Campus Life  

Watt a gift! Okanagan College’s Electronics Engineering Technology Program gets an $80,000 boost from a local engineer

Yael Cohen and Helen Jackman

Yael Cohen, a Vernon-based communications engineer, recently donated $80,000 in state-of-the-art electronic equipment to Okanagan College’s Electronics Engineering Technology program.

The gift included hundreds of electrical components that will be used by program instructors to build in-class electrical circuits and test demos and will be made available to students for use in their end-of-term capstone projects. 

“I was fortunate to receive numerous scholarships when I was in school, and I wanted to pay it forward,” says Cohen, an Okanagan College Alum. “In particular, I know what a financial strain it can be for students to buy project supplies, and I wanted to help ease that burden.”

Cohen is a lifelong electronics hobbyist who has been amassing equipment for years to enhance her personal collection. When a recent stroke left her unable to use the equipment, she reached out to the chair of Okanagan College’s Electronics Engineering Technology program to see if students could benefit from it.

Ishadiah Flores ELEN

“Yael Cohen’s contribution will enable us to provide an even more comprehensive and immersive learning experience for our students, preparing them for successful careers in the electronics industry,” says Randy Brown, chair, Electronics Engineering Technology program.

Brown adds that many of the electrical components Cohen donated will be used by students to build innovative, microprocessor-based capstone projects, such as solar panels that follow the sun’s movement, roadside radar for measuring vehicle speed, or programmable, automated cat feeders that distribute kibble on a timer.

“We are grateful for Yael Cohen’s generosity. Gifts-in-kind, from equipment to materials, provide valuable teaching and learning aids helping students get the hands-on, real-world experience which Okanagan College is known for. To learn more about giving a gift-in-kind donation, please visit https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/OC-Foundation/Ways-to-Give,” says Helen Jackman, executive director of Okanagan College Foundation.

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