Meet the Faculty







Norah Bowman

I really like teaching at Okanagan College. My classes are feminist spaces for exploration, learning, and creative intellectual production. In Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies classes we read challenging texts, view contemporary short documentaries, have lively discussions, and consider how gender norms and feminism inform our communities and our individual experiences. Currently I am working with Meg Braem and Dom Hui on a graphic novel about global feminist resistance – it will be published by the University of Toronto Press sometime in 2018.  I’m also reading and writing about  indigenous resistance and resilience in the aftermath of mining disasters, particularly in the BC interior.

Recently I’ve been reading the work of Chilean cognitive biologists Alberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. I am thinking through  the ways in which organisms, like humans, make their worlds through thinking and language. I’m also influenced by the writings of Angela Davis, Julie Cruikshank, Elena Ferrante and Anna Tsing.




Academic Credentials:

Ph.D.  (University of Alberta), MA, BA

Recent Publications and Awards:

  • Bowman-Broz, N. (2012). To Become Beavers of Sorts: Creative Ecology in Eric Collier,  The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology and Place. Eds Cheryll A Glotfelty and Tom Lynch and Karla Armbruster. Athens, Georgia : University of Chicago Press, 2012. 72-85.

  • "Shitless Family Love: Deleuzo-Guattarian Creative Affiliations in Eden Robinson's Blood Sports," in Fall 2009 issue of Canadian Journal of Native Studies.

Recommended Reads:

    • Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada,
    • State of Exception by Giorgio Agamben
    • Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming by Rosi Braidotti
    • The Ecological Crisis of Reason by Val Plumwood
    • Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    • Looking White People in the Eye : Gender, Race and Culture in Courtrooms and Classrooms by Sherene Razack
What I will be teaching in 2013-2014

  • WMST100
  • WMST 295 : Gender, Justice and Resistance

Why I Love Teaching:

How exciting, presenting literature and ideas to a group of curious minds! What better place than a classroom to enjoy the luxury of conversation, intellectual rigour and creative exchange? I'm one lucky human.



phone: 250
762-5445 (x4215)



Bill Cohen

Bill Cohen is from the Okanagan Nation with extensive kinship ties throughout BC and Washington. He specializes in the areas of Indigenous knowledge, research, education, and transforming pedagogy. For over twenty-five years, he has engaged in community driven, transforming projects, as parent, volunteer, advisor, facilitator, and director. He is an educator, artist, story-teller and author. The focus of Bill’s continuing research is to identify, understand and theorise the transforming potential of Indigenous and Okanagan knowledge and pedagogy through organic language and cultural knowledge revitalization. As an educator, he has organized numerous community, school, arts, language, literacy and numeracy projects involving elders, fluent speakers, parents and children. He lives in Nkmaplqs, Okanagan territory, with his wife Natalie and children Mary-Rose, Emma-Jane, Willy, Dempsey and Devon.

Academic Credentials:

Creative Writing, En’owkin Centre; Bachelor of Arts and Science with Distinction (U Lethbridge); Master of Education: Administrative Leadership First Nations Focus (SFU); Education Doctorate: Policy and Leadership (UBC).

Sample Publications:

  • Cohen, B., and Chambers, N. (2013). “Emerging From the Whiteout: Colonization, Assimilation, Historical Erasure, and Okanagan Syilx Resistance and Transforming Praxis in the Okanagan Valley.” In Hinterland of Whiteness: White Fantasies in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia., (Eds.,) Aguilar, L., Berg, L., and Keyes, D. (Submitted). UBC Press: Vancouver
  • Cohen, B. (2001) “Spider’s Web: Creativity and Survival in Dynamic Balance” Canadian Journal of Native Education. Vol. 24, 140-148.
  • Illustrator, (2013) The Moon Speaks Cree by Larry Loyie; (1997) Kwulasuwut II by Ellen White; (1995) Just A Walk by Jordan Wheeler, Theytus Books: Penticton BC.
  • Editor, (1998) mayx twixmntm tl q’sapi lats k’ulmstm i snklc’askaxa (stories and images about what the horse has done for us): an illustrated history of okanagan ranching and rodeo. Theytus Books: Penticton BC.

Recommended Reads:

  • Stones and Switches by Lorne Simon
  • Kou Skelowh-kwu Sqilxw/We Are the People: A Trilogy of Okanagan Legends by Okanagan Elders
  • Thinking in Indian: A John Mohawk Reader edited by Jose Barreiro
  • Releasing the Imagination by Maxine Greene
  • Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples 2nd edition by Linda Tuhiwai Smith
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  • Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World edited by Michael Stone and Zenobia Barlow
  • George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Community Service:

First Peoples’ Culture Committee, Board Member and Chair of Governance Committee . . .

What Informs My Teaching at Okanagan College:

In Okanagan traditional stories, Coyote, with vast creative mind power and ability to transform monsters who threaten our children, often forgets he is part of a larger ecological and creative web and is destroyed. Fox always comes along and carefully gathers the bits of Coyote, and breathes Coyote back to life. I position myself epistemologically as Fox who gathers up the bits from past and current knowledge, ideas, practices, attitudes and beliefs for new understanding and creative potential. It is a challenge and a responsibility to engage with students as co-learners and collaboratively defuse intolerance, practice and embody pluralism, respect, and diversity and imagine and realize new sustaining relationships for coming generations.


Olivia Hofer

Olivia was inspired to pursue Social Work when she volunteered as a Big Sister and witnessed the impact social service providers have in the lives of families. She completed her BSW with a child welfare specialization before beginning to work in the non-profit sector with women and children who had experienced violence and/or sexualized abuse

and assault. Anti-violence work reinforced her feminist theoretical framework and provided many examples of the strength and resilience of those who have been impacted by abuse. Olivia then pursued a Masters in Social Work in order to be able to provide long term therapeutic support to women, children and families. Currently, Olivia is a therapist at Stepping Stones Counselling Group in Kelowna, using expressive methods such as art, play therapy, and yoga to promote healing and wellness. Olivia is passionate about social justice and creating structural changes in society that will end oppression of marginalized people. She is particularly interested in the impact of the legal system on families where violence has been present, and on working with women and children who have experienced violence and abuse. Working for women’s equality is an imperative change in order to make this happen. In the classroom, Olivia works to inspire students to become allies with those they will work with/for, and to promote justice and equality in their communities and beyond.

Academic Credentials:

Bachelor of Social Work, Child Welfare Specialization (UBC-O),

Master of Social Work (UBC-O)

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Registered Social Worker with BCCSW
  • Member of CASW

Community Involvement:

Chair of the Central Okanagan Women’s Resource and Education Foundation (COWREF), a community organization seeking to promote the equality of women and girls in the Central Okanagan

What I will be teaching next year:

  • Social Work 200A: Introduction to Social Work Practice
  • Social Work 200B:   Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada                                       

Recommended Reads:


  • The War on Women by Brian Vallee
  • Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (especially great for dog lovers!)
  • The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Why I love to teach at OC:

As a lover of learning myself, it is exciting to be a part of facilitating the learning process for others. In the field of social work, it is easy to get discouraged by human suffering; it is vital that we enter the profession not only with a realistic view of what to expect, but also with the inspiration to encourage, inspire, and empower the people with whom we cross paths. A solid academic foundation gives students the groundwork to put their desire for social justice and social change to work. Dialogue, discussion and debate are an important part of the learning experience and certainly keep the classroom experience interesting. I am happy to share the experience I have, as well as pass on the knowledge given to me by my clients, colleagues, and all the others who teach me. My hope is that our collective class experience can ignite a passion for social justice (or, for some, fan the burning flames!) and create real change in our communities and beyond.



phone: 250 762-5445


Jarkko Jalava

Jarkko was born and raised in Finland, and moved to Canada in 1991. He studied English at Dalhousie University, and psychology at University of Windsor and Simon Fraser University. He worked as a correctional psychologist in Alberta for two years, and joined Okanagan College in 2007. Jarkko's research interests are in the formation of mythologies about crime and deviance. Currently he is writing a book about the relationship between Classical and medieval monster folklore and contemporary psychopathy research.

Academic credentials:

B.A. (English), Dalhousie University; B.A. (Psychology), Simon Fraser University; M.A. (Adult Clinical Psychology), University of Windsor; Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology/Theory and Methods), Simon Fraser University.

Recommended Reads:

  • The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by Erich Fromm,
  • The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches us About What it Means to be Alive by Brian Christian,
  • Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford.
Why I Love to Teach:

I like stories, and teaching is the best way to tell them - and to improve the telling - constantly.


email: jjalava@okanagan.bc.ca

phone: 250 492-4305 (x3292)

Ann Marie McKinnon (Chair)

When Ann Marie McKinnon isn’t riding her horse, she teaches Women’s and Gender Studies at Okanagan College. Her interests are broad and interdisciplinary, having both taught and published in the social sciences and humanities, and in areas as wide ranging as Marshall McLuhan and media studies to ecofeminism and film. However, students should be warned that there is always some psychoanalytic theory lurking in the shadowy background, for Ann’s dissertation was on Jacques Lacan and the Death Drive, something you do not easily get over!                


Academic Credentials:

Ph.D. (English and Cultural Studies)(University of Alberta), MA (English Literature)(University of British Columbia)


Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Research Associate The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, Social Justice, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
  • Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC)
  • Women’s Studies Association of Canada (WSAC)    
Recent publications and Awards:

  • Key Directions Employee Excellence Award Receipient, 2013
  • Luis LM Aguiar, Ann McKinnon and Dixon Sookraj, “Repertoires of Racism: Reactions to Jamaicans in the Okanagan Valley.” BC Studies 168 (winter 2010): 79-93. 
  • McKinnon, Ann. “Even Mud has the Illusion of Depth: A Mcluhanesque Reading of Sarah Palin. FlowTV. Department of Radio, Television and Film, University of Texas at Austin. October 17th, 2008. http://flowtv.org/

Community Involvement:                

  • From 2001 – 2005, I volunteered to teach in Humanities 101, an innovative program funded by UBC for the downtown east side residents of Vancouver. Since then, I have also taught in the T’SKEL Program, First Nation’s House of Learning , Urban Native Education Centre, Vancouver, BC.  And, I also teach for the Canadian Pony Club.
  • I frequently give public lectures in Kelowna, most recently for the Canadian Federation of University Women, Unitarian Fellowship Centre, Pro-Choice AGM.
  • I volunteer for the Okanagan College Women’s Resource Centre

Recommended Reads:

  • Agamben, Giorgio. State of Exception
  • Creed, Barbara. The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism and Psychoanalysis
  • Oliver, Kelly. Animal Lessons. How They Teach us to be Human. 
  • Shiva, Vandana.  Ecofeminism
  • Zizek, Slavoj. Everything you wanted to know about Lacan…but were afraid to ask Hitchcock.

What I will be teaching next year:

  • ENGL 210
  • WMST 100
  • WMST 210
  • WMST 216
  • WMST221

Why I love to teach at OC:

I love to teach at Okanagan College because I love to learn. Cicero said: “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”  I try, daily, to upset authority, including my own. Outside of the classroom, of course, I am a complete egomaniac.



762-5445 (x4327)


John Mott

Born and raised in the Okanagan, John began his post-secondary studies at Okanagan College in Kelowna before heading to Victoria where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree at UVIC. He then crossed the water and finished a Law degree at the University of British Columbia. John practiced law as a refugee lawyer in Vancouver before working as a Human Rights Officer for the BC Human Rights Commission. A “why not apply” comment led to a year of working in the Yukon for the Yukon Government as its Workplace Harassment Prevention Officer. Returning to Summerland in 2001, John resumed his duties as a Human Rights Officer. In 2006 John joined Okanagan College and has been teaching Criminal Law and Canadian Law since 2007. John also wears the hat of Education Advisor at the Penticton Campus.

Academic Credentials:

BA (English) (UVic); LL.B. (UBC)

Community Involvement:

  • President of the Summerland Orca Swim Club
  • Treasurer of the Summerland Racquets Club

Recommended Reads:

  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

  • Go Boy by Roger Caron

What I will be teaching next year:
  • CRIM 230 - Criminal Law 
  • CRIM 235 - Canadian Law and Legal Institutions

  Why I love to teach at OC:

Law touches our lives in so many ways and I enjoy sharing this with my students and challenging them to think critically about the law.



phone:250 492-4305 (x3219)


Melissa Munn

Melissa grew up in a solidly working-class family in Ontario where education was the exception rather than the norm. As a result, through her work as a teacher and as an activist, she tries to ensure that knowledge is not reserved for the elite. She has been a human rights advocate for over two decades and is involved with various non-profit organizations in her community and across the world. Her major area of expertise is prisoner release and resetllement and she is currently working on two related research projects. The first is a digitization project that will create a virtual library of penal press materials (www.penalpress.com); this will provide a history of Canadian prisons from the perspective of those who lived within. The second is with Dr. Chris Clarkson (History Department) and examines reforms in the criminal justice system from 1938 to 1955 from the perspective of government, workers and prisoners.


Academic Credentials:

B. Soc. Sc. (Uottawa), B. Soc. Sc. (hon) (Uottawa), M. Ed Counselling (UNBC), Ph.D (criminology)(UOttawa)


Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Member, American Society of Criminology
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Prisoners on Prison

Recent Publications and Awards:

  • Munn, M.  & Walby, K. (2015). Unsettling Reflections. Journal of Prisoners on Prison, 24(1). 1-4.
  • Clarkson, C. & Munn, M. (2015). Failed Reform. Found Resistence: Reflections on prison, Abolition and Residential Schools. Journal Of Prisoners on Prison, 23(2), 91-99.
  • Munn, M. (2013). Correctional Workers: Managing  Rehabilitation, Risk and Responsibility on the   Front-Lines. in Adult Corrections in Canada.  Edited by John Winterdyk and Michael Weinrath
  • Munn, M. & Bruckert, C. (2013). On The Outside: from lengthy incarceration to lasting freedom. UBC Press, Vancouver.
  • Munn, M. (2012). The Mark of Criminality: Rejections and Reversals, Disclosure and Distance – Stigma and the Ex Prisoner. In S. Hannem & C. Bruckert (Eds.) Stigma Revisted: Implications of the mark. University of Ottawa Press.
  • Munn, M. (2011). Living in the Aftermath: the Impact of Lengthy Incarceration on Post-Carceral Success.The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 50(3). pp. 233-246.
  • Munn, M. & Bruckert, C. (2010). Beyond Conceptual Ambiguity: Exemplifying the ‘Resistance Pyramid’ through the reflections of (ex) prisoners’ agency. Qualitative Sociology Review V.5 (2).

Recommended Reads:

  • Crime Control as Industry by Nils Christie
  • Visions of Social Control by Stanley Cohen
  • The Power Report by Prostitutes of Ottawa Work, Educate and Resist

Why I love to teach at OC:

The first two years of post-secondary are the foundation for the rest of the academic journey; teaching here means that the classes are small enough that I can connect with my students during these years and make sure that they are getting the most from their time in class.

Contact Information:

email: mmunn@okanagan.bc.ca

phone: 250 545 7291 (x.2222)