Student Follows Siblings to UM for Double Major

Cesar Hidalgo (left), a Meridian junior, meets with counselor Susan Tyler to discuss his plan to pursue his degree in exercise science, dietetics, and nutrition. Photo by Thomas Graning / Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss – A trip to a chiropractor and a passion to help his mother open her own restaurant prompted Cesar Hidalgo, a junior at the University of Mississippi from Meridian, to pursue a double major in exercise science, dietetics, and nutrition.

“I went to the chiropractor, and that caught my attention,” Hidalgo said. “I said to myself, ‘This is really interesting. “

After considering his visit to a chiropractor, he realized how involved kinesiology, or exercise science, was in chiropractic work. He shared his interest in kinesiology with his family, and his sister Carolina, a UM senior biology student, told him about the exercise science program in the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management.

Exercise science is the study of human movement conducted to maintain or improve physical fitness and to improve health outcomes. An average of three to five students per year go to chiropractic training from the program.

Besides staying busy with coursework, he is highly involved in the Applied Science Ambassador Program, where students represent the school at campus visit events and orientation.

“Cesar is very involved in the ambassadors programme,” said Kelly Jenkins, assistant dean of the College of Applied Sciences. “If we have an event, he is always the first to volunteer and does an excellent job. Cesar is fantastic.”

Susan Tyler, Consulting, Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, echoed Jenkins’ praise of Hidalgo.

“From the first time I met Cesar, it was clear how devoted he was to his family and his studies because they are so important to him,” Tyler said. “It’s everything you’d look for in a student from a college of applied sciences.”

Hidalgo plans to use both majors in one career after graduation. He wants to use his knowledge of exercise science to open up his chiropractic practice, and he also has a goal of becoming a registered dietitian so that he can offer nutrition advice to patients seeking a consultation.

Dietitians translate the science of diet into practical solutions for a healthy life.

Besides wanting to integrate nutrition services into his chiropractic clinic, Hidalgo said he also chose to major in Dietetics and Nutrition due to his personal interest in cooking and his goal of helping his mother fulfill a dream.

“My mom wants to open a restaurant, and I love to cook by myself,” he said. “I want to help her realize this dream.”

Hidalgo is close to his family, including three siblings: older brother Jesus, sister Carolina and younger brother Aaron, all of whom attend Ole Miss.

Carolina joined first, and her siblings followed. She attended Meridian Community College before coming to UM, and plans to become a cardiovascular doctor. Jesus is a major in accounting, and Aaron is a freshman, also studying exercise science with the goal of becoming a physical therapist.

For more information about UM’s nutrition and nutrition programs, visit https://nhm.olemiss.edu/. For more information on exercise science, visit https://hesrm.olemiss.edu/.

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