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Alex Threlkeld ’24 bound for Germany with a Fulbright teaching grant

Alex Threlkeld ’24 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program grant to Germany for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Last updated May 1, 2024

By Tina Underwood

When Alex Threlkeld ’24 received word that he’d be going to Germany with a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Programs grant, he was clearly pleased.

“I was in my German language islands class with Dr. Quattrone,” Threlkeld said. “We had finished up for the day and were doing one-on-one meetings. I got the email and literally screamed in front of the whole class, ran to the Modern Languages and Literatures suite to tell all my German professors. I even dragged Dr. Rasch out of her class to show her my acceptance letter.”

Threlkeld will be placed in a school located in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the French border, to serve his 2024-2025 assistantship. He is the 53rd student recipient of a Fulbright grant at Furman. The first grant was awarded in 1965 to Furman’s Sandra Rogers, according to Scott Henderson, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Education and director of national and international scholarships.

It’s not his first time visiting the country. In 2019, he took a high school trip to Dresden and Berlin. In summer 2022, he participated in a Furman May Experience to the Rhine region, and in 2023, he spent a semester studying in Berlin.

Threlkeld says he is indebted to the entire German Studies Department for the Fulbright – Ilka Rasch, associate professor; Emily Krauter Quattrone, assistant professor; Matthew Anderson, assistant professor; and Anne Culberson, German language coordinator and lecturer, German and French. “I could not have done it without them,” he said. “They have provided invaluable experience, insight and mentorship.”

The German studies and politics and international affairs senior chose those areas of study because he is interested in working for the U.S. Department of State in Foreign Service. He’s looking forward to sharpening his German language skills in an immersive environment and discovering more about modern Germany.

At Furman, German studies and politics and international affairs are just part of what defines Threlkeld, a veritable Renaissance man.

Since the age of 4, the Atlanta native has played the cello and was a member of the Furman Symphony Orchestra through his junior year under the tutelage of Christopher Hutton, professor of music. He also sings in the schola of Furman’s Catholic Campus Ministry and has arranged and transposed choral pieces. At age 5, he began playing piano.

Threlkeld hopes to find an outlet for his musical sensibilities while overseas. And once he returns from Germany, he has big plans.

“The first thing I’m going to do when I get back to the states is have sweet iced tea,” he said, recalling the dearth of iced beverages in his previous visits to Deutschland. “I missed it dearly the last time I was away. After that, I will apply to master’s programs in international relations, and then, hopefully, law school,” he said.

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