22 March 2018

Last week Fulbright alumni came together in Brussels for a Fulbright Eat & Meet luncheon with two distinguished alumnae of the Fulbright Program in Belgium, Dr. Janet Polasky and Dr. Eliane Van Stichel. Both women agreed to host a Fulbright Eat & Meet after having been interviewed by historian Dr. Jane Judge, a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven, as part of the Seventy Years of Fulbright alumni anniversary project. As part of this project, Dr. Judge has interviewed dozens of alumni, recording their stories and cataloging their memorabilia to understand and document their stories in more detail.

The lunch was attended by a diverse mixture of alumni of the Fulbright Program in Belgium, current U.S. Fulbrighters to Belgium, and several Fulbright alumni from around the world currently living and working in Belgium. Attendees discussed the challenges faced by women in both academic and business, and the varying cultural approaches to gender roles and expectations in Belgium and the United States.

Fulbright Eat & Meet

Fulbright Eat & Meet: Eliane Van Stichel and Janet Polasky

About the Speakers

Janet Polasky is Presidential Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. She received her BA from Carleton College and her PhD from Stanford University. She first traveled to Belgium as a high school exchange student in the summer of 1968, and has been coming back ever since, twice with research Fulbrights. She has been affiliated with the history departments at KULeuven, the Universiteit Antwerpen, and the Universite libre de Bruxelles, and the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten. She is the author of five books, most recently, Revolution without Borders published in 2015 by Yale University Press. She is currently writing a book about political refugees, Asylum Between Nations.

Eliane Van Stichel’s Fulbright Grant took her to Wichita University in 1963, where she majored in English and Spanish, given her career as an interpreter. Over the course of the year, she obtained a BA. This later inspired her to pursue studies at Middlebury College (3 summers and work at VUB) for an MA. After several years of teaching at the International School of Brussels, she took sabbatical leave and started a PhD with NYU in Madrid. Later she was accepted at the University of New Mexico where after 4 years she received her PhD in Spanish Linguistics. She then took up a position as professor of Spanish Linguistics at San Diego State University for 3 years. She is grateful to Fulbright for inspiring her to continue her studies towards a PhD. Read more about Eliane Van Stichel here.

About the Series

The Fulbright Eat & Meet lunches provide recently-returned alumni of the Fulbright Program the opportunity to learn from and network with experts in a variety of different professional areas. Events are held regularly throughout the year and previous hosts include politicians, industry leaders, and academics. Are you interested in hosting Fulbright alumni for a Fulbright Eat & Meet, or do you have a guest speaker in mind? Email secretary@fulbright.be.