She recieved her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Studies from Harvard University, her Master of Arts in Administration, Policy Analysis, and Evaluation from Stanford University’s School of Education, and a Master of Education and Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California Los Angeles Graduate School of Education.
Nuñez is currently an associate professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs Program in the Department of Educational Studies at the Ohio State University. She also serves as an Associate Editor of The Journal of Higher Education and an Associate Editor of Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research.
Her research explores how to broaden participation for historically underrepresented groups, including students and faculty, in postsecondary education. One line of her scholarship has focused on the higher education experiences and trajectories of Latino, first-generation, and migrant students. Another has emphasized institutional diversity in the United States, including the role of Hispanic-Serving Institutions in promoting college access and success. A third has focused on fostering supportive organizational climates for faculty and administrators to advance inclusivity in the academy. Her research has been published in several journals, including Educational Researcher, Harvard Educational Review, and the American Educational Research Journal. She is also the lead author of the book Latinos in Higher Education and Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Creating Conditions for Success (2013, Jossey-Bass) and the lead editor of the award-winning book Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Advancing Research and Transformative Practice (2015, Routledge).
For her contributions to research on underrepresented groups, she received the 2011 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Ethnic Participation Mildred Garcia Exemplary Scholarship award.