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Campus Life - Okanagan

The Phoenix back on campus

Several months of less than ideal conditions later, the student-run UBC Okanagan newspaper is back on campus.

After 25 years on campus, money issues forced The Phoenix into the editor's Rutland living room last August.

Months of deficits left the paper in the red, but it returned to campus in November.

“We are back, we are alive, and we are happy to back,” says news editor Alex Barberis. “Everything is going very smoothly. We are producing a paper like we are supposed to be, and we produced a balanced budget, so everything is operations as usual.”

The paper now shares its office with the new UBCO radio station.

Prior to the radio station's creation, the paper received all funding from the media fee charged to UBCO students; money they now share with the radio station.

The paper receives a larger chunk, but the change still cut its financing significantly, forcing cuts to be made.

“We still have to make up for it in external ad sales. We've had to cut a few issues and we have cut back pay, honorariums, to make sure we don't have a deficit as large as last year,” says Barberis.

Previously, The Phoenix produced 14 publications a year, but with the cuts they are looking at 10-12 this year.


MacQuarrie Institute Lecture Series

Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College will host the second lecture in its MacQuarrie Institute series when systems ecologist Barry Wilson presents, System Ecology: Holistic Planning for Today and Tomorrow at the Salmar Classic Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. 

Wilson will be joined by Dave Ramsay, Vice President of BC Tomorrow Society and teacher at Salmon Arm Secondary, in a presentation that will focus on a holistic approach to land use that encompasses a common vision for the future. 

Using recent examples such as the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, Wilson and Ramsay will provide an approach to land use that moves beyond confrontation and instead creates synergies and innovative solutions. 

Wilson and Ramsay will also share information about an initiative they are spearheading that will bring systems ecology education into classrooms across the province. 

The event is by donation and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Anyone who would like to guarantee a seat for the lecture can purchase a ticket at the College’s Salmon Arm campus or at Wearabouts. The cost is $2. 

BC Tomorrow is a not-for-profit society that is building an online landscape simulator that will enable students to engage in an interactive exploration of land use in local watersheds, develop critical thinking skills, and improve their understanding of system dynamics.

New classes of welders help address South Okanagan demand

Okanagan College Media Release

Two new classes of welding students being taught by Okanagan College should help address employer and student demand for the trade, according to South Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Dean Donna Lomas.

“We’ve heard from employers – both those who have businesses in Penticton and the South Okanagan and those who are further afield – about the need for welders,” says Lomas. “With support from industry, and from the government, we’ve been able to organize two new intakes of students that start in February.”

There will be 16 students in each intake, adding 32 welders to the more than 110 the College has already taught in Penticton, since it started offering welding in 2007.

Penticton Fabricating President Brad Harder is among those industry representatives who see the need for welding programs in Penticton. Right now, he has about 17 welders working for him – many have come from the Okanagan College programs. 

“One of the major hurdles that we face is access to training for welders,” says Harder, who also sits on the College’s Program Advisory Committee for welding. “I know of several people who would like to become welders but are not able to leave Penticton to get the required training. It’s why news of these two classes is very welcome.”

Filling the classes isn’t a problem, says Lomas. 

“We’re already there, but we are anticipating more classes in the future, so if anyone is interested, they ought to visit our website and apply as new sections become available. 

And even if oil patch prospects have been dimmed by falling oil prices, there is still demand for welders, says Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. 

“Whether it is ship-building, fabricating, or manufacturing, there is intense employer demand for welders,” he notes. “All you have to do is look at the demographics of the trades to see there is a silver tsunami of retirements on the horizon.”

Lomas, for one, is thankful that Okanagan College took a different approach to trades training after the change from OUC in 2005. It was then that the College started to disperse trades training to campuses other than Kelowna. 

“We have really benefitted in this area,” she says. “We’ve brought in programs in refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic, welding, plumbing, residential construction, women in trades, gateway to the trades and electrical. We’ve also added a new three-year diploma program in Sustainable Construction Management Technology, a program that is unique in British Columbia.”

For more information about programs being offered by the College in the South Okanagan and Similkameen, you can visit the campus’s webpage at


New Year, new research offers hope for curbing old habits

Mary Jung, assistant professor with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

Mary Jung, assistant professor with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

UBC prof. provides five tactics for sticking with a healthy exercise routine

How are those resolutions working out for you? Research shows that by a few weeks into January, most people who made resolutions at the New Year have already given up.

If your resolution to hit the gym more frequently lasted barely a week, don’t worry—you’re not alone.

The good news is that Mary Jung, an assistant professor with UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, is finding results to help people stick with their exercise routine. The findings in Jung’s recently published research project, Where Does HIT Fit? could be just what the doctor ordered for a global health market pushing $30 billion a year.

HIT—short for high-intensity training—involves short bursts of activity with periods of rest. It has been touted as a time-efficient, novel alternative to conventional no-pain-no-gain exercise. Jung was intrigued to know how people actually respond to HIT psychologically, and whether people would actually do it when not under the guise of a research study.

“Several exercise physiologists were conducting studies and demonstrating how effective HIT was at improving fitness,” she says. “After seeing such promising results, I wanted to see whether it was an attractive long-term exercise option—and whether or not people enjoyed it.”

Jung has several research projects on the go, all related to exercise or sticking to that exercise routine. Last year, she was awarded a $450,000 five-year Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award that will contribute to her work into social cognitive theory.

“We know that exercise is good for us, but many still do not do it because we prefer immediate gratification such as sitting down and watching TV, or we fear that we may not be able to do it,” Jung says.

Jung is using social cognitive theory as part of her research to develop and test novel, feasible, and translatable self-regulatory training techniques. Her theory is that brief social interventions will provide a practical and feasible means to bolster self-regulatory skills necessary for long-term adherence to physical activity.

Rather than just telling people to start exercising, Jung teaches them how to self-regulate exercise so that they can exercise on their own for years to come. Participants learn key self-regulatory skills, including bolstering self-confidence to overcome barriers, goal-setting, and learning how to self-monitor their progress.

So far, the results are promising. Current research participant Beth Jardine feels like she has a new lease on life. She was no stranger to the common barriers to exercising, having given up several well-intentioned attempts to exercise regularly.

“I am proud of myself,” Jardine says, having continued with the program since starting four months ago.

Jung says her great reward is seeing participants’ success as “independent exercisers.”

“We get to say, ‘You did that all on your own!’ Believing in yourself and your capabilities is more influential than any barrier placed in your way.”

To learn more about Jung and her research, visit


Asst. Prof. Mary Jung breaks down her research into her top five tactics for adhering to exercise.

Reward yourself for every step you make towards achieving your long-term goal

“Rewards motivate you and reinforce goal-related behaviour in the short-term,” Jung says. Rewards promote consistency, which Jung identifies as key to success for adhering to health behaviours.

Avoid comparisons

Jung shares how comparisons can be demotivating; they devalue what you accomplish. “Focus on being the best you rather than looking like someone or fitting into a particular size,” she says. “If we rely on inaccurate misperceptions, we can’t appreciate our own progress.”

Be kind to yourself

“Please, please be self-compassionate,” Jung says. “Self-loathing will lead you directly to giving up.”

Jung adds it also leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. There will be setbacks—you will need a day off here and there, and that is to be expected. Jung knows this is harder than it sounds, but recommends keeping track of both successes and failures because it can help you identify patterns and remove obstacles.

Exercise in the morning

Jung says research from her lab has demonstrated that plans to exercise in the morning are much more likely to lead to exercise than plans made in the afternoon. “Your self-regulatory reserve is highest in the morning, and it is much less likely that barriers will pop up on you at 6 am!”

Believe in yourself

It might sound trite but Jung assures that you can stick to your new exercise plan: “If you think you can, you can.” Research shows you are more likely to persist through challenges, she says. “You will give more effort, you will set loftier goals, and most importantly you’re most likely to carry out those plans if you stop doubting yourself and start thinking ‘yes I can.’”


Local ingredients and students play lead roles in Infusions’ Wine and Dine menu

Okanagan College Media Release

Chefs in Training Jan 2015The commitment to support B.C.’s farmers, food industry and wineries shines through in this year’s Wine and Dine menu at Okanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant on the Kelowna Campus. 

Sustainably-sourced crab from the Coast is featured in the crispy crab spring roll starter, pears from Hazeldell Orchards in Kelowna make up a fruit sorbet intermezzo, Enderby pork stars in the entrée and butternut squash from Aldergrove makes an appearance in the dessert. 

The local flavour to the menu isn’t just about geography and consumers. It’s also – importantly – about the chefs in training, explains Chef Bernard Casavant, Okanagan College’s Culinary Manager. 

“For the students, working with local ingredients not only turns a page, but it opens up a whole new chapter in learning about the farm to table movement,” he said. “People come to the Okanagan for a taste of the Okanagan.”

While it’s more of a challenge during the winter, the College tries to source as many local ingredients as possible for use in its kitchens, including turning to the freshest seafood available from the Coast. 

This emphasis on gaining hands-on experience with a variety of local ingredients extends from the classroom kitchens to the restaurant. The College’s chef instructors regularly bring in items such as whole boars from the Okanagan and fresh octopus, sea urchin and rockfish from the Coast for the students to work with. 

With guidance from Okanagan College Chef Jim Armstrong, the Culinary Arts students do all the prep work in the Infusions Restaurant kitchen and offer their input on the plating of the dishes. 

Students also partake in wine tastings to learn about pairings. Each course on the Infusions’ menu for Wine and Dine Thompson/Okanagan (which runs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 11) comes with a local wine pairing at an additional charge.

Infusions Restaurant will offer its Wine and Dine menu Tuesdays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until Feb. 11. Infusions is open to the public, staff and students most of the year over the lunch hour and in the evenings from Tuesday to Friday. To view the full menu or to make a reservation, visit

College half marathon set for March 29, registration now open

Okanagan College Media Release

Registration is now open for the 2015 Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay Race, with this year’s running events takingChristina Corral 2 place on Sunday, March 29 in Kelowna. 

The race has grown steadily over the past decade and has adapted to offer a variety of distances and fun events to encourage participation from every type of runner – from newbies to corporate challenge teams to competitive racers. 

The event, which raises money to support College students involved in recreation and athletics, has a long and proud history in the Okanagan thanks to the great support it has received from local runners and volunteers. 

“We have fine-tuned the race over the past few years and are pleased to offer a really great course with excellent support along the way,” said race director Christine Ulmer. “Every year I have runners tell me our volunteers make the race really special for them. I have to agree, we have the most enthusiastic crowds at our water stations and our course marshals are there every step of the way to keep runners on course and give them that extra boost of encouragement.” 

The races begin at 8 (10 K) and 8:15 a.m. (half marathon and relay) at the KLO Road campus of Okanagan College. 

The half marathon course will cover 21.1 kms of Kelowna pavement, taking runners along the Abbott corridor into City Park and will turn around atop the first hill on Knox Mountain. Runners will make their way back along the waterfront to Gyro Beach, across Lakeshore and finish back at the KLO campus.

For new runners or those looking for a shorter distance, the relay race covers the same course as the half marathon and allows up to five runners to participate in segments of approximately 4 km each. 

Back for a sixth year is the popular 10 km route, which will take runners along the same first and last portions of the half marathon course with a turnaround in City Park. 

Prize money will be offered to the top three finishers in the male and female division of the half marathon. On each side, first place will receive $250, second place will take $150 and the third place finisher will receive $100. Prizes will also be offered to winners of the 10 km and relay portion of the race. 

Any non-runners wishing to be involved with the race can lend their time as race volunteers or course marshals, explained Ulmer. 

“There’s no experience necessary, just some common sense, enthusiasm and a desire to help out.”

To register, find out more about the course or to view entry fee deadlines, visit:

To volunteer, contact Michelle Lowry at 250-762-5445 ext. 4649 or at [email protected].

Award-winning Jay Ingram speaks about the science of Alzheimer’s

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series tackles mystery of the tragic illness

Jay Ingram describes Alzheimer’s as a wicked disease that society has ignored for too long. While much research has been done on memory loss, the cruelty of Alzheimer’s is the tragic effect it has on the life of the patient, and how it devastates those left to care for a person who no longer knows who they are.

In his latest book, The End of Memory, the award-winning science author explores the mystery of Alzheimer’s and how it attacks the brain. And he raises valid questions: where did it come from? Why weren’t we talking about it 50 years ago? Do we understand what is really going on in a patient’s afflicted brain?

German neurologist Alois Alzheimer first diagnosed the disease in 1906. While it’s been recognized for decades, Ingram argues research money set aside for Alzheimer’s still trails far behind funding for other deadly illnesses such as cancer and lung disease. And as society continues to live longer than previous generations, more and more people will be diagnosed and begin the long, lonely demise of Alzheimer’s.

Ingram says it’s time for a rethink on how we deal with Alzheimer’s. Being informed, he says, is a good thing and his goal with his new book is to help people understand the disease. Ingram will unravel some of the mystery of Alzheimer’s at UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series in Kelowna on Wednesday, February 25.

Ingram is an iconic Canadian writer and broadcaster, hosting several shows including CBC’s Quirks and Quarks and Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet. His book The End of Memory: A Natural history of Alzheimer’s disease will be available for sale and signing at the Distinguished Speaker Series event.

The Science of Alzheimer’s is presented by UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, and takes place at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m.

Registration is required:


UBC’s Recreation team lands professional western conference

Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference comes to the Okanagan

UBC Okanagan’s Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate and Heat soccer player Logan Ellis in the Hangar.

UBC Okanagan’s Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate and Heat soccer player Logan Ellis in the Hangar.

The Recreation staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus will show off brand-new facilities, the campus, and Kelowna’s highlights as host of the Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference next week.

Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate says the conference, January 29 to 31, gives the university an opportunity to showcase the campus, state-of-the-art recreation equipment, new Hangar fitness centre, and fitness and recreation programming.

But it’s not all fun and games, she says, noting that the annual event brings post-secondary recreational professionals and student leaders from institutions from across Western Canada to share ideas, network, and learn. Workshop topics generally include student leadership, development, personnel management, wellness and fitness programs, intramurals, sport clubs, recreation facility operations, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

“This is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to host an event like this,” says Westgate. “And we’re excited because we have the Hangar as a venue. We are bringing many recreation and fitness professionals from across western Canada to campus—and the location site is perfect.”

In September 2013, UBC officially opened the $4.1-million Hangar Fitness & Wellness Centre. Its name recognizes a $3.5-million gift from the Lapointe family, honouring the employees of Kelowna Flightcraft. Funding for the Hangar came with two specific stipulations: it required an aviation theme, and construction was to be mostly from locally sourced lumber to support the region’s forestry industry.

When the facility opened, UBC was able to double its full-time recreation staff. Westgate’s team was instrumental in significantly increasing recreation and fitness programs that are open for students, faculty, staff, and the community.

The Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference includes a trade show, educational sessions, and the sharing of new ideas within campus recreation. The opening keynote speaker will be Crystal Flaman, local athlete, professional speaker, and social entrepreneur. Kelsey Serwa, Olympic silver medalist, World Champion, and X Games Champion, will speak at the closing event. Serwa is currently a Human Kinetics student at UBC Okanagan.

“Many educational sessions will be student-led with areas of focus being on recreation and fitness trends, intramurals, club sports and staff development,” says Westgate.

UBC Okanagan hosts also plan to showcase some of Kelowna’s highlights, including off-campus activities at Big White Ski Resort, and events at the Coast Capri Hotel and Manteo Resort in Kelowna.


Okanagan College accounting students win international case competition

Okanagan College Media Release

ICBC Jan 2015Two Okanagan College Bachelor of Business Administration accounting students can boast of being the best in the country after claiming top spot at a prestigious international business competition.

Jessica Lenz and Daniel Yarmak, respectively third- and fourth-year business students, competed in the accounting category at Queen’s University Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) held this past weekend, Jan. 15 to 17.

The pair successfully reached the finals by beating out 31 other teams. In the final round they outshone competitors from Simon Fraser University, McGill University, the University of Toronto, Lakehead University and the University of Regina to take first place.

“We are extremely proud of our five student teams who competed in the finals at this year’s I.C.B.C. events, and especially of Jessica and Daniel’s accomplishment,” says Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “I have attended this event in the past and witnessed the impressive calibre of the competitors. Having so many teams progressing to the finals and one team achieving first place demonstrates that our students, professors, and educational programs can compete with the best educational institutions in Canada and beyond.”

“It is rewarding to have received top honours after so many months of hard work,” says Yarmak. Both he and Lenz maintained a full course workload during the preparation. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of our coaches and professors. I was especially grateful to have taken the Applied Corporate Finance course at the College: it included learning about valuation, which ended up being the focus of our simulation case. Gaining a cross-discipline education these past four years with Okanagan College made this win possible.”

The annual I.C.B.C. is recognized as Canada’s longest-running undergraduate case competition with eight events spanning accounting, business policy, ethics, debating, finance, human resources, marketing and management of information systems disciplines. Students are given five and a half hours to review the complex business-problem case within their designated field and prepare a 15-minute presentation for the judging panel comprised of esteemed Queen’s professors and industry professionals.

More than 140 teams competed in the preliminary round, with only 48 teams advancing to the finals. Okanagan College sent the second largest number of students to the event, 10 students—two shy of the leading representation by the University of Calgary.

Following success at the initial preliminary round the students worked with College professors Randy Newton and Margery Heuser as coaches to best prepare for the competition. As part of what turned out to be a winning strategy, the coaches engaged the broader Okanagan College community, inviting alumni who had competed previously to provide practice-round judging simulations. 

“The experience only helps me feel even more prepared for the start of my career,” says Lenz, who hopes to continue on to earn a CPA designation. “From the practices to the actual case, it was very similar to how you would present to a potential client. In practice, one of the alumni told us to remember our audience and that while we are presenting on accounting, it’s not just about numbers. That really helped and we were able to present a qualitative analysis that resonated strongly with the judges.”

“Our excellent team of professors have shown the depth of their commitment to furthering our students’ education,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business, who is also the Vice-Chair of the CGA B.C. Board. “Both Randy and Margery generously gave their time on weekends and over the holidays to support these students, imparting knowledge, giving feedback, and providing positive reinforcement to set them up for success.”

Salt family donation a heavy-duty boost for Okanagan College trades complex campaign

Okanagan College Media Release

A respected auto industry pioneer and family man from the Vernon area has made a heavy duty gift to the campaign to renovate and expand the Trades Training Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna Campus.Art Salt Donation Jan 2015

Art Salt, owner for almost 40 years of Coldstream Auto Wreckers, has donated a Caterpillar ITI8F front-end loader to the College. The loader is worth approximately $60,000 and will provide students in the Heavy Duty Mechanics program with hands-on training experience on a common piece of equipment in the industry. 

When Salt learned that the trades training complex was undergoing a significant expansion, and that the College was searching for equipment to enhance these new shop spaces, he threw his support behind the campaign for the $33-million project. His motivation for donating the loader was simple: he believes the community needs to support up and coming tradespeople.

“These are the next generation of mechanics, right here,” explains Salt, motioning to students at work in the College’s bustling Heavy Duty Mechanics shop, during a recent tour. “We need to help get them going, get them started in their careers.”

“The new trades training complex at our Kelowna campus will elevate the Central Okanagan as a hub for trades education in BC,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Our objective is to get students job-ready by providing state-of-the-art training, equipment, and technology. Mr. Salt’s generous donation supports that mission and will benefit many students for years to come.”

Over the past 20 years, Salt and his family have donated other parts and vehicles, including a Freightliner highway tractor. Salt also gave Okanagan College a front-end loader that required significant amounts of repair, which students then restored as a training experience using parts supplied by Salt; the students returned the loader to him in perfect working order.

“The equipment we’ve been fortunate to receive from donors like Mr. Salt is immensely valuable to our programs,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “It enhances the experience for our foundation students and apprentices, and gives them confidence working with a variety of equipment.”

Salt’s automotive career began in the late 1940s when he purchased a taxi business in Lumby. He then worked as a salesman for Capital Motors before founding Coldstream Auto Wreckers in 1957, specializing in the salvage of light and heavy truck parts. The business became Coldstream Truck Parts in 1994 when Salt sold it to the current owner, his son-in-law Bruce Davies. Davies joined Salt on a recent visit to the Kelowna campus to tour the trades classrooms and shops and to learn more about the plans to expand these spaces, including the building of a new three-story tower that will house more than 2,400 trades students and staff each year. 

Seeing students hard at work in the trades training shops, Salt offered up praise and words of advice:

“The opportunities present themselves. Be open to them. Good breaks will come to you if you take it one step at a time.”

“Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.”

Salt hopes many of the students will be able to find jobs in the Okanagan. “It takes a little luck. But you can do alright anywhere, as long as you work at it.”

The $7-million Bright Horizons, Building for Skills Campaign for the trades training complex expansion launched in October 2014. The campaign team is seeking monetary and in-kind (equipment, tools, etc.) donations to supplement the provincial government’s commitment of $28 million to the project.

When completed in spring of 2016, the new complex will be one of the largest, most sustainable trades training facilities in Western Canada. Okanagan College is currently the second largest trades training institution in BC. To learn more about the campaign’s current needs and opportunities to get involved, please visit

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