Lisa M. Nunn, Ph.D.

Dr. Nunn has been studying belonging for over a decade. She is now offering two new keynotes that leverage sociological wisdom about the dynamics of belonging to improve workplace communities.


Dr. Nunn’s new keynote on burnout and belonging.

Many of the causes of burnout are actually symptoms of something else. Symptoms we experience when we are a member of a community that is flailing, a community that has withered, or one that was underdeveloped from the start. Dr. Nunn’s Burnout and Belonging keynote brings insights from sociology to help us understand how this happens and what we can do about it. Dr. Nunn explains the dynamics of how community bonds are built between us and how those bonds bring us a sense of belonging. She shows how fostering belonging can reduce burnout and offers 5 strategies that you can immediately put to use. She also helps you steer clear of 5 common pitfalls. The burnout-belonging connection is part of every community we are a part of: family, neighborhood, church, school, book club, you name it. It is especially crucial at work.

We live in a time when people are experiencing more loneliness, disconnection and isolation than ever before. Some are calling a national crisis. We hunger for meaningful connection to others because we are human. Yet today’s world can make human connection feel elusive. Dr. Nunn’s Authenticity and Connection in Professional Relationships keynote will equip you will small everyday actions that nurture deeper and more durable relationships with people in your professional realms. Grounded in sociological wisdom, this talk offers a roadmap for how you can better connect with others, be they office colleagues, vendors, suppliers, clients or customers. Dr. Nunn will help you identify the personal values that drive you and then show you how to create moments of connection that are anchored in those values. This allows you to connect more authentically, which in turn allows your professional relationships to move from shallow pleasantries to something rich and meaningful.

Colleges and universities around the nation have utilized the insights and advice from Dr. Nunn’s research on student belonging. Your campus can request a talk or workshop on either or both of her recent books.

College Belonging reveals how colleges’ and universities’ efforts to foster a sense of belonging in their students are misguided. Colleges bombard new students with the message to “get out there!” and “find your place” by joining student organizations, sports teams, clubs and the like. Nunn shows that this reflects a flawed understanding of what belonging is and how it works. Drawing on the sociological theories of Emile Durkheim, College Belonging shows that belonging is something that members of a community offer to each other. It is something that must be given, like a gift. Individuals cannot simply walk up to a group or community and demand belonging. That’s not how it works. The group must extend a sense of belonging to each and every member. It happens by making a person feel welcome, to feel that their presence matters to the group, that they would be missed if they were gone. This critical insight helps us understand why colleges’ push for students simply to “get out there!” does not always work.

33 Simple Strategies for Faculty is an award-winning book. It starts with the reality that many students struggle with the transition from high school to university life. This is especially true of first-generation college students, who are often unfamiliar with the norms and expectations of academia. College professors usually want to help, but many feel overwhelmed by the prospect of making extra time in their already hectic schedules to meet with these struggling students.

33 Simple Strategies for Faculty is a guidebook filled with practical solutions to this problem. It gives college faculty concrete exercises and tools they can use both inside and outside of the classroom to effectively bolster the academic success and well being of their students. To devise these strategies, educational sociologist Lisa M. Nunn talked with a variety of first-year college students, learning what they find baffling and frustrating about their classes, as well as what they love about their professors’ teaching.

Combining student perspectives with the latest research on bridging the academic achievement gap, she shows how professors can make a difference by spending as little as fifteen minutes a week helping their students acculturate to college life. Whether you are a new faculty member or a tenured professor, you are sure to find 33 Simple Strategies for Faculty to be an invaluable resource.