Gail O’Brien began teaching criminal justice courses at Northern Kentucky University in the fall of 2004 after lecturing for seven years at the University of Texas at Arlington in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Gail started her career as a law clerk for the presiding judge in King County, (Seattle), Washington from 1980-1982. Prior to her years at UTA, she served as the director of the Victim Witness Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston for 14 years. While in Houston, she also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston and as an instructor at the Houston Police Academy.
She received the Golladay Memorial Teaching Award at the University of Texas at Arlington. She was also the recipient of the Texas Crime Victim’s Advocate Award, the Texas Crime Victim’s Outstanding Program Award, the Houston Area Women’s Center Community Service Award and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Networking Award.
Gail holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Juris Doctorate. She passed both the Ohio and Washington state bar examinations. On a personal note, Gail and her husband, Dan, have been married for 29 years. They have a rescue Brittany spaniel, Faith, who is their third Brittany. Besides the mandatory long, daily dog walks, they enjoy sports, reading, films, gardening and travel.
Gail was asked what she likes most about teaching at NKU:
"Having had the opportunity to teach at three universities, there are several things which appeal to me about the Political Science & Criminal Justice Department at Northern Kentucky University. First, I have been treated by the faculty as a colleague since my first day on campus, including offers of support, assistance and friendship. Second, the staff members of the department have been equally helpful, guiding me from the first semester through the present day. Third, the administration has allowed me to have the academic freedom to teach the assigned courses in the way I believe to be most effective."
"As for the students, I believe I sometimes learn more from them than they learn from me. I have had the privilege of being exposed to different cultural traditions and practices around the country, and I find the local NKU students to reflect the social traditions of the region. They are intelligent, intellectually curious and exhibit a strong desire to complete their educational goals."