Dr. Guillermina G. Núñez-Mchiri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UT El Paso, where she enjoys teaching, mentoring, and working with students on engaged research projects in the community. She is a mother to her son Adam, who is now in the first grade. She is originally from Salinas, California and grew up as child of migrant farm workers crossing borders between the U.S. southwest and Mexico. She received her BA in International Business from San Diego State University specializing in Spanish and Portuguese in 1994 and her MA degree in Latin American Studies with a specialization on US-Mexico Border studies in 1998. In between her BA and MA, she worked on the formation of a new university for three years: California State University Monterey Bay in the School of World Languages and Cultures. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Riverside in 2006. In 2005, she joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. Dr. Núñez was the recipient of the 2012 University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching award. She is a graduate of UTEP’s 2012-2013 Leadership Development Institute. Most recently, she was selected as the 2013 Provost’s Faculty Fellow for Civic Engagement at UT El Paso.Nationally, she has been selected for a three year faculty fellowship for Innovation and Change by the Southern Education Foundation.
As an anthropologist, Dr. Núñez-Mchiri has published on issues relating to the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration and human rights, entrapment, barriers to health care, the political ecology of colonias, housing and social justice, and on the applications of Service Learning and ethnography in higher education. She is currently a Co-PI on interdisciplinary research projects focusing on Latinas in higher education and in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields; physical fitness, service learning and community engagement with youth and older adults; barriers to health care among Yucatec Mayan immigrants in San Francisco, and the roles of food and culture in community building processes. As an applied scholar, Dr. Núñez-Mchiri also serves as expert witness testifying in immigration and asylum proceedings and provides workshops on leadership and professional development for women and for professionals working with immigrant communities. Her main goal is to apply anthropological research and methods towards finding solutions to social problems to improve the education, health, and quality of life of others and particularly among Mexican and Mexican American communities in the United States. She is best known for excellence in teaching undergraduate students, mentoring MA and PhD students, and for engaging others in service learning efforts, and in random acts of kindness. She is passionate about life, family, cooking, humor, traveling, and dancing.