Success Stories

Kieran Doolabh’s network at WCSU helped him secure his goals

Kieran Doolabh

Kieran Doolabh

Fresh off receiving the 2024 Management Information Systems (MIS) Award and Dean’s Award at Western Connecticut State University’s Ancell School of Business Honors Convocation, Danbury resident Kieran Doolabh has a lot to be proud of. He also recently received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Cybersecurity degree at WCSU’s commencement ceremony on May 12. Yet the soft-spoken graduate is humble when asked about his accomplishments. “I’m incredibly honored and touched that I made a profound impact on the Management Information Systems (MIS) department, the Ancell School of Business, and possibly even the university,” Doolabh said. “I think back on my time here and acknowledge that it’s because of my family, my friends and coworkers that I have received these awards. This is as much their accomplishment as it is mine.”

Four years earlier, in 2020, as an Immaculate High School student approaching graduation, Doolabh had to contend with both the challenges of losing his mother and the Covid-19 pandemic. Both influenced his college decision. “Losing my mom was hard on my family for obvious reasons, and also financially,” Doolabh recalled. “I wanted to go to college nearby to be able to be there for my father and my family, and also to save money. What stood out to me about WCSU was that it offered a really good curriculum for the price, and it has completely delivered in that sense. It’s a hidden gem in New England.”

Doolabh had taken an IT Essentials class in high school and had participated in the GenCyber Agent Academy, a cybersecurity summer camp at the University of New Haven, which he attended first as a participant, and later as a mentor. Doolabh also earned a Rotary Youth Leadership Award that enabled him to participate in a prestigious conference for students in grades 10-12 at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester. These opportunities reaffirmed his interest in the field, so he enrolled at WCSU as a Cybersecurity major.

After a class taught by Adjunct Instructor Ken Lynch, the university’s Access Control & Security Specialist, Doolabh approached Lynch and showed him some of his own research on card access control systems. Lynch encouraged Doolabh’s interests and hired him as a student worker in the university’s WestConnect office, where he had the opportunity to learn about WCSU’s card readers and security cameras. “It’s been an amazing opportunity to work with them,” Doolabh said. “This is way beyond the ability of a typical student worker to work hands-on in an area that interests them. When Berkshire Hall was expanded, I assisted the full-time staff in bringing the access control doors and alarms online. I tested and adjusted the door forced and held alarms, as well as working with the full-time staff to help contractors fine-tune and adjust the access control equipment that was being added as part of the expansion. I also programmed the card readers, doors, system events and alarms, and other access control devices and conversions through the university. While the full-time staff worked on programming the building unlock schedules, I programmed special dates/events in the building unlock schedules.”

Doolabh lights up when talking about working with WCSU’s Access Control experts. “I got to set up, configure and bring onto the network an all-new access control panel for Newbury Hall, a residence hall,” he said. “I programmed all the new doors, card readers, and access control devises that will soon be installed and landed on that panel.  I’d like to think I helped make a significant impact on the security at my university, and I feel so blessed to be able to work with a system like WCSU’s — it’s so sophisticated.”

And while it’s clear that Doolabh will gladly talk about his passion for his job whenever he has the opportunity, it’s also evident that he is a well-rounded student who has achieved and maintained a 4.0 GPA while being a member of the Kathwari Honors Program and an altar server at St. Gregory the Great parish. He’s submitted his photography to the Kathwari Honors Program student magazine, Perspective, and his work has graced the front and back covers of the past three issues.

Now that he has graduated, Doolabh has applied to graduate programs that include WCSU’s Master of Business Administration, as well as several master’s in Cybersecurity programs. He’s also waiting to hear back from some recent job interviews that take advantage of the skills he’s acquired in Access Control. “The core cybersecurity principles also apply to locks and access control,” he explained. “There are best practices to adhere to with both.”

He said his greatest takeaways as he prepares to graduate are what he learned from Lynch, who has been not only “a fantastic professor, but also a mentor and great boss,” and the knowledge he acquired from Adjunct Instructor Steven Cunningham, “who possesses incredible knowledge in Cybersecurity.” Doolabh said Russ DiBona, the university’s Access Control & Security Technician, has been “a kind and excellent teacher and has provided valuable insight, guidance and help throughout my time at WestConnect.” Doolabh added that his management classes, taught by Professor Dr. Pauline Assenza and Assistant Professor Alexandra Galli-Debicella, provided valuable information for working with others and managing people — skills that apply in life, in general. “Treat people how they want to be treated,” Doolabh said Assenza taught the class. “Dignity, respect and kindness — everyone wants that — treat people that way.”

As if to show that philosophy in practice, Doolabh added, “For everyone who contributed to bringing me to who I am and where I am, I have a huge amount of gratitude. My gratitude goes out to all of them.”



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