Student Spotlight

We're passionate about success.

At Writtle University College, every achievement - big and small - is a cause for celebration.


Student Spotlight awards logo

Our students' hard work benefits their personal development, WUC and those around them. Many of our students achieve success beyond their studies and take their first strides into the workplace by establishing professional networks and entrepreneurial initiatives. Members of our 'Writtle Family' transform lives by supporting others in the community.

Whatever you achieve during your time with WUC, we're here to support you every step of the way!

Writtle University College

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT AWARDS 2023

Transforming lives by helping or representing others in the community (internal to WUC or wider in the community we serve)

Awards in category of
COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE

TEAM AWARDS

ANIMAL SCHEME COURSE REPRESENTATIVESDani Chabot, Alice King, Mark Richardson, Hayley Sprawling, Zoe Thomson and Serena Wybrow

Course representatives play a vital role in the success of WUC's higher education programmes. These individuals were brilliant in both representing their peers and working with the academic team to resolve issues, to highlight best practice and to make the courses even better in the future for the Animal scheme course.

STUDENT AMBASSADOR INTERNSEllie Breeze, Joe Harris, Theo O'Donnell, Patrick Phiri, Hayley Sprawling and Serena Wybrow, Tanyel Dede, Hannah Mackenzie, Suzanne Marshall, Evan Miles, Nadine Mostert, Holly Scott, Emily Toogood and Stephanie Vazquez

Our graduating Student Ambassador Interns have been passionate in promoting WUC's friendly, wonderful and supportive community to prospective students. Their energy has been second to none as they have engaged and inspired new faces to join the WUC family! They have supported Open and Experience Days, our work with schools and helped to deliver our New Faces for Farming Initiative. Ambassadors have contributed to our marketing campaign work with social media posts, general and careers blogs, interviews and telephone calls. They provided the student voice for our marketing materials and helped new students to settle in and transition to university life by acting as Buddy Peer Mentors.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

LAUREN THOMPSON

Lauren volunteered her time to create lively, engaging social media coverage for the WUC Pet Behaviour Clinic's Facebook and Instagram pages. She and her own dog, Benny, have also supported the clinic's work to rehabilitate reactive dogs.

THEO O'DONNELL

Theo has been a dedicated volunteer at the WUC Pet Behaviour Clinic. He created engaging social media content and worked with his own dog, Lunar, to rehabilitate reactive dogs. Throughout his time at WUC, Theo has also given up his time to speak to BSc (Hons) Animal Management students about his work with Lunar, offering a personal perspective on training and inspection processes, and the use of alert dogs to support people with health conditions.

MEGAN READ

Throughout the year, Megan has excelled in supporting those around her. She is always present for other students and offers her help to any member of the WUC community who is experiencing stress or needs support.

JOE HARRIS

Over the last two years, Joe has been a key member of the Students' Union team. He supported every event and activity, and worked alongside Ali to build a new shooting society. Joe is known for his kind, thoughtful behaviour and the support and guidance he offers to the newer members of the SU.

PHIL JESSOP

For the last year, Phil has been running the Christian Union Society. She has shown dedication and commitment, creating weekly socials and meet-ups that have offered members of the WUC community a place to come together.

KYE PAYNE

Kye has demonstrated a high level of interest in canine physiotherapy and attended additional sessions to expand her knowledge and understanding. She has shown impressive professionalism and has worked closely with academic staff, patients and owners. Kye's passion and commitment has also been evident in her work to support WUC's library and marketing teams.

HANI SPARKS

In her two years with the Students' Union, Hani has supported every function and has shown incredible growth. She is always positive and successfully organised a food collection for a local homeless charity and launched a card-making scheme for people who are lonely at Christmas. In addition to being a vital and reliable member of the SU, Hani has worked to support staff on WUC's yard, and helped other students to care for their horses.

KATE WAREHAM

Kate is a bubbly, kind and outgoing member of the WUC community. She tirelessly supported the Students' Union throughout the 22/23 academic year, helping to set up and run events. Kate helped to strengthen our community through the power of music. As a member of the music society, she has worked to create an inclusive atmosphere and has given others the confidence they need to get involved.

ANYA DYSON

Anya has been an active member of the women's rugby team, supporting her fellow players and promoting and defending a safe environment for all. Anya advocates for her fellow students on issues impacting the student body, promoting strong values, including respect, fairness and empowerment.

Founding an entrepreneurial venture or establishing innovative careers connections

Awards in category of

ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION EXCELLENCE

TEAM AWARDS

DEVELOPING AND RUNNING AN ANIMAL BEHAVIOURAL CLINICTherese Figenschau, Constance Grimwood, Sharon Hunt, Holly Lawrence, Krystal Littlechild, Sophie Llewellyn, Theo O'Donnell, Lauren Thompson, Zoe Thomson, Jasmin Turner, Paul Wilkins and Amy Willats

BSc (Hons) Animal Management (Pet Behaviour and Welfare) students have worked with lecturer Debbie Emmerson to develop and run an animal behavioural clinic. The students gained practical experience and demonstrated business skills in addition to working closely with clients to address dogs' behavioural problems.

STRENGTHENING WUC'S LINKS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSESEllie Breeze and Poppy Setter

Ellie and Poppy strengthened WUC's links with local businesses while demonstrating initiative and leadership skills. For their Capstone Project, they worked with HIPRA, a multinational biotech pharmaceutical company, to compare the effects of an intramuscular or intradermic needle-free vaccine on the welfare and performance of piglets. Throughout the project, Poppy and Ellie liaised with multiple industry stakeholders, ultimately sharing their research with local farmers and other industry representatives at the AHDB Essex Pig Discussion Group.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

SHARON HUNT

After becoming an ABTC-recognised dog training instructor, Sharon launched 'Mutts n Pups', and now runs dog training classes at WUC. She generously allows other students to gain vital experience by observing and assisting within her classes. Sharon also takes an active role in cases at the WUC Pet Behaviour Clinic.

RYAN HEMMINGS

Ryan has made the most of every opportunity and has shown impressive dedication to his career goals. Ryan completed a prestigious one-year internship at Leyton Orient Football Club and represented Basketball England as a strength and conditioning coach in Serbia. Throughout his degree, Ryan has worked to introduce young people to the benefits of sport and higher education, and volunteered his time to publicise the University College's courses. Furthermore, the internship has led Ryan to continue working at Leyton Orient Football Club as an academy strength and conditioning coach.

Promoting sustainability and global citizenship and/or involved with protecting wildlife and conservation in the WUC community or wider

Awards in category of

SUSTAINABILITY EXCELLENCE

TEAM AWARDS

CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEDGEHOG FRIENDLY CAMPUS INITIATIVEAmy Clarke, Jonathon Edwards and Hayley Sprawling

Amy, Jonathon and Hayley have been actively involved with the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative this year. Their contributions helped the University College's work towards a silver award and will support our journey towards a gold award over the next two years. They have been involved in surveys, litter picks, awareness raising, hog-themed craft and sales, and, most recently, the installation of ten hedgehog houses on campus.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

RANASINGHA HETTI ARACHCHIGE WASANTHA RUVINI

Ranasingha Wasantha Ruvini was a runner up in the 2023 Sustainable Futures Business Awards. She showed a strong understanding of the competition's aims with an innovative proposal aimed to tackle greenhouse gas emissions using year-round vegetation in the form of evergreen plants. The project utilised urban landscaping to offer a unique solution to the issues caused by high levels of traffic in the UK.

DAN JONES

In addition to his impressive academic achievements, Dan is a dedicated member of Student Success Advisory Board, has volunteered to mentor other students and regularly goes out of his way to offer support and encouragement to others. A Colgrave Seabrook Scholarship recipient, Dan was awarded the prestigious HortTech Scholarship, sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, and has shown ongoing dedication to environmental sustainability within horticulture.

Demonstrating personal development beyond the degree to develop additional research skills by conducting, publishing and/or presenting research.

Awards in category of

RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

TEAM AWARDS

ORGANISATION OF THE FIRST INSECT ETHICS AND WELFARE CONFERENCE IN THE UKCleo Featley, Sarah Keen, Adam Lester, Daberechi Mildness Ubochi and Serena Wybrow

The students who assisted the organisation of the first insect ethics and welfare conference in the UK were outstanding, hardworking and made an excellent team. They contacted zoos, professional bodies and other universities to build an itinerary of speakers, and supported logistics and planning. Without their help the conference would not have been possible.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

WALE ADENUGA

Last year, Wale went above and beyond when helping with the Kemin Research Trial at WUC's pig unit. He generously volunteered his free time to ensure the smooth running and success of the trial.

ELLIE BREEZE

Ellie presented her Capstone Project at the 17th Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference. She shared research evaluating stress behaviours for piglets, comparing the intramuscular and intradermic needle-free vaccine on welfare.

MEGAN READ

Megan successfully presented her Capstone Project research study at the 17th Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference. The title of her poster was "Hyenas: Public perception, influence of media and the impact on conservation".

KATE TOWNSEND

Katie has been a superb contributor to the Animal course. She presented her Capstone Research study on dubia cockroaches at the 17th Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference, the Colchester Zoo Research Day and the Insect Welfare and Ethics Inaugural Meeting for the Royal Entomological Society Special Interest Group.

SARAH MURRAY

Sarah was invited to present the findings of her MSc dissertation at the Colchester Zoo Research Day. Her research covered the impact of the introduction of a mother/daughter pair of Bornean orangutans on group interactions within an enclosure at Colchester Zoo. Her findings will inform future best practice management of this endangered species.

SOPHIA GRAY

Sophia conducted research on "The phylogeny of the Falconidae and Peregrine falcons", from this she was invited to present her Capstone Project study at the Colchester Zoo Research conference, stimulating discussion and networking that will direct future research with the zoo. Sophia contributed to the promotion of the Royal Entomology Society's Welfare & Ethics Special Interest Group on social media and will present her research at the annual meeting of the Ecological Genetics Group. Sophia is planning to publish her research in a genetics journal over the summer. Completing this research has opened doors for postgraduate study and a future career in genetics!

ELLA SQUIRES

Ella was invited to present her Capstone Project study at the Colchester Zoo Research Day. Her study of moth data was entitled "The abundance and phenology of Opisthograptis luteolata: a comparison of north and south". The zoo has a strong interest in UK wildlife and conservation. This study will direct future research collaborations between our two institutions.

NADINE MOSTERT

Nadine assisted Writtle University College and Hartpury University with research looking at multiple combinations of horses and riders across multiple FEI show jumping competitions in nine countries. She collected and analysed data, working closely with academics to make a valuable contribution to the project.

ISABEL PASHLEY

Isabel presented her Capstone Project at the 17th Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference. Her research poster focused upon the effects of different massage techniques on canine lumbar spinal range of motion and hindlimb stride length.

LILY HEWITT-BENNETT

Lily was awarded the best poster prize at the 17th Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference. Her research was an investigation into, and a comparison of, peak pressure and pressure distribute on under a general purpose saddle, racing exercise saddle, and race saddle at a walk.

Achieving personal success.

Awards in category of

PERSONAL EXCELLENCE

TEAM AWARDS

Adelaide Chinn, Callum Harrison, Ellie Prowse, Jaime Richards and May Yoram

This group of students consistently set an excellent example to their peers. They displayed an exceptional work ethic and a determination to succeed. Their hard work and proactive approach allowed them to excel and made them a pleasure to teach. These students responded positively to feedback, exhibited an ability to problem-solve, behaved respectfully towards others and showed a willingness to help those around them. Their engagement and enthusiasm are a credit to Writtle.

Gabriela Chacksfield, Sian Dixon and Hannah Smith

This group of students are personable, friendly and kind to peers and staff. They have always approached their studies with a 'can do' attitude. Despite challenges along their journey this year, their attitude to learning and engagement has always been positive. They have excelled in both the practical and academic elements of their studies and worked consistently hard throughout the year. They have done exceptionally well in our clinics, being friendly, knowledgeable and approachable to clients and their pets. Overall, these students are kind and hard-working individuals.

Gracja Berganska and Sortia Rotter

Gracja and Sortia have worked hard to improve their knowledge and understanding of the subject area. They have displayed a drive to succeed and have taken on feedback from the course team throughout the year. They have acted on feedback in a positive and mature manner ensuring they are successful in their studies. These two students have shown the greatest improvement in their practical skills and knowledge during the year and should be very proud of this achievement.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

ANGELA RODRIGUES DOS SANTOS

Angela is a phenomenal ambassador for WUC. She is endlessly cheerful, positive and optimistic and shows resilience in the face of adversity. Angela has grasped every opportunity with both hands and is an inspiration to all. She has worked with onsite gym Studio 35, in addition to being set to receive an excellent degree.

SERENA WYBROW

Serena has shown exceptional leadership and personal skills as a course rep for MSc Welfare and Conservation. She has been continually supportive, constructive and diplomatic and has been a joy to work with. She has also been an excellent support for her peers, and worked closely with both staff and students to help those around her.

ZOE THOMSON

Zoe has been excellent member of the pet behaviour clinic. Her organisational skills have been enormously helpful in the admin side of running the clinic; creating forms and client tracking spreadsheets and keeping on top of client records. She has also thrown herself out of her comfort zone to take an active role in work with clients, which she has done extremely well.

CLAIRE BIDWELL

Claire is always bubbly and has a smile for everyone. She has shown a consistent commitment to learning and commendable independence. Claire is continually motivated and engages well with her studies.

HANNAH MACKENZIE

During her time at WUC, Hannah has developed a proactive approach to learning and sought support from the academic team. After initially finding the year challenging, Hannah engaged with the course team and acted on feedback. She consistently asked staff how she was performing and how she could improve. She excelled and has flourished in both her academic and practical skills and knowledge. Despite her initial concerns, Hannah has achieved highly in her academic and practical exams.

AMY SARGEANT

After intermitting and returning this year, Amy has shown a great determination to succeed and has integrated well into the group. Amy is a kind, considerate and hard-working member of the cohort. Amy has engaged with her studies and consistently worked hard. During the canine clinics, Amy showed great empathy to dogs and their owners and takes a kind, knowledgeable and caring approach to treating the patients. Overall, Amy has done excellently this year and has been a pleasure to teach.

HIGHER EDUCATION
STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2023

Adelaide Chinn
Student of the Year 2023

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen by our Leadership Group as our Student of the Year inspiration for 2023 goes to Adelaide Chinn.


Adelaide volunteered to design and organise a talk aimed at helping those who struggle with their mental health. Her well-attended presentation received brilliant feedback. The information has been placed on Moodle, where it has an ongoing impact. Adelaide's work is now being used by the Wellbeing Team to support students within the WUC community.

STUDENTS' UNION
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD 2023

The students whose Spotlight has been chosen for the Students' Union Special Recognition Award for 2023 goes to Suzanne Marshall and Adelaide Chinn.

Suzanne Marshall
Students' Union Special Recognition Award

The Students' Union recognises the fantastic contribution that Suzanne brings to the WUC community.


Highly regarded by course teams and peers, Suzanne is an enthusiastic, conscientious and altruistic student with a can-do attitude. As the Women's Rugby Captain 22/23, she has gone above and beyond to foster an empowering and supportive culture for her team mates, ensuring everyone is included and able to thrive.

Adelaide Chinn
Students' Union Special Recognition Award

The Students' Union recognises the outstanding contribution that Adelaide brings to the WUC community.


Her strength, determination and compassion has been incredible to watch during her time as a student at WUC. Adelaide has used her own personal experiences to support and educate students and staff alike. We all look forward to seeing the further achievements and accolades that we know Adelaide will go on to achieve.