Martha D. Saunders, Ph.D
Dr. Martha D. Saunders, distinguished professor and past university president, teaches public relations in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
During her 30-year career in higher education, Dr. Saunders has taught thousands of students. Her philosophy of education follows three simple guiding principles: know your students, connect them to bigger things and set a good example.
Dr. Saunders' training and experience in the field of communication led to numerous publications on crisis communication and public relations; widely anthologized published speeches; and (twice) the Public Relations Society of America's highest national award, the Silver Anvil.
Dr. Saunders was the ninth president of The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. She took office on May 21, 2007, continuing an illustrious career of higher-education leadership.
Dr. Saunders came to Southern Mississippi from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she served as its first-ever female chancellor. Prior to her appointment at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, she was vice president for academic affairs at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.
A native of Mississippi, Dr. Saunders earned her B.A. in French from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg; her M.A. in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens; and her Ph.D. in communication theory and research from Florida State University in Tallahassee.