Staff Bios

Kelowna Campus 

Michelle Black
Michelle came to Okanagan College after working as a Career Adviser for Simon Fraser University and as an HR Specialist for Shaw. She has a Bachelor of Science in biology and is a certified Career Development Facilitator. Michelle is an Education Advisor one day per week on the Kelowna campus where she enjoys helping students ensure their education objectives align with their term career objectives. 


Dana Sheldrake
Dana came to Okanagan College after working for post-secondary institutions in Ontario and Alberta. She has her BA in English and 
History from McMaster University and worked abroad as an ESL instructor in China, South Korea, and Japan immediately after graduation. She enjoys helping students find the right academic path to meet their goals.

Michelle Somerville
Michelle has worked at Okanagan College since 1991 and has been an Education Advisor for almost half of that time. She enjoys working with both new and continuing domestic and international students assisting them in reaching their educational goals.

Heather Thomson
Heather has worked at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan in a variety of capacities including Education Advising, International Advising, Registrar's Office and Campus Recreation. She has a BA from the University of Victoria and a Master's Degree in Leadership and Training. Heather works in the International office supporting students as they take advantage of the many educational and learning opportunities at Okanagan College. Believing in the value of education, she enjoys helping students from all over the world navigate their educational and career goals. 

Paul Zeng
Paul's passion for international education began at a BC's offshore high school in China where he worked as an international student counsellor. For the past 10 plus years, he has worked at various international schools and post-secondary institutions in China and Canada. Before coming to work at Okanagan College, he has worked at Thomspn Rivers Unicersity where he enjoyed working and helping students from more than 85 different countries. As an international education advisor at Okabagan College, Paul looks forward to meeting and helping out international students on campus. He loves hockey. He had years of playing in the profressional hckey league in China. He has also coached.and worked with many young elite hockey players in Canada and China.


Amanda Pope (on leave)
Amanda's diverse education and career experience give her a broad knowledge of various fields of study and career paths. She has a background in fine arts, counselling psychology, and adult education and she has also run her own businesses. Amanda works on the Vernon campus 4 days a week as the Accessibility Services Coordinator and she is an Education Advisor 1 day a week on the Kelowna campus. She enjoys working with students to develop an education plan that will help them to meet their personal and career goals.


Penticton Campus

John Mott
John has worked at Okanagan College in various capacities since 2006 and currently teaches in the Criminal and Social Justice Diploma program in addition to his advising duties. John has practiced law, worked for the BC and Yukon governments as a human rights and anti-discrimination officer, and has worked with students of all ages and abilities through his various work and teaching positions. John has a BA in English from the University of Victoria and a LL.B. from the University of British Columbia. John enjoys helping people navigate the many opportunities available to them at Okanagan College.


Lara Payne
Lara has worked at Okanagan College in various capacities including Registration and Admissions. She holds a BA in History and Psychology from BCOU (British Columbia Open University) as well as an Associate of Arts from Kwantlen College.

Salmon Arm Campus

Shannon Kiehlbauch
Shannon completed a BA (Anthropology) from the University of Victoria in May 2000 and began working at Okanagan College in January 2004. Shannon has work experience in admissions and registration; anthropological/archaeological fieldwork; and the organization/implementation of educational and athletic programs for youth.

Vernon Campus

Marilyn Alexis
Marilyn completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Trinity Western University
. Prior to that, she worked with First Nations communities across Canada as a Solvent Abuse Community Intervention Team member. Her experience working with individuals includes facilitating workshops on community development and intervention, critical stress management, addiction awareness and prevention, and life skills training.

Kim Strilchuk
Kim worked at Okanagan College as an instructor before returning a few years later to her current role as Education Advisor. She has worked in the fields of education (both secondary and post-secondary) and employment services, and has experience working overseas. Throughout each of these roles, Kim has enjoyed helping students reach their educational and employment goals.

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