The Department of Communication Studies celebrated its Gorvetzian Family Speaker Series with alumnus Clint Sanders ’07. A generous gift from Ken and Lori Gorvetzian brings TCU communication studies alumni to campus to share how they use communication knowledge in their career.
Sanders was scheduled to speak in March 2020, but the event was canceled due to the pandemic. Two years later, on March 15, 2022, Sanders visited both undergraduate and graduate classes throughout the day and delivered a keynote address that evening.
Sanders is currently senior director for support services at Texas Health Southwest in Fort Worth, where he has worked for the last 15 years. He sits on the hospital executive leadership team, and he told his student audience that his communication degree has served him well as he leads daily meetings, manages more than 200 employees, and navigates conflict management and conflict resolution. He shared a few real-life examples of how he applies the material he learned in his communication studies courses on a daily basis. The health care executive encourages students to take these classes to heart because the skills and knowledge will prove useful.
“Work-life balance is a huge factor right now,” Sanders says. “As a leader, how do we set that tone for our employees? So you really have to pull what that Organizational Communication course taught us on how to respond to some of those questions.”
Sanders says strict COVID protocols his hospital put in place to keep patients and staff safe created challenges that tested his communication skills. He recalled a particularly difficult visitation situation surrounding a COVID positive patient and his loved ones.
“I think listening has been something I’ve really had to slow down and perfect, mainly when it’s talking with patients and their families,” he says. “Really listening to primarily the family in that situation and really having empathy for what they’re going through.”
During his keynote address, Sanders provided students with four tips to help launch their careers. His advice includes: 1.) Identify goals; 2.) Communication is key, no matter what industry; 3.) Utilize available resources; and 4.) Network with Horned Frog alumni.
The Gorvetzian Speaker Series was established in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication through the generosity of TCU parents Lori and Ken Gorvetzian in the spring of 2013 with the inaugural event occurring in the spring of 2014.