This bill would rename a grant program aimed at increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The name change has been suggested to honor the 100th anniversary of the first woman elected to serve in Congress.
The program would be known as the Jeannette Rankin Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program Grants in honor of Jeannette Rankin, who became the first woman to hold a high U.S. government office. Rankin was elected to Congress in 1916 as a Republican from Montana and was known as a staunch pacifist — voting against U.S. entry into both World War I and World War II. She graduated from the University of Montana with a biology degree in 1902.
The operations of the grant program would be unchanged if this legislation were enacted, so it would continue to award grants on a competitive basis to support research and projects that look to increase the participation of women and minorities in STEM fields.