Skip navigation

University Academic Programs

University of Denver

University Academic Programs

Dr. Jennifer Karas

Dr. Jennifer Karas

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Teaching Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology

Dr. Jennifer Karas serves as the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Denver. She acts as the provost's chief advisor and representative in matters related to the curriculum and the credentials produced by the academic units. In this position, she advocates for all undergraduate and graduate academic programs, providing leadership to faculty and academic staff to ensure consistent quality standards in curriculum and programs that meet the needs of students and reflect the mission of the University.

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, was promoted to associate provost in 2011, and most recently to Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. 

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. 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

Assistant Provost, Student Success

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 University Academic Programs, and is now the Assistant Provost for Student Success, and directs 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'GradyAssistant Director for University 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 University 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 University Academic Programs, where she manages the First-Year Seminar program, the Undergraduate Research Center, the One Book One DU program, and Interterm programming.

Grace Warner

Grace WarnerProgram Coordinator for University Academic Programs


Grace is a recent graduate from the University of Denver, class of 2018, with double Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biological Sciences and International Studies. She is originally from Indianapolis, IN and hopes in the future to pursue a graduate degree in Global or Public Health with a specialization in Microbiology or Virology. Grace hopes to integrate her knowledge of human biology and international relations to navigate difficult issues surrounding international health crises while pursuing her passion for community-based development and the environment. After spending the last four years pursuing her education at DU, Grace now looks forward to growing as a professional and giving back to the DU community. As Program Coordinator for University Academic Programs, Grace provides programmatic support for the First-Year Seminar program, the Undergraduate Research Center, the Office of Teaching and Learning, and Interterm programming.