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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Marie Greene Broder is the first female district attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, including Fayette, Pike, Spalding and Upson counties. Broder graduated from UGA as a dual public relations and speech communications major and continued with a degree in law. She has developed a specialty in trying crimes against women and children. She is actively involved with Promise Place and the Southern Crescent Sexual Assault Child Advocacy Center, both training law enforcement about investigating abuse cases.
Grady College: What lessons learned from your time as a Grady College student have most helped you succeed in your professional life?
Broder: Be proactive! As a public relations major, you learn to act quickly when faced with a challenge. I encounter this every day in my career as a prosecutor, and now District Attorney. Whether the message you are delivering is to a jury, a victim, or the Court, you need to be quick on your feet and use all of your skills to put your best case forward. I also do a lot of public relations work with the community in the course of my job, so I’m very thankful for my degree.
GC: What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Broder: Believe in yourself! At 20, I never would have imagined that I would be appointed, then elected, as a District Attorney before I turned 40. I did know that I wanted to be a prosecutor and help victims and their families. With hard work came success, and I was able to help more people than I ever could have imagined.
GC: What motivates you?
Broder: I am motivated by the strong sense of worth I receive when I help a victim or their family navigate the criminal justice system. Crime takes a terrible toll on its victims and having a champion for them as they navigate a confusing and difficult process is extraordinarily rewarding. A true desire to make the world a better place also motivates me. I tell my employees that all we can do is to do the right thing and help the people we can help. If we help one person a day, and improve their world, then we are, actually, changing the world!
GC: What skills should graduates and young alumni have for success early in their careers?
Broder: To be successful, you need three skills. First, you need the ability to write and speak clearly. Being able to get to the heart of a matter quickly will make you desirable for employers and clients. Second, you need to work hard. No matter how successful you might have been in school, you will still have to work to learn new skills and grow in your career. Third, you need to remember to take time for yourself. No one performs at their best if they are not mindful of their health and wellness. Whether it is simply putting your phone away for an hour in the evening to take a break from work or taking your dog for a walk, you must make time for yourself to be the best you can be.
GC: How has your field evolved since your graduation to now?
Broder: Very much so. Social media was just beginning to take hold when I graduated college. Now it is involved in almost every aspect of our lives. While the methods of disseminating information have changed, the lessons I learned at Grady College about how to approach and use these methods remain the same.
GC: What is your favorite place on UGA’s campus?
Broder: I have always loved North Campus, particularly in the Fall.