Feb 19, 2020 | Atlanta, GA
OMED: Educational Services, a unit within the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI), hosted its 2020 Academic Empowerment Fair on February 13.
Since 2018, OMED has collaborated with the African-American Male Initiative (AAMI) – an Institute-and-state-supported program to provide academic resources, mentoring, and leadership training to support the enrollment, retention, graduation, and career placement of black males at Georgia Tech – to host the student-focused event.
The 2020 event provided a centralized space where students were given access to targeted undergraduate and graduate one-on-one advisement, direct professional coaching, alumni and corporate interaction, interactive innovation and entrepreneurial coaching, professional and academic incentives, and out-of-classroom faculty interaction.
“I see this day and all its efforts as making sure students are aware of the vast set of resources they can tap into here at Georgia Tech, while continuing the critical efforts of assisting students, faculty, and staff in building a community in which they can engage every day,” said S. Gordon Moore Jr., executive director of CSDI, a unit of Georgia Tech’s Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office.
This year’s event was supported by almost a dozen Institutional departments – which provided coaching services to attendees – while nearly 20 campus organizations and departments (including the the Center for Career Discovery and Development, the Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED), and the Office of International Education) provided tabling information and giveaways.
The event was also supported by 30 advisor and alumni volunteers, including the 2019-2021 president of the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization, Jeanne Kerney (CE ’84).
The fair also received support from corporate partners BP, Cardlytics, Eaton, and Siemens.
"On behalf of OMED and AAMI, I would like to thank all of the campus organizations and departments that participated with us this year,” said Jelani Liddell, assistant director of OMED’s Outreach Initiatives and project director of AAMI. “It is through events such as these that gaps are bridged, access is transparent, and knowledge is transferred to our students."
“The third iteration of the Academic Empowerment Fair at Georgia Tech reached new heights,” added Sybrina Y. Atwaters, Georgia Tech alumnus and director of OMED. “The initial vision of the fair was driven by an observed need for intimate, candid engagement around black excellence during Black History Month. It is one of the few initiatives where the quantity of participants is not the metric for success. Instead, the Academic Empowerment Fair is measured by qualitative impact in providing students customized services on all levels of their academic endeavors, thus empowering students to become more excellent in their pursuits.”
The event also provided participants with a chance to receive free registration and travel to the 2020 National Society of Black Engineers National Convention and an innovation prototype entrepreneurship session and competition.
Overall, more than 60 development-coaching sessions were conducted in four hours.
The event concluded with an evening faculty seminar and dinner, welcoming faculty, staff, and students.
For more information on the Academic Empowerment Fair, visit https://omed.gatech.edu/academic-empowerment-fair.