Meet Our Students

Meet Sierra Gardner-Williams, OC Alumnus

Sierra picI moved to Kelowna in 2014 to study political science as part of the International Development Program at Okanagan College. It was unlike any college program available at home and the solid base of core courses and wide range of elective options are what initially attracted me to this diploma program. It didn't take long for me to discover my enthusiasm for politics and women's issues. The college allowed me to explore my own interests and grow as an individual as well as network with other passionate, motivated and like-minded peers.

Two years later I accepted a 4 month government contract at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP). The knowledge I acquired during my time at OC was easily translated into practical skills and applied during this student contract in Ottawa. From this stemmed an offer for another (non-FSWEP) casual administrative contract in the same department at TBS. I am currently enrolled part-time in the Political Science degree program at Carleton University and working full-time.  I absolutely recommend the International Development Diploma at Okanagan College to any students interested in pursuing a career or further studies in political science.

 Meet Natalia Penuela Gallo, OC alumnus

Natalia picI came to Kelowna from Colombia 6 years ago (2008) and recently graduated from a BA in International Relations from UBCO (2014). I decided to take the first 2 years of my program at Okanagan College, as part of the Associate of Arts program. While I was taking some ESL courses I started the first courses of my diploma and decided to stay in Canada for my degree. The college offered a friendly, warm environment and the possibility to work while I studied. I really liked that I was able to have a closer relationship with my teachers, while learning many topics that today are my passion. At that time, the International Development program was not available, so I was able to select my courses according to my personal interest. I was very happy that I had chosen the majority of the course requirements, so I switched programs. I finished the extra courses I needed in order to finish my diploma and was one of the first graduates from the International Development program (2012). I truly believe my experience at the College helped me to be the person I am today, it gave me the skills to pursue my academic/professional interests and be the person I want to become in the future. I absolutely loved the Political Science and Economics courses offered by the program, as well as the inspiring teachers that I had the chance to learn from. They pushed me to work hard, to believe in myself and to question many aspects of society. My 3 years at OC gave me a strong foundation to continue my post-secondary education. Currently, I am working in the non-profit sector and plan to pursue a Masters degree. I will strongly recommend any International Student or anyone to attend Okanagan College and take their International Development program. 

 Meet Alex Elwood, OC alumnus

Alex Elwood picture​I attended Okanagan College for their two year Associate of Arts program from September 2011 to April 2013. I took my first political science class in my first term and have loved politics ever since. The college provides a wide range of political science classes for various interests. Classes are small and allow students to get to know fellow classmates. They are taught by amazing professors that take the time to help students understand the material and engage with many different aspects of political science. OC helped to develop important skills for all my post secondary education, particularly essay writing. I am more confident in my writing skills after my two years at OC. I highly recommend the college to any students. I had an excellent experience at Okanagan College and enjoyed all my courses but especially my political science classes.

I finished my Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science at the University of Victoria in 2015. Following graduation, I received an internship position with the BC Legislature. It is a six month internship that will allow me to gain invaluable insight into the public sector. After, I hope to go on to law school or do my Masters in Public Administration, as I have a particular interest in gender, education and policy. Okanagan College has given me the knowledge, skills and many opportunities to pursue my goals, along with the passion to continually learn about political science. I am grateful for the wonderful friends I have made and the excellent professors that have helped me discover my love for political science.


Meet Brian Murata, OC alumnus
Brian Murata

I am currently a graduate student in international relations, moving on to do my PhD next fall. I spent the first two years of my Bachelor’s at Okanagan College.  The college provided not only an ideal learning environment but also life-long friends and colleagues. The political science department provided some of the most insightful, enjoyable, and engaging courses I have experienced in my post-secondary years, providing the groundwork for courses in my third, fourth, and graduate school years. The class sizes were perfect and the professors provided constant engagement with the students. This engagement was one of the most important aspects; I was better able to perform in my later years thanks to the foundations that OC built. I am grateful for my years spent at the college and highly recommend it to any prospective students.

Politics links
  • ipolitics News and commentary on Canadian and International events.
  • Open Canada's source for international affairs.
  • The Mark is Canada's daily online forum for news, commentary, and debate.
  • Foreign Affairs is a leading forum for serious discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs. 
  • The Economist is a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs.
  • Canadian Political Science Association is the leading professional association of political scientists in Canada.