German major Bre Alderfer receives competitive Fulbright teaching award

BOONE, N.C. — Brennah (Bre) Alderfer, a senior German major from Cape May, New Jersey, has been selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Alderfer will serve as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany from September 2023 through June 2024.

Alderfer, who shared that she has always wanted to live in Germany, will be teaching English as a second language to German students in Berlin. While there, she will assist English instructors with their lesson planning and classroom management.

Alderfer says the part of the program she's looking forward to the most is connecting with students. "Within my student teaching and tutoring at App State, I have grown to love not only the material I am teaching within German, but have grown to appreciate and yearn for student-to-teacher connections. I've learned that human connection in the classroom helps not only education and learning techniques, but also allows an open and safe environment housing genuine conversation between cultures," she explained.

Professors in the App State Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures encouraged Alderfer to pursue the competitive award. Alderfer specifically thanked Dr. Beverly Moser, Dr. Alexandra Sterling-Hellebrand and Cindy Trivette for their support.

Throughout the application process, Alderfer worked closely with Johnna Reisner, assistant director of App State's Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS). When asked what advice she would give to students who are interested in applying for the Fulbright Program, Alderfer answered, "I could not have done this without the help of NCS! Reaching out to them for assistance with my application is the best decision I made. For more personal advice, I would say to apply even if you're not confident or sure of your future plans. It's always better to get a rejection than to wonder what could've been."

Following the completion of the Fulbright, Alderfer plans to either continue teaching in Germany or return to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in teaching of the arts.

"Fulbright has given me a wonderful opportunity to get some real field experience within the classroom while also allowing me to be a student as well, wherein I plan to take in as much as I can while abroad and jump on every opportunity to learn." - Brennah (Bre) Alderfer

For more information about the Fulbright Program at Appalachian State or Nationally Competitive Scholarships, contact Reisner at or visit


About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at

About Nationally Competitive Scholarships
Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS) works with the Appalachian community to recruit and support students for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those that support research, teaching and critical language learning. This is achieved with outreach, mentorship and advising throughout the entire application and selection process. NCS is committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students find ways to connect their Appalachian education to their future endeavors through scholarship opportunities. Learn more at

By Lauren Andersen
April 12, 2023

Brennah (Bre) Alderfer, a senior German major from Cape May, New Jersey
Published: Apr 12, 2023 8:25am