Department of Communications

Communications students work together on a project.

The Department of Communications is interested in how meaning is made in a range of contexts, including advertising, television, film, popular culture, and the internet. Explore how communication is fundamentally related to the development of self and society and examine how the messages of the contemporary world influence perception of such issues as gender, race, class and community.

Associate of Arts, Communications

Two-year degree program.

Communications, Culture and Journalism

Two-year diploma program.

Advanced Certificate in Communications

One-year certificate program.

Courses

The department offers courses in two streams: Communications & Media Studies, which provides a theoretical approach to current media and culture, as well as Professional Communications that feature professional and technical communications courses.

Faculty and instructors

Ed Henczel

Communications - Chair
Office: Arts Building 148
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4964
Communications instructor Ed Henczel

I first picked up a camera to document my outdoor adventures, but moved into journalism when I found writing paid better. Always into a challenge, I moved to Texas, swapped his Nikons for a laptop and spent the next few years covering football, politics, and prisons (sometimes at the same time).
My last media job was as an editor at The Vancouver Province, where I wrote an NFL column and the infamous long weekend guides. When not teaching, I edit books, cycles and ponders the implications of fake news. I also volunteer with COSAR and helps with their public communications.

Credentials:
MA, Journalism, University of British Columbia
BA, journalism, Thompson Rivers University
Certificate, photojournalism, Thompson Rivers University

Marc Arellano

Communications
Office: Centre For Learning 424
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4212
Head shot of Marc Arellano, communications instructor

I have a B.A. and M.A. in Literature from Carleton University. Having worked for the Department of National Defence and other Canadian companies like Norco Performance Bikes, I have extensive experience writing for industry in the fields of Technical Writing, Business Composition, and PR/Marketing. With the emerging new technologies in the electronic world, I am currently engaged with the process of developing courses on writing in digital environments, and the effects of culture on communication. An award-winning poet and filmmaker, I view film and video as opportunities for raising social issues and creating community.

My short documentary, (kə nā′dē ən), screened at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2008, placed in the top 10 in the CBC/Radio Canada International competition, Migrations, and received a U.S. premiere at the largest Hispanic film festival in the U.S., Cine Las Americas.

Strange Fruit: A Changing Landscape in The Central Okanagan, is a feature-length documentary that explores family-run orchards and the issues of land, labour and water. It received the Best Home Grown Film award at the 2010 Okanagan International Film Festival. It was also screened at the 2010 Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival in Toronto and was selected as an Official Finalist Award winner at the 2011 Las Vegas Film Festival as it “demonstrated superior and standout filmmaking and is deserving of special recognition.”

At a young age, I was chosen by the League of Canadian Poets to represent future voices at the Gala Reading in Association with the National Library's exhibition "Let us compare mythologies: Half a Century of Canadian Poetry in English." My most recent publication is Carta a mi padre (Letter to My Father) a book-length documentary poem. I am currently working on a new short documentary film, Spinning Green, which explores the possibilities of urban agriculture.

Credentials:
MA, Carleton University
BA, Carleton University

Michael Boulter

Communications
Office: Centre For Learning 417
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4783
Head shot of Mike Boulter, Communications Faculty

Dr. Marlo Edwards

Communications
Office: Centre For Learning 423
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4861
Headshot of Marlo Edwards

I have a PhD in English/Cultural Studies from McMaster University (2005), where I studied popular genre fiction and film. My earlier degrees are from York University (BA) and the University of Calgary (MA). And before all this I was a high-school dropout.  I see the joys and the challenges of institutional education!

I bring my love of narrative, ideas, and community to the classes I teach in cultural theory, film/television studies, and communications. Since 2008 I have helped organize the annual World Community Film Festival. I'm committed to supporting local community groups and to maintaining campuses as public spaces.
 

Credentials:
PhD, English/Cultural Studies, McMaster

Dr. Raluca Fratiloiu

Communications
Office: Business Building 117
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4582
Raluca Fratilou

I joined the department in 2008. Prior to this appointment I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax. I obtained my PhD (Communication) through Concordia University. While completing my thesis, I finished a Certificate in Public Relations through McGill and before that I was an international Master’s student in Communication at University of Calgary. My teaching areas are mass communication, media culture, public relations, rhetoric, discourse theory, video game studies and digital media. In the past several years I have maintained an active interest in Digital Humanities.

Credentials:
PhD, Communication, Concordia University
MA, Communication, University of Calgary
Certificate in Public Relations, McGill University
BA, Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Bucharest

www.ralucafrati.com

Jillian Garrett

Communications
Office: Centre For Learning 421
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4283
Communications instructor Jillian Garrett

I have been a professor in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College since 2007. I primarily teach professional writing and communication, rhetoric and persuasion, and visual communication and culture. Outside of the classroom, my scholarly interests include critical discourse theory, visual communication and rhetoric, and the impact of digital technology on communication in the public sphere.

Credentials:
PhD, English, University of Alberta (in progress)
MA, English, University of Alberta

Christina Grant

Communications
Office: Centre of Excellence 234
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-762-5445
Headshot of Christina Grant

I have been a BA in English Literature and a PhD in progress from the University of Alberta. My specialization is writing studies (a field that explores how writing works) and second language or multilingual writing. I view my research in optimizing and democratizing the culturally and linguistically diverse writing and communications class as work that supports all students and instructors in all programs. I have a profoundly deaf son and a husband on the autism spectrum, both of whom fuel my celebration of diversity. I am experienced in and passionate about student agency and empowerment, learner-centred pedagogies, experiential learning, collaborative learning, multimodal teaching and learning, and indigenous-inspired approaches to teaching that place relationships and hospitality at the heart of education.

Credentials:
PhD candidate, Education/Writing Studies
MA, English, University of Alberta

Janice McQuilkin

Communications
Office: Faculty Office 100
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4421
Profile silhouette to show profiles with missing headshots

I have been working for more than 15 years in the information technology industry in many roles including: technical writer, software trainer and instructional designer. I have been doing everything from creating web-based help systems, designing software user guides, testing alpha software, writing technical specifications, producing interactive training videos and delivering workshops and training seminars for staff and clients.

My professional research includes publications in academic journals and establishing community partnerships. Operating a consulting business I enjoyed contributing to developing access plans for various city and regional properties to be used for outdoor recreational purposes.

 I have been developing and teaching technical and professional writing courses in the Department of Communications since 2013.
 

Credentials:
MDE Program, Athabasca University
BA, French Linguistics, Simon Fraser University

Amy Modahl

Communications
Office: Arts Building 148
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4674
Head shot of Amy Modahl, communications instructor

Since 2010, I’ve been teaching research writing, public speaking, and theory courses primarily in the Communications Department, but sometimes my background in Visual Art and Linguistics has led me to teach in Anthropology and Fine Art departments. Whatever I teach, I integrate my interests in language, culture, and visual art. My research tends to be art-based. I create visual and performance art that often investigates power and deception communicated by human gestures and how material and form speak as a visual language (online portfolio: www.amymodahl.net). I sometimes work collaboratively, teaming with other artists to merge identities as impetus for a creative project. Most recently, under the guise of Officer Aj Dahl, I worked with Letbridge artist Corinne Thiessen, as AmCor Incorporated, Deception Detection Services, to question public participation in propaganda and surveillance, by interrogating and drawing gallery visitors to uncover all of their lies (JK!). My volunteer work is in the arts as well, previously as board member at the Alternator Centre and as a volunteer for Living Things Festival, both in Kelowna. My home campus is Vernon.

Credentials:
MA, Applied Linguistics, Northern Arizona University
MFA, Visual Art, University of British Columbia Okanagan

www.amymodahl.net

Adrian Nieoczym

Communications
Office: Business Building 117
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4582
Communications instructor Adrian Nieoczym

I joined Okanagan College's communications department in 2018 and I teach courses in communications theory and technical writing. Prior to OC, I worked as a journalist for 12 years, including six years at CBC Kelowna. As a freelancer, I produced work for the Tyee, Canadian Press, and the Globe and Mail. For a fun side hustle I covered the Kelowna Rockets for four seasons, attending games and filing stories for a small magazine called Hockey Now. After leaving the media I spent a year working as a communications consultant for the City of Kelowna. These days, my side hustle is providing freelance communications services.

Credentials:
MA, Cultural Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

Michael Saad

Communications
Office: Faculty Office 100
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4447
Head shot of Michael Saad, Communications instructor

I have had the pleasure of teaching at Okanagan College since 2015. My research interests have centred on identity development, relationship dynamics and social tie theory through digital social media. I also actively research the technoself, which examines how people’s digital identity is increasingly influencing their decisions in real-world communication. Prior to teaching at OC, I taught Advertising, Public Relations and Communications at Canadore College and Nipissing University. I have also worked extensively in communications and stakeholder relations in the post-secondary and non-profit sectors. Outside the classroom, I enjoy fitness, carpentry, entrepreneurial endeavors and being disappointed by the Blue Jays.

Credentials:
MA, Communication Studies, University of Ottawa
BA (Hons), Communication Studies, Laurentian Unviersity
Diploma in Advertising, Georgian College

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