Student Highlight: Sarmad Butt

Sarmad Butt, Integrative Studies '16 with a concentration in Life Science and minor in Leadership Studies
Sarmad Butt, Integrative Studies '16 with a concentration in Life Science and minor in Leadership Studies

For New Century College student Sarmad Butt (integrative studies, 2016), the new academic year has started off on the right foot. He’s currently enrolled in two engaging leadership classes (NCLC 435 and NCLC 595) that will help him prepare for his future. Butt hopes to become a medical doctor, and feels that a minor in leadership will give him extra skills and understanding to serve and help his future patients and colleagues.

Last year, Butt took NCLC 204: Introduction to Leadership with Professor Julie Owen and enjoyed the subject matter and assignments. As he learned more about leadership and the other courses offered, Butt chose to add a minor in leadership.

Butt said, “Professor Owen had engaging readings and assignments. I became really interested in this topic. I saw there was a minor, and thought this would help me in my career.”

Since he was a middle school student, Butt knew he wanted to study to become a medical doctor. After reading Dr. Ben Carson’s autobiography Gifted Hands, Butt chose to pursue a path toward a medical degree. Butt indicated he would like to practice medicine in America and in other countries where medical care is more difficult to find and afford. He said, “Everyone should be able to receive health care. It should be a human right.”

To start on a medical career, Butt has pursued a variety of service opportunities with the American Red Cross, INOVA hospital and JROTC that have helped him to learn more about the medical profession and the needs of the sick and injured.

At INOVA hospital, Butt assists nurses and other hospital staff with a variety of tasks, including transporting patients who are ready to be discharged. Butt said, “I get to see behind the scenes and learn more about all aspects of a hospital…I really enjoy helping people, and it’s a good feeling to help people go home.”

As an integrative studies major with a concentration in life sciences, Butt’s schedule is full. Despite his heavy workload, he wanted to add the leadership dimension to his studies at Mason and encourages other students to similarly challenge themselves.

Butt said, “College is like other educational institutions and the schoolwork isn’t that hard if you study and you make sure you have time for everything. You have to make connections and network. Look outside your comfort zone and get involved in other things you wouldn’t have considered. Don’t be afraid to take those risks.”