About Dr. Roland Nuñez
Dr. Roland Nuñez serves as the Executive Director of Early College Programs at Lake-Sumter State College. He has over a decade of higher education leadership experience, including student development, academic advising, business development, recruitment and outreach, and TRIO support programs.
He obtained his PhD in Educational Leadership at Oklahoma State University and teaches collegiate level statistics and research courses. His research emphasis and prior publications include online student engagement, educational entertainment and innovation, first-generation student development, and Hispanic identity development.
Dr. Nuñez has an extensive publication history on edutainment, student engagement, and first-generation students. His current research involves new approaches to college readiness. He is developing a college readiness framework that maps out specific competencies and mastery levels to aid in the creation of new college preparation programs.
Outside of higher education, he is a licensed pilot, a published novelist, and former owner of an award-winning family recreation center. Guided by his experience as a first-generation student, Dr. Nuñez is passionate about increasing college access to underserved students and removing institutional barriers to support.
In his virtual visit to BMCC, Dr. Roland Nuñez provided a thoughtful and dynamic presentation grounded in the literature while centering Latino perspectives and lived experiences. He offered ample opportunity for faculty and staff to discuss and reflect on identity labels. He further invited us to consider our students' perspectives on terms such as Hispanic, Latino/a/x, Latine, and more. Ultimately, Dr. Nuñez guided our group through a conversation on the nature of these labels, which can often mask incredibly rich and complex identities. He provided a backdrop for us to think about how these limitations may be operative our processes, policies and services, where the simple act of filling out a form can enact an erasure. This helped to reveal the means through which our campus can convey, in both subtle and overt ways, a sense of welcome, or a signal that students don't belong. Perhaps most valuable was that Dr. Nuñez did not come to the table as the expert with "the answer." Rather, he acknowledged that answers live in the local and the interpersonal, and are always subject to change. To this end, he encouraged us to talk with each other, to learn from our students, and to acknowledge and address missteps if and as they occur. Above all, he encouraged us to keep the conversation going, and thanks to him, we are doing just that.
~ Tiffany James, Borough of Manhattan Community College