Karen Bensen

Karen Bensen

Associate Professor of the Practice of Social Work, Coordinator of Dual Degrees

What I do

By seeking out leadership roles within student organizations, attending workshops and special speakers, and connecting with faculty and staff outside the classroom, students will maximize their graduate education experience and develop a close knit community of peers.



environment, higher education, international social work/global practice, LGBTQIA, social justice

Professional Biography

Associate Professor of the Practice of Social Work Karen Bensen is GSSW's Coordinator of Dual Degree Programs, providing leadership in the areas of innovative degree collaborations with other DU graduate programs and academic advising for dual degree students. She has a passion for social justice and leads a course to South Africa each fall studying social work and social justice in the context of post-Apartheid South Africa. She has many years of professional experience as a social worker, school-based counselor and program director.

Before joining the GSSW faculty, Bensen served as director of the University's Partners in Learning Program, where she created numerous opportunities for students to engage with faculty outside the classroom. Prior to that, she was the director of GLBT Student Services at three post-secondary educational institutions on Denver's Auraria campus.

Bensen has conducted hundreds of professional presentations on topics that include diversity in education, faculty involvement in student life, "safe zone" training and GLBT awareness. She has won numerous awards. including the 2005-06 Outstanding Staff Award from the University's Center for Multicultural Excellence.


  • MSW, University of Denver