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Pelham Scholars Program celebrates its first year of supporting master’s students

The Pelham Scholars Program program continues a legacy of excellence by supporting socially-conscious engineers seeking to solve society’s most pressing problems.

Photo collage of Pelham Scholars
Clockwise from left: Pelham Scholars Ariana Sabbat, Jamie Wiberg and Nicholas Szarzynski

With the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, the inaugural class of Pelham Scholars have completed their first year of the program. The Pelham Scholars Program, designed to enhance the placement and early career success of our diverse array of domestic students, supports underrepresented students with robust mentorship and two semesters of free tuition. The successes of the inaugural class of scholars helped lay a foundation for the future of CEE with more diversity in both people and ideas.

“The program challenged the way I thought about my decisions as an engineer,” said Ariana Sabbat, a recent graduate of the structural engineering program and Pelham Scholar. “I was consistently motivated by the people around me.”

A significant aspect of the Pelham Scholars Program is its focus on networking and finding career opportunities. Through industry partnerships, the program offers professional development and mentorship connections. This direct interaction with industry partners gave the scholars access to a unique network of industry professionals.

Jamie Wiberg, a Pelham Scholar in the Master of Construction Engineering and Management and Master of Architecture dual degree program, found the industry tours particularly memorable. “They inspired me by showing the importance of company dynamics and entrepreneurialism,” Wiberg said. “They also exposed me to a variety of positions civil engineers can pursue.”

Academic excellence has always been another core component for these scholars. These talented students are required to have “a record of superior academic achievement,” when entering the Pelham Scholars Program and maintain it throughout. These high standards push the scholars to the top of the list for recruiters and industry partners. 

“The GPA requirement encouraged me to find ways to ensure I met it,” said Nicholas Szarzynski, another Pelham Scholar and recent graduate of the Master of Structural Engineering program. “Whether that was going into office hours more or stepping out of my comfort zone to find people to work with me in a new academic setting.”

The Pelham Scholars Program is named in honor of Frederick Blackburn Pelham, the first black University of Michigan engineering graduate. This program continues his legacy of excellence by supporting socially-conscious engineers seeking to solve society’s most pressing problems. Aristeo Construction, OHM Advisors and PMA Consultants provided industry sponsorship during this first year of the Pelham Scholars Program. 

Learn more about applying to the Pelham Scholars Program or becoming an industry partner.


Portrait of Mason Hinawi
Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering