MACON – Mercer University senior Thornton M. Brewer has been selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Award to teach in Germany for a year following his graduation this spring.
"Mercer is exceptionally proud of Thornton. Next year, he will have a phenomenal experience as a Fulbright scholar, and his success demonstrates that Mercer students can achieve the most competitive opportunities," said Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English and director of fellowships and scholarships for the University.
Brewer, a senior from Houston, Texas, who is majoring in both political science and German with a minor in economics, will spend 12 hours per week in German classrooms helping promote speech fluidity to students who are already knowledgeable in English through conversation practice.
"I am grateful to the German and American scholarship review committees for selecting me for this award. Such an award is tremendously validating of my educational preparation, personal abilities and cultivated cultural sensitivity," said Brewer. "Cultural understanding and sensitivity as well as proficient language skills are necessities to my future pursuits and career goals. I know this experience will further my abilities while also allowing me to give back to a country which has grown dear to my heart."
Brewer will spend much of the remainder of his time integrating himself into the German culture. He plans to work for a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peace and intercultural awareness. He also plans to reconnect with a rowing club that he joined during a previous stay in the country.
"The Fulbright scholarship application process required a great deal of time and effort on my part; however, none of my efforts would have been successful without the incredible support of my Mercer professors, references, incredible family and friends, and most importantly, my Lord Jesus Christ. My success hinged on the dedication and support of those who believed in me," said Brewer.
Brewer is a Presidential Scholarship recipient and a participant in the Honors Program at Mercer. He has received the Spright Dowell Award for excellence in leadership from the Office of Campus Life, as well as the Stephen Bradshaw Award for excellence as a student liaison to university guests from the Office of Admissions. Additionally, he was nominated for the Big Man on Campus Award for his work with the University's Panhellenic organizations.
This semester, he has been living in Washington, D.C., while interning with the Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Office of Legislative Affairs.
"Through this opportunity, I have gotten to personally speak with Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton Carter and have privately toured Congress and attended events such as the recent reception for President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan," said Brewer.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the government's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.