Dr. Luttrell has a doctoral degree in educational psychology and has completed extensive graduate coursework in behavioral neuroscience/biopsychology and experimental psychology. She teaches biological bases of aggressive behavior, biopsychology, introduction to psychology, life span development, scientific writing, and statistics. Dr. Luttrell serves as an undergraduate research mentor and offers technical expertise to most students enrolled in research-intensive classes. She has been the recipient of three different university awards as a result of her work with students. In 2001, Dr. Luttrell was selected as the SGA's Faculty Member of the Year. The following year, she received the university award for Teacher Excellence, as well as the Advising and Mentoring Award.
Dr. Luttrell's record of scholarship includes research on topics ranging from teenage pregnancy to ventromedial hypothalamic neurons in female Syrian hamsters. A recent publication (2005) in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse , co-authored by Dr. Bufkin, provides an analysis of neuroimaging studies of aggression and violence and explores the implications of this research for criminology and criminal justice. This study remains among the top ten most requested articles from that journal. Several of her teaching exercises are published in a "Best Practices" text for Life Span Development classes, and Dr. Luttrell anticipates publication of her Higher Education Values Inventory (HEVI) in the Journal of Educational and Psychological Measurement.
Years of work on the HEVI, which began as a dissertation project, led to a research collaboration that is ongoing and should result in future publications. Dr. Luttrell, with Drs. Charles Allen (Department of Mathematics & Computer Science), Bruce Callen (Physics Department), Don Deeds (Department of Biology), and Mark Wood (Department of Chemistry), was awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (+$325,000) to develop two inventories to measure how students who are non-mathematics and non-natural sciences majors value math and science literacy. Their success on this project resulted in an invitation to co-host a NSF research conference in Washington, D.C. in fall 2006.
There are two additional lines of future research on Dr. Luttrell's agenda, both of which stem from federally funded projects. In one of these endeavors, Dr. Luttrell is serving as an investigator on another three-year NSF grant (+$145,000). This grant was awarded to the Department of Behavioral Sciences to support the implementation and evaluation of a model undergraduate research experience, The Scientific Core. She is also a co-evaluator on a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This five-year grant, coordinated by Burrell Behavioral Health, supports the development and assessment of a comprehensive service network for disadvantaged families. The network is designed to ensure that parents understand and are equipped to enhance the socio-emotional development of their children. School readiness and success are overriding goals of the project.
When she's not working, Dr. Luttrell enjoys spending time with her daughter, watching horror flicks with her mom, and going to yoga classes. She has been known to perform yoga poses in class.
B.A., Drury College, 1986
M.A., Hollins College, 1988
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 1999
Drury University faculty member since 1999
Professor since 2012