Zachary Walker
Dole Institute of Politics

Dole Institute awards congressional history prize to state students

Fri, 05/22/2020

LAWRENCE – The Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections at the University of Kansas Dole Institute of Politics honored three projects with the 2020 Robert J. Dole Congressional History Prize for this year’s Kansas History Day State Contest. The event was judged in April 2020 virtually with the theme “Breaking Barriers.”

“History Day competition is a great program to introduce young students to research and really delve into interesting historical topics,” said Julie Bergene, public education coordinator at the Dole Institute. “We are proud to sponsor the Robert J. Dole Congressional History Prize to inspire a new generation of leaders.” 

Topeka students Ella Kelly and Kylie Jones were awarded first place for their senior group exhibit, “Spying in the Deep.” They attend Seaman High School and are taught by Nathan McAlister.

Second place was awarded to the senior individual performance titled “Surgeon Suffragist: The Complicated Life of Mary Walker” by Tristan Fangman of Seaman High School in Topeka, taught by McAlister. Third place went to a junior group documentary, titled “The Peace Corps: Breaking Barriers and Transforming Nations” by Elizabeth Albert and Lillian Meier of Maize South Middle School, taught by AC Poynter.

The Robert J. Dole Congressional History Prize is awarded to three entries at the Kansas History Day State Contest that include information about Congress in the accompanying research and presentation. Eligible entries include those that focus on the history of Congress as an institution, history of a piece of legislation, the actions of individual members or committees of the House of Representatives or Senate, other processes of the U.S. government or any topic that uses materials from the Dole Archives. First place receives a $150 prize, second place $100 and third place $50. 

NHD is a nonprofit education organization headquartered in College Park, Maryland. Established in 1974, NHD promotes an appreciation for historical research among middle and high school students through multiple annual programs. More than a half-million students participate in the annual National History Day Contest. 

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located in KU’s west district and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole. The institute also offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for K-12 students, teachers and homeschool families. More information on all institute programs and educational offerings can be found online at

Top right image: Ella Kelly and Kylie Jones.

Middle right image: Elizabeth Albert and Lillian Meier.

Bottom right image: Tristan Fangman.

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