Blog Alumni

Student Spotlight: Jacob Bierle ’22 – Fulbright Scholar

By The Northwestern Pilot on Friday, July 21, 2023


Northwestern’s 19th Fulbright Award winner teaching in the country of Georgia

Jacob Bierle ’22, a dual major in ESL Education and Elementary Education was named a Fulbright Award winner in Spring 2022. Bierle is Northwestern’s 19th Fulbright winner since UNW students and faculty were first awarded with the prestigious honor in 2004. The Fulbright Program promotes educational exchanges, primarily for university faculty and students that involve lecturing, research, and graduate study.

Fulbright honors are awarded yearly by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Recipients of Fulbright scholarships are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers both academic achievement and record of service. 

Bierle began his work in the country of Georgia as an English Teaching Assistant for the 2022-2023 academic year in mid-September. As a Fulbright participant, Bierle is teaching English, sharing knowledge, and fostering meaningful connections across communities in the United States and Georgia. “I have direct contact with nearly 200 students and 13 different professors, so I am certainly keeping busy!” he commented. 

In a rare occurrence, Jacob was asked by Fulbright to extend his scholarship for a second year. Jacob will soon begin his M.Ed. program in International Education. Tehya began her Masters program with a thesis focusing on teacher identity for Georgian teachers of English. They also participate in various volunteer opportunities and continue to learn the Georgian language. Jacob says, “This was unexpected and highly unusual for the English Teaching Assistant program, but we feel like we are making a solid impact here and we have many projects that we would like to invest in for another year. Plus, we are very content here and would love some more time to solidify our Georgian language skills!”

Excerpt from the Northwestern Pilot.