History Alum Wins Fulbright to Germany


Andrew Biittig '23 (photo provided)

Andrew Biittig ’23 has won a 2024–25 Fulbright US Student English Teaching Assistant Award (ETA) to Germany. Biittig graduated in December with a major in history with adolescence education and becomes the 51st Geneseo Fulbright US Student awardee and the fifth to Germany. 

“I grew up in Scotia, NY, which has a vibrant German American community dating from the mid-19th century,” says Biittig. “My maternal great-grandparents came from Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Bavaria. Our household’s German traditions included putting out our shoes for Sankt Nikolaus and singing Stille Nacht at my church every Christmas Eve. I can explicitly remember my father comically repeating Macht schnell! Dalli! Dalli! whenever we were in a hurry.

A senior high school trip to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria cancelled by the pandemic “was supposed to have been the culmination of years of German study,” remembers Biittig. “Given my teaching aspirations and interest in European history and German culture, a Fulbright will allow me to explore the country I have always wanted to see and grow as an educational professional.”

“Andrew is open-minded, smart, and thoughtful with a great deal of experience with German culture as well as the language,” says Kathleen Mapes, associate professor and chair in history. “He has excellent speaking, reading, writing, and analytical skills and is interested in learning as much as possible from others. Living and teaching in Germany will be an amazing experience for him, and he will be an ideal ambassador.”

Most of Biittig’s college studies focused on 20th-century Europe, especially resistance movements during World War II. “Besides English, I desire to teach German students about American voting and immigration, and holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving,” he says. “Incorporating diversity, technology, and civics into lessons will be a catalyst for cultural exchange between Germany and the United States.”

After his Fulbright year, Biittig plans a career as an adolescent social studies educator in New York and will pursue a master’s degree in history or public administration at Boston College or the College of William and Mary.

Fulbrights at Geneseo

The Fulbright US Student Program provides grants for individually designed graduate study, research programs, or English teaching assistant programs in many foreign countries. In six of the past seven years, Geneseo has been named a Fulbright Top Producing Institution by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in its annual article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Geneseo was the first dedicated SUNY institution to be named a Top Producer of US Student awards in any category—bachelor’s, master’s, research, or special-focus four-year institutions.

Biittig is the second of Geneseo’s eight semifinalists to win an award for the 2024–25 cycle, joining Lily Shields ’23 (Uganda). Reporting will continue through May.

The US Student Fulbright competition is open to students and alumni. It is administered at Geneseo by Director of National Fellowships and Scholarships Michael Mills, who can be reached at millsm@geneseo.edu and 585-245-6002. For more information about the Fulbright and other nationally and internationally competitive scholarship and fellowship programs, visit Fellowships and Scholarships.

—Michael Mills