GSE instructor Karin Bausenbach leaves a legacy

Karin BausenbachA member of the GSE—an Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) instructor—passed away in November, leaving behind a large enthusiastic following. Karin Bausenbach, MD, was a dynamic presenter in the IPNB program, a certificate program taught online and in person at PSU for human services professionals and other professionals interested in the impact of positive relationships on the brain.

“Dr. Karin was a passionate and inspiring teacher, driven to ensure that her students really learned about the brain,” said IPNB Program Director Marion Sharp. “She quizzed everyone regularly, and students quickly learned to be prepared for this. With every repeated question, we all laid down and reinforced new neural pathways of learning—and we laughed . . . a lot!”

Dr. Bausenbach enriched her classes by drawing in collaborators who emphasized and integrated different aspects and practice implications of neurobiology and IPNB into the class. Her sister-in-law, Dr. Foroogh Hodaie, contributed to the course development and taught from Canada—co-teaching in the online portion of the class. Her long-time colleague from her behavioral pediatric practice at the Artz Center, Marsha Graham, added the clinical dimension for the many therapists in the class and led discussions on integrating the pure science aspects of IPNB into practice. Dr. Bausenbach created a perfect example of providing an integrative learning experience far beyond the traditional.

Dr. Bausenbach was well-loved by her students and colleagues at PSU and will be missed. Her family and friends have set up a scholarship in her name in the Graduate School of Education. To contribute the scholarship, visit the scholarship website.


The Karin H. Bausenbach, MD, Scholarship in Interpersonal Neurobiology

Passion. Curiosity. Laughter. Dedication. Dr. Karin Bausenbach approached her love of life and learning with an exuberant drive to connect students with cutting edge interdisciplinary research in the neurobiology of human behavior. Whether dissecting sheep brains or probing the intricate neuronal networks underpinning self-perception and mental health, Dr. Karin led her classes on a scientific journey of discovery. This scholarship honors her deep commitment to promote an adaptive, creative, integrated vision of individual and community relationships by nurturing her students’ conceptual understanding of emotional and social intelligence.

Awardees will receive a scholarship of up to $500 during one academic year, not to exceed the cost of the tuition for currently registered IPNB eligible classes. Confirmation of registration and distribution of scholarship funds will happen on a term-by-term basis. Recipients may be enrolled in the IPNB program for either graduate credit or continuing education units.

Application requirements
Preference will be given to applicants who have committed to the IPNB Certificate and completed at least one course in the IPNB certificate program. Scholarship applicants will complete a basic application administered by the IPNB Program, which will include a 500-word essay describing their enthusiasm for exploring the interdisciplinary field of interpersonal neurobiology. Recipients should reflect Dr. Karin’s joy and commitment to lifelong learning.

For the essays
Applicants should discuss how understanding the dynamic interplay between the brain’s neural networks and human behavior will improve their ability to relate to others and their community at large – and how they envision applying their knowledge of the integration between neuroscience and emotional and social intelligence to promote health and well-being. They should identify at least three specific questions they hope to answer throughout their time in the IPNB program. At the conclusion of the class, the recipient will submit a 500-word essay summarizing what they have learned, what answers they gained so far about their initial three questions, how they have moved their ideas forward for a life time, and what innovative directions they are pursuing.


A brief biography of Dr. Bausenbach

A developmental behavioral pediatrician affiliated with Portland’s Northwest Early Childhood Institute (now the Children’s Developmental Health Institute of the Artz Center) and Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Dr. Bausenbach completed undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley, medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and her pediatric residency at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. A physician grounded in patient-centered values, she capably fused her scientific knowledge with the art of healing, intrinsically respecting the implicit trust placed in her hands by families facing difficult healthcare decisions. For Dr. Bausenbach, medicine meant caring for the whole person with competence and compassion.

Following a nontraditional path to medicine, Dr. Bausenbach left her home in western New York to spend an undergraduate year at Navajo Community College studying fine arts, silversmithing, and Native American culture. Moving to California in her mid-20s, her people-focused interests led her to an RN degree, followed by eight years as an intensive care unit nurse at Oakland’s Highland Hospital. But she wanted a more direct role in the medical decision-making affecting her patients. At age thirty, she embarked on her MD degree while raising two young children with her husband, Saifan Hodaie.

Moving to Oregon in 1997, Dr. Bausenbach worked for seven years as a primary care pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente, developing a practice that focused on children with behavioral disorders such as autism, ADHD, and Aspergers. In 2005, her intense interest in the neuroscientific basis of pediatric development led her to a satisfying independent clinical practice in behavioral pediatrics. She combined this work with a newfound love of teaching interpersonal neurobiology and neuroscience at PSU, Mt. Hood Community College, and the Multnomah Department of Public Health. An inspiring teacher and collaborator, Dr. Bausenbach successfully stoked her students’ enthusiasm to truly understand and appreciate the inner workings of the human brain and to recognize how neural decision-making pathways are embedded in the fabric of their lives and relationships.

Visit the memorial website here.

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