- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) - Western Illinois University is starting a new program to help support women studying science, technology, engineering and math.

The university said in a news release Wednesday that 1984 Western graduate Susan Beta and her husband, Paul, donated $10,000 to help get the Women in Science program started.

Department of Chemistry Chair Rose McConnell said the money will help the program create scholarships for women studying in STEM fields who want to conduct research.

The program will also pair interested women studying at Western Illinois with STEM faculty members who will serve as mentors.

McConnell said she hopes the program improve retention rates for women studying in STEM majors at Western Illinois.

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