Office Hours: Vickie Luttrell
By Mandy Seaman
When visitors step into the office of Dr. Vickie Luttrell ’86, chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences, they find themselves surrounded by items that reflect varied interests from neuroscience to pop culture. Luttrell has been at Drury since 2000, teaching courses in biopsychology, introduction to psychology, life span development, scientific writing and statistics. Here’s a look inside her Pearsons Hall office:
- This October 1973 photograph features 9-year-old Vickie, along with her Bluebird troop, meeting Drury alumnus Bob Barker. The photo was taken inside the Montgomery Ward at Battlefield Mall, and while Vickie can’t recall exactly why the former Price is Right host was there, she does recall that her troop’s goal that day was to get a photo with him. When Barker returned to Drury in 2007 to speak at commencement ceremonies, Vickie very proudly asked him to sign the original version of the photograph.
- Vickie’s daughter created a photo collage that features images of the two together over the years, and the collage now hangs on her office wall. One of Vickie’s favorite photos is from the mid-1990s and features mom and daughter in outfits that highlight their “atrocious fashion sense.”
- Most first-time office visitors notice the frog perched on the bookshelf, which was a gift from fellow behavioral sciences professor Jana Bufkin. With a self-described flair for the dramatic, Vickie says the frog’s unique pose made an impression on both professors while they were out shopping one day. “Jana told me, ‘If you were a frog, that would be you.’ And I love it. I just love that frog.”
- Ever the behavioral scientist, Vickie uses the painting on her wall as what she calls a “millennial Rorschach test of sorts.” Over the years, visitors have commented on the painting’s meaning, with interpretations ranging from those of a somewhat questionable nature to the completely innocent. Another fun fact about the artwork, the artist is Drury’s own Todd Lowery, associate professor of art and art history.
- Vickie sees the yoga frog near her desk sporting Mardi Gras beads as a reminder to balance all aspects of life. “I think it’s more of a realistic life. You’ve got to go out and have some fun.”
- Stuffed rodents sitting near her desk serve as a reminder of her animal research past. During her doctoral program at Purdue University, she studied the effects of steroids on the brain using hamsters as her research subjects. In stark contrast, a poster promoting Drury’s Animal Ethics program hangs just to the right of these furry little reminders.
- This stash of dark chocolate is a constant in Vickie’s office. Why? Dark chocolate is shown to have positive effects on mood and well-being, so Vickie also shares her little pile of serotonin-boosters with colleagues and students.