KU student DaNae Estabine honored as Newman Civic Fellow


LAWRENCE — Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has named the student civic leaders who will make up the 2024-2025 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. DaNae Estabine, a University of Kansas junior from Olathe majoring in psychology with a minor in philosophy, was named a member.

DaNae Estabine
DaNae Estabine

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program that recognizes students who stand out for their leadership potential and commitment to creating positive change in communities. The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was an advocate for civic engagement in higher education. 

In the spirit of Newman’s leadership, each fellow is nominated by their campus president or chancellor, who is invited to select one exemplary community-committed student.

“With an incredible range of activities, diverse coursework and true leadership experience, DaNae is one of the most prominent student leaders on campus,” said KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “She has lived out her commitments to improving her world, and we are excited to see how the Newman Civic Fellowship experience supports her as she continues to approach large-scale challenges with tenacity and integrity.”

Estabine began her path into public service in kindergarten when her mother initiated a Presidential Service Club at her elementary school. This sparked early engagement in community service. What began as youthful card decorations for Meals on Wheels and veterans evolved into a passion for volunteerism. These foundational experiences shaped Estabine’s career aspirations to become a compassionate and understanding prosecutor. Witnessing the struggles people face and the negative influences in their lives has fueled her commitment to addressing the root causes of social issues. Her approach is grounded in rehabilitative measures, emphasizing a holistic perspective on justice.

 While at KU, Estabine has served as the 2023-2024 student body vice president and the 2022-2023 government relations director for Student Senate. She also interned for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran in summer 2023 and most recently for Kansas State Rep. Barbara Ballard in the Kansas Capitol in spring 2024. Estabine volunteers her time as the director of the Johnson County Fair Pie Contest, an Olathe Fishing Derby board member and a Lawrence Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS) volunteer. She also serves as a substitute teacher in the Lawrence School District.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with learning and networking opportunities that help to nurture their development as civic leaders. Programming emphasizes personal, professional and civic growth that can empower them to collaborate effectively across disciplines and create large-scale positive change.

The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Newman Civic Fellows, which offers intensive in-person skill-building and networking over three days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive opportunities, including mini-grants to help fund community projects, scholarships and postgraduate opportunities.

“We are honored to recognize such an outstanding group of community-committed students,” said Bobbie Laur, Campus Compact president. “One of the best parts of the Newman Civic Fellowships is the richness of students’ perspectives, experiences and backgrounds — and how these varied stories all led to their passionate engagement with the social, political and environmental issues impacting our world.”

Students interested in the Newman Civic Fellowship completed the campus application process in early spring 2024. The competition is coordinated by the Office of Fellowships. Students interested in next year’s application cycle should email the office.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by The Allstate Foundation. Learn more online.

Thu, 05/09/2024

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Erin Wolfram

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Erin Wolfram

Academic Success