Category Archives: Scholarship

Doctoral students show research at MCE

Students in Cohorts 10 and 11 of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program were out in force on Saturday, April 21, at the 24th Annual Multicultural Education Conference at Sac State.

An event that attracts future and current teachers from throughout the region, the Multicultural Conference is always a great opportunity for EDD faculty, alumni and future graduates to share their research on topics that have already been or could be used in their dissertations. [See more photos from the event]


To grant or not? Tax abatements subject of professor’s research cited in national journal

A recent article about property tax incentives for business in Land Lines, a magazine published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, cites research by Sacramento State Professor Robert Wassmer in “suggesting that incentives erode tax bases while spawning additional roads, sewers, and public services that governments must maintain and finance for the foreseeable future.”

Rob WassmerPhoto by Steve McKay
Robert Wassmer

Dr. Wassmer is Director of the Master’s in Urban Land Development Program and Acting Chairperson and Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration, as well as a core faculty member of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program.

The writer cites Dr. Wassmer’s research published In a 2009 Lincoln Institute report, where he offers four questions for public officials to consider when deciding whether or not to grant a tax abatement to a business:

  1. Will the business actually relocate its operations if its tax abatement request is denied?
  2. Will the tax incentive make the business more profitable in your town than in other towns that are also offering similar subsidies?
  3. Will the firm still be responsible for taxes or fees that exceed the cost of providing new public services, once the tax deal is in place, so that government funds aren’t depleted?
  4. If not, is the fiscal stress generated by the tax deal worth the benefits of jobs generation, potential neighborhood revitalization, and shot at additional businesses as a result of the multiplier effect?

Dr. Wassmer was recently awarded the 2017 Chester A. Newland Academic Excellence award from the Sacramento Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

Read “GASB 77: Revealing the Cost of Property Tax Incentives for Business” from Land Lines Magazine.

Professor Wassmer wins public policy award for academic excellence

Rob Wassmer Photo by Steve McKayRobert Wassmer, Ph.D., Sacramento State Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Director of the Master’s Program in Urban Land Development, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership faculty member, is the winner of the 2017 Chester A. Newland Academic Excellence award from the Sacramento Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

The award is presented to a college student, teacher, administrator, or organization who has demonstrated scholarship and leadership in public administration or a closely related field of study, or has made a noteworthy contribution to the education of public administrators. The awards will be presented at the ASPA Annual Dinner on May 4.


Dr. Lascher receives Livingston Faculty Lecture Award

lascher_dsc4848_printDr. Edward Lascher, professor of Public Policy and Administration and a member of the EdD program faculty, has been selected as the 2016-2017 recipient of the John C. Livingston Faculty Lecture Award. As part of the honor, conferred by the Sacramento State Faculty Senate, Dr. Lascher will deliver a lecture at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in the University Union Redwood Room.

The Livingston Award and Annual Lecture dates back to 1959 when the first Distinguished Faculty Convocation Address was given by John C. Livingston, a professor in the Department of Government from 1954 to 1982. In 1985 the Faculty Convocation was renamed in Professor Livingston’s honor. Recipients of this award are recognized for having transcended their disciplines and in so doing having positively affected the life of the University through their teaching, service, and or their creative and scholarly activities. In the process, the recipients must have also displayed a consistent, engaging collegiality and a strong commitment to students throughout their careers at California State University, Sacramento.

Dr. Lascher received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1989 and was an associate Professor of Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University from 1990 to 1995.  In 1996, he joined the faculty at Sacramento State as one of the foundational members in the recently formed Masters Program in Public Policy and Administration. Professor Lascher’s research interests include insurance economics and policy and the effects of direct democracy on political outcomes—topics on which he has authored or coedited three books and numerous articles.

Dr. Lascher has served on the faculty senate, been a member of its executive committee, and chaired several of Senate’s ad hoc committees and working groups. He has been the recipient of his College’s Outstanding Teaching (2002) and Outstanding Research & Creative Activity (2016) Awards.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lascher and joining us for the annual Livingston Lecture on Feb. 20. A reception in Professor Lascher’s honor will be held immediately following the lecture.

Efforts to adopt California Indian Vetted Curriculum gaining support statewide

Pictured (l-r) are: Juliana Liebke, K-12 History-Social Science Curriculum Specialist, San Diego Unified School District; Rose Borunda, Professor, Sacramento State; Cathleen Chilcote Wallace, storytelling and California Indian education program author, Luiseno/San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians; Maureen Lorimer, Professor, Cal Lutheran; Michelle Lorimer, Lecturer, CSU San Bernardino; Matt Hayes, History-Social Science Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education.

Progress toward adopting California Indian vetted curriculum for California students is gaining momentum, thanks to the collaborative efforts of California Indian cultural experts across the state.

With the engaged support and collaboration of Sacramento State’s Native American Faculty/Staff Advisory Council, including Professor Brian Baker of Ethnic Studies, David Ortega of Educational Opportunity Program, and Cecilia Chavez of ENIT (Ensuring Native Indian Traditions), Dr. Rose Borunda and Dr. Mimi Coughlin hosted California Indian experts and public school educators on September 26 for the purpose of introducing California Indian vetted curriculum. Opening the event was Thomas Lozano of the Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of Enterprise Rancheria followed by the originator of this effort, Gregg Castro, t’rowt’raahl Salinan/ rumsien Ohlone. Other key presenters included Dr. Dale Allender and Dr. Margarita Berta-Avila; Dr. Maureen Lorimer of Cal Lutheran; Dr. Michelle Lorimer of CSU San Bernardino; Richard Johnson, Tribal Council Chairman of Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe; Dr. Beverly R. Ortiz, Cultural Services Coordinator, East Bay Regional Park District; Chelsea Gaynor, Individuals & Societies teacher, Student Council Advisor, Mitchell Middle; and concluded with a presentation by Connie Reitman-Solas, Executive Director of the Inter-tribal Council of California.

Another Curriculum Summit was held under the umbrella of the statewide California Indian Conference (CIC) at San Diego State on October 21. Dr. Borunda said the keynote speaker Merri Lopez-Keifer, a Gov. Brown appointee, as Commissioner to the Native American Heritage Commission, brought tears to her eyes when she noted that the California Indian Summits denote progress and speak to the resilience of California Indians who continue to make change in today’s world. For the first time, the Summits are being conducted in a groundswell of local support, where California Indians are providing school districts with curriculum and having an exchange with curriculum experts and teachers.

“It’s changing the way people talk about California Indians,” said Dr. Borunda, “infusing California Indian perspectives and curriculum so that all children can benefit from the depth of knowledge and wisdom of California Indians.”

Sacramento State Ed.D. Candidate Susan Olsen was one of the presenters at the San Diego summit, which also included local California Indian experts Michael Connolly Miskwish of the Kumeyaay Nation, Cathleen Chilcote Wallace of the Luiseño/San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians, and author Gary Robinson, who introduced his new historical novel, “Lands of our Ancestors.” Dr. Borunda’s new Research Assistant, Saima Nazir, promoted the San Diego CIC Summit and was successful in getting many educators to the event.

By request, Dr. Borunda and Dr. Coughlin previously presented at the invitation of Adam Jacobs, Student Coordinator of Diversity for Rudolph Steiner College (a Waldorf School). There were over 50 attendees at the April Curriculum Summit representing Waldorf teachers from Arizona, California, and Oregon. “We hope to do more regionalized trainings, given availability of funds, to connect educators with regional California Indian cultural experts,” said Dr. Borunda.

The proposed curriculum framework was prepared by Drs. Borunda and Coughlin from Sacramento State; Gregg Castro, Co-Coordinator of the Curriculum Summit; Michelle Lorimer of California State University, San Bernardino; Crystal Martinez-Alire, Elk Grove USD trustee; and author Beverly Ortiz.

“This collaboration is so important,” said Dr. Coughlin. “K-12 teachers are often eager to teach more accurate and complete information about California Indians but may not know how.  Building teacher capacity through dialogue with Native Elders and content experts is a powerful reform strategy.”

(l-r): Gregg Castro, t’rowt’raah Salinan/ rumsien Ohlone, Co-Coordinator of Curriculum Summit; Elonda Castro, supporter and wife of Gregg; Beverly Neddeau, sister of  Dr. Browning Neddeau; Cathleen Chilcote Wallace, Luiseno/San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians & presenter; Dr. Browning Neddeau, Assistant Professor at CSU Monterey Bay;  Dr. Rose Borunda, Professor at Sacramento State and Co-Coordinator of Curriculum Summit; Monica White, Patrick White’s daughter; Patrick White, Jefferson Elementary School.

Care to share your research at Stanford?


The Graduate School of Education at Stanford University is calling for poster proposals for their Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE) Conference October 28-29. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Friday, October 7.

The conference focuses on the ways race, inequality and language intersect to impact schools.

In bringing together scholars from Stanford and other institutions Northern California, the conference will focus on understanding theories and research of race, inequality, language and culture, and will explore methods for studying the impact of these complex issues in schools.

Poster Session for Graduate Students

The Faculty Director for RILE, Dr. Arnetha Ball, LEEP (Language, Equity and Education

Policy) student group, and the RILE research conference graduate student committee, invites graduate students to present their research during this two-day research conference.

Individual proposals by graduate students will be presented in poster sessions during the first day of the conference on Friday, October 28, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Poster sessions must contribute to and advance conversations about research on race, language, culture, and/or inequality in education. Proposals must include a title and summary (200 words maximum). You will be asked to include all author names, titles, affiliations, and contact information.

Submission Process

Proposals must be submitted online by 5 p.m. on October 7, 2016. See details at

Proposals will be reviewed by Friday, October 14, 2016, with all participants contacted shortly thereafter with additional details about the poster session.

Specific questions about proposal submissions may be directed to the Graduate Student Planning Committee: Efrain Brito,; Tina Cheuk,; or Karla Lomeli, For general conference inquiries, contact Annie Craft-Kincheon,

Student Research Fall Forum is Nov. 7

Student researchers interested in participating in the Student Research Fall Forum at Sacramento State on November 7 should apply no later than October 13. See details here.

Central to the University’s mission is the promotion of scientific discovery and scholarly activity by our faculty and students. The Provost’s Student Research Fall Forum offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to present their research and creative activities to the campus community in poster presentation format from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in the University Union, Redwood Room.

Fall Forum participants will have the opportunity to gain speaking and presentation experience, and will receive feedback on their work and presentation styles. This event also allows students to test-run their presentations in preparation for the campus-wide Student Research Symposium on Tuesday, March 7.

Posters will be grouped in rotating sessions of 90 to 120 minutes with mixed cohorts of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. Maximum poster size is 42 by 48 inches. Those interested in participating must register at by 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. Questions can be mailed to