Advisory Committee

Faculty Members

David Leon, Ex Officio; Former Serna Center DirectorDr. Ted Lascher
Public Policy & Administration
Ex Officio; Former Serna Center Director

Dr. Lascher joined the Sacramento State faculty in 1996 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration (PPA).  Prior to becoming Interim Director of the Serna Center he served six years as PPA Chair. During his tenure as Chair the Department expanded its curriculum to offer undergraduate courses, adopted new certificate and concentration programs, worked with the College of Business Administration to establish a Master’s of Science in Urban Land Development, and partnered with other campus units to create Ed. D. programs.  Professor Lascher also has been Vice Chair of the Sacramento State Faculty Senate, campus representative to the Social Science Research and Instructional Council, and Chair of the Curriculum Committee for the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Professor Lascher’s research has covered a wide range of topics including political parties, public opinion, direct democracy, elections, regulatory policy and politics, legislative decision making, victim compensation, policy communities, and political careers.  His recent publications include “Macropartisanship in California” (coauthored with John L. Korey and appearing in the spring 2006 issue of Public Opinion Quarterly), exploring long term trends in party identification and emphasizing the importance of movement in political allegiances among California Latinos.   Dr. Lascher is the author of The Politics of Automobile Insurance Reform (Georgetown University Press, 1999) and co-editor of two books.  His research has appeared in such academic journals as American Behavioral Scientist, the Canadian Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Public Choice.  His article entitled “Constituency Size and Incumbent Safety: A Reexamination” was co-winner of the award for best article in Political Research Quarterly in 2005.  Dr. Lascher was the recipient of the 2006 President’s Award for Scholarly Activities at Sacramento State.  He has also been a Faculty Fellow with the Field Institute. 

In addition to serving on the faculty at Sacramento State, Dr. Lascher held a teaching appointment at Harvard University.  He also received a California State Assembly Fellowship, worked as a committee consultant for the California State Senate, and was an analyst with the California Department of Social Services.

A California native, Professor Lascher received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his A.B. in political science from Occidental College in Los Angeles.


Dr. Emir MacariDr. Manuel Barajas
Department of Sociology

Dr. Manuel Barajas is interested in the general topics of social diversity, migration studies, and Latina/o Studies. He recently published the book: “The Xaripu Community across Borders: Labor Migration, Community, and Family,” under book contract with the University of Notre Dame Press. In the past year, he has presented the following papers in professional conferences: (1) “A Qualitative Analysis of the Relationship between Levels of Racial Diversity at Work and Labor Conditions Experienced by Mexican Transnational Migrants;” (2) “Un Pueblo Entre Dos Mundos: A Longitudinal Case Study of Transnational Migrants and Emergent Conceptions of Home(s);” (3) “Operationalizing Transnationalism: A Critical Analysis of Crossing Borders,” and (4) “Beyond Home/Host Dichotomies: A Comparative Examination of Gender Relations across Borders” [co-authored with Elvia Ramirez].

Dr. Barajas’s bi-cultural background has been an asset to his fellow colleagues and communities’ research, and allowed me to contribute to various research projects. He collaborates in the development of the Sacramento State “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region.” He has also contributed [translation, editing, questions] to the research study “Percepcion sobre el valor de la migracion en familias Mexicanas” [Perceptions of the value of migration among Mexican families] by principal investigators Guillermo Gonzalez Lopez (Colegio de Mexico), Norma Lara Florez (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Mexico), and Chrystal Barranti (CSU Sacramento). Manuel has recently collaborated with fellow sociologists Amy Liu and associates in a book chapter “Social Research and the Sacramento State Annual Survey of the Region,” and is also part of the research team with the California’s Family Project, focusing on Mexican-origin children, under the directorship of Dr. Rand Conger of UC Davis.

Dr. Emir MacariEmir Macari
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Emir Jose Macari is Dean of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento. Prior to this he was Dean of Science and Technology at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Dr. Macari worked at the National Science Foundation as Program Director of the Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology in 2001-02. Dr. Macari was the Chairman and Bingham C. Stewart Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at LSU (1999-2001). In addition, he has been Associate Professor of Geosystems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Associate Professor and Director of the Civil Infrastructure Research Center at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 technical papers.

In 1992, Dr. Macari was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship by President George Bush. In 1994, he contributed to the drafting of President Clinton’s science policy document "Science in the National Interest". He is the recipient of numerous national and international honors for his contributions to science and engineering education and research, including being elected to the National Academy of Engineering of Mexico in 2003 and Mexican Academy of Science in 2006.

Dr. Macari received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989 where he worked on a NASA sponsored project dealing with the Mechanical Behavior of Granular Materials at Low Effective Stress States and Under Reduced Gravity Environments.

Dr. Macari has been on the Board of Advisors of “SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Latinos and Native Americans in Science),” Member of the Sigma Xi “The Scientific Research Society,” Strategic Planning Committee and the International Committee, Board of Advisors of the “Center for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO),” Advisor to the “Center for Hemispherical Cooperation in Science and Engineering (Co-Hemis),” Board of Advisors of “Celebra La Ciencia”, Associate Editor of the International Journal on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure, Editorial Board of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (ASCE-GeoInstitute), Member of the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Properties Committee. He is a member of the Taskforce charged with advising President Bush regarding the under-representations of Hispanics in the Federal Workforce.
Dr. Roberto PomoRoberto Pomo
Honors Program,
Department of Theatre and Dance

Dr. Roberto D. Pomo is Professor of Theatre and Film Studies, and Director of the university’s Honors Program.  At Sacramento State, Dr. Pomo has served as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Interim Director for the School of the Arts and Coordinator of the Film Studies Program.

Dr. Pomo has directed productions ranging from operatic works, to the classics and the avant-garde. As artistic Director of the Elenco Experimental for 12 years, Pomo directed productions grounded in the area of political theatre and multicultural performance aesthetics.

A published scholar and translator, Dr. Pomo is the recipient of numerous directing awards, and was named Educator of the Year by the Texas Educational Theatre Association. As a past member of the Texas Commission of the Arts, Dr. Pomo was the Chair for the Theatre Review Committee, and served as Texas Vice-Chair, and Chair for the American College Theatre Festival for five years. Presently, he serves as a member of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

Dr. Pomo was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras in the field of Caribbean Literature and Performance Theory.  He was also an NEH Fellow at the Center for Twentieth Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, focusing on Post-Modern Performance Studies. He pursued post-graduate studies at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram University, Bangalore, India, at the Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law Centre for the Study of Philosophy and World Religions earning a Diploma in Religious and Philosophy of Contemporary India.

Dr. Pomo’s teaching (graduate and undergraduate level) and research focus on Latin American Theatre, Latina/o and Chicana/o Drama and Theatre, Latin American Cinema, Film Theory and Criticism, Performance Theory and Multicultural American Cinema.

A co-author of The Longman Anthology of World Drama and Theatre: A Global Perspective, and The Longman Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Drama, Dr. Pomo is presently compiling and translating an anthology of the dramatic works of Osvaldo Dragun and Griselda Gambaro.

He holds the Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Utah, a Master of Arts in Dramatic Literature from the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Theatre from Brigham Young University.

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dr. Pomo is a citizen of the United States of America.

Staff Members
Sheila Macias, Staff MemberMiguel Molina
Associate Director, University Registrar

Juanita Ruiz, Staff MemberJuanita Ruiz
University Enterprises, Inc.

Ms. Ruiz has worked over 15 years with UEI, starting as a receptionist in the Contract and Grant Administration Office, and now servian as a Contract Administration Specialist.

Ms. Ruiz enjoy working with people, and helping with forms, procedures and policies.

Ms. Ruiz servie includes: 
Advisory Board member to the Serna Center on campus for 6 years
University Staff Assembly Secretary
Volunteer - Festival de la Familia
Volunteer - Olympics
President, local union for Theatrical Employees

Student Member


Community Members

Rosa EscutiaRosa Escutia
Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Rosa M. Escutia manages community relations for Pacific Gas and Electric, Greater Sacramento.  She is part of a team who supports one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States and enjoys servicing approximately 15 million people in northern and central California.

Previous to entering the utility industry Ms. Escutia was the Director of Public Relations for the California Lottery.  Appointed by Governor Gray Davis in 2003, she oversaw the planning and directing of the Lottery’s comprehensive communications program that has raised more than $17 billion dollars for California public schools, since 1985.

Ms. Escutia also served as a gubernatorial appointee to Davis in 2001 in the capacity of Public Affairs Director for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.  She led the Department’s efforts in managing all media relations involving California’s alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery issues.  One of the issues garnishing frequent media and public attention was Proposition 36, a $120 million dollars a year initiative voted into law in November 2000 by California’s voters.  Previous to her gubernatorial appointments she served as Interim Communications Director for the California Department of Information Technology, the statewide agency charged with overseeing the State’s millions of dollars technology investment; and, also worked in various professional civil service capacities.

Graduating in 1992 from the California State University, Sacramento, Ms Escutia received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communication Studies.  Her passion for education, government, and community has motivated her participation in various organizations, including: Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sac Metro Leadership Program, Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California, Personnel Management Association of Aztlan; Latina Management Institute; and, Hispanics Organized for Political Equality, Northern California.
Eric Guerra, Community MemberEric Guerra
Office of State Senator Gil Cedillo
Jean-Marie McKinney, Community Member
Phil Serna, Community MemberPhil Serna
Serna Consulting LLC