Dorine Schellens and Peter Verstraten win the LUCAS Public Engagement Award 2023
The LUCAS Impact Committee, consisting of Jan van Dijkhuizen, Rick Honings, Casper de Jonge, Angus Mol, Thijs Porck and Aafje de Roest, has offered this year’s LUCAS Public Engagement Award to Dorine Schellens and Peter Verstraten.
Dorine Schellens has been tirelessly active during the past year in helping and supporting refugee colleagues from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Together with academics from other universities, she has set up an extensive mentoring network aimed at helping refugees find their way in Dutch academia, and offering various kinds of practical assistance – including scholarships. As Dorine and her UvA colleague Ellen Rutten explain in an article published in the online journal Over de muur, Russia’s war in Ukraine is in part a ‘knowledge crisis’, affecting academics and hundreds of thousands of students who are no longer able to carry out their work or pursue their. In such times of crisis, in which academic infrastructures have collapsed, alternative networks of support are of crucial importance in maintaining a culture of research, reflection and teaching. Dorine is in fact one of the co-founders of the University of New Europe, an academic institution in the making which will offer research, teaching, and dialogue on European politics, culture, society and climate in a global perspective. Its initiators are also engaged in supporting scholars, students, and cultural workers at risk with a mentoring network. As if all of this weren’t enough, Dorine is also one of the initiators of Eastsplainers, a lecture series featuring intellectuals and artists who fled from the Russian war in Ukraine or who fled or migrated from Łódź [wootch], Minsk, and Moscow, among other places, to the Netherlands.