Dr. Bufkin has a doctoral degree in criminology and criminal justice and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses examining a number of topics, including the correctional system, deviance and social control, ethical dilemmas in behavioral research, juvenile delinquency, media images of social issues, race/ethnicity and social justice, and scientific writing. She also participates in a team-taught, undergraduate, interdisciplinary animal ethics class offered through Drury’s Forum on Animal Rights, and mentors students enrolled in her department’s undergraduate research experience and in directed research courses. At the graduate level, Dr. Bufkin works with students completing the thesis option, and she administers comprehensive examinations necessary to obtain graduate degrees from her department.
She has published works in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Social Justice, the Sociological Forum, and Teaching of Psychology, and was awarded the university Scholarship Award in 2003. Her 2000 work (with Dr. Sarah Britto, Central Washington State University) on media images of sex and rape is still among the top most requested articles in Violence Against Women , while a 2005 publication in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, co-authored with Dr. Vickie Luttrell, remains among the top most requested articles from that journal. The work provides an analysis of neuroimaging studies of aggression and violence and explores the implications of this research for criminology and criminal justice.
Most recent publications have examined aspects of a new departmental curriculum, The Scientific Core. The department was awarded approximately $148,000 from the National Science Foundation to implement and evaluate this curriculum, which was designed to enhance scientific literacy. Dr. Bufkin served as the principal investigator on this three-year grant and continues to work with co-investigators Drs. Valerie Eastman, Vickie Luttrell, and Robin Miller to assess the model curriculum. Components of the Scientific Core have received favorable evaluations, as has the curriculum as a whole, suggesting department goals are accomplished through the implementation of this innovative curriculum.
Dr Bufkin, along with Dr. Vickie Luttrell, evaluated the Missouri Math Academy from 2006 -2008. The Missouri Math Academy was a 10-year program designed by a former colleague from the School of Education and Child Development, Dr. Belinda Langham. Dr. Langham received $1 million annually to implement and evaluate this program, which trained middle school teachers to be better, more engaging math instructors.
Drs. Bufkin and. Luttrell also co-authored a grant and served as evaluators for a $2.6 million community program coordinated by Burrell Behavioral Health and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. That five-year grant (2007-2011) led to the implementation and assessment of a comprehensive service network for disadvantaged families and aimed to ensure parents understood and were equipped to enhance the socio-emotional development of their children. The overriding goal of the Parent Information Resource Center was to promote school-readiness and success. More than one million clients in southwest Missouri were served by grant-sponsored activities and training.
In 2009, Drs. Bufkin and Luttrell worked with former graduate student and court administrator Shawn Billings to prepare a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their approximately $1 million grant was one of eight funded across the U.S, and it allows for the implementation, expansion, and evaluation of recovery-oriented systems of care for individuals with substance abuse problems in three rural Missouri counties.. The grant period extends from 2009-2013, with Mr. Billings serving as program director and Drs. Bufkin and Luttrell serving as program evaluators.
Although Dr. Bufkin plans to focus on other relevant funding opportunities, she will also continue work on some previous research and teaching projects that involve hate crimes and hate groups, as well as media constructions of disadvantaged groups and justice-related issues. She also plans to conduct animal welfare-related research.
Dr. Bufkin is also actively involved in university governance, serving on numerous committees and councils and recently worked to prepare two proposals for university minors that were approved for implementation in 2012. Both minors, in behavioral neuroscience and in animal studies, are interdisciplinary and are reflective of the liberal arts tradition.
When not working, Dr. Bufkin enjoys being outside, exercising within limits, reading, listening to almost every style of music (though she says Amadeus doesn’t usually make the cut), watching movies, and catching her favorite TV programs (Dexter, Weeds, Chelsea Lately, and Harry’s Law). Hanging out with her two cats (ages 16.5 and 4 years) is a given. Acquiring a rescue dog is on her wish list, but the older cat won’t even entertain the idea.
B.A., Mississippi State University, 1987
M.A., Northeast Louisiana University, 1989
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1996
Drury University faculty member since 1999
Associate Professor since 2002