40 under 40 Honoree Profile: Bowen Reichert Shoemaker

40 under 40 Honoree Profile: Bowen Reichert Shoemaker

September 03, 2021

Join us for a panel discussion
“A Message to My Younger Self”
featuring five of our 40 under 40 nominees.
Friday, Sept. 10
10 a.m. • Studio 100
Due to limited capacity, reservations are required by Sept. 7 to ugagrady@gmail.com
Guests are encouraged to wear masks.

Seven Grady College graduates are represented in this year’s UGA Alumni Association 40 under 40 class. Profiles of several can be found after this feature. Grady College alumni honored in 2021 include:

  • Angela Alfano (ABJ ’10, AB ’10)
  • Jennifer Bellamy (ABJ ’08)
  • Greg Bluestein (ABJ ’04, AB ’04)
  • Marie Greene Broder (ABJ ’06, AB ’06, JD ’10)
  • Bowen Reichert Shoemaker (ABJ ’06)
  • Brittany Thoms (ABJ ’04)
  • Raquel D. Willis (ABJ ’13)

We are proud of their successes and are pleased to highlight them in their own words.

Elizabeth “Bowen” Reichert Shoemaker (ABJ ’06) is an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a position she has held since 2018. Previously, she was a senior associate at Alston & Bird, LLP and a law clerk to the Honorable Hugh Lawson. While at UGA, she majored in public relations and was active with the Honors Program and The Arch Society. Shoemaker earned her J.D. at Mercer Law School where she served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review. In her hometown of Macon, Shoemaker serves on the executive board of the Macon Rotary Club, as an adjunct professor at Mercer Law School and on the executive committee of the Macon Arts Alliance.

Grady College: What lessons learned from your time as a Grady College student have most helped you succeed in your professional life?

Bowen Shoemaker: My time at Grady taught me the true value of teamwork. As a public relations major, many of our projects were group-based, and through those projects, I learned about team dynamics and working with all different personality types. I’ve carried those lessons with me throughout my professional career and I’m grateful that I learned how to work effectively with other people towards a common goal.

GC: What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Shoemaker: My advice to myself (at any age, really) would be this: Be where your feet are. I think we often get so caught up in where we think we want to go that we forget to enjoy where we are. I would tell myself to enjoy each step of the journey. When you let go of expectations, you start enjoying the present and you are naturally preparing yourself for the next step – even when you don’t know exactly what that step will be. If you consistently work hard and treat people with kindness and sincerity, your journey will take you exactly where you need to go.

GC: What motivates you?
Bowen Shoemaker and her family at a ball game.
Bowen, pictured with her husband, Matt, and children, Elizabeth Allan and Phillips, says she tries to cheer at every tee-ball game and bake every birthday cake for her children. “Maintaining that balance is a proud accomplishment.”

Shoemaker: My biggest motivator is my family, especially my two young children (Phillips, 5; and Elizabeth Allan, 3). I work hard to try to ensure that the world is a little bit better for them and their generation. My work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney is motivated by wanting to work towards higher principles like gender equality, service above self, and dedication to community and country—all of which have the potential to make a lasting impact for future generations.

GC: What skill(s) should graduates and young alumni have for success early in their careers?

Shoemaker: I think the key to success is relationships. I have long said that I don’t always know the right answer, but I know the person who does know the answer! By investing in other people – getting to know them, working with them, and genuinely investing in relationships – you can develop meaningful connections that will help you throughout your career. So, be kind to your classmates and colleagues – you never know when your paths will cross later.

GC: What is your favorite place on UGA’s campus?

Shoemaker: Sanford Stadium, of course!

GC: What do you miss most about being at UGA?

Shoemaker: I miss being in a university setting with so many other students who are there just to learn, explore, and develop their unique skill sets and interests. As a UGA student you have access to so many incredible things – music, sports, art, food, culture – and you can learn about anything you want. The pleasure and privilege of that freedom to learn and control your schedule based on your interests is something I miss. Of course I also miss the best friends I met in college. And I miss Last Resort too!