The Rewards of Teaching

Martha Saunders | Student Centered EducationMartha D. Saunders has dedicated her life to teaching, the spirit of learning. As a revered educational professional, academic role model, and savvy businesswoman holding a number of high profile and impressive roles in the university academic world, Martha D. Saunders has built a lifetime of professional experiences in education. Holding several successful titles at top-ranking colleges and universities around the country, such as university president, provost, and professor of communications, Martha D. Saunders has always prided herself on never forgetting the mission of her professional career, to be a student-centered educator. It is only through remembering the core values of teaching that one can recognize the true rewards of teaching. Below she offers what she believes to be the most compelling rewards for teaching.



Lifetime Learning

Martha D. Saunders chose her professional career in education, thanks to a deep-rooted love of learning. What began as an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in French, soon blossomed into a Masters Degree in Journalism, and culminated with a Ph.D. in Communication Theory & Research. Once completed, Martha was able to achieve many roles in teaching and administration throughout the years, not only continuously learning through the various hats she would wear, but also in the atmosphere of developing minds. Working in education brings a reward on a personal level that truly provides the teacher a lifetime of learning on so many levels, like no other career.

Changing Lives, Making a Difference

While not every teacher inspires or challenges, the classroom is the place where dreams and perspectives are built, developed. Martha D. Saunders began her journey in Education to help the learning process, make a seemingly impossible logic or lesson become successful, show students that they can learn, achieve, and realize their dreams. Teaching is something Martha D. Suanders will always be passionate about, as she has never taken the responsibility of her challenging roles for granted.


Tips for Successful Public Speaking

Martha D. SaundersMartha D. Saunders has worn many hats in her lifetime of professional achievements and work in Education, Public Speaker has certainly been one of them.

After graduating with a PhD in Communication Theory and Research, her impressive career in higher education began and would include various prestigious career titles to include, but certainly not limited to: Professor of Communications, Dean, Associate Dean, Provost, University President, Coordinator of the Public Relations Program, Director of the University Honors Program, etc. Having served in the classroom, on several university boards, and as a part of countless educational community groups; has required Saunders to be an effective fundraiser, a student-center educator, a savvy businesswoman, an effective communicator, and a polished and inspiring public speaker. To this end, Martha D. Saunders shares her two most important insights on success in public speaking.

Effective Notes

The first rule of effective public speaking, speaking so that you really drive home a message, seems like a no-brainer, but is more often overlooked than not: be prepared with notes. It is not a good idea to memorize your speech or write out your thoughts word for word. Instead, to make the presentation be as natural and powerful as possible, jot down notes of your speech’s direction-a skeleton of thoughts that you can expand upon.

Be Enthusiastic

From novice public speaker to established veteran, it is very common for speakers to forget the purpose of why they are talking to a large crowd about something. Instead, the nervousness or the appearance become the priority. To really deliver a good speech, to reach your audience and persuade them in some direction, remember why you are giving the speech and be enthusiastic about it. Whether it be a cause, a new directive, or a call for support-nothing gives a better speech than enthusiasm.

To learn more about Martha D. Saunders and her career in education, visit her LinkedIn profile:

The Importance of Women Leadership Roles

Martha D. SaundersLike most of us growing up, Martha D. Saunders looked to various people as leaders, and whether or not it’s intentional, many of those leaders are men.  People often associate leaders and role models with those that are in power, whom until recently were most commonly men.  Unfortunately, many of the women in the media are actresses or singers, who although are not necessarily bad people, but many are not realistic or good role models for our female youth.  It is important, especially for young girls, to have strong, educated female role models that hold leadership roles.  Both women and girls need to see confidence, ambition, and drive in women they admire.

Martha Saunders is the definition of a well rounded role model; between an extremely active professional life in education as a teacher as well as a University President she also finds time for  her many hobbies including salt-water fishing and gardening.  Martha D. Saunders has also achieved success in the higher education school system as Professor of Communication, Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Director of University Honors program, Dean for College of Arts and Sciences, Interim Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chancellor, University President, and Provost serving in these capacities at the University of Southern Mississippi, University of West Florida, Columbus State University, and University of Wisconsin. On top of the enormous success as an education professional, Martha D. Saunders has also served on various educational boards.

Martha D. Saunders is a prime example of a Woman in a Leadership Role.  She has breathed success into everything she does; winning many awards along the way.  The list of achievements includes the Top 50 Business Women in Mississippi, National Stevie Award for Women in Business, the National Silver Anvil Award, and the Women of Excellence Award, Diabetes Foundation of MS. It is clear that Martha D. Saunders’ passion for education and business make her a great role model for women and young girls.

Why I am a Fan of Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett photo courtesy of Southern Living

Martha D. Saunders feels more than fortunate to have met and continues to meet the long list of incredible people throughout her career and education that she has. One of these people is none other than her old schoolmate, and good friend, Jimmy Buffett. Though she isn’t what one might call a “Parrothead”, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and grass skirt with margarita in hand traveling the band tour, Martha D. Saunders has more than a few favorite things about her old friend and his public career, which include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The lyrics: There are few songwriters out there who can really capture humor and relaxation quite like Jimmy Buffett. Consider Cheeseburger in Paradise for one or any of the songs on Margaritaville.
  2. The atmosphere that he inspires with his music: Even not taking into account the cult-like following of the parrotheads-similar to “deadheads for the Grateful Dead-Jimmy Buffett songs and manner inspires crowds and crowds to just have a drink and relax, party but in a laid-back way. Everyone has to have a time when they can escape the world and just do that: listen to his music and unwind.
  3. It’s all happy: Few musicians these days just sing to make people happy. These songs all make you happy. His voice makes you happy. The melody and familiarity makes you happy. We need happiness wherever we can get it, and Jimmy Buffett is a pioneer in this respect: spreading happiness.
  4. The lyrics are wise: Though most people who don’t get Jimmy Buffett’s music consider his lyrics to be all and exclusively about drinking and partying, the man offers some wise sentiments on life. One of my favorite quotes from one of Jimmy Buffett’s songs is: “Breathe in, breathe out-move on”.

Jimmy Buffett’s music is known for whisking away the listener and giving them an escape from the stresses of everyday life, which is why it will continue to be some of Martha D. Saunders’ favorite music to listen to on a sunny afternoon.