Dr. Roberto D. Pomo is Director of Honors Program, Professor of Theatre and coordinator of the Film Studies Program. At Sac State, Dr. Pomo has served as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Interim Director for the School of the Arts.
Pomo has directed over 100 full-length productions ranging from operatic works to experimental theatre and the avant-garde. A published scholar, poet, and translator, Pomo is the recipient of numerous directing awards. Presently, he serves as a member of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
But his current passion is presiding over Sacramento State’s Honors Program, which was recreated four years ago at the behest of President Alexander Gonzalez who saw this as a key component of his Destination 2010 campaign. “Honors is a linchpin of what kind of a campus we want to be,” Gonzalez said. “Dr. Pomo and the Honors Program have been very successful in attracting outstanding students to the university. The program brings immeasurable value to our academic program and to the students who participate.”
Despite the many demands of sustaining and strengthening the Honors Program, Pomo says that it has been the “best professional experience of [his] life.” He hastens to add that if not for the president’s abiding commitment to the program, “we wouldn’t be here. I’m proud of our program’s students for enriching their lives through a rigorous academic experience. We serve a diverse, working-class student population, three-fourths of who have part- or full-time jobs to help finance their education.”
In addition to creating and nurturing a program that challenges students to excel, he busily raises funds for student scholarships. As the youngest of 18 honors programs in the California State University system, Sacramento State has the smallest endowment. But the peripatetic, perpetually optimistic Pomo is determined to put it on a secure financial footing.
Achieving that goal will be especially difficult, given California’s chronic budget crises that have strained higher education to the breaking point. But the generosity of those who support academic excellence has been immeasurable. The philanthropic Stremple, Ose, Ermet, Rao, Sokolov and Guardino families have helped provide the program with a firm foundation. Pomo plans to amass a million-dollar endowment before he retires that will enable the program to sustain itself on the accrued interest.
Professor Emeritus George Craft, who was instrumental in the program’s resurrection, is justifiably proud of Pomo’s commitment to the students. “Roberto has given so much of his time and energy to making honors among the best programs in the CSU system,” Craft says.