Hemenway Awardees help lead Dole Institute Civic Engagement Leadership initiatives

December 15, 2023 - Features

by Barbara Ballard | Senior Associate Director

People wave while sitting at a table with laptops, with signs reading "National Voter Education Week," and "Register to Vote today!"

Volunteers and members of the KU Civic Engagement Council and Planning Committee register voters during National Voter Education Week.



A cornerstone of the Dole Institute’s mission is to foster civic engagement and participation. Annually, we engage with students across the University of Kansas’ Lawrence Campus to register new voters, inform them of upcoming ballot initiatives and campaigns, and educate them about the democratic process here in Kansas and throughout the country. This year alone, we registered 50 KU students to vote, including one 17 year-old student who pre-registered to vote.

Upon the retirement of former KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway – one of the initial champions of the Dole Institute – the award was established in his honor to recognize a junior at the University of Kansas who has demonstrated a commitment to making a difference for KU students, and furthering the idea of service on campus and within the community.


A woman smiles and looks on to a speaker off-screen with others.

Heidi Mattson (center), recipient of the 2023 Robert Hemenway Public Service Award, at the 2023 Student Advisory Board Banquet.


Earlier this year, Heidi Mattson was named the 2023 recipient of this prestigious award. Heidi hails from Edmond, Oklahoma, and is a senior majoring in global and international studies, and political science. As the recipient of this award, Heidi served as the Co-Chair for the KU Civic Engagement Leadership Council and Planning Committee, which planned and executed various programs, events, and volunteer opportunities throughout the Fall 2023 semester, including organizing the display of the 2023 Civic Engagement and Leadership banner in the KU Memorial Union.


Students pose for a photograph under the KU Civic Engagement banner in the Kansas Union.

Volunteers and members of the KU Civic Engagement Council and Planning Committee pose for a photograph under the Civic Engagement and KU Leadership banner in the Kansas Memorial Union.


In addition to Heidi, two additional students were named Robert Hemenway Finalists, and served on the KU Civic Engagement Council and Planning Committee.


A woman hands a child candy during a Trunk or Treat event while their parents look on.

2023 Robert Hemenway Public Service Award Finalist DaNae Estabine hands out candy during the 2023 Trunk-or-Treat event at the Dole Institute of Politics.


DaNae Estabine is a senior from Olathe, Kansas, studying psychology and philosophy, and is on a pre-law track. DaNae is currently the KU Student Body Vice President, and is an active member of the KU Student Senate. In her free time, DaNae enjoys hunting and fishing with her family, in addition to exploring Lawrence and meeting new people.


A woman smiles while others look on clapping.

2023 Robert Hemenway Public Service Award Finalist Raina Peter smiles after being announced as the 2022 Robert J. Dole Service to Country Award recipient.


Raina Peter is a student assistant here at the Dole Institute, and is currently studying economics and political science. In her role, Raina assists fellow student assistants and staff with event and program management, and cross-campus outreach. A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Raina has interned for the Department of State, Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS), and strengthened Dole Institute ties with Washington, D.C.

If you are interested in applying for the Robert Hemenway Public Service Award, visit the Dole Institute’s website to view more information about the award and see past recipients and honorees.



Barbara Ballard is the Senior Associate Director of the Dole Institute of Politics. In her role, she coordinates many of the Institute’s programs, including the Youth Civic Leadership Institute (YCLI), the “A Conversation on Race” series, the Constitution Day program, and the annual Tribute to Veterans Gala. Before joining the Dole Institute, Barbara had served in various roles at the University of Kansas, including as an Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Student Life, and the Director of the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center. Barbara is a member of the Kansas State Legislature, and serves on multiple committees in addition to serving on various national committees.

About the Dole Institute
The Dole Institute was dedicated on July 22, 2003, at the University of Kansas on Senator Bob Dole’s 80th birthday. Home to the personal archives of both Senator Bob and Senator Elizabeth Dole, with a museum facility on par with the U.S. Presidential libraries, the Dole Institute has been a vibrant political forum promoting civil discourse, civic engagement, and idea exchange across the political spectrum for 20 years.

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