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More than 1,800 students were eligible for a Tower Award, an increase over previous years. 

The Office of Minority Educational Development honored high-achieving students from traditionally underrepresented groups on Thursday, April 7 during the 28th Annual Tower Awards ceremony at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

“As we celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Tower Awards, we mark a milestone for underrepresented students at Georgia Tech,” said Denise Ocasio Thomas, assistant director for retention initiatives with OMED. “More than 1,800 students are academically eligible to receive a Tower Award this year, which is a significant testament to our students’ scholastic abilities, work ethic, and commitment to excellence.”

More than 1,800 students were academically eligible for a Tower Award–a marked increase over previous years.

Eligible students were presented with awards in several categories, including Sustained Awards; Yearly Awards, Transfer/Dual-Degree Awards, First-Year Awards, Graduating Senior Awards, Master’s Awards, and Ph.D. Awards.

Several students also earned special awards. The Dr. Dorothy Yancey Scholarship was awarded to Alana Edwards, and Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization’s Unsung Hero Award was presented to Rachel “Chi Chi” Onyewuenyi. 3M Student Leader Impact Awards were awarded to Mahogany Labor, Jose Miranda, Isaiah Thompson, Angelica Avecedo, Christian Arnett, Kyle Smith, and Nia-Simone Eccleston. The Women of Color Initiative Impact Award was presented to Natasja Hirabayashi.   

“Tonight, you represent what perseverance, endurance, dedication, and strive looks like at Georgia Tech,” said Sybrina Atwaters, Ph.D., director of the Office of Minority Educational Services. “On behalf of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, and the entire OMED team, I applaud and salute each and every one of you for your hard work.”

More than 30 corporate partners and sponsors provided honorees with giveaways that were raffled off throughout each ceremony.

For more information about the Tower Awards, visit

To watch a recording of both ceremonies, visit the OMED Youtube Channel.

More than 30 companies partnered with the Office of Minority Educational Development in support of the Tower Awards.