Connections 2022

Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24

Connections is an annual conference organized by employees for employees. It is about connecting face-to-face with colleagues from different departments and campuses, and celebrating the strengths and diversity of the people who work here through interactive social activities and fun informative workshops.

Join your colleagues on either Aug. 23 or 24 at Okanagan College's 16th Annual Employee Learning Conference. Hear from your President about what's happening at Okanagan College and check out some workshops.

Schedule of the day's events

8:15 - 9 a.m. Registration at the Kelowna campus
9:15 - 10:15 a.m. Opening Remarks and OC Updates - President Neil Fassina
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Learning Session #1
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch - provided by The Broken Anchor, The Wagon and Fezzies. Stay tuned for more details
12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Learning Session #2
2 - 3 p.m. Learning Session #3
3 - 4:30 p.m. Connections Social

Session descriptions

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Learning Session 1 descriptions

Presented by: Beverlie Dietze

Audience: General

Description: This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to walk through my whimsical gardens. This will be an off site workshop taking participants to the upper mission. Note - participants may require a vehicle to attend this session.

Presented by: Joanne Poole

Audience: Instructional

Description: Autism is like looking through a kaleidoscope lens. So much is going on in the environment, but not all of it makes sense. Learn practical strategies to simplify and clarify to help the student understand the information. 

Presented by: Pamela Nelson and Robert Ryan

Audience: General

Description: This is a special 3-part hands-on workshop where you will engage in a design thinking approach to a real-world challenge. Learn how to solve challenges by thinking DiFferEntlY. After this workshop you will understand how you can apply the design thinking approach to any real-world challenge across all disciplines. Time will fly by quickly in this active, fun, hands-on workshop.

Presenters: Kevin Douglas and Ryan Ransom

Audience: General

Description: Witnessing a total solar eclipse is one of the most captivating celestial events a human being can experience. In this session, College professors with an astronomy background will regale you with the science behind lunar and solar eclipses, relive their own solar eclipse experiences, and help you get ready to see the NEXT BIG ONE.

Presented by: Arthur Bakx

Audience: General 

Description: We all know that nature isn't just in parks or the backcountry. But do you ever take the time to notice the other life forms around you? In this casual workshop, we will go on a slow walk around campus and to a nearby wetland to connect with our (non-human) community.

Presented by: Meri Kim Oliver, Jenn Gorman, Teresa Kisilevich, Shani Herath

Audience: General

Description: This will be a workshop on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (EDISJ) at Okanagan College. The EDISJ Project Team will go over what steps are being taken at OC, what the next steps are, and how everyone at OC can be involved in the process.

Presented by: Lindsay Wilson

Audience: Instructional

Description: Talis Aspire, a resource list system licensed by the library, allows you to seamlessly integrate e-books, academic articles, websites, streaming videos, OERs and book chapters into a list, while also managing copyright restrictions. Design a list for your course or for your own research, and come away from this session with a resource list ready for your next course. 

Presented by: Jim Nastos

Audience: General

Description: Do you take photos of the natural world around you? Maybe you have lots of images that you would like organized in some way... say chronologically or geographically or even taxonomically. Do you have pictures of a pretty flower or a butterfly and wondered what species it is? iNaturalist is a website that can help with all these things. Or if you aren't the type to keep a photo log of our outings, maybe you have an interest in birds or of trees and would like to see ones from certain areas at certain times of the year. Or maybe you know footprints so well that you can identify what animal made them upon sight. iNaturalist is a website that supports all these hobbies. Learn about the free crowd-sourced project that is iNaturalist and how it can bring the flora and fauna of any part of the world to your screen, how you can get your pictures identified, how it all contributes to research data for biologists, ecologists, conservationists, and also provides training data for a machine learning engine that will eventually learn to taxonomically identify a photo as well as humans.

Presented by: Joanne Stacey

Audience: General

Description: Do you love music? Have a way with words? Now it's your chance to be part of a group songwriting session! All welcome, no singing required. 

Presented by: Kathryn Truant, Tammie Barry, Lorna McFadden, Nina Lesage

Audience: General

Description: Come learn in our new fully operational Dental Clinic in the Health Sciences Centre! Brushing and flossing can be challenging for young children and grandchildren, family members with limited dexterity, or elderly parents and grandparents that need a little extra help. This workshop offers tips, tricks, and tools for the people who are providing oral heath care for members of their own family.

Presented by: Terrina Barsalou

Audience: General

Description: Move over, Hallmark! There's a new crew in town who will be taking over the card-making industry. In this workshop, participants will create their own greeting cards using a variety of tools of the trade: paper trimmers, punches, stamps and even a Big Shot machine for embossing and die cutting. Take your creations home and make someone's day by presenting them a homemade work of art. No previous experience necessary, and all supplies are provided.

Presented by: Jeremy Beaulne

Audience: General

Description: Interested in getting involved with the Red Dot Players, Okanagan College’s community theatre company? This workshop will give you a taste of the rehearsal process, from the table read to the initial blocking. Participants will rehearse an excerpt from Folk Tales: Grimm & Otherwise by Mike Minions, the Red Dot Players' Fall 2022 production.

Description: Mystery Session A12 and B12 is a two-part series: If you select Mystery Session A12, you need to select Mystery Session B12 as well.

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Learning Session 2 descriptions

Presented by: Joanne Poole

Audience: Instructional

Description: Anxiety creates temporary changes in the brain's ability to think, remember and respond. Let's share and discuss some practical strategies related to anxiety-based impacts on learning and apply these to strategies for teaching. 

Presented by: Pamela Nelson and Robert Ryan

Audience: General

Description: This is a special 3-part hands-on workshop where you will engage in a design thinking approach to a real-world challenge. Learn how to solve challenges by thinking DiFferEntlY. After this workshop you will understand how you can apply the design thinking approach to any real-world challenge across all disciplines. Time will fly by quickly in this active, fun, hands-on workshop.

Presented by: Brett Wade, PT & Siri Marken, OT

Audience: General 

Description: Learn some tools to mitigate the adverse effects of sitting and acute effects of stress. Sitting and stress are common and unavoidable parts of our lives. In themselves, they are neither good nor bad but finding balance is the key. You will learn some easy, practical, and lifelong strategies that can be done anywhere and by anyone. You will also learn how to use acute stress to your advantage and how to prevent chronic stress from causing negative health effects.

Presented by: Laura Thurnheer

Audience: General

Description: Are you interested in volunteering but wish to use your brain instead of your hands? Interested in governance and how volunteer organizations are designed and volunteer boards function? Join me to discuss how to become involved with not-for-profit community groups and gain a seat at the decision making table. Learn what you can gain personally and how you can better serve the community where you live, work and play.

Presented by: Mike Hazen

Audience: General

Description: RRSPs, TFSAs, Paying down your mortgage... Have you ever wondered which would be best for you? In this fun and interactive workshop we will explore all three in a safe, controlled environment!

Presented by: Flora Cheng & Dr. Susan Thomas

Audience: Instructional

Description: In this talk, Flora and Susan will share their ‘lived experiences’ - observations, conversations, and preliminary data gathered throughout a combined 25 years of teaching non-native English speakers in college and university classrooms. As multilingual immigrants themselves, they can relate to some of the challenges international students are facing, and share teaching techniques and insights on how to relate with students and get results. Past studies in this area carried out by the presenters will be shared. This session will also include an open dialogue from participants to share their experiences and teaching techniques in understanding the increasingly diverse student population here at Okanagan College.

Presented by: Heather Carson

Audience: General

Description: Life is better with a walk in the park. Come invigorate your soul at either Guisachan park or Fascieux Creek and learn the work benefits for having a daily Get Active break. 

Presented by: Petya, Sakura, Jade, Louis, Melanie

Audience: Instructional

Description: 15% of Okanagan College students are international, and more OC domestic students are going on exchanges. Find out where international students come from, where domestic students can go, and how you are an integral part of their experiences.

Presented by: Kate Sidlar

Audience: General

Description: If you've never thought about the living world under your feet, then you'll be amazed at what there is to discover! From microscopic spores to the world's biggest living organism, from zombie ants to tree communication lines, fungi are masters at interactions that make ecosystems go round! You will leave this fun and informative talk with a completely new outlook on fungi in nature.

Presented by: Natalie Hordichuk

Audience: General

Description: Tired of that awful smell coming from your kitchen trash? The accumulation of strawberry tops, banana peels, broccoli stalks, lettuce leaves, onion trimmings, and plate scrapings produce an unpleasant – and unusable – collection of waste. Introducing the red wiggler worm. Goodbye smelly kitchen garbage! That’s right, worms eat my garbage. Anyone can do it. Attend this session to learn how.

Presented by: Casey King

Audience: General

Description: A guide for maintaining your home will be discussed with a checklist to keep up to date with important things you need to know to keep your home happy. We will go over a variety of things that are often overlooked and sometimes neglected followed by a question and answer period for anything you would like to know. Tips and tricks to keep your home in good working order for a safe and healthy living space!

Presented by: Howard Hisdal

Audience: General

Description: Join the Classic Greek Phalanx and fight for Athenian freedom! Join the Macedonian Phalanx and conquer the world with Alexander! Join the Roman Legion and fight for the Republic! This is a look at warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World and the development of the Western Way of War with a hands on re-enactment component.

Presented by: Andrew Duffy

Audience: General

Description: Basic Introduction to 3D printing

Presented by: Jeanette Merrick with T.R.E.E.S.

Audience: General

Description: Different plants appreciate different soils, moisture and environmental preferences. Simplest answer for outdoor gardening in the Okanagan: know your soil. Combining common characteristics of drought tolerant plants and appropriate soils for healthy, happy and drought resistant urban landscape plants.

Description: Mystery Session A12 and B12 is a two-part series: If you select Mystery Session A12, you need to select Mystery Session B12 as well.

2 - 3 p.m. Learning Session 3 descriptions

Presented by: Pamela Nelson and Robert Ryan

Audience: General

Description: This is a special 3-part hands-on workshop where you will engage in a design thinking approach to a real-world challenge. Learn how to solve challenges by thinking DiFferEntlY. After this workshop you will understand how you can apply the design thinking approach to any real-world challenge across all disciplines. Part 1 and Part 2 are 75 minutes each, but the time will fly by quickly in this active, fun, hands-on workshop.

Presented by: Shani Herath and Perpetuah Muthui

Audience: Instructional

Description: While, as students, staff, or faculty, we strive to be the best community members that we can, there are biases we all hold; biases we may not even be aware of! Come join us for a one-hour workshop and learn about it! 

Presented by: Jessica Bourelle

Audience: General

Description: We are often reminded of simple needs such as to drink more water. Another need, and something we forget to consciously practice, is to breathe! Duh! We need air! At this session, reconnect to the power of your breath and find that the clouds of your busy brain lift away. 

Presented by: Rick Montagnon

Audience: General

Description: Get a bird's eye-view of search and rescue. CASARA is a Canada-wide volunteer aviation search association. Volunteers are tasked to search for missing aircraft, assisting with ground search and rescues, and the transportation of key personnel from one location to another.  In this workshop we will talk about how CASARA works and how we train. We will also share stories on some of the tasking that that we have been involved in, ground searches, and missing aircraft.

Presented by: Alex Kortzman

Audience: Instructional

Description: Let's take a look at ergonomic practices that will improve your health and well being while maximizing your productivity. Together we'll explore… How does your workstation measure up? Would you do this at work? Why am I tired?

Presented by: Ross Tyner

Audience: Instructional

Description: Attention OCFA employees: Did you know you might be able to receive up to $4,000 per year from the College to help support your research, creative and scholarly activity? Learn more about the Grants-in-Aid (GIA) fund in this Q&A session with GIA Committee Chair, Ross Tyner.

Presented by: John Caspers

Audience: General

Description: Wondering what kind of items you need when you go hiking or camping in the woods? This workshop will give you some good advice on what are must haves and what are nice to have.

Presented by: Jonathan Rouse

Audience: General

Description: The influence of terroir on the taste and characteristics of wine. Different wine regions will be introduced and explored to better understand the role of terroir on wine. 

Presented by: Terry Scarborough

Audience: General

Description: This presentation examines the technical and theoretical elements involved in writing ghost stories. We will explore a few of the narrative techniques and psychological responses involved in the creation and consumption of horror.

Presented by: Kyleen Myrah

Audience: General

Description: During this interactive session, we will explore the components that make up emotional intelligence (EI), debrief your EI self-assessment, and explore strategies for your own personal development. Whether you are in a leadership position, working in teams, or developing your followership abilities, improving your own self-awareness is the first step to enhancing your emotional intelligence, and creating more satisfying personal and professional relationships. 

Presented by: Terrina Barsalou

Audience: Instructional

Description: Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is a type of experiential education that formally integrates a student's academic studies with quality experiences within a workplace or practice setting. Many people have heard of Apprenticeship, Co-op work terms, and Professional Practicums/Clinical Placements, but did you know there are six other forms of WIL such as Service Learning, Work Experience and Community and Industry Research & Projects? The WIL@OC project has been documenting the multitude of WIL experiences across all of our campuses, and this informative workshop will present findings and showcase specific examples from a variety of disciplines and programs.

Description: Mystery Session

Presented by: David Birch

Audience: Informative

Description: Ever wonder why you keep getting those annoying emails or texts that want you to respond to prevent your account from being de-activated, download an important document you never asked for, or promise you a rich Aunt's inheritance.. all you need to do is provide your password and bank info, click here...

 Or, ever wonder if your passwords or personal information are out there from a data breach and how someone knows so much about you?

 Or, maybe you're seeing strange transactions on your credit card, and wonder how that's possible?

 This is a journey into why these things happen, insight into the mind of a hacker and some of the techniques they use to find and use your accounts and information.

Then, we'll discuss some tips, tools and habits you can use to keep yourself safe online, and things you can do to keep your accounts and information secure.

Registration

Register for Connections on either Aug. 23 or 24 by Sunday, August 7

Connections 2021 video