MOUNT LAUREL >> Shanni Prutchi is thoughtful, driven and community-minded. She’s also Rowan College at Burlington County’s 2020 class valedictorian. This makes complete sense when you consider who she is. Prutchi loves to learn, and her love of learning reaches beyond the confines of the classroom.
Prutchi’s story is a tumultuous one that involves many twists and turns. Her college career began at Rowan University when she had taken a year between high school and college. She was slated to attend Boston University after graduating high school but fell ill her senior year. After deciding she needed to be close to home, she applied and was accepted to Rowan University. However, after taking a medical withdrawal three years in, she enrolled in a Security+ certification class at Camden County College that ignited her passion for cybersecurity.
At that time, RCBC had recently introduced the Computing and Informatics 3+1 program, and Prutchi enrolled soon after she found out about it.
“I was able to not only manage my health but also make friends, get involved on campus and participate in the community experience,” she recalled. “RCBC has changed my life for the better, and I know it’s done so for many people. It’s also taught me to be a helper and invest in others.”
Throughout her time at RCBC, Prutchi engaged in research for Lockheed Martin and PRICE Systems, mentored others through the cybersecurity club and fully immersed herself in the college experience, including enrolling in classes that had no relevance to her major. She also formed lasting relationships with her professors.
“Professor Warner has been there for me throughout this entire journey, and Professor Don Cesaretti brought so much knowledge and personal experience to class. He’s given me a really important perspective on cybersecurity,” Prutchi shared.
For Prutchi, life is about balance. When she’s not learning, she’s working as a cybersecurity analyst for NFI, a logistics and supply chain solutions provider. When she’s not doing either of those things, she’s giving back to her community.
“My whole life I’ve been taught that there’s always a way you can help people. In every field, you can do what you enjoy while actively working to help people. That’s the viewpoint I’ve been raised with. Be the helper. RCBC has prepared us to be helpers, and right now is our time to shine,” she said.
Prutchi volunteers in her community by offering technical support services to those who need it and delivering groceries to those who can’t shop for themselves through Jewish Family and Children Services. As for her future plans, she aspires to be a cybersecurity consultant, performing risk analysis and penetration testing services for various organizations.
“There’s no other way to live in a society than to think about other people,” she emphasizes.