Nicholas D. Hartlep, assistant professor of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University, has been awarded the 2018 John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leadership in Civic Engagement. The Saltmarsh Award is presented annually to an emerging leader in the civic engagement field from an AASCU institution or ADP Partner at the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting. The award was named in John Saltmarsh’s honor to recognize a long-standing passion of his: nurturing and preparing the next generation of civic leaders to sustain and advance the civic engagement movement.
Hartlep’s passion for education in the field of civic leadership and engagement made him an obvious candidate for this award. In addition to serving as assistant professor of Urban Education, Hartlep is also the coordinator of the Early Childhood and Elementary Education Programs in the School of Urban Education at Metropolitan State.
“I don’t view myself solely involved with the civic engagement movement, or of American higher education, but rather, I am committed to the future betterment of American society,” says Hartlep.
As a professor, Hartlep has developed his own set of tools that he uses in his classroom. As a Korean adoptee raised in the United States, he uses his bi-cultural experience to send a weighted message to students. “I have interrogated my own identity to develop a practice of critical storytelling that I teach to my students and peers…hearing intensely the stories and experiences of those we encounter to more fully construct an understanding of our shared experience and to forge interpersonal connections that transcend polarized ideologies and identities.”
Hartlep received the award, which includes an engraved commemorative and a cash prize, at a ceremony held June 8, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. The day Hartlep received this honor, he received an email from the award’s namesake, John Saltmarsh. Besides congratulating Dr. Hartlep, the note was copied to several other people, and welcomed Dr. Hartlep to his “posse of big thinkers and change agents.”
“The sky is the limit!”
From here, Hartlep plans to “continue to be a change agent within urban teacher education and tackling problems that are so large that they may not be solved in my lifetime, but I will mentor and pass the torch to my students who may… this award will certainly be a spring board for larger and even more intense work.”