Therese Ivancovich

Therese Ivancovich

Executive Director


With over 20 years of non-profit, strategy, marketing and education experience, Therese Ivancovich is the Executive Director for the Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN).  Therese works with a community-wide network of non-profit, business, government and education partners to improve college outcomes for Denver students.

Formerly the principal of a strategy and marketing consulting practice, Therese worked with senior executives to deliver on their organizational goals.  In previous roles, Therese served as the Senior Western Regional Manager for the National Association of Manufacturers and spent several years working in Silicon Valley, where she focused on marketing, communications and partnership development for companies including Compaq Computer Corporation and Technology Network (TechNet). She began her career working on statewide and congressional campaigns in the State of Indiana.

Therese serves on the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and is a member of the Santa Clara University Board of Regents.  Therese is also a member of the Leadership Denver Class of 2011.

Therese holds a B.S. in Economics from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Therese lives in Denver with her husband, Greg Sissel, her daughter, Clara, and Pippin, the family dog.

Jennifer Superka

Jennifer Superka

Partnership Director


As Partnership Director for DEAN, Jennifer leads and supports implementation teams to drive DEAN strategy. Teams are focused on various experiences along the K-12 to college education continuum, and incorporate continuous improvement and measurable outcomes. Jennifer also leads cross-partner training and development, and engages stakeholders to identify promising practices and leverage organizational strategies beyond traditional silos. Jennifer is also passionate about engaging students, counselors, advisors and other frontline staff in shaping collective efforts impacting Denver’s education to career systems. 

Jennifer joined DEAN after eight years as the Associate Director of the Strategic Issues Program at the University of Denver, where she helped organize year-long public policy panels on a non-partisan basis.  Jennifer researched, wrote and edited public reports about topics such as Immigration, Legislative Accountability and Higher Education during her tenure. Prior to SIP, Jennifer practiced as an attorney for five years.  She worked full time in the University of Denver’s Office of Financial Aid as she earned her law degree, moving from Student Financial Services Advisor to Work-Study Coordinator to Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

In addition to her J.D., Jennifer holds a B.A. in history with a minor in Southwest Studies from Colorado College.  She lives in Northwest Denver with her husband, Brian, where she serves as a volunteer with her Registered Neighborhood Organization, Sunnyside United Neighbors, Inc.

Rana Tarkenton

Rana Tarkenton

Director of Innovation


Rana’s professional experience spans more than 20 years of operations, policy, program and systems development in the education and nonprofit sectors. Rana has spent her career in education leading high-performing teams to increase postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation students and students of color. She brings a commitment to equity and a strong belief in the impact of strategic collaboration and student-centered design to her work at DEAN. 

Prior to joining DEAN, Rana was the founding Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Impact at the University of Colorado Denver. There she partnered with leaders and teams to drive results and transformational change through the application of strategic decision making and continuous improvement principles. Rana also held the position of Chief Operating Officer at the Denver Scholarship Foundation and oversaw statewide college access and outreach programs for the Colorado Department of Higher Education. She began her professional career in Boston in the community arts world before following her heart into the field of educational opportunity programs here in Colorado. 

Rana earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Theatre from Trinity University and her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Harvard University.

Stefan Richarz

Stefan Richarz

Director of Data, Technology, and Evaluation


Joining the team in October of 2021 as the new Director of Data, Technology, and Evaluation, Stefan brings a passion for collaboration and building bridges from data to strategy and solutions, while maintaining a focus on students and the institutions that serve them.

Stefan comes to DEAN with over 12 years of professional data and reporting experience in Colorado educational systems. Most recently as the Data Services Manager at Denver Public Schools, his team was responsible for all outcome data for the district’s 90k students. Prior to DPS, he helped build out and manage programs for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, distributing millions of dollars and support to Colorado scholars. In these roles, he’s enjoyed connecting people and data across systems, having partnered with K12, postsecondary, state, federal, and non-profit institutions.

Stefan earned his MA in Literature from the University of Colorado Denver, served in AmeriCorps, and has returned to the redwoods of Mendocino, CA for over 15 years to teach as a Naturalist at an outdoor science school.

Pathways Leadership Community of Practice

Nate Cadena
Chief Operating Officer
Denver Scholarship Foundation

Amber Giauque Anderson
Executive Director at Office of Children’s Affairs
City and County of Denver

Samantha Haviland
Executive Director, Career Development and Student Supports
Denver Public Schools

Sarah Heath
State Director/Associate Vice Chancellor, Colorado Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Colorado Community College System

Bill Henry
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Matt Jordan
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperity Denver Fund

Erika Larson
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success
University of Colorado Denver

Shayley Levensalor
Executive Director, Career and College Success
Denver Public Schools

Adrienne Martinez
Associate Vice President of Classroom to Career Initiatives
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Bernard McCune
Associate Chief of Academics
Denver Public Schools

Gillian McKnight-Tutein
Vice President, Enrollment Administration & Student Success
Community College of Denver

Scott Mendelsberg
Director Higher Education Initiatives
Denver Public Schools

Roberto Montoya
Chief Educational Equity Officer
Colorado Department of Higher Education

Ruthanne Orihuela
Community College of Denver

Kim Poast
‎Chief Student Success & Academic Affairs Officer
Colorado Department of Higher Education

Jamie Roth
Senior Manager of Resource Development
MiCasa Resource Center

Shaun Schafer
Associate Vice President of Curriculum and Policy Development
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Kari Shafenberg
Interim Director of Transfer Initiatives
University of Colorado Denver

Andy Tucker
Director of Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness
Colorado Department of Education

Linda Van Doren
Vice President of Education
Emily Griffith Technical College

Lee Wheeler-Berliner
Managing Director
Colorado Workforce Development Council

Kaylah Zelig
Dean of Academic & Institutional Compliance & Concurrent Enrollment
Community College of Denver



City and County of Denver

Community College of Denver

Denver Public Schools

Denver Scholarship Foundation

Emily Griffith Technical College

JPMorgan Chase

Lumina Foundation

Metropolitan State University of Denver

University of Colorado Denver

Walton Family Foundation