The Food Studies Minor is pleased to announce the establishment of the Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship available for students pursuing the minor in Food Studies.

The Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship was established to support students in the Food Studies minor with their academic interests and endeavors at UCLA. This scholarship is awarded annually to Food Studies minors and aims to support the expansion of food in the world as an area of interdisciplinary study, including research and practice as it relates to culture, public health, nutrition, sustainability, the environment, food activism, and justice.


Marcie H. Rothman grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by good cooks, fresh seasonal produce, and hundreds of restaurants full of the ethnic cuisines that have inspired her throughout her career. She studied cooking with such notables as Wolfgang Puck and Ken Hom, and was a longtime member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the San Francisco Professional Food Society and Toastmasters International. She continues to support the International Slow Food Movement. During her career, Rothman took great interest in the notion of creating healthy and delicious meals that are also affordable and accessible to all. This led to the development of the “The $5 Chef,” a weekly television show where Rothman impressed viewers with her uncanny ability to put seasonal foods together into quick, delicious $5 meals. She is the author of two cookbooks as “The $5 Chef.”

Rothman received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA and later completed the Executive Program at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. She has extensive experience on the boards of non-profit organizations and is extremely excited to help foster the academic advancement of the field by supporting Food Studies minors in their studies. With this generous gift to UCLA’s Food Studies program, students are able to share Rothman’s passion for food, and dedicate themselves to understanding and improving its production, preparation, sharing, access, consumption, and disposal.



In order to be considered for the Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship, a recipient must be a Food Studies minor student who demonstrates passion and academic achievement in the field of food studies and/or financial need. Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  1. Be in good academic standing and;
  2. Be admitted to the UCLA Food Studies minor.

Note to non-Food Studies Minors: Students who are not yet admitted to the minor may submit their application to the minor at the same time as their application for the scholarship—but their scholarship application will only be reviewed AFTER admission to the minor is confirmed.


  1. In a single PDF document, please submit the items below.  Please save and submit your PDF document as: LastName, FirstName.pdf
    1. A complete scholarship application form
    2. A current résumé that highlights professional experience and extracurricular activities as well as community service and/or volunteer experiences
    3. A short essay of 500 words or less that answers the following questions:
      • Describe a concrete vision for how you would implement your vision in your academic community and professional work at and beyond UCLA. How will this vision contribute to the Food Studies field and/or help support food justice, sustainability, and community health?
      • What is your vision for how you would like to implement the knowledge and tools learned in the Food Studies Minor in your academic work at/beyond UCLA and in your professional path? In addition, how will your vision assist in the development of the Food Studies field and/or in cultivating a healthier, more sustainable and equitable world.
    4. A copy of your unofficial transcript.
  2. Email your application materials (as a single PDF document) to the Marcie Rothman Scholarship Committee at Rothman.nz9gnk06kgjaz45z@u.box.com. Your application materials will be automatically uploaded to a drive once they are received.  You will receive a confirmation email when your file has successfully uploaded.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 11:59PM
Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.

The 2019-2020 recipient(s) will be announced at the end of fall quarter. The recipient(s) will also be featured on the Food Studies website and recognized at the Food Studies End-of-Year Reception.



Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Marcie Rothman, the Food Studies Minor is pleased and excited to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship.  This year’s scholarship has been awarded to two students— Saraí Ramos Gonzalez, who received a $4,000 award, and Hannah Valenzuela, who received a $2,500 award.

Scholarship Awardee – Saraí Ramos Gonzalez

Sarai Ramos Photo

Sarai Ramos Photo

Saraí Ramos is a Mixtec mujer who is finishing up her last year at UCLA as a Chicanx Studies major and a triple minor in Education Studies, Labor and Workplace Studies, and Food Studies.  Saraí has devoted her time to community-oriented work. One of the projects she had devoted a lot of her time to is Yolotxonyo, housed under MEChA de UCLA. This project’s goal is to empower high-potential youth in the greater Los Angeles area. Through her involvement in Yolotzonyo, she has been able to unpack the injustices students from underserved communities face in terms of food insecurity and food inaccessibility. Sarai is working on developing the curriculum for this project and extend her work into the community.

Throughout her time at UCLA, Saraí has remained connected to her Oaxacan community and is currently collaborating on a research project that will create a platform for Mixtec womxn in the Central Valley to speak out on their experiences as womxn field laborers. In the future, she hopes to continue this community work in the Food Studies field with an emphasis on food justice.

Scholarship Awardee – Hannah Valenzuela

Hannah Valenzuela is a graduating senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies and a minor in Food Studies. Hannah did not choose Food Studies—rather, Food Studies chose Hannah. After struggling with life-threatening cases of eating disorders and food insecurity as a NCAA cross country and track athlete during her first two years at UCLA, Hannah redefined her life’s purpose: bringing awareness of eating disorders and food insecurity across college campuses.

Most recently, Hannah spent some time working closely with the UCLA Athletics Department and their Performance Nutrition Department to focus on prevention of food insecurity, eating disorders, and other food-related issues within the student-athlete community. Hannah is confident that the UCLA Performance Nutrition Department is now stronger than ever and is using her role as a current Global Food Initiative Fellow to expand her work by increasing awareness of mental health, eating disorders, and food insecurity across campus and the greater UCLA community.

Hannah’s primary focus for the 2018-2019 academic year is to combat food insecurity campus-wide, while preventing food waste. Utilizing her knowledge gained from the Food Studies Minor, her personal experiences, and through research, Hannah plans to continue her work upon graduation by traveling nationwide to college campuses to speak about her experiences with food insecurity and eating disorders. In addition, Hannah aspires to become a published author and continue to encourage and be of support to others by affirming that there is no shame in one’s personal struggles.


Pamela Lin – 2017
Major: Human Biology and Society
Minors: Food Studies and Geography/Environmental Studies



Honorable Mention – Chiara Phillips

Chiara Phillips Photo

Chiara Phillips Photo

Chiara Phillips is a Seni­or who is completing her Bachelor of Arts in Geography/Environmental Studies and double minoring in Food Studies and Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies. Her interests and experiences include the intersection of environmental science, food activism and equity, as well as social justice and the arts. In the beginning of her undergraduate career, Chiara became inspired by the work she completed at Kindred Spirits Care Farms, where she learned firsthand from local residents about the impacts of living with limited access to fresh, healthier foods. Currently, Chiara is the Food Equity/Access Assistant at Food Forward where she co-manages a free farmers market in Watts bi-weekly redistributing recovered produce that would normally go to waste from the Downtown L.A. Wholesale Market. This work has directly informed her capstone project and career goals by working to build aeroponics systems and farms to mitigate healthy food shortages in underserved urban communities.


Jesse Garcia – 2017
Major: Anthropology
Minors: Food Studies, French, and Global Health