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: $7,600 (one award or split into two 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 your experience in the Food Studies Minor and how it has informed your passions and interests in cultivating a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable world. Include how the knowledge and tools learned in the Food Studies Minor contribute to the direction of your academic career, future plans, and to the field of food studies.

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: 2023_20.ezaiz14k832oju63@u.box.com

If selected as a scholarship recipient, your accomplishment will be announced via email to the food studies community, including the Rothman family, faculty, and staff. Charlotte Vo will be in touch to confirm pronouns and announcement details prior to it being shared. Please let her know if there is anything that was shared in the scholarship application that should be remain confidential.

Application Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022, 11:59pm



Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Marcie Rothman, the Food Studies Minor is pleased and excited to announce the recipients of the 2023-2024 Marcie Rothman Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship.  This year’s scholarship award of $7,600 has been awarded to Cali M. Perez Chavez. Grace Wu is recognized with an honorable mention.

Scholarship Awardee – Cali Perez Chavez

A female with long brown hair, a rose-printed blouse, and a black long-sleeve undershirt smiling in front of a brick building.

Cali Perez Chavez is a third-year Psychology major with a Food Studies minor. With her family having established roots on the Central Coast of California, she grew up exposed to agricultural production. Her family has continued to work in the strawberry industry since migrating from Mexico. She grew up visiting the fields and helping with the business where she was impacted by the labor that goes into production. In high school, she took courses focused on policy and technology in agriculture and even maintained livestock. Having a complicated history with agriculture, she was excited to leave home as a first-generation college student. UCLA reignited that passion through the Food Studies minor and campus organizations. Through Swipe Out Hunger she’s made efforts to educate students about food insecurity and food justice. Inadequate access to healthy food is something she hopes to bring attention to. In summer 2023 she also joined the travel study program in Italy to learn about Italian food history and governance. This experience has had a profound effect that has led to critiquing the systems in place that interfere with ethical food practices. The minor has allowed her to continue learning about the biological and cultural effects of food. Along with these themes, she works to understand the intersection of food waste, food insecurity, and industrialized agriculture in the United States that restrain with our connection to what we eat with this education. Mending that bond seems impossible without advocating for policies that are in the best interest of the population and farmers. She hopes to apply practices learned from the European Union here so we may reestablish trust in our food systems beyond her time at UCLA.


Leilani Barnes – 2022
Major: Environmental Studies and Geography
Minor: Food Studies

Sarah Schecter – 2022
Major: Theater
Minor: Food Studies

Laila Adarkar – 2021
Major: Global Studies
Minor: Food Studies

Kristida Chhour – 2021
Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Minor: Food Studies

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 – Grace Wu

On a sunny day by the lakeside, Grace, an Asian woman with brown hair, dons a cream sweater and jacket as she radiantly smiles at the camera, near a tranquil lake adorned with a captivating fountain.

Grace Wu, currently in her third year, is pursuing a major in Microbiology, Immunology,
and Molecular Genetics, with a minor in Food Studies. Having split her life between
China and California, the stark cultural differences, particularly in food culture, have
fueled her fascination with how various cuisines intertwine with social dynamics. This
curiosity led her to delve into baking and cooking during middle school, eventually
inspiring the launch of a food website in high school. Her platform focused on
promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing eating disorders, aiming to assist
individuals navigating irregular food relationships.

Driven by a desire to contribute to the understanding of the mind-gut connection and
help those struggling with food-related challenges, Grace has actively engaged in
research. Collaborating with professors and graduate students at the Fielding School of
Public Health, she has dedicated past quarters to investigating how dietary changes can
positively impact individuals dealing with obesity, especially cancer survivors. In the
upcoming quarter, Grace is committed to exploring how studying abroad can influence
dietary patterns.

These research experiences are pivotal for her, as they not only deepen her
understanding but also serve as a means to apply tangible results for the benefit of the
wider public. The Food Studies minor has played a crucial role in expanding her
perspectives on environmental impacts, food sources, and sociological influences.
Eager and optimistic, Grace looks forward to embarking on her academic journey,
guided by the enriching courses offered by the Food Studies program. Her ultimate goal
is to leverage her growing knowledge to make substantial contributions that positively
impact the broader community.


Kassandra Gooch  – 2022
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Food Studies

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