Allan Coyle and Nick Melemenis OCAA
Alumni Association honours essential workers; provides support to next generation

April 12, 2021

For 18 years, the Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) has honoured OC graduates whose extraordinary contributions have positively impacted those close to home and around the world. In a year like no other and for the first time in the awards’ history, the OCAA is celebrating multiple recipients of this prestigious award: essential workers. “This year we decided to do things a little differently and honour all alumni who have been working hard in our community to keep us all safe,” says OCAA Vice President Nick Melemenis. “This pandem...

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Vanessa Marshall (right) practicing her skills on fellow Therapist Assistant student Hannah Koch
Long connection inspires major gift by Friesen family

March 22, 2021

A decades-long connection to Okanagan College and a desire to give back to community is inspiring a $150,000 donation by the Friesen family to the Okanagan College Foundation. The family gift will support the Our Students, Your Health campaign to complete and equip the College’s new Health Sciences Centre on the Kelowna campus. The gift reflects a strong connection to the College. Dianne Friesen worked at Okanagan College in the mid-1970s. In 1984, her husband Rod started Voyager RV and their son Jason who is running the business is gratefu...

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First-year nursing student, Katelyn McGillivray
Retired nurse donates $50k to Health Sciences Centre

March 11, 2021

Many things have changed since Delphine Stone went to nursing school more than 60 years ago, but she’s sure one element still holds true: the positive role education plays in one’s life. In honour of the value of education, Stone is donating $50,000 to the Our Students, Your Health campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre on the Kelowna campus. “Education really changed my life,” recalls Stone, who was the youngest of 11 children and grew up on a farm near Battleford, Saskatchewan. Stone remembers receiving a $100 award from the Hospita...

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Kinesiology alumnus Jordan Boultbee, during his time as a Penticton Vees hockey player.
Meet Jordan Boultbee, Kinesiology student

February 9, 2021

Q: What’s your hometown? A: Penticton, British Columbia. Q: How did you end up at Okanagan College? A: I first began at Okanagan College, back in 2013 the year following my graduation. I was playing junior hockey for the Penticton Vees, but wanted to keep my mind sharp, so I enrolled in a few college-level courses. I returned to Okanagan College around 2015 in the Trades program, before finally realizing my passion and enrolling in the Human Kinetics program in 2018. Q: How did you...

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Kinesiology alumnus Ty Sideroff stands with his mountain bike with Skaha Lake in the view behind.
Meet Ty Sideroff, Kinesiology student

February 9, 2021

Q: What’s your hometown? A: I was born and raised in Summerland. Q: How did you end up at Okanagan College? A: Exiting high school, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I felt that the Okanagan College in Penticton was a low-risk, high-reward option. Staying local was important to me, but it was also hard to argue with small class sizes, hands-on labs and affordable tuition. Q: How did you choose your program? A: I’ve always been fascinated by the human body and how it works. The ...

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Jim Hodgson and Joy Bianco
Giving to the health of the community

January 29, 2021

A retired Kelowna couple are donating $30,000 to Okanagan College’s Health Sciences Centre to support the health of the community. Jim Hodgson and Joy Bianco are supporting the Our Students and Your Health Campaign with a gift they say recognizes their passion for the Okanagan. “Kelowna is a beautiful place. We’ve seen so many changes here for the positive, and it’s feels good to support the community,” says Bianco, who was born in Kelowna but spent her formative years in Vancouver. Bianco adds education has always been central to her fami...

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Headshot of Practical Nursing Instructor Pamela Rouse with "Meet Your Instructor" text overlain
Meet Pamela Rouse, Practical Nursing instructor

January 4, 2021

What is your education and experience? I was born in Vancouver and lived there until I moved to the Okanagan with my husband and two teenage children in 2010. I attended UBC and achieved my BScN and then specialized in orthopedics and adolescent medical/surgical care at B.C. Children’s Hospital. I worked there for 20 years prior to starting my teaching career in the Practical Nursing program at Vancouver Community College. I began working at OC on a term instructor basis in 2011 an...

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Screenshot of five panelists talking on a call
OC’s Thurnheer sheds light on lessons from the pandemic in CPHR virtual roundtable

December 8, 2020

Laura Thurnheer, Okanagan College’s Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health, was one of four panelists on the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) Canada virtual roundtable on Dec. 1. Titled, “In Conversation with HR Leaders,” the session saw human resources specialists from across Canada discuss next steps on workplace recovery from the pandemic, asking crucial questions around changes made in light of the pandemic, mental health and attracting and engaging talent. With close to 300 attendees, the event also gave thos...

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HCA student
Revelstoke, Vernon student access improves with special Health Care Assistant program intake

November 23, 2020

Training for one of B.C.’s most in-demand professions is coming to Revelstoke and Vernon this January, in a special intake designed to make the most of Okanagan College’s blended learning opportunities. “The need for health care assistants across B.C. has never been greater. Join the frontlines and be a health-care hero for our most vulnerable citizens while also building a career for yourself,” said Sandra Hohmann, Recruiter, Interior Health. The intake will feature OC’s signature hands-on learning in labs, allowing students to build their...

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Student Mariah Perry stands in the Kelowna campus courtyard clutching her backpack in nursing scrubs
Meet Mariah Perry

November 19, 2020

Tell us your full name! Mariah Perry What did you study at OC? I took the Practical Nursing Diploma program in Kelowna and graduated in June of 2019. What did you enjoy most about your program? There were so many things I loved about the Practical Nursing program. I loved how fast it was. It took just less than two years to complete and it was very reassuring knowing that once I graduated there were so many job opportunities out there that I could start right away. I was very fortu...

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Health Care Assistant Info Night

November 17, 2020

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Erin, Kim and Mike Jacobs
Jacobs support frontline health care education with a major gift

November 13, 2020

Touring Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre and seeing the modern education spaces that will help attract and retain health care professionals compelled a well-known Kelowna family to give a major gift. Mike and Kim Jacobs are donating $80,000 to the Our Students, Your Health campaign to support the completion of the $18.9 million Health Sciences Centre. The state-of-the-art Centre will educate eight frontline health care professions. “It’s incredible to see such a modern facility with all the technology and great detail put into ...

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Health Care Assistant graduate Jacquie Thom
Student has clear vision to graduate as Health Care Assistant

October 27, 2020

Fifty-two-year-old Jacquie Thom can feel victorious as she graduates as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) from Okanagan College this month. Thom is legally blind and was born with an eye condition called coloboma. She describes her vision as blurry and like seeing through a tunnel. Yet despite her vision impairment, she was inspired to pursue a career caring for the elderly after taking care of her parents when they were palliative. “Supporting my parents showed me that it is such an honour to help someone through that period of time just befor...

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Health Care Assistants thankful for bursary support

September 14, 2020

Twenty-three-year-old Shoshanna Fremont works the night shift as a Care Aide at a local long-term care home, a shift she loves as it gives her an opportunity to provide precious one-on-one time with residents who are up during the night. “When you get them a glass of water and take the time to hold their hand, especially when they can’t have many visitors, their entire mood changes,” says Fremont. “When I go home I take comfort that I took care of people today, I made them smile, or helped in whatever way I could.” Fremont is one of eight...

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Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation
Major Rotary gift supports nursing education

August 10, 2020

A $100,000 gift from the Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation Reichwald Fund will support the education of Registered Nurses (RNs) at Kelowna’s major post-secondary institutions. Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) are each receiving $50,000 to support high-quality skills training and provide financial support for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. “We are thrilled to support our future health care workers in Kelowna and throughout the Valley,” says Catherine Comben, Rotary Club of...

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Fawn Herrington and her daughter Jaden Lee
Generations of care, Human Service Work students filling sought-after profession

July 28, 2020

Though still a relative newcomer to the profession, OC graduate Fawn Herrington is passionate about her work in the social services field. After navigating the end of a job as a dental assistant, she felt the need in 2014 to take an online career assessment. That pointed her in the direction of human service work, and she enrolled in Okanagan College’s Human Service Work diploma, graduating two years later in 2016. Now – witness to her mom’s career – Fawn’s daughter Jaden Lee is set to take the same two-year program this September. “I felt...

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