The Leadership Scholars Program encourages academically talented students to develop their intellectual and leadership abilities and achieve academic recognition as Leadership Scholars.  Participation in the Leadership Scholars program is by invitation .  Participation in the scholars program is optional, and is intended to complement a student’s coursework, develop her critical thinking and leadership ability, and enrich her educational experience. The program also provides practice in professional presentations and public speaking.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Enhance students’ coursework through project design, research and independent study
  • Encourage students to investigate or develop innovations in leadership in the subject of their choice
  • Recognize excellence in scholarship

Students explore topics under one of the following global topics:

  • Energy
  • Health and Science
  • Individual and Cultural Identity
  • Resources and Sustainability
  • Shifting Populations
  • Global Finance and Economics
  • Ubiquitous Technology

We encourage students to discover what they are passionate about, and to blend their research project with their interested in a particular career, current event, or country. She will choose her research in a way that satisfies the above global topics.

At the end of their projects, students submit a research paper and present their findings to Regina Dominican administration, faculty, staff, fellow students, friends and family.


Who participates in the Leadership Scholars program?

Students are invited to get involved each semester. Admission into the program begins the second semester of freshman year. Students can be invited into the program any semester throughout their four years at Regina Dominican.

The Leadership Scholars Program is an academically rigorous program. It requires extensive research, high-level critical thinking, and excellent time-management. Therefore, our top performing students are invited to join the program based on:

  • Academic achievement
  • Behavior
  • Attendance

What steps are involved in completing a project?

Once a student accepts her invitation into the program, she will choose a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors are usually chosen based on their expertise in a particular subject and the relationship they have with the student. Although this is an independent project, each Leadership Scholar works with a faculty advisor who helps students:

  • Develop a research question
  • Conduct a literature review, interview an expert, or conduct an experiment
  • Write a research paper
  • Present their findings

Why is this program important?

These types of research projects are very prevalent at the university level. By participating in the program, students develop many leadership skills that will be useful for not only in college but beyond those four years. These skills include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Public Speaking
  • Self-Assessment
  • Time-Management
  • Understanding of Global Issues
  • Networking

The Class of 2016 was the first class to experience the Leadership Institute for three years, and the results can be seen in their accolades and matriculation. The graduating Leadership Scholars in 2016 were accepted into some of the most prestigious universities in the nation.

Our Leadership Scholars were accepted into:

  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Northwestern University
  • Vanderbilt University

The results are exciting for Regina Dominican. Universities recognize the Leadership Institute and the Scholars Program as a rigorous and distinguishable program, giving an edge to graduates in the highly competitive college environment.


Why do students enjoy participating in the program?

“Although I have only spent two years in the Leadership Institute, I can honestly say that it has changed my life. I know my strengths and understand what I must do to overcome my weaknesses. More than that, I have learned the importance of individualism. I am not afraid to show people who I truly am. It has changed my life and for that I am grateful.”

-Gillian King ’18

“The Leadership Institute has not only helped to shape my leadership skills but also has opened the door to numerous opportunities for me in the future. For example, the paper I wrote for my Leadership Scholars Project has grabbed the attention of multiple professionals. It is published to help raise awareness on the effect technology has on developing brains. I am truly honored to have these opportunities and to be a part of this amazing program.”

-Kayleigh Dalkin ’18


Research Questions

To provide a flavor of the academic rigor and sophistication of our research projects, examples of the Scholar’s projects are listed below:

How do environmental and genetic factors affect an individual’s vulnerability to addiction, and are environmental or genetic factors more influential than the other?

What has caused the dramatic increase of confirmed cases of Diabetes in the United States over the past 30 years?

What are HIV and AIDS, and what is their status in the United States, Swaziland, and Kenya?

What is life like inside a maximum security United States Penitentiary and how does the extreme captivity psychologically affect the prisoners?

How can the Roman Catholic Church benefit from inviting women to fully serve in the church as ordained priests?

How does involvement in athletics affect the academics of students?

What are the long-term effects of teen dating violence on young women and what can be done to prevent this issue today?

How do Photoshop and the use of models with unrealistic body types negatively affect the body image of females?

How are vaccines being made safer, and how are they more accessible?

How does cardiovascular fitness improve over nine weeks of a daily P.E. program with two to three workouts per week?

How has social media affected the way teenage girls view their body?

How do chemical imbalances in the brain, such as lithium and potassium lead to mental illness?

How does coming out affect the identity development of LGBT people, and what are social issues encountered by those who come out?

How has education impacted the quality of life and independence in teenagers with autism?

Why do third world countries utilize child labor more than industrialized countries?

How does anxiety impact the mental state of teenagers as compared to adults?

What is being done in schools to prevent childhood obesity and how can it be improved?

Why should students in America consider incorporating the European custom of a gap year?

What does OCD look like in children, and how does it affect daily life?

How would a later start time affect the academic performance of high school students?

Which methods of preventing gun violence are working best for states?

How is biotechnology used in microgravity for developing medicine?

How does reading Shakespeare affect the brain?

How does musical therapy help people who suffer from brain illnesses?

How does colon cancer develop and what are the associated risk factors?

Has depression and anxiety become more common in the last 35 years, and if so why?