Meet the Advisory Board Members


The Department of Sociology is pleased to introduce our current Adviory Board Members. Each member has provided a biography of their accomplishments, and a photo if available.

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Chair, H. Dean Gibson, Retired Partner
Human Resource & Total Rewards Consulting
HRO BPO Administration/Outsourcing Services
Aon Hewitt

Dean Gibson earned his B.A. in sociology with emphasis in criminology from The Ohio State University in 1974.  A native of Oberlin, Ohio, Mr. Gibson worked for 32 years with Aon Hewitt, leading Human Resources and Total Rewards Consulting, HR/BPO and benefits administration outsourcing specialist teams.  He helped address complex client human resources, talent and total rewards issues, as well as HR/BPO, outsourcing and benefits administration solutions.  During his career with Aon Hewitt, he held office management, sales and sales management and client relationship management positions. He served as client relationship manager for over 20 midsize to large clients and for a number of Fortune 500 and 1,000 companies. His experience included publicly traded and privately owned corporations, public-sector, and tax exempt organizations. Mr. Gibson is past President of the Central Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists, former member of the OSU National Alumni Advisory Council, and liaison to the Executive Dean and Vice Provost of College of Arts and Sciences. He is a current member of the OSU Scarlet & Gray Ambassadors. Mr. Gibson retired in 2015 and currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.

John Michael Brooks, Emeritus Professor
Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
Valdosta State University

Michael Brooks received his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Texas Tech University and earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1970. While at OSU, he taught for one year and then became a research assistant with the Disaster Research Center. His dissertation focused on a comparison of mass media responses in natural disaster and civil disturbance settings. Professor Brooks has held faculty and/or administrative positions at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the University of Kentucky, Texas Christian University, Washington State University in Pullman, Valdosta State University, and South University in Savannah, GA. Dr. Brooks retired in 2014 and lives on Tybee Island near Savannah, GA.

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Pamela J. Conrad, Retired Director
State Government Business Development
Truven Health Analytics Inc., an IBM Company

Pamela Conrad holds a B.A. in sociology from The Ohio State University. As an undergraduate, she was in student government and was named a University Outstanding Senior in 1971.  A native of Columbus, Pam has spent 44 years working in government and healthcare, starting as a policy analyst for the State of Ohio, then the City of Columbus. She became a government affairs specialist for Blue Shield, then indulged her love of politics to become the Finance Director for the Ohio Democratic Party for six years. Ms. Conrad moved back to the healthcare industry, where she spent 28 years helping state government Medicaid programs upgrade their information management systems. She is a specialist in the use of data analytics to improve healthcare quality and affordability and is now retired.

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Heidi Gossett, Claims Manager
NiSource Incorporated

Heidi Gossett earned her B.A. in criminology from The Ohio State University in 1995. She has over 20 years of claims management experience and is currently a Claims Manager for NiSource, Inc.  Ms. Gossett is responsible for managing and executing the strategy, investigation, and settlement of the NiSource insured claim portfolio, including all Casualty and Disability lines. Prior to joining NiSource, Ms. Gossett was the Senior Director of Claims Administration at DHL Global Business Services for 8 years where she was responsible for establishing and directing the risk management claims strategy across the Americas region and managed claims with a loss portfolio in excess of $250M in exposure.  While in this role, she served as the Chairperson for the Global Claims Steering Committee, coordinating a group of her peers from across all regions of the world to focus on global process, procedures, manuals, and strategy.

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Brian M. Hunt, Retired
Federal Court System

Brian Hunt is a lifelong resident of Ohio. He received his B.A. degree from The Ohio State University in sociology and a master’s degree from Loyola of New Orleans.  Following his graduation from OSU, he began his career with the Franklin County Municipal Court as a Bond Investigator and moved into the role of a Probation Officer.  After 11 years with the Franklin County court system, he continued his career by accepting an appointment with the United States Court in the Southern District of Ohio.  During his time with the U.S. Courts, Mr. Hunt worked in the probation office as a Supervision Officer, an Intensive Supervision Officer, and an Electronic Monitoring Specialist Officer. He retired from his career with the Federal Court System in 2014 and currently resides in Zanesville, Ohio.

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Risa Dinitz Lazaroff, Professor
Legal Research and Writing
Academic Director of the Externship Program
Capital University Law School

Risa Lazaroff earned her A.B., with high distinction, from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from The Ohio State University, where she was the Chief Managing Editor of The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution.  Professor Lazaroff currently teaches Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing, Legal Drafting, and Appellate Advocacy and is the advisor for the Civil Litigation Concentration at Capital University Law School.  She is also a writing consultant for the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC and the Columbus office of Ice Miller LLP. Before she began her teaching career, Professor Lazaroff practiced insurance defense litigation for health, life, and disability claims and served as a staff attorney for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. She is a member of the Chief Justice Thomas Moyer American Inn of Court, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Legal Writing Institute. Professor Lazaroff is licensed to practice law in the state of Ohio, the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Ramiro Martinez, Professor
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Northeastern University

Ramiro Martinez earned his Ph.D. in sociology from The Ohio State University in 1992.  Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Martinez has received several honors and awards.  In 2011, he was a recipient of American Society of Criminology DPCC's Lifetime Achievement for outstanding scholarship in the area of race, crime, and justice.  He was also honored by his alma mater (formerly known as Southwest Texas State University) in 2009 with the Texas State University College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and the Texas State Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award.  He previously received the American Sociological Association Latina\o Section Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research and a W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice. Since 2004, Dr. Martinez he has been a member of the National Science Foundation funded Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice-Network working group.  At the national level, he serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals.

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Jose M. Lopez, Principal Associate
Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A.

Jose Lopez is a principal associate of the law firm Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A. He practices law in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, civil litigation, criminal law, trials and appeals, estate planning, and probate matters. Mr. Lopez earned a B.A. degree from The Ohio State University in 1975 (majoring in sociology) and his law degree from the University of Dayton in 1979. Since then, he has received multiple awards, including Ohio Super Lawyer, 2004 – 2008 and Top 100 Trial Lawyers from the American Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of the Miami County Bar and Ohio State Bar Associations, as well as the Ohio Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers.