A woman smiling.

Karen Violanti, Ph.D.

Executive Director of First-Year Success Program

Undergraduate Education and High-Impact Practices
FDH 534
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Dr. Karen Violanti is the new Executive Director of First Year Programs at UNLV. Dr. Violanti is joining UNLV most recently from CSN as the Director for First Year Experience (FYE) & Student Success Initiatives, the Interim Director for the Career Services Office, and working with the GEAR UP, Full STEM Ahead Award Program and FYE Connection Award grants. Dr. Violanti was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and moved to Las Vegas in June of 2019. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in Counselor Education, M.S. in Counseling and Human Services and B.S. in Criminal Justice. Dr. Violanti has been in the FYE field since early 2000 with the launch of multiple FYE programs throughout the country. Prior to moving her career into Higher Education, Dr. Violanti worked as middle/high school counselor for 4 years. Her ongoing work has included teaching, advising, onboarding processes, Peer Mentor Programs, event programming and comprehensive FYE development. Dr. Violanti is excited to be a part of the UNLV community and continuing the support of the holistic FYE experience for student success!