A Message to My Younger Self – a conversation with Grady’s UGA 40 under 40 honorees

Join Grady College alumni, Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11), CEO and Founder, Marketwake; Ashley Callahan (ABJ ’04), Senior Director, Integrated Creative Marketing for Chick-fil-A, Inc; and Robbie York (ABJ ’05), Owner, American Whiskey as they reflect on lessons learned in the early years of their careers.

Will Carr (ABJ ’06), ABC News Correspondent is also a 40 Under 40 honoree, but will not be in attendance for this discussion.

Grace Ahn, associate professor of advertising and winner will moderate.

Breakfast will be served 9:30 – 10 a.m., discussion begins at 10 a.m.

 

 

40 under 40 profile: Robbie York (ABJ ’05)

Grady College is proud to have four alumni recognized as 2019 40 under 40 honorees, presented by the University of Georgia Alumni Association.

The 40 under 40 celebration, recognizing the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of UGA graduates under the age of 40, takes place Sept. 13.

This interview Robbie York, the owner of American Whiskey in New York City, is one of a series of conversations with Grady’s honorees this year. Other interviews include:

Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11)

Ashley Callahan (ABJ ’04)

Will Carr (ABJ ’06)

Grady College: What does this recognition as a 40 under 40 awardee mean to you?

Robbie York: “Being awarded 40 under 40 is a reflection of the UGA community that I helped build in New York, and it in turn helped me grow and prosper. The honor of being recognized for not only a personal accomplishment, but also for helping to building something greater than you is, by far, one of the most gratifying things that I have ever been awarded.”

GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?

RY: “The hands-on approach that the majority of my professors gave me during my time there was really the difference. Going from core classes into specific major courses, all students need to feel that they are getting meaningful information from professors who have had real world experience, along with keeping a pulse on what are the trends in the industry. Although I did not pursue a career in PR journalism, I sharpened the greatest skill that Grady College could give me – the skill of communication.”

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute to your success?

RY: “Resourcefulness, kindness, and survival. Moving to and living in New York City on your own is a very daunting task. Surviving there can be even harder. It is true that New York can be a very difficult place to live, and only the strong survive. But the traits of resourcefulness, kindness, and survival  were truly the skills that have help me establish myself over the last 13 years in the City that Never Sleeps.”

GC: What motivates you?

RY: “Motivation for me is people. Every experience and interaction I have with people who visit American Whiskey from Georgia or UGA alums, is rewarding. When I get to say hello and speak with new people as to who they are, and why they came to see us, it means the world to me. Every story is unique, but they all have one tie that binds, the University of Georgia. In addition, there are so many visitors who attend UGA events at American Whiskey that never attended UGA or have even set foot on the campus. They sense an aura of what we call, “magic”. The “magic” is the spirit and pride of UGA that is inside all of the alumni and game watch community, near and far.”

GC: What advice do you have for today’s young professionals?

RY: “If you learn all the positions on the baseball field, you’ll never lose your spot on the team. The professional world today is very challenging, and you have to be willing to adapt. Never settle for just one skill. Keep learning new skills constantly. Volunteer for new opportunities and admit that you may not be a master of the new skill, but you are willing to give 100% in figuring it out and thriving in it, if it will help the team. This is one way, in today’s job market, to make yourself valuable at all times.”

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

RY: “The beautiful campus and football games”

40 under 40 profile: Will Carr (ABJ ’06)

Grady College is proud to have four alumni recognized as 2019 40 under 40 honorees, presented by the University of Georgia Alumni Association.

The 40 under 40 celebration, recognizing the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of UGA graduates under the age of 40, takes place Sept. 13.

This interview with Will Carr, the LA-based news correspondent with ABC News, is one of a series of conversations with Grady’s honorees this year. Other interviews include:

Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11)

Ashley Callahan (ABJ ’04)

Robbie York (ABJ ’05)

Grady College: What does this recognition as a 40 under 40 awardee mean to you?

Will Carr: “It’s a tremendous honor. From the moment I stepped onto campus for the first time, to right now, UGA has continually impacted my life for the better. To receive such an honor, along with 39 other thriving UGA grads, means that the life tools UGA equipped me with have really paid off.”

GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today? 

WC: “For me, there was nothing like Newsource 15 in the Grady College of Journalism. The live broadcast forced you to rotate positions within a local newscast. I went into the program thinking I wanted to become a sports anchor but left with a true passion for hard news. I’ve stayed in touch with my professors, Michael Castengera and Steve Smith, over the years. I have three sisters, all of whom attended UGA, and they think it’s really amazing that I stay in touch with two of my professors (both now retired). Newsource 15 offered a unique opportunity that helped propel me into the journalism industry with complete confidence. I equate the program to a jetpack propulsion device. Without a doubt, my time at Newsource 15, and Grady, helped lift me to the highest levels of this industry.”

GC: What motivates you?

WC: “I’m motivated by my profession’s ability to hold people in power accountable for their actions. I’m also motivated by the human emotion/interaction that I witness on a weekly basis. It’s important to remember that no matter how we feel about certain stories/issues, there are always people impacted. It’s my goal to spotlight those people so that the country can have a full understanding of each story’s layers.”

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

WC: “Work hard. Have fun. Ask yourself if you have a true passion for the profession you’re about to get into. If you don’t, find something else that does spark your inner passion. You only have one life. Live it to the fullest.”

In addition to his West Coast assignments, Carr is sent to other parts of the country to cover national news for ABC outlets like “Good Morning America.” Here, he is reporting on the strength of Hurricane Michael’s winds.

GC: What advice do you have for today’s young professionals?

WC: “Make sure you’re living in the present. So many of us get so focused on the future, we forget to enjoy our daily lives. I’ve found the more time I try to live in the moment, the less anxiety I have about the countless things I have no control over. Also, don’t be afraid to put the phone down. After your initial withdrawal symptoms, you’ll be glad you did.” 

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

WC: “The relationships. Without a doubt, I met some of my best friends at UGA. It was an amazing four years.”

For more information about Will Carr, see “Nine ways to be a better journalist, shared by Grady Greats panelists.”

40 under 40 profile: Ashley Callahan (ABJ ’04)


Ashley Callahan is a featured panelist at “A message to my younger self: A conversation with Grady’s UGA 40 under 40 honorees.” The panel takes place Sept. 13 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Studio 100. All are invited to this complimentary event. A light breakfast will be served.


Grady College is proud to have four alumni recognized as 2019 40 under 40 honorees, presented by the University of Georgia Alumni Association.

The 40 under 40 celebration, recognizing the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of UGA graduates under the age of 40, takes place Sept. 13.

The following is the second in a series of conversations with Grady’s honorees this year that also include:

Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11)

Will Carr (ABJ ’06)

Robbie York (ABJ ’05)

 

Grady College: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today? 

Ashley Callahan: “Being a part of producing Grady’s college newscast NewSource15 has had a huge influence on my career. It gave me real-world experience in reporting where I had to draft stories, meet deadlines and work within a team framework. I learned each position inside a newsroom and that knowledge informed how I did my work. To this day I still work within a team, deliver stories (now of a different nature) framed by deadlines. I’ve found it’s always important to understand the work of each role on a team and how it informs the bigger picture.”

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute to your success?

AC: “A strong work ethic and adaptability have served me well throughout my career. I’ve always worked hard to learn new skills, to show up, and do what I say I’m going to do. I’ve moved across the country, changed industries and professions and in doing so, I’ve found that being flexible and open to change has afforded me great opportunity.”

GC: What motivates you?

AC: “My team and my family serve as continual motivation and inspiration. Each morning I have the privilege of going to work with amazing, talented, smart, kind people. Even on hard days, there’s no other place I want to be. My colleagues push me to do better and together we’re building a department and a culture that I believe anyone would want to be a part of. My husband is my rock and my sounding board for everything. Growing our family has been challenging, but now we have two crazy cool kids—each day I try to make them all proud.”

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

AC: “Go out into the world. Move, try new jobs, be open to opportunities you haven’t considered before. A wise Grady professor once told me that each time you move, you will grow personally and professionally—I have found that to be true.”

GC: What advice do you have for today’s young professionals? 

AC: “Try things—even if you’re not good at them. You’re no longer in a pass-fail environment and each experience is going to change and shape your view of the world in good ways. I’ve learned more from what I haven’t done well than from what came easily. But my strongest advice is to be kind to everyone. Most of the opportunities I’ve had in my life have been afforded to me through relationships made along the way.”

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

AC: “I miss walking on North Campus on crisp falls days. I miss having my closest friends within a few short miles. And while I don’t miss finals, papers, etc., I do miss being in the classroom with a fresh start each semester to learn and consider new topics and career possibilities. Afternoon naps—I miss those too.”

GC: How have you seen the community of Grady alumni help your professional journey?

AC: “Grady has been incredible to me. My professors provided guidance and council beyond the classroom setting, helping to advise me throughout my early career. The Grady Society Alumni Board connected me to professionals across many different industries and on several occasions those connections have led to work collaborations and deeper friendships. Grady has also allowed me to mentor students, and I’ve gained a great new perspective from those relationships that’s helped keep me current and optimistic about this next generation.”

40 under 40 profile: Brooke Beach (ABJ ’11)


Brooke Beach is a featured panelist at “A message to my younger self: A conversation with Grady’s UGA 40 under 40 honorees.” The panel takes place Sept. 13 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Studio 100. All are invited to this complimentary event. A light breakfast will be served.


Grady College is proud to have four alumni recognized as 2019 40 under 40 honorees, presented by the University of Georgia Alumni Association.

The 40 under 40 celebration, recognizing the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of UGA graduates under the age of 40, takes place Sept. 13.

This interview with Brooke Beach, the CEO and founder of Marketwake, is the first in a series of conversations with Grady’s honorees this year.

Other 2019 Grady honorees include:

Ashley Callahan (ABJ ’04)

Will Carr (ABJ ’06)

Robbie York (ABJ ’05)

Grady College: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?


Brooke Beach: It was becoming a Grady Ambassador. It helped me expand my horizons on what life could be like after college. It’s no surprise that college students can get tunnel vision. Everything is about your classes, your friends, and your free time. It can be overwhelming to have a concept of what life will be like after graduation, but being a Grady Ambassador helped me place goals around who I wanted to be. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from incredible leaders, innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs — and I was inspired to be like them. It made me think far bigger than I had before and gave me goals to strive for.

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute to your success?

BB: Persistence and perspective. I’m sure it is exhausting for the people around me, but I do not give up — I don’t even know what that means!

But perspective is equally important; it gives you the ability to see both sides and make a decision on the best path forward for the greatest amount of people. The world is hard, and we cannot keep going if we don’t acknowledge it for what it is. But the next step is more important: to decide if we will do something great in spite of the difficulties. Each of us needs to be self-aware enough to know when to learn from mistakes and change, and when to move forward. I love this quote by Teddy Roosevelt, and I feel it captures this sentiment far more eloquently than I:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

GC: What motivates you?

BB: I have one shot in this world — one chance to make something of the blessings I’ve been given. David Rae said that CEOs are less afraid of dying than they are of not contributing to the world, and that describes me perfectly. I am compelled to build, create, grow, and serve, and I know that I have the opportunity to work hard to fulfill it. I’ve experienced great loss, deaths, injuries, surgeries, medical conditions, and pain beyond belief. I’ve learned that I need to acknowledge these storms, feel the loss, and then keep going. Every single one of us has a story — it’s what makes us who we are — and I want to use my experience to help others tell their truths.

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?

BB: You are responsible for what you become. One of my favorite books is “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. All people should read this at least three times in their life!

In the book, Carnegie says: “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”  This could not be more true. The second you start to focus on all the reasons you “can’t,” or shift blame on others, you fail. If you want to grow, your focus should be on what you want to accomplish, why you can achieve it, and how you’ll get there.  Don’t be your biggest bully. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Change the way you think and you can change your future.”

Lauren Pearson among seven Grady College alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the awards ceremony on Sept. 13, 2018, at the Georgia Aquarium.

Name: Lauren Pearson

Graduation Year: 2002

Current Occupation: Managing director, partner, HighTower Twickenham

Grady College: How did Grady College help prepare you for your career? 

Lauren Pearson: Grady College gave me the opportunity to learn how to think, and thus provided me with a skill set that was transferrable across industries.

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students/young professionals? 

LP: Be open to varied and unexpected work experiences in your twenties. You never know where life is going to take you. I sold advertising space in a journal just after I graduated – unexpected and unglamorous and I loved every minute – but both the sales experience and the introduction to potential clients paved the way for my current career.

GC: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today? 

LP: Grady offered numerous opportunities to learn to communicate persuasively and effectively in myriad situations: one-on-one, in a boardroom, before a large audience or on social media. The ability to communicate clearly, succinctly and memorably serves me daily in my career.

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you most attribute to your success? 

LP: It is important to carry personal values into professional life. The financial world is not exactly known for its ethical standards, but I have to stick to what I know is good and true personally in my professional life. Two years ago, I transitioned from a large wirehouse investment firm to a fiduciary firm because it was the right move for my clients, and not from a place of self-interest. When you make decisions with those you serve in mind, you can sleep well at night, and often, you come out ahead in your own career.

GC: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career? 

LP: Take big chances and be grateful when they come before you. It is unusual for a 38-year-old woman to have her own investment practice. I questioned the opportunity a thousand times along the way, but in the end, I am a person of faith, and I believe in the purpose behind my work because I have seen the long-term impact of wise financial planning, and thus was able to take the plunge to open my own business. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve families every day.

GC: Describe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of. 

LP: I am proud to be a working mom. Motherhood is a tough journey whether you work inside or outside the home, and I am happy to be raising three girls who I hope will follow their dreams, whatever they may be. They are five, seven and nine, and they cannot fathom that Mommy works with “boys” all day, but I tell them, “if you love it, it doesn’t matter what other people think or if they are all ‘boys.’”

GC: Do you have a favorite Grady memory? 

LP: My favorite Grady memory was creating Tiffany & Company ads in graphic design class. I love to create things – whether that be ads or financial plans!

Quanza Griffin among seven Grady College alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the awards luncheon on Sept. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium.

Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards luncheon.

Name: Quanza Griffin

Graduation Year: 2001

Quanza outside of the CDC

Occupation: Public Health Analyst, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Grady College: How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?

Quanza Griffin: Grady College has wonderful faculty and staff, and I was challenged and inspired by all of my professors.  Dr. Lariscy was tough but fair.  Dr. Acosta-Alzuru was demanding but welcoming.  They motivated me to always do my best, because my work is a reflection of me. While at Grady, I had several opportunities to help me prepare for my career. For example, in 2000, I received an award and scholarship from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).  I used the scholarship money to help fund a down payment for a car.  That car allowed for me to travel to Atlanta for job interviews and ultimately my first job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It was amazing to see how my journalism and PR skills could be applied towards promoting public health at CDC.  My first internship was with the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC peer-reviewed journal).  Working with this journal allowed me to learn about different health challenges faced by communities.  This experience caused me to fall in love with public health.  During my senior year, I worked at CDC Monday, Wednesday and Friday and commuted to Athens on Tuesday and Thursday.  Receiving the PRSSA award because of my student work with Grady benefitted me for years to come.

After that internship, I decided to stay with CDC, and I have been here for over 15 years!  I would have never guessed that my journey at Grady would bring me to a point where I promote public health and disease prevention across the world, and work with people of different culture and backgrounds. Without Grady, I am not sure I would have taken this path. Grady provided a positive learning environment and the opportunity for me to develop my skills and discover my passions – all which guided me to a fulfilling public health career.

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute most to your success?

QG: Throughout my career, I have always had a natural inclination to want to help others.  To be a leader and to succeed, you must first be a servant.  It’s my goal to carry the title of “servant” in all aspects of my life. For example, I am a servant in the office, my community and in my family.  Being a servant allows me to put the needs of others first and, ultimately, help others develop and grow.  Many may wonder how serving someone could have personal benefits. My pastor, Andy Stanley, gave a great answer. He stated, “The value of life is always determined by how much of it is given away.”  Having a servant lifestyle is invaluable.

I attribute the value of servant-leadership to my success.  Having a servant-mindset has allowed me to soar in my career and community.  Recently, I started a community garden in a low-income area of Decatur, Georgia.  This garden will provide fresh fruits and vegetables for community members and provide an after-school program for the elderly and children.  This initiative was started because I saw a community in need, and I wanted to help.  I have galvanized residents and community organizations to pull together resources to make the garden accessible and successful.

GC: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career?

Quanza with her children, Kylah and Christopher.

QG: The most important lesson I have learned is that failure does not exist.  I believe failure should be considered a naughty word!  Failure is only a successful way of learning what does and does not work.  Failure is an opportunity to take a lesson and improve upon your skills and mindset.  There have been many times in which some might have I thought I failed.  But, those “failures” have allowed me to be better prepared and more equipped for future challenges. For example, I have always wanted to own a business. I have attempted several business ideas in the past. But, ultimately, my mistakes allowed me to grow mentally and spiritually. After prayer and meditation, I was lead to start a business in which I can earn additional income and do what I love. I started Griffin Treasures by Q photography and photo booth. It has been extremely successful and allowed me to meet with clients such as Steve Harvey, Dark and Lovely and famed photographer, Rob Ector. One of my greatest clients for photo booth has been the University of Georgia. So, failure is just a stepping stone to get to where you need to be.

GC: Describe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of. 

QG: There are two moments that I am most proud of in my life – the birth of my two kids.  Kylah (4) and Christopher (2) are literally the salt of my life.  They bring hope and joy in all circumstances.  I enjoy teaching them how to be leaders that serve and help others.  It is exciting to know that one day, they could continue the legacy and become alums of the University of Georgia.  I am also teaching them the importance of college football.

Ivey Evans among seven Grady alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the awards luncheon on Sept. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium.

Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards luncheon.

Name: Ivey Evans

Graduation Year: 2006

Current Occupation: Director of digital marketing, Childcare Network, Inc.

Grady College: How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?

Ivey Evans: My experience at Grady absolutely helped me in my career. The capstone advertising campaigns class where we had to create a complete advertising plan from creative concept to placement not only allowed us to put what we had learned into practice, but also how to work as a team to produce a cohesive, impressive final product for a client. Because of the limited work experience you gain in college, this class and the resulting “book” was invaluable and gave me something I could take into interviews to talk about.

Ivey (left) at the Children’s Miracle Network conference with CMN ambassador, Chloe (middle) and her mentor Carol Cone.(right)

GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students/young professionals?

IE: The world is going digital, and employers are looking to you to help navigate that world as digital natives. Employers also love to see real world experience. I personally have a great passion for volunteering in the community, and this is also a great way to get some work experience! Find a local non-profit or small business and help them out! Set up their social accounts and help them create meaningful content. Show how your efforts are helping drive their business results. It shows initiative, which is something I always look for when interviewing/hiring.

One way to stand out in this increasingly digital world is to also go analog. Always send a timely hand-written thank you note after an interview, meeting with a professional in your desired field, etc. That person will likely keep that note on their desk for some time as well, bringing you top-of-mind. You won’t believe the positive impact of this very simple act!

Finally, having a mentor can be critical in times of transition throughout your career. These relationships will form organically as you enter the workforce, but you have to nurture them! You can learn so much from their experiences, but mentors learn from you as well. They will also give you unfiltered advice, which is often necessary, especially in times of strife. I try to have regular phone “dates” with my mentors that are across the country, and in-person whenever schedules allow! Aim for a monthly check-in to keep up-to-date.

GC: What skills and/or values and/or circumstances do you attribute most to your success?

IE: Word hard AND smart. Be committed to what you are doing, and your manager will see that. Always be willing to learn and ask questions, and never be afraid to admit what you don’t know.

GC: Do you have a favorite Grady memory?

IE: I’ll never forget the first time I watched the Apple 1984 Super Bowl commercial in my intro to advertising class. That commercial still goes down as one of the greats, and is one of the key moments where I realized I loved advertising!

Josh Delaney among seven Grady College alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the awards luncheon on Sept. 13, 2018, at the Georgia Aquarium.

Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards luncheon.

Name: Josh Delaney

Graduation Year: 2011

Current Occupaion: Senior Education Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate, Office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Grady College: How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?

Josh Delaney: In many ways, my entire job is about communicating a message. So my Grady experience – learning how to write persuasively, mastering word economy to deliver a message succinctly and understanding the art of narrative – really helped get my legs under me when it came to being a policy professional in Washington, D.C.

GC: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career?

JD: This may sound cliché, but there is no substitute for working hard and being a nice person. Being pleasant to work with may even be more important than whatever skills you have. You can learn new skills and be a hard worker, but no one wants to work with someone who makes their day miserable. The best thing you can do is decide to be a positive and upbeat presence in your work environment because moods are contagious.

GC: Describe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of.

JD: I’m most proud of the time I spent in the classroom teaching. Right after college, I taught ninth-graders in Metro Atlanta, and it was the most challenging – yet rewarding – professional experience I will ever have. It was humbling to learn how to handle things outside of my control, while also creating and managing a classroom environment and culture that I could be proud of. On my worst days, I still had fun with my students. And on my best days, my students reminded me why I was there. I’m still in education policy because of my former students and my classroom experience.

GC: Do you have a favorite Grady memory?

JD: My favorite Grady memory was the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity study abroad I did in summer 2010. The group was fantastic, and it was the perfect way to kick off my senior year. We were the only college group at the advertising festival, so we quickly because the star attractions. Professionals from all over the world wanted to get to know us and help us get started on our professional journeys. I never really understood what it meant to network until this experience, and I’m so glad I learned the art of networking before moving to a city like Washington DC.

 

Meredith Dean among seven Grady College alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the awards luncheon on Sept. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium.

Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards luncheon.

Meredith Dean working at Secrest Studios

Name: Meredith Dean

Graduation Year: 2014

Current Occupation: Founder, The Dean’s List and program coordinator, Seacrest Studios

How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?

Without Grady, I never would have learned any of the tech skills (especially Adobe Creative Suite) needed to start my digital branding company, The Dean’s List, or developed nearly as many professional connections for my career. The New Media Institute taught me the importance of knowing how to code and use graphic design while the broadcasting curriculum prepared me immensely for becoming the media professional I am today. Thanks to the faculty and staff that share their plethora of real life experience, every lesson or concept that I learned in the classroom actually translated into the real world. I am eternally grateful to Grady and can’t imagine what life would have been like if I picked a different school.

What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students/young professionals?

Grady will give you endless opportunities if you take advantage of the vast alumni network we have. You can go to any state and find a home with a Grady connection. When I worked in New York City, countless times I would meet Grady grads —whether it be a producer at MTV or Amy Robach who invited me on set as her guest at Good Morning America after I reached out to her. I now work at Seacrest Studios because of a Grady grad connection who runs the Nashville Seacrest Studios.  I am a walking example of how the Grady family looks out for each other. I will always do what I can to help a Grady student, as would countless other alumni, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career?

Always empower others and stay curious. Every single person you meet could change the entire course of your life and vice versa. There is a Ted Talk called “Lollipop Moment” that has shaped the way I look at every interaction. Don’t brush people off or think that you don’t need to learn about that concept/person. In my opinion, people who are successful want to learn something about everything and can find fulfillment in even the smallest of things. For an example in media, every reporter used to have a cameraman. Nowadays, every reporter (or MMJ) needs to know how to shoot their own stories/stand ups, video edit, write their script for web, create their graphics, post on social and go on-air all in one day. Stay hungry by craving knowledge.

Meredith Dean House is a dormitory at the Khwisero Girls School in Kenya that Dean helped build.

Describe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of.

I am most proud of how many patients and families’ lives we have been able to touch at Levine Children’s Hospital through our programming at Seacrest Studios. To see the emotional, spiritual and physical healing of these strong kids through music, new media, radio and TV is awe-inspiring. There is nothing like having a former patient come back to the studio just to visit as a happy and healthy child. Additionally, I have branded and career counseled over 100 clients all over the world with TDL. To focus on our mission of empowering women everywhere, I donate 10% of my profits to Habitat Aid Initiative, my family’s non-profit in Western Kenya. I have built a dormitory at Khwisero Girls School (Meredith House) and plan to build several more. My hope is to change the world little by little by helping these women in their educational pursuits and get my clients their dream jobs.