When a motivated student meets a dedicated professor
Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021

Alassane Togola

Alassane Togola possesses an innate curiosity unrivaled by many of his peers. As an information technology student at Rowan College at Burlington County, he often extended his time on campus into the evening hours, meeting with Professor Paul Warner to ask questions and pick his brain about all things IT. Although Togola was only scheduled to take classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he would often travel to RCBC from Philadelphia on his off days to meet with Warner, spending the majority of his week at the college. 

“The more we spoke, the more I realized this (IT) is something I would want to do,” Togola said. “I always had questions, and he always made himself available to answer them.”

Togola, who immigrated to the United States from Mali, West Africa in 2014, initially began his studies at the Community College of Philadelphia taking ESL and English language courses. A Philadelphia resident, he spoke of how even from a distance he had heard of Professor Warner and his ability to inspire students. He made the decision to transfer to RCBC after learning of the college’s cybersecurity program, a significant differentiating factor from CCP’s offerings. 

“I knew I wanted to be in IT since I was seven years old,” Togola recalled. “My dad bought me a laptop around 2003, and I loved to play around with the interface; I had so much fun with it. Before I came to the US, I was working in a computer shop where I installed Windows OS and replaced computer parts, such as hard drives, RAM, fans etc. If you want to learn something, you just have to go for it.” 

Togola went for it. After earning his associate degree in 2019, he transferred to Wilmington University to earn his bachelor’s degree in Computer  and Network Security. He’s now working toward his master’s degree in Cybersecurity. He’s also working as a junior system administrator for Qnectus, a position he’s held since June 2021. 

“I do everything here, including building servers, domain controllers, going to client sites and completing helpdesk tasks,” Togola said. 

As for his future plans, Togola hopes to circle back to RCBC as an IT instructor. He looks forward to implementing his ideas for enhancing an already strong curriculum. 

To learn more about RCBC’s information technology programs, visit rcbc.edu/academics/information-technology. Hear more from Alassane at rcbc.edu/podcast.