Strauss Foundation Awards Anelah McGinness – Press Release




The Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation, established as a memorial to the late Don Strauss of Newport Beach and now designed to award $10,000 scholarships to as many as 15 California college juniors annually, has announced that among the foundation’s new group of recipients is UC San Diego student Anelah McGinness.

The Strauss scholarships fund public-service projects that the students have proposed and will carry out during their senior year. McGinness, who hails from Lake Elsinore, will use the funds in order to create a permanent free dental office in the Flying Samaritans clinic in a low resource community in Chapultapec, Ensenada, Mexico.

The student-run free clinic organized by the Flying Samaritans branch at UC San Diego currently provides basic general medicine services. However, many patients do not have access to dental care and are unaware of the importance oral health for overall health. For most dental interventions, there are only two kinds of teeth: good teeth and bad teeth. The bad teeth are extracted, and the good teeth are cleaned, if anything is done at all.

With the initial investment of basic hardware and the help of the Hispanic Dental Association led by Dr. Mario Orozco, as well as the help of founding dentist Dr. Rajashekeran, McGinness and other undergraduates (including her co-president Ksusha Zavarotinskaya) will be able to start a dental office capable of administering fillings and preventive measures, such as sealants for kids. The program will also be accompanied by public health education focused on prevention, given in the waiting room by Spanish-speaking students trained in oral health, with the objective of training women who are at the nodes of their social networks as promatoras who would share this knowledge with their families and friends. The establishment of a sustainable dental program will engage pre-medical, public health and pre-dental students in a hands-on project that answers a severely neglected need in the Chapultapec community.

Don Strauss demonstrated a strong, life-long commitment to public service and education, reflected by his serving 10 years on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board, and 12 years on the Newport Beach City Council, including one as mayor.

He also founded summer internships in Washington, D.C., for students at Cornell University, Stanford University, the University of Rhode Island, the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College, and he endowed scholarships at Stanford, U.C. Irvine and Harvey Mudd. He died in 1995 at the age of 79.

Strauss’ widow, Dorothy M.R. Strauss, established the foundation in January of 1997 as a “tribute to the vision, ideals and leadership of Donald A. Strauss.” In its first year, the foundation board invited 10 universities to nominate up to three students each for Strauss scholarships, with the board making the final selection of the 10 winners. (Dorothy Strauss saw her vision for the Foundation realized–she phoned each of the 10 first-year winners to notify them personally–before she passed away in October of 1997 at the age of 83.)

In the second year the Foundation was able to broaden its reach and award 15 $10,000 scholarships, and now gives 10-15 each year. This represents the Foundation’s sixteenth group of recipients—since its inception, the Foundation has now awarded 220 scholarships–and like their counterparts in the past, all of these new recipients have extensive records of community and public service, as well as a demonstrated desire to “make a difference.”

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CONTACT: Anelah McGinness (951) 385-0718

Duncan Strauss (714) 321-2114