In 1979, Georgia Tech created the OMED: Educational Services to serve students throughout their college career.

Over four decades, OMED has demonstrated outstanding success and has empowered more than 4,000 students, annually, through an array of programs and initiatives,  academically, developmentally, and professionally.


As we continued into our second decade, we saw a paradigm shift. Focusing on how gifted our students were, we began to raise expectations for student performance and we directed our attention toward the educational process. We adopted a data-driven, quality approach toward the business of education with students being identified as “customers.”

We have since broadened the scope and impact of our research, services, and programs to serve the ever-growing and more diverse Georgia Tech student population. Our holistic approach to student success and development has garnered several Institute-wide initiatives bringing together academic, student life, career, financial aid, and community to serve greater higher educational aims of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


To develop highly-skilled learners and leading contributors from ethnically diverse backgrounds, empowered to address the most critical problems of our time.​


To be a national leader in advancing diverse, equitable, and inclusive education programs and services by cultivating a culture of academic and inclusive excellence, empowering students from all backgrounds to address global issues and enhance the human condition through technological innovation.​

OMED’s History: A Timeline


An ad-hoc committee was organized to address concerns about the academic and social success of minority students. Dr. Wilmer Grant is appointed lead. The committee leads to the formation of OMED.


Georgia Tech creates the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED), which was charged with the retention and development of traditionally underrepresented students: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, and multicultural students. Dr. Thomas Parker is named the founding director.


The first Challenge program was held. In the mid to late ’80s, Dr. William Gamble becomes director of OMED. In addition to Challenge, leadership retreats, Academic Survival Workshop, Minority Orientation Week, and Student Assistant Volunteers (SAV) are launched as key OMED programs.


OMED launched a group counselors program which becomes the Team Coach program in 1993 and later becomes the Edge Peer Mentoring Program in 2015.


Georgia Tech alumnus Gavin Samms is hired as director of OMED, reporting to the President’s office.


OMED launches Academic Support and Tutoring Services for matriculating students.

Transitions (an orientation program for incoming dual-degree, transfer, and graduate students) is created.


The Tower Awards are launched to recognize underrepresented minority undergraduate students earning a 3.0 or above GPA. Currently, the Tower Awards recognizes underrepresented minority undergraduate students earning a 3.3 or above GPA and graduate students earning a 3.5 or above GPA at the completion of their degree program.


Georgia Tech alumnus S. Gordon Moore Jr. is appointed director of OMED.


OMED takes over the Focus Program, an Institute-wide graduate recruitment program designed to attract the nation’s top talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue graduate studies and careers in academia.


Dr. Archie Ervin is appointed the first Chief Diversity Officer and vice president of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

OMED is moved under IDEI and is awarded an African American Male Initiative grant by the University System of Georgia to launch GT-PRIME (AAMI program at Georgia Tech).


Cynthia Moore becomes the first woman hired as director of OMED.


Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion renovated the Chapin building where OMED is located and establishes the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) at Chapin.

S. Gordon Moore Jr. is hired as executive director of CSDI.


Dr. Sybrina Atwaters, Georgia Tech alumna, is hired as director of OMED, and the Women of Color Initiative (WOCI) is established.


The Peer-I-Scope program is launched to better serve Achieve Atlanta Scholars, Atlanta Public School graduates, and transfer students from HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions matriculating at Georgia Tech. OMED’s Academic Empowerment and Impact Grants and Awards are launched.


Career Alliance, a strategic alliance between OMED and Georgia Tech Career Center, is established to strengthen and advance experiential learning experiences (co-ops, internships, job shadowing, undergraduate research, study abroad) equitably for all students.

*Timeline data sources: Georgia Tech Onyx Yearbook, Oral history archives, OMED Brochure archives, past director interview transcripts, and personnel records.