Sierra College Names Karen Davis O’Hara, Ph.D. to Serve as Executive Dean, Nevada County Campus

June 27, 2022
Karen Davis Ohara
Karen Davis Ohara, Executive Dean of the Sierra College Nevada County Campus (NCC)

At the June Sierra College board meeting the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Karen Davis O’Hara as the new Executive Dean of the Sierra College Nevada County Campus (NCC). Dr. Davis O’Hara comes to Sierra College after more than 20 years at California State University, Sacramento as a faculty member in the Department of Child Development and as a successful administrator in the College of Education, serving for five years as Associate Dean for Instruction and Student Success. 

“I grew up in Alaska, came to this area to attend UC Davis, and never left,” said Dr. Davis O’Hara. “Last year, our family moved to Grass Valley in search of an experience like I had in Alaska, we’ve found that here, and with Sierra College I’ve found an amazing way to serve the community.”

The Executive Dean serves as primary administrator and educational leader for the District’s Nevada County Campus (NCC), including supervision and evaluation of NCC programs, curriculum, and staff; coordination of activities between the NCC and the Rocklin Campuses; and serves as primary contact and District representative for community relations.

“Dr. Davis O’Hara brings a wealth of experience in budget and enrollment management, assessment and accreditation, student success, especially with a focus on equity and inclusion, and guided pathways. We look forward to her contributions to Sierra College and the community,” said Willy Duncan, Sierra College Superintendent/President. 

Dr. Davis O’Hara will be stepping into the role following the retirement of Stephanie Ortiz who served as Executive Dean of NCC for 13 years, with more than 30 years in service to Sierra College and the community.

About Sierra College

Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3,200 square miles of Northern California with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at