MACON – Mercer University senior Ethan Pettepher was recently selected to receive a fellowship from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Program for Young Professionals.

Funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Department of State, CBYX annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals, ages 18–24, the opportunity to spend a year in each other’s countries, studying, interning and living with hosts in a cultural immersion program.

The three-phase fellowship program consists of two months of intensive language training, one semester of classes in the fellow’s academic or career field at a university, technical or professional school, followed by a three- to five-month internship in the fellow’s career field.

Pettepher, from Kennesaw, graduates on May 16 with bachelor’s degrees in global health studies and neuroscience from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

He will use the fellowship to study public health in Germany with plans to attend medical school following his year abroad.

“Throughout the last four years at Mercer, it has become increasingly clear the importance of looking beyond my current situation to the world abroad,” said Pettepher. “I have always wanted to experience the world beyond Georgia, so I am extremely fortunate to be able to not only travel to Europe this year but immerse myself in the German culture for the next year. This placement is also very close to home as my mom spent much of her young adult life in Germany as well. I cannot wait to experience all that this country has to offer.”

At Mercer, Pettepher has been heavily involved in Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, serving on the executive board as chaplain and philanthropy chair for two years. He has also worked as a supervisor at the University Center and was director of member development for philanthropic student organization MU Miracle during the 2021-2022 academic year.

“In his time at Mercer, Ethan has learned a lot about how culture, politics and geography can impact health. He even conducted original research to learn how social stigma impacts the rate of sexually transmitted infections for an honors thesis,” said Dr. Rachael Goodman, assistant professor of global health studies. “I am very excited for him to continue his education through getting this hands-on experience with public health in a very different context from Mercer.”

CBYX for Young Professionals is administered by Cultural Vistas in the United States and Cultural Vistas Europe in Germany. These organizations are awarded grants to administer the program by the U.S. Department of State and the German Bundestag Administration, respectively.

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions through the development of international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled and engaged citizens.

About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialogue and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit