Jane developed a love for Belgium and Europe at a young age, having been born here to American parents. While she was still young, the family moved “home” to the United States, but Jane never quite lost interest in her place of birth. Throughout her time in North Carolina, New York, and South Carolina, she kept her eye on the ball of coming back to Europe. At Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, she studied International Relations, French, History, and European Studies and spent a semester abroad in Lille, France, just at the Belgian border. She went on to work and study in Lille and Paris before completing a Master’s degree and a PhD in History at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 2016, she achieved her dream and returned to Leuven with a postdoctoral grant from the Belgian American Educational Foundation. While she turned her PhD about the First Belgian Revolution (1787-1790) into a book, with a Postdoctoral Mandate from the KU Leuven, she also worked with Fulbright Belgium, helping them put together an oral history project to celebrate their 75th anniversary. In 2018, she heard about Leuven MindGate and its work promoting Leuven on the international stage. Love at first sight! Jane became one of their events coordinators, a position she filled until communications and marketing beckoned.
Since September 2019, she has worked at DSP Valley doing their communications and events, promoting the Leuven region as rival to Silicon Valley when it comes to digital technologies.
She and her boyfriend, Ryan, live just outside the Leuven ring-road in Kessel-Lo, where they regularly enjoy Belgian beers at Vlierbeek Abbey, jogging in the Provincial Park, and biking into the city center. Ryan, originally from Chicago, Illinois, runs Leuven’s biggest tourist company, Leuven Leisure, and finds lots of pleasure in showing his adopted city to visitors. Jane’s still trying to convince him to get into the vibrant (outdoor) yoga scene in Leuven. Who knows? Maybe next year!
Jane at a glance
Length of time in the Leuven Region: 4 years
Reason for coming to Leuven: Postdoctoral studies
Favorite spot in Leuven: Ladeuzeplein and the university library
Favorite phrase in Dutch: Sowieso
DSP Valley is dedicated to collaborative business development, adding to each individual company’s efforts to acquire new business. Their mission is simple: to establish new, resilient, and scalable businesses for their members.
DSP Valley is the regional business network for companies creating and applying electronic solutions and digital technology. They are home to companies whose business changes because of digitization, who provide technology solutions, and who integrate or provide platforms to pull things together. They engage in collaborative business development (CBD), designed for the digital industry to grasp its fair share of market in the upcoming ‘internet of things’ and data-driven society, fostering a technology-rich and prosperous region. Like Leuven MindGate, DSP Valley works for the ecosystem, and a thriving ecosystem is potting soil for your company’s success.
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