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Student wins international award at major conference

UBC student Heather Hackett and her supervisor Assoc. Prof. Glen Foster.

UBC student Heather Hackett and her supervisor Assoc. Prof. Glen Foster.

A fourth-year UBC Okanagan student came away with a top prize at the recent Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego.

Heather Hackett, a School of Health and Exercise Sciences student, attended the annual conference in April, presenting her research on an ultrasound contrast agent that identifies the presence of intra-cardiac and intrapulmonary shunts. Up until now, measuring irregular blood flow within the heart and lungs has has been a challenge. Hackett’s study is among the first to identify a new non-invasive technique to do this, which involves an ultrasound and dye injection procedure. Her poster presentation won the David S. Bruce Undergraduate Abstract Award.

“Being able to present my research at Experimental Biology in San Diego was a highlight of my undergraduate training,” says Hackett. “The award illustrates my commitment to research and helps me realize the importance of continuing to advance science and be a life-long learner.”

Her supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Glen Foster, who teaches in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Science, is thrilled for Hackett’s success, noting the award recognizes the strong research conducted by undergrad students at UBC Okanagan.

“Winning this type of award, highlights the opportunities that UBC Okanagan makes available for undergraduate students to participate in research on an international scale,” he adds.

The annual award goes to the winning undergrad who is submitting their first abstract and research presentation at the annual Experimental Biology event.

Hackett has won a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award and plans to spend the summer working in UBC Okanagan’s Cardiopulmonary Laboratory for Experimental and Applied Physiology.

With more than 97 applicants, six from Canadian universities, Hackett’s project best honored the late David S Bruce in his commitment to promotion of undergraduate student involvement in research. The David Bruce Award is named after a former of professor of physiology at Wheaton College who was committed to promoting undergraduate student involvement in scientific research.


Hamilton to stay as OC President until 2019

Okanagan College Media Release

Jim Hamilton May 2016Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton has accepted an offer to extend his term until October 2019. The longest-serving president in British Columbia’s post-secondary sector, Hamilton has led Okanagan College since 2004.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Jim will stay on as President,” says Connie Denesiuk, Chair of Okanagan College’s Board of Governors. “Over the course of his tenure he has helped the institution develop a well-deserved reputation for accomplishment, growth and service. I’ve witnessed first-hand how well respected he is provincially and nationally.”

“This news will please many of Jim’s colleagues at Okanagan College, and I know it will be welcomed by the sector generally. Jim is respected for his experience and for his insights, demeanour and intelligence.”

Hamilton sees it as an opportunity to continue to complete some ongoing tasks as well as advance important new initiatives.

“I am proud of Okanagan College’s record of success and achievement but I know a lot remains to be done to even better serve the students, employers and community of this region. I am particularly excited about some of the key directions in the College’s recently-completed five-year strategic plan and I want to be part of moving them forward. Those include working with and learning from our indigenous community, increasing our support for key sectors such as wine, food and tourism and technology, and completing a plan that will expand internationalization opportunities for our students and employers.”

Hamilton’s history at Okanagan College started with teaching English in 1980 at what then served as the Vernon Campus: the old Canadian Forces army barracks.

Prior to becoming President, Hamilton was actively engaged in the College, having served as a faculty member, a member of the Okanagan University College Board of Governors, and the Regional Dean of the North Okanagan.

Currently, he is the Board Chair of the BC Council for International Education as well as a board member of Colleges and Institutes Canada, member of the British Columbia Council for Admissions and Transfer, and a Vice Chair of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society. In the past he has been the Chair of the Trades Training Consortium of BC and the Chair of BC Colleges.

During his time as President, Okanagan College enrolments have grown by 43 per cent, exceeding government targets every year. Okanagan College is now one of the largest colleges in BC and the second biggest public trades training institution in the province. Aboriginal student numbers have more than tripled to 1,550, and the College has greatly expanded its services to that population. 

Okanagan College has introduced a host of new programs, grown its profile to address regional and provincial labour force demands and skills needs, and worked closely with industry and employers to make the Okanagan, Shuswap, Similkameen and British Columbia stronger.

With the recent completion of the new Trades Training Complex in Kelowna, Okanagan College has seen more than $100 million in new building and redevelopment at its four major campuses in the last decade. The College has earned a place on the national and world stage for the development of the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation. The building was recently named the greenest building in the post-secondary sector in Canada and boasts a number of national and international awards. The new Trades Complex will also support Okanagan College’s reputation as a leader in sustainability.

“As much as construction and enrolment growth are both good for the local economy, what has given me the greatest satisfaction is the success of our students and how our team has worked together to create more access for more post-secondary options for the people in this region,” Hamilton says.

UBC researchers discover cure for ‘concrete cancer’

UBC's Anant Parghi (left) and Shahria Alam hold up a piece of 'green' concrete and some of the glass that helped make it.

UBC's Anant Parghi (left) and Assoc. Prof. Shahria Alam hold up a piece of 'green' concrete and some of the glass that helped make it.

UBC researchers have found a more reliable way to make concrete from discarded glass.

In a recent study, researchers from UBC’s Okanagan campus were able to calm a chemical reaction that has traditionally caused glass-fed concrete to weaken, expand and crack, a reaction known as concrete cancer.

“Every year, millions of tons of glass bypass recycling centres and end up in North American landfills,” says Assoc. Prof. of Engineering Shahria Alam. “Like many engineers, we are interested in making smarter building materials that can give the construction industry the resources they need without necessarily having to take new resources out of the ground.

“Researchers have been looking for a long time for ways to reliably make use of glass in concrete construction, and we believe that this research represents a significant advancement in that search.”

Concrete cancer occurs when the alkaline properties in cement paste react with silica properties that can occur in recycled concrete additives, such as glass.
In their study, Alam and co-researcher Anant Parghi, found that by adding a water-based, synthetic rubber polymer, fly ash, and silica powder to the concrete mixture, they were able to effectively neutralize negative chemical reactions.

“By partially replacing cement with polymer, fly ash and glass powder, we were able to produce concrete that was more than 60 per cent stronger than what was previously believed possible,” says Parghi. “Though further testing is needed to assess long-term stability, it now looks like we can replace up to 25 per cent of the cement materials that had to be mined for cement production with glass.”

All of the glass used in the study was taken from the landfill in Kelowna, BC and was considered waste at the time it was retrieved. The concrete additives were donated from Kelowna-based company POLYRAP Engineered Concrete Solutions.

Alam and Parghi’s study was recently published in the journal Construction and Building Materials.

Good vibrations: College students launch new venture to change the way we think about sound

Okanagan College Media Release

When it comes to the places where we live, work, learn, and play, how they sound can be just as important as how they look in determining how we will feel about them.

Two Okanagan College students have launched an innovative new business to help the world sound a little better, one room at a time.Pfeifer and Mulloy_AEMP_May 2016

A common interest in recording technology led Alex Pfeifer and Josh Mulloy to the Audio Engineering & Music Production diploma program at Okanagan College from very different paths. Kelowna-born Pfeifer has a fascination with all things technical, while Mulloy, a musician who hails from Calgary, enrolled to better understand the intricacies of studio recording in the hope of amping up a career in the music industry.

The two young men quickly noticed their complementary skill sets came in handy in the studio and out in the field. While conducting an exercise in acoustic analysis (studying how the design and arrangement of a space affect the overall sound experience) a bold idea began to take shape.

“We instantly knew this was something we were passionate about, and brought two very different perspectives to,” says Mulloy. “We looked at each other and said: ‘How can we make a career out of this?’”

They set about founding their own company, first reaching out to the valley’s business owners for feedback.

“We pounded the pavement, knocked on doors, and had extensive conversations with local business leaders in audio and a ton of different other fields,” says Pfeifer. “During that time, and since then, there hasn’t been a single person in the community who hasn’t been supportive and offered advice or encouragement.”

Buoyed by the positive response to their idea, Mulloy and Pfeifer launched Perception Audio Inc. in February. Their website, www.perceptionaudio.ca is currently under construction.

“We specialize in acoustic treatments and analysis for commercial spaces, but that’s just scratching the surface of what we do,” explains Pfeifer, noting that live sound and studio recording is also among their areas of expertise.

“At the end of the day, we want to bring something new and truly unique to the audio scene in BC,” says Mulloy. “We want to change the way people think about sound during all stages and aspects of putting a space together. We spend our lives in these spaces and the way they sound hugely impacts our experience of them.”

One of those offering constant support and encouragement along the way has been instructor Corey Bell, a widely respected audio engineer and musician who, in addition to teaching at the College, remains extremely active in the audio production and recording industry.

“There are so many avenues you can pursue in audio,” says Bell. “Josh and Alex picked an avenue in starting their own business – doing what they love – and their drive to achieve that goal has been nothing short of phenomenal.”

Both students are quick to acknowledge Bell’s support as a factor in their successful startup, which already boasts several projects in development in the coming months.

“We wouldn’t have gotten to this place without Corey’s help,” says Mulloy. “This program has really brought a profound change to both our lives very quickly.”

“We’re very grateful for the opportunity to do what we do, and appreciate the way people have supported us to this point,” says Pfeifer. “We love what we do and get to go to work each day not feeling like we’re going to work but going to do what we’re best at and enjoy doing.”

According to Pfeifer, the short-term goal is to continue to grow the business, while a long-term priority will be to support those following in their footsteps, whether it means mentoring students at the College or assisting other small business startup owners.

“When you build somebody else up, you build yourself up,” says Pfeifer. “That has been the ethic other business owners have instilled in us and we plan to carry that on in the way we conduct ourselves and our business.”

Pfeifer and Mulloy will join their fellow graduates at Okanagan College’s convocation ceremonies in June. While running their business, both entrepreneurs plan to return to the College to pursue additional business training, Pfeifer in project management and Mulloy in business administration.

More information about the Audio Engineering and Music Production program at Okanagan College is available at Okanagan.bc.ca/aemp

Okanagan College business student off to Tanzania on prestigious international fellowship

Okanagan College Media Release

Karen Vandergaag May 2016An Okanagan College student’s academic excellence and passion for international development has earned her one of the most esteemed fellowships in the country.

Karen Vandergaag, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Honours student at the Kelowna campus, is one of only 12 young adults across Canada to be awarded an International Youth Fellowship by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC).

“My goal has always been to utilize my business degree to find work in international development,” says Vandergaag. “To know that I have launched a future in this field before I’ve even graduated feels incredible.”

While her fellow students are walking across the stage at convocation ceremonies next month, Vandergaag will be in Ottawa for a management seminar with other fellowship recipients departing for international projects.

Vandergaag will be headed to Tanzania in August, where she will spend eight months working with CARE, an international NGO dedicated to disaster relief and fighting global poverty. Her work will revolve around research and project coordination with the organization’s Microfinance and Microenterprise arms.

Prior to enrolling at Okanagan College, Vandergaag’s interest in working abroad was kindled by a year-long Rotary exchange to Brazil in 2010. Another eye-opening opportunity came a couple of years later, when a College course in entrepreneurship in developing nations took her to Ethiopia and Malawi for several weeks.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to put my education and research into practice on the ground and see how the hands on experience compares to academia,” says Vandergaag. “As a business student, I approach opportunities like this from a different perspective than students in similar positions who might hail from international relations, health, or other backgrounds.”

Vandergaag credits the College’s unique approach to business training as one of the factors that has opened to the door to international opportunities and inspired her to apply for the fellowship with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Okanagan College’s ability to broaden horizons and provide a wide base of options. I was able to pursue an Honours degree, travel abroad, be a member of an Enactus team that competed nationally, and secure co-op employment that connected me with local industry.”

“Securing this fellowship feels very validating of all the work I’ve put in, and the education I’ve received at the College.”

And while thinking globally, Vandergaag certainly hasn’t shied away from acting locally during her studies. As a student researcher with the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence located at the Kelowna campus, she helped to develop new curriculum that will assist local non-profits in the area of impact reporting and measurement. She also completed an Honours research project focused on food security in the Okanagan.

“I was looking for a research project that would have application beyond business to a broader social issue with local implications,” explains Vandergaag.

Collaborating with BC-based Urban Matters, a social innovation and development organization, she set out to explore the issue of local food sustainability and how people perceive and interpret food security in the region.  

“Before I started I wasn’t aware of the sheer diversity of food security initiatives already going on in Kelowna,” she notes. “But through this research it was fascinating to look at the impact our choices have on our local food systems, what those systems are able to handle, and will be able to handle in the future.”

She recently presented her findings to the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council and continues to champion the cause of food security in the valley.

Following her fellowship abroad, Vandergaag has no specific plans for her next project, but is confident it will have something to do with social impact.

“I don’t see myself straying too far from the non-profit sector and social change/social impact initiatives,” she says. “That said, geographically speaking, that could take me anywhere. My horizons are completely open.”

UBC works with small schools to tackle big problems

Jan Unwin (left), Superintendent of Graduation and Student Transitions with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Advanced Education, participates in a maker demonstration at UBC’s Small Schools Think Tank this week. (

Jan Unwin (left), Superintendent of Graduation and Student Transitions with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Advanced Education, participates in a maker demonstration at UBC’s Small Schools Think Tank this week.

UBC Okanagan is working with rural educators from across the province to find ways to help schools in smaller communities.
Recently, UBC Okanagan's Faculty of Education hosted the Small School Think Tank (SSTT), a two-day event held May 16 and 17. At the event, educators come together to find a way forward for rural community schools.
“When we look at what rural and small secondary schools offer the province, we see examples of innovation, creativity, and community partnership,” says Leyton Schnellert, co-chair of the BC Rural Education Advisory Committee and assistant professor of education at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “Events like the SSTT hold the potential to affirm and strengthen powerful local practices and structures and inspire schools in BC to generate their own creative solutions.”
The third annual SSTT, hosted by the Faculty of Education, offered educators from around the province an opportunity to collaborate and envision a successful future for rural schools.
Educators from 15 BC school districts participated in an empathetic design process to support a small rural case study school.
“The SSTT epitomizes the agenda of the new K to 12 curriculum,” says Jan Unwin, Superintendent of Graduation and Student Transitions with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Advanced Education. “Rural schools exemplify good teaching because teachers are able to form close bonds with students. Engagement is something that we would like to highlight in the new curriculum.”
This year’s case focused on Desert Sands Community School (DSCS) in Ashcroft, BC. School District 74 (Gold Trail) merged Ashcroft’s elementary and secondary schools to create DSCS a K-12 school with a combined student enrolment of 265 students.
Rural educators responded to the case discussing ways to keep community schools vital and alive, while also finding ways to support interdisciplinary and inquiry learning with the introduction of the new provincial K to 12 curriculum.
Pat Dooley, co-chair of the BC Rural Education Advisory Committee, sees the value in collaboration.
“The SSTT is an example of what the Rural Education Advisory Committee has conceptualized as ‘the rural commons.’ We have created space for teams to work and learn from each other while considering changes in the curricular and other educational directions presented by the ministry.”
Solutions emerging from the Think Tank include inviting community members into the schools to see the new ways of learning, while supporting students’ unique interests in grades 10, 11, and 12, so they continue to be interested in their education.
“Part of our work is to help parents understand that their kids are receiving a great education in our small interdisciplinary program,” says Colleen Minnabarriet, principal of Desert Sands Community School. “Being part of the SSTT is a huge help because of the thoughtful input of others, and the credibility of UBC as an institute of higher learning.”
Since 2002, there have been more than 250 school closures in British Columbia, many of them in rural areas.

UBC research targets oil and gas pipeline safety

Solomon Tesfamariam

Solomon Tesfamariam

A recent UBC study could make it easier for oil and gas companies to prevent pipeline failures.
This study, conducted at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has resulted in an engineering model that could help the companies determine which areas of their pipeline network could be prone to corrosion and should receive priority for integrity testing.
“There are over 40,000 kilometers of pipelines operating in Canada alone and deciding how best to schedule and complete testing on those lines can be a daunting task,” says Assoc. Prof. Solomon Tesfamariam of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We believe that inputting the appropriate data into this model will allow companies to identify and test the areas of their pipelines that would be most likely to fail.”
Tesfamariam’s pipeline inspection model combines numerous corrosion and pressure failure assessments, which to date have been largely considered in isolation. The result is a single, flexible tool that allows oil and gas companies to more easily estimate the probability of internal pipe corrosion and the associated risk of pipeline failure.
As part of his ongoing research, Tesfamariam is now working on expanding the model to include external, environmental factors that could result in weak sections of pipelines being prematurely compromised and their contents spilling into the environment.
“At this stage, it is well known to researchers that factors such as climate change and earthquakes that are being induced by current fracking methods are having an impact on sensitive infrastructure,” says Tesfamariam. “For the next stage of this research, we are looking at how both internal and external risk factors can be considered in tandem to give companies a better chance at predicting and mitigating risk.”
According to Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), there were more than 37 companies, including 11 focused on oil and gas that transported 216 million cubic metres of oil along 21,636 kilometres of oil pipelines in 2014. That same year, the TSB reports that 67 companies, including 11 that transported both oil and gas, transported 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas along 55,982 kilometres of natural gas pipelines.
Tesfamariam’s study was recently published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries.

Ford dealer drives up support for new trades complex, celebrates father’s legacy

Okanagan College Media Release

A local automotive dealer wants to help rev up the learning environment for trades students at Okanagan College in Kelowna, carrying on his father’s legacy of supporting education and the community.

Orchard Ford and Kelowna Ford Lincoln Dealer Principal Dan Assam has pledged $100,000 to assist the College in outfitting a new student lounge in its renovated and expanded trades training facilities in Kelowna. To the delight of automotive students and car buffs, the lounge will feature a mural depicting a Ford GT50 – a nod to Assam’s father Norm who owned a classic GT40 and for whom the lounge will be dedicated.Orchard Ford donation May 2016

“My father was a big supporter of education and training,” says Assam. “Helping staff advance their skills was important to him, as was giving back to the community. This gift honours and celebrates his legacy, and we hope it will inspire the next generation of automotive tradespeople training at Okanagan College.”

The valley’s automotive dealers and collision repair shops have been among the strongest supporters of the renovation and expansion project, contributing more than $850,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons fundraising campaign since it launched in October 2014.

“We are deeply grateful to Dan and his family for this phenomenal support,” says campaign Chair Dennis Gabelhouse. “This gift sends a powerful message to students at the College that local employers are behind them and gives them a sense of the long legacy of trades in the valley that they are a part of.”

Founded in 1983 by Norm Assam, Orchard Ford remains a family-owned and -operated dealership (as is Kelowna Ford Lincoln) with Assam’s son at the helm carrying on his father’s legacy of supporting skilled training. The two dealerships currently employ 20 Okanagan College-trained Red Seal Automotive Service Technicians, with another six on staff who are currently completing their apprenticeship training at the College.

Existing shops across a host of trades, from automotive to welding, have now been completely re-vamped at the College’s Kelowna campus. Upgrades were made to match the same LEED Platinum-targeted standard as the new building, as a testament to the College’s commitment to sustainability.

The Automotive Service Technician (AST) shop was one of the first new shops to come online for students in late 2014, and features new and emerging technology in the industry. Feedback from students and instructors on the new space has been overwhelmingly positive according to the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Steve Moores.

“Industry support is absolutely vital to what we do,” says Moores. “Quality learning environments support quality instruction and the proof is in the pudding in our students’ accomplishments.”

Okanagan College recently tied its best-ever results at the provincial Skills Canada BC competition in Abbotsford, earning 11 medals overall. Automotive Service Technician students from the College dominated the podium, taking home gold (Aaron Schmit), silver (Dale Blumhagan), and bronze (Hugo Beaumier-Martin) medals.

The new complex will allow the College to accommodate more than 2,700 students each year and comes at a critical time for training as BC faces a potential shortage of skilled labour over the next decade. It is projected that more than 160,000 job openings will exist for trades and technical workers by 2022, with more than 10,000 needed in the Thompson Okanagan region alone by 2024.

To date the Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign has raised more than $6.2 million toward its $7 million goal, which includes $5 million for capital construction and $2 million for program and student support through awards, bursaries, and emergency funding.

“Creating access and supporting students is at the heart of this campaign,” notes Gabelhouse. “As we enter the summer and approach the grand opening of the new building this fall, community and industry support is going to help us reach our goal and open a world of new doors for students.” 

UBC research aims to make swimming healthier, more energy efficient

Rehan Sadiq


UBC engineering researchers are looking for ways to reduce energy use and minimize potential health concerns in community pools.

In a study that will examine large-scale indoor pools across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, researchers will examine how pool design impacts chemical exposure experienced by swimmers. They will also explore ways to reduce that exposure in the most energy efficient way possible.

“This project is a mix of civil engineering and toxicology,” says Prof. Rehan Sadiq, associate dean of engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus and the study’s lead investigator. “Pools are a popular yet complicated indoor environment to manage, and we believe this study will help identify the most desirable ways pools can be built and operated.”

As part of the study, the group will be looking for ways to reduce the presence of chemical compounds in the air and water that are found in indoor pool environments, compounds such as chloramines—which occur when the sweat, saliva or urine of swimmers are mixed with disinfectants— and trihalomethanes, both of which are considered to potentially have a negative impact on human health.

“While the evidence shows the benefits of swimming outweigh the risks, as engineers, we would like to minimize those risks,” says UBC researcher and PhD candidate Roberta Dyck. “As water in swimming pools is not regulated like drinking water, we’re also hoping we can encourage some stronger standards that will create greater consistency in pool environments.”

Working with Dyck on her part of the research project is Prof. Manuel Rodriguez of Laval University’s Graduate School of Regional Planning and Development.

In addition to data collection and sampling, the project will use computer modeling to examine various types of pool equipment, such as ventilation and water pump systems.

“The best thing to do from a health perspective would be to suck all the old air out and replace it with new air, which is both highly energy inefficient and cost prohibitive,” says Assoc. Prof. Kasun Hewage, who is leading the study’s energy component. “Through simulations we will be able to see the best energy conserving strategies that are or could be used in the variety of equipment available for pool operations.”

The project has attracted a number of community and industry partners, including the AME Consulting Group (engineers), DB Perks (commercial aquatic supplies) and Waterplay Solutions Corp. (aquatic equipment designers), Acton Ostry Architects Inc., MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, and Healthy Buildings (air testing), and various municipalities in BC.

The research will also inform the operations of UBC Vancouver’s new $40 million aquatic centre, which is expected to have over 600,000 annual visits when it’s completed later this year.

“We wanted to take advantage of the latest research and figure out how our facility could be on the leading edge, which made this project a natural fit,” says Kavie Toor, director of facilities and business development at UBC’s aquatic centre. “This research will help us meet UBC’s mandate of energy efficiency and make sure our pool environment is as healthy as possible for users.”


Okanagan College business students, advisors and faculty recognized for excellence on national stage

Okanagan College Media Release

Enactus Nationals Team May 2016Okanagan College business students chalked up multiple podium finishes at a recent national competition in Toronto. Making the showing all the more impressive was the fact that a number of the students and their mentors were honoured at the highest level for their teamwork.

The Enactus National Exposition brings together approximately 800 students, 500 industry leaders who serve as judges and 100 faculty advisors from across the country to celebrate the achievements of Canada’s future leaders and entrepreneurs. A team of 24 students from the Okanagan School of Business participated in this year’s event, held from May 4-6 at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre.

The Financial Literacy team that presented on the CanSave program came 2nd in the country (behind only SFU), beating out powerhouse competitors from Saint Mary’s University, Windsor, Ryerson, and Memorial, and receiving a $2000 cash prize. The CanSave program is focused on teaching financial skills to elementary students.

"Being awarded National runner-up in the Financial Education Challenge was a humbling experience,” says Abbey Jones, a Bachelor of Business Administration student at the College’s Kelowna campus and the team’s project manager. “Having just completed the second phase of the CanSave pilot program, our team is now fuelled with a strong desire to expand the program across the province, ensure its sustainability and make a lasting change in the financial literacy and lives of those it touches."

Enactus Financial Literacy Team May 2016

The Youth Empowerment Team (a new category this year) came third in the country (behind Ryerson and Windsor), and received a $1000 cash prize. The prizes will help fund the team’s participation in next year’s competition.

Despite stiff competition, the Nationals team from the College advanced to the semi-final round of competition (top 20), before being bested by eventual finalist and last year’s national champion, the University of Ottawa.

“This year marks the 10th year of operations for Enactus Okanagan College,” says Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Okanagan School of Business professor and one of the Faculty Advisors to the team. “I am continually inspired by the incredible work our students do in the region and the outstanding support we receive from all our community partners. I can’t wait to see what they will achieve in the decade ahead.”

According to Myrah, another highlight of the event for the team came when two students and two of their mentors, received prestigious awards for leadership.

Fresh off her team’s runner-up finish in the Financial Educational challenge, Abbey Jones and fellow BBA student and Enactus Okanagan College President Cassandra Lum, were awarded the national Founder’s bursary. Valued at $2,500 each, the bursaries recognize students for demonstrating exceptional leadership with Enactus. Only ten bursaries were handed out to students from all across Canada and two went home with Okanagan College students this year.

Enactus Youth Empowerment Team May 2016“It was truly an honour to receive the Founders Bursary and to be recognized alongside great student leaders from across the country, including one from our very own team in Abbey Jones,” says Lum. “I think this speaks to the experience and knowledge we're gaining through Enactus and at Okanagan College. ?We are fortunate to have a very large support network through the College that encourages us in our endeavours and enables us to achieve these outcomes.”

Outstanding advisors and faculty were also recognized at the event for the critical roles they play in mentoring the student teams.

Elvia Picco was named Team Advisor of the Year in recognition of her outstanding support of the Enactus Okanagan College team. Okanagan School of Business professor Andrew Klingel was inducted as a John Dobson Fellow for his Enactus involvement as a faculty member. A well-known entrepreneur, investor, and business advisor, Klingel teaches courses in marketing and management at the College’s Vernon campus.

Enactus is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. The Canadian chapter sees annual participation by more than 2,600 students spanning 67 post-secondary institutions.

Full results from the exposition can be found here. More information about Enactus Okanagan College is available at www.enactusoc.ca

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