• The John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement

    Given in recognition of exemplary early-career leaders who are advancing the wider civic engagement movement through higher education to build a broader public culture of democracy. 

    Nominations for the 2017 Saltmarsh Award are due March 31, 2107. 

    Awardee will be announced on June 8, 2017 at the ADP Organizing Meeting at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

    Saltmarsh Award & Nomination Information | 2017 Saltmarsh Award Nomination Cover Sheet

    In an effort to recognize, support and encourage the next generation of leaders in the civic engagement movement, the American Democracy Project established in 2011 a national award, the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement. 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.

    About the Award:

    George Mehaffy, reflecting on the choice of John Saltmarsh as the person for whom the award was named, commented: “John Saltmarsh was the obvious choice for who we would honor in creating this award. John is a great visionary and an inspiring leader. Even more importantly, he has never wavered from a commitment to nurturing the next generation of civic leaders. His consistent question echoes in my mind: ‘Who will do this work when we are gone?’”

    John SaltmarshJohn Saltmarsh is the Co-Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston as well as a faculty member in the Higher Education Administration Doctoral Program in the Department of Leadership in Education in the College of Education and Human Development. He is the editor, with Matthew Hartley, of the edited volume, "To Serve a larger Purpose”: Engagement for Democracy and the Transformation of Higher Education (Temple, 2011). He is the author, with Edward Zlotkowski, of Higher Education and Democracy: Essays on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (Temple, 2011).

    Civic engagement involves a process of collaboration and reciprocity and a purpose of creating partnerships of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good. 

    The Award

    The Saltmarsh Award is presented annually to an emerging leader in the civic engagement field from an AASCU institution or ADP Partner. The Award recipient will receive an engraved commemorative to acknowledge the national recognition and a check for $500. The Award recipient will be announced each year at the annual meeting of the American Democracy Project in June.

    To Serve a larger Purpose - cover In order to provide support for the Award in the future, the royalties from the new book edited by John Saltmarsh and Matthew Hartley (“To Serve a larger Purpose”: Engagement for Democracy and the Transformation of Higher Education, Temple University Press) are being donated in full to the award. We urge you to consider buying the book, not only for its content but also because your purchase of the book will help ensure the sustainability of the award. You can order the book through Temple University Press website.

    A special thank you to William Plater, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties Emeritus at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, who generously supported the first two years of the award.


    Nominees should meet the following eligibility requirements: 

    •  Be an academic professional working in higher education.
    •  Be in the early phase of their career 
    • Be an faculty member, staff member, administrator or graduate student on an AASCU campus, across a group of AASCU campuses or in an ADP partner organization. 

    Nominees should also: 

    • Demonstrate leadership, or possess extraordinary potential for future leadership, in building the wider civic engagement movement. 
    • Demonstrate a passion for advancing the civic learning of undergraduates.  
    • Demonstrate collaborative leadership. 
    • Practice mentoring of others and commitment to mentoring new leaders. 
    • Act as an organizational catalyst to change higher education and to model leadership for change. 
    • Make an intellectual contribution to the development of the field and the movement. 

    Nomination and Selection Process 

    Emerging Leaders may be nominated by anyone. The nomination consists of the following: a complete cover sheet, a vitae or resume no longer than five (5) pages; and no more than five (5) additional pages of documentation in the form of a description of the nominee’s achievements, supporting letters, etc. All nomination materials should be collected and emailed in a single .pdf file.  

    Previous Recipients

    Adam Bush
    ,Chief Academic Officer, College Unbound
    Lane Graves Perry, Director of Service Learning, Western Carolina University (N.C.)

    Bethany Fleck
    , Assistant Professor of Psychology, Metropolitan State University of Denver (Colo.)

    Brandon Kliewer
    , Assistant Professor of Civic Engagement and ADP Campus Director, Florida Gulf Coast University


    Emily Janke, Special Assistant for Community Engagement, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Paul Markham, Assistant Professor and Co-Director at the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility, Western Kentucky University
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    Cecilia M. Orphan, National Project Manager, American Democracy Project.
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