The Dominican Scholars of Hope (DSH) is a nonacademic living-learning community for highly motivated students that is rooted in the 800-year-old Dominican heritage of Mount Saint Mary College. The program cultivates the intellectual, moral, and spiritual capacities of students, and guided by the four values or pillars of Dominican higher education: study, spirituality, community, and service. The program is inclusive and open to all Mount students.

Community & Service

Dominican Scholars form a mutually supportive and diverse community of students committed to service projects within the MSMC and Newburgh communities. These activities develop leadership skills, and vary from semester to semester. Many scholars continue to participate in service activities that they had been committed to in high school or are part of their major.

Study & Spirituality

Inspired by the Dominican passion for truth, Dominican Scholars participate in a variety of activities that develop their intellectual abilities, nurture spiritual awareness, and deepen their personal sense of self. Scholars help in creating and developing these programs, and they vary each academic year based upon the interests and needs of the students.    

“The Dominican Scholars of Hope has taught me a lot about myself both spiritually and academically. It has challenged me to look at myself from a different angle and has encouraged me to grow as a person.”

This program is for you if you are interested in:

  • Building friendships with other students from different majors and across class years
  • Discovering more about yourself and your abilities
  • Making a difference in the lives of others through community service
  • Exploring questions about God and spirituality
  • Reflecting on your goals and future plans
  • Gaining a broader perspective about the world
  • Learning through field trips 
  • Developing leadership skills 

“Thanks to the Dominican Scholars of Hope, I have been able to meet many wonderful and diverse people, all of whom I am better off for having met.”

What to expect of this program

  • Working on community service projects
  • Reflection activities
  • Field trips
  • Group projects

At the end of each academic year, scholars are presented with a special certificate at a reception hosted for them and their families. Upon successful completion of the program, Dominican Scholars receive special honor cords that are worn at commencement.

Membership & Eligibility

The DSH program is open to all Mount Saint Mary College students. Students wanting to learn more about the program should email the director, Dr. Charles Zola at Students wishing to apply for membership can apply here!

“It is here [Dominican Scholars of Hope] that I have made the strongest bonds and have found my closest friends on campus.”  |  “Overall, this program has allowed me to grow both spiritually and academically thanks to the constant implication of the four pillars throughout every event we do as a group. Because of this addition, I am constantly able to learn new aspects about myself, while sharing similar experiences with my classmates who attend the same events.”  |  “I have never met a group of people who are so selfless and caring, and it is absolutely inspiring. I feel like a better person from joining the club because I am surrounded by kind-hearted individuals.”  

Current Dominican Scholars of Hope
Current Dominican Scholars of Hope

Charles Zola

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Catholic and Dominican Institute, and Assistant to the President for Mission Integration
Email Address
Whittaker 005
Office Hours

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