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 1stafter 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.
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.”
“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.”
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.