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


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

Awards in category of


ANIMAL SCHEME COURSE REPRESENTATIVESEmily Witter, Megan Read, Bryony Jones, Jennifer Broome & Mark Richardson

Our course representatives play a vital role in the success of our courses. These individuals all were brilliant in both representing their peers and working with the academic team to resolve issues, highlight best practice and to make the courses even better in the future.

EQUINE COMMUNITYFreddie Anderson & Emma Stringer

Freddie and Emma are always the first to volunteer to be demo riders for practical lectures, open days, weekend events and external lessons. They give up countless hours to help staff with practical sessions and events. Both students also work with the yard team on rehab plans for the horses. Emma also took on the captaincy of the BUCS Equine team.

INCLUSIVE COMMUNITYOlivia Jones & Sortia Rotter

Olivia and Sortia have worked hard to develop and lead the LGBTQ+ Society, adding books to our library catalogue and creating displays and movie nights to educate people on LGBTQ+ matters. They continue to give students who identify as LGBTQ+ a place to feel safe with others within the community.



Adam has actively taken part in many student projects, working with both the Student Success team and the Students' Union. He worked to raise funds for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society; volunteered for the Writtle Junior Forest School project and drove forward the 'Mature Souls' society as President. Adam is also a member of the Student Success Advisory Board.


Darlington is a hardworking member of the Students' Union and the University College community. He has worked alongside the SU team to organise and run events throughout the year. Darlington has shown a commitment to, and passion for, creating a more welcoming and inclusive culture at University College, improving the experience of all students.


Grace has worked incredibly hard at a local primary school to develop a forest school for the pupils. She volunteered her time to cut back and clear the site so the students at the school have an outside learning space. Grace helped to motivate the whole team with her supportive, encouraging and can-do attitude.


Joshua is an active member of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus group. He attended all meetings and got involved in activities to improve the campus for wildlife. He has also volunteered his time during the week and at weekends to support a project at Writtle Junior School.


Kelly works hard to improve and support the University College community. She tries to make other students feel welcome; to support them and even offered to help her fellow students revise topics on a recent coach trip to Crufts. She has shown true passion for working with animals and for the University College.


Tanyel was the only full-time peer mentor for Student Success. She attended all 'ask a buddy' and 'pit stop' sessions. She made many important contributions that have helped the University College community and went the extra mile by sharing her own planning techniques with any students that needed help in that area. She asked for feedback after sessions and was always open to suggestions.

Achieving personal success outside your studies

Awards in category of



VOLUNTEER RESEARCH SUPPORT TEAMCatarina Dossantos, Louise Straw, Ellie Rollinson, Indigo Ogden, Sharna Chittock, Faith Gladman, Hayley Griffin, Hayley Steedman, Emily Witter, Chloe Swaden, Rebecca Tilling, Zoe Pandi, Yamini Vira, Kris Ratcliffe and Ellie Loomes

Students from a range of university courses took part in a research support team. They volunteered their time and worked hard to assist with on-farm data collection on a regular basis. The trial would not have been a success without their support and dedication.

WUC AMBASSADOR INTERN (ANIMAL SCHEME) TEAMHayley Sprawling, Bradley Brown, Ellie Breeze, Bryony Jones, Mark Richardson and Emily Witter

The student ambassador intern team who helped at Open Days and other outreach engagement events were exemplary in representing the Animal courses, gaining valuable employability skills whilst inspiring the students of the future. The Ambassador Intern represented the department/institution and interacted with the public. They were a source of support for academic staff and the marketing department.

THE GAIA CLUBPetar Popara & Toby Alkhersan

The Gaia Club has shown impressive enterprise, organisation and effort. They worked on behalf of the University College's community and local area to promote sustainability. With support from staff, they organised the donation of over 700 tree saplings, which they arranged to plant on our campus.



Adelaide has shown determination to overcome hurdles during her time at Writtle. An amazing student, Adelaide has always been the first to volunteer her time on extra projects, events and activities. Adelaide also gave up her own time to work on the Titchmarsh Centre caring for animals and supporting FE students.


Angel has been a wonderful unofficial Student's Union officer; In September, Angel worked as a 'Freshers Angel' and continued to be a Students' Union Angel all year. Angel attended all events, setting up and clearing up at the end of the night. She covered office shifts, supported the team and was always on hand to help. Angel also worked with the Forest School Project.


Chloe represented the University College at the sixteenth Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference. She presented her Capstone Project research of a mixed species exhibit at Colchester Zoo, highlighting the positive and negative interactions between the new rhino calves and the other species. Chloe received the highly commended award for her presentation.


Emily went above and beyond in ensuring that the Kemin research trial ran smoothly at the pig unit. She not only undertook research tasks, but also supervised and coordinated the trial's support team, liaised independently with various stakeholders and in doing so demonstrated initiative and leadership skills. This was all in addition to her work as a private tutor.


Hani's upbeat attitude and hard work made her an invaluable member of the Students' Union. Hani often completed the work of two people and attended events such as the Summer Ball to set up and clean up. Throughout the year, Hani raised funds for different charities, helping to organise pub crawls, bake sales and more.


Holly's study on the use of milk cups to supplement neonatal piglets was presented by prior recording at the sixteenth Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Conference. Although as a postgraduate Holly was ineligible for an award, the presentation was very well received by attendees. She was also invited to present at the annual summer conference 'Advancing Animal Welfare Science' in Edinburgh.


Jack volunteered his time and skills to support the Kemin trial's on-farm data collection on a regular basis. In addition, he undertook laboratory work when researchers were not available, and in doing so ensured that trial progress remained as scheduled.


Joe is a committed, caring member of the Students' Union team. He worked incredibly hard throughout the year to organise events for students. Joe overcame academic challenges while also completing his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. He is an outstanding member of the University College community known for his big heart and can-do attitude.


Joe is highly regarded by the men's and women's rugby teams for his hard work and dedication. When the women’s team was left without a coach for several months, Joe stepped in and volunteered his time. He taught the team valuable skills that were highly useful in subsequent games.


Kate has been a fantastic year representative for the Agriculture course. She showed a strong understanding of students' needs and teaching perspectives. In addition, Kate participated in careers activities, presented her dissertation results to a second year class, attended the National Farm Management Conference and has been an active member of a local Young Farmers' Club.


Kelly has been a shining light of optimism. Polite, motivated and engaged, Kelly overcame challenges and always supported others. Kelly helped with teaching lower cohorts at open days and spoke to external companies and visitors. Kelly also pioneered an award to say thank you to the amazing animals that help teach our students.


Mark played an active role as a student ambassador. He proactively stepped up to represent the University College at UCAS Fairs, delivered APP workshops to schools, engaged offer holders through our telephone call and email programme and supported marketing/recruitment activities. He has been an enthusiastic and supportive role model to aspiring Animal students. Mark also confidently presented at open days and at the UED on behalf of the Ambassador Interns. Mark has been a representative on the Higher Education Council.


Poppy supported the Recruitment and Marketing team as a Student Ambassador Intern (Engagement) on a weekly basis. She contacted prospective students, answered any questions they had and supported open events. She was helpful, friendly and had a positive manner. Poppy also led the Equine Society as president in 2021/2022.


Rebecca student has demonstrated excellent commitment through her dissertation work for an agricultural pharmaceutical company. She overcame complications with enthusiasm and also went above and beyond in ensuring that the Kemin research trial ran smoothly. She undertook research tasks for the trial, and supervised and coordinated the trial support team, liaised independently with various stakeholders and in doing so demonstrated initiative and leadership skills.


William is passionate about change and has achieved so much during his year at Students' Union Sustainability Rep, including the launch of a new 'Sustainable Futures' competition, that encouraged students to pitch a proposed solutions to a sustainable concern within industry. William also pioneered a reusable cup scheme that helped reduce waste and the carbon footprint created by the 'Baa' and at events, including the Summer Ball.

Founding an entrepreneurial venture or establishing innovative careers connections

Awards in category of




Peter and Toby worked together to create an aeroponics system to offers a more sustainable method of growing. It has significant possibilities for arid regions where water for crop production is of primary concern, due to the fact it reduces water use.



Claire has demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit and impressive innovation. Her entry to the University College's 'Sustainable Futures' competition highlighted a new product; hempcrete. This sustainable carbon neutral material could be used within art and landscape design as an alternative to plastics and cement.


In addition to her studies, Kayley works as a nail artist. In January, she competed in Nailympia, one of the largest global nail competitions. The international event attracted contestants from 27 countries. Kayley entered the highest category and gained second place.


In addition to her studies, Zoe runs a photography business, specialising in equine and canine photoshoots. She draws upon her understanding of breed characteristics and patterns of movement to create a wide range of photography for her clients.


Toby Alkhersan
Student of the Year 2022

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen by our Leadership Group as our Student of the Year inspiration for 2022 goes to Toby Alkhersan.

Toby has shown impressive levels of commitment to his studies, his community and environmental change. Toby was the joint winner of the University College's Sustainable Futures competition. He showed impressive entrepreneurial talent when working with his classmate Peter to create an aeroponics system that reduces water use and off ers a more sustainable method of crop production. Toby added new life to an area of his hometown by working with friends to plant hundreds of trees and, as co-founder of the University College's Gaia Club, worked with fellow students, to organise the donation of over 700 saplings for planting on campus.


Elliott Woollen
Vice Chancellor Special Recognition Award 2022

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen for the Vice Chancellor Special Recognition Award for 2022 goes to Elliott Woollen.

Elliott is an inspiration to everyone around him. He was named Writtle University College's 'Student of the Year' in 2020 and is involved with many community initiatives including Founder of Herts & Essex Community Farm, Harlow Soup and Harlow Grows. Elliott has also made vital contributions to the University College. As the Students' Union's Wellbeing Offi cer 2021/22, he changed the atmosphere of the SU for the better and initiated many ideas and practises. He also worked with fellow student, Darlington, to fi ll the role of SU President. Elliott will go on to be the SU President for 2022/23.