The Columns

2016 W&L Graduate Patrick Wright Awarded Fellowship

— by on June 13th, 2016

Patrick Wright, from Tampa, Florida, a 2016 graduate from Washington and Lee University, has been awarded a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) fellowship for study and internship experience in Germany.

Competition for CBYX fellowships is highly competitive. Wright was chosen from a large pool of applicants following interviews in February.

CBYX is a yearlong fellowship, funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress through the U.S. Department of State. The program annually gives 75 American young professionals the opportunity to study, work and live with a host in Germany.

The CBYX program consists of three phases: two months of German language school; four months of classes in your career field at a university, technical school, or professional school; and a five-month internship in your career field. Participants are placed throughout Germany.

“I am both honored and thankful to be part of CBYX,” said Wright. “My goal for living there for a year is to improve my German and to be fully comfortable conversing in German. I also am looking forward to traveling around the country and checking out everything Germany has to offer. I know there will be a lot of challenges; working for a German company will be very different than an American one, but I think it will be a great time to learn more about myself and experience a different culture.”

“As a busy engineering student, Patrick is one of those students who began German a bit late in his career here,” said Paul Youngman, professor of German at W&L.  “He fell in love with the language and culture very quickly.  In fact, he wanted to minor but giving the demands of his major, he just couldn’t fit it.

“Last year he came to me for advice on how to live and work in Germany and I knew that the CBYX was not only for German majors and minors.  I also knew that Patrick is a fine human being, great student and wonderful leader, and therefore would make an excellent candidate. He will be working as an engineer in a firm that is still to be determined.”

A physics-engineering major at W&L, Wright was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society. He was on the varsity football team, serving as captain his sophomore and junior years, during which time the team was ODAC champions. From 2014-2016, Wright was on the Reformed University Fellowship and was on the Dean’s List. He also worked for CH2M Hill in Tampa, Florida, working with transportation engineers designing plans for roadway construction.