Nov 18, 2019


Calgary, AB – Students in Calgary looking for a unique, hands-on post-secondary education experience can choose from more than 100 career programs at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).

The polytechnic college is the third largest post-secondary institution in Alberta and provides students with state-of-the-art labs and classrooms, experience working with real-world equipment, and an opportunity to work in close collaboration with industry professionals.

Valerie Gibbons at SAIT speaking to Civil Engineering Technology students

Valerie Gibbons, Associate Development Manager, Qualico Communities Calgary, speaking to SAIT Civil Engineering Technology students.


Valerie Gibbons, Associate Development Manager, Qualico Communities Calgary, volunteers her time at SAIT throughout the year and has a personal connection to the institution.

She worked at SAIT as a teacher’s assistant in the continuing education math program before starting her studies, and in 2014 graduated from the school’s Civil Engineering Technology.

“During my second year of studies at SAIT, I was the co-president of the student club,” said Valerie. “After graduation, I was invited to join the Civil Engineering Technology Advisory Committee, which I continue to be a member of today.”

Much of Valerie’s volunteer time is spent at committee meetings, where she connects with other industry members, instructors, and students to discuss the lesson content and desired outcomes for learners in the program. She also provides information on the current demands of Civil Engineering Technologists in the development project management and engineering design industry.

Beyond the committee meetings, Valerie also gives a guest lecture once or twice a year to several Urban Design classes, presents a wide range of information related to the development industry in and around Calgary, and attends the Civil Engineering Technology Industry Night each year as a representative of Qualico. 

Through Qualico’s Volunteer Day program, Valerie took a work day to meet with faculty to discuss the Civil Engineering Technology program’s reaccreditation and curriculum changes and with students to discuss opportunities for them in the development industry.

“I love education and very much enjoy giving back to students,” Valerie said about her interest in volunteering with SAIT. “I had a great network of support when I was in school and I feel very happy when I can help other students build on their knowledge and network as well.”

Valerie feels that it’s important for those in the industry to donate their time to schools like SAIT to benefit future graduates and the industry itself in the long term.

“I believe that the education model at SAIT is a very effective approach to learning,” she said. “I also believe that in order for this model to continue to be successful, continuous feedback from industry is required. I feel fortunate to be provided with the opportunity to work with faculty and students to ensure that the curriculum is in line with current practices.”

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