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Department of


Lisa M. Nunn, PhD

Assistant Professor, Sociology

Lisa Michele Nunn joined the Department of Sociology at the University of San Diego as an Assistant Professor in 2009.  Professor Nunn teaches largely in the Department’s Community, Urbanization, and Culture concentration.  Her research areas include: Sociology of Education; Organizations; Cultural Sociology; Gender and Sexuality; Identity; Visual Sociology; and Social Psychology.


Professor Nunn earned her B.A. in Literature and Theater from Whittier College in 1997.  She earned her M.A. in Sociology in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Sociology in 2009 from the University of California, San Diego.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Professor Nunn’s book Defining Student Success: The Role of School and Culture is coming out in 2014 with Rutgers University Press. The book investigates how both schools (organizations) and students (individuals) refine and adapt cultural ideas about academic success, and how this process perpetuates existing social inequality in educational attainment. From the same research project, Professor Nunn published “Classrooms as Racialized Spaces: Dynamics of Collaboration, Tension, and Student Attitudes in Urban and Suburban High Schools” in the journal Urban Education.

Professor Nunn’s 2010 sociological film Excluded: Immigration Struggles of a Gay, Bi-National Couple has been presented at academic conferences such as the American Sociological Association and the International Visual Sociology Association. It has also been screened across the U.S. in multiple venues including museums, universities, corporate employee development events, and LGBTQ resource centers. Excluded was an official selection of the 2011 Fallbrook Film Festival in Fallbrook, California. The entire 46-minute documentary-style film can be viewed free online at

Teaching Interests

Professor Nunn teaches Introduction to Sociology, Quantitative Methods, and upper-division courses in the Community, Urbanization, and Culture concentration, including: Social Institutions, Sexuality and Borders, and Sociology of Education.