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Campus Life  

Okanagan College opens its doors to high-school students for Experience OC

Okanagan College Media Release

Experience OC Pen 2018Is time travel possible? How are video games made? Is homicide a brain disorder? How did zombies eat their way to the silver screen? What keeps an airplane in the sky? 

High-school students from across the South Okanagan region will converge upon Okanagan College’s Penticton campus May 1 to find the answers to these questions and more when they spend a day on campus and experience what it’s like to be a student for a day.

The College is opening its doors once again and inviting students in Grades 10-12 to attend Experience OC for a day of learning, fun and post-secondary exploration. Students can choose to register from among more than 20 classes, ranging from animation to physics, astronomy to practical nursing, criminology to geography and more.

“Experience OC is an excellent opportunity for students to explore a variety of areas of interest and get a sense of what Okanagan College has to offer,” says Eric Corneau Regional Dean for the South Okanagan-Similkameen. “The College offers a wide variety of programs in trades, academic diplomas and degree options and this event is a perfect way for high-school students to think about post-secondary.”

In addition to the hour-long classes, students will be treated to fun activities, snacks and refreshments. The event takes place from 10:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Registration is now open.

For more information and to register your attendance and class choices, students should speak to their high-school counsellor for login information and permission slips. Class schedules and descriptions can be found at okanagan.bc.ca/ExperienceOC.

 




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The Okanagan is RIPE with innovative applied research

Okanagan College Media Release

RIPE logo1From indigenization to small businesses, millennials and pinot noir and drones to marijuana, the Okanagan is RIPE with innovative applied research projects and Okanagan College invites the community to attend its free second annual showcase event to hear about the cutting-edge research projects that are happening in the region.

RIPE (Research, Innovation and Partnerships Expo) is happening on May 8 from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the College’s Kelowna campus. The event is being supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and is an opportunity for community members, industry, educators, researchers and students to network and learn how applied research is growing new partnerships and enriching students’ educational experience in the Okanagan.

“Applied research by Okanagan College employees is making a big impact regionally and globally,” explains Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Director of Learning and Applied Research at the College. “The world is ever-changing and applied research can help us anticipate, react and even lead that change.” 

OC instructor and Chair of the Welding Trades department Sean Jarvis and Lukas Skulmoski, Interim Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health and an Electrical instructor are currently working on a research project with a team of two students to develop a custom sorting machine for a recycle depot in Vernon. 

“When the company approached the College’s applied research team with this problem, we knew we could help – that’s what we do, we fix things,” says Jarvis. “This is a perfect example of how applied research can create solutions and fix problems and how it can benefit student learning.”

The event features five workshops led by industry-leading professionals: Applied Research and Indigenization, Why Applied Research Matters to Small Businesses, Creating Creative Cultures and Curiosity and Innovation, Research Wine and Marijuana and lastly, Research and Drones.

Sean Jarvis

RIPE 2018 has two keynote speakers, Bert van den Berg Director, Colleges, Commercialization and Portfolio Policy with NSERC and Dr. Patrick Finn, School of Creative and performing Arts/Computational Media Design, University of Calgary and Chair of Research and Innovation, Edmonton Digital Arts College.

Finn will present The Dirty Little Secret about Research and van den Berg will present The Key Ingredient of Canada’s Success in Innovation.

In addition to workshops and keynote speakers, attendees will be treated to a morning mixer, a panel discussion and can hear applied research pitch questions and connect and expand their own applied research opportunities. Lunch and refreshments are included.

To attend this free event, please register at okanagan.bc.ca/RIPEregister. For more information on the expo including schedule details and keynote speaker biographies, please visit okanagan.bc.ca/RIPE.



Kelowna writer wins UBC Okanagan’s annual short story contest

Finalists in the 2018 Okanagan Short Story Contest, from left: Assoc. Prof. Michael V. Smith, MFA student Victoria Alvarez (second place), MA IGS student Brittni MacKenzie-Dale (first place), Bethany Pardoe (winner, high-school category), Samantha Macpherson (third place) and contest judge Karen Hofmann.

Finalists in the 2018 Okanagan Short Story Contest, from left: Assoc. Prof. Michael V. Smith, MFA student Victoria Alvarez (second place), MA IGS student Brittni MacKenzie-Dale (first place), Bethany Pardoe (winner, high-school category), Samantha Macpherson (third place) and contest judge Karen Hofmann.

Perseverance pays off for Master of Arts student

It was four times the charm for a local writer.

Kelowna’s Brittni MacKenzie-Dale is the winner of this year’s Okanagan Short Story Contest. Organized and partially-sponsored by UBC Okanagan, the contest is an annual writing competition open to fiction writers in British Columbia’s Southern Interior.

MacKenzie-Dale is a current UBC Okanagan Master of Arts (MA) student. Her story entitled, “They Called Him Luke” landed her in first place in the 20th running of the annual contest. It wasn’t her first time as a finalist in the contest. In 2016, MacKenzie-Dale placed third—and had a second entry short-listed—and in 2015 she had two stories shortlisted.

Second place this year with her story, “Blood Sport” is Lake Country’s Victoria Alvarez, a UBC Okanagan MA student. Third place went to Samantha Macpherson of Lake Country with her story, “Do I Dare to Eat a Peach.”

Contest judge and Thompson Rivers University Associate Professor Karen Hofmann—who won this contest last year—announced each of the winners at a special event at the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna on Monday, which featured readings from the top winners. More than 100 entries were submitted and once they were shortlisted, Hofmann was given about a dozen anonymous entries to whittle down the winner’s list.

New for 2018 was a high school category, with Bethany Pardoe of Nelson’s LV Rogers Secondary School winning top honour with her story, “Sunlight.” Runners-up (in alphabetical order) are Finn Tobin of Mount Boucherie Secondary School, with “Red Racer 2000,” and Anna Vajda of Heritage Christian Online School, with “Transylvanian Vacation.”

Contest organizer and UBC Associate Professor Michael V. Smith joked that the contest is actually older than some of the winners.

“This is a banner event for Okanagan writers and was another great success,” says Smith. “Being able to celebrate 20 years of prize money for Okanagan stories is an exciting marker.”

This year, the Okanagan Short Story Contest had $2,000 in prize money to present. Smith thanked the contest funders and sponsors: the Central Okanagan Foundation, the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation, the Kelowna Capital News and subTerrain magazine.

Along with $1,000 in prize money, MacKenzie-Dale’s winning entry will be published in subTerrain magazine this fall.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



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Computer modeling may provide better treatments for emphysema

Joshua Brinkerhoff is an assistant professor in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan

Joshua Brinkerhoff is an assistant professor in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan

Simulations help researchers understand how lungs absorb oxygen

Researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus are using advanced computer simulations to model how air flows into the deepest regions of the lungs and uncover how the early stages of emphysema can impact a patient’s ability to take in oxygen.

The results are significant because clinical studies suggest that identifying emphysema early can significantly improve patient outcomes. Understanding the early stages of the disease will also go a long way towards developing improved surgical or drug treatments.

“Advanced computer modeling has been used for years in areas like commercial aviation or even to predict the weather,” explains Joshua Brinkerhoff, assistant professor in the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan. “Now, rather than modeling how air swirls in a hurricane, we’re using similar techniques to predict how air moves in human lungs.”

Brinkeroff says this research—which was done in collaboration with colleagues at McMaster University and the Centre for Heart and Lung Innovation at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital—is still in its infancy but he’s optimistic that it could lead to a better understanding of the development of emphysema and other lung diseases.

Despite advanced diagnostic tools, Brinkeroff says doctors are still challenged with accurately pinpointing emphysema indicators early in patients. Emphysema is a component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is typically associated with smoking.

As emphysema in a patient advances, the tissues supporting air sacs inside the lung become damaged, making it harder for patients to exhale. In addition, the tissues between alveoli are gradually destroyed, meaning there are fewer sites for oxygen to be absorbed and patients feel short of breath.

“Prior to this study, we knew that emphysema involved these two mechanisms,” says Dragos Vasilescu, a researcher at the Centre for Heart and Lung Innovation and co-author of the paper. “What we didn’t understand is which is more important in the beginning stages of the disease. These computer simulations help fill in those gaps.”

But according to Brinkerhoff, they’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

“We’ve made the first step of determining a benchmark for airflow in one section of the lungs and the next step will be to create a more detailed analysis of airflow throughout the rest of the lungs. There’s still a great deal that these models can teach and hopefully those insights will one day help patients breathe a sigh of relief.”

The research was published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering with financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada  (NSERC).

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



Bono, Thorpe and Waunch: OC honours three community builders

Okanagan College Media Release

Mollie BonoA trio of community builders – all champions of different causes – are being recognized this year by Okanagan College with the institution’s highest commendation.

Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono, an advocate for Aboriginal peoples, Rick Thorpe, a dedicated public servant, and Patrick Waunch, a recognized construction leader, are to be named Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College in June.

“Each of these remarkable individuals has contributed significantly to our region, province and country,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “They have done it in diverse ways and richly deserve the honor our College is bestowing on them.”

Bono, Okanagan/Similkameen, is a School District #22 Trustee, a recipient of the Community Leadership Award (2017) in Vernon, and an active mentor for the Social Planning Council. She has served several terms as a Council Member for Okanagan Indian Band and has also served as a member of Okanagan College's Vernon Campus Regional Advisory Council. Since her retirement, Mollie has been working with the Social Planning Council and other allies in Vernon to advance Reconciliation and Healing.

Patrick Waunch2Waunch has been the chair of the British Columbia Construction Association, Chair of the Southern Interior Construction Association, Chair of the Trade Contractors Council for the Canadian Construction Association, is a recipient of the Canadian Construction Association Community Leader Award, and has a long association with Okanagan College (serving as Chair of the Program Advisory Committee, helping fundraise for the new Trades Complex in Kelowna, and being an active donor to the College and other community organizations). His dedication to apprenticeship for trades led to the Southern Interior Construction Association establishing the Patrick Waunch Scholarship Award that provides $3,500 annually to a mechanical trades apprentice at Okanagan College.

Waunch is the President and CEO of Rambow Mechanical Ltd. He holds Red Seal tickets in Plumbing and Steam Fitting, as well as tickets in First Class Gas Fitting, hydro-pulse boilers and installation for ground source heating. He holds Gold Seal certification in Project Management and Superintendent.

Thorpe was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 2009, representing the Okanagan-Penticton and Okanagan Westside ridings and serving in Cabinet for eight years and as a member of Treasury Board for nine years (five as Deputy Chair). Before his election, Thorpe held several executive positions in the brewing industry in Canada and internationally, and he was involved in repositioning the B.C. grape and wine industry and was a partner in a successful B.C. winery.

After retiring from the B.C. Legislature, Thorpe served on a number of Boards of Directors, including the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the Canadian Snowbirds Association, the Summerland Charity Shops Society (Penny Lane), Agur Lake Camp Society, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of British Columbia and Yukon. He was on the Board of Management for the Canada Revenue Agency for six years, four as Chair.

He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. He has been awarded the Fellow of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and the Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada.

Rick Thorpe“Yasmin and I continue to watch the growth of Okanagan College, and over the past 22 years have witnessed first-hand what access to higher learning close to home means for our students here in the Okanagan,” says Rick. Yasmin was named an Honorary Fellow in 2012 for her role in promoting children’s literacy and literature and for her service to the Okanagan.

“I’m very proud to be associated with Okanagan College, an institution which is focused on playing a very important role for our students within the Okanagan and Similkameen,” says Rick.

The Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship, established in 2006, has awarded $112,250 to 53 students entering Okanagan College.

“As an employer, I know first-hand how important the trades training is that Okanagan College provides,” says Waunch. “I have witnessed the investments of time, energy and resources that have led to OC becoming B.C.’s second-largest trades training institution and know the impact that has had on the construction community of our region. I’ll wear the title of Honorary Fellow proudly.”

“I’m honored that the College has chosen to acknowledge my life’s work to bridge cultures. Limlimt,” says Bono. “It has been easy for me to support and provide input into the work Okanagan Colleges does with Indigenous people and others,” she adds. "I have witnessed positive changes and appreciate that the College community is looking for new and creative programs that meet the needs of students and support the further success of Indigenous students.”

“There is a history of revolution in my family and this honour is another part of a lifelong journey that will only serve to strengthen my commitment to making our world in the Okanagan and beyond a better place.”

Since 2006, Okanagan College has been presenting Honorary Fellow Awards to deserving individuals (40, including Bono, Thorpe and Waunch) as part of its annual Convocation Ceremonies. The awards recognize distinguished achievement or service and the recipients represent a broad spectrum of regional, provincial, national and international contributions. The awards acknowledge a diverse array of people, from those who have advanced literacy among youth to individuals whose work has helped create awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. A full list can be found at Okanagan.bc.ca/honourees.



Story of resilience and recovery shared at annual breakfast

Pat Kennedy and Mike Shaw talk about Mike’s road to recovery.

Pat Kennedy and Mike Shaw talk about Mike’s road to recovery.

Freestyle skier Mike Shaw explains how he learned to walk again

UBC Okanagan held its annual athletic scholarship breakfast on Friday where inspiration took centre-stage. Olympic athletes, varsity players, local dignitaries and the community gathered to listen to former freestyle skier Mike Shaw as he explained his journey from devastating skiing accident to learning to walk again.

Shaw, a UBC alumnus who lives in Lake Country, broke his neck in a ski accident in December 2013. As a special guest at the 13thannual Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast, Shaw showed a video of the accident and shared the story of his recovery including his first steps, his first time in a sit-ski and finally heli-skiing.

“When I fell, I knew it was game over. My biggest fear—actually my mother’s biggest fear—had just come true,” Shaw told the packed room of more than 300 attendees. “It was devastating. I had been a skier all my life. It was like my identity had been taken away from me.”

There was a bit of luck when it came to the break in his neck, however, and Shaw recalled how doctors gave him a chance of recovery. After several surgeries, weeks and months of physio—all documented on video and shown at the breakfast—Shaw took his first wobbly steps. It was long, painful and difficult recovery, he explained. He had one message to share with the audience; it was all about using his ‘athlete mentality’and not being afraid to ‘fail as every step he took was a step forward.’

“Fail forward. I would say to everybody in this room, don’t ever give up. Athlete or not everybody has the ability to fail forward. My recovery is simply a story of hope, trust, resilience and certainly gratitude,” he said. “Getting into that sit-ski for the first time was more powerful than skiing as an able-bodied person. And simple things…like brushing my teeth….I cried the first time I brushed my teeth.”

Shaw wasn’t the only story of inspiration at the fundraising breakfast. Three members of Canada’s Winter 2018 Olympic team were on hand. Gold medallist and UBC Okanagan human kinetics student Kelsey Serwa, ski-cross athlete and UBC Okanagan graduate Ian Deans and UBC Okanagan’s Head Athletic Therapist Jeff Thorburn received a round of applause.

The giving didn’t stop there. Long-time supporters Lois and Cliff Serwa presented a gift of $150,000 to the Okanagan campus. The funds will support a new basketball scholarship and a reading room in the new Teaching and Learning Centre will bear the Serwa family name.

While the purpose of the event is to raise funds for athletic scholarships, it was also a chance to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of the Heat athletes. It was another stellar season for the Heat. The women’s volleyball team, for the fifth year in a row, advanced to the semi-final round in Canada West playoffs and enjoyed their second trip to the national championship. Meanwhile, the men’s golf team captured its first-ever national silver medal, collecting a provincial silver on their way to the finals in October.

Soccer’s Mitch McCaw set a new Canada West record with 685 consecutive minutes without surrendering a goal. He was also the Canada West star for three straight weeks during this run. And cross-country runner Veronika Fagan was the fastest in Canada winning the national championship race and bringing home a national individual medal. She was also named Heat’s most outstanding female player of the year.

Fagan, a third-year nursing student who grew up in Kelowna, used the podium at the Athletics breakfast to thank the School of Nursing for its flexibility and support while she competed, and also thanked the community for contributing to the scholarship endowment.

“Your contributions will go a long way and eventually allow for the growth of previously overlooked sports, such as cross-country running. My goal is to help grow the UBC Okanagan cross country program into a university team which will compete with the best runners in U Sports by attracting passionate runners from elsewhere in Canada,” Fagan said. “Each and every time that I have had the privilege to wear the Heat singlet has been one to remember and I thank UBC Okanagan and its supporters for that.”

UBC Okanagan’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard also took the time to thank the community for its continued support.

“The Valley First/UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast is an annual opportunity to support student-athletes and celebrate excellence in sport,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “UBC matches every dollar raised at the event and I’m delighted to see that, together, we have raised more than $850,000 for the scholarship fund. The community support for UBC Okanagan students is truly inspiring.”

The breakfast was also an opportunity to introduce UBC Okanagan’s new director of Athletics and Recreation Tom Huisman. Currently manager of Interuniversity Sport Program at Carleton University, Huisman begins his new role May 1.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



Growth strategy captures Live Case Challenge

From left, lecturer Svan Lembke, David Gao, Stehaniya Mikhaylova, Marisa Matthews, Dan Thornton, Argus Properties President Ted Callahan and Faculty of Management Director Mike Chiasson celebrate with the Argus Cup after the 2018 Live Case Challenge.

From left, lecturer Svan Lembke, David Gao, Stehaniya Mikhaylova, Marisa Matthews, Dan Thornton, Argus Properties President Ted Callahan and Faculty of Management Director Mike Chiasson celebrate with the Argus Cup after the 2018 Live Case Challenge.

Students win award for tackling complex business problem

Aggressive expansion in a region experiencing high residential growth – achieved by purchasing and partnering with an established company to recreate high-end and tailored service delivery that meets contractors’ needs.

That was the recommendation in the winning presentation at the UBC Faculty of Management Live Case Challenge held last week. Third-year Management students David Gao, Marisa Matthews, Stehaniya Mikhaylova and Dan Thornton—a multinational team representing Russia, Kenya, China and Canada—took home the top prize in UBC Okanagan’s seventh annual student challenge, which was sponsored this year by Argus Properties Ltd.

Every year, third-year Bachelor of Management students at UBC’s Okanagan campus are challenged to solve a real, or “live,” problem on behalf of an organization based in the region. Students must draw on the knowledge from a wide range of management courses to analyze the organization, research industry practices, and develop a comprehensive presentation with recommendations and an implementation plan.

“Live Case Challenge provides students with the experience of drawing upon their extensive management learning when faced with a complex, real and live organization and its future,” said Faculty of Management Dean Roger Sugden. “This has both a transformative effect on the students, and the questions and solutions offered by student teams transforms the community partner’s possibilities in addressing both challenges and opportunities in their future.”

Pro Builders Supply-Home Hardware Building Centre asked students to consider a range of growth opportunities that would build on their present business model and strategy. As a chain of full-line home improvement building supplies, Pro Builders started in Penticton in 1998 and has since grown to include five locations in the Okanagan and in Canmore, Alberta. The company is part of the Home Hardware network.

“Pro Builders is proud to have partnered with UBC’s Faculty of Management in being the client for this year’s Live Case Challenge. It was very rewarding to contribute to the educational process and to hear the many quality proposals put forward by the students,” says Paul McCann, President and CEO of Pro Builders Supply-Home Hardware Building Centre. “The high calibre of the proposals is a testament to the high-quality education the students are receiving at UBC’s Faculty of Management. Congratulations to the winning team and thanks to all of the students who worked hard to provide their assessment and recommendations.”

The winning group proposed that Pro Builders focus on expanding operations into a region experiencing significant growth and new building starts. Students identified a potential company to acquire and proposed they build on existing strengths with additional customer service programs. Their analysis and projections showed the recommendations would help Pro Builders outperform the competition in the new region within three years and grow its footprint in Western Canada.

Live Case Challenge is a partnership between UBC’s Faculty of Management and Argus Properties Ltd. The partnership delivers on the shared commitment to collaborate with organizations throughout the region and develop flourishing and sustainable organizations, businesses and communities. The winning group receives the Argus Cup and a $5,000 award.

“Argus is proud to support the community, education and what UBC’s Okanagan campus means to the entire region. It’s really exciting to see the opportunity the students have to learn from a live case that’s local. They are the future of the Okanagan, and we congratulate all the students for their efforts,” says EJ (Ted) Callahan, President and CEO of Argus Properties.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



Human mental illness and evolutionary biology are focus of talk at Okanagan College

Okanagan College Media Release

How does the human brain work? Why do humans get mental illnesses and what causes these illnesses when the brain does not work as expected?

Dr. Bernard Crespi April 2018Dr. Bernard Crespi, SFU Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Canada Research Chair in Evolution and Psychology,
will address these questions and more in a public talk entitled Where Darwin Meets Freud: the evolutionary biology and psychology of human mental illness at Okanagan College as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series. 

Presented jointly by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre, Crespi’s talk
will take place at the College’s Vernon campus in the Lecture Theatre on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Crespi’s research centres on integrating theory, methods and data from evolutionary biology, social behaviour, genetics, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and hormones to understand why and how the human brain has evolved, how human cognition has evolved under Darwinian natural selection and how risks and forms of human mental illnesses have evolved.

According to Crespi, understanding the evolution of the human brain and mental illness risks represent some of the biggest research questions of the 21st century.

“Recent advances in genetics, neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology are re-casting psychiatric conditions in new light and guiding new ways to study and treat them,” says Crespi. “Our goal will be to better understand the nature of mental illnesses, their causes and their consequences for individuals, families and communities.”

In addition to multiple major international awards in evolutionary and behavioral biology, Crespi was awarded 2016 Sterling Prize for revolutionizing psychiatry
with his Diametric Theory of Human Mental Illness, originally published with co-author and sociologist Christopher Badcock in 2008. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and conducted postdoctoral work at Oxford and Cornell Universities. Crespi is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Admission to the lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644.
To purchase tickets online and to find more information on this presentation and the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit okanagansisss.wordpress.com.

 




College to host free information session on the healthcare career you’ve never heard of

Okanagan College Media Release

 

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a career in healthcare might be studying to become a doctor or a nurse, but there are plenty of under-the-radar occupations that most students probably haven’t heard of yet, like a Medical Device Reprocessing Technician.

The College is inviting those interested in learning more about this little known but in-demand healthcare career to attend a free information session on Tuesday, April 10 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Kelowna campus.

Mike Gantner, a graduate of Okanagan College’s Medical Device Reprocessing Technician certificate, has witnessed the demand for technicians first-hand.

“Everyone that I graduated with was hired right away,” says Gantner, who decided to return to school to advance his career in healthcare after starting out in hospital laundry services.

“My open-minded approach to working at different hospitals and casual hours after graduation paid off quickly – I’m now in a full-time position with great hours.”

Healthcare facilities throughout the province rely on the comprehensive knowledge and attention to detail of Medical Device Reprocessing Technicians. They are the people who directly contribute to a hygienic environment for patients. Lives depend on the work they do to make sure that the medical instruments used in hospitals are clean, safe and sterile. 

Demand for people trained in this area across the Interior Health Authority region is high. In fact, 95 per cent of graduates from Okanagan College’s Medical Device Reprocessing certificate program are in the labour force, according to recent provincial government surveys.

The next intake for the College’s Medical Device Reprocessing Technician certificate program is coming up in May. To learn more about the info session, or to register, call 250-862-5480.

More information about the program is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/mdrt.

 




Supporting students at the heart of a $1.25M gift

From left: Linda Fitzpatrick, Ross Fitzpatrick, UBC Okanagan Chief Librarian Heather Berringer and UBC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Deborah Buszard pose for a photo outside the still under construction Teaching and Learning Centre.

From left: Linda Fitzpatrick, Ross Fitzpatrick, UBC Okanagan Chief Librarian Heather Berringer and UBC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Deborah Buszard pose for a photo outside the still under construction Teaching and Learning Centre.

Fitzpatrick’s donation will name new study space, create scholarship for local students

UBC Okanagan announced today that the great hall in its new Teaching and Learning Centre building will bear the name of distinguished entrepreneur and retired Canadian senator Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick.

Thanks to a donation of $1.25M by Fitzpatrick and his wife Linda, the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC)—still under construction—will feature an expansive two-storey hall on the ground floor with about 6,400 square feet of flexible, multi-use space. Officially named the D. Ross Fitzpatrick Great Hall, Fitzpatrick hopes students, faculty and staff will refer to it simply as Fitz Hall.

“Fitz Hall will have an open feel and will create a positive, encouraging space right at the heart of campus to help UBC’s brightest minds gather, study and innovate,” says Fitzpatrick. “I remember having to study in the library stacks when I was a student at UBC so I’m very happy to be able to participate in bringing a much more collaborative and vibrant space to today’s generation.”

The TLC is a $35M addition to the north of the current library building, the most highly used library in the UBC system. Its completion will significantly address the critical need for flexible classrooms and laboratories that support dynamic and technology-enhanced programming, alleviate library overcrowding and respond to students’ strong expression of support.

Fitzpatrick credits a student-passed referendum in 2014 to partner with UBC in funding an expansion of the library through their student fees as the inspiration for his own donation.

“That UBC Okanagan students banded together to help pay for a better study and work space that wouldn’t be built until after most of them graduated is an incredible testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and generosity of this campus and this region,” he adds. “I felt it only right to reflect the same in my own contribution to the project.”

Fitzpatrick has deep roots in the Okanagan and a strong connection to UBC. Born to an agricultural family in Kelowna and raised in Oliver, BC, he completed his Commerce and Business Administration degree at UBC in 1958 and was awarded a UBC Honorary Doctorate in 2012 for his work and contributions to the community.

“When I started studying at UBC in Vancouver, I was one of just 5,000 students,” says Fitzpatrick. “The university has grown tremendously since then and, as an early supporter of its Okanagan campus, I’m thrilled to help expand resources for students right here at home.”

Fitzpatrick began his career when he was appointed research director for the Royal Commission into the Tree Fruit Industry of British Columbia and worked in the industry until he pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland and Columbia University. He later embarked on a journey as a successful entrepreneur, founding businesses in the aerospace, oil and gas, and mining industries across North America.

In the 1980s, he returned to the Okanagan to promote value-added agriculture, founding Cedar Creek Estate Winery and pioneering the planting of vinifera grapes in the region for the production of high-quality wine. He served in the Senate of Canada, representing Okanagan-Similkameen from 1998 to 2008 and in 2009 he was awarded the Order of BC.

“This incredibly generous gift is further evidence of Ross and Linda’s devotion to this community. It will transform our campus and provide much-needed study and collaboration space,” says UBC Deputy-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus Deborah Buszard. “The Fitzpatrick family’s impact in this region is already immense and this gift will inspire and support future generations of UBC students. Fitz Hall is the perfect embodiment of their legacy in the Okanagan.”

Included in Fitzpatrick’s donation is an additional $250,000 to create the Ross and Linda Fitzpatrick Centennial Scholars Endowment fund. Awards from this endowment will support incoming students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and financial need. Special emphasis will be placed on students from the South Okanagan and, through the UBC Blue and Gold Campaign for Students, the Fitzpatricks’ gift to the endowment will be matched by the university.

“I was able to get my education thanks to bursaries and scholarships like the one we’re creating today,” says Fitzpatrick. “I can’t think of a more fulfilling pursuit than to offer the opportunity of a university education to those who may otherwise not have the financial means.”

Trophy Ewila, president of UBC Okanagan’s student union, and third-year student Haley Seven Deers provide their prospective about the positive impact the new library space will have on students during today’s funding announcement.

Trophy Ewila, president of UBC Okanagan’s student union, and third-year student Haley Seven Deers provide their perspective on the positive impact the new library space will have on students during today’s funding announcement.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



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