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Dole Institute Mentoring Program

Mentoring Program


The Dole Institute’s two main engagement programs – the Friends of the Dole Institute & the Student Advisory Board (SAB) – had previously been run on two separate tracks. We see much value for both groups in better integrating the two. To that end Friends and SAB members have the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program. While connections with Friends of the Dole Institute could greatly benefit SAB members in terms of networking, such a program also embodies many of the values we work to promote at the Dole Institute everyday – from fostering leadership, to promoting civil discourse, to encouraging citizen engagement. The Dole Institute’s Mentoring program offers Friends of the Dole Institute an opportunity to directly help with this aspect of our mission.


  • To foster deeper connections between the Friends of the Dole Institute and the Student Advisory Board.
  • To provide a forum for individuals of all ages to practice civil discourse by facilitating meaningful discussions on topics related to Dole Institute programs.
  • To develop students’ skills, values, and a sense of empowerment, leadership, and citizenship.


Mentors and mentees are matched based on their interests and meet at facilitated meetings throughout the semester, as well as a few times on their own. The activities among mentors and mentees range from attending Dole Institute study groups, to touring the Spencer Art Museum, and some even attend KU basketball games together!

  • After being matched, mentors and mentees will be asked to meet at two facilitated lunch discussions throughout the semester.
    • Lunch will be provided at these discussions by the Dole Institute.
  • Additional facilitated events vary from semester to semester.
  • Mentor/mentee engagement beyond our three facilitated meetings is highly encouraged.


“I absolutely loved the mentorship program that was provided this year for members of the Student Advisory Board. I have never had a mentor before and in effect, didn’t really know what I should expect or responsibilities that would entail. Once the program began, though, I was extremely happy that I had signed up. The mentor that I was matched with, Kay Brada, is someone that I already look up to and admire. She is sharp, poised, and has a great perspective. Kay also has a warm personality which made it easy for me to chat with her about what is going on in our lives and to get to know her and her husband, Don. I know that I can look to her for sound advice about the decisions I will face in the future as my college career progresses. In addition, I feel as if I’ve not only gained a mentor, but I have gained a close friend.”
Christina Ostmeyer, Mentee & former Student Advisory Board Member

“WOW! What an amazing experience – to be given the opportunity to be a part of a terrific new program at the Dole Institute of Politics. That opportunity fulfilled one of our reasons for choosing to retire in Lawrence – to interact with young people and see the world through their eyes. Our lives have revolved around youth leadership and an interest in local, state and national government – the perfect blend for the mentor program. The programming subjects presented references for meaningful discussions outside of the planned meetings as we met individually with our mentees for coffee and lunch. We now consider ourselves grand-friends of Christina Ostmeyer and Quinn Ried, and we eagerly look forward to following them as they continue to rise as leaders at KU and as civic leaders of the future.”
Don & Kay Brada, Mentors & Friends of the Dole Institute

If you are interested in finding out more about participating in the Dole Institute’s Mentoring Program, or know someone else who would make a good mentor or mentee, please contact Sarah Stacy at

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