The goal of the Spaulding-Smith Fellowship program is to support the recruitment and retention of talented and promising graduate students from groups that are underrepresented among recipients of doctoral degrees. This fellowship sustains the academic excellence and inclusiveness of the UMass Amherst graduate student community and the entire campus by promoting greater diversity among our graduate students. More information »
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Cielo Angelica Sharkus
Sharkus is a first generation student who graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. At WPI, her research focused on combatting environmental injustice through chemistry and community outreach. She worked on addressing water quality issues in stormwater in Fitchburg MA through citizen science and elementary education. Her undergraduate thesis focused on creating a fluorescent biomarker for heavy metal contamination in human lungs for migrant workers in Switzerland. In 2019, Cielo was recognized by the National Academy of Engineers as a Grand Challenge Scholar for her work addressing the grand challenge of water security. Cielo is also an active leader in the National Society of Black Engineers, and has been a mentor to the hundreds of students in the Worcester community. Cielo loves to work with students and is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM.