MSU students to compete at annual RICE Bowl in Jackson

Contact: Anna Owens

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Three graduate students are representing Mississippi State at the annual RICE Bowl in Jackson next week. The Rural Interdisciplinary Case Experience is a competition that challenges students to solve a rural health case scenario.

The free event takes place Oct. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Medicine. Current MSU students, alumni and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

MSU team members are pursuing master’s degrees in food science, nutrition and health promotion with concentrations in nutrition, and include Nicole K. Reeder of Starkville, Savannah K. Walker of Canton, and Megumi Hashida of Sagamihara, Japan.

Each team has representatives from a dozen disciplines, including food and nutrition, social work, dentistry, medicine, psychology, public health, law and others. The challenge allows participants to collaborate across their fields of study to work out multi-faceted rural health issues.

In addition to MSU, participating institutions this year are Jackson State University, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi College and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

The event is organized by UMMC and sponsored by the institution’s Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, as well as the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

“The RICE Bowl is a great experience for our students to work together with professionals from other fields,” Terezie Tolar-Peterson said, adding, “Sometimes students only see how their discipline contributes to the case, but this allows them to see how other professions impact healthcare overall.”

Tolar-Peterson is an associate professor and the dietetic internship director for MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

According to MSU’s Extension Service, 54 percent of Mississippi residents are rural, which can lead to poor health issues due to lack of medical access. The Health Resources and Services Administration considers all or part of Mississippi’s 82 counties medically underserved areas and populations. This classification is determined by factors such as an area’s infant mortality rate, percentage of the population over age 65, population to provider ratio and percentage of population living below the federal poverty level.

Complete details about the RICE Bowl competition can be found at

For more information about MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, visit

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