Karen Glaser, 1949-2014
Karen Moss Glaser, 65, of Philadelphia, senior associate dean for academic affairs at Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College, died Wednesday, Nov. 12, of injuries she sustained in a pedestrian accident.Dr. Glaser died Wednesday evening at Einstein Medical Center three hours after being struck by an SUV while walking to her car from the Mt. Airy Station on the Chestnut Hill East regional rail line.The driver stayed at the accident scene on Boyer Street, near Gowen Avenue. An investigation was ongoing.
Dr. Glaser, who held dual appointments as associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and also Family and Community Medicine, spent 30 years at Jefferson.
In a statement to Jefferson’s staff marking her death, Provost Mark L. Tykocinski said Dr. Glaser’s service to the university “was characterized by her passionate commitment to equity and concern for the well-being of the community.
“As [associate dean], she was a trusted advisor to me and a compassionate listener and academic advisor to students in need. She was extremely active in all phases of curriculum planning and implementation, and her wisdom, empathy and good humor will be greatly missed,” he wrote.
As an associate professor, Dr. Glaser developed the behavioral curriculum for family medicine’s residency and clerkships, Tykocinski wrote. She also served as the university’s affirmative action officer from 1994 until 2013.
Christine Arenson, interim chair of family and community medicine, circulated a similar message to Jefferson faculty, describing Dr. Glaser as “a tireless advocate for ‘doing the right thing’ by our students, our faculty, and the public.
“Her door was always open – for faculty, staff, and students,” Arenson wrote. “She literally touched each of us here at Jefferson.”
Dr. Glazer graduated from Cornell University in 1970 and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. She completed a doctoral degree in educational psychology at Penn in 1981.
She was board certified as a Pennsylvania guidance counselor in 1971 and as a school psychologist two years later.
Her duties at Jefferson University included studying how doctors behaved towards their patients and whether patient perception of doctors’ empathy influenced clinical outcomes. She coauthored and had published several research papers on the topic.
Despite heavy work responsibilities, Dr. Glaser did many other things well. She was a brilliant mother, said daughter Lena Glaser.
“She had an amazing gift for communication. One of the greatest gifts she gave as a mother was, she never told us what to do. She led by example,” her daughter said.
“Another was that she continued to give and give and give and never asked for anything in return.”
Dr. Glaser loved sports and conveyed this love to her daughter, now a TV sports producer in New York.
Dr. Glaser also participated in sports. She rode horses, rowed in graduate school, and played recreational softball, said her son Simon Glaser.
“She went trail riding with my father as recently as last summer,” he said.
She loved playing the guitar and taking active vacations. Typically, the family would rent a cottage on Cape Cod, drive to Florida, or hike in the Shenandoah Mountains.
Above all, Dr. Glaser was “full of joy,” her son said.
She married Richard Glazer in 1977, and the two made their home in Mt. Airy.
Dr. Glaser was active in alumni affairs for Cornell, her alma mater, and worked to recruit and interview prospective students. Her daughter is a Cornell graduate.
She was a member of the Germantown Jewish Centre.
Surviving besides her husband, son and daughter, are another son, Zachary; her mother Ruth Futterman Moss; four grandchildren; and a sister.
Donations may be made to the Kevin Pearce Fund via www.kevinpearce.com. The group aids the families of those with traumatic brain injuries.
by Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer