What is the Saruk Centre?
The Saruk Centre is a consortium of philanthropists providing young people with co-curricular skills to become leaders within their communities. The Centre blends academic programs with personalized attention, professional development, intellectual engagement, and community outreach, resulting in personal growth for all participants during their university years.
Students, prepared for success and service, will become attractive applicants for graduate school, internships, grants, and future employment.
To develop effective leaders with the ability to positively impact their communities and the world.
To develop effective leaders by enhancing life skills, inspiring values through service, and expanding leadership abilities through instruction, experience, and mentorship.
Founding Board Members
What God has blessed us with, we need to share. Having held diverse leadership positions throughout my career, I can say with great certainty that effective leadership can be learned by trial and error—but the trial-and-error method can have devastating results!
As I reflected on my desire to provide safer opportunities for up-and-coming leaders to learn leadership skills in formalized and intentional ways, I encountered others who share my interest and passion. They, too, believe that teaching leadership fundamentals, offering opportunities to develop skills through job experience, and providing effective mentorship will produce individuals who can continue to build their strengths as they mature as leaders.
This Leadership Centre is the result of much collaboration and planning. Its founding members are committed to sharing what they have learned in their career journeys. I envision students hearing from and interfacing with these visionary and experienced individuals, and other successful leaders.
These are exciting times as this leadership program and others that the Centre is developing will complement students’ academic pursuits to provide future leaders with a greater chance of success as they embark on their careers.
I have spent the last 20 years working in the oil and gas industry in countries and cultures across the globe, leading teams and influencing others. Over the years, I’ve realized that the best opportunities to develop life and leadership skills are not found in classrooms or lecture halls, but in real-life experiences—situations that get people outside their comfort zone. In addition, I’ve discovered that effective mentoring can make a huge difference in learning these skills.
I became a founding member of the Saruk Centre because I saw it as an opportunity to help future leaders develop their skills by taking approaches not typically employed by traditional academic institutions. I look forward to working with the other founding members to develop and run the Centre to benefit aspiring future leaders.
When I left my tenure track position in academic biochemistry to pursue a career in dentistry, I was determined that someday I would make an effort to return the investment of time, opportunities, and funding that my mentors in science had bestowed upon me. In the Saruk Centre for Leadership Development, I see a chance to do just that.
Everyone has an effect on people in their sphere of interaction. Their leadership skills and integrity will shape their ability to better society. Practical leadership training for young people is the most effective way to move forward.
I had several outstanding mentors and many opportunities for leadership when I was a student at Burman. Since then, I have employed more than 125 students in my local business. In addition, through A Better World, a charitable organization I co-founded, I have also taken more than 200 students overseas to work on initiatives such as education, health, water, agriculture, and income-generating projects.
I believe we provide mentorship and leadership opportunities that allow our graduates to become outstanding leaders for their communities, their church, and this world. I see my involvement in the Saruk Centre as a way to accomplish this, and it is my gift of gratitude for Burman’s impact on my life.