2006 Distinguished Alumna
Bev Longstaff (EGT '78), former Ward 7 Alderman, former SAIT instructor
"In 2006, I was the affordable housing advisor for the Calgary Homeless Foundation. One of the things I did was put together a not-for-profit housing company. Since a young age, I've been involved in community activities. My mother really encouraged us to participate. My first real volunteer job was teaching Explorers when I was 16. And then it was just doing whatever was needed. One thing leads to another and you begin to understand how important that commitment is. It's about building community, making it healthy and better for everybody.
I chaired HomeFront for 10 years. It's a justice project for dealing with domestic violence. That project has made a tremendous difference in recidivism rates. And I've just finished my term with the Discovery House, which is second-stage housing for people dealing with domestic violence. I am still very engaged in what's happening. It's important to me personally not to let these issues go. In a selfish way — if I can put it that way — it makes me happy because I can see progress. I can see things changing. One of the things that concerns me is making sure that we recruit new people all the time to be able to deal with these issues.
One of the projects that I'm working with is at the University of Calgary with lung cancer research. It's one of the ignored cancers. Along with my friend Mavis Clark, we've put together this effort, the Lung Cancer Research Initiative. We're raising money to focus on lung cancer research and will be holding a symposium later this year."
After graduating from SAIT's Engineering Graphic Technology program in 1978, Bev Longstaff worked in her chosen field and taught at SAIT. She successfully ran for public office in 1989 and was the Alderman for Ward 7 in Calgary through 2001. She's served on numerous boards, including United Way of Calgary and SAIT's Board of Governors.