Visiting Scholar Program

As part of its work in promoting California policy research and productive dialogue, each year the Center selects a Visiting Scholar who is involved in scholarship on a relevant California topic. The Visiting Scholar is involved in the intellectual life at Sacramento State, and produces a research paper on a specified policy question. The Visiting Scholar presents his or her research to faculty and students on campus, and later at a half-day public symposium for the Capital community. Costs of the symposium are funded from a generous endowment by Don and Beverly Gerth.

2017-18 Visiting Scholar

Brian Adams headshot  Dr. Brian Adams

Dr. Adams is a professor with San Diego State University in the Department of Political Science.  His research explores why local governments do not live up to their democratic potential, specifically in the areas of non-electoral participation in local politics, local election campaign finance, and the effects of decentralization of policy authority on the motivations and behavior of government officials.  His current research focuses on the effects of ballot designations (candidate occupations) on electoral outcomes in California, for which he will examine as part of his term as our Visiting Scholar.  Dr. Adams received his BA in Political Science from USC, and both his MA in Social Sciences and Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Irvine. 

Brian Adams presentation on June 21, 2018

2016-17 Visiting Scholar

Richard Callahan headshot   Dr. Richard Callahan

Dr. Callahan is a Professor with the University of San Francisco, where he recently chaired the Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration.  His work has focused on leadership behaviors and strategy that are effective in complex, demanding and dynamic environments in the public and nonprofit sectors.  His recent research has focused on strategies for innovation in public health leadership, for which he will be focusing on as our newest Visiting Scholar.  He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, with a master degree and doctorate from the University of Southern California.

2015-16 Visiting Scholar

Dr. Josh Dyck, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

2013- 14 and 14-15 Visiting Scholar

Dr. Bob Benedetti, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Political Science at the University of the Pacific. 

2012 Visiting Scholar

Dr. Stacey Gordon Fisher, University Nevada, Reno

If you are interested in participating in the Visiting Scholar Program or for more information contact Brian Aguilar, Deputy Director, Center for California Studies at