Einstein Mourns the Loss of Genetics Administrator Karen Roman
On April 16, 2019, Dr. Jan Vijg, professor and chair of genetics, reported with great sadness the death of Karen Roman, longtime administrator of the genetics department, who had retired last year after nearly 40 years at Einstein. She was 67.
"I first met Karen a little over 10 years ago, when I took up my present position as chair of the department of genetics, said Dr. Vijg. "I realized almost from day one that Karen was an outstanding administrator who understood Einstein's rules and regulations, and that I could totally rely on her and her penchant for accuracy. Karen was absolutely critical in expanding our department to more than twice the size it had been when I arrived, and she had the difficult job of running the ship while simultaneously doubling the administrative staff. I provided her with some rough outlines as to how I saw the department's administrative structure developing and she simply took care of it."
He added, "Last year, we wished her a happy retirement, which sadly was not to be. Her illness and sudden death are a great shock and loss, and our hearts are with her family at this difficult time."
Karen Roman first worked at Einstein for several months during 1976, as a medical transcriber in the Rose F. Kennedy Center. She returned in 1980 seeking a position as a statistical typist or clerk. A native of the Bronx, she graduated from Evander Childs High School and attended Bronx Community College for two years, followed by a year at the Stenotype Institute in Manhattan. During her career at Einstein, Karen also served as a grant bookkeeper in grant accounting and as administrator for the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. At the time of her retirement she had served as administrator in genetics for over 20 years, working with four department chairs.
"Karen was a pillar of strength, hard work, and inspiration," said Stephanie Alfieri, who joined the genetics team in 2012 and learned the ins and outs of administrating the department from Karen. "While we had communicated frequently via email prior to my joining the department, we didn't meet in person until then, and she welcomed me with open arms and became a mentor who I relied on and looked up to."
She added, "Karen was easy to get along with and down to earth. I'm honored to have known her and to have had the opportunity to work with her. The entire research administration community at Einstein will miss her."
As a longtime employee at the College of Medicine, Karen forged many friendships. "Karen was not only my supervisor and co-worker, she was also a best friend who I considered family," said Donna Lombardi. "There was no end to the good times we shared, whether they took place at our our home away from home on the Einstein campus, or in the outside world. She was dedicated to her job and took all her responsibilities and duties seriously, and she had a heart of gold and would always make herself available to help through difficult situations. She taught me how to see the smile instead of the frown."
Karen's family has announced that a memorial service in her honor will be held on Sunday, April 29, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., at the Sanctuary of Abraham and Sarah, in Paramus, NJ. Details on the location and directions can be found in the link provided. If planning to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, April 24; the family has asked for information so they can provide appropriate accommodations for the service.
Additionally, if you would like to share a remembrance of Karen, you can do so by clicking the "Add a Remembrance" button on the In Memoriam page for Karen.
Posted on: Wednesday, April 24, 2019