Bulldog Burrows: Dr. Margaret Stratford

Photos by Grace Denckhoff.

GIANNA CASSIN | STAFF REPORTER | gcassin@butler.edu

The personal spaces we inhabit are a reflection of ourselves — from dorms to offices — and that much is true for members of the Butler campus community. Read on to discover the next of our Bulldog Burrows through a Q&A style interview. 

Dr. Margaret Stratford, an instructor of pharmaceutical sciences at Butler for 18 years, has occupied multiple office spaces during her time at Butler, yet she always makes the space her own. She strives to create a welcoming environment for all those who enter. Her space showcases her hobbies, the people in her life and the work she does.

THE BUTLER COLLEGIAN: Has this been your only office space, or have you had others?

MARGARET STRATFORD: I’ve kind of been all over the place. I was in a place where I shared with someone down in the lab, and then I was across the hallway shared with someone else. I was over [across the hall] where I shared with someone else, and I was down in [another room where I] shared with someone else. This is the first time I’ve had my own office.

TBC: Has it always been important for you to make the space your own?

MS: Yeah. I feel like I spend a lot of time here, so I want it to be something that makes me happy when I look around so it’s not depressing that I’m sitting in the same space. Plus, it’s more inviting. I always want to make it so that you feel like you can come talk to me if you need to.

TBC: What would you say distinguishes your office from other people’s?

MS: I have a lot of things that I enjoy that just make me smile. It represents who I am, what my hobbies are, and my family, my friends. I may go a little overboard. I got rocks. Why? I don’t know, because they’re fun. They say hope and laugh. [These are] daily things [that] remind me what I want to be about. Even my parents, who aren’t with us anymore, I have pictures of them.

TBC: How would you say the work that you do is evident in your space?

MS: I have a feeling it’s not evident. I keep all the work stuff right here, but I want it to look pretty too. I don’t just put the books there. I have to stack them a certain way and buy notebooks that are colorful that remind me which classes that I need to do stuff in. I’m a paper person, I don’t like things just on the computer. Even though I have lots of things on there, I still need paper. I have pretty paper that helps me with organization. I don’t know that it necessarily helps me do my job but it just makes it okay to be here. [It] makes me feel like this is a good place. And again, I like that I feel like it’s friendly, so students come in and they’re not in a dark dingy place.

TBC: I see you have calligraphy displayed, how did you begin that hobby?

MS: Growing up people were like, “Oh, you have such pretty writing.” I have to have a creative outlet and that’s my creative outlet. I like to make Christmas cards or I do wedding invitations. I feel like as a person teaching pharmacy, you have to have a creative outlet. People who do science often say, “Oh, I’m not creative,” but I think they are, they just haven’t tapped into it. [My dad] worked for my uncle who owned a printing shop. People would make Christmas cards back in the day rather than Hallmark. You could go and have an artist that would reside there and do a Christmas card for you, so he used my dad as a mock up for Christmas cards. 

TBC: Do you have any further decor ideas planned for the future? 

MS: Well, I have a problem. I have to rearrange my office every once in a while. I think I did it last April, so I’m good for now. I do this in my house to just change things up, because it’s like you get something new if you move it around. It’s really nice because this is a bigger space. We’ll see, but chances are I will be moving in about a year or so.


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