Donunshae Sanders is a proud 2016 graduate of Millersville University who holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication with minor in print media studies. She says choosing the major came naturally to her. “I’m a social butterfly and honestly, after growing up in a household with three sisters, you learn very quickly how important communication is,” she said. “My passion for communication really comes from my excitement for understanding and gaining knowledge from [other people and perspectives]. 

That natural curiosity comes in handy in her role as a Communication Specialist for Johnson & Johnson in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Sanders, who’s been working remotely since mid-March, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, handles key internal communications, ensuring employees at the plant are in the know about everything from upcoming workshops and site happenings to town halls and community events“I now end my days with a crisis management team meeting,” she said. “Since I’m the onsite Communications Specialist, it is my responsibility to relay any new information from a regional, state or local level in the most efficient and appropriate way possible for out site as we work to communicate it in the best way possible.  

The Lititz plant of Johnson & Johnson has about 450 employees and produces consumer products like Johnson’s baby oil, Bengay, Neosporin, Listerine, Lubriderm and many more. “I am passionate about corporate and crisis communication,” said Sanders. “Most recently, due to COVID-19, I have gained a whole new perspective and appreciation for crisis comm. You must be timely and get the message right! 

Sanders attributes her success in the workplace in part to her education at Millersville University, and, most notably, her caring professors. “The most impactful part of my education at Millersville was honestly my interactions with the professors,” she said. “Never have I ever met a kinder group of faculty. They are there to walk this journey with you and assist with each and every aspect of you college experience and life.” Dr. Jennifer F. Wood was, in Sanders’ words “instrumental in my success and the opportunities I’ve been privy to today.” She said her drive for success, real world experience and emphasis on experiential learning made her lessons particularly memorable in the classroom. “Dr. Wood is a riot in the classroom,” explained Sanders. “She is very experienced, knowledgeable, professional and has high expectations for you. You will fail if you come to her class unprepared. Not only does it show the lack of respect, but also that you are not committed to your success inside nor outside of the classroom. Good things take time and if you are patient and do the work, you will get so much more out of her courses than what you ever imagined.   Dr. Wood has taught me so much about life after school . . . she is a phenomenal professor and really puts the time, effort and focus into her students to prepare them for anything that may come their way. I am truly grateful for my experience in enrolling at MU [because I met her]. 

Sanders has a few pieces of advice for new college students: “If I had to look back on my time during undergrad, I would tell myself, ‘You have everything that you need,’” she said. It is not a race; it is a marathon and always ongoing. Take the time for yourself when necessary and enjoy the good and bad moments. You will get there in due time.” As for prospective students thinking about coming to Millersville, she says this: “Do it! There is nothing to lose, only to gain,” she said. “You will gain a new perspective on life, you will be challenged, learn what it is like to make your own decisions, gain independence and also find yourself. For me, I found my voice [at MU] and was able to feel comfortable in my skin and prepared for life’s real challenges.

Do you want to become a communication professional?  

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