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W&L’s George Alford ’24 Awarded U.S. Teaching Assistantship to Austria Alford will teach English at two secondary schools in Austria before attending Princeton Theological Seminary.

George-Alford-scaled-600x400 W&L’s George Alford ’24 Awarded U.S. Teaching Assistantship to Austria

Washington and Lee University senior George Alford ’24 has been awarded a U.S. Teaching Assistantship (USTA) to teach English in Austria. At W&L, Alford is double majoring in German and religion. Alford is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from The Westminster Schools.

The USTA Program is administered by Fulbright Austria on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. Teaching assistants are placed in secondary schools throughout Austria to teach English language and linguistic skills, serve as informal cultural ambassadors, and promote mutual understanding between the United States and Austria.

“The experience of teaching and being immersed in a German-speaking culture will help me develop teaching skills as I pursue postgraduate studies in religion and also continue to hone my German proficiency,” said Alford, who will be teaching in two schools in the town of Weiz.

Alford views the USTA as the pinnacle of his German studies at W&L and is proud of the progress he has made since the introductory German courses he took during his first year.

“George is easily one of the best, most dedicated and most conscientious students I have taught and always goes above and beyond what is asked of him,” said Jaime Roots, visiting assistant professor of German, who has been Alford’s adviser all four years. “I see in George a true student of a liberal arts education with his desire to learn and understand the world around him along with learning other languages about cultures and beliefs different from his own. While in Austria, George will undoubtedly learn and experience so much, and he will be a shining representative of both W&L and the United States while living and working abroad.”

At W&L, Alford served as president of the Mock Trial team for two years and is involved in the German club. Mock Trial has been Alford’s most impactful experience in his four years on campus and has helped shape him into the person he is today by pushing him to think more creatively, speak with confidence and work hard to support a team.

Alford is also grateful for the support of his faculty mentors at W&L and believes he would not be the same student without the advice and encouragement of Roots and Alexandra Brown, the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor in Bible. In turn, Brown admires Alford’s curiosity, flexibility and capacity for change in light of new information.

“George is perfectly suited by temperament and training for the USTA program,” Brown said. “He is a natural teacher who generously invites classmates into a point of argument or a difficult concept. Facile with language — both English and German — and straightforward in approaching an intellectual or linguistic challenge, George will be a terrific teacher and mentor for his students in Austria.”

With the USTA, Alford will depart in September 2024 for his nine-month program. Upon completion of the program, Alford will pursue a Master of Theological Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.

The Fulbright Program was established more than 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Washington and Lee University is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2023-2024 Fulbright U.S. Students for the sixth consecutive year.

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