty advisers and Okanagan College, they provide an extraordinary footing for our team to depend on and grow from,” said Enactus OC Co-President Jamie Park.

Enactus OC is a student-run organization that has a long history of distinguishing itself in nation-wide competitions for its contributions to entrepreneurship and to the communities it serves.

More information about Enactus and the competition is available at enactus.ca.
 

Results at a glance:
Entrepreneurship Challenge team
Tega Ovie, Jacob Pushor, Isaac Hossmann and Sveta Pasko
Coach: Kyleen Myrah and Lynn Sparling
1st place (Regional Champion)

Environmental (Green) Challenge team
Abby Lagerquist, Karsten Ensz, Mitchell Vanlerberg and Macy Burke
Coach: Andrew Klingel
1st place (Regional Champion)

Financial Education Challenge (Financial Literacy) team
Mitchell Folk, Iris Pham, Carmen Larder and Michelle Brouwer
Coaches: Devin Rubadeau and Laura Hetherington
1st place (Regional Champion)

Youth Empowerment team
Nathan Ziebart, Arya Guler, Tyson Thomlinson and Christopher Wadey
Coaches: Shei Seaton and Dean Warner
2nd place (Regional Runner-up)

 

OC Speakers series powers up in Kelowna with a talk about leadership
Okanagan College Media Release

There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Do you know the difference, and which one are you? These are among the questions that will be explored by author and performance coach Christine Patton when she kicks off the OC Speakers Series in Kelowna this month.Christine Patton March 2019

Patton’s talk will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 at the Kelowna Downtown Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library at 1380 Ellis St.

“I’m interested in what draws us to certain people and why. I’m a big believer that success does not have to involve struggle and hardship. There are ways we can all enhance performance, ignite creativity, polish professionalism and build resilience for enduring productivity and well-being,” explains Patton.

After spending fifteen years as a litigation lawyer and deputy judge in Ontario, Patton now puts her time and expertise to work helping athletes, businesses and individuals perform their best. She is the author of SHOWING UP – BECOMING THE ME I WANT TO BE: Aligning Your Life and Work for True Success. Patton is also a Certified Practitioner/Trainer with the HeartMath Institute.

The talk is presented in partnership with Shawna McCrea of Balance Well-Being and is part of the OC Speakers Series.

“This is the first in what we hope is a series of topics presented by experts in their field, many of whom will be accomplished members of our local community. We are excited to be hosting this event and look forward to some exciting presentations,” says Phil Ashman, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan.

Admission is free, but space is limited so please register in advance on Eventbrite
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Donations of non-perishable food or hygiene products will be gratefully accepted to help Okanagan College students in need as part of The Pantry food bank project at the Kelowna campus coordinated by the Okanagan College Students’ Union.

 

New tech training program at OC inspires high school students
Okanagan College Media Release

School District 67 students are pulling back the curtain on the electronic devices they use every day and learning about the technologies that makes them tick thanks to a new program at Okanagan College.Gateway to Tech March 2019

Funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, the Gateway to Technology pilot project is equipping 16 students in grades 10 – 12 with an enhanced understanding of how various technologies function.

“This generation was born and raised in tech. Their dream job will include innovations that we haven’t yet thought of. Tech today is all around us. It’s in our phones, electric cars and it runs the networks that get the latest clothes to your door from anywhere in the world,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “We know tech-focused careers are shaping our future. So, we’re investing in programs that link students to their dream jobs in tech, encouraging them to think about how tech is changing our lives, communities and careers.”

“There are not many high school programs out there right now that give much exposure to these technical topics,” says Troy Berg, Professor of Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology at Okanagan College. “With the creation of this course, we’re looking to inspire students to consider educational opportunities in the technical fields by giving them exposure now.”

Penticton Secondary and Princess Margaret Secondary School students in School District 67 are attending two evening classes each week at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.

“The students enrolled in the initial program have each displayed a passion in technology or computer science as a career path,” says Trevor Knowlton, Careers and Apprenticeship Coordinator for School District 67. “Feedback so far has been fantastic. The students are enthusiastic about what they are learning and I’ve also been contacted by others interested in applying for future programs.”

The program, which runs through mid-June, trains students on computers and career skills for entry level IT jobs, encourages learners to think about the ways these technologies can impact their lives and prepares them for transitions after graduation.

“We know technology plays a significant role in our lives and that will only continue to grow in the future,” explains Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College. “Equipping students with a meaningful skill set in this growing field is our goal. With a solid understanding of technology and computer programming, students can explore a range of career opportunities and contribute to the economic growth of our community.”

The training is divided into two sections – information technology essentials and programming – and combines lecture with hands-on lab learning.

 

OC student takes top prize at 36th Annual Spaghetti Bridge Contest
Okanagan College Media Release

James Dessert SB 2019The 36th 
annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest at Okanagan College provided an arena for laughter, excitement, a few tense moments and ultimately cheers as one of the College’s own cruised to victory.

Picking up more than just a few pennes, James Dessert took home the grand prize of $1,500 for his spaghetti creation. His bridge withstood an impressive 137.94 kg (approximately 304 pounds) of load on the College’s Fettuccine Fault Line scale before it exploded in front of a packed theatre.

“I’m happy with my bridge this year but of course I would have liked it to hold even more weight,” says Dessert. “I’m ready for next year and will be making some improvements to hold even more weight.”

Dessert is currently enrolled in his first year of Mechanical Engineering Technology diploma at the College and credits the Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest for helping to shape his educational goals.

“I’ve always had fun building these bridges year after year and it definitely got me interested in engineering,” he says.

Dessert got his start in the Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest six years ago and is no stranger to the stage. He netted his initial first place finish in 2014, three second place finishes in 2018, 2017 and 2016 and a third place finish in 2015.

Adding to the fun of the competition for Dessert, this year marks the third year in a row he has vied with his brother, Justin, for the best bridge. Third time was the charm for James who has received his just desserts over Justin – who has taken first place over James for the past two years.

“It feels great to win and I’m definitely going to be bragging about this for sure,” says Dessert.Spaghetti Bridge 2019

More than 250 students attended this year’s event, which was made possible thanks to a variety of industry and community supporters including a new title sponsor, Faction Projects Inc.

Neil Bolton, Manager of Projects at Faction Projects Inc. attended the competition and was floored by the results.

“This is our first time at the Spaghetti Bridge Contest and it was awesome to watch,” says Bolton. “It’s crazy to see the amount of weight you can support with spaghetti.”

Faction is a local multi-service company that offers architecture, construction and development management services.

“We do a lot of work with Okanagan College and this event was a great fit, especially with our line of work,” explains Bolton. “We’re are happy to be part of this competition and are definitely looking forward to next year.”

Complete Results

Heavyweight
First – James Dessert (Okanagan College, Kelowna, B.C.)
Bridge weighed 799.61 grams
Bridge held 137.94 kg

Second – Justin Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby, B.C.)
Bridge weighed 916.14 grams
Bridge held 128.55 kg

Third – Stefan Trajkov, Luiz Fernandez and Shafat Ismail (Red River College, Winnipeg, M.B)
Bridge weighed 999.36 grams
Bridge held 114.99 kg

Fourth – Joshua Greencorn and Riley Jackson (Anchor Academy, homeschool)
Bridge weighed 564.85 grams
Bridge held 12.01 kg

Secondary (lightweight)
First – Tyson Kamstra, Joel deHoog and Eli Jansen (King’s Christian School)
Second – Sienna Collins, Maddy Darlington, Caroline Bernath and Taylor Blenkin (Okanagan Mission Secondary)
Third – Juliette Schilling, Maya Ufimzeff and Arashjot Hehar (George Elliot Secondary)
Fourth – Tori Hansen and Alivia Grey-Goodman (Springvalley Middle School)

Team Building Secondary
First – Sarah Congdon, Rudi Fink and Tyler Blumethal (King’s Christian School)
Second – Haley Partridge, Clayton Reay (King’s Christian School)
Third – Tyson Kamstra, Joel deHoog, Eli Jansen (King’s Christian School) 

Team Building Post-Secondary
First – Clayton Uhlig and Keyvan Khadem (Okanagan College)
Second – Nita Joubert, Adam Thomson, Stefan Queen and Brendan Horsfield (Okanagan College)

  • View and download high resolution photos from the 36th Annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest on the College’s Flickr gallery.
  • Watch the final moments and collapse of James Dessert's spaghetti bridge here.