On February 21st students of the "Masters of Science Program in Mineral Geosciences" participated in a special guest lecture given by IAMGOLD top man, Stephen Letwin. This guest lecture entitled "Leadership and Value Creation", held at the IGSR building was also attended by other students from ADEK's Geosciences program. The "Masters of Science Program in Mineral Geosciences", which consists of 2 cohorts, has been fully sponsored by IAMGOLD/Rosebel Gold Mines ("Rosebel").
In September 2012, a sponsorship agreement was signed by Rosebel and the Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS) in the presence of former Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Hok, and the CEO of IAMGOLD, Stephen Letwin. Rosebel committed to a sustainable promotion of scientific education in Suriname in the field of geology and mining. This broad and interdisciplinary study covers the most important aspects of the mineral sciences and exploration, with special emphasis on the Precambrian Guiana Shield area.
For scientist Renoesha Naipal, the Master's program was a golden opportunity to obtain a Master's degree in Mineral Geosciences. "In 2012, I was given the opportunity to continue my studies, something I've always wanted, and I didn't hesitate for a moment or waste time. Thanks to Rosebel's generosity, I was able to start my MSc study immediately after my BSc study, in Suriname. After obtaining my MSc, my wish came true; I was allowed to be part of the Geosciences program as a teacher and as a Ph.D. student. As a scientist, I am now able to explore our precious mineral resources with passion and enthusiasm and thus make my contribution to the development of Suriname".
Stephen Letwin talked about the oil, gas, and gold industry, highlighting its specific challenges and earning opportunities. He also emphasized the importance of leadership, an empowerment culture within companies, and shared important learning moments in his career with the students. "Geologists with an MSc degree meet the need for specialized and qualified personnel, which is important for the further development of Suriname's mineral resources, but above all, do not let yourself be defined by an academic degree or limited by a position within a company". Letwin urged students to keep investing in their education and to always be open to new challenges in their careers.
The driving force to support the program lies in Rosebel’s "Corporate Social Responsibility" policy. This investment, of almost USD 1 million, fits well within Rosebel's strategy to contribute to the development of a new generation of scientific talent in Suriname. The program, which is accredited by the National Accreditation Body (NOVA), has enabled students to gain international knowledge and experience in various methods of field research by participating in excursions to Aruba and South Dakota. The lectures have been given by international scientists, affiliated with various international universities including the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and the United States of America, based on international high quality standards.
In addition, Surinamese lecturers from the Technical Faculty of AdeKUS have also gained international experience and knowledge from these lecturers. A total of 32 students have been included in the program, of which 26 have already graduated.