A colonial-style brick building shopfront has a embedded signage reading Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement, followed by the York College of Pennsylvania logo.

Engaged Scholars

An Honors Community

The Engaged Scholars are an honors community where students are encouraged to apply their academic learning to what they actually can accomplish in the world around them—from Day One.

Based in principles of “human-centered design” (Design Thinking), the Engaged Scholars community reflects York College’s commitment to community-based, hands-on learning and to being a strong resource for the greater York community, its people, and its businesses and organizations. This group of Scholars and their mentors provide human-centered research and actions that take on the knotty problems and offer “new-to-the world” innovations that address those problems.

The Engaged Scholars also form a student leadership team within the Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation (GCCI), helping to make the GCCI an active learning space for all York College students. The Engaged Scholars also partner with faculty toward academic innovation through the Student Academic Innovation Lab.

York Engaged Scholars

Learn MoreProgram Details

  • Who We Are

    Who We Are

    The Engaged Scholars are a diverse and interdisciplinary group which brings together a vast array of talents, skills, and abilities. Students in this honors community, coordinated by York College’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE), emerge with more than an academic degree; they emerge with the record of leadership and proven success that all employers seek. They are a coalition of artists, social and natural scientists, humanities scholars, businesspeople, community advocates, and servant leaders, and enter their careers as engaged, innovative, and experienced professionals. As such, they are also thought leaders who can influence the general population of students at York College. 

    Engaged Scholars are makers, doers, and collaboratorsThey are:

    • Researchers who take on topics that have consequence for their own professional and personal goals—and for the world around them;
    • Entrepreneurial thinkers, who use innovation and human-centered design to create new-to-the-world ideas;
    • Leaders who drive change on our campus and in our community;
    • Collaborators, who work together in teams to share their own unique skills, knowledge, and talents; 
    • Doers and change-makers who apply classroom learning to real-world needs;
    • Engaged citizens who work with a network of college and community mentors; and 
    • Global citizens who situate their work within diverse cultures.

    The Engaged Scholars are comprised of students from a number of prestigious and successful programs, including: 


  • Admission to the Program

    Admission to the Program

    How does a student become an Engaged Scholar?
    There are several entry ways into this honors community. 

    Some of the Engaged Scholars are students admitted to York College within existing programs. Students admitted as Graham Collaborative Innovation Fellows, Eisenhart Community Scholars, Presidential Research Fellows, Gordon Leadership Scholars, and DelliCarpini Community Art Scholars are part of the Engaged Scholars from the beginning of their time of matriculation. 

    But we also have created a path of entry for those who distinguish themselves after they have enrolled at York College.

    • STEM Scholars are invited to participate in the Engaged Scholars program, extending their mission and goals by participating in key area community-based learning and by participating in the various other amenities of the Engaged Scholars. STEM Scholars who choose to participate are asked to commit to specific engagement activities and projects. 
    • High-performing students from the YCCOSP, Spartan Service Alliance, and Impact York programs can be admitted to the Engaged Scholars as Hope Scholars, a group whose mission is captured in its motto: “Engagement and Equity through Education.” Applicants are accepted for entry in the spring semester of their first year. Their admission is based upon their engagement with their respective program and their achievements as active leaders and participants. 
    • Public Affairs Scholars, administered through the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy, are also counted among the York Engaged Scholars. Participation in the Public Affair Scholars program is open to current undergraduate students and admission to the program is based on the students’ academic merit.
  • Leadership Team

    Leadership Team

    One of the real benefits of the Engaged Scholars program is the opportunity to work with some of the most caring, innovative, and thoughtful faculty and administrators at the College. The community's leadership includes:

    • Dominic DelliCarpini (Engaged Scholars coordinator), Dean, Center for Community Engagement; Director, Graham Collaborative Innovation Fellows, Eisenhart Community Scholars, and DelliCarpini Community Art Scholars
    • Karin Swartz, Assistant Dean, Center for Community Engagement; Coordinator, Graham Collaborative Innovation Fellows
    • Kay McAdams, Director of General Education
    • Cody Miller, Director of Service Initiatives, Center for Community Engagement; Coordinator, Eisenhart Community Scholars and Hope Scholars
    • David Fyfe, Graham Collaborative Innovation Fellows Director of Global Travel Experience and proposed Global Scholars
    • Victor Taylor, Advisor, Presidential Research Fellows
    • Rita Trippett, Director, York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP)
    • Jessi Fautch, Director, STEM Scholars Program
    • Cara Behneman Feldman, Director, Gordon Leadership Scholars
    • Vinny Cannizzaro, Director, Arthur J. Glatfelter Center for Public Policy and Public Affairs Scholars
    • Cindy Crimmins, Advisor, Engaged Scholars
    • Jeff Vermeulen, Assistant Vice President for External Relations (Knowledge Park)
  • Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation (GCCI)

    Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation (GCCI)

    The Engaged Scholars are one of the three key components of the Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation (GCCI) at York College. The other two components are the Center for Academic Innovation and the Knowledge Park. Both of those components support the work of the Scholars.

    The Center for Academic Innovation and its Center for Teaching and Learning supports the campus community in enhancing and creating high-impact practices and academic innovation leading to improving teaching and learning at York College of Pennsylvania. As Scholars, you will be invited to share in this work through the Student Academic Innovation Lab (S.A.I.L.). This will give you the opportunity to suggest innovations to the ways the College educates its students, offering an invaluable perspective on the needs of the Scholars as well as the full student body.

    The Knowledge Park will be an on-campus innovation hub occupied by local businesses and organizations, where members of those organizations can share ideas and take on key community and business issues. The Engaged Scholars will have the opportunity to work with these thought leaders on projects, network with York’s movers and shakers, and learn key professional skills that will advance their future career while also contributing to solving present problems. It will be a great place to use leadership, Design Thinking, and collaboration skills; to attain high-level internships and co-ops; and to network toward career advancement.

Access Unique OpportunitiesProgram Benefits

  • Build skills in innovation, leadership, and teamwork

    Workshops and co-curricular programs will provide you with innovation, leadership, and teamwork skills through Design Thinking techniques.

  • Utilize the principles of Design Thinking in real-world projects

    Community-based courses and projects will provide you with the opportunity to use the principles and mindset of Design Thinking (human-centered design) to address real-world issues.

  • Apply for funding to support your project

    You will have the opportunity to apply for funding (and in some cases, a stipend) to support your innovative ideas and projects.

  • Travel globally and advance your goals

    Student travel funding supports both domestic and global travel that advances student goals as well as the goals of the program, and which will enhance the learning available to all Engaged Scholars.

  • Collaborate with your peers in a makerspace with cutting-edge technologies and tools

    You will have access to the Graham Innovation Zone, a campus makerspace where Engaged Scholars can enact co-curricular projects, build business ideas, and network with community leaders. This space offers cutting-edge technologies (such as a 3-D printer) as well as many other innovation tools and supplies. You will also have access to the College’s downtown Center for Community Engagement and Marketview Arts buildings.

  • Participate in field trips and retreats

    You will have the opportunity to participate in field trips and retreats where you can work  with your peers to experience new cultures, build new skills, and plan shared programs.

  • Develop expertise in your area of study with guidance from mentors

    College and community mentors help students to develop deep expertise in their areas of study and their future areas of work.

  • Take on leadership and project roles in the Knowledge Park

    Engaged Scholars will have the opportunity to take on leadership and project roles, and work with leaders of industry in York, in the Knowledge Park operated by the York College Center for Collaborative Innovation. Funds will be allocated for grant programs to support and facilitate community projects across the Scholars programs.

  • Attend special workshops, events, and programs

    You will have the opportunity to attend special co-curricular workshops, events, and programming led by local and national experts to supplement your classroom learning.

  • Conduct research through our Institutes

    You will have frequent opportunities to do social science research through the Institute for Social Healing, a multi-institutional consortium of area colleges devoted to trauma-informed care, and the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy, which takes on policy research that affects the lives of all citizens. Both Institutes operate out of the College’s Center for Community Engagement.

  • Innovate your education

    You will be provided occasions to work with York College administrators to help further innovate the way we educate, working through the University Innovation Fellows program and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

  • Work side by side with proven leaders

    You will be provided with leadership opportunities both at the College and within the community, allowing you to work side by side with proven leaders.

Contact Us
Engaged Scholars
Center for Community Engagement
Dominic DelliCarpini, Ph.D., Dean
Campus: Humanities Center, Room 29
Downtown: Center for Community Engagement
59 E. Market St., York, PA 17401
Phone: 717.815.1213