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 Come celebrate Randi Love and the difference she has made in her public health career

Randi Love’s long and successful career will be recognized at her retirement celebration event at Cunz Hall at 4 p.m. on May 25.

Love has been a faculty member at OSU for nearly 20 years. She earned her PhD from The Ohio State University’s College of Education in 1997 and currently serves as clinical associate professor in the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion in the College of Public Health.

Additionally, she works in the Division of Planning and Preparedness for the Columbus Public Health Department.

However, Love’s career did not start with public health. After graduating college with a degree in human development, she worked as a paralegal and then for an insurance company, experiences which she described as “soul-sucking.”

“When the HIV epidemic came along, it really sparked my interest in public health, particularly in the social justice aspects of it,” Love said. “It was such a terrifying time in our history. I started volunteering and decided that health education was the way I wanted to go.”

Love started at OSU as the program coordinator for the wellness center, and eventually received the opportunity to work on a grant that studied injection drug users and HIV infection.

“My world started to really open at that time,” Love said. “I really started to see what we now call the social determinants of health and how it affected people’s ability to choose whether to be healthy or not.”

According to Love, one of her favorite parts about her role is influencing the community and getting students excited about public health.

“Public health is so much more than just giving out information -- it’s influencing the environment and social networks and it is prevention and long-term and all those factors kind of feed into it,” Love said. “It makes it very interesting but it can make it very frustrating at times. Nonetheless, I feel like our students come in very enthusiastic and leave even more enthusiastic and that is exciting to me because we need that passion in this field.”

As far as plans for her post-retirement life, Love intends to remain busy. She is serving on the board of Neighborhood Services, which is a food and clothing bank that provides to people in the Columbus area.

She is also training to help with a syringe access program offered by Equitas Health, which is a not-for-profit, community-based healthcare system focused on serving the LGBTQ community in central Ohio and across the state.

Love will also continue to teach an online social work course through OSU and serve as a faculty representative for the alumni association.

“It’s been great, working in the school and college all these years -- I’m glad they’ve kept me,” Love said. “I’m looking forward to continuing that relationship. It’s been a crooked path but it’s been a great career for me.”