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Undergraduate Academic Programs

University of Denver

Undergraduate Academic Programs

Dr. Jennifer Karas

Dr. Jennifer Karas

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academic Programs
Teaching Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology


Dr. Karas joined the University of Denver as a lecturer in sociology in 1995, and was appointed to the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences dean's office in 2001, first as an assistant dean and then later promoted to associate dean. She joined the Office of the Provost in 2006 as an assistant provost and was later promoted to associate provost in 2011.

In her position in the provost's office, Dr. Karas oversees many high impact curricular and co-curricular programs that have the potential to reach all undergraduate students across the campus. Additionally, Dr. Karas oversees the Undergraduate Common Curriculum and serves as the University liaison to this region's accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Karas earned her PhD in Sociology from Cornell University in 1999. She is a scholar of the sociology of immigration and ethnic group socioeconomic inequality. She is the author of Bridges and Barriers: Earning and Occupational Attainment Among Immigrants. She has most recently taught the course "Self as Leader" with the Pioneer Leadership Program. Her areas of academic interest include: Inequality and Social Change; Immigration; Racial and Ethnic Relations; Lifecourse and Transition to Adulthood; Gender and Family.

Dr. Sarah Hoffman

Sarah Hoffman

Director of Academic and Persistence Initiatives


Dr. Sarah Hoffman came to the University of Denver in 2006, after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania. While completing her MA in International Studies, she worked as the assistant to the associate dean at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She later came to the Office of the Provost as the faculty data manager. That experience influenced her decision to pursue a PhD in Higher Education at the Pennsylvania State University.

While at Penn State Dr. Hoffman worked in the Office of Planning and Institutional Analysis and served as the managing editor of the Comparative Education Review. In 2014, she returned to DU to work in Undergraduate Academic Programs, and is now the Director of all academic and persistence initiatives at DU. 

Dr. Hoffman completed her PhD in 2017. Her dissertation research focuses on academic unions and the factors that influence successful unionization across faculty type. She is also interested in assessment, student persistence, international education, and labor issues.

Leah O'Grady

Leah O'GradyProgram Coordinator for Undergraduate Academic Programs


Originally from the metro Atlanta area, Leah graduated from the University of Georgia with dual Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Child and Family Development. Throughout her career, she developed a large interest in civic engagement initiatives, which eventually relocated her to Colorado for an adventurous year with AmeriCorps NCCC. Throughout this and other experiences, she became very passionate about working with young adults in identifying and realizing their civic, academic, and professional goals. This passion ultimately led her to complete the Higher Education MA program at the University of Denver in August 2016.

Prior to working in Undergraduate Academic Programs, Leah served as an Academic Advisor in the central Academic Advising office for two and a half years. Her role largely involved utilizing an academic coaching model to advise students on DU's curriculum, and assist with degree planning, interpreting university policies, and orienting students during their transition to campus. Prior to Academic Advising, she served as the Campus Visit Coordinator in Undergraduate Admission at DU, helping to assist over 40,000 students in navigating the college search process and in finding their ultimate collegiate home. Leah now resides in Undergraduate Academic Programs, where she manages the First-Year Seminar program and the Undergraduate Research Center.