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TC Mourns Karen Baldwin (Ed.D. ’03): A much-loved campus figure who delivered thousands of healthy babies – and dog therapy to TC’s students

TC FIXTURES Karen and Bill Baldwin have been part of the TC/Columbia universe since the 1970s.
TC FIXTURES Karen and Bill Baldwin have been part of the TC/Columbia universe since the 1970s.
Karen Baldwin (Ed.D. ’03), an adjunct faculty member in Teachers College’s Health Education program and the wife of Bill Baldwin, former Vice Provost and current Professor of Practice and Chair of the Department of Organization & Leadership, passed away on May 1st after a courageous battle with kidney cancer.

Baldwin was a Certified Nurse Midwife, receiving her M.S. in Maternity/Midwifery Nursing from Columbia University in 1979 and serving as a clinical midwife and director of midwifery services for more than 25 years at Beth Israel Medical Center, Gouverneur/Bellevue, Jacobi Hospital, North Central Bronx and other New York City hospitals. She brought thousands of healthy babies into the world and was a passionate advocate for maternal and child health and an active supporter of Planned Parenthood. She was appointed a Fellow in the American College of Nurse Midwifery and served on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Task Force on neurologically impaired infants.

ABBY AT WORK The therapy dog makes her rounds.
ABBY AT WORK The therapy dog makes her rounds.
After receiving her TC doctorate in Health Education, focusing on women’s health, Baldwin taught at Rutgers University School of Nursing and Mount Saint Mary College, where she directed the Graduate Nursing Program, as well as at TC. She was also a certified yoga instructor who taught classes for senior citizens in New York City community centers.

“We would let people know that Karen and Abby were scheduled to come to our Zen Garden for an hour, and students would come and hug and pet Abby, and she’d give us all kisses. Abby was the draw, but I think people came as much to connect with Karen, who was a really warm and nurturing person.”
—Kim Kefgen

“Karen was a beautiful person, a loving friend and my primary women’s health physician,” Vice Provost Katie Embree wrote in a message to the TC community.

With the Baldwins’ five-year-old Labrador retriever, Abigail, Baldwin was also a much-loved figure on campus, providing dog therapy services for TC students during mid-term and final exam periods.

“Karen reached out to us two years ago about providing dog therapy services, and she and Abby have been with us during midterms and finals ever since,” said Kimberly Kefgen, Head of Services for TC’s Gottesman Libraries and Lead Learning Experience Specialist for the library’s EdLab. “We would let people know that Karen and Abby were scheduled to come to our Zen Garden for an hour, and students would come and hug and pet Abby, and she’d give us all kisses. Abby was the draw, but I think people came as much to connect with Karen, who was a really warm and nurturing person. It was really lovely, and I think that if it had been up to Karen – and Abby – they would have visited every single person on every floor.”

TEAM BALDWIN The Baldwins have been longstanding John Dewey Circle and Maxine Greene Society members.
TEAM BALDWIN The Baldwins have been longstanding John Dewey Circle and Maxine Greene Society members.
Baldwin is survived by her husband; their two sons, Aaron and Justin; her daughters-in-law, Gina Baldwin and Alison Baldwin; her grandchildren, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Katelyn and Madeline; and her brother Scott Sijan. The family is planning a private celebration of her life for later this spring or summer.

Memorial donations may be made in Karen Baldwin’s memory to Planned Parenthood of Mid-Hudson Valley or to the American College of Nurse Midwifery Student Assistance Fund.

Published Monday, May 7, 2018

TC FIXTURES Karen and Bill Baldwin have been part of the TC/Columbia universe since the 1970s.
TC FIXTURES Karen and Bill Baldwin have been part of the TC/Columbia universe since the 1970s.
Karen Baldwin (Ed.D. ’03), an adjunct faculty member in Teachers College’s Health Education program and the wife of Bill Baldwin, former Vice Provost and current Professor of Practice and Chair of the Department of Organization & Leadership, passed away on May 1st after a courageous battle with kidney cancer.

Baldwin was a Certified Nurse Midwife, receiving her M.S. in Maternity/Midwifery Nursing from Columbia University in 1979 and serving as a clinical midwife and director of midwifery services for more than 25 years at Beth Israel Medical Center, Gouverneur/Bellevue, Jacobi Hospital, North Central Bronx and other New York City hospitals. She brought thousands of healthy babies into the world and was a passionate advocate for maternal and child health and an active supporter of Planned Parenthood. She was appointed a Fellow in the American College of Nurse Midwifery and served on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Task Force on neurologically impaired infants.

ABBY AT WORK The therapy dog makes her rounds.
ABBY AT WORK The therapy dog makes her rounds.
After receiving her TC doctorate in Health Education, focusing on women’s health, Baldwin taught at Rutgers University School of Nursing and Mount Saint Mary College, where she directed the Graduate Nursing Program, as well as at TC. She was also a certified yoga instructor who taught classes for senior citizens in New York City community centers.

“We would let people know that Karen and Abby were scheduled to come to our Zen Garden for an hour, and students would come and hug and pet Abby, and she’d give us all kisses. Abby was the draw, but I think people came as much to connect with Karen, who was a really warm and nurturing person.”
—Kim Kefgen

“Karen was a beautiful person, a loving friend and my primary women’s health physician,” Vice Provost Katie Embree wrote in a message to the TC community.

With the Baldwins’ five-year-old Labrador retriever, Abigail, Baldwin was also a much-loved figure on campus, providing dog therapy services for TC students during mid-term and final exam periods.

“Karen reached out to us two years ago about providing dog therapy services, and she and Abby have been with us during midterms and finals ever since,” said Kimberly Kefgen, Head of Services for TC’s Gottesman Libraries and Lead Learning Experience Specialist for the library’s EdLab. “We would let people know that Karen and Abby were scheduled to come to our Zen Garden for an hour, and students would come and hug and pet Abby, and she’d give us all kisses. Abby was the draw, but I think people came as much to connect with Karen, who was a really warm and nurturing person. It was really lovely, and I think that if it had been up to Karen – and Abby – they would have visited every single person on every floor.”

TEAM BALDWIN The Baldwins have been longstanding John Dewey Circle and Maxine Greene Society members.
TEAM BALDWIN The Baldwins have been longstanding John Dewey Circle and Maxine Greene Society members.
Baldwin is survived by her husband; their two sons, Aaron and Justin; her daughters-in-law, Gina Baldwin and Alison Baldwin; her grandchildren, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Katelyn and Madeline; and her brother Scott Sijan. The family is planning a private celebration of her life for later this spring or summer.

Memorial donations may be made in Karen Baldwin’s memory to Planned Parenthood of Mid-Hudson Valley or to the American College of Nurse Midwifery Student Assistance Fund.

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You are invited to share your reflections and memories here. Once your memory has been submitted and processed, it will appear in the space below. Thank you for taking the time to pay tribute to a member of the TC Community.

Reflections

Karen A. Baldwin CNM, NP, EDD, FACNM graced the Programs in Health Education & Community Health Education within the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University with her brilliance and dedication, while serving as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. She was invited to return to the program from which she earned her doctorate in health education in 2003, in order to teach, thereby providing exemplary service as an Adjunct to a new generation of students. Dr. Karen Baldwin brought to our students her over three decades of academic teaching experience on the graduate and undergraduate level, including at the Yale University School of Nursing, Columbia University School of Nursing, and Rutgers College of Nursing where she was on the faculty. This work in academia won her an award for Teaching Excellence. Further, Dr. Baldwin had served as the Coordinator of the Graduate Nursing Department at Mount Saint Mary College, while drawing upon her expertise as a practicing nurse-midwife and Nurse Practitioner specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. There, she was also a pioneer of online learning, being known for her academic rigor and demand that students meet the highest standards. Dr. Baldwin also served as the Director of Midwifery at the Gouverneur/Bellevue Hospital and Birth Center, as well as Director of Midwifery and Childbirth Education at Beth Israel Medical Center—as highlights of her career as a clinical nurse-midwife, OB/GYN nurse practitioner and administrator in New York City for over 25 years. Especially noteworthy is how she provided women’s health care, including prenatal care and delivery and gynecological care, to literally thousands of women. For her outstanding professional work, Dr. Baldwin was honored by the American College of Nurse-Midwives as a Fellow—an esteemed title given only to those midwives who have provided leadership in areas of clinical practice, education and research. Also reflective of her expertise, Dr. Baldwin served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health and the Journal of Perinatal Education. As a researcher, Dr. Baldwin published on the implementation of CenteringPregnancy (Baldwin, K., 2011, Voices along the journey: Midwives perceptions of CenteringPregnancy, Journal of Perinatal Education, 20, 4: 210-217)—as just one of her acclaimed publications. Hence, it was with a wealth of experience that Dr. Baldwin taught our students the popular course Women’s Health—which was also a required course for the college’s Certificate Program in Sexuality, Women and Gender.

The wisdom, practical knowledge, and overall expertise of Dr. Baldwin will be sorely missed, as she leaves a void in our program. As the faculty, students and staff of our Program, we collectively extend our deepest condolences to her husband, Dr. William J. Baldwin, her beloved sons, and other family and friends. We, hereby, proclaim her rich legacy of outstanding service to her profession and ask all to celebrate the many contributions of Dr. Karen A Baldwin!

Sincerely,

Barbara C. Wallace, Ph.D., Director, Programs in Health Education & Community Health Education, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University


Thank you Dr. Baldwin for everything you did for the field of health education. You were so sweet, kind, and passionate. Your work and memory will not be forgotten.

Mary-Andree Ardouin-Guerrier