Research Alumni Spotlight: Sandra Nunn

Research Alumni Spotlight: Sandra Nunn

This spotlight focuses on Dr. Sandra Nunn, an alumni of the University of Phoenix School of Business. She completed her Doctor of Management (DM) in Organizational Leadership in 2014 and has been continuing her research within the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research.

Dr. Nunn was nominated by Center Chair Mansureh Kebritchi, Ph.D. whose name you will see in the list below, for her active involvement within the research center. She has published several peer-reviewed articles since her graduation in 2014. Additionally, she has been actively involved in a number of center research projects collaborating with School of Advanced Studies’ faculty. You may also recognize previous spotlight Dr. John Avella in the names below as he served as Dr. Nunn’s dissertation chair during her doctoral program.

To date, Dr. Nunn’s research focus has been on qualitative research concerning various topics related to leadership ethics and how ethics affects modern global organizations. Further, she is involved with topics related to education and technology through her research with the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research.  The following publications are all being prepared for submission or pending publication in 2016:

  • “How Moral Identity Influences Leadership Ethics: An Historical Case Study"; (Authors: Dr. Sandra G. Nunn, Dr. John T. Avella); In copyediting with publisher. Pending publication in 2016 in the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture (Publisher: Wiley).
  • “Learning Analytics Methods, Benefits, and Challenges in Higher Education: A Systematic Literature Review”; (Authors: John T. Avella, Mansureh Kebritchi, Sandra G. Nunn, Therese Kanai);  In copyediting with publisher. Pending publication in March 2016 in the Online Learning Journal.
  • "Ethical Leadership in a Global Society: Challenges and Opportunities to Shape the Future"; (Authors: Sandra Nunn, John Avella); Proposal for chapter for book by Emerald Group Publishing - Currently under review with decision expected by mid-February 2016.
  • "How Technology Benefits Competency-Based Education"; (Authors: John T. Avella, Sandra G. Nunn); Submitted in January 2016 to The Journal of Competency-Based Education (Publisher: Wiley) and currently under review.
  • “Foundational Theories of Social Media Tools and Cultural Competency”; (Authors: Sandra Nunn, Lequisha Brown-Joseph, Michelle Susberry Hill);  In research and proposal stage with anticipated completion and submission to peer-reviewed journal in March 2016.
  • “Established Approaches in the Literature to Strengthen Critical Thinking in Higher Education”; (Authors: Mansureh Kebritchi, Sandra Nunn, Barbara Fedock); In research and proposal stage with anticipated completion and submission to peer-reviewed journal in Spring 2016.

As part of her research pursuits, Dr. Nunn hopes to begin presenting at a conference later this year.  Next year, she plans to present at a conference in Europe. 

In addition to research pursuits, she serves as an executive for a management consulting firm and a national security consulting firm, as well as a Board Member for several non-profit organizations and as a Trustee for a private trust. She is based in San Diego, California.

View her profile >>

When asked what inspired her to pursue her doctorate, Dr. Nunn said: “Throughout my life, my Dad had always encouraged me to achieve my best in my educational pursuits.  Even after he died in 1999, I had always planned to pursue a doctorate.  But it wasn’t until March 2010 that I finally felt that the time was right in my life to pursue this goal.  Therefore, I made the decision that now was the time and got started with the doctoral program right away.”

Dr. Nunn notes that pursuing a doctoral degree helped make her a better critical thinker, decision maker, and delegator.  It has also inspired her to find a more balanced approach in her personal and professional pursuits in order to become a better leader. Completing her doctoral degree gave her an even greater understanding of herself and her capabilities, as well as a deeper sense of satisfaction and self-confidence.

Although she has completed her degree, Dr. Nunn’s future plans include continued involvement with research and scholarship. She is also interested in the possibility of joining an Advisory committee, speaking opportunities, and possibly even pursuing teaching opportunities. Like many who are proud to be a Phoenix, she is open-minded and optimistic about her future.

When asked what she would say to prospective students considering entering a doctoral program, Dr. Nunn had this to say: “Go into the program with a serious mindset and remain consistent until the day you finish.  Do the work and don’t give up.  This is not an easy process.  Accept the fact that this is a life-changing journey and there will be days where you feel like giving up.  But, don’t give into that doubt.  Understand that this is a marathon.  Every step you take will be challenging.  But, when you cross the finish line the day your dissertation is approved and you’ve passed your oral defense, you will realize that all of the challenges you faced will be well worth it in the end.”

Congratulations, Dr. Nunn, on your accomplishments and thank you for your eagerness to give back to your field of research, the Research Center, and to our University.