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.




Award Amount: $7550 (one award or split into multiple awards)

Eligibility Criteria:

Recipients of the Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship are Food Studies minor students who demonstrate passion for their interests and pursuits and academic achievement in the field of Food Studies and/or financial need.

To be eligible for the scholarships, students must have:

  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 once admission to the minor is confirmed.

Application instructions:
1. In a single PDF document, submit the following items before or on the deadline:

  • A complete scholarship application form
  • A current resume that highlights professional experience and extracurricular activities as well as community service and/or volunteer experiences
  • A short essay of 500 words or less that answers the following question:
    • 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?

Save the PDF in the following format:

  • LastName, FirstName.pdf

2. Obtain a copy of your unofficial transcript and save it in the following format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Transcript.pdf
  • Block_Gene_Transcript.pdf

3. Email both files to the Marcie Rothman Scholarship Committee*. Your application materials will be automatically uploaded to a drive once they are received.

Confirmation email:

You will receive a confirmation email for each file when your application materials have been successfully uploaded. Important: If you do not receive a confirmation email or if you are having issues uploading your application, please send application materials to Charlotte Vo at cvo@college.ucla.edu.

*Your application materials should be sent directly to the committee via the following email address: 2020_20.m7cr9bpsibm095sh@u.box.com.

Application Deadline: Monday, November 8, 2021, 11:59pm



Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Marcie Rothman, the Food Studies Minor is pleased and excited to announce the recipients of the 2021-2022 Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship.  This year’s scholarship has been awarded to two students and one honorable mention – Laila Adarkar, who received a $3,775 award, Kristida Chhour, who received a $3,775 award, and Kassandra Gooch who is selected as an Honorable Mention.

Scholarship Awardee – Laila Adarkar

Laila Adarkar standing in front of a San Francisco cityscape. She has long black hair and tan skin, and she is wearing a pink dress and black cardigan.

Laila Adarkar is a third-year Global Studies major with a minor in Food Studies. Raised in a food-centric, Indian-Taiwanese family, and surrounded by the rich food culture of the Bay Area, Laila has had a love of food her entire life. In high school, she started a food instagram account called @bitesbythebay to inspire fellow students with easy, healthy meal ideas and recipes that she has kept up to this day. Now at college, she is a national contributor for the college-run food publication, Spoon University, where she shares more in-depth cooking guides and recipes, and she is also a member of the UCLA Farmers Market team. In addition, Laila is currently working on a project to create seasonally-driven and affordable cooking kits geared toward students which she hopes will help equip students with concrete cooking skills and encourage fun, healthy, and delicious cooking and eating. Beyond her peer community, Laila has interned for the first women-led food hall in the country, La Cocina’s Municipal Marketplace, as well as, most recently interning at Alice Water’s newest Los Angeles restaurant, Lulu, both of which have continued to ground her beliefs in the power of food to create change. Outside of this, Laila loves immersing herself in the food world in any way she can, from combing through food memoirs and magazines, to studying restaurant menus, to cooking her way through cookbooks, to exploring local farmers markets. Ultimately, Laila hopes to use all of this knowledge and experience to help the world eat locally, sustainably, and more delicious-ly, however that may be-right now, at a college level, but hopefully on a larger scale one day.

Scholarship Awardee – Kristida Chhour

A headshot of Kristida (she/her/hers pronouns), a Cambodian woman with light pink and orange hair that is tied back. She is wearing a black button up blouse with a collar and round wire-framed glasses. She is standing in front of a brick archway and trees and is smiling directly into the camera.

Kristida Chhour is a graduating senior majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering and minoring in Food Studies. She became interested in food because of its role in bringing people together and sharing cultures. Kristida loves to cook and bake, which is inspired by all of the cooking videos and competitions she watches in her free time.

Kristida’s deep appreciation for food and her passion for sustainability guides her exploration of the sustainability of food systems. As a Zero Waste Ambassador, she has contributed to projects that target reducing food waste, such as the Food Recovery Implementation Guide and the Zero Waste Kitchen Companion. She also collaborates with Dr. Jennifer Jay and the UCLA Center for Human and Planetary Health to conduct research centered on empowering individuals to make dietary changes by providing carbon footprint data comparisons of plant-based recipes and traditional, meat-protein counterparts.

In the future, Kristida hopes to focus on food systems through the lens of civil engineering through a graduate education. She is excited for all that there is to learn, share, and love about food.


Desiree Felix – 2020
Major: Environmental Science
Minor: Environmental Systems and Society and Food Studies

Ikuko Nakano – 2020
Major: Civil Engineering
Minor: Food Studies

Carlene Francis – 2019
Major: African American Studies
Minor: Food Studies

Tierney Sheehan – 2019
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Film, Television, and Digital Media

Saraí Ramos Gonzalez – 2018
Major: Chicanx Studies
Minors: Food Studies, Education Studies and Labor and Workplace Studies

Hannah Valenzuela – 2018
Major: Gender Studies
Minor: Food Studies

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



Honorable Mention – Kassandra Gooch 

A close-up of Kassandra, a white woman with shoulder length wavy brown hair. She is wearing a sleeveless black shirt and pink lipstick and looking directly at the camera.

Kassandra Gooch is a non-traditional graduating senior with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Food Studies. She grew up in Houston, Tx where she spent time in several different households, connecting with all her families through food traditions. Encountering differences in access, cooking styles, and flavor pairings sparked her interest in foodways and culinary traditions, leading her to culinary school.
Through her experience in the retail food industry, Kassandra became interested in the forces that impact food production and consumption and how sustainability and access affect food freedom. After spending time working in different levels of the restaurant industry- from factory, to retail, to fine dining- she decided to go back to school to round out her culinary knowledge with nutritional and sociocultural perspectives.
This past quarter she helped film a documentary about Bruin Plate, UCLA’s sustainability and ingredient focused dining hall, hoping to inspire other institutional restaurants towards more sustainable practices and encourage students to talk to the people behind the food on their plates. She is also helping to collect recipes for the Students for Integrative Medicine Community Cookbook and plans to collect and share food narratives in future research. She hopes to combine her culinary and anthropology training to make food and nutritional knowledge accessible through public health and/or visual media.


Lauren Barette  – 2020
Major: Dance
Minors: Entrepreneurship and Food Studies

Juanyi Tan – 2019
Major: Psychobiology
Minors: Food Studies

Chiara Phillips – 2018
Major: Geography/Environmental Studies
Minors: Food Studies, Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies

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