Class of 2020: Stella Eckl

We’re so proud of our class of 2020. They've overcome enormous challenges to graduate, but at the same time they've been determined to make a difference - helping others, grasping opportunities to develop their skills and showing their Essex Spirit in so many different ways. Now we're taking the chance to celebrate their achievements.

  • Date

    Wed 22 Jul 20

Stella Eckl sitting by a lake, wearing a black vest top, with the mountains in the background

A passion for volunteering and her own heritage as the child of migrants meant joining the Refugee Teaching Programme was an obvious extra-curricular activity for Stella Eckl, who is leaving Essex with a BA International Relations.

“It turned out to be such an amazing project and it ultimately taught me so much more about the world and people than I could have ever imagined, said Stella.

“Through the project I got to meet people whose story, attitude and passion I will never forget which is why it is so close to my heart.”

Working as a project leader, Stella was responsible for coordinating 30 student volunteers who were teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers. She had to work closely with various NGOs and other student societies to raise funds and awareness of refugees living in Colchester.

It’s a highlight of her Essex experience that has also included working as a Student Ambassador and as an assistant in EssexLab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme.

“In EssexLab I was responsible for assisting researchers with behavioural social science experiments, handling participants, doing background research, setting up the timeline for the projects and everything related to the onsite experiment,” she said.

“I got an incredibly fascinating insight into academia.”

Stella, who is taking a gap year to get more professional experience and explore what she’d like to do in the future, had this advice for new students starting at Essex: “Make the most out of your time at Essex - be proactive, take every opportunity you get and try new things.”