Greetings to all friends and family. 

The year 2014 was a busy and fruitful one for our family! Early in the year, Rhiannon had to decide which MD/PhD programs to revisit in the Spring. She selected as her three “finalists:” NYU, Washington University in St. Louis and Cornell. These were wonderful, all expenses paid trips where the schools went all out to convince the invited students to pick their institution. This resulted in an extremely difficult decision in April about which school to attend. After narrowing down the field to Cornell and WashU, she didn’t finally decide until the day of the deadline. She selected Tri-I, the MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program) at Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering. She will be living and studying in the Upper East Side of Manhattan for about the next 8 years. The program will pay her enough to live comfortably during this time while also paying all her tuition, fees and health insurance! She has already become quite the New Yorker and a heavy user of public transportation. She also found time to celebrate her 20th birthday during all the travel. She attended her last semester and graduated from the University of Maryland in May. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in Chemistry and was selected as one of the 5 finalists for the University Medal!! She was also selected as a Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. The link to the University of Maryland graduation video is here.

At about 1 hour into the commencement, which occurred on Thursday, May 22nd,  Rhiannon and the 3 other University medal finalists were called onto the stage and presented to the audience by UMD president Wallace Loh. She is also sitting in the 1st row in front of the stage


[chairs   chairs]    [chairs  chairs]

She's in the 2nd set of chairs from the left, in the 2nd chair from the right w/ a turtle (terp) on her cap. She is also in the video when the student marshals are recognized (she's sitting in front of them) -- couldn't find the timestamp for that. This link is for the ceremony on Friday, May 23rd where Rhiannon walked across the stage at about the 2 hr 3 min mark.

In July, she moved to NYC to complete a 6 week lab rotation before starting medical school classes in Aug.  Rhiannon's white coat ceremony was August 19, 2014. She gets her coat at about the 6 minute mark with a close up near 2:24. As she walks off the stage, she is handed her first stethoscope. We had a great visit with her before and after the ceremony. A few weeks into the school year, Rhiannon, 2 medical students, and another MD/PhD student had a discussion with the dean of Weill Cornell, summarized in this video. This Fall, she completed her 1st semester including anatomy. She spent her 2 week (much needed) break at home with us in Laurel.

In other news, Cindy celebrated her 50th birthday in June. She did some traveling for work to Augusta, GA, San Antonio and Germany. She spent a few days visiting in San Antonio. She tried a good German beer, schnitzel, spaetzle, bratwurst, plum dumpling and strudel while in Germany.

David and Cindy celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on August 19 – yes, the same day as the white coat ceremony – a wonderful memory.

The three of us enjoyed our 2 weeks together.

David Aguilar,
Jan 5, 2015, 10:44 AM