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The Hartel Program for Social Activism and Change and First-Year Retention

In the life of every institution of higher education, there are individuals that inspire generations of students to reach higher, think more critically, live with vibrancy, and have a passion for the things that mean most to them. Students inspired by professors find that memories of their college years are closely entwined with memories of professors who encouraged them to think "outside the box," challenged their paradigmatic view of life and promoted them to act on those new thoughts and beliefs.

Dr. Bill Hartel was one of the professors that had the knack of knowing how to reach out to students—especially first-year students. For Doc Hartel, the classroom extended beyond the walls of Marietta College to the communities in the surrounding Marietta area.

In 2002, startup funds were made available by the McGregor Foundation to promote Doc Hartel's vision for Marietta College — to promote the issues that were important to him: first-year student retention and social activism.

As a result, mini-grants of up to $800 may be awarded to faculty and/or students (with a faculty sponsor) to promote the retention of first-year students at MC and/or to promote social activism on campus or in the community, defined in local, state or national terms.


The purpose of the Hartel Program is to support interaction between faculty and students outside of the classroom. The program honors the special relationship Bill Hartel had with so many of his students. Dr. Hartel felt that it was in those informal conversations and activities that he had significant impacts on students' learning.

Hartel Program mini-grants provide funding for the development of new activities and for the enhancement of some projects that are already in existence. 

First-Year Student Retention

To promote the retention of first-year students, the mini-grant can assist in funding programs developed to assist:

  • smoothing the student transition to Marietta College;
  • developing faculty-student relationships;
  • promoting what is learned in and outside the classroom;
  • modeling the importance of learning as a life-long, rewarding activity.

Activities supported in this area could be but are not limited to, special program offerings for freshmen such as trips, social gatherings, residence hall programming, authentic learning, student career awareness, etc.

Social Activism/Change

Activism, in a general sense, can be described as involvement in action to bring about change, be it social, political, environmental, or other change. Funding to support professors and their students engaged in social activism and change encourages action in our communities today, and ensures empowerment and change tomorrow.

Involvement in a variety of activities may promote social change, including supporting organizations and efforts of local, state, or national issues. Such issues might be tied to organizations such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, The Humane Society of America, or related to issues that a student is studying, such as environmental, educational, social, or political issues.


To apply for mini-grants, Marietta College faculty or students (with a faculty sponsor) complete the online form at

Applications are reviewed by the PioPath Committee and the applicant will be notified of the mini-grant decision within two weeks of submission.

Awardees must provide a synopsis of the results of the grant-funded activities/efforts within two weeks the completion of the event/effort that is funded by the mini-grant.

Questions about the program may be directed to or you may contact Linda Lockhart, chair at