We chatted to Stefan Pintilie, Diversity and Engagement Manager for the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service, about what he's working to achieve.

Stefan Pintilie smiles.

Hi Stefan! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello! My journey of working with students and diversity started in Romania. I led my own organisation and partnered with the Ministry of Education and the European Parliament to deliver workshops to students. My work to improve student experience became my passion, and I ended up with a scholarship to study law at Essex with a focus on equality and unconscious bias.

While a student here, I took an opportunity to join the Student Wellbeing service, delivering first-hand support to students living in campus accommodation. By the time I graduated, I was managing a team as a Residence Life Coordinator where I spent four years enhancing student life and wellbeing, and training further in equality and diversity.

Fast forward seven years since joining Essex and I am now our Diversity and Engagement Manager. It's one of the most exciting roles I’ve had as it reflects my professional and academic training, and it feels like a great achievement to be in a position where I can positively create change and improve access to support services for others.

Your role is to reach out to our diverse student groups. Who are you trying to reach?

Currently, I'm closely working with the Students' Union, and I want to reach all students who feel under-represented or don’t feel they can access support. To name a few from a long list, I’m actively reaching out to:

  • LGBTQ+ students
  • care leavers and estranged groups
  • gypsy and traveller students
  • any other minority ethnic communities 

As a former student who belongs to different groups, I want to do my best to ensure that anyone who comes to study and live here gets the best experience possible, and that they gain the right tools needed to graduate and succeed in life after university through learning and active participation in student experiences.

What support can you offer?

I’m here to provide support, and to encourage trust and participation with university life. When reaching out to diverse student groups, I ask for feedback to try to remove barriers that stop students from engaging with the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service. I want students to be able to contact me with feedback and suggestions for making our services more accessible. Recently, I’ve also focused on anti-racism training for students and staff, our Report and Support system for hate crime and discrimination, and working groups to make our campus more inclusive.

How can people contact you?

Students, as well as staff, can contact me directly by email. You can also find out more about the work we do to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion on our student equality, diversity, and inclusion webpages, and on our student communities page.