PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Two members of the Class of 2013 were commissioned as second lieutenants in divisions of the United States Armed Forces in a ceremony on Saturday, May 25, in Rhode Island Hall. The ceremony, part of the 245th Commencement events, honored Marcos Aranda and Heejung Sarah Park, who were formally commissioned in the United States Army and United States Air Force, respectively, as participants in the Health Professions Scholarship Program.
Capt. David Flores and Theordore F. Low, retired Army colonel and civilian aid to the Secretary of the Army, presided at the ceremony. Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron offered remarks.
Aranda, a human biology concentrator from of Hobbs, N.M., said he was inspired to join the military by his brother. “I feel very fortunate to be commissioning. My brother got me interested in serving after he enlisted; I look forward to practicing military medicine.”
Park is a psychology concentrator from Grapevine, Texas.
Both Aranda and Park were students in the Program in Liberal Medical Education. Julianne Ip, associate dean of medicine, who worked closely with both students, expressed her pride in their next step.
Of Aranda, Ip said: “Marcos is a ‘rock.’ ... He is strong of heart, of mind and of body. He has an incredible sense of responsibility and dedication as exemplified by his success not only as a PLME student but simultaneously as a varsity wrestler. It has been a pleasure being part of his journey and I know he will be an outstanding officer and physician.”
Of Park, Ip said: “Sarah has worked hard as an undergraduate often facing adversity. I remember the day Sarah went to Texas and returned with tears of joy in her eyes informing me that she just became a citizen of the United States. This dedication to the United States — recognition of what freedom and opportunities offered her — will make Sarah a dedicated officer.”
Aranda will continue his education at the Alpert Medical School in the fall, while Park is deferring for one year.