Karen Rosenbaum’s entire career as a full-time English teacher began when Ohlone opened its Serra Campus doors in 1967 and concluded when she retired and was granted Emeritus Status in 2001.
Besides teaching standard transfer and developmental courses, Karen developed the first computer-assisted composition courses. She and her colleague Cynthia Katona wrote a grant for computer-aided coaching and distributed materials to every California community college English department.
For many years, Karen organized the teaching schedules of English faculty and tried to be empathetic to their needs and scheduling conflicts. She mentored a number of full-time and adjunct faculty as they began their teaching careers at Ohlone.
Karen also initiated classes in science fiction and fantasy and in short story. Throughout her 34-year tenure, she conducted creative writing and, later, autobiography and journal writing classes. She and her students worked closely with the journalism department so that students could see their work in print. When Ohlone’s radio station began broadcasting, her creative writing students put together programs. Upon retirement, Karen created a creative writing award so student fiction and nonfiction writers could be rewarded for their efforts.
Karen has authored numerous fiction and nonfiction writings, many of which have been published in journals, newspapers, and anthologies. She continues her writing for a variety of organizations, and in 2016 published a book of short stories entitled Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Wives.
Since her retirement, Karen resides in Kensington (or the Berkeley hills) with her husband, Ben. They enjoy traveling and birding. Karen does volunteer work for the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and Chaparral House, a skilled nursing facility where she helps some residents recall and record their family histories, and where she can read poetry with them.