Faculty and students celebrate the life of Jeffrey Bartel

Pictured above is a photo of the late Jeffrey Bartel, posing for pictures with colleagues and students. Photos from SHU Archives.

Jeffrey Bartel, an associate professor of psychology, passed away on December 3, 2019. A celebration of Bartel’s life will be held in Cecilian Hall on the afternoon of February 28 at 2 p.m.

“His research, and sharing and contributing knowledge to the profession of psychology on behalf of Seton Hill University, and making us visible as a university, sharing new research about psychology and in different areas was very noteworthy,” said Kathleen Harris, dean of the School of Education and Applied Social Sciences. 

After obtaining his bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech University, Bartel pursued his graduate degrees in child development and he obtained a certificate in women’s studies. “He was also doing research with a couple of our students right before he passed away, too. Up until the very end he worked with students, he treasured doing his psychology classes—that was his passion,” Harris said. 

“He taught me when to pull back, how to separate my emotions from my point of view, he taught me about the long run, he taught me how to not pay attention to what happens today or what happens tomorrow but to pay attention and to start planning a whole career,” said Elizabeth Jacobs, a professional colleague and friend of Bartel. 

Jacobs recalled their time working together, and as Bartel began his career at Seton Hill before Jacobs, she felt he took her under his wings in terms of how to be a faculty member. 

“He and I worked very well as a team together, because, where as he was ‘Show me the data, show me the data, show me the data,’  and the students really appreciated that, I kind of asked the follow up question, ’What are the limitations of the data? What’s beyond data?’ We worked very well together,” Jacobs said. 

At Seton Hill, Bartel taught infancy, childhood and adolescence, introductory courses in professional development, intro to psychology and sex and gender. 

“He was extremely passionate about teaching, on a more personal level, when he arrived, he was much more of a meticulous, extraordinary well prepared teacher, and over his time here he really developed a love for his students, beyond just a professor relationship. He invested deeply in the future of his students,” Jacobs said. 

Their relationship went beyond just work colleagues. 

“I don’t know that he had a casual opinion about anything. He listened to ‘NPR’ and podcasts constantly. He devoured nonfiction. He adored Monty Python. He loved Pink Floyd—60’s,70’s,80’s, loved that. Loved Weird Al, he was what you might call an ubernerd, in that he knew what he liked and he pursued it,” Jacobs said. 

In recounting the memories shared between the two, Jacobs said, “He was a “Star Trek”, excuse me, “Star Wars” fanatic, absolutely fanatically obsessed with “Star Wars”. He had a Darth radar Christmas tree. He used to do the elf-on the shelf with his kids in “Star Wars” themes.”

In terms of mourning over the loss of an influential faculty member, Mary Finger, president of Seton Hill, stated, “My own personal belief is that everyone grieves differently. Sometimes it hits them immediately, sometimes it hits them when they’re working on something or thinking of something, and to know that you’re not alone, number one, and that there are other people around who are going through the same thing, and that there are resources and no one should ever be ashamed or afraid to get the resources that they need.” 

“We are a community that celebrates life and also mourns in deaths, and as a group and as a community we stand together with each other,” Finger said.

Published by Caitlin Srager

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