SHARE

This is the third of a series of El Mundo profiles which highlight the work and contributions of several of Harvard University’s key Latino staffers. In this edition we get to know better Carlos Reyes, a proud Venezuelan raised in the US who coordinates the graduation ceremony for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

By Chris Helms

11-harvard profile_Carlos Reyes 1
Carlos Reyes coordinates the graduation ceremony for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Hundreds of Harvard University graduates have Carlos Reyes to thank. Among many other duties, he’s the guy who makes sure everything goes smoothly at the graduation ceremony for the Graduate School of Design.

That made it especially sweet on the day he took his diploma from the Harvard Extension School. The Graduate School of Design students in the crowd were yelling his name and clapping, Reyes remembers.

“To have them clap for me because I was graduating, that’s once in a lifetime,” said Reyes during a recent interview with El Mundo.

Reyes is a proud Venezuelan but he was raised in the U.S. He admits his Spanish isn’t as good as perhaps his mother would like. But the rust comes off quickly whenever he gets back to Maracay, the city by Lake Valencia where he was born.

Reyes is a proud Venezuelan but he was raised in the U.S. He admits his Spanish isn’t as good as perhaps his mother would like. But the rust comes off quickly whenever he gets back to Maracay, the city by Lake Valencia where he was born.

His career at Harvard began in 2005. He was originally hired as a staff assistant in the Graduate School of Design but over the years has continually earned new responsibilities. By 2008, he was responsible for coordinating the school’s graduation.

“I don’t want to say I’m a control freak,” Reyes says, “but I’m sort of am.”

The people who work with Reyes said he’s a great example of someone who keeps taking respon-sibilities while making good use of opportunities for growth provided by Harvard.

Whether your one of the budding architects, a faculty member or fellow staffer at the Graduate School of Design, you learn that Reyes has the institutional knowledge you need. Whether it’s admissions, financial aid, career services or coordinating with the registrar’s office, Reyes knows how it’s done. He also oversees a peer tutoring program for students.

The Reyes family moved around while he was growing up, but his roots are mostly in Lexington. Reyes said he’s used to being the only Latino or person of color in the room. Single at 37, he jokes that his family and Latino friends pick on him for not having settled down with a Latina yet.

Because his family left Venezuela when he was one year old, he said he missed out on a core Latino experience of growing up in a big extended family.

“If you have that, don’t take it for granted,” Reyes said.

Reyes has a wide smile, especially when we talk about one of his greatest loves: Living in and enjoying cities. He’s a happy resident of Cambridge now, but has also lived in Washington, D.C., where he was a student at George Washington University. He travels to New York City when he can, but Boston remains his true love, city-wise.

“If I could, I would take a pill that would give me a real Boston accent,” jokes Reyes.

When he isn’t at Harvard, he enjoys coaching tennis at Lexington High School, where he himself graduated. He also coaches an adult team at Boston Sports Club. He’ll tell you his style of tennis is aggressive, especially if he’s playing his younger brother, Andreas. His younger sibling, his game honed by brotherly competition, became a top 50 player in the nation and won a state championship in singles.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.