Ed.D. Program Faculty

Our unique program pairs the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with the Department of Public Policy and Administration, taking advantage of its location in California's capital to utilize the expertise of education policymakers and analysts.

Courses are taught by our renowned university faculty and executive leaders in P-12 and community college. These leaders are steeped in the issues affecting the local region, and can help you build a network of influential educational colleagues.

Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D.
Director, Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program
Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Julian Vasquez Heilig

Office: Eureka Hall 318A
Office Phone: (916) 278-2282
Fax: (916) 278-5557
Email: heilig@csus.edu

Dr. Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher, and is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program. He serves as the California NAACP Education Chair and has held a variety of practitioner, research, and leadership positions in organizations from Boston to Beijing, bringing formative professional perspectives to bridge research, theory, and practice.

His current research includes quantitatively and qualitatively examining how high-stakes testing and accountability-based reforms and market reforms impact urban minority students. Dr. Heilig’s research interests also include issues of access, diversity, and equity in higher education. His work has been cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, USAToday, Education Week, Huffington Post and other media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBC, NBCLatino, NPR, Univision, Al Jazeera and MSNBC.

Dr. Heilig obtained his Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis and a Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. He also holds a Masters of Higher Education and a Bachelor’s of History and Psychology from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. He blogs at Cloaking Inequity, consistently rated one of the top 50 education websites in the world by Teach100. Follow him on Twitter @ProfessorJVH.

Core Faculty

Lisa Romero, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Lisa Romero

Office: Eureka Hall 220
Office Phone: (916) 278-2282
Email: lisa.romero@csus.edu

With a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from University of California, Riverside, Dr. Romero’s research centers on policy and leadership; and quantitative methods. She is a recipient of the 2017-18 Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activities Award for the College of Education at Sac State, and received the Center of Teaching and Learning Pedagogical Enhancement Award for improving learning outcomes in quantitative methods. She is published in the areas of equity, discipline, student trust, and STEM research. 

Publications & Scholarship

Rose Borunda, Ed.D.


Office: Eureka Hall 411
Office Phone: (916) 278-6310
Email: rborunda@csus.edu

With an Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education from University of San Francisco, Dr. Borunda’s research focuses on social justice, identity formation, and cross racial bridge building. Two of her book publications have been adopted in universities and community colleges from Southern California to the state of Washington. She is known for her work to include California Indian historical perspectives in teacher and public school education. Her speaking engagements include Columbia University, California State University, East Bay, U.C. Berkeley and she has been a Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University and North Carolina State University.

Publications & Scholarship

Porfirio Loeza, Ph.D.
Professor, Teacher Education

Charles Gossett

Office: Eureka Hall 413B
Office Phone: (916) 278-3464
Email: loeza@skymail.csus.edu

With a Ph.D. in Education in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Loeza specializes in language acquisition, applied linguistics, literacy, and language policy. His Fulbright fellowship resulted in the implementation of a national bilingual education plan for the Guatemalan Ministry of Education and the U.S. Agency for International Development. His book on bilingual instructional strategies is in a second printing.

Publications & Scholarship

Carlos Nevarez, Ph.D.


Office: Alpine Hall 234
Office Phone: (916) 278-5557
Email: nevarezc@csus.edu

Dr. Carlos Nevarez, received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He now serves as Professor in Educational Leadership and is the Executive Editor for the Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies at Sacramento State. His research findings inform the development of new pedagogies and applied models that not only facilitate, but also nurture innovative leadership and productive change. Dr. Nevarez has co-authored three books on community college leadership and is currently working on a fourth book with an emphasis on developing an institutional change model.

Publications & Scholarship

Caroline Turner, Ph.D.


Office: Eureka Hall 222
Office Phone: (916) 278-3580
Fax: (916) 278-2281
Email: csturner@saclink.csus.edu

A nationally recognized and award-winning scholar, Dr. Turner served as president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), the leading scholarly society for research on higher education. She earned her Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis (Disciplinary Focus: Sociology) from Stanford University School of Education. Her body of work, including a recent journal special issue titled, Mentoring as Transformative Practice: Supporting Student and Faculty Diversity, advances the dialogue on faculty and student diversity among scholars and practitioners. Turner’s research interests include access, equity and leadership in higher education; faculty gender and racial/ethnic diversity; organizational change; and the use of qualitative methods for policy research.

Publications & Scholarship
2018 UC Davis Commencement Keynote

Robert Wassmer, Ph.D.
Professor, Public Policy and Administration
Director of Master's Program in Urban Land Development

Carlos Nevarez

Office: Tahoe Hall 3037
Office Phone: (916) 278-6304
Email: rwassme@csus.edu

Dr. Wassmer earned his in Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University.  His teaching and research interests are in applied microeconomics, state and local public finance, and education policy. He is the Director of the Master's Program in Urban Land Development at Sac State.  His research relating to education policy has appeared in the journals Education and Urban Society, Economics of Education Review, Government and Policy, Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, Research in Higher Education, and California Politics and Policy.  The National Education Association asked him to coauthor a research report on K-12 Education in the U.S. Economy: Its Impact on Economic Development, Earnings, and Housing Values.

Publications & Scholarship

Su Jin Gatlin Jez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy & Administration
Director, CSU Student Success Network
Faculty Fellow, Education Insights Center


Office: Tahoe Hall 3035
Office Phone: (916) 278-5955
Email: jezs@csus.edu

With a Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University’s School of Education, Dr. Jez’s research, teaching, and service focuses on increasing college readiness, access and success, particularly for traditionally underserved students. Dr. Jez continues her research on the role of wealth in college access and success and in for-profit colleges and universities. She is widely published and continues to be sought as an expert by policymakers and the media on prominent education policy topics.

Publications & Scholarship

Edward (Ted) L. Lascher, Jr.
Interim Dean, College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor of Public Policy and Administration

Ted Lascher

Office: Tahoe Hall 3029
Office Phone: (916) 278-4864
Email: tedl@csus.edu

Dr. Lascher earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His recent research has focused on direct democracy, causes of life satisfaction, academic writing, and college student success.  He co-authored a 2012 academic journal article entitled “Campus Racial Climate and Student Academic Outcomes: A Critique of Prior Research and Recommendations for Future Study.”

Publications & Scholarship

Frank Adamson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor


Office: Eureka Hall 220
Office Phone: (916) 278-4639

Dr. Frank Adamson currently studies the effects of different political and economic approaches to education on student experiences and their performance in schools. His recent volume, Global Education Reform, compares the approaches of privatization and public investment to education policy in six countries. Frank has also studied the impact of system-wide charter school reform on students in New Orleans. Previously, he published on the adoption of assessments of deeper learning and 21st century skills at the state, national, and international levels, as well as on teacher salary differences within metropolitan labor markets in New York and California. He has also completed studies for the USDOE, OECD, IEA, and UNESCO, including analyses of PISA and TIMSS. He uses quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods and his research interests include the economics and sociology of education, U.S. and international education policy, and educational equity and opportunity. Frank began his career in education as a high school English teacher.

Publications & Scholarship

Stephen Brock, Ph.D.
Professor and Coordinator, School Psychology Program


Office: Brighton Hall 225
Office Phone: (916) 278-5919
Email: brock@csus.edu

Dr. Stephen E. Brock earned a Ph.D. in Education (with an emphasis in psychological studies) at the University of California, Davis, where he researched Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Brock was selected by the College of Education to receive the 2012-2013 Outstanding Scholarly and Creative Activities Award, and the 2017 Juliana Raskauskas Legacy Lecture Award. His recent publications deal with crisis counseling, intervention and prevention in the schools, helping trauma-exposed students, suicide prevention, and bipolar disorder. He is a founding member of the National Association of School Psychologists’ PREPaRE Workgroup and the author of Workshop 2 of the PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training Curriculum. 

Publications & Scholarship

Affiliated Faculty

Alexander Gonzalez, Ph.D.


Office: Eureka Hall 318
Office Phone: (916) 278-2282
Email: alexg@csus.edu

Dr. Alexander Gonzalez, who retired from the presidency of Sacramento State in 2015, contributes his decades of experience as an administrator to teach EDD 607, Community and Communication in Educational Leadership.

Frank Lilly, Ph.D.


Frank Lilly

Office: Alpine Hall 221
Office Phone: (916) 278-4120
Email: frlilly@csus.edu

Dr. Frank Lilly provides faculty and peer guidance to doctoral students in preparation of material to develop the dissertation proposal. He earned a Ph.D. in Educational and Counselling Psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.