Saunders received her undergraduate degree in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981. She spent the next decade exhibiting before returning to school and earning her MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1993. Saunders has been the recipient of several grants and awards including the 2000 South Eastern Art Conferences Art Fellowship for her work, Mind Skin II. In addition to exhibiting, Saunders has spent twenty one years in the field of education working in a range of positions, from art program facilitator in a large inner city school system to teaching visual art studios and art history for universities. She currently teaches studio art at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Merging elements of sculpture, painting, and drawing, her art now focuses on the unique combination of materials and methods.