July 15, 2013
Chelsea Rick, a 2012 Millsaps graduate who is pursuing a medical degree and plans to become a physician specializing in gerontology, was crowned Miss Mississippi 2013 on July 13.
Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick, Class of 2012
Photo by Joe Ellis
She will represent Mississippi at the 2014 Miss America Competition in September in Atlantic City, N.J.
Currently a student at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Rick won the crown on her fifth try, fulfilling a dream since childhood.
"I've wanted to be up here as long as I can remember," she told The Clarion-Ledger just minutes after being crowned.
A native of Fulton, Rick was the only one of the 35 contestants to win two preliminary competitions. She won a swimwear preliminary and also a talent preliminary for her performance of "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" from the Broadway musical, "Showboat."
During her year as Miss Mississippi, Rick plans to promote her platform "Full Plates, Healthy States," aimed at fighting hunger in America and providing healthy, nutritious food for those without.
"Through my extensive experience volunteering initially at my local food pantry and other places such as that, I have come in contact with what is, ironically, an epidemic in our country," Rick explained on the Miss Mississippi website. "Unfortunately, it is one which is underestimated and thus simply left unaddressed in many places. I feel that through my personal testimony of witnessing countless hungry children, adults, and elders, I can attest to the absolute urgency of this cause which is so close to my heart. Especially in these economic downtimes, hunger is running rampantly closer than you may think. It is an issue with our neighbors, students, coworkers, and so many others in our great nation."
Chelsea Rick visits Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital
One of her first appearances as Miss Mississippi was July 15 at the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital, where she had previously volunteered.
Rick credited a medical internship at Millsaps College with helping her realize her interest in gerontology. "I enjoyed seeing how the doctor I worked with was driven by compassion for her patients," she said in 2010.
While at Millsaps, Rick earned a B.S. in biology and completed an honors project with the thesis title, "Epigenetic Markers of the Serotonergic System in a Rodent Chronic Stress Model: Examining the Extent of Methylation of 5-HT1A in the Prefrontal Cortex of Stressed and Home Cage Control Rats."
She was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, president of the Student Council for College Advancement, a member of Chi Omega sorority, and a presidential ambassador for the Millsaps Admissions Department.
Rick said she chose to attend Millsaps because she wanted a small, liberal arts college where she could learn to think. Her brother, Trey Rick, is a 2006 graduate of Millsaps.
"I felt at home when I visited," she said in 2010. "I felt like everyone I spoke with cared about what happened to me and that I could really grow at Millsaps."