College honours Brooks with Distinguished Service Award

By Public Affairs | July 20, 2020
           

Jayne Brooks, Distinguished Service Award recipient
Jayne Brooks, Distinguished Service Award recipient

One of Okanagan College’s longest-serving employees, Dr. Jayne Brooks, will be recognized by the College with the Distinguished Service Award.

“Jayne’s leadership, dedication and commitment to excellence helped to cement the national reputation of the Okanagan School of Business,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Her work to grow partnerships with the business community and other institutions locally, nationally and internationally created a tremendous increase in access and opportunity for students. Furthermore, her constant willingness to help and serve students and her colleagues benefited every corner of the institution, and we’re deeply grateful to Jayne for her service.”

The award recognizes past employees who have given outstanding service to the College, who share and support its mission, vision and values, and are active within and outside the College community.

Brooks began her career at the College teaching business courses in 1981. In the late 1990s she was instrumental in the development of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program, now a cornerstone for the College.

After 20 years in the classroom, she became the Dean of the Faculty of Adult and Continuing Education and then the first Dean of the Okanagan School of Business when it was formed in 2005, positions she held for 10 years. She also served as OC’s inaugural Director of Learning and Teaching, before retiring in 2013.

“Okanagan College has been a huge part of my life,” says Brooks. “I’ve always truly believed it’s a great institution. My education here got me where I wanted to be, and paved the way for a very rewarding career.”

“There are a lot of retired employees deserving of this award, and so to be recognized in this way means a great deal to me. I’m honoured.”

Brooks first walked the halls of the College as a student in the Business Administration Diploma program in 1974, graduating in 1976.

Her studies at OC sparked a lifetime of continued education, including an MBA from McMaster University, a PhD in Education from the University of Texas, Austin, and an MEd in College Administrative Leadership from Simon Fraser University. In addition, she is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and has been honoured as a Fellow of the organization, an FCPA, in recognition of her exceptional service to her community and the profession of accounting.

Brooks was one of the founding members of the Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) and its first President, and was the first recipient of the association’s Distinguished Alumni Award – it’s highest honour – in 2002.

“A lot has changed since I was a student here, but one constant has been that the people have always been wonderful,” says Brooks. “It’s a great place to learn, and a great place to work. The people make it what it is, and I have so many fond memories of working with students and colleagues over the years. Watching students grow, develop and mature, and then seeing them go on to do incredible things in their communities, is so inspiring.”

She has received numerous other awards, including the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award for Career Leadership. She is also the recipient of the Kelowna and District Arts Council’s Honour in the Arts Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Arts in Kelowna.

Brooks has been a long-time supporter of the Okanagan College Foundation. She has also volunteered her services and knowledge to numerous local and national charities and non-profit groups. 

Brooks joins six other past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award: Heather Banham (2019), Rick Gee (2016), John Lent (2014), Catherine Williams (2012), Gary Dickinson (2011) and Lynda Wilson (2010).

Brooks will receive the award when the College is able to host its postponed 2020 spring/summer Convocation ceremonies. Guided by feedback from graduating students, the College has opted to postpone its ceremonies until COVID-19 conditions will allow for the event to be held in-person.



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