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Sacramento State's outstanding scholar


Robert Wassmer, recipient of Sacramento State’s 2010-11 Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award, melds theory and practice in his classroom as well as his frequent presentations to public policymakers.

That’s one reason he was selected last year by the Brookings Institution to detail the effects of local income taxation in the United States. It’s also why President Alexander Gonzalez praised Wassmer during the presentation ceremony for his extensive efforts in preparing students for the challenges they will confront in an increasingly competitive job market.

Wassmer, who directs the Department of Public Policy and Administration and the Master’s program in Urban Land Development, personifies Sac State’s core mission of teaching, learning and service. As Provost Joseph Sheley said, “Rob has been pushing for research and graduate education during the 17 years he’s been here.”

That’s why Wassmer rates the annual award that honors a faculty member who has made significant contributions to a discipline through scholarly pursuits, creative/artistic endeavors, research and publication.

Wassmer’s award lecture focused on the pervasive effects of California’s home foreclosures in the region, noting that Sacramento recently ranked third nationally among major metropolitan centers. His lively presentation detailed how the foreclosure contagion can affect all neighborhoods where blighted, vacant properties drive down home values. He underscored his point by describing his mowing the lawn of a nearby vacant property to help preserve his home’s value.

The spirited question-and-answer session that followed Wassmer’s presentation in the University Union reflected the relevance of his research. It also reaffirmed why Robert Wassmer, one of Sac State’s most valuable resources, is such a fitting 49th recipient of the Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award.