Molly Franson Wins Strauss Scholarship
Molly Franson, a junior urban and environmental policy major at Occidental College, has been awarded a $10,000 Donald A. Strauss Scholarship to study the relationship between natural medicines and urban gardens in Cuba.
Following her summer visit, Franson will then help Los Angeles school children learn about gardening and medicinal herbs by developing an herb garden education center at Delevan Elementary School, near the Occidental campus.
“Cuba’s lack of resources for western medicines has increased its dependence upon natural medicines,” Franson said. “Here in the U.S., many low-income people have limited access to pharmaceuticals. I would like to learn about the growth of natural medicines in urban gardens in Cuba and then develop a program that will help increase awareness of the benefits of alternative medicines among low-income students in Los Angeles.”
“Molly is an outstanding student and campus leader,” said Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental. “She is committed to using her skills to improve society. She has the kind of passion that makes for an effective advocate and the kind of common sense that understands the importance of pragmatism and compromise.”
The Newport Beach-based Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation awards 15 scholarships a year to juniors at Occidental and 13 other California colleges and universities, including Caltech, Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCLA. The late Strauss, an Orange County business executive, had a lifelong interest in education and public service.