Dr. Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri

Dr. Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri

Dean of SDSU Imperial Valley

Dr. Guillermina G. Núñez-Mchiri, is Dean of San Diego State University in the Imperial Valley since August 2022, where she is working on the creation of a new STEM education building in Brawley, CA to address the renewable energy needs of California.  She is also excited to support a new accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a graduate degree in Nursing Leadership, and other undergraduate and graduate degrees. Núñez grew up crossing borders as a child of migrant farmworkers born in Salinas, CA and graduating from Calexico High School, home of SDSU-Imperial Valley. She earned her BA in International Business with a specialty in Spanish and Portuguese and MA in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University (SDSU) and her PhD from UC Riverside in Cultural Anthropology. She is delighted to return to California to serve as the first Chicana/Latina dean in SDSU’s 125-year history. 

Prior to coming to SDSU, she was an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).  She served two terms as president of the UTEP faculty senate. Dr. Núñez is a mother to Adam Mchiri who is now on to 10th grade of high school.  During the 2020 pandemic, she collaborated with other mothers of children with disabilities to document their stories, strategies, and words of encouragement in a book titled Hopelighting (2021).  Also during the pandemic, she worked on the translation of a book written by Dr. Marcela Lagarde y de los Rios, a leadoing Mexican feminist anthropologist.  

Dr. Núñez taught courses that incorporated community engagement and research to promote student success, including courses on cultural anthropology, ethnographic and feminist research methods, urban anthropology, applied anthropology, internships, and the Anthropology of Food, Gender, Culture, and Society. She also taught a class for the College of Health Sciences for pre-medical and public health students on Death, Dying, and Bereavement. She combined anthropological fieldwork with community engagement to help create opportunities for students prior to graduation.  In 2018, she co-edited the book Community Engagement as a High Impact Practice in Higher Education along with Dr. Azuri Gonzalez—a collection of 21 examples of community engagement partnerships from diverse fields of study, where she co-authored a chapter on Anthropology and Service Learning: Building Bridges Across Generations to Challenge the Social Stigmas of Aging.  Her most recent publications focus on Latina leadership on the U.S.-Mexico Border and Leadership in Times of Conflict and co-authored chapter on Global Empathy. She has a forthcoming publication on Latina Community theater to address both Latina empowerment and gender violence on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Dr. Núñez’s interdisciplinary research has focused on: 1) the use of ethnographic research in studies of STEM education and the use of technology to address social isolation among the older adults;  2) border narratives of food, care, and community building through a grant funded by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; 3) the COVID-19 Resiliency Network aimed at vaccinating food production workers during the COVID pandemic in El Paso County and Moore County, TX and Doña Ana County, NM in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine; 4) colonias on the U.S.-Mexico border; 5) Latina leadership, and 6) Latina in STEM field, and 7) the use of Community theater to address gender violence on the US-Mexico border.  As an Applied Cultural Anthropologist, Dr. Núñez has more than twenty years of applied research and community engagement experiences on the US-Mexico border.