Hanne Heckmann, Ph.D.
Resident Director Dr. Hanne Heckmann holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and taught at a number of U.S. universities before coming to the American Junior Year program. As Resident Director, she coordinates the academic program and acts as liaison with Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Throughout the year, she keeps close contact with study abroad offices and advisors who send students to the AJY program. In addition, she makes annual site visits to partners and affiliated schools in the U.S. Dr. Heckmann provides academic counseling and assists students in selecting courses. She initiates and interprets program policies and procedures, and functions as advisor, counselor, and supervisor for research and independent study projects.
Dr. Styles Sass
Originally from North Dakota, Styles Sass received his Bachelor’s degree in English and Film from the University of Iowa. After completing a study abroad program in the Basque Country of Northern Spain, he remained there to work as an English teacher. Later, he moved to Germany, where he was awarded several writing fellowships. He holds a Doctoral Degree in American Studies from the University of Heidelberg. His research interests include U.S. presidential campaigns and representations of violence in American fiction. Before coming to the American Junior Year program, he worked at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies. In his current position, Dr. Sass provides administrative and technical support to the AJY study center, teaches courses on German literature, culture, and politics, coordinates the Summer Program, and manages the AJY alumni network.
Carina Wiest is currently finishing her Bachelor in Geography at the University of Heidelberg. She spent a high school year abroad in Minnesota. As AJY Program Assistant, she takes care of office related affairs and helps students with everyday matters.
Carolyn Burmedi grew up in Germany but was raised bilingually by American parents and goes back to the United States to visit her family often. Additionally, she spent a semester at the Conserve School, a boarding school in northern Wisconsin and a full academic year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Geography at the University of Heidelberg. As an AJY Program Assistant, she takes care of office related affairs and helps students with everyday matters.
Ahmad Mohamad is a native of Syria and a welcome addition to our team since he came to Heidelberg as a refugee in 2015. He is currently a Bachelor student in Computer Science at the University of Heidelberg. As a Student Assistant at AJY, he provides students with information and help in a variety of areas.
Daniel Aue teaches Geography and German as a second language at the American Junior Year program and in the "Internationales Studienzentrum" at Universität Heidelberg. He enjoys working with U.S. students and has an interest in the environmental issues that will affect their generation. As he put it, “It is important for me to convey to young people the important role they will play in shaping the future of our planet.”
Dr. Birgit Braun
Dr. Braun studied Mediaeval and Modern History, German Studies, and Political Science at the University of Heidelberg and completed her studies with a dissertation on “Re-education in the American-occupied zone.” After teaching for several years as a DAAD-lecturer in Great Britain and Italy, she has returned to Heidelberg, where she now holds courses in German as a Foreign Language (DaF) at Internationales Studienzentrum. In addition to her teaching work, Dr Braun is also engaged in the field of didactics and is active as a writer of DaF teaching materials.
Having studied German language and literature, and European Art History, Michaela Escher-Eisel received her Magister Artium degree from the University of Heidelberg. She teaches German as a second language at a variety of institutions and companies. She helps students prepare for language level placement tests, such as the DSH assessment here at AJY. As a trained guide, with a certificate from the German Association of Tour Guides, she also leads educational excursions in and around Heidelberg. Her educational background allows her to provide extensive information with regard to history, art, literature, and music, as well as the city of Heidelberg as a modern center of scientific research.
Michael Neutsch studied Classics, Romance studies, German, and Music. Formerly a secondary school teacher, he later became the Deputy Director at the International Study Center (ISZ) and a lecturer for German as a foreign language. In these capacities, he wrote and evaluated German placement tests such as the mandatory German Proficiency exam (DSH) of the Universität Heidelberg. One of his main interests is achieving more efficiency and pleasure in learning German through the use of innovative and playful methods.
American Junior Year at Heidelberg University
310 E. Market St.
Tiffin, OH 44883-2462 USA
Toll-free telephone: 1-800-925-9250
Director of International Affairs and Studies