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A program being offered by Okanagan College aims to help health authorities bridge the skills gap in an increasingly in-demand specialization.
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, Pope and her husband retired to Kelowna a few years ago. But when she found out about the opportunity to pursue a new specialty in the Okanagan, Pope decided to forgo retirement in favour of the chance to make a difference in a field new to her.
“I tried retirement for less than six months and thought, ‘No, I’m not ready. I want to try something different in nursing’.”
The field has proven to be a new calling for Pope.
“It’s a specialty that’s definitely growing, and it’s one that requires a great deal of education.”
“I gained a lot of knowledge and then put it to work during my practicum, which reinforced the learning.”
Okanagan College launched the program last October, after consultation with Interior Health and with the support of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.
The program is delivered online and focuses on providing practicing nurses with the knowledge and skills for endoscopy-room nursing. It includes 232 hours of theory and a 70-hour practicum.
Despite never having taken a distance education course before, Pope says she was pleasantly surprised with how quickly she adjusted to online learning.
“The program was set up very well,” explains Pope. “It was challenging, but I was impressed by the way it was delivered.”
“It was nice that students in the class could share their experiences. Coming from a different specialty, I found the level of interaction highly beneficial. I didn’t feel isolated.”
For Pope, the best news of all came just after completing her practicum when she was offered full-time employment on the Gastroenterology unit at Kelowna General Hospital. She says a number of her classmates have also been hired onto the unit.
“It’s been a wonderful thing for me,” says Pope. “I love the new challenge.”
She is quick to point out that even for experienced nurses, stepping onto a specialized unit can be incredibly difficult without prior training.
“It really helps a nurse coming onto a unit to have that background of knowledge,” she says. “Learning is ongoing—you will always keep training, but having the knowledge in place has really made my transition into a new specialty that much easier.”
The program is already being hailed as a groundbreaking new training opportunity. Prior to its launch, practicing nurses who wanted to prepare to take the Canadian Nursing Association Certification 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.
Dunton was instrumental in the program’s development. She saw a need for it after discussions with gastroenterological nurses and administrators at IH. She then checked in with other health authorities, including Fraser Health Authority and the Northern Health Authority, and found that they were supportive of a specialized program being developed. Dunton approached the College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department and provided input on the curriculum as it was developed. The first students stepped into the classroom in October and began practica earlier this summer.
The next intake for the program begins on Sept. 12. Dunton is excited about the program’s ongoing development and the need it is filling.
“Feedback has been excellent and I am pleased to be supporting the second cohort of students in this comprehensive program,” said Dunton.
According to B.C. government statistics, the province will need 25,000 nurses by 2022. New and mid-career nurses will be needed to replace those retiring in specializations like Gastroenterology.
To review admission requirements or for more information about the Gastroenterology Nursing Certificate program, visit Okanagan.bc.ca/GINursing.
Evidence is mounting that life-supporting planets may be more commonplace in the Galaxy than previously thought. As of late August 2016, there are about 3,500 confirmed exoplanets (planets with the right conditions for liquid water, and with it the potential for life) and thousands more candidates. What about life on those planets? What about liquid water oceans on alien worlds?
Dr. Jaymie Matthews, one of Canada’s foremost astronomers and a self-proclaimed astro-paparazzo, will take stage, in a public presentation at Okanagan College, to describe his efforts to spy on planets around other stars that might be homes for alien celebrities.
“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.”
Matthews’ presentation, entitled 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 talk launches the 10th season of the Science in Society Speaker Series, which is co-presented by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre.
Matthews is a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia. He leads the MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of STars) mission – Canada’s first space telescope – and is an expert in the fields of stellar seismology (using the vibrations of vibrating stars to probe their hidden interiors and histories) and exoplanets.
In 2006, Prof. Matthews was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
In addition to his accomplished academic record, Matthews is an ambassador in the promotion of astronomy and public science education in general. He holds a 1999 Killam Prize for teaching excellence in the UBC Faculty of Science, and the 2002 Teaching Prize of the Canadian Association of Physicists. Matthews is a co-founder of and instructor for UBC’s Science 101 course for disadvantaged residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He was a “Human Library Book” in Surrey, BC where “readers” could reserve him to ask about science or life, and a storyteller at the Kootenay Storytelling Festival in Nelson, BC. Matthews was featured in the Discovery Channel series "Light: More Than Meets The Eye", and the documentary “LUNARCY!” He is a producer and writer for Knowledge (BC’s educational TV network) of Space Suite – a series of astronomy/space ‘music videos’. Matthews was awarded the Canadian Astronomical Society’s Qilak Award for education and outreach in 2016. Qilak is an Inuit word meaning “canopy of the heavens” or the sky overhead.
Interest in exoplanets is trending with the recent discovery of Proxima B, the closest exoplanet to earth yet to be found at a mere 25 trillion miles or 4.2 light years away. It is thought to be a rocky, Earth-sized planet orbiting the nearest star to us: the red dwarf Proxima Centauri.
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. To subscribe or obtain more information visit okanagansisss.wordpress.com.
Presented jointly by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre, the Science in Society Speaker Series is sponsored by the Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre, Starbucks Coffee, Save on Foods, and the Vernon Morning Star.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to the College and its surrounding communities, two Okanagan College alumni have earned the top honours awarded by the Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA).
Kelowna’s Heather Stewart is this year’s recipient of the OCAA Distinguished Alumni Award that recognizes excellence in the areas of leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts, and/or support for Okanagan College. Sarah Comba, also from Kelowna, will receive the OCAA Young Alumni Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions of an alumnus who is under the age of 35.
Stewart, a sought-after organizational development consultant and founder of Sage Transitions, was involved in facilitating development of the College's first strategic plan. Since then, she has remained engaged in the College’s ongoing strategic planning and has also helped to guide planning for the OC Foundation and the OCAA.
“Okanagan College has made such significant progress in the past decade, and it’s been a fabulous opportunity to be involved, in a small way, in that progress,” notes Stewart, who was a student at the Vernon campus in the early 1970s when classes were still held in the old army barracks.
After pursuing general studies at the College, Stewart went on to earn a Masters Degree in Distance Education and an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Distance Education Technology from Athabasca University. She taught in Okanagan College’s School of Business in the mid 2000s and continues to volunteer her time with the College in numerous ways. In 2013, when the College was celebrating 50 years of transforming lives and communities, Stewart was named one of the 50 People Who Made a Difference.
“I’m very honoured to be recognized,” says Stewart. “I believe strongly in supporting organizations where I can contribute to them and to our community. I feel we all need to find ways to give back to those groups and causes that are important to us.”
Stewart’s latest contribution to the College will make a difference in students’ lives for years to come. Last year, she launched a scholarship fund to assist automotive technician trades students.
Young Alumni Award recipient Sarah Comba, who earned her Business Administration Diploma in 2007, is another difference maker.
While in her second year of studies at the College, Comba partnered with the Alumni Association to launch the Pay it Forward campaign, which invited the College community to contribute useful items – clothing, food, toiletries – for the Kelowna Gospel Mission, Inn from the Cold, and other local organizations serving those in need in the community. More than a decade later, the campaign she founded is still going strong and Comba remains as inspired as ever by the people it brings her in touch with.
“I’ve learned that through simple, small acts of kindness we can have an impact on the lives of others,” says Comba. “That’s all there is to it. It’s such a simple idea: it’s not money, or time, it’s just a few small items, like a pair of socks, that can make all the difference in the world to someone.”
Comba admits her drive to give back pervades all elements of her life. She is also a member of the fundraising team at The City of West Kelowna Parks and Operations Department where she has worked as an Operator for six years.
“I suppose I’ve always been a nurturer in life. I always want to be taking care of people.”
Despite her already impressive track record of giving back in the community, Comba admits she was surprised to learn she’d been selected to receive the award.
“I was honestly shocked when I found out,” says Comba. “To me, this is such a simple act of kindness that I was surprised anyone would take note. But I am truly honoured and humbled by it.”
“Heather and Sarah have each focused a great deal of their time, expertise and energy into making Okanagan College and their community an even better place,” says Kara Kazimer, President of the Board, Okanagan College Alumni Association. “On behalf of my fellow OCAA board members, I commend both of this year’s award recipients on their accomplishments and the high bar they have set for our future OC alumni.”
Comba and Stewart’s achievements will be celebrated at the OCAA awards ceremony and reception at the College’s Kelowna campus on September 13, 2016. For more information about the awards and previous recipients, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni.
Twenty-five years ago the first students from Toyota Technical College arrived at Okanagan College to embark on a summer program of collision repair training and learning English. It planted the seed for a relationship that would blossom to span oceans, cultures, and decades.
This year a record 110 students from the Japanese institution are completing the program, bringing the total to more than 1,000 participants since the program began in 1992. On Friday, Toyota Technical College President Kazunori Ikeyama joined Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton in congratulating students and the passionate instructors and sanseis who have helped to grow the program.
“Today we celebrate and reflect on this great friendship and the many students it has benefited over the years,” explained Ikeyama. “It is a program and a partnership that means a great deal to both institutions.”
“What started out as an educational partnership has become, in many ways, so much more,” noted Hamilton. “The cross-cultural exchange that takes place has enriched our campus community tremendously over the years. The more than 1,000 students and the many teachers who have come here to learn about Canadian culture have been, and will continue to be, our honoured guests, friends, learners, and teachers.”
Five years ago the two presidents celebrated the program’s 20th anniversary (and 700 students through the program) by planting a Japanese Cherry tree – or Sakura – at the Kelowna campus. The tree serves as a year-round reminder of the friendship between the two institutions.
Video from the event can be found here: https://youtu.be/l5uS0Ly1XRA.
With strong demand for construction trades workers across the province and a healthy residential construction market in the region, Okanagan College is offering up a second intake of a popular program designed to help Aboriginal students build jobsite skills, gain apprenticeship training and get on the fast track to employment.
In March 2015, the College delivered the new Red Seal Construction Craft Worker apprenticeship program. Last November, the College worked with the province to develop an intake customized specifically for those Aboriginal students who might benefit from cultural, financial and academic support alongside the apprenticeship training. Twelve First Nation and Metis students, aged 20-56, completed the program and many of them are now working full-time in construction in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions and in Fort McMurray.
Okanagan College, in partnership with BC Hydro, will offer a new intake of the program, Construction Craft Worker Aboriginal Bridging (CCWAB) from September 12 – December 16, 2016. Delivered at Westbank First Nation (WFN) and the College’s Kelowna campus, this hands-on program will cover a variety of topics, from trades math to carpentry skills to workforce training certifications. The Construction Craft Worker program is designed to benefit students with limited construction experience or those looking to refresh or enhance their skills. The program is tuition-free and includes work boots, bus passes, group study sessions, cultural activities, volunteer work experience and job search skills to remove potential barriers and support success.
“Working with, and learning from, the Indigenous community is one of the key directions in Okanagan College’s new strategic plan,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “This course is an example of ongoing collaboration with our local bands and First Nation communities, employers and the province to provide training that is responsive to the needs of industry and highly supportive for our indigenous learners.”
The B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook predicts there will be about 123,000 job openings in trades, transportation and related occupations in the province over the next decade.
Building on the success of the first in-take of the program, the College, WFN, and BC Hydro will offer a number of additional supports for students—both in the classroom and on the jobsite—to promote their success in the program. Students enrolling in the course this September will once again receive one-on-one training and support from a dedicated Aboriginal peer mentor.
“Mentorship is an important element of the program,” explains Hamilton. “In addition to learning from experienced instructors and employers like BC Hydro, students also get to work beside a recent graduate who can share some insight into how to put their best foot forward in the industry.”
“By understanding the local environment and available resources, we are able to coordinate relevant training and education with local service providers, educators, and our own project teams,” says Laurie Sterritt, BC Hydro Director of Aboriginal Employment and Business Development. “With programs like the CCWAB, together we develop solutions that ensure local Aboriginal people gain the skills and experience needed to join our workforce and/or our contractor network.”
Randy Weatherbee, a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, was among the dozen students who completed Level 1 earlier this year. Shortly after, he landed a job as a construction craft worker with WIBCO construction, a First Nations construction company based in West Kelowna. Weatherbee is now working on the new WFN Youth Centre, only steps away from the WFN Community Centre where he and his fellow students were recognized for completing the program.
“I was looking to change careers and so the program gave me the opportunity to learn a lot and gain some valuable certifications in a short time,” says Weatherbee, who worked in IT for 15 years prior to enrolling. “Many of the other students had some construction experience but it was all new to me. The program is fast-paced and focused on skills that employers want to see on the resume. It helped me get a foot in the door in the industry.”
Jay Charleyboy graduated the program with Weatherbee and now works alongside him at the WFN project site. A member of the Ulkatcho First Nation and a single father of three, Charleyboy says the program has helped him advance his career in the construction industry.
“I’ve been in construction for a long time, but the program was a great way to relearn skills,” says Charleyboy, who after earning his Occupational First Aid Level 2 was hired on as the Construction Safety Officer and First Aid Attendant for the project.
“There’s a ton of hands-on training, from carpentry and joinery to pipelaying,” explains Charleyboy. “The course has helped me get into the industry again, refreshed. I’m excited to keep learning, keep building my career, and keep building a better life for myself and my family.”
More information about the Construction Craft Worker program is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/trades.
Gloria Morgan, who was Chief of the Splats’in Indian Band from 2001 to 2005, has been appointed for two years to the College’s Board, while Riminder Gakhal’s term is to Dec. 31, 2017.
Gakhal is an associate at Davidson Pringle LLP in Vernon and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Vernon and District Immigrant Services and as a director of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies, which is a province-wide association working with more than 70 member agencies who serve immigrants and work to build culturally-inclusive communities.
Morgan has been an RCMP officer, a criminal defence lawyer and a Crown Prosecutor. She was the President of the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce, and member of the RCMP’s E Division Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and served on the board of the Provincial Community Co-ordination for Women’s Safety. She was recently appointed to the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council and serves on the BC Patient Care and Quality Review Board. She was the recipient of the Community Leader Awards – Community Builder award 2016, North Okanagan.
Gakhal grew up in Vernon, and completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Northern British Columbia. Upon graduation from UNBC, she worked for TD Canada Trust as a loans and investment officer before attending law school at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. She was called to the British Columbia bar in 2015.
“I’m looking forward to being involved with the College,” says Gakhal.
Morgan sees the importance of education for Canada’s Aboriginal community and is eagerly anticipating working on a board that can help further build access and support success for Aboriginal students and for other students who may face obstacles. “I am so impressed with the high number of Aboriginal students enrolled at the College,” she says. (More than 1,500 Aboriginal students attended Okanagan College in 2015-16.) “I honestly believe knowledge is power – power for self-improvement.”
“I know that both Gloria and Riminder will add to the strengths of our current board,” observes Connie Denesiuk, Chair of the Okanagan College Board of Governors. “Their experience, enthusiasm and energy will be welcome.”
As tasting room supervisor and sales co-ordinator for Tantalus Vineyards and a long-time resident of the region, Fipke has witnessed the growth of the industry, and sees more ahead, as the chance blossoms to introduce more Canadians to the wines of British Columbia.
(Recently, the B.C., Quebec and Ontario governments announced they would make interprovincial sales easier by removing trade barriers.)
“Definitely a good thing,” says Fipke. “The easier it is sell our wines to more Canadians, the better it will be for us.”
Fipke is well-poised to be among those in the industry who can benefit, and he believes education for industry professionals will continue to be a critical factor if the Okanagan is to continue growing its reputation – both across Canada and internationally – as a producer of world-class wines.
Having completed three of the wine-industry certificate programs Okanagan College offers: Wine Sales, Viticulture, and Winery Assistant, Fipke is quick to point out the advantage gained by wearing many hats in the industry. The proof of his approach is to be found in the career he has carved for himself at Tantalus. “It definitely set me up for a management role.”
His career at Tantalus is a little like a homecoming for him. While his passion for wine was ignited by his father’s interest and appreciation for wine, it was cemented when he volunteered to help with a harvest at Tantalus years ago. “That gave me a taste for the industry.”
From there, the course was set: education soon became blended with the practical experience offered by the College’s programs.
“The practicums are one of the best things about the programs,” says Fipke. “It’s where you get the hands-on experience and where you get to learn from the experts.”
“We are really focused on answering the skills needs of the industry and addressing the career aspirations of prospective students,” explains Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “Students like Ryan epitomize the enthusiasm and passion that make the region’s wine industry so vibrant and if we can serve them with the education, training and applicable work-integrated learning opportunities, we will.”
Okanagan College offers a number of certificate and short-term courses linked to the wine industry, from a free online program intended for hospitality industry servers (but of interest to anyone who wants to know more about B.C.’s wines – wineserver.okanagan.bc.ca), to the three certificate programs Fipke took. To find out more visit okanagan.bc.ca/fwt or okanagan.bc.ca/cs
The professional photographer and instructor in Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department is as keen as ever on helping photography enthusiasts make the most of their tools and talents.
“Photography is a lifelong interest for me that persists,” he says. “I still have photographs from when I was in university – more than a few decades ago – that I enjoy looking at.”
“Teaching at Okanagan College for the past 10 years has helped fuel that interest, as I watch a whole variety of different people discover things about photography and their cameras.”
“I learn from students too – I end up probing the limits of my craft.”
Cooper’s Kelowna classes focus on digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera essentials, creative modes and advanced features and functions.
“Digital photography is not rocket science, but it is complex,” says Cooper, who has been balancing his time teaching at OC with duties at Red Deer College in Alberta, where he is in his sixth year of teaching the Digital Photography Certificate there, which is delivered online.
“There are five skills to be a good photographer,” explains Cooper:
Providing students the technical skills and theory isn’t enough to help them become great photographers, says Cooper. “You also have to create an environment to allow them to take risks and experiment, because that’s how you learn.”
It’s not who you might expect who signs up for his courses. Most students, he notes, have had their cameras for a couple of years.
Cooper’s passion for teaching predated his first DSLR camera. He was a computer-based training course developer and instructor for the Canadian Armed Forces and a community college instructor before retiring to the Okanagan in the early part of this century.
For more information on Cooper’s classes and other courses offered by Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department, you can visit Okanagan.bc.ca/cs or watch for College’s fall brochure, being distributed by mail and available online at tiny.cc/occsfall2016.
Glave is the Occupational Health and Safety Manager for the Vic Van Isle Group based in Revelstoke, B.C. He’s also currently completing the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) certificate via an online course with Okanagan College, and will graduate this December.
“The first five-to-ten years I worked in construction there was still very much a culture of male bravado,” says Glave. “People were regularly taking unnecessary risks and nobody was coming around asking ‘where’s your protection?’ Now, our industry is changing and maturing. Safety leadership is more common than before. I think it’s more important to come from a genuine concern for everybody’s wellbeing rather than strictly from a compliance standpoint. Stronger cultures also develop from logic and reason rather than shall and must.”
Glave moved to Revelstoke nine years ago from Whistler, where he had just completed his first real safety gig at the 2010 Olympic Nordic Centre. His family had recently relocated to Revelstoke, and Glave, after years of industrial carpentry, followed his father’s recommendation to apply with Vic Van Isle Construction.
“I distinctly remember meeting with their safety manager, and being asked the standard interview question ‘Where do you see yourself in three to five years?’ I answered: ‘I want your job.’ And ultimately I got it.”
The company Glave began working for was rapidly expanding – going from a crew of seven to over 100 in 18 months on the Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) project alone. Nine years later, the Vic Van Isle group has had hundreds of employees, with work in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario, and divisions in commercial/ industrial construction, independent Rona Building Centers, architectural millwork manufacturing, and heavy equipment rental, mechanics, and welding.
With strong work ethic and a variety of skills, Glave moved from taking care of first aid and carpentry for the first six months of the RMR project to spending 12 months as the onsite safety manager. Then in an unexpected turn of events the 2008 recession hit, and he was promoted into construction management.
“Health and safety is definitely a great field to be in,” says Glave. “It’s growing, it’s necessary, and it’s rewarding. It’s great knowing that I’m making a difference, and that over time all the little wins, and big wins, are positively changing the culture.”
But there certainly are challenges.
“It can be difficult at times. I’m not in the make money column, I’m in the save money column – and sometimes it’s hard for people to see the value right away. It also can take time, patience and persistence to turn around a very aged safety culture.”
One of the reasons Glave is taking the OH&S course at the College is to prepare for his Canadian Registered Safety Professional, which is a professional designation that will increase his value to his company and the industry. Another thing that appeals to Glave is the networking opportunities the program provides, particularly because the health and safety field is mostly lacking in available mentors.
“You can feel like you’re on an island by yourself. Unless you work with a large organization with multiple safety professionals that you can train under, you’re left sourcing a lot of important information on how to do things on your own. It’s great to be able to meet other safety professionals, connect to mentors, build a rapport, and know that we’re there to support each other. It definitely gives you the confidence and feeling of support to deal with the variety of situations coming your way.”
Glave has an insider perspective on Okanagan College. He’s worked with them previously while building the Human Resources department within Vic Van Isle, assisting with the College’s Seven Weeks of Certificates (employment skills development), and Fast Track program. He’s instructed employment and start-up skills programs at the College. He recommends his staff for professional development in office skills, project management, first aid, and he currently sits on the OC advisory committee board.
He credits his close connection to the College, especially his membership on the advisory committee, to his unique perspective as to why he thinks Okanagan College is so valuable.
“I find the College very forward-thinking, engaged, and supportive of the communities they’re in. On the advisory committee, I get to see the thinking and planning that goes into the community involvement initiatives, as well as how to Okanagan College stays competitive and relevant.”
As much as Glave is enjoying the OH&S online course, there’s definitely a drawback: staying focused during the summer takes additional discipline.
“It’s not a heavy workload, it’s just allocating the time to be consistent (studying and completing assignments) while balancing out the rest of life’s responsibilities. It also matters a lot what else you have going on in your life as in my case: working full-time, family, volunteering, relationships, friends, active playing, building a horse barn and a fourth season of beekeeping. In the end though, I know it’s all very worthwhile.”
To find out more about Okanagan College’s Occupational Health & Safety certificate, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/ohs.
A unique donation from a national paint and coatings manufacturer with B.C. roots will be brightening Okanagan College campuses for years to come.
Cloverdale Paint Inc. has pledged $50,000 worth of product to assist the College in beautifying classrooms, labs, shops, and student spaces across its four campuses over the next five years.
“Cloverdale Paint is a B.C.-based, family owned business that was founded in 1933,” says Cloverdale’s VP of Branch Operations Dave Chaulk. “We are proud to support health care and education in the markets that we serve, and Okanagan College is an important facility for the community.”
The first canvas for the donated paint will be the College’s new trades facilities in Kelowna, which opened to students in April. The College is currently putting the finishing touches on the new three-storey complex, as part of the $33-million, 10,000 sq. metre renovation and expansion project in anticipation of an official grand opening this fall. Cloverdale’s donation has been directed to the $7-million Bright Horizons fundraising campaign for the building, although the product will support the College in enhancing numerous other spaces.
Colour palette aside, green is the theme the College has kept in mind throughout the renovated and expansion project, as part of its institutional commitment to sustainability.
“Sustainability is one of our core values,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “This generous gift from Cloverdale Paint supports our commitment to providing learning and work spaces that are healthy for our college community and for the environment.”
The Cloverdale credit gives the College access to ultra-low VOC (volatile organic compound) and environmentally friendly coatings that will help keep classrooms, shops, study and work spaces as healthy as they are environmentally-friendly.
The new trades building will allow the College to accommodate more than 2,700 students per year in a facility that targets LEED Platinum standards, one of the highest measures of sustainability that can be achieved by a building. In 2015, the College’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence (COE) building in Penticton became the first building of its size in the region to earn the coveted certification. Earlier this year, the COE was named the Greenest Post Secondary Building in Canada in a national independent review conducted by Corporate Knights Magazine.
Boasting the second largest solar-photovoltaic array of any non-utility building in the province (the largest is on the College’s Centre of Excellence), the new trades complex is expected to reach net-zero energy—meaning it should be able to generate enough energy to meet its operational needs without drawing power from the grid. Other sustainability features include geothermal heating and cooling, and the latest in energy efficient lighting and environmental controls.
To learn more about Okanagan College’s new trades facilities and the Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign for the project, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.
Madeline Kempf and Cassandra Lum of Okanagan College’s School of Business are two of only six college students in the province to receive the Premier’s International Scholarships this year. The awards, valued at between $6,000 and $10,000 each, assist students studying a wide variety of subjects ranging from fine arts to nursing to political studies at colleges and universities around the world.
“It’s great to see students gaining international experience through support from the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College.
“Ike really believed in the transformative power of education. His support of students throughout the province has created a legacy that grows each year. It benefits students across such a diverse array of programs, backgrounds, interests, and institutions.”
For Penticton’s Cassandra Lum, receiving the scholarship was the ticket to fulfilling a long-standing dream of studying in France. Okanagan School of Business students currently have the opportunity to study abroad at institutions in 16 different countries.
“I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity,” says Lum, who will graduate next June with a Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Accounting. “I think it’s extremely beneficial to have a worldly view when it comes to business, but beyond that I firmly believe travel is just such an important part of how we learn and grow outside of the classroom.
Lum will depart for EDHEC Business School in Nice at the end of August.
“Studying abroad is a wonderful option the school provides,” says Lum. “I’d certainly encourage students to consider it when planning their studies.”
The scholarship win caps off a busy and rewarding year for Lum, who also served as President of Enactus Okanagan College, a community of young entrepreneurial leaders committed to advancing social issues through business. At the Enactus National Exposition in Toronto in May, Lum and fellow BBA student Abbey Jones were two of only 10 students from all across Canada to take home national Founders Bursaries.
The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society has awarded more than $3.1 million in international scholarships since the program’s inception in 2008. The Premier’s Scholarships are awarded once annually, while the Society’s One World International Scholarships are disbursed to students throughout the year.
Along with international scholarships, the society provides transfer scholarships and financial awards and scholarships for Aboriginal students at the undergraduate level through to those enrolled in Doctoral studies.
This year, Okanagan College students hoping to study overseas can apply online to tap into $35,000 available in One World Scholarships from the Society. More information about these and other awards for study abroad applicable to OC students is available at http://ow.ly/WDmr302TSDv.