Dr. Kathie Lanman: The Student Veteran Empowerment Act and the 21st Century STEM Bill

As an Albert Einstein Fellow, Dr. Kathie Lanman worked with Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) on the Student Veteran Empowerment Act and the 21st Century STEM Bill.


Dr. Kathie Lanman

Dr. Kathie Lanman shows off the Student Veteran Empowerment Act signed by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

Leah Shaver, Staff Writer

In July 2020, Dr. Kathie Lanman, an 8th Grade STEM science teacher at JC Booth Middle School, was selected to be an Albert Einstein Fellow and went to Washington D.C to work on an education bill with Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). During her stay, she worked to pass two laws on education; The Student Veteran Empowerment Act and the 21st Century STEM Bill.

“My main focus was to work on things related to education or STEM,” Dr. Lanman said. The Student Veteran Empowerment Act aims to provide money to student veteran centers at colleges and universities. This funding will help those who want to get degrees or certifications. After serving their country, some senators believe that, at the very least, veterans deserve to get help financially for their education. On Friday, June 4, 2021, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen introduced the bill she and Dr. Lanman worked on to the U.S. Senate. Both democratic and republican members of the Senate and House of Representatives supported the bill.

According to senator Rosen’s website, colleges and universities with programs that support student veterans can apply for the grant. The grant will provide up to $500,000 to any college or university that qualifies. Senator Rosen stated that she is privileged to represent the 225,000 veterans that lived in her home state of Nevada.

“Another one that I was working on is what’s called the 21st Century STEM Bill,” Dr. Lanman said. The objective of this bill is to allow the Department of Education to create grants for funding local STEM groups and activities. This bill, which Senator Jacky Rosen co-sponsored, will benefit STEM groups all over the nation, including ones from Atlanta, such as STEM Atlanta Women. Additionally, the bill helps prepare girls and other marginalized groups for careers in STEM by helping fund money to further improve the programs.

I loved it. It was a lot of fun because I got to do something I’d never done before.

— Dr. Kathie Lanman

When asked about the challenges during her fellowship, Dr. Kathie Lanman explained that getting a republican co-sponsor was difficult. Since senator Jacky Rosen is a democrat, she needed a republican to co-lead the bill to make it bipartisan. “So that was the most challenging thing, was trying to find people who are willing to work in a bipartisan way.” Dr. Lanman said. After three to four weeks of tirelessly calling republican senators, the team got Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to join the cause.

“The neat thing about working as an Albert Einstein Fellow is that you get to see the things that affect education on a federal level.” Dr. Lanman said. She was glad she had the opportunity to make an impact on education.

“I have to say, I like teaching better. Teaching is more my style. As much fun as it was, I don’t think I’d like to do it permanently.” Dr. Lanman said.