Our Teachers

Caroline Blank © Goethe-Institiut Caroline Blank
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Caroline.Blank@goethe.de


I am originally from the Saarland and spent the most important parts of my life in Bochum and Shanghai. Before starting at the Goethe-Institut Chicago, I was a DAAD-Lecturer for 11 years in Shanghai and Beijing. In 2008 Chicago has become my adoptive home and I’ve been at the Goethe-Institut ever since. I love the synergy between German students and teachers and therefore enjoy trying new things in the classroom.



Sade Akkoek © Goethe-Institut Sade Akkoek
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Sade.Akkoek@goethe.de


I grew up near the Teutoburg Forest in Bielefeld. I studied Educational Science at the University of Dortmund. Since 2009, I call Chicago my new home, in spite of having spent two years in Berlin and Bielefeld. My Hobbies are travelling, creating fiber crafts, hiking and taking long walks in nature.



Reinhard Andress © Goethe-Institut Reinhard Andress
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Reinhard.Andress@goethe.de


Born 1957 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, son of German immigrants to the USA, PhD in German Studies from the University of Illinois, current professorship at Loyola University Chicago, where he also served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Publications in GDR literature, German film and in Exile Studies, for example: “Der Inselgarten” - das Exil deutschsprachiger Schriftsteller auf Mallorca, 1931-1936 (2001). Also the editor of exile texts found in archives, for example: Martha Brill’s Der Schmelztiegel (2002) and Fred Heller’s Das Leben beginnt noch einmal (2016). More recently research on Alexander von Humboldt.



Asiye Bakirman © Goethe-Institut Asiye Bakirman
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Asiye.Bakirman@goethe.de


I was born and raised in beautiful Düsseldorf and did my state examination at the University of Essen. Since 2010, I’ve been calling Chicago my home, and since 2013, I’ve been teaching at the Goethe Institut here as well. Apart from arts and reading I spent most of my free time traveling the world. I’m passionate about getting to know new cultures and people and love recording unforgettable moments through photography.



Anja Gebauer © Goethe-Institut Anja Gebauer
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Anja.Katharina.Gebauer@goethe.de


I was born in Göttingen, but I call Berlin my home where I grew up and where my parents still live today. After many years working in organizational development, I obtained a second Master degree in Adult Education. Having lived abroad in different European and Asian countries, I feel that I can easily relate to students who learn German as a foreign language. I am excited to learn about the various motives our students have to study German and I especially love to bring German experiences into my classroom that relate to my students’special interests. I have been living in Chicago for 2 years now. I explore the city by foot and I enjoy the vast variety of music, art and food on offer everywhere I go. I also love to go boxing and running.



Martina Gombas © Goethe-Institut Martina Gombas
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Martina.Gombas@goethe.de


Originally I am from Frankfurt, Germany, but have lived in Chicago for many years. Chicago is my “Wahlheimat” (chosen home).  Even though my degree is in economics/finance, my passion is teaching. Since 2009 I have been teaching at the Goethe-Institut in Chicago. I really enjoy the energy in the classroom - teaching is so rewarding.  In my free time I am a passionate runner - meet me at Lake Michigan early in the morning. ​​



Ruth Herrmann © Goethe-Institut Ruth Herrmann
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Ruth.Herrmann@goethe.de


My name is Ruth Herrmann. I am a real Hessian: born in Fulda, grown up in the Darmstadt area and a Kassel residents for 12 years before my move to Chicago. I studied teaching profession in Frankfurt. My family and I have lived in Chicago since 2012 where I started to work for the Goethe Institut in 2014. I love my job and am very happy to see that so many people from Chicago are interested in the German culture and language.



Thorsten Hillert © Goethe-Institut Thorsten Hillert
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Thorsten.Hillert@goethe.de


My name is Thorsten Hillert and I was born in Lower Saxony in Germany. Though for 17 years prior to my move to Chicago in 2014 I lived in the south-west of Germany in the Mannheim area, where I also acquired my B.A. in English from the University of Mannheim. In my free time I like to be outdoors with my camera and am generally quite connected to fauna and flora.



Netti Jansen © Goethe-Institut Netti Jansen
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Netti.Jansen@goethe.de


I live in Chicago since 2015. What I like – the lake! I like sailing and during the summer I spend many hours on the water – sometimes with a baguette, cheese and a bottle of wine on board. However, I miss are the mountains and skiing. I am from Garmisch – the very south of Germany and where the mountains have become a part of my life.


Jutta Meyer © Goethe-Institut Jutta Meyer
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Jutta.Meyer@goethe.de


I moved to Chicagoland from East-Westphalia, an area east of the Ruhr valley. I have worked in adult education in and around my home town of Lage for a number of years. I hold a master degree in Education.  I have lived in Chicago-land since 2008 and I love the city with its wonderful architecture and the Lake Michigan. I’m still fascinated by the cultural diversity. In 2013, I started teaching at the Goethe Institut in Chicago and I really enjoy the combination of teaching German language and German culture and at the same time learning my students’ diverse perspectives. Since 2018 I’m also in charge of German exams at the Goethe-Institut Chicago.


Shiva Rahmani © Goethe-Institut Shiva Rahmani
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Shiva.Rahmani@goethe.de


My name is Shiva Rahmani and I was raised in Heidelberg/Germany. I am a Purdue University graduate in Germanic Studies (Master Program), and have also obtained another master’s degree in German translation from the University of Tehran in 2010. I love languages, and am fluent in German, Farsi, Kurdish and English. I have been teaching German to adults and children for over 14 years. Before starting at the Goethe Institute in August 2016, I was a social studies teacher at the German International School of Chicago (GISC). My hobbies are: listening to music, reading, shopping, styling others, dancing, watching documentaries about the cosmos.



Michaela Roberts © Goethe-Institut Michaela Roberts
Teacher
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Michaela.Roberts@goethe.de


Originally, I am from Northern Bavaria. After completing my studies in sociology at the Munich university, I lived in Munich for a number of years, working as a market researcher and trainer. Since 2013, I have been living in a suburb of Chicago with my husband and two tortoises. I have been teaching at the Goethe-Institut Chicago since 2014. I love sharing the German language and culture with our students.


Daniel Wacker © Goethe-Institut Daniel Wacker
Honorarlehrkraft
Tel. +1 312 2630474
Fax +1 312 2630476
Daniel.Wacker@goethe.de


Shortly after moving to Chicago from his native Bavaria, Daniel joined the Goethe-Institut in Winter 2018. He received degrees in German & English Education from Universität Regensburg, with additional concentrations in Cultural Studies and Spanish. Prior to graduation, Daniel spent a year abroad in Nashville, Tennessee, working as a graduate teaching assistant at Vanderbilt University, where he first became acquainted with fried chicken, country music, and his now-wife. In addition to foreign languages, Daniel is passionate about cooking, traveling, and Fußball (Bayern München!).