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 2021

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

TEAM AWARD

Second year BSc Horticulture students worked hard to support one another during an incredibly challenging year. The group is in regular contact via messaging apps, which they use to share their passion for horticulture and to offer help and encouragement with academic and non-academic commitments. This friendly, inclusive approach helped to smooth their transition to online learning.

TEAM AWARD

The founding members of The Gaia Club worked to create a new society devoted to improving sustainability at Writtle University College. They hope to make WUC's beautiful estate greener and more environmentally friendly by reducing our carbon footprint, chemical pollution, landfill waste output and improving biodiversity.

TEAM AWARD

Paul Wilkins and Lucy Wolf founded the Disabled Students' Society in response to a need for a space of belonging and community for disabled students in Higher and Further Education. Holly Lucking joined as an FE representative and together they have led the society by organising meetings and chats for students. They have made incredible strides in promoting inclusiveness and disability awareness at WUC during a uniquely challenging year.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

PAUL WILKINS

Paul has worked tirelessly to promote inclusiveness and disability awareness at WUC, including as an active member of the Student Success Advisory Board. As the President and a co-founder of the Disabled Students' Society he has taken a key role in offering advice to students and arranging guest speakers during a very challenging year. Paul and other society members had regular meetings with the HE Disability Manager and planned events that brought students together during lockdown. Paul also worked as a course representative and in 2021 will mentor new undergraduates.

LUCY RODRIGUEZ-LARANJO

Lucy is a driving force for change. She tirelessly works to increase sustainability and regenerative practices on WUC's campus and is one of the students behind the launch of the new WUC Regenerative and Circular Society. During lockdown, Lucy displayed exceptional organisational skills when working with fellow students to promote, host and manage the virtual event "2050: The Future of Food".

WILLIAM CHARITY

William supported the community by volunteering at his local COVID-19 vaccination centre during lockdown. He developed important social and communication skills that will serve him well in the next level of his studies. He also worked hard to maintain a high level of attendance and engagement throughout his online learning sessions. William has also been an extremely hard working and supportive member of the SU during lockdown. He has worked hard at keeping students informed of SU events and provided a support service to all students during this time. William worked as a volunteer for the SU and then continued his in his role for a further year after his term had finished.

EMILY TOOGOOD

Emily has made a positive impact on WUC's student community. She supported prospective students in her role as a Student Ambassador and contributed to the Student Success Advisory Board. With staff support, Emily set up the Steps to Success series to assist students experiencing low confidence, poor mental health or other disabilities with their post-graduation employment in the world of business. She also contributed to the student submission for the annual return to the Office for Students.

HOLLY LUCKING

Holly is the Further Education representative for the recently formed Disabled Students' Society. She has worked hard to promote disability awareness throughout the University College and has offered ongoing support to the society's President and Vice President. She has played a vital part in organising meetings and raising awareness.

PIA HØYLAND DIGERNES

Pia is the student representative for the MSc Equine Performance Science course and regularly offers support and help to those around her. She is the voice of her cohort at the HE Council and CSRC meetings and liaises with academics and support staff. Pia took part in near-peer assisted learning, primarily on the Saddle Fit and Farriery module to first year undergraduate students, and also assisted with both theory and dissection elements in Equine Anatomy and Physiology.

KERSTIN ENDRES-TILLEY

Kerstin is highly compassionate. Throughout lockdown she supported her fellow students by maintaining communication, organising study groups and sessions and liaising with staff. She dedicated her time to helping others throughout an exceptionally challenging year and is always willing to offer academic and non-academic support.

VINCE TRAVERS

Vince is the founder of Writtle University College's Horticulture Society. His hard work and persistence created a new forum for students to pursue their passion for horticulture, either as a hobby or in addition to their studies in the subject. He has also contributed significantly to the Student Success Advisory Board and to community gardening projects at WUC. Vince coordinated the student submission to the Office for Students (OfS) as part of the annual monitoring of WUC access and participation commitments. Vince has since been elected as the Students' Union President for 2021-22.

ROBERT MARSHALL

Bob worked to bring his fellow students together during lockdown. While the Design Studio was shut in accordance with government guidance, he organised a virtual working space and used Microsoft Teams to create drop-in sessions that replicated the community atmosphere of group-working. Bob deserves recognition for the time, effort and care he offers to his peers.

EMILY DUNNING

Emily's selfless behaviour and commitment to supporting others has been noted and appreciated by those around them. They always try to make people smile, while offering help to as many people as they can. Throughout lockdown and during the return to campus Emily showed great compassion, both by offering assistance and encouraging students to reach out for further support.

SARAH AULD

Sarah generously volunteered her time to carry out vital work for City Harvest London, a food charity that aims to feed vulnerable members of the community. She called farms, established key contacts and ensured the 'harvest for hunger' project really took off. Pallets of peppers donated by one of her contacts helped to feed over 10,000 people.

LUCY WOLF

Lucy championed inclusivity and brought students together during a challenging year. She played a key role in creating not one but two new societies, and has contributed as a member of the Student Success Advisory Board. As the Vice President of the Disabled Students' Society she worked alongside the President to arrange online events and organise meetings with the HE Disability Manager. Lucy is also the founding member of the Mature Students' Society.

MALIN HESSE

Malin is an exemplary third year representative for the Animal Management and Animal Science programmes. She has been proactive during a particularly challenging year. Her calm, intelligent and sensitive management has ensured Malin is held in the highest respect by both students and the academic staff.

REBECCA MILGROM

Rebecca worked with fellow student Lucy to launch the WUC Regenerative and Circular Society. Their work and commitment led to a vibrant new society that is clearly linked to the strategic direction of WUC. Together they approached external speakers to create, promote and manage the successful virtual event '2050: The Future of Food'.

Achieving personal success outside your studies

Awards in category of

EXTRACURRICULAR EXCELLENCE

TEAM AWARDS

TEAM AWARD

Isabel Mascari, Samantha Osborn, Victoria Hurst-Frost and William Green represented Writtle University College at this year's Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) Student Animal Welfare Conference. The UFAW works with the animal welfare science community worldwide to develop and promote improvements in the welfare of farm, companion, laboratory, captive wild animals. The students shared outstanding research on their recent Pig Water Sanitiser Trial and analysis of the habitat use and implied behaviour of Eurasian beavers within a field enclosure. Samantha received a commendation for her presentation on facilitating intra-muscular injections in horses.

TEAM AWARD

The newly established WUC Regeneration and Circular Society is carrying out vital work to increase WUC's sustainability, with a special focus on improving operations at Sturgeons Farm. The members' aims include reducing the University College's carbon footprint, increasing biodiversity, diversifying our farm portfolio and (hopefully) improving the farm's profitability.

TEAM AWARD

Holly Deacon, Rebecca Hands, Victoria Hurst-Frost, Isabel Mascari and Isabelle Wheaton carried out research projects of importance to the pig sector, before presenting their findings and ideas to local pig producers and other industry representatives at the Essex Pig Discussion Group managed by AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board). This is an important and constructive link between Writtle University College and industry that allows us to fulfil our aim of putting 'Science into Practice'.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

PETAR POPARA

Petar threw himself into his role as a representative for second year horticulture students and worked to support his peers at a challenging time. Petar has shown impressive dedication to the implementation of sustainable practices at WUC and is a founding member of the newly-formed Gaia Club, in addition to sitting on the staff-student Writtle Sustainability Group. In November 2020, he also represented WUC at St. Gallen University Model United Nations Environmental Assembly.

Founding an entrepreneurial venture or establishing innovative careers connections

Awards in category of

ENTERPRISE EXCELLENCE

BRIONY BALCOMBE

Briony is dedicated to gaining vital industry experience. Her work placements include wildlife parks, farms and veterinary practices, and she gained further practical skills via work on WUC's farm and by assisting with the cattle show. Briony assists with the Kent Country Show and has been invited to speak alongside Lord Donald Curry at the School Farms Network. She also runs her own business to raise funds for a veterinary medicine degree and regularly volunteers as a local youth club leader. Briony has also been working hard supporting the students. Union after her term had finished. She continued to work for a full year during lock down answering student questions, planning online events and support the SU team with any planning required during this time, all while running her own successful small business Herd and Healy.

JASMINE WILLIAMSON

Jasmine was an excellent and self-motivated worker during her placement with Peregrine Livefoods' animal department. She quickly developed animal handling and husbandry skills with a wide range of reptile and amphibian species. Her outstanding evidence-based husbandry-based project generated some useful insights for young snake husbandry. Due to Jasmine's outstanding performance, she has now been offered a full-time animal keeper position.

TROI MITCHELL

Troi's outstanding work during last year's work placement at Battelle UK, secured her an immediate offer of employment. Battelle was so impressed by her contributions as a chemical analyst in the company's environmental fate laboratory they offered her the opportunity to choose her working hours while completing her Masters. She has now been asked to continue in a full-time capacity.

HIGHER EDUCATION
STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2021

Emily Toogood
Higher Education Student of the Year 2021

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen by our Senior Leadership Team as our Student of the Year (University level) inspiration for 2021 goes to Emily Toogood.


Congratulations goes to Emily for her outstanding contribution in the category of Community Excellence for transforming lives by helping or representing others in the community.

FURTHER EDUCATION
STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2021

William Charity
Further Education Student of the Year 2021

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen by our Senior Leadership Team as our Student of the Year (College level) inspiration for 2021 goes to William Charity.


Congratulations goes to William for his outstanding contribution in the category of Community Excellence for transforming lives by helping or representing others in the community.