2003 — Judy Berry

Family: John (husband), one son

Work: Professor of Psychology, The University of Tulsa.

  • Hobby: I love plants and flowers. My home and office are full of plants. I have a small vegetable garden, a herb garden, a flower garden, a shade garden and a container garden.
  • Book: One that quickly comes to mind is Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Actually, I enjoy all of her work because she writes about nature and relationships.
  • Reading: I am revisiting Virginia Woolf and reading Mrs. Dalloway.
  • Vacation: I just returned from cool, beautiful Ontario, Canada, where I saw a red moon rise over Lake Superior and several moose with their calves.
  • What was the best advice you ever received?
    Go to college and graduate. I am grateful that my parents gave me this advice and the funds to make it happen.
  • Cure for the Blues?
    Prevention. I invented a formula to follow each day: Read, Exercise, Songs (music), and Talk with a friend. The first letters spell “REST” and that reminds me to slow down.
  • When did you know that a career in academe was for you?
    I loved college, so I looked for a socially acceptable way to stay on campus forever and be paid to be there.
  • In a previous TU publication, we described your research on combining work and family. Any tips for parents on child rearing?
    My son, Ryan, was about 2, and I was playing with him on the floor of our den while my husband and I watched a TU football game on television. During half time, a promo for TU came on showing the campus. I pointed to the TV and said, “Look, Ryan. That’s TU. That’s where mommy works.” He looked at me intently, with his face registering both surprise and new respect, as he said, “You play football, Mommy?” Well, no. I teach psychology. As Ryan grew older, I made sure that he visited my office and classroom, met my colleagues and students, and had a sense that what I did was important even if it was not as exciting as playing football. Ryan (now a college student) is excited, however, that I will finally be allowed on the football field this fall when I am honored as Mrs. Homecoming.

    I am writing a book about happy families, and when I asked children to share happy memories of family experiences, going to sporting events with parents was mentioned frequently. Children particularly enjoy returning to mom or dad’s alma mater and hearing stories about their parent’s past experiences.
  • What would your acquaintances be surprised to know about you?
    I was a college athlete. I received a trophy for my sorority and got my picture in the yearbook for winning a fraternity tricycle race.
  • What are you most proud of?
    My family. Being a full professor at TU and to be Mrs. Homecoming.
  • What four people would you invite to dinner, and what would you ask them?
    I would have to invite eight people — all of my great-grandparents. I didn’t know any of them, and I would like to talk with them about their lives, learn what they were like and learn about myself in the process.