Casting Maren Jensen certainly helped BATTLESTAR GALACTICA secure copious column inches (and a TV GUIDE cover) in the Fall of 1978 and into 1979.
Unfortunately, the show's hefty ensemble cast (exacerbated by the unexpected star-power of Benedict's Starbuck and - from mid-season - the addition on Sheba as a series regular) meant that Athena was increasingly marginalised, improbably making her final appearance as Boxey's teacher. Jensen didn't even appear in the final episode, despite the fact that her presence would have made perfect narrative sense.
Most commentary suggests that her lack of acting prowess convinced producers to reduce her role and it's unclear whether the actress would have been invited back had the show been picked-up as planned (a Year Two proposal has surfaced on the internet - supplied by Glen Larson's son - which indicated the role would have been recast following a disfiguring accident, although some doubt has been cast on the overall authenticity of the document).
I must admit, I never found Jensen's performance particularly bad. She may not have been the world's most accomplished actress but - frankly - on this show it didn't really matter.
This STARLOG MAGAZINE interview appeared in issue 19 (cover-dated February 1979).