Community Service

Members of the Department of Behavioral Sciences are actively involved in a variety of community service projects. A brief review of some of these endeavors is provided below. If you are interested in participating in community service, contact any of our faculty members. We can help you decide which activities best meet your interests and help you connect with the appropriate agency/organization.

Southwest Missourians Against the Death Penalty

This is an advocacy group that seeks to increase awareness about the use of the death penalty with a focus on miscarriages of justice. The overriding goal of the group is the implementation of a moratorium on capital punishment in the state of Missouri. Dr. A.L. Marsteller is affiliated with this group.

The Kitchen, Inc.

This organization provides a network of services for disadvantaged and homeless populations in the Springfield area. Their services include, but are not limited to, a meal service, shelter, health care, and job training. Dr. Robin Miller, along with students in her classes, often work with this organization in data collection and analysis to insure that they provide accurate reports to funding agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To learn more about this organization, you may visit their website at

CASA of Southwest Missouri

Court Appointed Special Advocate organizations are located across the country, and their primary goal is to assist and train volunteers who represent the interest of abused and neglected children in the court system. Drs. Jana Bufkin and Mary Utley have worked with the local CASA group to collect and analyze data about child rearing practices in the Ozarks.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is an event that seeks to increase public awareness of cancer and raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Many cities and towns have one or more of these events annually, and one of Springfield’s Relay for Life campaigns is held on Drury University’s campus each Spring. Students in our department form a team to participate every year, and the university’s Relay for Life sponsor is Dr. Jennie Long.

Habitat for Humanity International

Most readers are probably aware of Habitat for Humanity and its functions. If you are not, please visit their website at Drs. Valerie Eastman, who is a member of the local chapter’s governing board, and Jennie Long currently work with this organization, while Dr. Vickie Luttrell was a volunteer for a number of years.

Missouri Battered Women’s Clemency Coalition

Member of this coalition work to ensure that the governor is provided with complete reviews of cases in which women who killed their abusers are seeking clemency for their actions. Drs. Jennie Long and A.L. Marsteller have compiled case summaries for judicial and gubernatorial consideration.

Missouri Parent Information Resource Center (MO-PIRC)

MO-PIRC is a network of services designed to ensure that parents are aware of the intricacies of their children’s socio-emotional development and its relationship to school success. It also aims to provide parents with information about family rights and responsibilities within the school system. Drs. Jana Bufkin and Vickie Luttrell serve as evaluators of this program and a portion of their services are in-kind.

Springfield Advocates for Youth (SAY)

SAY is devoted to helping youth living in Springfield area group homes under the supervision of the Department of Youth Services. They provide advocacy services for these young people, serve as their mentors, and plan recreational and educational activities to enhance their development into productive members of society. They have also created a scholarship fund for those who complete high school or obtain a GED. Dr. Jennie Long is a member of this organization’s governing body.

Work with Pre-College Students

Our faculty members frequently work with local middle and high school students on research projects. One of those students, who worked with Dr. Vickie Luttrell, won 1 st place in the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair, and she was selected as a candidate for the national Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge.