The Hartel Program for Social Activism and Change and Freshman Retention

In the life of every institution of higher education, there are those rare, charismatic 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 the Marietta College to the communities that surround the Marietta area.

In 2002, startup funds were made available by the McGregor Foundation to promote Doc Hartel's vision.

Marietta College is introducing a two-pronged program to promote the issues that were important to Dr. Hartel: freshman retention and social activism.

Mini-grants up to $800 will be available to faculty and/or students (with a faculty sponsor) to promote the retention of freshmen students at MC and/or to promote social activism on campus or in the community, defined on 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 some of the significant impacts on students' learning.

Hartel Program funding allows for the development of new activities and for the enhancement of some projects that are already in existence.

Freshmen Retention

To promote the retention of students (entry-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. The Japanese word mottainai can be defined as "A regrettable situation in which something is wasted without its value being fully utilized." Funding professors and their students engaged in social activism and change directly challenges mottainai, by encouraging action in our communities today, and ensuring empowerment and change tomorrow.

Involvement in a variety of activities to promote social change includes 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 issues that might be related to your major or minor course of studies in your department, such as environmental, educational, social or political issues.


Completed applications should be returned to Dr. Mary Barnas, 403 Mills Hall (

All applications will have a two-week turnaround time for notification of receiving or refusing the mini-grant. All grant awardees must provide Dr. Barnas with a synopsis of the results of the grant activities within two weeks after the targeted event focused on the mini-grant proposal.