Communication Studies

COM Alumni Spotlight

Jessica Saunders

 Jessica Saunders

Alumni Spotlight Information

Jessica Saunders

Graduation Date: May 2013
Position Title:

Research Project Manager


Nationwide Children's Hospital

Current Location: Columbus, OH

What was your favorite class in the COM Department? Why?

It is incredibly hard to just choose one class. From Theory, Family, Interpersonal, Interracial, Intercultural, Business Professionalism Communication to Public speaking, and Public Relations, I could not be effective in my current role without everything these courses have taught me. I found these courses to be invigorating and constantly bringing a new concept or idea to the forefront of my mind.

What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?

  • Communication Studies Society (CSS)
  • Alpha Phi

 How are you using the skills/concepts learned from your COM degree in your life?

I may not work in PR or Marketing like I once thought I would, but I work in Healthcare/Pediatric Research Administration at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. I have grown to be a compassionate supervisor and leader within my organization, all thanks to the Communication Studies program. I give multiple presentations a year to undergraduate students as well as staff members on the importance of communication and nonverbal communication when conducting research and interacting with patients and families. I remember completing COM 200 and feeling such a sense of pride and thinking ‘thank goodness I will not have to use qualitative or quantitative research ever again in my life.’ Well, now that is all I review and I absolutely love it!

What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?

I recently became a published author looking at enablers and barriers within onboarding programs for clinical research coordinators (CRCs) in Emergency Departments. While obtaining my Masters in Applied Clinical and Preclinical Research, I found that there is no standardized onboarding program and as a manager, I realize how communication and setting up a standardized onboarding program is key to being a successful manager. Since that publication, I have published another manuscript, presented at an international conference, and have two other national speaking engagements coming up. A huge thank you to the COM Public Speaking course!

Follow the link to view Jessica's peer reviewed article: Inclusion of the Joint Task Force Competency Domains in Onboarding for CRCs

Communication is. . .

...not going anywhere!

What advice would you give current COM majors?

Every piece of information you learn in your courses is incredibly important. You will use every single tool in your future endeavors. Knowing how to effectively communicate with others and understand their communication patterns will set you up for success in any career that you choose.

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