The Michigan Engineer News Center

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.| Short Read
EnlargePelham Scholars
IMAGE:  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.

Students in mask walking on campus and a researcher climbing a tree in the Amazon rainforest

This article is included in the Fall 2020 issue of the CEE Review magazine. Visit the issue home page to see other articles.

Pelham Scholars
Jessica Petras


Jessica Petras
Marketing Communications Specialist

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

(734) 764-9876

GG Brown 2105E

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read